October 6, 2016

Once again, major record labels are asking a court to give them power over the Internet�s basic infrastructure. This is the very power that Congress has refused to give them, and the very power they have proven unable and unwilling to use responsibly. This time, their alleged target is the website Youtube-MP3.org, a site that extracts the audio tracks from YouTube videos and allows users to download them. But as in other recent lawsuits, the labels� real target appears to be nearly every company that operates or supports the operation of the Internet. The labels are seeking a court order that would bind all of these companies to assist the labels in making Youtube-MP3 disappear from the Internet.

Even if that website is found to be liable for copyright infringement, the law doesn�t give copyright or trademark holders such sweeping power to edit the Internet. And it never should.

Record labels have been filing many lawsuits against websites that they deem to be connected to copyright infringement. These sites, run from outside the U.S., don�t bother appearing in U.S. court to defend themselves�and the labels know this. When one party doesn�t show up to court and the other wins by default, judges often grant the winning party everything they ask for. Record labels, along with luxury brands and other frequent filers of copyright and trademark suits, have been using this tactic to write sweeping orders that claim to bind every kind of Internet intermediary: hosting providers, DNS registrars and registries, CDNs, Internet service providers, and more. Some of these requested orders claim to cover payment providers, search engines, and even Web browsers. Judges often sign these orders without much scrutiny.

Then, the labels and brands, armed with an overbroad and often, in our view, legally invalid order they wrote themselves, try to force Internet intermediaries into helping make the website disappear, and sometimes to filter their services to keep the website from coming back. The central defect of these orders is that they purport to bind third-parties who have no notice or opportunity to challenge them before they issue. Some intermediaries, faced with these orders, cut off websites without asking questions. Others, including Automattic (WordPress), CloudFlare, and the domain name registrar Tucows, have stood up for Internet users by insisting on proper, legally binding orders. A group of major Internet companies including Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Yahoo! also pushed back against this abuse in an amicus brief last year.

Still, the campaign for website-blocking power continues. In the lawsuit filed today, a group of major record labels including UMG, Warner, and Sony sued the German company behind YouTube-MP3, alleging various theories of copyright infringement and a claim under Section 1201 of the DMCA. It remains to be seen whether the site is in fact liable for copyright infringement. But whether or not the site is liable, that’s no excuse for throwing due process out the window. The labels are again grabbing for power to conscript Internet intermediaries as content police. Among other demands, the labels� are asking the court for an order

  1. enjoining Defendants and all third parties with notice of the Order, including any Web hosts, domain-name registrars, domain name registries, and proxy or reverse proxy services, and their administrators, from facilitating access to any or all domain names, URLs and websites (including, without limitation, www.youtube-mp3.org) through which Defendants infringe Plaintiffs� copyrights;” and
  2. enjoining all third parties with notice of the Order from maintaining, operating, or providing advertising, financial, technical, or other support to YTMP3 and any other domain names, URLs, or websites through which Defendants infringe Plaintiffs� copyrights, including without limitation www.youtubemp3.org; and enjoining all third-party distributors of applications, toolbars or similar software with notice of the Order from distributing any applications, toolbars, or similar software applications that interoperate with any domain names, URLs, or websites through which Defendants infringe Plaintiffs� copyrights, including without limitation www.youtube-mp3.org.”

As we�ve explained before in other cases, this request is a gross overreach. Federal court rules have a narrow provision that lets successful plaintiffs request a court order against a defendant and people in �active concert and participation� with them, meaning a close associate or co-conspirator. That provision doesn�t allow for orders that bind every vendor providing services to a defendant, especially those with no direct business relationship. So the litany of intermediaries listed in the labels� complaint are not within the court�s power to bind.

What the complaint asks for is also far broader than the law allows. By asking all of those intermediaries to block all �websites through which Defendants infringe Plaintiffs� copyrights,� without specifying the URLs, the labels are seeking to conscript all of these companies as investigators who must chase down the defendants and block every website they use, under any name. Neither copyright nor trademark law allows courts to put this burden on Internet intermediaries, and for good reason: it�s prohibitively expensive for many, it inevitably leads to blocking of lawful speech, and it gives a big advantage to established players.

