Dog Brothers Public Forum

Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities => Science, Culture, & Humanities => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on January 09, 2007, 08:14:19 AM

Title: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 09, 2007, 08:14:19 AM
All:

I suppose I could have put this very important topic on the Political Forum,  but I have decided to put it here where I am hoping it will get the attention it deserves.

Marc
=====================

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...=2007701080415

Quote:
U.S. may check Web use
Privacy advocates challenge push to track sites visited
January 8, 2007
BY JOHN REINAN
MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

The federal government wants your Internet provider to keep track of every Web site you visit.
For more than a year, the Justice Department has been in discussions with Internet companies and privacy rights advocates, trying to come up with a plan that would make it easier for investigators to check records of Web traffic.

The idea is to help law enforcement officials track down child pornographers. But some see it as another step toward total surveillance of citizens -- joining warrantless wiretapping, secret scrutiny of library records and unfettered access to e-mail as another power that could be abused.
"I don't think it's realistic to think that we would create this enormous honeypot of information and then say to the FBI, 'You can only use it for this narrow purpose,' " said Leslie Harris, executive director of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes free speech and privacy in communication.
"We have an environment in which we're collecting more and more information on the personal lives of Americans, and our laws are completely inadequate to protect us."
Need to safeguard children
So far, no concrete proposal has emerged, but Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has made it clear that he would like to see quick action.
In testimony before a Senate committee in September, Gonzales painted a disturbing picture of child pornography on the Web.
But federal agents and prosecutors are hampered in their investigations because Internet companies don't routinely keep records of their traffic, he told the committee.
Gonzales also pushed for Internet records tracking in a speech at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in April.
"Privacy rights must always be accommodated and protected as we conduct our investigations," he said.
But, he said, "the investigation and prosecution of child predators depends critically on the availability of evidence that is often in the hands of Internet service providers.
"This evidence will be available for us to use only if the providers retain the records for a reasonable amount of time."
Rationales differ
Internet service providers typically keep records of Web traffic for 30 to 90 days, as a way to trace technical glitches. Many ISPs and privacy advocates say it's already easy for government agents to get the information they need to investigate crimes.
The FBI, without a court order, can send a letter to any Internet provider ordering it to maintain records for an investigation, said Kevin Bankston, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based group that promotes free speech and privacy on the Web.
"If this passes, there would be a chilling effect on free speech if everyone knew that everything they did on the Internet could be tracked back to them," Bankston said.
The government has offered differing rationales for its data-retention plan, said Harris, the privacy advocate.
"I've been in discussions at the Department of Justice where someone would say, 'We want this for child protection.' And someone else would say 'national security,' and someone else would say, 'computer crimes,' " Harris said.
Types of records unclear
There are questions about what records would be kept, said David McClure, president of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, a Virginia-based group that represents about 800 ISPs.
Is it a log of every Web site a user visits? Is it the actual content of e-mails and other Internet communications? Nobody in the government has offered specifics, he said.
"When we go to them for specifics, they start shuffling and hemming and hawing, and the issue goes away until the attorney general gives another speech," he said.
"This is all being driven by a political need, not a law enforcement need."
Kathleen Blomquist, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, wouldn't comment on specific proposals for tracking.
Title: POTH
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 13, 2009, 08:06:41 AM
EditorialTwitter Tapping Sign in to Recommend
Published: December 12, 2009
The government is increasingly monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for tax delinquents, copyright infringers and political protesters. A public interest group has filed a lawsuit to learn more about this monitoring, in the hope of starting a national discussion and modifying privacy laws as necessary for the online era.

Law enforcement is not saying a lot about its social surveillance, but examples keep coming to light. The Wall Street Journal reported this summer that state revenue agents have been searching for tax scofflaws by mining information on MySpace and Facebook. In October, the F.B.I. searched the New York home of a man suspected of helping coordinate protests at the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh by sending out messages over Twitter.

In some cases, the government appears to be engaged in deception. The Boston Globe recently quoted a Massachusetts district attorney as saying that some police officers were going undercover on Facebook as part of their investigations.

Wired magazine reported last month that In-Q-Tel, an investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, has put money into Visible Technologies, a software company that crawls across blogs, online forums, and open networks like Twitter and YouTube to monitor what is being said.

This month the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law sued the Department of Defense, the C.I.A. and other federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act to learn more about their use of social networking sites.

The suit seeks to uncover what guidelines these agencies have about this activity, including information about whether agents are permitted to use fake identities or to engage in subterfuge, such as tricking people into accepting Facebook friend requests.

Privacy law was largely created in the pre-Internet age, and new rules are needed to keep up with the ways people communicate today. Much of what occurs online, like blog posting, is intended to be an open declaration to the world, and law enforcement is within its rights to read and act on what is written. Other kinds of communication, particularly in a closed network, may come with an expectation of privacy. If government agents are joining social networks under false pretenses to spy without a court order, for example, that might be crossing a line.

A national conversation about social networking and other forms of online privacy is long overdue. The first step toward having it is for the public to know more about what is currently being done. Making the federal government answer these reasonable Freedom of Information Act requests would be a good start.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on December 14, 2009, 06:32:05 AM
How would being undercover in real life be different than being U/C online?
Title: Bruce Schneier
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 15, 2009, 06:23:42 AM
      Eric Schmidt on Privacy



Schmidt said:

     I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't
     want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first
     place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is
     that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this
     information for some time and it's important, for example, that we
     are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is
     possible that all that information could be made available to the
     authorities.

This, from 2006, is my response:

     Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're
     doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.

     We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We
     are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private
     places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals,
     sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret
     lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need.

     [...]

     For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under
     threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our
     own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes,
     constantly fearful that -- either now or in the uncertain future
     -- patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us,
     by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private
     and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything
     we do is observable and recordable.

     [...]

     This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from
     us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam
     Hussein's Iraq. And it's our future as we allow an ever-intrusive
     eye into our personal, private lives.

     Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus
     privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny,
     whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under
     constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny.
     Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus
     privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of
     a police state. And that's why we should champion privacy even
     when we have nothing to hide.

Schmidt's remarks:
http://gawker.com/5419271/google-ceo-secrets-are-for-filthy-people

My essay on the value of privacy:
http://www.schneier.com/essay-114.html

See also Daniel Solove's "'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other
Misunderstandings of Privacy."
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=998565
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on December 15, 2009, 07:57:54 AM
Ok, that's a non-answer.
Title: POTH on cell-phone searches
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 26, 2009, 02:29:02 AM

Published: December 25, 2009
The Ohio Supreme Court has struck an important blow for privacy rights, ruling that the police need a warrant to search a cellphone. The court rightly recognized that cellphones today are a lot more than just telephones, that they hold a wealth of personal information and that the privacy interest in them is considerable. This was the first such ruling from a state supreme court. It is a model for other courts to follow.

PrivacySearches generally require warrants, but courts have carved out limited categories in which they are not needed. One of these is that police officers are allowed, when they arrest people, to search them and the area immediately surrounding them, as well as some kinds of containers in their possession.

When the police arrested Antwaun Smith on drug charges they seized his cellphone and searched it, examining his call records. The police did not have a warrant or the consent of Mr. Smith.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this month, by a 4-to-3 vote, that the search violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Rather than seeing a cellphone as a simple closed container, the majority noted that modern cellphones — especially ones that permit Internet access — are “capable of storing a wealth of digitized information.”

This is information, the court said, for which people reasonably have a high expectation of privacy, and under established Fourth Amendment principles, police officers must get a search warrant before they can look through call logs or examine other data. The court wisely decided that it made no sense to try to distinguish among various kinds of cellphones based on what specific functions they have. All cellphones, the court said, fall under the search warrant requirement.

Few federal courts have considered the issue of cellphone searches, and they have disagreed about whether a warrant should be required. The Ohio ruling eloquently makes the case for why the very personal information that new forms of technology aggregate must be accorded a significant degree of privacy.
Title: Cell Phone Encryption Cracked
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on December 29, 2009, 11:28:58 AM
Not that I doubt the whiz kids at Fort Meade haven't done it already. . . .

After 21 Years, GSM Encryption is Cracked Putting 3.5B Users at Risk
Jason Mick (Blog) - December 29, 2009 9:04 AM


The cat's out of the bag -- after 28 years the 64-bit A5/1 algorithm that encrypts over 3.5 billion users' cell phone traffic, has been cracked and the results published.  (Source: Suldog)
 Cell phone industry group calls the research "illegal"; insists that there is little threat

For 21 years, the same encryption algorithm, A5/1, has been employed to protect the privacy of calls under the Global Systems for Mobile communications (GSM) standard.  With the GSM standard encompassing 80 percent of calls worldwide (AT&T and T-Mobile use it within the U.S.) -- far more than the leading rival standard CDMA -- this could certainly be considered a pretty good run.  However, someone has finally deciphered and published a complete analysis of the standard's encryption techniques in an effort to expose their weaknesses and prompt improvement.

Karsten Nohl, a 28-year-old German native, reportedly cracked the code and has published his findings to the computer and electronics hacking community.  Mr. Nohl, who cites a strong interest in protecting the privacy of citizens against snooping from any party, says that his work showcases the outdated algorithms' flaws.

At the Chaos Communication Congress, a four-day conference of computer hackers that runs through Wednesday in Berlin, he revealed his accomplishments.  He describes, "This shows that existing GSM security is inadequate.  We are trying to push operators to adopt better security measures for mobile phone calls."

The GSM Association, the London-based group that developed the standard and represents wireless companies, was quick to blast the publication calling Mr. Nohl's actions illegal and counterintuitive to the desire to protect the privacy of mobile phone calls.  However, they insist that the publication in no way threatens the standard's security.

Claire Cranton, an association spokeswoman, confirmed that Mr. Nohl was the first to break the code, commenting, "[Security threats from the publication of this standard are] theoretically possible but practically unlikely.  What he is doing would be illegal in Britain and the United States. To do this while supposedly being concerned about privacy is beyond me."

Mr. Nohl attended college in the U.S. and received a PhD in computer engineering from the University of Virginia.  Via a similar publication, he managed to convince the DECT Forum, a separate standards group based in Bern, to upgrade its own security algorithm, improving the protection to the standard's 800 million customers in the process.

And while the trade group is only on yellow alert, some security experts disagree with the group's threat analysis, as well, saying the threat could be far more serious.  One expert suggested that calls may soon need to be scanned for malicious activity, much as an antivirus scanner works on a computer.

Stan Schatt, a vice president for health care and security at the technology market researcher ABI Research in New York, opines, "Organizations must now take this threat seriously and assume that within six months their organizations will be at risk unless they have adequate measures in place to secure their mobile phone calls."

The process of cracking the algorithm involved the help of 24 members of the Chaos Computer Club in Berlin, who helped generate the random combinations needed to try and reproduce the standard's code book, so to speak.  The vast log of binary combinations forms the basis of the A5/1 encryption -- and how to undo it.  And it's now on torrents worldwide.

Despite that, Mr. Nohl insists that his actions aren't illegal.  He says he took great precautions to make sure his work was kept purely academic, in the public domain, and that it was not used to crack any actual digital telephone calls.  He states, "We are not recommending people use this information to break the law.  What we are doing is trying to goad the world’s wireless operators to use better security."

A5/1 is a 64-bit security algorithm.  Despite this particular algorithm's run, 64-bit encryption is considered weaker by today's standards.  Today 128-bit algorithms are considered to be strong enough to protect most data.  The GSM Association has devised a 128-bit successor to A5/1, dubbed A5/3, but it has failed to push the standard out across much of the industry.

The Association claims that there's little danger of calls being intercepted as hackers would have to pick one call stream out of thousands at a cell phone tower.  They say that this would take prohibitively expensive sophisticated equipment and software.  Security experts disagree with this assessment -- including Mr. Nohl who pointed out that there was a wealth of open source software and cheap equipment to accomplish exactly those sort of objectives. 

Simon Bransfield-Garth, the chief executive of Cellcrypt, a company based in London that sells software, agrees, saying that the publications opens call interception to "any reasonable well-funded criminal organization".  He adds, "This will reduce the time to break a GSM call from weeks to hours.  We expect as this further develops it will be reduced to minutes."

Why is that a big deal?  Over 3.5 billion people use GSM worldwide, including 299 million in North America.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=17236
Title: Big Brother Eye in the Sky
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 04, 2010, 01:46:58 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETrc-ums8_U
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 04, 2010, 02:13:46 PM
OMG! The police have aircraft!!!!   :-o

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 04, 2010, 02:42:16 PM
(http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f105/mudslag/TinFoilHatArea.jpg)
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 04, 2010, 03:08:09 PM
GM:

That's very funny , , , and utterly non-responsive to the real issues presented.

With this we will be on the slippery slope to being watched all the time everywhere.

I didn't like this when I read Orwell's 1984, and I don't like it now. 

I don't think the Founding Fathers would put up with it ither.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 04, 2010, 04:50:38 PM
NYPD started the first police aviation unit in 1919.

(http://www.houstontx.gov/police/museum/images/fox1.jpg)

The Houston Police Helicopter Division was establish in 1970. The Helicopter Division's first helicopters were model 300c Hughes crafts. The Police Museum has an earlier style police helicopter hanging from the ceiling. The craft is called a "FOX" because of the call numbers on the tail of all HPD Helicopters. All HPD craft markings end with the letter "F." The Military alphabet uses this letter in conjunction with the word Fox. Thus, 53Fox would be the radio call numbers for the craft that now hangs in the museum.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 04, 2010, 04:57:55 PM
Since law enforcement has been using aircraft for close to a century, what's the crisis now?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 04, 2010, 05:44:07 PM
The problem is this:

Due to the acclerating march of technology and its geometrically accelerating decline of its costs, it becomes possible to have an all seeing all recording Big Brother state.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 04, 2010, 05:58:56 PM
Funny, more than a few law enforcement agencies are cutting back/eliminating their aviation programs due to budget cuts. I doubt the unmanned aircraft are anywhere near cheap.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 04, 2010, 06:02:13 PM
SoCal is famous for it's use of police helicopters. Do you feel oppressed?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 04, 2010, 06:19:35 PM
So, police pilot in aircraft, ok, but police pilot not in aircraft, scary orwellian development?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 05, 2010, 05:00:54 AM
More good wit GM, you're on a roll.

Lets see where this leads.

Ultimately, yes.

I reject utterly the notion that if I am doing nothing wrong I have nothing to fear.  Maybe I want to pick my nose, or scratch my ass.  Maybe I want to have great sex in the middle of a field.   Maybe I just want to act in ways I don't want others to see.

If a policeman is sitting on the traffic light, I know he is there.  If there is some mini-high-tech camera, I probably don't know I am being watched.  From a human and budgetary POV, it is impossible to put a policeman on every traffic light.  In contrast t is quite easy to put a camera on every light and every corner.  Just look at the UK.

If there is a helicopter with a policeman in it, from a human and budgetary POV, there is a limit to how many helicopters buzzing around there will be.  A drone costs a tiny fraction of a helicopter to buy and to operate-- and as a practical matter we the American people, a people who have fought to establish our freedom, will not know whether we are being watched or not. 


With this, we enter the landy of the creepy and the Orwellian.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 05, 2010, 07:29:44 AM
Maybe I want to pick my nose, or scratch my ass.  Maybe I want to have great sex in the middle of a field.   Maybe I just want to act in ways I don't want others to see.

**The fouth requires a reasonable expectation of privacy. Nose picking, ass scratching or sex in a public location has no reasonable expectation of privacy.**

If a policeman is sitting on the traffic light, I know he is there. 

**Much of the time traffic enforcement is being done, you don't see the cop that's seeing you. Nothing new there.**

If there is some mini-high-tech camera, I probably don't know I am being watched.  From a human and budgetary POV, it is impossible to put a policeman on every traffic light.  In contrast t is quite easy to put a camera on every light and every corner.  Just look at the UK.

**I like red light cameras, if used in the right way. As far as the UK putting cameras everywhere, I recently read something that said that as far as a tool for reducing crime, it's a flop.**

If there is a helicopter with a policeman in it, from a human and budgetary POV, there is a limit to how many helicopters buzzing around there will be.  A drone costs a tiny fraction of a helicopter to buy and to operate-- and as a practical matter we the American people, a people who have fought to establish our freedom, will not know whether we are being watched or not. 


With this, we enter the landy of the creepy and the Orwellian.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 05, 2010, 09:05:27 AM
"**The fouth requires a reasonable expectation of privacy. Nose picking, ass scratching or sex in a public location has no reasonable expectation of privacy.**

If no one is in sight, or if I am on private property bounded by a solid fence, I should be able to blissfully pick my nose, scratch my ass, get great fellatio, etc without wondering if some eye in the sky is watching.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 05, 2010, 09:08:01 AM
So, you want to ban all aircraft?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 05, 2010, 09:43:41 AM
Aircraft I can see.  No worries-- though when armed with technology that enables high res photos from far away, that too becomes a problem.

