Jay Leiderman

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Jay Leiderman

Jay Leiderman (Born 12 April 1971) is an American criminal defense lawyer based in Ventura, California.

Quotes[edit]

  • This type of thing opens up the doors for Big Brother to come flying in...
  • Since the revelations of NSA surveillance and mass data collection, Leiderman has consistently referred to this as the “tin foil age.” It is a reference to the days when if someone thought the government was spying on them they would be seen as crazy – the kind of person that would wear a tin foil hat to combat the government surveillance. Now that we are all aware that our government is collecting mass data on so many people, we don’t think the tin foil hat wearing people were quite so crazy [sort of], hence “the tin foil age.”
  • The thing about free speech and free expression is people that are interested in it are by their very nature always tending to explore the boundaries...In a society that prizes free expression and one that has a great premium upon the marketplace of ideas, it's hard to say that someone went too far in expressing themselves when really no harm was done.
  • We have an opportunity here to make the courts, as these cases wind their way up, understand privacy issues, emerging tech issues, against the backdrop of civil rights and through the prism of free information... DDoS is absolutely speech, it should absolutely be recognized as such, protected as such, and the law should be changed... The government and people who write about tech tend to call it a "DDoS attack" but in certain circumstances it's not a DDoS attack, but a DDoS protest. So the law should be narrowly drawn and what needs to be excised from that are the legitimate protests. It's really easy to tell legitimate protests, I think, and we should be broadly defining legitimate protests... I don't have to like or agree with the people that I represent to represent them. I have represented neo-Nazis and I'm Jewish… Everyone is entitled to a defense and the more reprehensible they are and maybe the more guilty they seem at the beginning of the case makes them more entitled to a vigorous and hard-hitting defense. So I don't necessarily know that there's someone I wouldn't represent based upon what they did or based upon their politics... People who cooperate, throw someone else into harm's way so they can soften the blow on themselves, I tend not to represent.
  • You shouldn’t think for a minute that politicians and other organizations are not taking what has been learned from Anonymous and applying it to their outreach strategies. Anonymous has been extremely successful in mobilization and has shown how strong a crowdsourced effort could truly be
  • Hack has become a sort of all-encompassing term, when in fact some of this was social engineering, some of this was good old-fashioned regular ‘there’s a hole, I’m going to walk through it’,” said Leiderman. “If you left your front door open people wouldn’t really call it a break-in. To some extent Stratfor were unsecure to the point where it was like their front door was open and Mr Hammond allegedly, with some others, walked right in, and people are calling it a hack. “As far as I’m aware, nothing was really hacked in the classic sense,” he added.
  • “The days of ‘Let’s haul this kid in front of the judge, scare him and send him home with a warning’ are long since gone . . . Prosecutorial discretion is a great thing if it’s exercised, but it doesn’t happen in any meaningful way these days, because prosecutions are so politicized.
  • Our best and brightest should be encouraged to find new methods of expression; direct action in protest must not stifled. The dawning of the digital age should be seen as an opportunity to expand our knowledge, and to collectively enhance our communication. Government should have the greatest interest in promoting speech – especially unpopular speech. The government should never be used to suppress new and creative – not to mention, effective – methods of speech and expression
  • Investigators like to wave around the word ‘gang.’ They use it to strike fear in the heart of the community. It tends to also involve a lot of puffery and allegations that maybe perhaps aren’t 100 percent solid.
  • It is fashionable always to cast aspersion upon those that defend persons accused of committing crimes. The viler the accused crime, the more vigorous defense the accused needs, yet, at the same time, the more vitriol the defense attorney will face. I cannot speak for my brethren in the legal community, I can only state that what follows is my own brand of patriotism; I defend those charged with crimes because it is both my duty as a lawyer and as an American. Each piece of resistance to the encroachment of overreaching governmental power is, in and of itself, a victory for freedom.
  • DoJ [Department of Justice] is not supposed to be used to send messages. It’s supposed to be used to specifically target actual criminality, not to be this theoretical law creation machine where they want to push and twist the law so far to the point where it’s unrecognizable and use that to chill dissent. That’s when our country looks its most evil, and it really does. It’s an ugly picture of the US government
  • So I changed from this idealistic “I can help shape the future” to all of a sudden I’m in the middle of this frame where we’re literally fighting for our freedoms, for our information, for our privacy. It may be taken from us in a manner that we’re just never gonna get it back. That’s what’s really changed between the last few times I’ve been interviewed and now: This is a matter of immediacy, this is a matter of danger, this is a matter of peril to our liberty.

It’s scary as hell, living through these times, because we don’t know how this is going to play out. Our times are fraught with peril and I’m glad that I started this when I did and I intend to see it through to completion and I don’t know what that means: in terms of taking on more clients, in terms of taking on more pro bono cases, in terms of more work and being away from my family and having harm come to my business. Clearly I’m not making the authorities pleased with me. I could be where Barrett is [Barrett Brown is at FCI Seagoville federal prison, where he has been for almost two years awaiting trial]. So that’s where we are.

  • I get that I’m a little bit of an anomaly in terms of a lawyer in that a lot of lawyers don’t do the things I do, aren’t interested in the things I’m interested in. What drew me to it initially was this idea of dissent online and moving protests forward to a new generation, a new way of thinking, a new philosophy, a way to redress our grievances to the government that was unique and novel, and to have them actually listen to us about the things that are important to us. Chief among them of course was the preservation of our privacies as we move forward into the digital age, into the complete ubiquity of digital technology pervading our lives.