Finally, and perhaps worst of all, the record labels want to ban �any applications� that might �interoperate� with with youtube-mp3.org and any other websites owned by the defendants. That would seem to require every Web browser, mobile app, and Internet-connected device to block an ever-changing list of websites. Left unchecked, these kinds of orders could become a mechanism whereby the content industry gets veto power over online innovation.

Complying with orders like these will, over time, require Internet intermediaries to build new architectures of censorship that can block customers, sites, or applications whenever a super-injunction like this one requires it. Building such mechanisms will tempt other copyright and trademark holders, and many other special interests, into trying to use them to control the speech of others. That�s partly why court orders must be specific, and can�t bind the entire world.

While Youtube-MP3 might be a neutral tool with lawful purposes, it might also run afoul of the law–this lawsuit will determine that. But whether or not the site is judged to be infringing, the legal limits on court orders that can silence speech exist to protect everyone. And if they are eroded in cases like this one, everyone�s speech will be less free. That�s why we stand up to site-blocking power grabs like the one in this case, and we hope Internet companies that look out for their users will, too.

Update (9/27/16): RIAA posted a press release on its website, confirming that the true purpose behind this lawsuit is to compel a vast array of Internet intermediaries to help make websites disappear. Cary Sherman, the Chairman and CEO of RIAA, directed his comments to �everyone in the music ecosystem,� including search engines and those who publish �app charts.� Along with the demands in the lawsuit itself, these comments make clear that record labels want to use the judicial process to gain regulatory power over the entire Internet.
So as you can see this article is 10 days old. I didn't see it until today. However, I thought it was imortant enough to bend the 10 days or older rule to post this. Not only because I use youtubem3.org, but we're effectively playing a game of whack a mole with the internet, shutting things down and more things come back up.
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October 5, 2016

I haven’t been posting much this month because I’m participating in the Write31Days challenge on my personal blog. I’ll try to get back to posting over the next few days! I got behind on the challenge a couple times and had to catch up, so until tonight, I’ve had to write 2 posts at a time for a couple days. Will try to post sometime tomorrow!

October 5, 2016 N.S.A. Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of Secrets

WASHINGTON � The F.B.I. secretly arrested a former National Security Agency contractor in August and, according to law enforcement officials, is investigating whether he stole and disclosed highly classified computer code developed by the agency to hack into the networks of foreign governments.

The arrest raises the embarrassing prospect that for the second time in three years, a contractor for the consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton managed to steal highly damaging secret information while working for the N.S.A. In 2013, Edward J. Snowden, who was also a Booz Allen contractor, took a vast trove of documents from the agency that were later passed to journalists, exposing surveillance programs in the United States and abroad.

The contractor was identified as Harold T. Martin III of Glen Burnie, Md., according to a criminal complaint filed in late August and unsealed Wednesday. Mr. Martin, who at the time of his arrest was working as a contractor for the Defense Department after leaving the N.S.A., was charged with theft of government property and the unauthorized removal or retention of classified documents.

Mr. Martin, 51, was arrested during an F.B.I. raid on his home on Aug. 27. A neighbor, Murray Bennett, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that two dozen F.B.I. agents wearing military-style uniforms and armed with long guns stormed the house, and later escorted Mr. Martin out in handcuf

According to court documents, the F.B.I. discovered thousands of pages of documents and dozens of computers or other electronic devices at his home and in his car, a large amount of it classified. The digital media contained �many terabytes of information,� according to the documents. They also discovered classified documents that had been posted online, including computer code, officials said. Some of the documents were produced in 2014.

But more than a month later, the authorities cannot say with certainty whether Mr. Martin leaked the information, passed them on to a third party or whether he simply downloaded them.

here’s the criminal complaint.

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September 27, 2016 The Playpen Story: Rule 41 and Global Hacking Warrants

The warrant the FBI used in the Playpen investigation�which resulted in the delivery of malware to over a thousand computers, located around the world�violated Rule 41, an important rule of federal criminal procedure. Although Rule 41 may seem obscure, it plays a vital role in limiting when federal law enforcement agencies can conduct lawful searches and seizures. The warrant used in the Playpen investigation is an omen of warrants to come. That�s because DOJ is advocating for a change to Rule 41 that, if it takes effect, was designed to authorize exactly this kind of warrant.

Let’s take a look at Rule 41, what happened in the Playpen case, and the changes DOJ is trying to make to the rule�changes that must be stopped.

What is Rule 41?

