Short Take: Do You Agree To Be Tased?

With a client, a juvenile, sitting in the can, Rick Horowitz found himself in a quandary.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I was retained to defend a juvenile, and the District Attorney told me that I needed to log on to to download discovery. is an SaaS solution, owned and operated by Axon. For those who don’t know, “Taser International is now Axon.8

And neither, nor Axon—not even in its prior incarnation as “Taser International,” for that matter—are listed in WIC 827 as lawfully able to receive, or disseminate, juvenile records. No corporation is.

The prosecution has discovered the internet, and it’s not by accident. The nice folks over at Taser, seeking to expand their product line of tech items to a decidedly not tech-adept crowd, figured out that one of the areas where the “trust” they developed with law enforcement, and by extension, prosecutors, could be exploited was cloud storage and delivery. 

Once Taser sells the prosecution on its cool internet product, it leaves the defense lawyer with an interesting choice. Acquiesce or let your kid sit.

But in the case of, such access does come from Axon. In fact, I have so far been prevented from obtaining the discovery in my juvenile case. Why? Because I refused to sign the license agreement with Axon to obtain access to their—not the city, county, or city and county’s, but Axon’s—website.

Why did I do that? Because, among other things, The “ Terms of Use” require me to promise certain things I will not promise. I can’t find a link to the Terms of Use online—there are links to a Master Agreement that apparently whoever purchases the use of the system signs, and to some kind of user manual (which I haven’t yet read)—so I saved the Terms of Use I was asked to sign here.

If you don’t agree to live by Taser’s EULA, you don’t get discovery. No, there is no law that says so, and you won’t find Taser mentioned in the Sixth Amendment, but when the prosecution has embraced them, you don’t get much choice but to agree with this.

You consent to Axon’s access and use of the Account Content in order to….improve Axon’s Products and Services. In addition, for content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP Content”), you specifically give us the following permission: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, irrevocable, royalty-free, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use any IP Content that you post on or in connection with the Services (IP License).

To which Rick responds, “Wow.” You don’t have to agree with Taser’s terms of service. You can refuse. And your client will sit in jail while you argue the point with a prosecutor who really couldn’t care less, and a judge who really couldn’t grasp why this is a problem at all.

If you want discovery, just agree and stop wasting the Court’s time, counselor.

With a child’s life at stake, what’s a lawyer to do? After all, they keep telling us how technology is the future, and the future is here now. It’s owned by Taser.

17 thoughts on “Short Take: Do You Agree To Be Tased?

      1. Scott Jacobs

        The complaint and lawsuit to stop the use of Axon as the storehouse of Discovery information can come after that.

  1. Clark Crimcops

    Eventually, we will come across a case of excessive force involving the use of a taser and we are to just believe that Axon will be honest and reliable stewards of evidence that might possibly prove the companies liability?
    For some odd reason, I’m not sure I trust them to maintain such evidence.

  2. B. McLeod

    “Cloud storage” sounds so cool. High above the mundane world of discovery, with the rainbows and the flying unicorns.

  3. John Barleycorn

    ♡When TASER International sells a body camera to a law enforcement agency, it usually includes a contract for that lasts up to 5 years. This cloud storage database is really where the company makes its money, so we need to see bookings improve each quarter.

    Most of the $57.5 million in bookings in Axon and last quarter were actually for the cloud service, and at the end of last quarter future contracted revenue stood at $302 million. Investors will want to see that grow to ensure profits start rolling in this year and beyond. ♧

    Appropriately via the Motley Fool.

    See what happens when you CDL’s get all antisocial…

    The bunker mentality sets in, and when that happens not only do you forget that your recption area is starting to smell a little musty but chances are most bail bond joints around the corner from your cities finest drinking establishmenrs are probably out pacinging you with the latest in modern decore trends. And you forget to attend trade craft meetings over beers with your other guilded friends and the rank and file hero’s from the court clerks office.

    But most importantly you forget to renew your newspaper subscriptions.

    And when that happens…shit like cloud discovery happens when you aren’t even hallucinating.

    I know reading the legal announcements gets a little old if you don’t have enough civil and bankruptcy work flowing in to by a new lamps for your reception area once on a while, but gee whiz!

    You guys better get your shit together before your lack of recption room fashion sense will no longer be a good enough excuse to disguise your corner of the guilds inability to “police” the stink in a civil manner and local and state purchasing officers start getting comped for lunch more often than necessary.

  4. Ross

    I’m being nice today, and assuming that the parties involved in selecting Axon to store the data meant well, and saw the service as a way to provide the discovery data at a lower cost than hiring staff (programmers, DBA’s, etc) to implement and support something in house, while making it available for perusal at the convenience of whoever needs, and has the right, to look at the records. But, did they not have someone with the appropriate qualifications and experience (the words “contract review attorney” come to mind here) review the contracts with Axon for potential issues like violating state statutes? I’m guessing the answer is no. I bet they didn’t ask the intended users of the data for their input either, a cardinal sin in IT projects.

  5. Fubar

    DAs think my new EULA will shine,
    With TOS that approaches divine.
    It’s simple and clear,
    In one sentence right here:
    Click “accept” and your firstborn is mine!

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