Second to that was the free flow of information by the people. Privacy for people with free information, transparency for the state, with the allowance of free information. Two years ago, these were just lofty concepts; these were literally abstract ideas; they were Philosophy. Then all of a sudden we see that the NSA is really spying on us. Like, really, REALLY spying on us. Everything we’re doing is being preserved in giant data centers in Utah. More than that, those who seem to assail the surveillance state, like Barrett Brown, have become political prisoners. It almost turned it up on its head. What interested me was this philosophy of how to move our ideal world forward, and it’s become this complete nightmare in that not only are we not moving it forward, but the government has become the enemy that we feared. In the worst, deepest recesses of our minds we didn’t really think they would do the things they were doing. It was like paranoid, crazy talk. And of course we found out they were doing that and so much more. Each time they’re like, “Well, we were only doing this. We were only doing that.” And then it keeps leaking out that no, they’re doing more than that. No, you’re spying on every aspect of our lives and the only thing that saves us is that you’re going to be collecting so much data that you don’t even know how to sift through it yet. Although we’ll probably find out that that’s not true either.

  • Prisoners do get shafted at every opportunity by BOP. Well, not every defendant; there are a few exceptions. But for the most part, BOP isn’t there to be nice to prisoners. They’re there to imprison them.

They’re not so good at letting them out. Yes. And that’s consistently painful for families, and that’s one of the really ugly parts of incarceration. I have a feeling they kind of do things like that because…well, it’s one of those things where “you don’t like it? Oh, then don’t come back!” So they’ll get jerked around so badly that it forms a disincentive to commit any further crimes.

  • Investigators like to wave around the word "gang". They use it to strike fear in the heart of the community. It tends to also involve a lot of puffery and allegations that maybe perhaps aren't 100 percent solid.
  • It is fashionable always to cast aspersion upon those that defend persons accused of committing crimes. The viler the accused crime, the more vigorous defense the accused needs, yet, at the same time, the more vitriol the defense attorney will face. I cannot speak for my brethren in the legal community, I can only state that what follows my own brand of patriotism; I defend those charged with crimes because it is both my duty as a lawyer and as an American. Each piece of resistance to the encroachment of overreaching governmental power is, and of itself, a victory for freedom.
  • Isn’t this illegal? In the case of the cameras accessed using default passwords, of course. Attorney Jay Leiderman told Motherboard that Insecam “is a stunningly clear violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) [I made it clear that the CFAA was an American law, and that this may or may not be illegal in other countries],” even if it is intended as a PSA. “You put a password on a computer to keep it private, even if that password is just ‘1.’ It’s entry into a protected computer.
  • Leiderman thought it was not enough that the government dropped charges. He wanted the criminal justice system to recognize Gonzalez’s innocence affirmatively. There is such a thing as a declaration of factual innocence, he explained to Gonzalez. A judge can grant it. It is exceedingly rare – so rare that many cops and lawyers go a career without seeing one. It means not just that prosecutors couldn’t make a case against you, but that you didn’t do the crime. The case remained on the docket of Ventura County Superior Court Judge Patricia Murphy, who had earlier ordered Gonzalez held without bail. Leiderman petitioned the judge, trying not to get his client’s hopes up. He laid out the case, pointing out the holes in West’s story and the numerous alibi witnesses. Prosecutors did not want Gonzalez declared innocent. They knew a jury wouldn’t convict him but said they couldn’t be positive of his innocence. [ ] Ventura County’s chief assistant district attorney, later explained their reasoning: The attack West described was “improbable, but it wasn’t physically impossible.” In January 2009, nearly a year after Gonzalez’s arrest, Leiderman called him excitedly: The judge had sided with them. Gonzalez was soon holding a certified copy of the judge’s order declaring him factually innocent.
  • Our best and brightest should be encouraged to find new methods of expression; direct action in protest must not stifled. The dawning of the digital age should be seen as an opportunity to expand our knowledge, and to collectively enhance our communication. Government should have the greatest interest in promoting speech – especially unpopular speech. The government should never be used to suppress new and creative – not to mention, effective – methods of speech and expression.
  • I’m usually an Armani guy if I can be, but I went from jeans into one of the nicest $99 suits I had seen, plus a tie, pocket square, and socks,” says Leiderman. “I got the shoes and belt at a Ross [Dress for Less store] in between the tailor and the courthouse. The guys that worked security were impressed.

Leiderman had involved himself with Anonymous after watching the Lulzsec crew wreak mayhem that summer. “Oh shit, someone here is going to really need a lawyer,” he began thinking. He “floated a tweet out there” during the early summer, offering pro bono work to “righteous hacktivists.” He heard from many Anons, including Commander X—whose name he recognized from Ars Technica’s reporting on the HBGary story—and had to pick one. He chose Doyon.

  • Hack has become a sort of all-encompassing term, when in fact some of this was social engineering, some of this was good old-fashioned regular ‘there’s a hole, I’m going to walk through it’,” said Leiderman. “If you left your front door open people wouldn’t really call it a break-in. To some extent Stratfor were unsecure to the point where it was like their front door was open and Mr Hammond allegedly, with some others, walked right in, and people are calling it a hack. “As far as I’m aware, nothing was really hacked in the classic sense,” he added.
  • The days of ‘Let’s haul this kid in front of the judge, scare him and send him home with a warning’ are long since gone,” says attorney Jay Leiderman. “ Prosecutorial discretion is a great thing if it’s exercised, but it doesn’t happen in any meaningful way these days, because prosecutions are so politicized.

External links[edit]

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