Unmanned drones designed to hang out and spy generally undetected, generally I have a big problem.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 05, 2010, 09:59:44 AM
The irony seemingly missed by you, the tv news and the tinfoil hat youtube poster is that the media has helicopters with cameras that allow them to fly and photograph just as police aircraft do. Modern cameras allow closeup still and video to be taken from distances where the helo can't be seen or heard. This could allow for you to be seen getting a Clinton in your back yard.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 05, 2010, 02:32:26 PM
I don't like what I read about the level of surveillance in the UK and I don't want it here.   

Anyway, I suspect we will continue to go around the mulberry bush on this one with each having little persuasive effect upon the other and so, for now  :lol: will sign off. 
Title: The sound of totalitarianism on horseback
Post by: G M on January 05, 2010, 04:27:15 PM

Trotting a beat in San Francisco
Delfin Vigil

Sunday, October 2, 2005

"I was patrolling down on Ocean Beach when a homeless guy came up to me and the horse and said, 'Man, you horse cops have got like a totally different vibe than the cops down in the Tenderloin,' " remembers Downs, smiling.

"You know, he's probably right. Because in all my years of being in a patrol car, nobody ever came up to me just to say hello. Now it happens every day."

Once SFPD police officers become eligible, they always add their names to the bottom of a long waiting list in hopes of becoming an officer in the country's second-oldest mounted patrol unit, according to Downs.

"Let's just say it was hardly a spur-of-the-moment decision to join," admits the no-pun-intended sergeant, who was on a waiting list for 13 years.

Officially founded in 1872 (two years after New York City's), the mounted patrol unit has been trotting through the city's streets fighting and preventing crime in three centuries. While in its -- ahem -- heyday, there were upward of 30 badge-wearing horses, and although at one point every substation in the city had horses, there are only 13 on-duty patrol ponies left at the department's stables in Golden Gate Park.

There have been attempts to close the unit, including budget-crunching efforts from former Mayor Art Agnos and a proposition put on the 1988 ballot by real estate investor Nicholas Roomel.

"For too long the city of St. Francis has been forced to watch disgusting, undiapered horses annoying the public littering the streets, parks and beaches with excrement," wrote Roomel in his losing argument, which cost $10,000 in campaign funding to defeat.

Although some critics write off the mounted patrol as a chance for police officers to joyride through the park, many don't realize that the horses are putting their lives at risk.

"During crowd control on New Year's Eve, we'll get drunks throwing champagne bottles and other sharp objects right at the horses' faces," says Downs. "We've even had people pick up entire police barricades and throw them at us."

Crowd control is where the horses come in especially handy, because they have the ability to be imposing without being threatening, says Downs.

During one of the initial and largest protests against the current war in Iraq, the mounted patrol unit was brought in to help the first officers on the scene, who were being backed in and surrounded by protesters near Third and Market streets.

"Eleven horses were brought in to save the officers," remembers Downs. "We were able to part the sea of protesters without hitting, stepping on or even touching a single person. That's the beauty of the horse."

All 13 horses on patrol are geldings (neutered males) and include Clydesdale mixes, American quarter horses and Tennessee walkers. Long before they join the force, candidates are spotted for personality traits that would make them good horse police officers. Being calm, curious and affectionate with people is a must. But always following strict orders and going through an intense noise desensitization training is even more important before a horse can take on the noisy and unpredictable streets of San Francisco.

Aggressive dogs are probably the biggest danger to the four-legged officers.

In November 2003, a woman was walking Nettie, a pit bull mix, in Golden Gate Park when she decided to take off the dog's leash to let it play with other dogs. But instead it went after police horse AAA Andy.

AAA, who is not in the insurance business but was given to the department by the company, was bitten several times in the belly and legs by the dog, which continued to chase him for about a half mile as AAA Andy tried to find his way back to the stables. The officer was thrown to the ground during the frenzy. Another officer had to shoot the dog (who survived) to stop the attack.

AAA Andy went on disability for a couple of months. Within weeks of being back on the job he was in the news again for galloping down the "Spider-Man" burglar who had a record of more than 60 acrobatic burglaries through skylights and ventilation shafts in Sunset District buildings. This time, "Spider-Man," a.k.a. 27-year-old Kristian Kwon Marine, was on the run after snatching a purse at a cafe on Ninth Avenue and Irving Street. With only a good old-fashioned "he went thataway," tip, AAA and Officer Kaan Chin chased the burglar down in a field in Golden Gate Park.

"What people don't always understand is that most of what all police officers do involves crime prevention," says Kaan, who still rides AAA Andy. "But these horses are very capable of fighting crime in heat-of-the-moment ways as well. Once that saddle is put on, their personalities change and they are ready to work."

Like all police fraternities, the horses occasionally don't get along and even give each other some grief. No doubt the General, an American quarter horse with seven years on the force, had to put his tail between his legs when his corral compadres heard what happened to him.

"We tied him near Ninth Avenue during a break, and some idiot jumped on and rode him across the street," remembers Downs, a little embarrassed for the General. "That guy was so far gone no psychiatrist would have said he was sane in court," Downs says about the General's rogue rider, as any good cop would to defend a buddy with a wounded ego.

E-mail Delfin Vigil at dvigil@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page PK - 23 of the San Francisco Chronicle



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/10/02/PKG6CEU8GT1.DTL#ixzz0bmrk4b8i
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 05, 2010, 04:39:53 PM
Oh yeah, horses are cute. Don't buy into the propaganda, man.

Who had horses? The nazis! Yeah, that's right. Who else has horses? The UK! See the connections? It's all becoming more clear by the moment. First come the horses, then the cops get aircraft, next thing you know, you can't get a filthy sanchez in your backyard without some fascist jackboot clomping by on his "cute and fuzzy" POLICE HORSE!

I know the founding fathers would never tolerate the government having horses.....
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on January 05, 2010, 06:50:28 PM
What's that saying about beating a dead horse?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 05, 2010, 07:22:09 PM
Go ahead and mock the looming threat to privacy and freedom that horses present. Don't say I didn't warn you when they crush the constitution under their steely hooves!
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 05, 2010, 07:40:54 PM
Well, we have half of one in the White House right now so you are more right than you realize :lol:
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 05, 2010, 07:52:28 PM
Aha! Vindication!  :-D
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 11, 2010, 09:49:31 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/business/11drone.html?pagewanted=all

Military Is Awash in Data From Drones
By CHRISTOPHER DREW
Published: January 10, 2010

HAMPTON, Va. — As the military rushes to place more spy drones over Afghanistan, the remote-controlled planes are producing so much video intelligence that analysts are finding it more and more difficult to keep up.

Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times
Col. Daniel R. Johnson, right, in the intelligence center at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., where analysts watch every second of drones’ video footage live as it is streamed there.

Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times
Airmen received a pre-mission briefing at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va. They meld information from Predator drones, U-2 spy planes and other sources from Afghanistan and Iraq.

 
Air Force drones collected nearly three times as much video over Afghanistan and Iraq last year as in 2007 — about 24 years’ worth if watched continuously. That volume is expected to multiply in the coming years as drones are added to the fleet and as some start using multiple cameras to shoot in many directions.

A group of young analysts already watches every second of the footage live as it is streamed to Langley Air Force Base here and to other intelligence centers, and they quickly pass warnings about insurgents and roadside bombs to troops in the field.

But military officials also see much potential in using the archives of video collected by the drones for later analysis, like searching for patterns of insurgent activity over time. To date, only a small fraction of the stored video has been retrieved for such intelligence purposes.

Government agencies are still having trouble making sense of the flood of data they collect for intelligence purposes, a point underscored by the 9/11 Commission and, more recently, by President Obama after the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound passenger flight on Christmas Day.
Title: Social Networks and Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 22, 2010, 09:32:25 PM
Creditworthy? Lenders delve into your social networks

January 21, 2010 - 6:00am


Lenders are using social graphs to determine how creditworthy you are. (Getty Images)

UNDATED - Your social networking chit-chat could have an impact on your credit - specifically on whether banks think you are worthy of a loan.
Creditors are checking out what you post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. They're checking out who your friends are and who the people are in your networks.

The presumption is that if your friends are responsible credit cardholders and pay their bills on time, you could be a good credit customer, according to CreditCards.com.

A company called San Francisco-based company Rapleaf monitors what people tweet or post on Facebook and compiles what it calls social graphs of your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses.

Lenders say having a wide network of friends can expedite getting a loan, while discrepancies between your loan application and your Facebook wall information can raise red flags. Negative comments about your business also can impact your creditworthiness.

Joel Jewitt, vice president of business development of Rapleaf, says creditors aren't accessing the credit reports of your online friends and aren't using the data to find reasons to reject customers.

While lenders say they are using the information for marketing purposes -- to find out what you may like based on what your friends like, the idea of data mining beyond your credit score raises privacy concerns. Some consumer advocates say people may not realize how important their privacy settings are.

You may want to check out the profiles of the folks you friend and delete people you think could potentially damage your credit or employment reputation.

And, of course, you want to remember that what you post is public.
(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
Title: Surveillance cameras
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 29, 2010, 10:19:33 AM
From a thread started by our friend Cold War Scout on another forum:

Surveillance Cameras: How Does the Operator Contend With Them?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am posting this article because it is an example of the informal network of video cameras that exists out there in urban areas. It does not matter whether you like surveillance cameras or not, they are out there. Any police department worth its salt has figured out what level of connectivity exists out there which they can use as the basis for trying to determine a suspect's movements to/from a crime scene. Sometimes this allows for determining which vehicle a suspect ultimately got into (e.g. a parking lot) because the "network" only needs to track you to a point where an indentification can be established.

Ergo, when you talk about throw downs and throw aways, or smoking a dirtbag and simply fleeing, keep in mind that you could have the effectiveness of this informal network hanging over your head.


Police capture student's accused rapist
Scott McCabe
Examiner Staff Writer
January 28, 2010
Montgomery County police arrested a man accused of the sexual assault of a 19-year-old student, capping off a five-hour manhunt and the temporary lockdown of Montgomery College's Takoma Park campus. Nathaniel L. Hart, 34, was charged with two counts of first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense and attempting to escape after arrest. Authorities shut down the campus around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after a student reported that she had been raped in the bathroom of the performing arts center.Video footage led police to the Days Inn in Silver Spring, where they arrested Hart after officers noticed an open door of a room that hotel management said had been vacant.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/crime/Police-capture-student_s-accused-rapist-82808167.html#ixzz0e0wRBqqb
============

You might be well served right now to try and figure out where cameras are located in the areas you frequent and whether/how it is possible to avoid them (e.g. shopping centers, malls, traffic cameras on the main road outside your house).

There is a reason why talented bandits where layers of clothing. Police are looking for a man with a long sleeve blue flannel shirt, but bandit has pulled that off, thrown it away, and is now down to maybe long sleeve (or short sleeve) gray t-shirt. Same with pants. What started out as gray fleece sweat pants may wind up as blue jeans.

Hoodies and watch caps can be worth their weight in gold. Especially if you have flaming red hair or a Mohawk. Hoodies also seriously cut down the available angles and lighting in photo enhancements.

Is the logo on your jacket or shirt very distinctive or memorable? It might be to witnesses or a camera enhancement as well.

Are you driving a flaming red Hummer (or one of those yellow ones I see so many of)?

Wearing distinctive boots with a distinctive print? Running across a muddy field to your car?

So what thoughts come to YOUR mind as/if you need to successfully urban E and E?
===========

We put in a lot of these systems.

The factors that affect their usefulness for both actionable and forensic intel are:

1. Are the systems properly monitored?
2. Are they maintained?
3. Are they cohesive systems - ie all on one media server?
4. Do they store the video? Many places just store one day or not at all.
5. Do they have active detection software running? ( ie looks for a stopped car?)

Most university campuses have one system and its easy to put all cameras of interest on one pane of glass and then roll forward from a point in time. Universities are pretty good at 1-4. If they have a Dispatch/Security team looking at the systems actively, then they can respond pretty quick.

Many government agencies from airports to towns are not very good at 1-4. If they do 1-4 internally, then the chance is greater that the system is subpar - if they contract out the work of 1-4 then there is a greater chance its pretty good.

You could always slop some material on a camera and then come back a week later to see if they have cleaned it. If not, then the system is probably not a good one.

Public transit is the worst environment for tracking people. Most systems are not integrated because they are so big and there are too many people and they then dissappear into the urban environment.

Many urban roads have an ITS ( Intelligent Transportation System) running which has #5 - that detects stalled vehicles and some types of debris. Some will detect people on the road, too. Some campuses and other installations will detect movement as well.

If you had to do something specific, then you can create blind spots a few days before by disabling the systems in a random matter to reduce focus on your area of interest. You can use lasers or high power LED lights to disable the cameras in real time but would need to test this before hand on models under your control. Some cameras are wireless and you can jam their signals. Others will PTZ ( Pan-Tilt-Zoom) on movement.

These systems are not the all-seeing eyes.
=================

Title: A post from another forum
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 31, 2010, 07:45:13 AM
An interesting analysis of the current state of affairs.  Of course there is also the question of where things are headed , , ,
=============

What I believe that ___ is talking about here is NOT that someone can do a "Criminal Minds" style trace you across three continents using video footage hacked from random sources after identifying you by comparing a single grainy image against every drivers license database. That can't be done *yet*, and we're quite a ways from it.

What *can* happen is that some incident comes to the police's attention in front of the Licquor Store on State St. and Broadway. They know that the parking garage across the street has video cameras for liability. It shows the event and some amorphous blob about 5'6-6 foot walking away (and yes, knowing the height and angle of the camera, the distance to the event, and the height of one or more objects in the for and background they can, depending on image clarity get a LOT closer than that). This doesn't help them much, but they know there is another parking garage 1/2 block west, and licquor store with a couple of cameras in the parking lot 1/2 block east.

They also know the time, and approximately how long it takes to walk that far. So they don't have to scan a lot of video, maybe 10 minutes (more if the clocks are significantly off). If they see Mr. Blob on one video they move to the next camera that direction, establishing a route and asking questions along the way.

Given the proliferation (due to Moore's Law if nothing else) of video cameras all they have to do is stroll possible routes with an eye for video cameras. I'm betting you'll find them over watching alleys (to watch for employee pilferage and for employee security), loading docks etc. as well as front doors.

And on NONE of these are they really all that concerned with getting a good picture of your face. If they do, bonus. As long as they can track you, that's good enough. Eventually they'll find something, a store you ducked in to to buy a soda, or a car with a license plate or *something*.

Even in residential neighborhoods people are starting to monitor their houses and the streets ( http://www.safemart.com/category-Sec...meras-6835.htm ) and sometimes the cops know about it. Since these folks are buying consumer grade stuff it's *better* video than what the stores are putting in, but has a shorter lifespan, so it gets replaced every 3-4 year with BETTER stuff. And when they hear that the police are looking for any information on who killed Officer Joe Hero with three kids and who fled down Broadway in a blue car, they pull up their video and there you are. And their neighbor, who also has a system has a different angle and knows a guy on the next block...

You're also going to have about 1/2 the people filming/taking your picture on their cellphone.

And then they show these to a sketch artist.

And when they *catch* you, unless you're either well practiced, or a sociopath, if they have enough evidence to question you, they will find *some* handle to question you further.

Note that none of this has anything to do with actually seeing your picture on video.

Some of the tricks mentioned might work, but if they catch you slipping off that nasty overcoat and slipping on a tie, then they'd just change the blob they're looking for. And if they DO find some way to prove that blob was you, they just proved intent--otherwise you'd not have prepared a disguise ahead of time.

If something happens that you didn't expect and you need to flee the law you'd best just keep running until you're in a jurisdiction that doesn't have and extradition treaty, hope that the event is below the police's radar, or is sufficiently political that you can flee somewhere and ask for political asylum.

Seriously, if you act in accordance with the law, and act, to the extent the law allows, in a moral manner then either your best bet is to stay on scene and act like you did the right thing, or if the local gendarmes are corrupt to the point where that's not possible, then you're back to fleeing the jurisdiction. The only possible alternative is to get to your lawyers and arrange to turn yourself in to a different LEA, as an example if you had to shoot a dirty cop, you turn yourself in to the FBI, or if you had to shoot a sheriff who was doing Bad Things then go to the city police.
Title: Exigent Circumlocution
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on February 01, 2010, 04:06:36 PM
Retroactive Surveillance Immunity, Obama Style

Posted by Julian Sanchez

There’s a lot to unpack in the Office of the Inspector General’s blistering 300-page report on illegal FBI abuse of surveillance authority issued last month, but I want to highlight one especially worrisome aspect, about which I spoke with The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder earlier today.

