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R.E.A.C.T.

By Matthew Yglesias  

"R.E.A.C.T."

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I’m generally in agreement with this take on the Apple/Gizmodo case (obviously shield laws designed to protect journalists should protect Gizmodo writers) but this one aside jumped out at me:

So, what happened? This week, Chen’s house was raided by officers from California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), a special task force of police officers and federal agents created to combat computer-related crimes — and which just happens to have Apple on its steering committee. The cops took all of Chen’s computer equipment.

Does California really have a police agency that features a “steering committee” of private for-profit companies? Based on this article on an unrelated R.E.A.C.T. case it appears they do:

Microsoft and Adobe are members of REACT’s steering committee, a group of 25 companies that includes Apple Inc., Symantec Corp., KLA-Tencor Inc., Applied Materials Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc., and acts as a liaison between industry and law enforcement.

Am I nuts, or is this nuts? Obviously big rich Silicon Valley companies like Apple are going to have a lot of political clout in San Mateo county come what may, but that’s a reality that should be pushed against not formalized. Apple can afford its own lawyers, it doesn’t need the cops working for it.

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