US Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Speech Case

The supreme court tomorrow will hear oral arguments in the case of Elonis v. United States. The legal question to be argued is:

(1) Whether, consistent with the First Amendment and Virginia v. Black, conviction of threatening another person under 18 U.S.C. § 875(c) requires proof of the defendant's subjective intent to threaten, as required by the Ninth Circuit and the supreme courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont; or whether it is enough to show that a “reasonable person” would regard the statement as threatening, as held by other federal courts of appeals and state courts of last resort; and (2) whether, as a matter of statutory interpretation, conviction of threatening another person under 18 U.S.C. § 875(c) requires proof of the defendant's subjective intent to threaten.

Elonis was convicted for the high crime of posting rap lyrics he had authored to his Facebook page and as a result was sentenced to 44 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

The Story Continues

On the 25th and 26th of November, Qntra ran a story in which we claimed the domain name had been deleted due to a complaint lodged with auDA which outlined incorrect registrant information. In response to that article, Qntra received a statement from Shane Murphy on behalf of digitalBTC and Zhenya Tsvetnenko which can be read here. Shane Murphy clarified that the domain name had been dropped by Zhenya in his capacity as sole director of Magna Fortis Pty Ltd and not Executive Chairman of digitalBTC, an important distinction. Continue reading

Ken Hess: Bitcoin Illegal, Tom Coburn: Maybe for Congress?

In a piece appearing on ZDnet today Ken Hess wrote a about his letter campaign to inform United States Senators of "Bitcoin's illegality" and of how Tom Coburn's office responded. Mr. Hess's case for Bitcoin illegality consist of his reading of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 of the United States constitution which enumerates as a power of Congress: Continue reading

MtGox Trustee Moves to Repay Creditors, Work With Kraken

According to the New York Times, the liquidator in the MtGox bankruptcy case is moving in the direction of repaying creditors and will partner with the Fiat/Bitcoin exchange Kraken to do so. Among assistance Kraken might offer to the trustee is an evaluation of Mt Gox's assets and help investigating the collapse of MtGox. Any decision to repay the customers with Bitcoin though would happen at the discretion of the Trustee. Jesse Powell of Kraken offered a few informative quotes: Continue reading

Sony Pictures Suffers Targeted Cyber Attack

The Los Angeles Times reports that a group calling itself #GOP or "Guardians of Peace" has compromised the ability of movie studio Sony Pictures to derive any utility from their information technology infrastructure. Allegedly the group behind the event has not made any concrete demands, but is threatening to leak internal information from the studio to the web if certain demands are not met. This event deviates from typical, far less selective, ransomware attacks which happen to affect single computers opportunistically and then demand a set monetary ransom to facilitate the recovery of files. Self Proclaimed "hack victim" Mark Karpeles have offered that the Sony hackers might be Chinese or Korean based on a text encoding error.