The very short version of the report’s background finding is that, for several years, analysts at the FBI blithely and illegally circumvented even the minimal checks on their power to demand telephone records under the PATRIOT Act. I’ll go into this further in a future post, but there are strong indicators that the agents involved knew they were doing something shady. Thousands of records were obtained using a basically made-up process called an “exigent letter” wherein they ask for records with what amounts to an IOU promising legitimate legal process any day now. (In many of those cases, the legitimate legal process would not actually have been available for the records obtained.) Still more disturbing, an unknown number of records were obtained without even this fictitious process: Agents simply made informal requests verbally, by e-mail, or via post-it note. And hey, why bother with subponeas or National Security Letters when you can just slap a sticky on someone’s monitor?

Treated to a preview of the OIG’s damning conclusions, the FBI was eager to find some way to cover its massive lawbreaking. So they apparently crafted a novel legal theory after the fact, in hopes of finding some way to shoehorn their actions into federal privacy statutes.  On January 8—as in four weeks ago, years after the conduct occurred—the Office of Legal Counsel seems to have blessed the FBI’s theory, which unfortunately remains secret.  Democratic Sens. Russ Feingold, Dick Durbin, and Ron Wyden have asked the Justice Department for details, but at present we just don’t know what kind of loopholes DOJ believes exist in the law meant to protect our sensitive calling records.

Communications records are generally protected by Chapter 121 of Title 18, known to its buddies as the Stored Communications Act. The few snippets of unredacted material in the OIG report suggest that the FBI’s argument is that the statute does not apply to certain classes of call records. Presumably, the place to look for the loophole is in §2702, which governs voluntary disclosures by telecom firms.  There is, of course, an exemption for genuine emergencies—imminent threats to life and limb—but these, we know, are not at issue here because most of the records were not sought in emergency situations. But there are a number of other loopholes. The statute governs companies providing electronic communications services “to the public”—which encompasses your cell company and your ISP, but probably not the internal networks of your university or employer. The activity at issue here, however, involved the major telecom carriers, so that’s probably not it. There’s another carve-out for records obtained with the consent of the subscriber, which might cover certain government employees who’ve signed off on surveillance as a condition of employment. We do know that in some cases, the records obtained had to do with leak investigations, but that doesn’t seem especially likely either, since the FBI claims (though the OIG expresses its doubts about the veracity of the claim) that the justification would apply to the “majority” of records obtained.

My current best guess, based on what little we know, is this. The SCA refers to, and protects from disclosure to any “government entity,” the records of “customers” and “subscribers.”  But telecommunications firms may often have records about the calling activity of people who are not the customers or subscribers of that company. For example, reciprocal agreements between carriers will often permit a phone that’s signed up with one cell provider to make use of another company’s network while roaming. When these outside phones register on a network, that information goes to a database called the Visitor Location Register. You could imagine a clever John Yoo type arguing that the SCA does not cover information in the VLR, since it does not constitute a “subscriber” or “customer” record. Of course, it beggars belief to think that Congress intended to allow such a loophole—or, indeed, had even considered such technical details of cell network architecture.

My guess, to be sure, could be wrong. But that just points to the larger problem: The Justice Department believes that some very clever lawyerly reading of the privacy statutes—so very clever that despite the rampant “creativity” of the Bush years, they only just came up with it a few weeks ago—permits the FBI to entirely circumvent all the elaborate systems of checks and balances in place (or so we thought) to protect our calling records. If investigators can write themselves secret exemptions from the clear intent of the law, then all the ongoing discussion about reform and reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act amounts to a farcical debate about where to place the fortifications along the Maginot Line.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/02/01/retroactive-surveillance-immunity-obama-style/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Cato-at-liberty+%28Cato+at+Liberty%29
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Rarick on February 02, 2010, 04:59:14 AM
This is the same arrogant crap the cops pulled in Texas.   Is there a pattern emerging?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2010, 07:57:14 AM
BBG:

I hope you will be able to stay on top of this story for us as it develops.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on February 02, 2010, 10:19:28 AM
I'll try to wade through the report at some point, and will certainly keep track of what's being reported in the Libertarian world. Surprises me that the MSM has so little to say about it.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Rarick on February 03, 2010, 02:01:33 AM
the MSM is like the sheep in animal farm, they are so coopted that they do not even realize what they are doing........

The wired article titled "Privacy? it is gone, get over it and move on."  pretty much describes the attitude of most.  Especially the post X generations.
Title: Surf's Up
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on February 06, 2010, 02:55:07 PM
FBI wants to know where you've been on the web

Rick Moran
I guess it had to happen eventually. The FBI wants the authority to order internet service providers to keep customer surfing records for up to two years.

It's "for the children" of course. They say it will be easier to find and track child porn users. Never mind that your surfing history will also tell the feds whether you're a Republican or Democrat, or who your friends are, or what you really think about Obama.

Declan McCullagh of CNET has the details:

As far back as a 2006 speech, Mueller had called for data retention on the part of Internet providers, and emphasized the point two years later when explicitly asking Congress to enact a law making it mandatory. But it had not been clear before that the FBI was asking companies to begin to keep logs of what Web sites are visited, which few if any currently do.
The FBI is not alone in renewing its push for data retention. As CNET reported earlier this week, a survey of state computer crime investigators found them to be nearly unanimous in supporting the idea. Matt Dunn, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Department of Homeland Security, also expressed support for the idea during the task force meeting.

Greg Motta, the chief of the FBI's digital evidence section, said that the bureau was trying to preserve its existing ability to conduct criminal investigations. Federal regulations in place since at least 1986 require phone companies that offer toll service to "retain for a period of 18 months" records including "the name, address, and telephone number of the caller, telephone number called, date, time and length of the call."

At Thursday's meeting (PDF) of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group, which was created by Congress and organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Motta stressed that the bureau was not asking that content data, such as the text of e-mail messages, be retained.

By all means, give the FBI everything they need - within reason - to conduct criminal investigations. But tracking an individual's website history is pretty far over the line. Anytime the potential for abuse outweighs any possible gains, such an idea should be deep sixed.

Over the next decade, we will have to fight very hard to keep the internet from falling into the hands of statists who would use it to oppress us. The UN will try to take it over. The US government will try to tax it, and perhaps even level a charge for email. Other nations like China will continue to restrict freedom on the net.

All must be resisted if this last, true bastion of unfettered personal liberty and expression is to remain in the hands of the people.




Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/02/fbi_wants_to_know_where_youve.html at February 06, 2010 - 04:53:50 PM CST
Title: FBI access to phone records
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 12, 2010, 12:34:12 PM
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10451518-38.html

Two years ago, when the FBI was stymied by a band of armed robbers known as the "Scarecrow Bandits" that had robbed more than 20 Texas banks, it came up with a novel method of locating the thieves.

FBI agents obtained logs from mobile phone companies corresponding to what their cellular towers had recorded at the time of a dozen different bank robberies in the Dallas area. The voluminous records showed that two phones had made calls around the time of all 12 heists, and that those phones belonged to men named Tony Hewitt and Corey Duffey. A jury eventually convicted the duo of multiple bank robbery and weapons charges.



Even though police are tapping into the locations of mobile phones thousands of times a year, the legal ground rules remain unclear, and federal privacy laws written a generation ago are ambiguous at best. On Friday, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments (PDF) in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices.

In that case, the Obama administration has argued that warrantless tracking is permitted because Americans enjoy no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their--or at least their cell phones'--whereabouts. U.S. Department of Justice lawyers say that "a customer's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records" that show where a mobile device placed and received calls.

Those claims have alarmed the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, which have opposed the Justice Department's request and plan to tell the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia that Americans' privacy deserves more protection and judicial oversight than what the administration has proposed.

"This is a critical question for privacy in the 21st century," says Kevin Bankston, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who will be arguing on Friday. "If the courts do side with the government, that means that everywhere we go, in the real world and online, will be an open book to the government unprotected by the Fourth Amendment."

Not long ago, the concept of tracking cell phones would have been the stuff of spy movies. In 1998's "Enemy of the State," Gene Hackman warned that the National Security Agency has "been in bed with the entire telecommunications industry since the '40s--they've infected everything." After a decade of appearances in "24" and "Live Free or Die Hard," location-tracking has become such a trope that it was satirized in a scene with Seth Rogen from "Pineapple Express" (2008).

Once a Hollywood plot, now 'commonplace'
Whether state and federal police have been paying attention to Hollywood, or whether it was the other way around, cell phone tracking has become a regular feature in criminal investigations. It comes in two forms: police obtaining retrospective data kept by mobile providers for their own billing purposes that may not be very detailed, or prospective data that reveals the minute-by-minute location of a handset or mobile device.

Obtaining location details is now "commonplace," says Al Gidari, a partner in the Seattle offices of Perkins Coie who represents wireless carriers. "It's in every pen register order these days."

Gidari says that the Third Circuit case could have a significant impact on police investigations within the court's jurisdiction, namely Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; it could be persuasive beyond those states. But, he cautions, "if the privacy groups win, the case won't be over. It will certainly be appealed."

CNET was the first to report on prospective tracking in a 2005 news article. In a subsequent Arizona case, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration tracked a tractor trailer with a drug shipment through a GPS-equipped Nextel phone owned by the suspect. Texas DEA agents have used cell site information in real time to locate a Chrysler 300M driving from Rio Grande City to a ranch about 50 miles away. Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile logs showing the location of mobile phones at the time calls became evidence in a Los Angeles murder trial.

And a mobile phone's fleeting connection with a remote cell tower operated by Edge Wireless is what led searchers to the family of the late James Kim, a CNET employee who died in the Oregon wilderness in 2006 after leaving a snowbound car to seek help.


"This is a critical question for privacy in the 21st century. If the courts do side with the government, that means that everywhere we go, in the real world and online, will be an open book to the government unprotected by the Fourth Amendment."
--Kevin Bankston, attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
The way tracking works is simple: mobile phones are miniature radio transmitters and receivers. A cellular tower knows the general direction of a mobile phone (many cell sites have three antennas pointing in different directions), and if the phone is talking to multiple towers, triangulation yields a rough location fix. With this method, accuracy depends in part on the density of cell sites.

The Federal Communications Commission's "Enhanced 911" (E911) requirements allowed rough estimates to be transformed into precise coordinates. Wireless carriers using CDMA networks, such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, tend to use embedded GPS technology to fulfill E911 requirements. AT&T and T-Mobile comply with E911 regulations using network-based technology that computes a phone's location using signal analysis and triangulation between towers.

T-Mobile, for instance, uses a GSM technology called Uplink Time Difference of Arrival, or U-TDOA, which calculates a position based on precisely how long it takes signals to reach towers. A company called TruePosition, which provides U-TDOA services to T-Mobile, boasts of "accuracy to under 50 meters" that's available "for start-of-call, midcall, or when idle."

A 2008 court order to T-Mobile in a criminal investigation of a marriage fraud scheme, which was originally sealed and later made public, says: "T-Mobile shall disclose at such intervals and times as directed by (the Department of Homeland Security), latitude and longitude data that establishes the approximate positions of the Subject Wireless Telephone, by unobtrusively initiating a signal on its network that will enable it to determine the locations of the Subject Wireless Telephone."

'No reasonable expectation of privacy'
In the case that's before the Third Circuit on Friday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, said it needed historical (meaning stored, not future) phone location information because a set of suspects "use their wireless telephones to arrange meetings and transactions in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Lenihan in Pennsylvania denied the Justice Department's attempt to obtain stored location data without a search warrant; prosecutors had invoked a different legal procedure. Lenihan's ruling, in effect, would require police to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause--a more privacy-protective standard.

Lenihan's opinion (PDF)--which, in an unusual show of solidarity, was signed by four other magistrate judges--noted that location information can reveal sensitive information such as health treatments, financial difficulties, marital counseling, and extra-marital affairs.

In its appeal to the Third Circuit, the Justice Department claims that Lenihan's opinion "contains, and relies upon, numerous errors" and should be overruled. In addition to a search warrant not being necessary, prosecutors said, because location "records provide only a very general indication of a user's whereabouts at certain times in the past, the requested cell-site records do not implicate a Fourth Amendment privacy interest."

The Obama administration is not alone in making this argument. U.S. District Judge William Pauley, a Clinton appointee in New York, wrote in a 2009 opinion that a defendant in a drug trafficking case, Jose Navas, "did not have a legitimate expectation of privacy in the cell phone" location. That's because Navas only used the cell phone "on public thoroughfares en route from California to New York" and "if Navas intended to keep the cell phone's location private, he simply could have turned it off."

(Most cases have involved the ground rules for tracking cell phone users prospectively, and judges have disagreed over what legal rules apply. Only a minority has sided with the Justice Department, however.)

Cellular providers tend not to retain moment-by-moment logs of when each mobile device contacts the tower, in part because there's no business reason to store the data, and in part because the storage costs would be prohibitive. They do, however, keep records of what tower is in use when a call is initiated or answered--and those records are generally stored for six months to a year, depending on the company.

Verizon Wireless keeps "phone records including cell site location for 12 months," Drew Arena, Verizon's vice president and associate general counsel for law enforcement compliance, said at a federal task force meeting in Washington, D.C. last week. Arena said the company keeps "phone bills without cell site location for seven years," and stores SMS text messages for only a very brief time.

Gidari, the Seattle attorney, said that wireless carriers have recently extended how long they store this information. "Prior to a year or two ago when location-based services became more common, if it were 30 days it would be surprising," he said.

The ACLU, EFF, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and University of San Francisco law professor Susan Freiwald argue that the wording of the federal privacy law in question allows judges to require the level of proof required for a search warrant "before authorizing the disclosure of particularly novel or invasive types of information." In addition, they say, Americans do not "knowingly expose their location information and thereby surrender Fourth Amendment protection whenever they turn on or use their cell phones."

"The biggest issue at stake is whether or not courts are going to accept the government's minimal view of what is protected by the Fourth Amendment," says EFF's Bankston. "The government is arguing that based on precedents from the 1970s, any record held by a third party about us, no matter how invasively collected, is not protected by the Fourth Amendment."

Update 10:37 a.m. PT: A source inside the U.S. Attorney's Office for the northern district of Texas, which prosecuted the Scarecrow Bandits mentioned in the above article, tells me that this was the first and the only time that the FBI has used the location-data-mining technique to nab bank robbers. It's also worth noting that the leader of this gang, Corey Duffey, was sentenced last month to 354 years (not months, but years) in prison. Another member is facing 140 years in prison.

 Declan McCullagh is a contributor to CNET News and a correspondent for CBSNews.com who has covered the intersection of politics and technology for over a decade. Declan writes a regular feature called Taking Liberties, focused on individual and economic rights; you can bookmark his CBS News Taking Liberties site, or subscribe to the RSS feed. You can e-mail Declan at declan@cbsnews.com.
Title: Privacy/Security risks of copiers
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 15, 2010, 12:08:10 PM


http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6412572n
Title: WSJ: /Tracking via cellphone GPS
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 04, 2010, 06:57:17 PM
Phone companies know where their customers' cellphones are, often within a radius of less than 100 feet. That tracking technology has rescued lost drivers, helped authorities find kidnap victims and let parents keep tabs on their kids.

But the technology isn't always used the way the phone company intends.

One morning last summer, Glenn Helwig threw his then-wife to the floor of their bedroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, she alleged in police reports. She packed her 1995 Hyundai and drove to a friend's home, she recalled recently. She didn't expect him to find her. The day after she arrived, she says, her husband "all of a sudden showed up." According to police reports, he barged in and knocked her to the floor, then took off with her car.

The police say in a report that Mr. Helwig found his wife using a service offered by his cellular carrier, which enabled him to follow her movements through the global-positioning-system chip contained in her cellphone.

Mr. Helwig, in an interview, acknowledged using the service to track his wife on some occasions. He says he signed up for the tracking service last year. "AT&T had this little deal where you could find your family member through her cellphone," he says. But he didn't use it to find his wife that day, he says. Mr. Helwig, who is awaiting trial on related assault charges, declined to comment further about the matter. He has pleaded not guilty.


The allegations are a stark reminder of a largely hidden cost from the proliferation of sophisticated tracking technology in everyday life—a loss of privacy.

Global-positioning systems, called GPS, and other technologies used by phone companies have unexpectedly made it easier for abusers to track their victims. A U.S. Justice Department report last year estimated that more than 25,000 adults in the U.S. are victims of GPS stalking annually, including by cellphone.

In the online world, consumers who surf the Internet unintentionally surrender all kinds of personal information to marketing firms that use invisible tracking technology to monitor online activity. A Wall Street Journal investigation of the 50 most-popular U.S. websites found that most are placing intrusive tracking technologies on the computers of visitors—in some cases, more than 100 tracking tools at a time.

