New York Subpoenas Websites for User Data of People Who Have the Nerve to Rent out Their Own Property

And Walt will cook the meth for you on site! Just not in New York.... |||From The Daily News:

The state's top cop is throwing the guest book at AirBnB — demanding host data from the 225,000 New Yorkers on the Web's biggest apartment sharing site.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the data as part of an investigation into the website stemming from a 2010 law that makes it illegal to use such sites to rent out your own apartment. [...]

The AG's office has requested the same user data from similar online services, and all have cooperated.

Those who value property rights as well as personal data privacy will enjoy this DeBlasiotastic passage:

Pols rallied against the sites four years ago after complaints of rowdy guests. Worse, some landlords were evicting tenants from rent-regulated apartments so they could offer the pads online — not only breaking the law, but robbing the city of housing.

These are the people the AG's office is looking to punish, the shady landlord or the traveling salesman who is gone half the year. The state is less concerned with casual users.

That's right—when you use the housing unit you own in the way you see fit, you are "robbing the city." Why anyone in New York would own any residence for any reason beyond living in it is beyond my comprehension.

Link via Brokelyn. Reason on AirBnB here, including Reason.tv’s “Airbnb and Its Enemies: Who's Afraid of a $10-a-Night Sofa?

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  • OldMexican||

    Ah, those mini-skirts...

  • sarcasmic||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hosting web data outside the country looks more attractive as AG's get more and more uppity.

  • Matrix||

    Yup. And Libertopian web services would tell the NY AG to go pound sand.

  • sarcasmic||

    Send in SEAL Team 6!

  • anon||

    Well, I'd definitely tell them to go fuck themselves.

  • Mr. Soul||

    as an IT guy, Ive argued for years that we need a Oath Keepers movement in IT where we say "get bent" whenever we are charged with duties that limit freedom. If we all said "no", "no" would be the answer.

  • tarran||

    I'm involved in one of the IEEE orgs here in Boston, and it is really creepy how the organization is culturally dominated by guys who love the idea of working on cool gadgets that are intended primarily for totalitarian uses and whose development is being funded by the U.S. government.

    When pressed, most of them aren't too concerned, because they trust the govt to use these tools lawfully. So a tool to crawl social media to ID a target's friends and social networks and to autoamgically flag potential members of a terrorist cell will never be used against citizens engaged in lawful political activity, for example.

    The one amicable relationship I burned by pressing the issue too hard (the guy won't talk to me anymore) had the guy basically saying how the stuff was used wasn't his problem. If he didn't do it, someone else would.

    "Once ze rockets are up,/ who cares where zey come down?/ Zat's not my department, says Werner von Braun"

    A lot of these guys don't really grok that one day the guns can be turned on them.

  • Paul.||

    Hosting web data outside the country looks more attractive as AG's get more and more uppity.

    Silk Road founders aren't so sure about that.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Being a dumbass is never a good move when you're running a clandestine black market. It sounds like Dread Pirate Roberts did really stupid stuff, like post tech support questions regarding SilkRoad under his own name, and that is what tipped off authorities.

  • Paul.||

    Well, yeah, he tipped off the authorities, but according to news reports, the feds were able to get "images of Silk Road's servers" with the help of local (foreign) law enforcement". On those images were apparently private forum messages that they were able to trace directly to Ulbricht.

    Never assume that just because your server is in an exotic land that the FBI can't have the administration put pressure on a foreign government through incentives (cash) and get all your data without a warrant.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Why didn't Ulbricht move to another country where he could have been a geek-drug lord?

  • Paul.||

    Good question. Maybe he liked his roadz.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You have to pick your country well, of course.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Sadl,y the Big Apple is rotten, and the Maggots keep getting elected to positions of power.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The state is less concerned with casual users.

    On this matter, as on any other matter, we can trust our betters to go after only the most egregious and harmful abusers and to leave casual users alone.

    And I've got a nearby bridge to sell you.

  • Rich||

    That's right—when you use the housing unit you own in the way you see fit, you are "robbing the city."

    Hey, it's *the city's* infrastructure enabling that unit!

    /Yet another AG named Eric

  • Paul.||

    Never underestimate the government's ability to ban or regulate something through sheer force of will.

  • anon||

    Pols rallied against the sites four years ago after complaints of rowdy guests. Worse, some landlords were evicting tenants from rent-regulated apartments so they could offer the pads online — not only breaking the law, but robbing the city of housing.

    Typical liberal mindset on display: The apartments, even though owned, belong to the state.