Rule 41 is a part of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure�a set of rules that govern criminal investigations and prosecutions in the federal court system. Rule 41 authorizes federal magistrate judges (a specific type of federal judge) to issue search warrants for federal law enforcement.

One important restriction in the rule deals with where the warrant application must be made. Right now (and subject to a few exceptions that aren�t relevant here), Rule 41 only authorizes magistrate judges to issue warrants to conduct searches in the judicial district where the magistrate is located. So, for example, if the FBI wants to search a house in San Francisco, it must apply for a search warrant in the Northern District of California�not the Western District of Texas.

This �territorial� restriction is an important one. It ensures that any search or seizure that is authorized has a sufficient nexus to the judicial district, and it helps guard against law enforcement �forum shopping��where law enforcement is able to seek out sympathetic or unquestioning judges to obtain warrants, even if those warrants have little or no connection to the judicial district.

Why did the Playpen warrant violate Rule 41?

In the Playpen case, the FBI blew straight through that territorial limitation. The FBI went to a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Virginia and asked her to sign off on a warrant that would allow them to deliver malware to search any computer that accessed Playpen�no matter where the computer was located.

And the FBI did just that, searching computers located in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin�just to name a few examples.

Under the terms of Rule 41, the magistrate could only authorize searches that occurred in the Eastern District of Virginia (save those irrelevant exceptions). But remember: because users were accessing the site through Tor, the FBI didn�t know where its searches would take place. That means a user might have accessed the site, and searches might have been carried out next door, the next city over, the next state over, or the next country over. There�s evidence, in fact, that the FBI did conduct international searches. These types of international searches are particularly problematic because many countries have laws prohibiting precisely this type of hacking.

If the FBI didn�t know where its searches would occur, then why did the magistrate issue the warrant? The short answer: the FBI misled the judge. As you can see below, the warrant application clearly states that the searches will be carried out on persons or property . . . located in the Eastern District of Virginia[.]”

That was not true, and the FBI knew it. Had the FBI filled out the warrant application honestly, making clear that it did not know where its searches would be carried out, there’s a good chance the magistrate would not have issued the warrant in the first place. In fact, one court reviewing the issue said exactly that, finding that had [the Magistrate judge] understood that the NIT technology would search computers in other districts. . . she probably would not have issued the NIT Warrant given the limitations of the Rule.”

The FBI also did not bother to mention that the magistrate was authorizing activities that would likely violate the laws of other countries�a convenient omission, to say the least. Yet this is all information the federal judiciary needs when it is signing off on warrants, especially ones authorizing a surveillance technique as novel as the one used here.

Fortunately, almost every federal court that we know of that has looked at the issue has recognized that the warrant ran afoul of Rule 41, although the courts have disagreed about whether the violation requires suppression of the evidence obtained through the search. In our view, this kind of misrepresentation from federal law enforcement shouldn’t be tolerated by the courts. The only option is suppression.

So how does the proposed change to Rule 41 figure into this, and how will this affect Internet users more generally?

As we�ve written about before, DOJ is pushing a change to Rule 41. The new Rule 41 would, for the first time, authorize magistrates to issue search warrants, like the Playpen warrant, when �technological means� like Tor or VPNs are obscuring the location of a computer, or when a computer is swept up in a botnet.” In these circumstances, law enforcement could remotely access, search, seize, or copy data on computers, no matter where the computers were located and without providing notice to the users being searched. That means the FBI could go to almost any federal magistrate judge and get a warrant authorizing the FBI to hack into a computer (or, as was the case in the Playpen investigation, thousands of computers), no matter where in the world those computers are located.

Make no mistake: the changes to Rule 41 will result in many, many more warrants like the one used in the Playpen case. Fine,” you might say, I’m not doing anything illegal online. The FBI won’t have any interest in hacking into my computer.” But, because the Rule 41 changes authorize hacking when a computer is part of a botnet, even innocent users caught up in a botnet could be unknowingly subjected to an FBI search.

Perhaps that’s all fine and good, if there were strict limitations on the circumstances the FBI could use this authority, the information they could obtain from searches, and mandatory transparency about when and where these techniques are used (among other concerns). But right now, there is very little cabining law enforcement’s authority. The FBI is making up the rules as it goes along. And, and as we’ve blogged about before, courts looking at the Playpen cases are struggling mightily in applying traditional legal rules, like the Fourth Amendment, to the government’s new hacking techniques.