The cellphone industry says location-tracking programs are meant to provide a useful service to families, and that most providers take steps to prevent abuse. Mike Altschul, chief counsel for wireless-telecommunications trade group CTIA, says recommended "best practices" for providers of such services include providing notification to the person being tracked.

Mr. Helwig's wife had received such a notification, by text message, from AT&T. A spokesman for AT&T Inc. says it notifies all phone users when tracking functions are activated. But users don't have the right to refuse to be tracked by the account holder. Turning off the phone stops the tracking.

Cellphone companies will deactivate a tracking function if law-enforcement officials inform them it is being used for stalking. Mr. Altschul says authorities haven't asked carriers to change their programs. He adds that carriers have long supported programs to give untraceable cellphones to domestic-violence victims.

In Arizona this year, Andre Leteve used the GPS in his wife's cellphone to stalk her, according to his wife's lawyer, Robert Jensen, before allegedly murdering their two children and shooting himself. Mr. Jensen says Mr. Leteve's wife, Laurie Leteve, didn't know she was being tracked until she looked at one of the family's monthly cellphone bills, more than 30 days after the tracking began. Mr. Leteve, a real-estate agent, is expected to recover. He has pleaded not guilty to murder charges, and is awaiting trial. The law firm representing him declined to comment.

In a suspected murder-suicide last year near Seattle, a mechanic named James Harrison allegedly tracked his wife's cellphone to a store. After he found her there with another man, he shot to death his five children and himself, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Therapists who work with domestic-abuse victims say they are increasingly seeing clients who have been stalked via their phones. At the Next Door Solutions for Battered Women shelter in San Jose, Calif., director Kathleen Krenek says women frequently arrive with the same complaint: "He knows where I am all the time, and I can't figure out how he's tracking me."

In such cases, Ms. Krenek says, the abuser is usually tracking a victim's cellphone. That comes as a shock to many stalking victims, she says, who often believe that carrying a phone makes them safer because they can call 911 if they're attacked.

There are various technologies for tracking a person's phone, and with the fast growth in smartphones, new ones come along frequently. Earlier this year, researchers with iSec Partners, a cyber-security firm, described in a report how anyone could track a phone within a tight radius. All that is required is the target person's cellphone number, a computer and some knowledge of how cellular networks work, said the report, which aimed to spotlight a security vulnerability.


The result, says iSec researcher Don Bailey, is that "guys like me, who shouldn't have access to your location, have it for very, very, very cheap."

That is, in part, an unintended consequence of federal regulations that require cellphone makers to install GPS chips or other location technology in nearly all phones. The Federal Communications Commission required U.S. cellular providers to make at least 95% of the phones in their networks traceable by satellite or other technologies by the end of 2005. The agency's intention was to make it easier for people in emergencies to get help. GPS chips send signals to satellites that enable police and rescue workers to locate a person.

To a large extent, that potential has been fulfilled. Last year, for example, police in Athol, Mass., working with a cellphone carrier, were able to pinpoint the location of a 9-year-old girl who allegedly had been kidnapped and taken to Virginia by her grandmother. In December, police in Wickliffe, Ohio, tracked down and arrested a man who allegedly had robbed a Pizza Hut at gunpoint by tracking the location of a cellphone they say he had stolen.

Mr. Altschul, of the cellphone-industry trade group, says the tracking technology has been of great help to both law-enforcement officials and parents. "The technology here is neutral," he says. "It's actually used for peace of mind."

But as GPS phones proliferated, tech companies found other uses for the tracking data. Software called MobileSpy can "silently record text messages, GPS locations and call details" on iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android phones, according to the program's maker, Retina-X Studios LLC. For $99.97 a year, a person can load MobileSpy onto someone's cellphone and track that phone's location.



Craig Thompson, Retina-X's operations director, says the software is meant to allow parents to track their kids and companies to keep tabs on phones their employees use. He says the company has sold 60,000 copies of MobileSpy. The company sometimes gets calls from people who complain they are being improperly tracked, he says, but it hasn't been able to verify any of the complaints.

Installing such programs requires a person to physically get hold of the phone to download software onto it.

GPS-tracking systems provided by cellular carriers such as AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. are activated remotely, by the carriers.

Domestic-violence shelters have learned the consequences. As soon as victims arrive at shelters run by A Safe Place, "we literally take their phones apart and put them in a plastic bag" to disable the tracking systems, says Marsie Silvestro, director of the Portsmouth, N.H., organization, which houses domestic-violence victims in secret locations so their abusers can't find them.

The organization put that policy in place after a close call. On Feb. 26, Jennie Barnes arrived at a shelter to escape her husband, Michael Barnes, according to a police affidavit filed in a domestic-violence case against Mr. Barnes in New Hampshire state court. Ms. Barnes told police she was afraid that Mr. Barnes, who has admitted in court to assaulting his wife, would assault her again.

Ms. Barnes told a police officer that "she was in fear for her life," according to court filings. The next day, a judge issued a restraining order requiring Mr. Barnes to stay away from his wife.

Later that day, court records indicate, Mr. Barnes called his wife's cellular carrier, AT&T, and activated a service that let him track his wife's location. Mr. Barnes, court records say, told his brother that he planned to find Ms. Barnes.

The cellular carrier sent Ms. Barnes a text message telling her the tracking service had been activated, and police intercepted her husband. Mr. Barnes, who pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife and to violating a restraining order by tracking her with the cellphone, was sentenced to 12 months in jail. A lawyer for Mr. Barnes didn't return calls seeking comment.

Another source for cellphone tracking information: systems meant to help police and firefighters. Some cellular carriers provide services for law-enforcement officers to track people in emergencies. Using such systems requires a person to visit a special website or dial a hot-line number set up by the carrier and claim the data request is for law-enforcement purposes.

Cellular carriers say they try to verify that callers are legitimate. An AT&T spokesman says an office is manned around the clock by operators who ask for subpoenas from law-enforcement officials using the system.

But federal law allows carriers to turn over data in emergencies without subpoenas. Al Gidari, a lawyer who represents carriers such as Verizon, says such location-tracking systems can be easy to abuse. Police, he says, often claim they need data immediately for an emergency like a kidnapping, and therefore don't have time to obtain a warrant, in which a judge must approve an information request.

In Minnesota, Sarah Jean Mann claimed last year in a county-court petition for a restraining order that her estranged boyfriend, a state narcotics agent, followed her by tracking her cellphone and accessing her call and location records through such a system. The court issued the restraining order. The boyfriend, Randy Olson, has since resigned from the police force. He didn't respond to calls seeking comment.

Mr. Gidari says law-enforcement's easy access to such data makes the systems easy to abuse. He says carriers would like to have a system in place requiring agents to get warrants. Without such a requirement, there is little carriers can do to resist warrantless requests, say Mr. Gidari and Mr. Altschul of trade group CTIA. Federal law says carriers may comply with such requests, and law-enforcement agencies have pressured them to maintain the tracking systems, Mr. Gidari says.

The easiest way for stalkers to locate a target—and perhaps the most common, say therapists who work with victims and abusers—is by using systems offered by carriers. When cellphone users sign up for a "family plan" that includes two or more phones, they have the option to contact the carrier and activate a tracking feature intended to allow them to keep tabs on their children.

The AT&T FamilyMap program, for example, is free for 30 days and requires only a phone call to activate. "Know where your kids and loved ones are at any time!" says AT&T's website. The system is for parents, says an AT&T spokesman. He says the company hasn't received complaints about FamilyMap being used by stalkers.

The system provides an on-screen map on the smartphone or computer of the person doing the tracking. A dot on the map shows the location and movement of the person being followed. The carrier sends a text-message to the person being tracked that their phone is registered in the program.

These add-on services can be lucrative for carriers. AT&T debuted its FamilyMap system in April 2009. It charges $9.99 a month to track up to two phones, $14.99 for up to five. FamilyMap users must agree to "terms-of-use" stating that they may not use the system to "harrass, stalk, threaten" or otherwise harm anyone.

In Corpus Christi, Mr. Helwig and his wife, who had been married since early 2008, bought phones under an AT&T family plan. Mr. Helwig says he activated the feature last year. His wife says she received a text message that a tracking function had been activated on her phone, but wasn't sure how it was activated. Her husband, she says, initially denied turning on the tracking function.

She says she eventually came up with a plan to flee to the house of a family whose children she baby-sat. Her husband "had no idea where they lived" or even their names, she says. As she was packing, her husband confronted her. They argued, and, according to her statements in police reports, Mr. Helwig dragged her around by her hair.

The police came. She says she told them she didn't want them to arrest Mr. Helwig, that she simply wanted to leave. The police told Mr. Helwig to stay away from her for 24 hours, she says.

As she drove to her friend's house, she says, she made sure her phone was off so Mr. Helwig couldn't track her. But she turned it on several times to make calls. The next day, Mr. Helwig was outside in a rage, according to police reports.

Mr. Helwig forced his way into the house, pushed her to the floor, took her car keys and drove away in her Hyundai, according to police reports.

Police arrested Mr. Helwig a short distance away. Mr. Helwig, a firefighter, is facing charges of assault and interfering with an emergency call. His trial is scheduled to begin this summer.

Mr. Helwig and his wife divorced, and she left Corpus Christi. She says she doesn't want to testify against him. She says she is more careful about trusting her cellphone now.

Write to Justin Scheck at justin.scheck@wsj.com
Title: $1,500 Cell Phone Hack
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 05, 2010, 07:14:01 PM
Hacker intercepts phone calls with homebuilt $1,500 IMSI catcher, claims GSM is beyond repair
By Sean Hollister  posted Jul 31st 2010 10:28PM

In 2009, Chris Paget showed the world the vulnerabilities of RFID by downloading the contents of US passports from the safety of his automobile. This year, he's doing the same for mobile phones. Demonstrating at DefCon 2010, the white hat hacker fooled 17 nearby GSM phones into believing his $1,500 kit (including a laptop and two RF antennas) was a legitimate cell phone base station, and proceeded to intercept and record audience calls. "As far as your cell phones are concerned, I'm now indistinguishable from AT&T," he told the crowd. The purpose of the demonstration was highlight a major flaw in the 2G GSM system, which directs phones to connect to the tower with the strongest signal regardless of origin -- in this case, Paget's phony tower.

The hacker did caveat that his system could only intercept outbound calls, and that caller ID could tip off the owner of a handset to what's what, but he says professional IMSI catchers used by law enforcement don't suffer from such flaws and amateur parity would only be a matter of time. "GSM is broken," Paget said, "The primary solution is to turn it off altogether." That's a tall order for a world still very dependent on the technology for mobile connectivity, but we suppose AT&T and T-Mobile could show the way. Then again, we imagine much of that same world is still using WEP and WPA1 to "secure" their WiFi.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/31/hacker-intercepts-phone-calls-with-homebuilt-1-500-imsi-catcher/
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 06, 2010, 09:40:04 AM
Interesting.

Trivia:  George Gilder called this over ten years ago back when he was evangelizing for Qualcom's technology.
Title: Exobytes of Info
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 07, 2010, 10:22:51 AM
Prepare for Data Tsunami, Warns Google CEO
Google CEO Eric Schmidt says an explosion of data is coming -- and we're totally unprepared to handle the deluge. Here's why he's right.
Dan Tynan, ITworld
Aug 6, 2010 5:09 pm

Google CEO Eric Schmidt had some scary things to say about privacy yesterday. In a nutshell, he said there's an almost incomprehensible amount of data out there about all of us -- much of which we've generated ourselves via social networks, blogs, and so on -- and we are totally unprepared to deal with the implications of that fact.

Schmidt was speaking at the Techonomy confab, currently underway at California's Lake Tahoe, where large-brained people gather to talk about how technology and the economy intersect.

[ See also: Whom do you fear: Apple, Google, Microsoft, or God? ]

Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read Write Web distilled the highlights:

"There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003," Schmidt said, "but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing...People aren't ready for the technology revolution that's going to happen to them...."

"If I look at enough of your messaging and your location, and use Artificial Intelligence," Schmidt said, "we can predict where you are going to go."

"Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are. You think you don't have 14 photos of yourself on the internet? You've got Facebook photos! People will find it's very useful to have devices that remember what you want to do, because you forgot...But society isn't ready for questions that will be raised as result of user-generated content."

Are visions of 2001's HAL 9000 or maybe The Terminator's SkyNet dancing in your head yet? How about Minority Report or Enemy of the State?

In those movies, it was malevolent machines or government agencies that played the boogieman. In Schmidt's scenario, the source of evil is a lot murkier.

Schmidt wasn't really trying to draw disaster scenarios. He noted that a lot of positive benefits can come from the information explosion, and he's right. Personally, if not for the Internet, I might be in another line of work. I'd almost certainly live in another city. Being able to access vast amounts of data without lifting my butt from this ergonomic chair has transformed my life in dozens of ways, as I'm sure it has tranformed others'.

Of course, Google is in the business of monetizing that data, for which it seems to possess an insatiable appetite. And sometimes it screws up big time. Schmidt didn't really talk about that.

The good side of all this data: instant information about virtually anything. The dark side? Vast potential for personal profiling by your employer, your insurer, and The Man.

The fact is, your participation in a political forum might cause someone to not hire you. Your comments to a blog post about a particular medical condition may inspire an insurer to decline coverage. The Web sites you visit, the books you download and the movies you stream could get you on a watchlist -- or worse.

Sound like a paranoid fantasy? It's happened before, in different places and times, in different ways. From now on, though, it will happen via the Net. The stunning profusion of data out there -- and Google's very efficient methods for collecting and organizing that data -- make it all possible.

Schmidt seems like a decent enough guy (though the resemblance to Howdy Doody is a bit unnerving). I don't think he or his company are evil; but I do believe that like most corporations -- and people, for that matter -- Google has its own best interests at heart. Those interests lie in keeping Schmidt's search engine stoked with more and more data.

He's right, though. We're unprepared. And when the data tsunami hits, all of us will get soaked. Hope you brought your all-weather gear.

When not abusing weather metaphors, ITworld TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan keeps the snark engine stoked at eSarcasm (Geek Humor Gone Wild). Follow him on Twitter: @tynan_on_tech.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/202817/prepare_for_data_tsunami_warns_google_ceo.html?tk=hp_new
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 07, 2010, 01:01:49 PM
There aren't 14 photos of me on the internet....
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 07, 2010, 01:52:32 PM
I'm sure there's a wisecrack that could spring from that statement.

Hey I've been meaning to mention my shooting instructor ran your pal Radley Balko through a concealed carry for self defense class a couple months back. Said he'd done "okay," which I took to mean another freaking civie who needs a lot more range time.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 07, 2010, 02:09:16 PM
Yes, I keep my face off the net to avoid mass waves of gastric reflux. 

I wish Ol' Radley would pin on a badge for a while to see that things aren't as simple as he thinks. Until then, he's just a virgin discussing the kama sutra.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 07, 2010, 02:42:35 PM
Wished I'd been there to get a read on Balko. I figured out what my Obama tax break amounts to, pay it monthly to the instructor, and then jump in on any class where there's space available. Would have been amusing to see what Balko's about.
Title: Privacy v. Market Forces v. the "Public Good"
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 11, 2010, 09:10:29 AM
Google CEO Schmidt: No Anonymity Is The Future Of Web

By Ms. Smith
Created Aug 9 2010 - 9:21pm
[1]No anonymity is the future of web in the opinion of Google's CEO Eric Schmidt. He said many creepy things about privacy at the Techonomy Conference. [2] The focus of the conference was how technology is changing and can change society. Schmidt's message was that anonymity is a dangerous thing and governments will demand an end to it.

In an video interview [3] with Julia Boorstin, CNBC Correspondent, Schmidt stated (starting at 5:13):

"Privacy is incredibly important," Schmidt stated. "Privacy is not the same thing as anonymity. It's very important that Google and everyone else respects people's privacy. People have a right to privacy; it's natural; it's normal. It's the right way to do things. But if you are trying to commit a terrible, evil crime, it's not obvious that you should be able to do so with complete anonymity. There are no systems in our society which allow you to do that. Judges insist on unmasking who the perpetrator was. So absolute anonymity could lead to some very difficult decisions for our governments and our society as a whole."

Whether it was a Freudian slip or a simple misstatement, Schmidt is correct; it is not obvious that if you are anonymous, you are therefore likely to commit a "terrible, evil crime."

Anonymity equaling a future heinous act seems to be the direction some online security experts are headed. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace [4] proposes to do away with anonymous multiple identities in favor of one real identity. Part of the reasoning behind one trusted identity is to do away with crime. But isn't this the same logic of anonymity breeding anti-social behavior and criminals?

According to ReadWriteWeb [5], Schmidt said of anti-social behavior, "The only way to manage this is true transparency and no anonymity. In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you. We need a [verified] name service for people. Governments will demand it."

