back to article Court strikes down Facebook probation

A California appeals court has struck down as unconstitutional probation conditions that barred a 15-year-old convicted of possessing a stolen motorcycle from using a computer or the internet for any purpose other than school-related assignments. Last week's decision from California's Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate …


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  1. jphn37
    Paris Hilton

    Damn, they're good

    This kid had some good lawyers.

    Paris, because she has pretty good lawyers too.

    1. patrick_bateman


      Because you have had papers from them to stop licking her ass

  2. Renato
    Big Brother

    Oh the future!

    Back then my parents grounded me. Now it's the judges' job.

    Indeed, we are living in interesting times.

    1. Adam Salisbury
      Thumb Down

      Just grounded?

      If I'd have nicked a motorcycle and been caught with drugs on me at that aga, my folks would shop me into the cops themselves!

      And IMHO they'd be right to do so, too few parents dare implement a bit of tough love for of upsetting their darling brats these days

  3. meteort
    Thumb Up

    Can't think of a witty title

    A big thank you to the courts for restoring some of my faith in government. Logical and well written decision.

  4. Adam Foxton

    Woo and Yaay for sense!

    May it become increasingly common.

    That judgement really does just smack of "yeah, we'll ban the little prick from Facebook as an extra punishment! rawr feel my judgemental powers!". It's a good thing they've overturned it.

  5. Kanhef

    Extension of ruling

    I wholeheartedly agree with the court's ruling; a sentence restricting computer use for a crime completely unrelated to computers makes no sense. But it doesn't explicitly say if such a sentence would be valid for a computer-related crime. I'd need to read the whole ruling to be more certain, but from the excerpts it sounds like this court would allow the first part of it. The prohibition against using any computer with hackerware on it, knowingly or not, and the vagueness of the terms used, is far too broad and should not be allowed under any circumstances.

    1. Pablo

      Not to mention the "encryption" part.

      How would you even *find* a computer that doesn't contain encryption software? Every browser has it built-in, and I'd hazard to guess pretty much every operating system contains encryption in some form as well.

  6. Michael Xion

    Title, I don't need no stinkin' title...

    Why was this prohibition even contemplated in the first place?

  7. Vision Aforethought

    Yet example of idiotic liberals in action

    Having lived in several cities run by liberals, where criminals are treated with kid gloves, I can testify to observing higher crime rates (including murder) than cities with less lenient policies.

    Liberals are doing more harm to our quality of life than any enemy of the nation. (Am referring to both the USA and UK.)

    1. CD001

      A liberal

      A Liberal in the UK != a Liberal in the US ... the US definition of liberal does my noggin in.

      Liberal bad, Liberty good - erm... wtf?

      A "true" liberal would be more like a Wiccan - do what you like so long as you're not hurting anyone - which seems pretty sensible to me and requires some kind of punishment for someone breaking the "so long as you're not hurting anyone" clause.

      I'd describe myself as a hard-line liberal - e.g. extreme punishment for breaking that clause.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Yet example of idiotic commenter

      more like!

    3. Anonymous Coward

      That would be the liberal mind control ray.

      We are beaming it at you right now.

      It looks like the tin-foil hat we sent is effectively blocking the signal?

      That will be $99.99.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Why don't they just declare all encryption software illegal? That way they wouldn't have to go after individuals anymore.

    Such rulings should not need overturning. Judges that forbid encryption software should be booked for some camp x-ray action ASAP.

  9. John H Woods Silver badge

    Errm ....

    ... I think you are on the wrong website. Radical opinions are welcome here, but idiotic Daily Mail type posturing, where you think 'I can testify that...' counts for anything whatsoever, is probably not going to cut the mustard. I would be interested to know which UK cities you consider to be 'run by liberals' - it's unlikely we'll give it much credence but it might be good for a laugh.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge

    "School-related assignments"

    Methinks this little scrote is not too interested in school....

  11. PershingDriver

    Put the brat to work

    brat should have been sentenced to community service using the following formula.

    V / M * 10 = Hours of community service.

    Where V is the MSRP of the motorcycle

    Where M is Minimum Wage for a 15 year old

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...the 15-year-old was ordered to delete any existing ... Facebook pages"

    Good luck with that

  13. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    I don't get it

    How do you encrypt a motorcycle?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      How do you encrypt a motorcycle?

      Putting it through a metal shredder will encrypt the heck out of just about anything. Reassembly however is rather difficult.

  14. dssf

    Why "delete" the account?

    Why not instead just suspend or freeze the accounts. If anything, the freezing or suspending might permit delivery (rather than bouncing) of email from either accomplices or any corroborative and mitigating email. Appears this kid had bad lawyers and over-reaching decisions lacking creativity struck this kid. Unfortunately for adults, things will be much harsher.

    But, imagine if the kid had numerous REAL friends and posted lots of interesting stuff (links, pictures, and so on of real informational value and devoid of anything illegal) and had been forced by erroneous application of law to delete his account. Then, if later he's found to be innocent or not guilty or not charges dropped, how would he reconstruct his profile w/o help of fb breaking it's own public statements of "once you delete your account it's GONE"?

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