With the courts struggling to place appropriate limitations (and the FBI suffering from serious deficits in candor), right now is not the time to massively expand the government’s authority to hack into private computers. Congress cannot expand the government’s authority without establishing rules to govern (and limit) that authority. That�s why we need your help in speaking out against the changes to Rule 41
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September 27, 2016 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/09/27/government-hacking-and-the-playpen-search-warrant/?utm_term=.f1b4e484197b”>Government �hacking� and the Playpen search warrant

In recent months, over a dozen district courts have handed down divided opinions on the legality of a single search warrant that was used to search the computers of many visitors to a child pornography website. The warrant raises interesting legal issues, although I think the significant issues are mostly not the ones that have received the most media attention. Many of these cases are headed to various courts of appeal, so I thought I would present an overview of the investigation and discuss some of the legal issues raised by the warrant. In September 2014, the federal government began investigating a child pornography website available only as a hidden service on the anonymized Tor network. The site, known as Playpen, could only be found if a person used Tor and knew the random string of numbers and letters that made up the site�s online address. In just a few months, Playpen drew more than 200,000 global users who contributed more than 100,000 posts. Every user had to log in with a username and password to visit the site. Thousands of posts on the site contained child pornography, and much of the rest of the site was discussions about child pornography.

As an anonymizing service, Tor hid the true IP addresses of Playpen account holders. Without knowing those IP addresses, there was no obvious way the government could identify and prosecute the account holders. The government devised the following strategy to reveal the users� true location. After taking over the website pursuant to a warrant, the government obtained a second search warrant from a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Virginia allowing the government to install a �network investigative technique� (�NIT�) on the computers of Playpen account holders. This second warrant is what I am calling the Playpen warrant.

According to the Playpen warrant, when a visitor logged in to the site with a username and password, the NIT would be secretly installed on the visitor�s personal computer. The NIT would then send the government identifying information about the user�s computer, most importantly the computer�s true IP address from inside the user�s machine.

For reasons I don�t quite understand, it appears that the government executed the warrant more narrowly than the warrant says. Although the warrant says that the NIT can be installed when a user logs in to his account, the government apparently only installed the NIT when a logged-in user clicked on a link to access the �Preteen Videos�Girls Hardcore� forum. But the warrant itself was written more broadly to authorize the use of the NIT when a user logged in to a Playpen account.

The big picture here is that the NIT was used to bypass the anonymizing feature of Tor. Tor hid the users� IP addresses, but the NIT would go directly into the suspect�s computer and retrieve the real IP addresses that Tor had hidden. When investigators learned the targets� actual IP address, and addresses resolved to addresses inside the United States, investigators could then get additional court orders to identify where in physical space the computer was likely located. They could then obtain additional search warrants to conduct searches there, searching homes for the computers and finding child pornography on the machines.

During the time that the NIT was used, as authorized by the warrant, it led to the installation of the NIT on more than 1,000 visitor computers. This led to around 200 nearly identical criminal cases all around the United States charging child pornography offenses. All of the charges stemmed from the one search warrant issued by a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Virginia.

The Playpen case has received a lot of media attention, including about the ethics of the government running the Playpen server for a window of time while the monitoring occurred. For the rest of this post, I�ll pick just three among the many issues that have received attention or that I think deserve more attention. A significant amount of media attention about the Playpen cases has focused on a curious argument. A minority of the judges have held that the the Playpen searches were constitutional because they weren�t searches at all. According to this argument, a person has no Fourth Amendment rights in IP addresses. Because the most important information obtained by the NIT was IP addresses, use of the NIT was not a search and no Fourth Amendment rights were violated. As far as I can tell, the government has not actually made this argument. Rather, it is a position introduced by one judge and then adopted by some others.

This argument is clearly wrong, though. Individuals have Fourth Amendment rights in information stored inside their computers unless they voluntarily share the information. A person using Tor has not voluntarily shared his IP address with the websites he visits. Indeed, the absence of voluntarily sharing is precisely what led the government to surreptitiously obtain the information using the NIT. Given that a Tor user has not voluntarily shared his IP address, it doesn�t matter that obtaining an IP address from a third party or a visited website would not be a search in other circumstances that did involve voluntarily sharing.

