“Jailbreaking” can now land you in jail… Except when it doesn’t!

Librarian of Congress.

The Librarian of Congress has issued a ruling informing American citizens that they do not have the right to modify their own property.

What is the Librarian of Congress protecting the American citizen from? A scary gun? Possibly an environment-destroying vehicle? Surely it is something insidious, inherently dangerous or at least annoying, right? Continue reading

Les Miserables

Les Mis

A couple of weekends ago I went along with my wife to see Les Miserables, a three-hour cinema version of the musical – based on the epic 19th Century novel by the French novelist, Victor Hugo. I am not going to even bother to hint at the plot here – since that is poor reviewer manners – but rather reflect on something that seems to have been caused by the phenomenon of this film. Continue reading

Cryptoanarchy and the importance of the Internet

The Internet is perhaps the greatest tool developed in the past two generations. Its uses for communication and research are obvious. Yet despite being a spinoff of what was originally a government project (the US military’s ARPANET in the 1960s), ironically it has shown itself to be a major weapon against statism and tyranny. Witness the ‘social-media revolutions’ in the Middle East and Egypt, for example. When ideas can flow unhindered, real change has a chance to take place. Continue reading

You MUST be Joking (if you want to escape conviction under s 127 Communications Act 2003)


Karen Seddon is a PhD candidate at the University of Manchester School of Law. Her research focuses on finding a purely rational, and not value-ridden, basis for law-making.

First, let me be clear what this blog is not about. It is not about cyber-bullying; cyber-stalking; the posing of serious threats; the incitement of violence or hacking offences. There is a disorientating abundance of laws protecting individuals from these offences, including the Protection from Harassment Act 1997; The Public Order Act 1986; the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; the Criminal Law Act 1977 and the Malicious Communications Act 1988. Case law has even extended Actual Bodily Harm to include psychological harm (R v Ireland), so I am not asking you to have in mind the misery-inducing teenagers that victimise classmates online. Continue reading

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