New Texas Law – Tx HB 2268

In summer 2013, Governor Rick Perry signed into law0 Texas House Bill 2268

This has been hailed as a boon to consumer privacy, as it requires that law enforcement obtain a warrant if they are requesting, for example, a persons actual email content or IP address information.

More importantly for people like me, who have been the victim of cyberstalking, this law also gives companies like Twitter, Google / Gmail, AOL, etc, NO MORE THAN 15 DAYS TO COMPLY WITH THE WARRANT. If the magistrate signing the warrant chooses, he or she may pare down that time to three days if they feel the urgency is required. The law also requires that a warrant signed by any judge in the state of Texas be honored by any company that does business in the state of Texas. Proof of doing business in the state may consist of that little check box you click, swearing that you’ve read the Terms Of Service for the company. (I know you haven’t read any of them – just read one. Like Facebook’s. Scary stuff)

That’s pretty important, because Google and the others (I’m picking on them because they are the biggest thorn in my butt) have a tendency to claim that they only will honor warrants obtained in the same county as their base of operations. Fun game of hide and seek when a company’s HQ is in Denver and they are incorporated in Delaware – or outside the USA.

The caveat here is that the warrant must be “properly worded”. That might suck, depending on the literacy and competence level of your investigating agency.

I have heard, probably a dozen times, that we were waiting on _________ to comply with a warrant and it just takes time, gosh darn it.

Well, it takes 15 days now in Texas. Make sure that your own Keystone cops know the law, and know that YOU know the law.

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Hidalgo Co. District Attorney Democratic Primary

Luckily, I don’t live in the Rio Grande Valley anymore…to my unending dismay, my legal battles seem to be firmly rooted in the quagmire that is South Texas.

I’m disappointed and completely stunned to see that Ricardo Rodriguez appears to have won the Democratic Primary for the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s position. Rodriguez’ platform touted “change”; I seem to recall a lot of voters, not too long ago, also voting for “change”…without seeming to care what changes were planned. I sincerely hope, for MY sake, that what’s behind Door Number 2 proves himself worthy of the voters trust.
RickyRod, once again, my safety, future, and family are in your hands. The idea absolutely terrifies me – I am intimately acquainted with your knowledge and interpretation of the law. I’ve been the victim of crime at the hands of my exhusband, and then further victimized in the hands of law enforcement and the courts. I cannot believe that I am once again going to be at the mercy of your whims. I deliberately and carefully kept all of the details of my exhusband’s extensive and incessant surveillance and stalking of myself, my friends and my family, as far from your realm at the 92nd District Court as humanly possible.

1 appeal, 13 rescheduled final divorce dates, 1 order outside your jurisdiction (bookended & enforced with writs and punishments that were dismissed by a DA in another county), 5 judges. A year long police investigation, involving at least 3 illegally used programs, a trail of surveillance equipment, a minimum of 4 rental cars for covert tailing, calls to FBI, the Texas OAG, Secret Service, three police departments, sheriff departments in 5 counties, two hired body guards, sweeps by 3 licensed Private Imvestigators…and me, literally never by myself in the past 2 years because of a very real concern that I have a possibility of being the involuntary half of a murder-suicide.

All of that effort to keep a nasty divorce and my exhusband’s crimes in two unrelated courtrooms… And at the end, a thread connecting them through an improbable sequence of events.

But from the flames rise a sparkling hope: that Rene Guerra might possibly consider representing me in the cleanup of that divorce in the 92nd district court, being my advocate during my criminal case against my exhusband, and a white knight in a civil case for damages arising from the crimes committed by my ex.

I ask that my portion of any civil judgement related to the spyware and stalking be divided between an organization that helps other victims of those crimes seek legal recourse, and to TOR and the EFF; for providing continued resources that enable anyone who so chooses, the knowledge and means to protect one’s rights and privacy from threats foreign or domestic.

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Communication with Police

My dealings with law enforcement have been consistent only in that they have been equally frustrating. Any and everything that they can classify as a “civil action”, and not eligible for police interference, they will readily lump into that category. … Continue reading

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Investigation vs Investigating

This has been a frustrating endeavor the entire way, but this week more so than usual.

The police department (McAllen, Texas) that is in charge of my case against my exhusband has moved far more slowly than I would like (of course!) but for the last three weeks I’ve been told that all they lack before they can, in good conscience, ask a judge to sign an arrest warrant, is one thing. That one thing is a court reporters transcript of my ex’s testimony in divorce court, where he confessed under oath, on the stand, to installing the software on my laptop. This confession happened on December 17, 2013, and I notified the investigator immediately. I have spoken to the court reporter, and he has told me that the transcript is ready and waiting for the police to pick it up. And has been for a week.

Geez. Investigation, by my definition, is an action. Something that someone is doing. It seems that the definition of investigation to the PD, however, is more of an object…a noun, not a verb.

In my pushing and prodding and questioning and efforts to kick this into high gear, I have been very, very thankful that I have not had to rely on the sleuthing skills of any agency. This has been spoon-fed to the police, with all of the evidence being provided by what I had believed to be America’s dumbest criminal… But since it’s been 8 months from the time the “investigation” was opened, with no arrest or consequences in sight, perhaps my ex isn’t as dumb as I thought.

I’m grateful for the support of my family (including my in-laws!) and a few very close friends. And I am horrified for any woman who is having to go through this without such a support system, and without the clear and verifiable evidence that my case has. If any single item of my proof that this crime occurred, was missing or questionable, it is painfully obvious that absolutely nothing would have even have pretended to be moving towards a legal and logical conclusion.

I feel like all I can do is escalate. Not back down or be quiet. But make sure that too many people know and are watching, to allow this stalking to go unpunished or this case to be swept under a rug.