Student alleges his computer was seized unfairly

A Boston College graduate student is challenging the legality of a warrant that enabled police to search his dorm room and seize several of his computers, an iPod, a cell phone, and other devices, CNET reports. Riccardo Calixte, a computer science student at Boston College, is petitioning the Newton District Court in Massachusetts for the immediate return of his property and is demanding that investigators be prohibited from any further searches or analysis of his digital data. The confiscation of Calixte’s property was spurred by an investigation into who sent an eMail to a school mailing list alleging that Calixte’s roommate is gay. According to a complaint that Calixte filed April 10, the warrant is invalid because there was no probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing Calixte and filed a memorandum in support of his complaint. The EFF is arguing it is irrelevant whether or not Calixte sent the eMail, because the application for the warrant fails to establish probable cause that sending such an eMail is a criminal offense. Calixte "stands accused of fraud, though no money or thing of value is at issue," EFF said in its statement of support. "He is accused of ‘hacking’ merely by sending an eMail to a list server. Without a crime, there is no just cause for the search."

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