Does that mean Nikon's auto-photo mode is illegal?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by RichA, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    The mode that allows you to take photos over a time period,
    automatically. That mode is used now for wildlife photography as one

    I don't quite get why what this guy did was illegal.


    8 July 2011 Last updated at 10:54 ET
    Secret agents raid Apple store webcam 'artist'

    The US Secret Service has raided the home of an artist who collected
    images from webcams in a New York Apple store.

    Kyle McDonald is said to have installed software that photographed
    people looking at laptops then uploaded the pictures to a website.

    Mr McDonald said he had obtained permission from a security guard to
    take photos inside the store.

    Apple declined to comment. However, the Secret Service confirmed that
    its electronic crime division was involved.

    A spokesperson told the BBC that the investigation was taking place
    under US Code Title 18 /1030 which relates to "Fraud and related
    activity in connection with computers."

    Offences covered by the legislation carry a maximum penalty of 20
    years in prison.

    Writing on Twitter, Mr McDonald said: "@secretservice just stopped by
    to investigate [web address removed] and took my laptop. Please assume
    they're reading any e-mails you send me."

    No arrests had been made in the case as of 8 July.

    Kyle McDonald's images were uploaded to a page on the blogging site

    In the description of People Staring at Computers, the project is
    described as: "A photographic intervention. Custom app installed
    around NYC, taking a picture every minute and uploading it if a face
    is found in the image.

    "Exhibited on site with a remotely triggered app that displayed the
    photos full screen on every available computer."

    The site features a video and series of photographs, apparently
    showing shoppers trying-out computers.

    Comments on the individuals by visitors to the site are also attached
    to the images.

    Mr McDonald, writing on Twitter, said that he had been advised not to
    comment on the case by the online freedom group the Electronic
    Frontier Foundation.
    RichA, Jul 9, 2011
    1. Advertisements

  2. RichA

    Guest Guest

    because he installed software without permission on computers he did
    not own, which took photos of people without their knowledge and sent
    it to his own server.

    in this case the software only took photos, but he could have just as
    easily installed a key logger.

    in other words, it's computer fraud.
    Guest, Jul 9, 2011
    1. Advertisements

  3. RichA

    Paul Furman Guest

    If you put your camera behind a one-way mirror and captured people, that
    could be illegal.

    Here's the result:
    Kind of a neat project but also a bit of a freaky 'privacy' invasion.

    I don't think it qualifies as fraud, because he's not stealing money or
    anything like that... perhaps paid by some gallery to exhibit it? I
    don't know what the hell the Secret Service should have to do with this
    though I can imagine someone captured in the work complaining, but maybe
    a law suit would be their only recourse.

    Could have but I don't see any indication of that intent. The guy asked
    store security for permission and was above board other than to the
    store visitors.

    wiki: "In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for
    personal gain or to damage another individual"

    Maybe could be argued as embarrassing but that's about it.

    Paul Furman, Jul 9, 2011
  4. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    <possible plagery deleted>

    You don't sere because you have no basic understanding. Perhaps if you
    gave an original fact and law based analysis, you would get a meaningful
    response. Don't post and expect others to analyze it for you.
    PeterN, Jul 9, 2011
  5. RichA

    Guest Guest


    Computer Fraud - Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1030,
    authorizes the Secret Service to investigate computer crimes.
    Violations enforced under this statute include unauthorized access to
    protected computers, theft of data such as personal identification
    used to commit identity theft, denial of service attacks used for
    extortion or disruption of e-commerce and malware (malicious
    software) distribution to include viruses intended for financial gain.

    looks like a perfect match.
    he claims he asked someone to take pictures, not to install software on
    their machines to take photos without the consent of the subjects.

    plus, the security guard is not an apple employee so they can't
    authorize it anyway.
    his personal gain was the collection of photos taken without the
    knowledge of the subjects and also taken on private property using
    equipment he didn't own.
    no, it's actually quite a bit worse than that.
    Guest, Jul 9, 2011
  6. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    The issue is surely covered by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which
    would appear not to be limited to fraud.
    Bruce, Jul 9, 2011
  7. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    If that is the case, your ability to read and actually comprehend just
    what it was you read, is very much in question.

    Read the story again and see if there are any clues you might pick up.
    Why does the term "artist" seem dubious?
    This guy is a criminal hacker.

    ....and installing clandestine, software such as this is illegal hacking.
    The "security guard" has the authority to permit access to store
    computers for the purposes of hacking? I doubt it.

    My BS radar detector is flashing.

    Somehow, considering he hacked about 100 computers at 2 different
    stores, If his BS story is true, don't believe that security guard, or
    perhaps the in-store rent-a-cop agency still has a job/contract.
    That last paragraph is your big clue.
    ....and while that particular Code seems to deal with protected
    Government, financial institute, business, and protected personal
    computers. Some hacker could well be made to jump through a whole bunch
    of legal hoops.

    That Code has such interesting items such as:

    "the term “computer†means an electronic, magnetic, optical,
    electrochemical, or other high speed data processing device performing
    logical, arithmetic, or storage functions, and includes any data
    storage facility or communications facility directly related to or
    operating in conjunction with such device, but such term does not
    include an automated typewriter or typesetter, a portable hand held
    calculator, or other similar device;"

    "the term “exceeds authorized access†means to access a computer with
    authorization and to use such access to obtain or alter information in
    the computer that the accesser is not entitled so to obtain or alter;"

    "the term “damage†means any impairment to the integrity or
    availability of data, a program, a system, or information;"

    Actually if you read the entire Code you might discover that if that
    "computer intrusion" relates to Government information the penalty
    could go to Life imprisonment.
    ....but I am sure they are going to make him sweat one way or another.
    So you are concerned that this ass got caught?
    Savageduck, Jul 9, 2011
  8. RichA

    J. Clarke Guest

    Might prove to be an interesting case. For example they say they can
    investigate "unauthorized access to protected computers". But what is a
    "protected computer" and what is "unauthorized access"? If a security
    guard said that he could take pictures was that "authorization" and if
    the computers were in a location easily accessible to a member of the
    public and not set up with passwords were they "protected"?

