Scott McCausland, a convicted ex-administrator of the EliteTorrents BitTorrent tracker is going back to court to fight for his right to use Ubuntu GNU/Linux while he is home confined. The US government is forcing him to use Windows, because that’s the only OS their monitoring software can run on.
September last year Scott pleaded guilty to ‘conspiracy to commit copyright infringement’ and ‘criminal copyright infringement’ for uploading ‘Star Wars: Episode III’ onto the internet hours before the theatrical release. Scott was later sentenced five months in prison, followed by five months of home confinement.
After his release from prison Scott was told by his Probation Officer that he has to install Windows so that the government can monitor his online activities. A cruel punishment for someone who’s used to Ubuntu GNU/Linux, and Scott has now decided to fight this decision in court.
“My lawyer is filing a motion to go back in front of the judge and find out what is next to happen,” Scott writes on his blog “It will either end in one of two ways: First, he could tell me to just suck it up and install windows, or he could say that no where in the Computer Monitoring Guidelines does it say that I have to use Windows, and it is the Probation Offices responsibility to be the Cyber Police and support all possible options.”
The court will now have to decide whether he can be forced by the US Government to use Windows. In the meantime, he is allowed to keep Ubuntu installed which means his online activities won’t be monitored.
Scott told TorrentFreak earlier: “I think that this whole situation is just one more way that they can impose their will onto me. It isn’t the fact that I have to be monitored that bothers me, it is the fact that I have restructure my life (different OS, different software on that OS) and that they would require (force) me to purchase software while I a currently unemployed and relatively unemployable with the 2 felonies that they gave me.”
Not all convicts like to use Windows, let’s hope this case will motivate the US government to develop multi-platform monitoring software. It can’t be that hard can it?