Since Google's CEO has proclaimed the future of the web is no anonymity, does that make it a fact? If we keep hearing that privacy is dead and long buried, how long before we accept that anonymity is an anti-social behavior and a crime?

Security expert Bruce Schneier suggests that we protect our privacy if we are thinking about it, but we give up our privacy when we are not thinking about it.

Schneier wrote [6], "Here's the problem: The very companies whose CEOs eulogize privacy make their money by controlling vast amounts of their users' information. Whether through targeted advertising, cross-selling or simply convincing their users to spend more time on their site and sign up their friends, more information shared in more ways, more publicly means more profits. This means these companies are motivated to continually ratchet down the privacy of their services, while at the same time pronouncing privacy erosions as inevitable and giving users the illusion of control."

The loss of anonymity will endanger privacy [7]. It's unsettling to think "governments will demand" an end to anonymous identities. Even if Schmidt is Google's CEO, his message of anonymity as a dangerous thing is highly controversial. Google is in the business of mining and monetizing data, so isn't that a conflict of interest? Look how much Google knows about you [8] now.

Bruce Schneier [9] put it eloquently, "If we believe privacy is a social good, something necessary for democracy, liberty and human dignity, then we can't rely on market forces to maintain it."

http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/google-ceo-schmidt-no-anonymity-future-web
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 11, 2010, 11:24:29 AM
From the start, there was never true anonymity on the interwebs.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 11, 2010, 11:46:07 AM
Uhm, I'd quibble. Plenty of spoofing, anonymous remailers, proxy servers, daisy chain hacks, router cracks, etc you could use back in the day, though modern analysis techniques renders a lot of that a lot less opaque than it use to be.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 11, 2010, 01:18:07 PM
I attended an FBI internet crimes task force presentation about 10 years ago, on a case where a search warrant on a computer in the US yielded images of children being sexually assaulted in real time. The case spanned the globe, and was ultimately tracked down to the UK, where the children were rescued and the perp arrested, by black clad, balaclava wearing, long gun toting tactical cops, no doubt.

Those that traffic in such things use every technique you mentioned. It makes tracking them difficult, but almost never impossible.
Title: The Panopticon's Architecture
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 16, 2010, 12:13:11 PM
Architecture Matters
Posted By Julian Sanchez On August 16, 2010 @ 12:47 pm In Reaction Essay | Comments Disabled

In an astonishing New York Times op-ed [1] last week, former homeland security advisor Richard Falkenrath greeted news of a technology ban announced by the rulers of the United Arab Emirates with “approval, admiration and perhaps even a touch of envy.” In the name of national security, the UAE — soon to be mimicked by Saudi Arabia and India, among others — was threatening to limit the use of Blackberry mobile devices unless their Canadian manufacturer, Research in Motion (RIM), agreed to restructure their secure network to allow the government easier access to encrypted messages.

Of course, the Emirates had their own conception of what counts as “national security”: The announcement came mere weeks after the arrest of Badr Ali Saiwad Al Dhohori [2], an 18-year-old activist who had been using BlackBerry’s Messenger service to plan a (canceled) protest against rising gas prices. Indeed, for those familiar with encryption technology, it was hard to see the proposed BlackBerry bans as a useful anti-terror measure: Committed criminals and jihadists would have no difficulty securing their communications with freely available software that could be installed on any number of laptops or smartphones — and would have advance warning not to rely on the security provided by RIM’s network.

But the proposed ban soon led RIM to agree [3] to accommodate a number of authoritarian regimes known to practice pervasive monitoring and filtering [4] of the Internet as a means of political and social control. The message was delivered loud and clear to its real targets: Ordinary BlackBerry users who might have incidentally benefited from the network’s security, but lacked the resources, commitment, and technical savvy of criminals and terrorists.

The BlackBerry controversy helps to illustrate why perhaps the most frequently invoked metaphor — one might say cliché — in surveillance studies is the Panopticon [5], a prison designed for total, centralized surveillance, first designed by the English political philosopher Jeremy Bentham but popularized by French theorist Michel Foucault. The significance of the Panopticon for our purposes is that it is an explicitly architectural metaphor: It exerts a structural disciplinary power that extends far beyond the individual acts of observation it enables. Ideally, the warders can put up their feet and watch Seinfeld reruns all day, trusting that it will be enough for the prisoners to be aware that someone always could be watching them. A group of academics and journalists who brought a lawsuit [6] challenging the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program in 2006 alleged that just such a “chilling effect” was afflicting their communication with foreign sources.

I mention this because it highlights my lone point of agreement with the critics of Glenn Greenwald’s masterful — though, depressingly, far from comprehensive — summary of the explosive growth of American surveillance since 9/11. For it is, as Paul Rosenzweig argues [7], a “pointillist” portrait that emphasizes particular “abuses” and “excesses.” And this really does risk missing the forest for the trees — though pace Rosenzweig, I believe that if anything it understates the potential problems with the burgeoning surveillance state. More disturbing than the quantitative increase in surveillance Greenwald documents — and it is disturbing, when we consider that the sheer number of National Security Letters and FISA warrants issued annually dwarfs any plausible estimate of the number of terror supporters in the United States — are the qualitative and structural shifts in the nature of that surveillance.

Some of those qualitative changes are themselves driven by increases in the quantity of surveillance requests. A Sprint executive captured by security researcher Christopher Soghoian at last year’s ISS World surveillance conference explained how his firm was dealing with a growing number of demands from law enforcement:

[M]y major concern is the volume of requests. We have a lot of things that are automated but that’s just scratching the surface. One of the things, like with our GPS tool. We turned it on the web interface for law enforcement about one year ago last month, and we just passed 8 million requests. So there is no way on earth my team could have handled 8 million requests from law enforcement, just for GPS alone. So the tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement. They also love that it is extremely inexpensive to operate and easy, so, just the sheer volume of requests they anticipate us automating other features, and I just don’t know how we’ll handle the millions and millions of requests that are going to come in.

Debates about surveillance policy typically focus on the formal legal constraints on government monitoring, but physical and technological architecture are often as important determinants of the real scope of surveillance in practice — a point pithily summed up by Lawrence Lessig’s maxim that “code is law.” Consider, as a thought experiment, the difference between a society in which police may, pursuant to some legal process, install cameras and microphones in private homes, and a society in which, pursuant to precisely same process, they may activate the cameras and microphones required to be installed in all homes.

The plummeting cost of data storage, the increasing ubiquity of network communications, and the vastly increased capacity of law enforcement to fruitfully analyze “transactional data” subject to far more anemic protections than the contents of communications all combine to make an extraordinary degree of monitoring both more feasible and more attractive to investigators, even holding constant the legal framework within which that monitoring occurs. A few decades ago, intelligence agents might have found it convenient to compare a list of everyone reading unsavory publications with a list of people who share group memberships with a suspicious number of subjects already under investigation — but they would have had no practical way of doing so. Now it is not only feasible, but inundated telecom providers and profit-seeking contractors are racing to find plug-and-play solutions that make the process ever cheaper and easier.

There’s also ample evidence [8] suggesting that individualized, subject-based monitoring of communications themselves is yielding to a broader algorithmic approach that seeks to monitor entire data streams. John Yoo, who wrote the (now repudiated) memoranda providing the legal basis for the NSA wiretapping program, for example, has described [9] a system in which “computers are initially searching through communications first and only bringing correlations to the attention of a human, to a security officer when there’s a certain level of confidence that they might involve terrorism.” Where once we identified targets and then looked for suspicious behavior or incriminating communications, the “new” approach — whose closest precedent may be the NSA’s scandalous SHAMROCK program [10] uncovered by the Church Committee’s investigations in the 1970s — involves monitoring behavior patterns and communications streams in search of targets.

To the extent that intelligence surveillance has been moving to this model, it is a mistake to view (for instance) the explosion in the use of National Security Letters to acquire transactional data as a separate concern from legislation authorizing broad “programs” of surveillance or “roving” wiretap warrants [11] that specify neither an individual target nor a particular communications facility to be monitored. These are complementary pieces of a broader investigatory strategy geared toward identifying targets.

I’ll have more — much more — to say about the specific empirical and legal arguments raised by our discussants as the conversation continues here. But the crucial macro-level point I’d like us to bear in mind is that the architectural shift in surveillance is potentially much more significant than a temporary spike in the number of warrants or NSLs issued over the past decade. History provides abundant proof [12] that this sort of large-scale monitoring, even when undertaken for initially legitimate purposes, invites abuse. And perhaps still more worrying, even in the absence of such abuse, the scope of state control is in myriad ways a function of what James C. Scott, in his seminal Seeing Like a State, has dubbed the “legibility” of populations. Surveillance infrastructures and databases built for benign purposes tend to persist even when their administrators cease to be benign.

Article printed from Cato Unbound: http://www.cato-unbound.org

URL to article: http://www.cato-unbound.org/2010/08/16/julian-sanchez/architecture-matters/

URLs in this post:

[1] New York Times op-ed: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/opinion/10falkenrath.html?_r=1
[2] the arrest of Badr Ali Saiwad Al Dhohori: http://opennet.net/blog/2010/08/united-arab-emirates-arrests-activists-bans-blackberry-services
[3] agree: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-09/research-in-motion-saudis-reportedly-reach-messaging-agreement-u-s-says.html
[4] pervasive monitoring and filtering: http://opennet.net/research/regions/mena
[5] Panopticon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon
[6] brought a lawsuit: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/17/politics/17nsa.html
[7] argues: http://www.cato-unbound.org/2010/08/13/paul-rosenzweig/the-sky-isnt-falling/
[8] ample evidence: http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/att/section1006summary101608.pdf
[9] described: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/interviews/yoo.html
[10] the NSA’s scandalous SHAMROCK program: http://cryptome.org/nsa-shamrock.htm
[11] “roving” wiretap warrants: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2009/10/15/patriot-powers-roving-wiretaps/
[12] abundant proof: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/16/opinion/op-sanchez16
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 16, 2010, 06:25:34 PM
The panopticon prisons were failures and almost all in the US are no longer in use.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 16, 2010, 07:15:56 PM
Yeah, so now we're gonna expand the beta to the point we have enough storage capacity to record web surfing histories, locational data, text, cell, and landline conversations using criteria that is poorly defined by agencies frequently lacking oversight and accountability for periods of time yet to be determined. Can't imagine a government misusing capabilities like that.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 16, 2010, 07:44:03 PM
So shut down the NSA? Get the US out of the intelligence business?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 17, 2010, 06:15:21 AM
Nah, let's just put Hoover and Nixon in charge of 'em. That'll fix it.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 17, 2010, 06:22:17 AM
Still waiting for some sot of concrete policy position......
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 17, 2010, 06:38:22 PM
Oversight and accountability with a sensible chain of command. Difficult concepts to master I know; took me to the age of 18 to impose them on the kitchens I managed. Or are you looking for something more Byzantine?

Out the next five days or so helping set up for an open house sponsored by the National Museum of Americans at War. Anyone at the DC area is welcome to stop by: vmmv.org.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 18, 2010, 08:17:07 PM
Oversight and accountability with a sensible chain of command.

**The NSA doesn't have that now?**
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 19, 2010, 08:21:19 AM
How much transparency do you want for the NSA and other intel agencies?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 20, 2010, 10:37:43 AM
No one forces you to go on the web or use websites or software with those loopholes. Aren't libertarians supposed to believe in the rights of individuals to freely make choices in terms of commerce?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 20, 2010, 01:10:49 PM
Quote
**The NSA doesn't have that now?**

The folks at Fort Meade play stuff close to the chest so it's pretty hard to know in general, though it's clear the most the congresscritters charged w/ oversight couldn't shake a transistor out of their shoe. "The Puzzlepalace" is a good read about those folks.

The NSA is an awful small slice of the intelligence gathering pie and someone with your googlefu ought to be able to drum up story after story of alphabet agencies that fail to share timely intelligence due to chain of command, turf considerations, and so on. Are you arguing that a system as vast, ad hoc, and territorial as the one the US has built cannot be subject to misuse? Look at the battles between the Air Force and the Navy over which refueling tanker nozzle should be used and then multiply it by each intelligence agency and gathering technique and you'll have an approximation of the scope of the issue. My experience running much smaller and less complex organizations suggests that when that much gray area exists gross pathologies are a given.
Title: Vee Must See Jour Papers
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 20, 2010, 03:29:04 PM
A wee bit of bureaucratic overreach here:

http://reason.com/blog/2010/08/20/she-could-have-given-someone-a
Reason Magazine

She Could Have Given Someone a Nasty Paper Cut With Those Checks

Jacob Sullum | August 20, 2010

Last year Steve Bierfeldt, director of development at Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty, sued the Transportation Security Administration after he was detained and grilled at a St. Louis airport because he was carrying about $4,700 in cash (proceeds from one of the organization's conferences). The lawsuit, filed on Bierfeldt's behalf by the ACLU, prompted the TSA to issue a directive saying that "screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security." Apparently not everyone got the memo. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin describes the experience of Kathy Parker of Elkton, Maryland, who recently underwent a  purse search at Philadelphia International Airport that ranged far beyond the requirements of airline security:

"Everything in my purse was out, including my wallet and my checkbook. I had two prescriptions in there. One was diet pills. This was embarrassing. A TSA officer said, 'Hey, I've always been curious about these. Do they work?'

"I was just so taken aback, I said, 'Yeah.' "

What happened next, she says, was more than embarrassing. It was infuriating.

That same screener started emptying her wallet. "He was taking out the receipts and looking at them," she said

"I understand that TSA is tasked with strengthening national security but [it] surely does not need to know what I purchased at Kohl's or Wal-Mart," she wrote in her complaint, which she sent me last week.

She says she asked what he was looking for and he replied, "Razor blades." She wondered, "Wouldn't that have shown up on the metal detector?"

In a side pocket she had tucked a deposit slip and seven checks made out to her and her husband, worth about $8,000.

Her thought: "Oh, my God, this is none of his business."

Two Philadelphia police officers joined at least four TSA officers who had gathered around her. After conferring with the TSA screeners, one of the Philadelphia officers told her he was there because her checks were numbered sequentially, which she says they were not.

"It's an indication you've embezzled these checks," she says the police officer told her. He also told her she appeared nervous. She hadn't before that moment, she says.

She protested when the officer started to walk away with the checks. "That's my money," she remembers saying. The officer's reply? "It's not your money."


Eventually Parker was allowed to proceed with her checks, but not until after police called her husband in Maryland to see if maybe they were in the middle of "a divorce situation" and she was trying to abscond with money that was partly his (a scenario rather different from the fake-check embezzlement theory that supposedly justified Parker's detention). As usual in cases like this, the TSA claims police were called because Parker's behavior "escalated," which is TSA code for questioning anything its screeners do.

[Thanks to dbcooper for the tip.]
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 20, 2010, 05:12:34 PM
Quote
**The NSA doesn't have that now?**

The folks at Fort Meade play stuff close to the chest so it's pretty hard to know in general, though it's clear the most the congresscritters charged w/ oversight couldn't shake a transistor out of their shoe. "The Puzzlepalace" is a good read about those folks.

The NSA is an awful small slice of the intelligence gathering pie and someone with your googlefu ought to be able to drum up story after story of alphabet agencies that fail to share timely intelligence due to chain of command, turf considerations, and so on. Are you arguing that a system as vast, ad hoc, and territorial as the one the US has built cannot be subject to misuse? Look at the battles between the Air Force and the Navy over which refueling tanker nozzle should be used and then multiply it by each intelligence agency and gathering technique and you'll have an approximation of the scope of the issue. My experience running much smaller and less complex organizations suggests that when that much gray area exists gross pathologies are a given.


Anything is potentially subject to misuse. My concern is that the system has become so big, it's utterly impossible to be used effectively.
Title: They say its my birthday , , , that they want
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 22, 2010, 07:32:49 AM
A seminar host is looking to book my flight, but the Airline company wants my birth date.  WTF?  Isn't that something I am supposed to keep rather close to the vest for reasons of making identity theft harder?

What can I do here?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 22, 2010, 07:36:04 AM
Your birthdate as well as legal name is obtained by the airline to be given to the TSA for prescreening prior to your flight. If your name, birthdate doesn't match when you attempt to board your flight, you won't be allowed to fly.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 22, 2010, 07:50:37 AM
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm

ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints

Airtravel
Identity Matters

Effective June 21, 2008, adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains the following: name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight.

