Thursday, September 16, 2004

Here is some more HA HA for ya's

Why It's OK to Be Drunk on Jury Duty The integrity of the jury system may be the backbone of American justice, but it's apparently acceptable in New York City for a juror to be drunk on alcohol or high on marijuana or cocaine. Reuters reports that a New York judge said just that when she refused to set aside the verdict on a retired city firefighter who was convicted of stealing souvenirs from Ground Zero.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Ellen Coin cited a 1987 Supreme Court ruling which stated that it is not considered an "outside influence" on jurors if they consume alcohol, smoke marijuana, snort cocaine, or fall asleep while on jury duty. That means the guilty verdict of petty larceny against Samuel Brandon, 61, stands even though a juror told Brandon he had been drinking during the deliberations. Brandon was accused of stealing personal items from the ruins of the World Trade Center. After learning about the drunk juror, he sought a new trial.
Although the judge did say that being drunk on jury duty was "reprehensible," she acknowledged there was little she could do about it given the Supreme Court ruling. "However severe their effect and improper their use, drugs or alcohol voluntarily ingested by a juror seem no more an 'outside influence' than a virus, poorly prepared food, or lack of sleep," the Supreme Court said in its decision. Brandon faces up to one year in jail at his Sept. 27 sentencing, notes Reuters.

And also this is why I do not do any banking via the internet.

You Won't Believe Who's on Fed Payroll Your tax dollars at work: Hackers are on the federal government's payroll. But this is a good thing! Their goal each workday is simple: Not to wreak havoc, but rather to boost the security of America's pipelines, railroads, utilities and other infrastructure as part of a project backed by the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, reports Reuters. The bad guys are now the good guys who are trying to protect us from cyber-terrorism.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the program employs expert hackers who test computing vulnerabilities from a new cyber-security center that is spread across 890 square miles in a remote area of eastern Idaho. "I don't think people have an understanding of what could be the impact of cyber attacks," Paul Kearns, director of INEEL, told Reuters. "They don't understand the threat."
Federal security officials do understand the threat and have warned that we are not prepared. "I am confident that there is no system connected to the Internet, either by modem or fixed connection, that can't be hacked into," Laurin Dodd, who oversees INEEL's national security programs, told Reuters. He thinks the only computer system that would be safe is one that is isolated from the outside, such as the one used by the CIA. If a system is accessible via the Internet, then it is susceptible to sabotage. The hacker team only tests within an internal infrastructure unless a company hires them to try to hack into their system to test their cyber-defenses. And this should make you sleep easier: None of the hackers has a criminal record, and all have passed very strict security clearances.

More thanks to wmconnect and compuserve

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