  • sarcasmic||

    What are you talking about? These people are free to use their property as they see fit, as long as they ask permission and take orders like good little slaves to the state!

  • Austrian Anarchy||


    Worse, some landlords were evicting tenants from rent-regulated apartments so they could offer the pads online — not only breaking the law, but robbing the city of housing.


    Unless they are kicking people out and demolishing the apartments, the housing is still available. It is as if the city wants to return to the days of the 1970s Milton Friedman slide show where he had a picture of Brooklyn next to one of Berlin and asked: Which of these cities was leveled by Allied bombers just three decades ago?

  • anon||

    It is as if the city wants to return to the days of the 1970s Milton Friedman slide show where he had a picture of Brooklyn next to one of Berlin and asked: Which of these cities was leveled by Allied bombers just three decades ago?

    You have a link for that? I wanna see it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Writs of assistance? What are you talking about, we just want information! You don't have anything to hide, do you?"

    "In general, customs writs of assistance served as general search warrants that did not expire, allowing customs officials to search anywhere for smuggled goods without having to obtain a specific warrant."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writ_of_assistance

  • Hugh Akston||

    Why anyone would live in New York would own any residence for any reason beyond living in it is beyond my comprehension.

    Fixed.

  • Loki||

    Damn you! Oh well, I guess that's what I get for not skimming the comments first.

  • Loki||

    Why anyone in New York would own any residence for any reason beyond living in it is beyond my comprehension.

    Why anyone would want to reside in New York is beyond me.

  • Zeb||

    I'd rather cut off my balls than live in NYC, but I can think of lots of reasons why other people would want to live there.

  • John Thacker||

    Robbing the city of housing is a weird complaint.

    However, I do think that their next move will be to use this to see if all those people correctly reported on their taxes their landlord income.

  • Adam330||

    IIRC, short-term rental income isn't taxable under federal income tax.

  • John Thacker||

    Fewer than 15 days, yes. But that means fewer than 15 days the entire year, not per rental. So they'll be checking with that subpoena to see if anyone went over 15 days without filing taxes.

  • Pathogen||

    They're thieves and hoarders, and their petty greed is insatiable. That these greedy little kulaks actually purport to "own" what is clearly state property is quite obviously, theft. That they then have the unmitigated gall to attempt to supplant the states authority by seeking to profit from it outside of the N.Y. politburos fair and even hands of something clearly meant to be shared by all of the people is, to the benefit of society as a whole, is perhaps the most shockingly egregious and infuriating part. Why would they why want to operate outside of egalitarian law, other that that the express intent to exploit the poor who generally have no other options. It' truly sickening to say the least. At least these son-of-a bitches will get theirs now, the A.G.s on it, scurry roaches, scurry. To the pogroms with these filthy parasites, and may the gulag have mercy on their souls...

    (better get this in here [/sarc off])

  • Kaptious Kristen||

    Good news from IJ this a.m.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    First and foremost, seeing Naomi is always a delight. Second, this sounds awfully similar to the food truck debate: new and inventive versus the old establishment with the nanny-staters in the background wailing about "health, safety, and we must protect these particular businesses from competition!" Finally, the reason is any issue in a city like New York is because "rent control" has so inflated the price of non-rent-controlled that renting a couch for $65-a-night from a couple of actors living in $2250 one-bedroom makes sense for the parties involved. But Aqua Buddha forbid that people should live in...the suburbs!

  • R C Dean||

    Yes, I suspect Tulpa (L-Jackboot) to support closing down these facilities for voluntary exchange.

    The Law is the Law!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The Law is an ass.

  • DJF||

    I wonder how many of these politicians have their own off the books apartments?

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • Rasilio||

    All of the male ones at least.

    Where else are they going to hide their girlfriend/boyfriend/regularly scheduled appointment with a human needs fulfilment specialist?

  • Ken Shultz||

    For a motorcycle guy, that site is effing awesome.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    On one hand, this is showing yet another reason why New York blows and it has alt-text. On the other hand, they've shown this video before. On the gripping hand, it has Naomi in it.

  • ||

    Wait until the car rental companies find out about RelayRides, which is basically airbnb for cars. The internet, bringing people together to the bewilderment of rent-seeking businesses in every industry.

  • james shaffer||

    I'm a pretty laissez-faire type of guy, but this makes total sense to me. There are dozens of reasons why this is a dangerous, illegal, and just inadvisable arrangement.
    - James from 4autoinsurancequote.com

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