Put another way, it�s the way of obtaining information that makes the act a search, not the information itself in the abstract. This point is obvious in the physical world. See Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321 , 325 (1987) (�A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.�). It should be equally obvious with computers. If the police want to read today�s newspaper, they can�t break into my house and open my desk drawer to find my copy without committing a search. The fact that they could have read the newspaper by finding a copy in public doesn�t mean they can break into my house to read mine. Similarly, the fact that IP addresses may be available without searching a target in some cases doesn�t mean they can break into his computer to find the IP address without committing a search. A much more interesting question is whether the Playpen warrant satisfied the Fourth Amendment�s requirement that warrants must particularly describe the place to be searched. Here�s how the warrant described the place to be searched: This warrant authorizes the use of a network investigative technique (�NIT�) to be deployed on the computer server described below, obtaining information described in Attachment B from the activating computers below.

The computer server is the server operating the Tor network child pornography website referred to herein as the TARGET WEBSITE, as identified by its URL � [omitted]� which will be located at a government facility in the Eastern District of Virginia. The activating computers are those of any user or administrator who logs into the TARGET WEBSITE by entering a username and password.

The place to be searched, in other words, was the �computers . . . of any user or administrator who logs into the TARGET WEBSITE by entering a username and password.� Was this description constitutionally adequate?

I haven�t seen good discussions of this in the cases so far. But it�s a serious question, I think.

On one hand, courts have approved quite general descriptions of the place to be searched in cases that involved monitoring that would go to different and unknown places. For example, in United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705 (1984), the Supreme Court suggested that that warrants to install a locating beeper could simply name �the object into which the beeper is to be placed� as the place to be searched. Under this approach, the thing into which the surveillance tool is placed becomes the place to be searched for purposes of the warrant, even if the location where the surveillance will reveal the beeper to be is unknown and unknowable.

Lower courts have taken a similarly flexible approach in cases that involved roving wiretaps. See, e.g., United States v. Petti, 973 F.2d 1441, 1445 (9th Cir. 1992) (allowing roving wiretaps that name the place to be searched as any �telephone facilities actually used� by an identified speaker). Under that approach, it is at least plausible that listing the place to be searched as the �activating computers . . . of any user or administrator who logs into the TARGET WEBSITE by entering a username and password� satisfies the Fourth Amendment standard.

On the other hand, those precedents are potentially distinguishable because they involved the monitoring of a single suspect or single device. The Playpen warrant authorized searching an unlimited number of computers located all around the world. The place to be searched was not wherever a single suspect went, or a single item of property, but rather thousands of machines located throughout the planet (or, if you assume that the warrant was only needed and effective inside national borders, hundreds of computers throughout the United States) in an automated process.

This raises an intriguing question: Is there a limit on how many different places can be searched under a single warrant while still satisfying the requirement that the warrant describe the �place to be searched�? Can a single warrant justify a search of thousands or even (hypothetically) millions of computers, all used by different people who don�t know each other? At what point does the use of a single warrant to search many places make the warrant a general warrant that the Fourth Amendment prohibits?

Resolution of these questions hinge in part on level of generality courts use to interpret the particularity-as-to-place requirement. Do you take it on its face, requiring a single place to be searched? Do you take it more generally as a concern with ensuring narrow warrants, so that the particularity requirement is met if the warrant is not too broad? Do you take it even more abstractly as reflecting a concern with avoiding searches of innocent people, so that the particularity requirement becomes part of the probable cause requirement?

For example, does the existence of probable cause as to each place (assumed for now) negate the particularity concern, or does the Fourth Amendment have a cap on the number of different places searched even if there is probable cause for each place? And if there is such a cap, is there a way to draft the warrant to allow such multiple automated searches? Or are such automated searches prohibited by the Fourth Amendment under the particularity requirement?

These are really interesting issues, I think, and the trial court decisions I have seen haven�t engaged much with them. I expect the appellate courts will hand down important rulings on these questions. A lot of the litigation on the Playpen warrant has focused on Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(b), the venue provision for federal search warrants. The usual venue rule is that judges can only authorize searches of property in their district. The Playpen server was located in the Eastern District of Virginia, the same district where the warrant was obtained. But the user computers turned out to be located all over the world, leading to criminal charges all over the country. Defendants are now arguing that the evidence should be suppressed because the warrant violated the venue provision of Rule 41(b).

