You remember Martin Shkreli, right? He’s the guy who founded Turing Pharmaceuticals, and then acquired the only marketing rights in the U.S. to pyrimethamine (a drug used by, among others, HIV patients), marketed in the U.S. as Daraprim, boosting the price by 5500% per dose. Well, he wasn’t convicted for doing that, but he was convicted for securities fraud, and has been out on bail while awaiting sentencing. Except, a post that he made on Facebook just got him sent to jail. For a post he made on social media. Let’s repeat that – someone is going to jail for a post they made on Facebook. Here’s what Martin Shkreli’s post said:
Three principals of Canadian clothing company High on Life, who trespassed at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, as well as other locations, in order to post their deeds on social media, have been convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct, and sentenced to 5 years probation (all of them) and a week in jail (two of them). In addition to the trespass on the fragile Grand Prismatic Spring, Charles Ryker Gamble, Alexey Andriyovych Lyakh and Justis Cooper Price Brown all pleaded guilty to trespass violations in Zion National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Death Valley National Park. Additional trespasses on behalf of High on Life occurred at Corona Arch and Bonneville Salt Flats.
Another person, this time Reece Elliot from England, has found themselves in jail over things they have said, and specifically threats they have made, on Facebook.
A few months ago, Texas teenager Justin Carter, a regular gamer who played the League of Legends game online, and a fellow gaming friend, got into a heated argument with someone on Facebook. During the argument, which took place publicly on their timelines, the person with whom they were having this discussion on Facebook had said something to Carter, regarding his gaming in general, and League of Legends in particular, to the effect of “Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head.”
A new category of reviews has been added to Yelp: correctional facilities. Yes, believe it or not, there are reviews for prisons and jails from coast to coast, including Rikers Island (New York) to the Los Angeles County Jail (California) and locations in-between.
Believe it or not, as of Saturday, 2/2/13, it became illegal to unlock your cell phone. Or to unlock anybody else’s cell phone. The failure by the LIbrary of Congress to renew an unlocking exemption to the DMCA means that you must seek permission from the carrier or phone manufacturer before you can unlock your cell phone. If you don’t? You can face prison time. Just ask Sina Khanifar, who in fact was threatened with up to 5 years in prison. His crime? Unlocking his Motorola Razr.
If you were on the Internet in 2005 or 2006, you almost certainly also received spam for an herbal weight loss supplement called ‘Hoodia’, among others, and, if you received spam for Hoodia, then it’s also almost certain that Brian McDaid was behind it. In 2007, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) nabbed McDaid, a chiropractor from Thorndale, Pennsylvania, and charged him with false and deceptive business claims, and several violations of the Federal anti-spam law, CAN-SPAM.
It is one of the sleaziest, creepiest uses for a webcam and the Internet: spying on your room mate while they are having a close encounter of the intimate kind, and broadcasting the fact on Twitter and sharing it through iChat. But it is not a hate crime, even when you announce that you “saw him making out with a dude.” That is the finding of New Jersey Judge Glenn Berman, in sentencing Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail following Ravi’s actions, and the subsequent suicide of his roommate Tyler Clementi.
In case you hadn’t heard of the Facebook poking arrest that happened last month, Shannon D. Jackson was arrested for ‘poking’ Dana Hannah on Facebook – meaning that Jackson used the Facebook “poke” function to “poke” Hannah which, while perhaps rude, childish, and annoying, doesn’t usually rise to the level of an arrestable offense. However in this case, it is alleged that the poke violated the terms of a protection order (think “restraining order”) which Hannah had in place against Jackson. Now the whole thing has been referred to a grand jury.
Ah, the cell phone. That ubiquitous little device that so many drivers now take for granted – that kids tote to school (little Johnny may not be able to read, but boy can he text) – that everybody, absolutely everybody has. Including prisoners and inmates. And cell phones in jail and prison have become a huge problem.
It would seem that Phil Spector is Twittering from prison. While it seems unlikely, even unbelievable – and speculation about whether it’s really Phil Spector Twittering from jail, or an imposter, abounds – in reading the actual Twitter messages, if it’s not Phil Spector (whose full name is actually Harvey Phillip Spector, or “Harvey P. Spector”), then it’s a darned good facsimile Tweeting in Phil Spector’s name.
Prolific spammer Eddie Davidson was arrested last year, and, in April was sentenced to twenty-one months at the Federal prison in Florence, Colorado – about 3 hours north of Denver. This past Sunday, Davidson escaped from Florence Prison, and is at large.
The rise in social media sites such as Facebook and Myspace has been a boon for prosecutors, who are finding incriminating pictures on such sites – pictures which have been admitted as evidence in court, and used to increase penalties, sentences, and prison time!