September 1, 2007
News - SparkFun Gets a Subpoena
about 3 years ago
Many thanks for responding promptly (to both of you).
And, re: par for the course. All I can say is good grief. Have you had to turn away a lot of punters looking for big IT iron, or were you able to cobble together some kind of Beowulf cum BeagleBoard Database servers.
"we would have been required to turn over the rather large and scattershot stack of documents indicated in the subpoena rather than the 20 we supplied."
Perhaps, or it could be a lazy man’s bluff. Is it really necessary to store archive data onsite? It seems like that could potentially interrupt your daily operations in the future.
" Also, please keep in mind that this is likely to have happened to you on several occasions elsewhere without your knowledge, we’re doing our best to be transparent and gather criticism "
Fair enough, still doesn’t make me happy.
"A SWAT response a la “Hackers” would be not only vastly inappropriate but blatantly wasteful."
Yet blatant waste and inappropriate responses by law enforcement continues unabated.
I must admit that I am personally responsible for the execution of many innocent semiconductor devices. I only did it in the name of expediency, well, I killed quite a few in blind experimentation as well, and; I confess, I’ve done it just to see them die. Nevertheless, I (hypocritically) would like a bit more consideration given to my person than I often afford to the poor innocent components I have needlessly condemned. Call me an elitist if you must, but; I consider myself more important than most electronic devices.
I am unhappy and wish to express my discontent.
At least you sought counsel and refused to flash your entire customer database. Congratulations, that is the least you could do; and still (potentially) maintain many of us as customers. It is absurd that a non-amateur law enforcement officer would think that it is okay to make such a request, but that just goes to show the sorry state of affairs we live in. Yes please, demand/politely request a subpoena/warrant, it’s the minimum possible level of effort, and ought to be provided without hesitation or hard feelings. Consider it your receipt in a professional transaction.
Kudos, you did (belatedly) publish the fact that you’d been served, and that you’d complied. Three cheers for having the honesty and courage to do that. You should make it a matter of policy to disclose all such incidents in a timely manner.
"It was very surreal. Just a small csv file emailed to the investigator."
What! What? That admission directly contradicts a statement you made only hours prior. Namely “We guard it with the highest levels of security and confidentiality.” Is that how it is in Colorado? Because, where I’m from a csv file sent in email (plain text!) is not what I would have had in mind. A single printed sheet or individual printed sheets, via registered mail would have been better for quite a few reasons.
Zero Tolerance? Really? Zero Tolerance is one of those buzzwords that gets social conservatives all riled up and happy; whilst also getting middle-schoolers expelled and arrested on drug charges, for having aspirin in their backpack. I doubt much good will ever come from blindly casting our cognitive abilities aside and instead judging as an open-loop comparator.
It’s not that I want to make it easy for people to commit crimes. It is that, left unchecked, dozens, or maybe hundreds of innocent people who were minding their own, would have ended up part of a criminal investigation. Their info probably will exist in files, paper and computer, into the foreseeable future. Do you have control over how Coweta County disposes of old files, computers, etc? Will they be hacked? It’s not unheard of. Yes, I do care more about privacy than the (insured) potential losses of some bankers and or ATM operators.
"To our knowledge no arrests or discoveries were made."
Please use the critical comments in this thread to stiffen yourself in the future.
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