Passengers who do not or cannot present an acceptable ID will have to provide information to the Transportation Security Officer performing Travel Document Checking duties in order to verify their identity. Passengers who are cleared through this process may be subject to additional screening. Passengers whose identity cannot be verified by TSA may not be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint or onto an airplane.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2010, 06:04:57 AM
That is a separate point I think.  My host could not even buy my ticket without giving my birthdate-- which is now in American Airlines computer records.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 23, 2010, 08:23:11 AM
All airlines must now get DOBs for passengers when tickets are purchased. The Name and DOB gets passed on to the TSA.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2010, 03:20:53 PM
Duh.  I get that.  My point is that American Airlines also gets it and my personal ID data is just that more "out there", thus facilitating ID theft.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 23, 2010, 03:52:19 PM
Your name and DOB are probably out there from a variety of sources. Your SSN is much more important when it comes to identity theft.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2010, 04:16:01 PM
So, "privacy is dead and I should just get over it"?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 23, 2010, 04:31:45 PM
Privacy takes effort and caution. There is no absolute privacy as there is no absolute security. I'm less concerned with a big corp like AA having my personal info than what can be gained by private investigators working for criminal cartels.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: JDN on August 28, 2010, 08:34:19 AM
Privacy does seem to be dead....

24 Hour Fitness using fingerprints to identify members
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fitness-fingerprint-20100828,0,7547156.story
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 28, 2010, 09:18:49 AM
How does that make privacy dead?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: JDN on August 28, 2010, 09:40:19 AM
I guess my point is that I find it invasive/offensive that a simple local gym requires my fingerprints.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 28, 2010, 09:49:45 AM
In a free market, you are free to not patronize any business that does things you don't like.
Title: Mobile Backscatter Vans
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on August 29, 2010, 02:23:07 PM
Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans
As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it’s worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents, Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at the company told me in an interview. While the biggest buyer of AS&E’s machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reiss says law enforcement agencies have also deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs in the U.S.

“This product is now the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever,” says Reiss.

Here’s a video of the vans in action.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGCd0KPJcMs&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as the company calls them, bounce a narrow stream of x-rays off and through nearby objects, and read which ones come back. Absorbed rays indicate dense material such as steel. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes them powerful tools for security, law enforcement, and border control.

It would also seem to make the vans mobile versions of the same scanning technique that’s riled privacy advocates as it’s been deployed in airports around the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is currently suing the DHS to stop airport deployments of the backscatter scanners, which can reveal detailed images of human bodies. (Just how much detail became clear last May, when TSA employee Rolando Negrin was charged with assaulting a coworker who made jokes about the size of Negrin’s genitalia after Negrin received a full-body scan.)

“It’s no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans],” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. “But from a privacy perspective, it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”

AS&E’s Reiss counters privacy critics by pointing out that the ZBV scans don’t capture nearly as much detail of human bodies as their airport counterparts. The company’s marketing materials say that its “primary purpose is to image vehicles and their contents,” and that “the system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race, sex or age of the person.”

Though Reiss admits that the systems “to a large degree will penetrate clothing,” he points to the lack of features in images of humans like the one shown at right, far less detail than is obtained from the airport scans. “From a privacy standpoint, I’m hard-pressed to see what the concern or objection could be,” he says.

But EPIC’s Rotenberg says that the scans, like those in the airport, potentially violate the fourth amendment. “Without a warrant, the government doesn’t have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause,” he says. Even airport scans are typically used only as a secondary security measure, he points out. “If the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make.”

The TSA’s official policy dictates that full-body scans must be viewed in a separate room from any guards dealing directly with subjects of the scans, and that the scanners won’t save any images. Just what sort of safeguards might be in place for AS&E’s scanning vans isn’t clear, given that the company won’t reveal just which law enforcement agencies, organizations within the DHS, or foreign governments have purchased the equipment. Reiss says AS&E has customers on “all continents except Antarctica.”

Reiss adds that the vans do have the capability of storing images. “Sometimes customers need to save images for evidentiary reasons,” he says. “We do what our customers need.”

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/08/24/full-body-scan-technology-deployed-in-street-roving-vans/
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 29, 2010, 02:57:38 PM
We can be dosed with X-rays without our knowledge?!?  :x :x :x

And here's this:

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre — and scary — rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant.
(See a TIME photoessay on Cannabis Culture.)

It is a dangerous decision — one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle's underside.

After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA's actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)

In fact, the government violated Pineda-Moreno's privacy rights in two different ways. For starters, the invasion of his driveway was wrong. The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home. The government's intrusion on property just a few feet away was clearly in this zone of privacy.

The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited.
(See the misadventures of the CIA.)
 

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

Judge Kozinski is a leading conservative, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, but in his dissent he came across as a raging liberal. "There's been much talk about diversity on the bench, but there's one kind of diversity that doesn't exist," he wrote. "No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter." The judges in the majority, he charged, were guilty of "cultural elitism."
(Read about one man's efforts to escape the surveillance state.)

The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant. There is a major battle under way in the federal and state courts over this issue, and the stakes are high. After all, if government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state — with technology taking on the role of the KGB or the East German Stasi.

Fortunately, other courts are coming to a different conclusion from the Ninth Circuit's — including the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled, also this month, that tracking for an extended period of time with GPS is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant. The issue is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

In these highly partisan times, GPS monitoring is a subject that has both conservatives and liberals worried. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's pro-privacy ruling was unanimous — decided by judges appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
(Comment on this story.)

Plenty of liberals have objected to this kind of spying, but it is the conservative Chief Judge Kozinski who has done so most passionately. "1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last," he lamented in his dissent. And invoking Orwell's totalitarian dystopia where privacy is essentially nonexistent, he warned: "Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we're living in Oceania."

Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board.
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2013150,00.html#ixzz0y29d2EfD


Also see for the UK
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1976541,00.html

and for the USA
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1973131,00.html
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on August 29, 2010, 03:19:55 PM
I think it's pretty clear that you have a reasonable expectation of privacy under your clothes in a public place. I don't think the backscatter x-ray vans could be legally used in public places in the US.

As far as the GPS tracking by law enforcement, the court agreed with my argument that you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy driving your vehicle on public roads.
Title: Grave Constitutional Doubts Remain
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 11, 2010, 06:53:39 PM
A Surveillance State Coda

Posted by Julian Sanchez

The program of warrantless NSA wiretapping (and data mining) authorized by President George W. Bush shortly after the 9/11 attacks prompted a flurry of intense debate over its legality when it was disclosed by The New York Times back in 2005. Those arguments have, by now, been so thoroughly rehearsed that there’s not a whole lot new to say about it.

But like Monty Python’s Black Knight, some of those old arguments keep popping up — as evidenced by John Eastman’s contribution to the Cato Unbound roundtable on the digital surveillance state we held last month. So while the roundtable’s over, I thought it would be convenient to round up a compact version of the main arguments in one place, for the convenience of folks who might not want to slog through the many law review articles that have been written on the subject.

The touchstone for modern analysis of executive war powers is, by general consensus, the tripartite schema elaborated by Justice Jackson in his concurrence in the Youngstown steel seizure case :

1. When the President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate. In these circumstances, and in these only, may he be said (for what it may be worth) to personify the federal sovereignty. If his act is held unconstitutional under these circumstances, it usually means that the Federal Government, as an undivided whole, lacks power…

2. When the President acts in absence of either a congressional grant or denial of authority, he can only rely upon his own independent powers, but there is a zone of twilight in which he and Congress may have concurrent authority, or in which its distribution is uncertain…

3. When the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb, for then he can rely only upon his own constitutional powers minus any constitutional powers of Congress over the matter… Presidential claim to a power at once so conclusive and preclusive must be scrutinized with caution, for what is at stake is the equilibrium established by our constitutional system.

Using this as our starting point, it becomes clear that an analysis of the NSA program entails answering a series of distinct (though related) questions. First, we need to determine which level of the Youngstown schema applies. If we’re in Youngstown’s Category I, then the NSA program was illegal only if it exceeded the constitutional constraints on government surveillance established by the Fourth Amendment. If, on the other hand, we’re in Category III, a constitutionally permissible surveillance program might nevertheless be illegal. So I’ll consider three questions in turn: Did the NSA program violate federal statute? If so, does the statute trump whatever inherent power the president might enjoy as commander in chief in this context? Finally, does the program, as it’s been publicly described, violate the Fourth Amendment? An affirmative answer to either the first pair of questions or the third will entail that the NSA program was illegal.

The AUMF

The statutory question may seem like something of a no-brainer: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 states explicitly that its procedures establish the “exclusive means” for domestic electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. In this case, the obvious answer is the right one. But the Justice Department has attempted to claim that Congress cleverly managed to repeal the “exclusive means” language without telling anyone about it back in 2001, when it passed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. Probably the most decisive demolition of that argument was offered by David Kris, who currently heads the National Security Division at the Department of Justice, but it’s worth reviewing briefly why this argument is so implausible.

The central problem with reliance on the AUMF is that FISA itself contains a provision providing a 15-day surveillance grace period following a declaration of war. As the legislative conference report explains, this was intended to provide time for Congress to consider whether any wartime modifications to the FISA structure were necessary. Plainly, then, Congress did not imagine or intend that a declaration of war (or “authorization of force”) would in itself implicitly loosen FISA’s fetters beyond that grace period.

Moreover, Congress has repeatedly amended FISA since the 9/11 attacks, both in the PATRIOT Act passed almost simultaneously with the AUMF, and in subsequent legislation over a period of years. As Glenn Greenwald recounted in his lead essay for the Cato roundtable, Congress has expanded government surveillance powers in a variety of ways, but none of these prior to the Protect America Act of 2007 (superseded by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008) approached the breadth of the NSA program, and even these establish at least a modicum of judicial oversight, however inadequate. Again, this history sits uneasily with the premise that Congress understood itself to have authorized such broad domestic surveillance when it passed the AUMF.

Indeed, as former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle explained in a Washington Post op-ed shortly after the revelation of the warrantless wiretap program, the Senate explicitly rejected language sought by the White House that would have extended the authorization to actions within the United States. Then–attorney general Alberto Gonzales has publicly acknowledged that the Bush administration contemplated asking for a more specific amendment to FISA authorizing something like the NSA program, but concluded that it would be “difficult, if not impossible” to get such an amendment adopted. We are being asked to believe, in other words, that Congress intended to implicitly grant authority that the administration was certain would be refused had it been requested overtly. It is, as Justice Frankfurter put it in Youngstown, “quite impossible … to find secreted in the interstices of legislation the very grant of power which Congress consciously withheld.”

Basic principles of statutory construction disfavor inferring implicit repeal of specific statutory language from more general authorizations, except in the face of “overwhelming evidence” of congressional intent — and the Court has accordingly rejected parallel arguments in several recent War on Terror cases, as in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, where the court found “nothing in the text or legislative history of the AUMF even hinting that Congress intended to expand or alter the authorization” for military commissions spelled out in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The evidence here is indeed overwhelming, and it uniformly cuts against the fanciful proposition that Congress somehow enacted a kind of sub silentio repeal of FISA. I’m inclined to assume this argument was offered primarily because of an understandable reluctance to rely entirely on a radical theory of inherent and preclusive executive powers, to which I turn next.

The President’s Inherent Authority

The first thing to observe with respect to claims of inherent executive authority is that if we exclude non-binding dicta, the evidence for a constitutional power to conduct warrantless domestic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes is almost wholly negative. That is to say, it turns on inferences from questions the Supreme Court has declined to directly address rather than on its affirmative holdings. As we’ll see, this is a thin reed on which to hang ambitious claims.

Consider, for instance, the so-called Keith case. In addressing the scope of presidential power to authorize warrantless surveillance against domestic national security threats, the majority noted that they had “not addressed, and express no opinion as to, the issues which may be involved with respect to activities of foreign powers or their agents.” But in that very case, the unanimous majority held that a warrant was required in cases involving domestic national security threats, resolving a lacuna expressed in very similar language in a footnote to a previous ruling involving wiretaps:

Whether safeguards other than prior authorization by a magistrate would satisfy the Fourth Amendment in a situation involving the national security is a question not presented by this case.

The arguments deployed against unchecked executive discretion in Keith clearly have substantial cross-application to the War on Terror, which in many respects bears as much resemblance to those domestic threats as it does to traditional nation state–sponsored espionage and warfare. It will suffice to note, however, that declining to foreclose a power because the fact pattern under consideration provided no occasion to consider the distinct issues involved, as the Court did in both Katz and Keith, is not at all the same as affirmatively asserting it, let alone defining its scope — a point to which I’ll return in the next section.

Nevertheless, let’s suppose arguendo that there is some such inherent power, whether broad or narrow. Eastman and other defenders of the NSA program still err in conflating inherent power with preclusive or indefeasible power. As a simple conceptual matter, this cannot be right, or else the third Youngstown category would collapse into the second: If all “inherent” presidential powers were per se immune to Congressional limitation, Category III would be superfluous, since it would never yield a result different from analysis under Category II.

Fortunately, we need not restrict ourselves to conceptual analysis, because precedent and practice both speak directly to the question, and both support robust legislative power to constrain even those presidential powers grounded in Article II. The legislature has, from the founding era on, assumed that its Article I power to make “rules for the government of the land and naval forces” enabled it to cabin the discretion of the commander in chief, often in frankly picayune ways, by establishing general rules limiting the conduct of a conflict. Prior to the Truman administration there was little indication that presidents saw this as encroaching upon sacrosanct executive prerogatives. Even Lincoln — probably the most obvious early example of a wartime president acting without or contrary to statutory authority — did not claim some general constitutional power to defy Congress. Rather, he argued that when hostilities commenced during a congressional recess, he had acted as he thought necessary given the impracticality of securing advance approval, while acknowledging that it fell to the legislature to ratify or overrule his judgment once it reconvened.

In the few cases where the Supreme Court has had occasion to rule on the scope of executive power at “lowest ebb,” it has repeatedly confirmed that federal law binds the president even in war. In Little v. Barreme, during a conflict with France, the Court found that a specific congressional authorization for the seizure of ships bound to French ports rendered invalid an executive order that also permitted seizure of ships bound from those ports. And this was so, the Court noted, even though the president’s own commander-in-chief powers would have permitted him this discretion had Congress not spoken. Since the inauguration of the War on Terror, the Court has reaffirmed the validity of such statutory limits on executive discretion, as in Hamdan. Bush’s own Office of Legal Counsel ultimately repudiated a series of memos, penned by John Yoo, that had relied on a more expansive conception of executive power to justify the administration’s War on Terror programs, concluding that they were “not supported by convincing reasoning.”

There is, by general consensus, some “preclusive core” to the executive’s commander-in-chief authority. This includes, at the least, a prerogative of “superintendence”: Congress could not appoint Nancy Pelosi commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and forbid the president to remove her. Most commentators see it as similarly foreclosing efforts to achieve the same end by a series of micromanagerial statutes commanding specific tactics be employed at particular times. But the notion that this preclusive core encompasses discretion to unilaterally disregard a general statutory framework governing protracted electronic surveillance of U.S. persons on American soil is simply insupportable in the face of both history and precedent. The argument is, if anything, more absurd when it comes to the government’s illegal acquisition of the statutorily protected calling records of tens of millions of Americans, the vast majority of whom obviously have no ties to terrorism or Al Qaeda. Attempts to stitch together a countervailing line from desultory snatches of language about the president’s role as “sole organ” in foreign affairs are entertaining as a sort of exercise in experimental Burroughsian cut-up narrative, but as legal analysis they seem pretty desperate.

The Fourth Amendment

Finally, we turn to the Fourth Amendment. I will, for the most part, consider how the Fourth Amendment applies to the NSA surveillance program prior to the 2008 passage of the FISA Amendments Act.

As Eastman notes, while in most contexts the prohibition on “unreasonable searches and seizures” requires surveillance to be authorized by a probable cause warrant based on individualized suspicion, there are a variety of circumstances in which warrantless searches may nevertheless be reasonable. While this is not the place to conduct a detailed survey of such “special needs” exemptions, such exceptions tend to involve cases in which the subjects of the search are already understood to enjoy a diminished expectation of privacy (students in school), where the searches are standardized and minimally intrusive, where the targets are in a position to raise challenges before a neutral magistrate if necessary, and where prior court authorization would be highly impractical. No exception that I am aware of can plausibly be stretched so far as to permit sustained, discretionary, warrantless electronic surveillance of members of the general population — a method recognized to be so intrusive that in the criminal context, federal statute requires investigators to meet a higher standard than applies to ordinary physical search warrants.

It’s worth noting in passing that the existence of the statutory FISA framework is at least arguably relevant to the Fourth Amendment analysis here. What measures are “reasonable” will often depend on context, and upon the available alternatives: The use of lethal force in self-defense might be found reasonable as a last resort, but not when the victim has an easy avenue of escape or a taser handy. Similarly, if the only alternative to conventional criminal courts were warrantless surveillance — if Congress had made no provision for a highly secretive court to consider classified applications under secure conditions, with ample flexibility in cases of emergency — one might be more inclined to sympathize with some degree of executive improvisation. In light of the elaborate mechanisms Congress has provided, an appeal to impracticality is considerably less compelling.

