You!! Yes, You!! You're A Criminal!!

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It seems to me that, anymore, you can be fined, arrested, charged and convicted for simply getting up out of bed in the morning and setting foot outside your house.  That’s an  exaggeration, of course, but not one that’s too far off course.  It’s also one of the many reasons I believe I’ve had my fill with law enforcement as my regular job (As much as you can call being an MP in the Army real law enforcement anyway). Recently I even found out that I’m in violation of the law just because of the stickers I have in the back window of my Vehicle.  Bear in mind it’s not like the stickers I have are obnoxious, or offensive, or do anything that obstruct my view; I have a dealership advertisement going across the top of the glass that I just never took off, an Apple sticker in the upper window, then on the other side, way up in the corner I have a “Placid Planet’s Bicycles” sticker, and finally an “ESS” sticker.  All of which are quite small and do nothing to obstruct my view from that window.  Nevertheless, New York State says that’s a gross traffic violation, in fact the only legal stickers allowed are the NYS inspection sticker and the registration sticker.  The reason I found this out is because I read on a recent report that someone had actually been stopped for that very reason.  So it would be nothing for some surly State Trooper with a bad attitude (believe me, they’re out here) to yank me over to help fill his quota.  The only reason I think I’ve been left alone is because of my Arkansas tag.  

Anyway, enough about stickers.  I was simply using that as an example of how menial and banal something could be that you’re doing, and you don’t even realize that, according to your respective state or federal government, you’re a lousy no good piece of crap criminal!! Yeah! That’s right! You! Scumbag! In fact, if you’re guilty of any part of the below, then go turn your worthless, burden of the state, no good, law breaking butt in right now!! Hold on, I’ll go with you and join you:

Unlocking Your Phone

As of January, it's illegal to unlock your phone to use across various carriers. jailbreaking, though (the process of removing limitations on iOS to allow for certain downloads and customization) is still legal....technically.  But good luck if something goes wrong with your phone and you have to turn it in to be repaired, and Apple finds out the cause of the problem had something to do with your jailbreak.

Basically, you can't unlock your phone yourself, but you can let AT&T or Verizon do it for you legally.

 Ad Blockers

 In-stream ads on the web are paying for the content you are viewing for free. By bypassing these ads, it's like not paying the fare to view the content, and in some cases, ad-blocking may be illegal.....Whooops!!  

 Making GIFs and Memes

You know that Grumpy Cat meme you just made yesterday?  Well guess what, scumbag, it’s illegal!! take your rear end to jail!!  Forget your 5th amendment right!! Or your right to a fair trial!! Just Go!! You piece of crap criminal!! Even though it's legal to parody copyrighted material in the vein of criticism, lifting copyrighted material straight from the source is illegal. However, it's almost impossible to prosecute GIF-making (Pay attention, Tumblr users!) because of its wide distribution.

Downloading Files and Using Without Permission

Do we really need to cover this one? Yes it's actually against the law to  pull any  JPG, PNG, PDF or any type of file you'd find from a  Google search. It's okay to view them online as is, but once you download that image of Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat) you're Googling, you can now distribute it at your whim, and that's where it becomes against the law. Unless, of course, you have specific permission from the original owner of the image or file, or said file has a fair use license.

 Connecting to Unsecured Wi-Fi networks

You like hopping on that Starbucks Wi-Fi from across the street? I’ll bet you do, you good for nothing criminal!  Even though the network's there for the taking, authorized usage of Wi-Fi networks could be counted as illegal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which applies to wireless routers.

Uploading Copyrighted YouTube Content

Again, do we really need to cover this one? Uploading copyrighted material to YouTube is, you guessed it, illegal. But that doesn’t stop thousands and thousands of users from doing just that every day.  In fact, I just watched the entirety  of “Lonesome Dove”, probably my favorite western movie, on YouTube just recently.  I guess I better mope on over to the jail cell.  

So we’re all criminals! Just the way the Government wants us! 

 

~Brandon