Jaywalking – who owns the city?

This thoughtful quote comes from the thoughtful essay The End of Walking by Antonia Malchik

Making jaywalking illegal gave the supremacy of mobility to those sitting behind combustion engines. Once upon a time, the public roads belonged to everyone. But since the ingenious invention of jaywalking we’ve battered pedestrianism in one of those silent culture wars where the only losers are ourselves.

After reading this you may enjoy reading The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of “jaywalking” by . And the great podcast 99% Invisible’s has an episode on jaywalking.

In the end it’s about what our public space is for. Who has the right of way. Of course we need to prevent people from getting killed but how much space should the road take from us?

Shooting Down Drones

A man in Kentucky man shot down drone that was hovering over his property. He has been arrested and charged with first degree criminal mischief and first-degree wanton endangerment. News story here. The Kentucky man was quoted as saying:

“Our rights are being trampled daily,” he said, the station reported. “Not on a local level only — but on a state and federal level. We need to have some laws in place to handle these kind of things.”

So what is the position on drones? And in particular what is the position on preventing other people’s drones from entering private property?

The right to property does not include an unlimited right to the airspace above the property. Therefore flying objects are not violating your property when they fly above it. This makes a lot of sense in relation to airplanes and helicopters. It would be strange if they needed permission to fly above individuals property – also it would be very dangerous if individuals could take pot-shots at them for violating airspace.

Actually there are most probably several laws and ordinances that deal with shooting a firearm in an urban area. And also shooting at aircraft. But this isn’t the first time someone shot down a drone a New Jersey man was arrested and charged with “possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal mischief” for  shooting down his neighbor’s drone.

The FAA has guidelines in place for unmanned aircraft systems and has partnered with industry associations to promote Know Before You Fly. The latter has provisions about respecting privacy.

Is a bad attempt an attempt?

Yesterday this email arrived

Bäste Göteborgs universitet webmail Ägare,
Det här meddelandet är från Göteborgs universitet meddelande Meddelanden Center till alla Göteborgs universitet webmail owners.We för närvarande uppgradera vår
databas och e-post center.We vill ta bort alla oanvända Göteborgs universitet webbmail för att skapa mer utrymme för nya one.To förhindra att ditt konto från stängning
måste du uppdatera den nedan så att vi vet att det är en
närvarande används konto.
Bekräfta din e-postadress nedan
Webbmejladress ……..
Användarnamn :…………………..
lösenord ……………
Födelsedatum: ……………..
Land eller område: ……….
Varning! E-ägare som vägrar att uppdatera sin
E-post, inom sju dagar efter mottagandet av denna varning kommer att förlora sin
webmail permanent.
Göteborgs universitet Team.

For those of you who do not read Swedish – don’t worry! The writers of the email could not write Swedish. The email was sent to most (all?) employees’ email accounts at Göteborg University. It is so badly written, it contains a mix of Swedish and English and cultural clues to it’s falseness – not to mention that the reply-to address was @hotmail !!

Despite this the IT department sent a warning this morning that we should not reply to these emails – did anyone, even for a second believe this email?

So is this an attempted phishing attack? Is this an attempt at identity theft?

Since the email is so badly written the “attempt” is bound to fail. Does an attempt to steal someones password need to at least be in the realm of possibly succeeding to be a criminal act?