But let’s bracket that for the moment, and again suppose for the sake of argument that the president has some inherent authority to conduct warrantless domestic wartime surveillance. Let’s further assume away any statutory problems. Can the NSA program be squared with the Fourth Amendment injunction that searches be reasonable, based on what little we know of it? It seems highly unlikely.

Multiple accounts suggest that the NSA program involved algorithmic selection of surveillance targets, possibly triggered by keywords within the communications themselves, almost certainly based on pattern analysis of calling records or other transactional data. The result, according to the Bush administration, was that the international communications of approximately 500 persons within the United States were being intercepted at any given time. Since the program operated for several years, both before and after being disclosed, a conservative estimate would place the total number of persons subject to surveillance in the thousands, and most likely in the tens of thousands.

What did all this spying yield? In 2006, under the headline “Surveillance Net Yields Few Suspects,” the Washington Post reported:

Fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents a year, according to an authoritative account, have aroused enough suspicion during warrantless eavesdropping to justify interception of their domestic calls, as well.

Nearly all the “leads” produced by the program appear to have been dead ends. Indeed, despite the assurances of the Bush administration that the NSA program had saved thousands of lives, a postmortem review by the intelligence community’s inspectors general found that officials they spoke to “had difficulty citing specific instances where [NSA program] reporting had directly contributed to counterterrorism successes,” though a classified version of the report apparently cites a handful of instances in which the program “may have contributed.”

As a point of reference, the government’s reporting suggests that under criminal wiretap orders, about 30 percent of intercepted communications contain incriminating content. Since “minimization” of innocent communications is necessarily imperfect, and since even the most hardened criminals presumably spend most of their time conversing about more mundane matters, the number of targets engaged in at least some incriminating communication is clearly far higher. That’s what one would expect when evidence establishing “probable cause” must justify surveillance — and Bush officials have claimed the NSA program’s targeting met the same standards. The evidence suggests otherwise.

I’m happy to grant that we should accept a somewhat lower “hit rate” when interception is geared toward protecting the nation from major terror attacks. But if the requirement that searches be “reasonable” is not to be rendered completely vacuous or totally severed from even a diluted standard of “probable cause,” then there must be some substantive test of whether such highly intrusive techniques are actually in service of that vital state interest. It cannot possibly be enough to simply observe that the president has uttered the magical incantation “War on Terror.” And it cannot possibly be enough that a program involving interception of the private conversations of thousands or tens of thousands of U.S. persons “may have contributed” to a handful of successful investigations. The question is closer with respect to post-FISAAA programs of interception, which are at least subject to some modicum of independent oversight, but unless we have gotten vastly better at sifting the guilty from the innocent, grave constitutional doubts should remain.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/a-surveillance-state-coda/
Title: From the Gov and here to Snoop
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 11, 2010, 07:03:13 PM
Second Post:

Ohio apologized to 'Idol' star for illegal snooping

Police, BMV clerk checked out Bowersox on state databases

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2010  02:56 AM
BY RANDY LUDLOW
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Should public employees who improperly accessed information about singer Crystal Bowersox be criminally charged?

American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox gained national acclaim belting out her style of folksy blues on the popular TV show.

But some of the attention the Toledo-area singer received back home in Ohio was unflattering, as police and others improperly checked to see if she had a criminal record or blemishes on her driving record.

From computers with access to personal information in confidential state databases, employees of five police agencies and a municipal court rummaged through Bowersox's background.

And in Columbus, an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles clerk examined vehicles registered in the performer's name, and the home computer of an assistant city prosecutor was used to check on the newly minted star.

An Ohio Department of Public Safety official apologized in a July 1 letter to Bowersox for the unauthorized breaches of her privacy and wrote that there was no evidence that she had become an identity-theft victim.

"I had no idea it happened," Bowersox told The Blade of Toledo last night from her home in Los Angeles. "I'm disgusted by it.

"You feel violated, but I guess it comes with the territory."

The Bowersox checks are reminiscent of a case two years ago, when The Dispatch reported that state computers were improperly tapped for personal information on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, also known as "Joe the Plumber." Conducting a background check for an unauthorized purpose is illegal.

The State Highway Patrol detected the searches on Bowersox in late May, after she became an Idol finalist, when a patrol official decided to run an audit for suspicious checks.

Eight improper checks were found between Feb. 24 and May 27, including by police departments in Millersburg, Pemberville, Xenia and at the Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, as well as the Putnam County sheriff's office.

Those checks, plus one involving the Columbus city attorney's office, were conducted through the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, which is administered by the attorney general's office.

The law-enforcement employees who misused the system to check on Bowersox received punishments from their employers ranging from a two-week suspension to written reprimands. Such violations can be punished criminally, but that call is left to local officials, said Ted Hart, a spokesman for the attorney general.

Shawnda Martin, an assistant Columbus prosecutor, received a week off without pay for her brush with Bowersox on May 25, said chief prosecutor Lara Baker.

Martin was working on her home computer checking the backgrounds of criminal defendants while a friend watched American Idol. A horrified Martin returned from a trip to the kitchen to find that her friend had typed Bowersox's name into her computer, Baker said.

In Erie County, an employee of Huron Municipal Court was accused of using the Ohio Courts Network, operated by the Ohio Supreme Court, to access information on Bowersox. The employee was forced to resign and could face a misdemeanor charge, the patrol said.

Only one person has been charged with illegally snooping on Bowersox.

At the Bureau of Motor Vehicles headquarters on the Hilltop, clerk Jay Wright, 47, of the Near East Side, was fired from his $43,434-a-year job on June 22 for checking Bowersox's vehicle-registration information Feb. 24.

The 17-year state employee said he was merely curious. "I saw she was indeed from Ohio ... and thought, 'Great, a local girl may have a shot at making it big' and that was that. At no time did I take her personal information, print it or commit it to memory for any financial or personal gain," Wright told officials.

He was indicted last month for unauthorized use of property, a fifth-degree felony carrying up to a year in prison. Wright pleaded not guilty Friday. Patrol spokesman Lt. Gary Lewis said the case was the only one in which the patrol had jurisdiction.

As for Bowersox, she said she wouldn't sue and isn't worried about any information found on her record.

"It would have said that I was poor, was on Medicaid, and I was on welfare with my child, and that my driving record was immaculate. My record has nothing on it.

"My pre- Idol life, I was raised poor and did everything I could to get by in life, and that's all they would find. I'm an honest person."

http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/09/09/copy/ohio-apologized-to-idol-star-for-illegal-snooping.html?adsec=politics&sid=101
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 12, 2010, 05:54:28 AM
You'll note that accessing the state and federal databases are felonies. The systems are auditable, meaning that you cannot access them without leaving a digital "paper trail".
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 12, 2010, 08:03:09 PM
Sincere question:

So what about accessing them from a cyber cafe or a public library?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 12, 2010, 08:09:17 PM
Those databases can only be accessed only by dedicated terminals. Without getting into the techno-structure, they are very secure. It's not something you can access by the internet.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 12, 2010, 08:24:01 PM
Thank you.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: prentice crawford on September 12, 2010, 08:35:26 PM
Woof,
 Didn't the same kind of thing happen to Joe the plumber?
                                         P.C.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 12, 2010, 08:41:25 PM
Yes. Also from the state of Ohio, If I recall correctly.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 12, 2010, 08:53:27 PM
http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/ncic.htm

Security and quality controls: The head of the CJIS Systems Agency—the criminal justice agency that has overall responsibility for the administration and usage of NCIC within a district, state, territory, or federal agency—appoints a CJIS systems officer (CSO) from its agency. The CSO is responsible for monitoring system use, enforcing system discipline and security, and assuring that all users follow operating procedures. NCIC policy establishes a number of security measures to ensure the privacy and integrity of the data. The information passing through the network is encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. Each user of the system is authenticated to ensure proper levels of access for every transaction. To further ascertain and verify the accuracy and integrity of the data, each agency must periodically validate its records. Agencies also must undergo periodic audits to ensure data quality and adherence to all security provisions.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 13, 2010, 07:17:47 AM
Quote
You'll note that accessing the state and federal databases are felonies. The systems are auditable, meaning that you cannot access them without leaving a digital "paper trail".

Perhaps I missed it, but has anyone been charged with a felony?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 13, 2010, 08:24:52 AM

At the Bureau of Motor Vehicles headquarters on the Hilltop, clerk Jay Wright, 47, of the Near East Side, was fired from his $43,434-a-year job on June 22 for checking Bowersox's vehicle-registration information Feb. 24.

The 17-year state employee said he was merely curious. "I saw she was indeed from Ohio ... and thought, 'Great, a local girl may have a shot at making it big' and that was that. At no time did I take her personal information, print it or commit it to memory for any financial or personal gain," Wright told officials.

He was indicted last month for unauthorized use of property, a fifth-degree felony carrying up to a year in prison. Wright pleaded not guilty Friday. Patrol spokesman Lt. Gary Lewis said the case was the only one in which the patrol had jurisdiction.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 13, 2010, 08:37:57 AM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i_29YKZdSnooBzedGCwrNGaqfyDgD9I4IR7G1

Lt. Gary Lewis of the State Highway Patrol said Thursday that the agency audited databases in May and found files on Bowersox had been improperly accessed eight times.

Lewis says the audit reflected a 2009 state law cracking down on unauthorized record-checking. It was prompted by checks done on another Ohio celebrity, the 2008 campaign figure known as "Joe the Plumber."
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 13, 2010, 02:33:22 PM
Saw that, but don't recall any of the Joe the Plumber folks ending up in court. Might have snuck beneath the radar, but I missed it.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 13, 2010, 03:28:33 PM
http://jammiewearingfool.blogspot.com/2009/10/democrat-goon-charged-with-snooping-on.html

Looks like one got a wrist slap at the most, in the JTP snooping scandal. Disgusting.

I know that sheriffs have gone to federal prison for using NCIC to run their election opposition.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: prentice crawford on September 13, 2010, 06:35:59 PM
Woof,
 Update on Joe the Plumber:
 www.sayanythingblog.com/entry/toledo_police_clerk_charged_for_illegally_accessing_joe_the_plumbers_record/

                           P.C.
Title: "Right of the People to be Secure. . . ."
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 13, 2010, 07:22:45 PM
Is the Fourth Amendment Really About ‘Privacy’?

Posted by Julian Sanchez

Back in June, the American Civil Liberties Union launched a new Web hub called Spy Files, which promises to be an invaluable resource for those of us who make a point of watching the watchers. Probably the most interesting document available on the site at launch was a thorough state by state survey of law enforcement surveillance of protected political and religious association over the past decade. They rounded up a truly disturbing number of instances, spanning 33 states, just from press reports, of undercover officers infiltrating anti-war groups and mosques without obvious grounds to suspect wrongdoing. In the aggregate, as the report itself notes, the effect is eerily reminiscent of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO operation, which targeted groups deemed “subversive” in the 1960s and 70s.

Following the exposure of COINTELPRO and a spate of related intelligence scandals uncovered by Senate investigations during the 70s, the latitude of federal investigators to covertly infiltrate domestic groups was somewhat constrained by Executive Order 12333, signed by President Reagan in 1981. But state and local law enforcement often have a relatively free hand, because under the modern understanding of the Fourth Amendment, the Constitution is concerned only government actions that violate a “reasonable expectation of privacy,” which courts have generally understood as limited to the exposure of what was previously secret. When we entrust sensitive records to third parties—be they banks, Internet Service Providers, or other members of our churches or political organizations—we “assume the risk” that they will reveal the information to the government, according to the courts’ logic, and so waive our expectation of privacy.

Legal scholars have long been critical of the reasoning behind this “third party doctrine,” in particular the “assumption of risk” argument, but traditionally they’ve accepted the basic frame that the Fourth Amendment should fundamentally be understood as concerned with protecting “privacy”—though the term itself does not appear in the Constitution—and argued that the court has interpreted the concept too narrowly. Yet a growing number of investigative techniques—from GPS location tracking to DNA analysis—allow the government to conduct an intuitively troubling degree of monitoring, potentially on a vast scale, by targeting information that is at least in some sense “public.”

One way of dealing with this within the current paradigm is to seek to draw more nuanced distinctions between dimensions of privacy, which was the approach I took in a recent post on long-term GPS monitoring. Along similar lines, one might try to argue, say, that people reasonably expect their genetic profiles to remain private even if such a profile could in principle be extrapolated from residual DNA on a fork “abandoned” in a public restaurant. The key move here is to argue that “publicity” is not transitive: Private (and so protected) facts may be extrapolated from the aggregation of individually public events or from high-tech analysis of public objects or information. As I argued in the previous post, Kyllo v. U.S. can be read to support this principle.

Several fascinating recent papers, however, have instead argued that the root of the trouble with current Fourth Amendment doctrine is the very idea that the prohibition on “unreasonable searches” must be viewed primarily through the lens of privacy. If we consider public surveillance camera networks, or some recent cases involving “dragnet” location tracking by law enforcement, I think we find that whatever intuitive unease we feel about the methods employed has less to do with a sense that the individual “right to privacy” of any particular person has been violated than with concerns about the government monitoring the citizenry as a whole in these ways. In his new paper “Fourth Amendment Pragmatism,” Daniel Solove therefore argues for a radical remedy: We should dispense entirely with an analysis that treats the violation of a “reasonable expectation of privacy”  as the sine qua non of a Fourth Amendment “search,” and instead “regulate whenever government information gathering creates problems of reasonable significance.”

Solove’s critique of the current approach is quite cogent: The “action” in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, so to speak, overwhelmingly surrounds the threshold question of whether a particular investigative technique counts as a Fourth Amendment “search,” and though the standard is supposed to be that “reasonable expectation of privacy,” the Court’s rulings on what falls within that ambit don’t match up terribly well with people’s actual expectations as revealed by the  limited empirical data we have. We end up with a largely binary system of regulation where (with a few exceptions) techniques classified as “searches” require the same full-blown probable cause warrant necessary to search a home—though the primary remedy for violations of the warrant requirement is the “exclusionary rule” prohibiting the introduction of improperly obtained evidence at criminal trial, which is not always the primary concern. Everything that doesn’t count as a “search,” on the other hand, is left wholly unregulated, at least by the federal Constitution—leaving our privacy in those contexts at the tender mercies of the Congress and state courts. As Solove argues, it would make more sense for the scope of the Fourth Amendment to be interpreted substantially more broadly, with the understanding that not every search rises to the level of requiring a full probable cause warrant to pass muster as “reasonable.”

Yet Solove’s proposed standard—”regulate whenever government information gathering creates problems of reasonable significance”—does not seem like much of a standard at all, and indeed, does not seem especially “pragmatic,” in at least a couple of ways. First, whatever the theoretically best interpretive strategy might be, it seems awfully unrealistic to expect the courts to simply jettison half a century of Fourth Amendment precedent wholesale. Nor, if we think predictability is an important component of the “rule of law,” would such a radical move be obviously desirable—though we could imagine a gradual transition to something closer to Solove’s approach via a series of narrower incremental rulings. Second, this doesn’t give lower courts much guidance when it comes town to decide cases involving particular sets of facts, either with respect to the scope question or the remedy question; it seems like an invitation to a national crazy-quilt of inconsistent judicial legislation. To understand what Solove means by “problems of reasonable significance,” we have to turn to his brilliant and nuanced “Taxonomy of Privacy,” which makes perceptive and subtle distinctions between a dizzying array different types of privacy harms. Nuance is certainly a scholarly virtue, but it’s at best a mixed blessing in legal rules. Solove’s schema is so sophisticated and complex that it seems bound to yield a wildly unpredictable series of ad hoc decisions based on a judge’s idiosyncratic sense of how to “balance” a welter of incommensurable values. Solove anticipates this objection, but his reply—that Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is already a farrago largely unmoored from the text of the Constitution, so this wouldn’t be any worse—is not exactly reassuring.

An alternative approach—more firmly anchored in the text of the Fourth Amendment, and yielding something more closely resembling a genuine standard—is offered by Yale’s Jed Rubenfeld in his article “The End of Privacy,” which I wrote about last year. Rubenfeld’s Big Idea is that we have ignored the crucial role of “security” in the Fourth Amendment. We’re now accustomed to arguments over the “tradeoff” between the competing values of “security” and the “privacy” protected by the Fourth Amendment, but by its own terms, the Fourth Amendment stipulates that “the right of the people to be secure…against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” We tend to read this, in effect, as simply saying that the right against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated—so that the words “people” and “secure” don’t end up doing any real work. But as Rubenfeld notes, “security” was actually a significant legal concept in the minds of the Framers—something free people enjoyed by contrast with the insecurity generated by arbitrary and discretionary government power. Returning to the question of informants, consider the type of insecurity experienced by East Germans under the Stasi, as illustrated in the magnificent film The Lives of Others. The effect of that kind of total surveillance state was not limited to those who were actually being informed upon or wiretapped, because the terrifying reality was that you could never be sure. Any call might be recorded; any friend or colleague or lover might actually be on the payroll of the secret police. This knowledge could wreak havoc on interpersonal intimacy and chill potential dissent even for those whose individual privacy was never actually invaded.