    The whole area of computer crime is an area of the law that is still in
    the formative stage.

    I can't see where taking pictures of people on private property using
    equipment installed by or at the behest of the owner or lessee of the
    property would be any kind of "fraud"--if it is then all use of security
    cameras is "fraud" and that doesn't pass the giggle test.

    Someone other than the property owner or lessee taking data captured by
    those cameras and diverting it for his own use is another story--there
    it can be argued that he defrauded the rightful owner of that data of
    any profits that he made from its use.

    It's unlikely that the persons photographed would have any recourse
    unless they could argue that their likeness was used for commercial
    purposes without their consent.
    J. Clarke, Jul 9, 2011
  9. RichA

    Mike Guest

    Trespassing, unlawful access to computers (hacking, hence the US Secret
    Service) to start with.
    Unauthorized use of private property (Conversion in criminal code terms)
    Apple owns those computers until they are sold. Neither Apple nor the
    store management granted permission to install software onto those
    Irrelevant, the security guard has no authority to grant permission to
    install software onto private property, nor can he grant permission to
    "take photos in the store" If he was an employee of the Apple Store, he
    could authorize photos within the shop, however he certainly could NOT
    grant permission to use images of the customers without their consent. I
    would say it's the same as if a security guard gave a third party access
    to your kitchen to make lunch, or in the valet parking to use your car.
    He installed remote software onto privately owned computers. So let's
    presume that you bought that MacBook, took it home. If he has access to
    remotely control the webcam, what else can he access? Would you enjoy
    finding a photo of you sitting around at home in your skivvies and bunny
    slippers. Because "some artist" had a dumb artwork blog? Apple I would
    imagine would be very liable, as they sold the infected MacBook.
    Sounds good, give him the max.

    Good advice, which Mr. McDonald seemed to ignore.

    Mike, Jul 9, 2011
  10. RichA

    Mike Guest

    Mike, Jul 9, 2011
  11. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    I notice the last shot was of a resident Apple Store "Geek" with a
    "hand to the face" by-stander behind him. I wonder if that was when the
    reveal was discovered and the "work of art" cut short.
    Savageduck, Jul 9, 2011
  12. RichA

    Mike Guest

    I wondered that too. I would guess somebody in the Apple Store, their
    net admin or their ISP noticed odd network traffic. Saw it as hacking
    and notified the US Secret Service (USSS). I doubt the USSS found it by

    Mike, Jul 9, 2011
  13. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    This from ""

    "Over the course of the project, McDonald set up roughly 100 Apple
    store computers to call his servers every minute. That’s a lot of
    network traffic, and he learned that Apple monitors traffic in its
    stores when he received a photo from a Cupertino computer of what
    appeared to be an Apple technician. The technician had apparently
    traced the traffic to the site McDonald used to upload the program to
    Apple Store computers — and installed it himself.
    McDonald figured that Apple had decided the program wasn't a big deal.
    That was until four Secret Service men in suits woke him up on Thursday
    morning with a search warrant for computer fraud. They confiscated two
    computers, an iPod, and two flash drives, and told McDonald that Apple
    would contact him separately."

    I guess "contact separately" means Apple's attorneys will be contacting
    you soon.
    Savageduck, Jul 9, 2011
  14. RichA

    Mike Guest

    I can imagine years of civil litigation, as all his "subjects" didn't
    sign releases, so each has a right to sue his ass to the stone ages...

    Mike, Jul 9, 2011
  15. RichA

    Rich Guest

    I didn't attempt to explain it, because I didn't understand the illegal
    part. English too difficult for you, c--- face? "Law based analysis!"
    Where did you get your law degree?
    Rich, Jul 10, 2011
  16. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    So you resort to personal insults. Crawl back under a rock. You have no
    analytical ability. You have no factual credibility.
    PeterN, Jul 10, 2011
  17. RichA

    John A. Guest

    That's exactly what I see others doing in this thread, so it would
    seem to be a not-unreasonable expectation.
    John A., Jul 10, 2011
  18. RichA

    Mike Guest

    Just out of curiousity Richard, when you "test" various cameras and
    lenses at the local Henry's store, or their photo show. Do you have
    permission and releases to post the other customers and staff members to
    the Internet? Posting without people's consent is ILLEGAL.

    Mike, Jul 10, 2011
  19. RichA

    ASCII Guest

    Does that extend to shots taken in a public place,
    or in the case of a store, shots taken with their permission?
    ASCII, Jul 10, 2011
  20. RichA

    John A. Guest

    Oh, I totally believe that he did in fact ask the security guard(s) if
    he could take photos in the store, neglecting to mention, of course,
    that he would be doing so by way of the clandestinely installed app.

    And I totally believe the guard(s) said "sure, go ahead."

    I suspect he was carrying a camera, or maybe a phone.

    Basically, he believed he probably would not have gotten permission if
    he had been honest about what he wanted to do.
    If they were let go it wasn't for telling the guy it was ok to take
    photos; it was for not catching him installing the software.
    John A., Jul 10, 2011
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.