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Computer Law/deleted comment

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My name is Cindy and I live in Pennsylvania. I have a joint account with Vic on a campground message board that was set up to provide a place for members to ask questions and receive reply's. On August 31st 2012 I was informed of a comment made and signed by Vic and told that it was inappropriate. So being a firm believer in our constitution and our civil liberty of freedom of speech. I agreed that if Vic wasn't back to remove/delete it in 10 minutes I would, however I preferred that he decided to do that himself. He did come back in which time I read the comment and did not find it to be anything but an opinion and appropriate to the issue being discussed, however we both agreed to delete it anyway, since it was questionable to the other party that did reply with his opinion as well. We believed that to be the end of the situation, however on September 30th 2012, a month later the email that Vic deleted was resurrected from the delete pile and passed out to at least all 12 of our board members and we were sent a major offense that would be on our record here within our campground membership for three years and a 100 dollar fine. I was outraged at the fact that I was also included and did not even personally type the message, however we asked for a hearing and that hearing took place October 21st 2012 and we were found innocent and given our access back to the message board, however we do not want to be any part of that message board. My question is: Was it a criminal offense to attempt to use a deleted comment to prosecute someone? And how do I educate myself on this issue so that I do not find myself at another hearing defending my civil liberties with a deleted message?

Answer
Hi Cindy,

First off the message board has a set of rules and then there are laws. they are two different things. when you join one of those boards you agree to abide by their rules and regulations. Some boards don't allow profanity, some boards don't allow certain comments about other members, and some of these boards are not even located within the United States so therefore your freedom of speech issue which I completely agree with by the way, does not even apply to them. As for a deleted message being resurrected to later have you find by some governing body is not illegal in another itself.

It sounds to me like your campground has some kind of an issue dealing with control of this message board. I myself in the camper and if I found myself in your position I would be looking for a new campground or camping board be a part of. One that allows people to voice their opinions without repercussions as long as they're not offensive or hateful. If you believe that your civil liberties were violated, i.e. your right to freedom of speech, you have the right to seek a civil remedy against the campground and whoever runs the board by suing them for a violation of your constitutional right to freedom of speech. If this is something you are interested in pursuing you may wish to seek out and talk to someone at the ACLU. While I am not a fan of the ACLU they do stand up for people's civil liberties and constitutional rights. If you think that yours is been violated this would be a good place to start and may also prevent what happened to you from happening to someone else in the future.

Hope this helps.

Computer Law

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Chris Wagoner

Expertise

I can answer questions concerning Computer Crime Investigations and Internet investigations including Computer Crime Laws both at the State level and Federal level. I can answer questions on almost any crime in which a computer is used. In addition I can answer questions concerning copywrite infringement (peer to peer, and copying). I served as a police Commander and conducted and still conduct Computer Crime Investigations at the Local, State and Federal level. I have investigated all most any kind of crime with which or which involved a computer and the internet, from murders, kidnappings, extortion, drug dealing and more. I can answer questions concerning Computer Forensics (the art of recovering information from a suspects computer), Computer Crime Investigations and Internet Investigations. I am a Federally Court Recognized Expert in Computer Crime and Computer Forensics. I have worked in both Facebook and MySPace, also in Peer to Peer investigations. In addition I can answer questions concerning child predators and how to make your children safer on-line. I teach Computer Forensics, Internet Investigations, Peer to Peer Investigations and other computer crime related subjects for several colleges and the Institute of Police Technology and Management. My hobby webpage - Military Videos - http://www.youtube.com/user/3rdID8487

Experience

I conduct computer crime investigations in conjunction with the F.B.I., Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville Police Department, and University of Florida Police Department, Levi County Sheriff’s Office, Starke Police Department and other agencies in the North Florida Court District. I provide the forensic data recovery services for those agencies as well as internet tracing and information gathering. I am a Federal Court Certified Expert in Computer Crime Investigations and Forensics. I teach Computer Forensics for the University of North Florida, Institute of Police Technology and Management. I also teach Computer Crime courses for Tallahassee Community College, Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Training Center. Associate Instructor; teach Computer Crime courses thorough out the world for IPTM. Presently Teach Cyber Crime Investigations, Computer Crime Investigations and Computer Forensic Data Recovery Course.

Education/Credentials
2 Degrees in Criminal Justice, now teach college level Data Forensics classes

Awards and Honors
Awarded the FBI Directors Award for assisting the FBI in a National Computer Crime Investigation. Awarded Dec 2002

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