The Rule 41 issue is somewhat time-bound, as several judges have recognized. Rule 41(b) is set to change in December absent Congressional override. The new venue rule will allow judges in districts �where activities related to a crime may have occurred� to issue warrants �to use remote access to search electronic storage media and to seize or copy electronically stored information� outside their districts when the district where �the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means.� (For discussion of these amendments from me, see my participation on this panel from August starting at the 40-minute mark.)

Putting the merits of the Rule 41(b) question to the side, the Playpen litigation has exposed variations in the circuits on the suppression standard for Rule 41(b) violations. In some circuits, violations of Rule 41(b) can lead to suppression independently of any Fourth Amendment violation if �the search might not have occurred or would not have been so abrasive if the Rule had been followed� or �there is evidence of intentional and deliberate disregard of a provision of the Rule.� United States v. Krueger, 809 F.3d 1109, 1114 (10th Cir. 2015).

Other circuits look to whether the search �offends concepts of fundamental fairness or due process.� United States v. Hall, 505 F.2d 961 (3d Cir. 1974). Some circuits have suggested that Rule 41(b) violations do not lead to suppression unless they are also constitutional violations, which in practice means that Rule 41(b) violations do not themselves lead to suppression. See, e.g., United States v. Hornick, 815 F.2d 1156, 1158 (7th Cir. 1987) (Easterbrook, J.) (�In light of Leon, it is difficult to anticipate any violation of Rule 41, short of a defect that also offends the Warrant Clause of the fourth amendment, that would call for suppression. Many remedies may be appropriate for deliberate violations of the rules, but freedom for the offender is not among them.�). One interesting aspect of the Playpen litigation is that any circuit splits on legal issues likely won�t be distinguishable on the facts. These cases are being brought all around the country, and they all stem from a single warrant. Challenges to the warrant involve the same facts, so disagreement on the law will likely lead to direct clashes among the circuits. It seems possible that the Supreme Court will end up resolving some of the issues raised by these warrants because the lower courts may end up dividing deeply in essentially the same case.

PlayPen might not be the greatest case, but it’s the best demonstration of how broad the new rule 41(b) warrents will be.

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September 22, 2016 Yes, I’ll get gender surgery. But I may still be punished for my suicide attempt | Chelsea E Manning | Opinion | The Guardian

Last week I was given the �good news� that the Department of Defense will grant my request to see a surgeon for treatment related to my gender dysphoria. Although I don�t have anything in writing, I was shown a memorandum with my name on it that confirmed the military is moving forward with my request. Everything that they have presented to me leads me to believe that they are going to provide the care that has been recommended by my doctor. I have requested this for nearly a year. That same week, I was also given �bad news�: I may be punished for a suicide attempt in July For the past week, I have been busy preparing for my disciplinary board. This administrative board has the power to sentence me for indefinite solitary confinement. Preparing to defend yourself for a disciplinary board is time consuming. It takes time to research, collect evidence, and organize a defense. The process is rather stressful. I am facing this alone. I am not allowed to have a lawyer or anyone else with me.

Last week I was escorted to view the evidence before the board. There are now nearly 100 pages. I do not have easy access. I do not have a copy. I could only see it for an hour. Looking through the evidence and taking notes in a hurried manner was very stressful.

In the evidence, I saw a photograph of myself shortly after my suicide attempt. Seeing this photograph has haunted me for the past week. It has disturbed me. It sends a chill down my spine. This hurt me more than any physical injury or hardship I have lived through. This process has forced me to relive one of the worst moments of my entire life.

I saw the face of a woman who had given up. I saw the face of woman who, for years, has politely asked, formally requested, and desperately begged for help.

I am not alone in my struggle. Suicide pervades the trans community. The risk among our trans siblings with no or inadequate treatment is staggering. In comparison with the general population, the risk is a full order of magnitude higher. While a specific suicide rate among trans prisoners is not available, it is estimated to be significantly higher than among the community outside.

I lack the words to describe how concerned my family and friends are about this board. I lack the words to express how deeply pained I am about this board and the fact that the government is pursuing my punishment so aggressively. How am I supposed to explain this to my family? How am I going to explain this to future generations when they look back and ask how I could have been punished for my own desperation? I have absolutely no idea. I have no idea how to explain it at all
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