To think of the Fourth Amendment this way—as not exclusively about privacy, but about “the right of the people to be secure”—is necessarily to take a more architectural view of its protections. But Rubenfeld offers something closer to an applicable test: Rather than asking whether an individual reasonable expectation of privacy has been violated, we ask whether people would remain secure in their liberties if a particular search method were pervasive. If it would not, we ask what restrictions—such as requiring a probable cause warrant or “specific and articulable facts”—would sufficiently narrow the method’s application so as to leave reasonable citizens secure.

Rubenfeld’s approach, to be sure, is not without its own problems. But as technology increasingly enables mass, population-level monitoring by government, often making use of information that is not absolutely secret and private (because, for instance, it has been turned over to an array of commercial entities, even if no one business has all the information) it may be necessary to move beyond a view of the Fourth Amendment as strictly concerned with an individual privacy right. My right to privacy, after all, is something that can be infringed by any old person—not merely by the government. On the currently dominant view, then, the government violates privacy (and the Fourth Amendment) just in case it performs actions that would be privacy violations if conducted by anyone. Yet the Framers had good reason to be particularly concerned with the social implications of government information gathering. Those concerns had less to do with “privacy” as such than with the structural balance between personal autonomy and state control—considerations that could stand to loom much larger in our thinking about the Fourth Amendment.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/is-the-fourth-amendment-really-about-privacy/
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 13, 2010, 07:53:39 PM
The majority of human history, there wasn't much in the way of privacy. Hunter-gatherer tribes or agricultural villages, you were known and given the living conditions, most everything about at all times was seen/heard/smelled by those around you.

Only in recent times, in cities and suburbs with individual dwellings, did we develop a sense of privacy that we have now.

Were the 4th about "security", then why did the law enforcement of the time of the founders not have any restriction imposed on it by this concept?

The founders were accustomed to the redcoats kicking in doors to search without anything more the the authority of the crown. They imposed the 4th to insure that American law enforcement obtained a warrant from an independent magistrate prior to the door kicking. You'll note that they did not forbid search and seizure, just imposed standards that had to be met before it could be done.

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 13, 2010, 08:16:18 PM
Think you are missing some nuance lurking between "security" and "secure in their persons." I'm sorting though some of the links in the piece, but a fundamental question they seem to be circling is "can you be secure in your person if the government can correlate your email, cell phone, purchase history, vehicle, locational, data at their leisure and correlate it as they desire to demonstrate if a crime has been committed?" These days you need to be a secret squirrel type to do so. In the not so distant future it's gonna be possible for just about any police agency to do. When the day comes that they can I think a strong argument can be made that the people will no longer be secure in their persons.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 13, 2010, 08:24:07 PM
Law enforcement investigations have always been based on the correlating of information. There is a digital element today there wasn't in the past, but aside from the technology/forensic science, homicide investigations today are done much as they were when Jack the Ripper was stalking Whitechapel.
Title: Re: Privacy; the Internet is spying
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 13, 2010, 08:58:33 PM
Haven't had a chance yet to read today's posts yet but a preliminary skim indicates they seem worthy of a good focused read.  Indeed, the material therein could well belong on the Constitutional Law thread.  In that regard I would note the 9th Amendment's "all rights not otherwise enumerated etc" and submit the proposition that privacy was/is such an obvious concept that our Founding Fathers saw no need to mention it any more than the right of self-defense.  The analysis I saw proferred that privacy is limited to the 4th (which was the position held by Judge Bork until he was , , , borked) is one with which I disagree for the reasons I just gave.

If someone would like to move/continue this on the Constitutional Law thread we can continue it there.  It IS a very important subject.

Anyway, here's this:
===============

The internet is spying on you

Every time you go online, sophisticated data miners are tracking your every move. What do they know about you?

How to fight back against data miners




How frequently am I followed online?
Constantly. Your computer leaves a unique digital trail every time you visit a website, post a comment on a blog, or add a photo to your Facebook wall. A growing number of companies follow that trail to assemble a profile of you and your affinities. These profiles can contain shocking levels of detail—including your age, income, shopping habits, health problems, sexual proclivities, and ZIP code—right down to the number of rooms in your house and the number of people in your family. Although trackers don’t identify their subjects by name, the data they compile is so extensive that “you can find out who an individual is without it,” says Maneesha Mithal of the Federal Trade Commission.

How does the technology work?
The moment you land on a website, it installs a unique electronic code on your hard drive. Owners of websites originally placed “cookies,” the simplest such codes, on computers for users’ convenience, in order to remember things like the contents of online shopping carts. But a cookie placed by one site can also serve as a tracking device that allows marketers to identify an individual computer and follow its path on every Web visit. It’s like a clerk who sells you a pair of jeans at one store, then trails you around the mall, recording every store you visit and every item of clothing you try on. “Beacons” are super-cookies that record even computer keystrokes and mouse movements, providing another layer of detail. “Flash cookies” are installed when a computer user activates Flash technology, such as a YouTube video, embedded on a site. They can also reinstall cookies that have been removed. Such “persistent cookies,” says Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, make it “virtually impossible for users to go online without being tracked and profiled.”

Who’s doing the spying?
Marketers, advertisers, and those whose businesses depend on them. Most websites install their own cookies and beacons, both to make site navigation easier and to gather user information. (Wikipedia is a rare exception.) But third parties—advertisers and the networks that place online ads, such as Google and iAds—frequently pay site hosts to install their own tracking technology. Beacons are even sometimes planted without the knowledge of the host site. Comcast, for example, installed Flash cookies on computers visiting its website after it accepted Clearspring Technologies’ free software for displaying slide shows. Visitors who clicked on a slide show at Comcast.com wound up loading Clearspring’s Flash cookies onto their hard drives, which Comcast said it had never authorized.

How is personal data used?
It’s collected and sold by companies like Clearspring. Such information can be sold in large chunks—for example, an advertiser might pay $1 for 1,000 profiles of movie lovers—or in customized segments. An apparel retailer might buy access to 18-year-old female fans of the Twilight movie series who reside in the Sunbelt. “We can segment it all the way down to one person,” says Eric Porres of Lotame, which sells these profiles. Advertisers use the profiles to deliver individualized ads that follow users to every site they visit. Julia Preston, a 32-year-old software designer from Austin, recently saw how this works firsthand when she started seeing lots of Web ads for fertility treatments. She had recently researched uterine disorders online. “It’s unnerving,” she says.

Is all this snooping legal?
So far, yes. While an e-commerce site can’t sell to third parties the credit card numbers it acquires in the course of its business, the legality of various tracking technologies—and the sale of the personal profiles that result—has never been tested in court. Privacy advocates say that’s not because there aren’t abundant abuses, but because the law hasn’t kept pace with advancing technology. “The relevant laws,” says Lauren Weinstein of People for Internet Responsibility, an advocacy group, “are generally so weak—if they exist at all—that it’s difficult to file complaints.”

Can you avoid revealing yourself online?
Aside from abandoning the Internet altogether, there’s virtually no way to evade prying eyes. Take the case of Ashley Hayes-Beaty, who learned just how exposed she was when The Wall Street Journal shared what it had learned about her from a data miner. Hayes-Beaty’s computer use identified her as a 26-year-old female Nashville resident who counts The Princess Bride and 50 First Dates among her favorite movies, regularly watches Sex and the City, keeps current on entertainment news, and enjoys taking pop-culture quizzes. That litany, which advertisers can buy for about one-tenth of a cent, constitutes what Hayes-Beaty calls an “eerily precise” consumer profile. “I like to think I have some mystery left to me,” says Hayes-Beaty, “but apparently not.”

 

There are ways to minimize your exposure to data miners. One of the most effective is to disrupt profile-building by clearing your computer browser’s cache and deleting all cookies at least once a week. In addition, turning on the “private browsing” feature included in most popular Web browsers will block tracking technologies from installing themselves on your machine. For fees ranging from $9.95 to $10,000, companies like ReputationDefender can remove your personal information from up to 90 percent of commercial websites. But it’s basically impossible to eradicate personal information, such as property records and police files, from government databases. “There’s really no solution now, except abstinence” from the Internet, says Lt. Col. Greg Conti, a computer science professor at West Point. “And if you choose not to use online tools, you’re really not a member of the 21st century.”
Title: All Your Message are Belong to Us
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 27, 2010, 06:56:52 AM
U.S. Wants to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering innovation. And because security services around the world face the same problem, it could set an example that is copied globally.

James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had “huge implications” and challenged “fundamental elements of the Internet revolution” — including its decentralized design.

“They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet,” he said. “They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.”

But law enforcement officials contend that imposing such a mandate is reasonable and necessary to prevent the erosion of their investigative powers.

“We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts,” said Valerie E. Caproni, general counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “We’re not talking expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”

Investigators have been concerned for years that changing communications technology could damage their ability to conduct surveillance. In recent months, officials from the F.B.I., the Justice Department, the National Security Agency, the White House and other agencies have been meeting to develop a proposed solution.

There is not yet agreement on important elements, like how to word statutory language defining who counts as a communications service provider, according to several officials familiar with the deliberations.

But they want it to apply broadly, including to companies that operate from servers abroad, like Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry devices. In recent months, that company has come into conflict with the governments of Dubai and India over their inability to conduct surveillance of messages sent via its encrypted service.

In the United States, phone and broadband networks are already required to have interception capabilities, under a 1994 law called the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act. It aimed to ensure that government surveillance abilities would remain intact during the evolution from a copper-wire phone system to digital networks and cellphones.

Often, investigators can intercept communications at a switch operated by the network company. But sometimes — like when the target uses a service that encrypts messages between his computer and its servers — they must instead serve the order on a service provider to get unscrambled versions.

Like phone companies, communication service providers are subject to wiretap orders. But the 1994 law does not apply to them. While some maintain interception capacities, others wait until they are served with orders to try to develop them.

The F.B.I.’s operational technologies division spent $9.75 million last year helping communication companies — including some subject to the 1994 law that had difficulties — do so. And its 2010 budget included $9 million for a “Going Dark Program” to bolster its electronic surveillance capabilities.

Beyond such costs, Ms. Caproni said, F.B.I. efforts to help retrofit services have a major shortcoming: the process can delay their ability to wiretap a suspect for months.

Moreover, some services encrypt messages between users, so that even the provider cannot unscramble them.

There is no public data about how often court-approved surveillance is frustrated because of a service’s technical design.

But as an example, one official said, an investigation into a drug cartel earlier this year was stymied because smugglers used peer-to-peer software, which is difficult to intercept because it is not routed through a central hub. Agents eventually installed surveillance equipment in a suspect’s office, but that tactic was “risky,” the official said, and the delay “prevented the interception of pertinent communications.”

Moreover, according to several other officials, after the failed Times Square bombing in May, investigators discovered that the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, had been communicating with a service that lacked prebuilt interception capacity. If he had aroused suspicion beforehand, there would have been a delay before he could have been wiretapped.

To counter such problems, officials are coalescing around several of the proposal’s likely requirements:

¶ Communications services that encrypt messages must have a way to unscramble them.

¶ Foreign-based providers that do business inside the United States must install a domestic office capable of performing intercepts.

¶ Developers of software that enables peer-to-peer communication must redesign their service to allow interception.

Providers that failed to comply would face fines or some other penalty. But the proposal is likely to direct companies to come up with their own way to meet the mandates. Writing any statute in “technologically neutral” terms would also help prevent it from becoming obsolete, officials said.

Even with such a law, some gaps could remain. It is not clear how it could compel compliance by overseas services that do no domestic business, or from a “freeware” application developed by volunteers.

In their battle with Research in Motion, countries like Dubai have sought leverage by threatening to block BlackBerry data from their networks. But Ms. Caproni said the F.B.I. did not support filtering the Internet in the United States.

Still, even a proposal that consists only of a legal mandate is likely to be controversial, said Michael A. Sussmann, a former Justice Department lawyer who advises communications providers.

“It would be an enormous change for newly covered companies,” he said. “Implementation would be a huge technology and security headache, and the investigative burden and costs will shift to providers.”

Several privacy and technology advocates argued that requiring interception capabilities would create holes that would inevitably be exploited by hackers.

Steven M. Bellovin, a Columbia University computer science professor, pointed to an episode in Greece: In 2005, it was discovered that hackers had taken advantage of a legally mandated wiretap function to spy on top officials’ phones, including the prime minister’s.

“I think it’s a disaster waiting to happen,” he said. “If they start building in all these back doors, they will be exploited.”

Susan Landau, a Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study fellow and former Sun Microsystems engineer, argued that the proposal would raise costly impediments to innovation by small startups.

“Every engineer who is developing the wiretap system is an engineer who is not building in greater security, more features, or getting the product out faster,” she said.

Moreover, providers of services featuring user-to-user encryption are likely to object to watering it down. Similarly, in the late 1990s, encryption makers fought off a proposal to require them to include a back door enabling wiretapping, arguing it would cripple their products in the global market.

But law enforcement officials rejected such arguments. They said including an interception capability from the start was less likely to inadvertently create security holes than retrofitting it after receiving a wiretap order.

They also noted that critics predicted that the 1994 law would impede cellphone innovation, but that technology continued to improve. And their envisioned decryption mandate is modest, they contended, because service providers — not the government — would hold the key.

“No one should be promising their customers that they will thumb their nose at a U.S. court order,” Ms. Caproni said. “They can promise strong encryption. They just need to figure out how they can provide us plain text.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/us/27wiretap.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 27, 2010, 07:46:26 AM
What? Domestic al qaeda cells could no longer be sure their Skype conference calls are secure?  Outrageous!!!!   :roll:
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 27, 2010, 08:24:51 AM
Yeah, and those technical mavens in federal law enforcement get to tell private sector businesses what kind of holes they have to build into their networks at their expense. Nothin' could go wrong there.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 27, 2010, 09:10:58 AM

http://www.askcalea.net/

Question: What is the purpose of CALEA?

Answer:

The purpose of CALEA is to preserve the ability of law enforcement to conduct electronic surveillance in the face of rapid advances in telecommunications technology. Further details can be found at H.R. Rep. No. 103-827, 103d Cong., 2d Sess.(1994), reprinted in 1994 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3489

Question: Who must be CALEA-compliant?

Answer:

All telecommunications carriers as defined by Section 102(8) of CALEA.  Basically, this includes all entities engaged in the transmission or switching of wire or electronic communications as a common carrier for hire.

Question: What is "call-identifying information?"

Answer:

Section 102(2) of CALEA defines call-identifying information as "dialing or signaling information that identifies the origin, direction, destination, or termination of each communication generated or received by a subscriber by means of any equipment, facility, or service of a telecommunications carrier."

Question: What is "call content?"

Answer:

Defined in 18 U.S.C. 2510(8) it is an intercept "when used with respect to any wire or electronic communications, includes any information concerning the substance, purport, or meaning of that communications."

Question: What is a "safe harbor" under CALEA?

Answer:

Section 107(a)(2) of CALEA contains a "safe harbor" provision, stating that "[a] telecommunications carrier shall be found to be in compliance with the assistance capability requirements under Section 103, and a manufacturer of telecommunications transmission or switching equipment or a provider of telecommunications support services shall be found to be in compliance with Section 106 if the carrier, manufacturer, or support service provider is in compliance with publicly available technical requirements or standards adopted by an industry association or standard-setting organization, or by the FCC under subsection (b), to meet the requirements of Section 103."

Question: What CALEA responsibilities do telecommunications equipment manufacturers have?

Answer:

Under CALEA, a manufacturer of telecommunications transmission or switching equipment and a provider of telecommunications support services shall, on a reasonably timely basis and at a reasonable charge, make available to the telecommunications carriers using its equipment, facilities, or services such features or modifications as are necessary to permit such carriers to comply with the assistance capability requirements and the capacity requirements.

The FBI has implemented a reimbursement strategy that will allow many telecommunications carriers to receive CALEA software at no charge for certain high priority switching platforms. Under nationwide right-to-use (RTU) license agreements, the Government pays for the development of CALEA software solutions for certain high priority switching platforms. This allows carriers to receive CALEA software at a nominal charge for equipment, facilities, or services installed or deployed now and in the future.

To date, the FBI has signed agreements with AG Communications Systems, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel Networks, and Siemens AG for technical solutions developed to meet the assistance capability requirements of CALEA.  When considered in total, these agreements result in software solutions being available for the vast majority of law enforcement's priority, pre-January 1, 1995 switches.

Frequently Misunderstood Questions

On March 17, 2004, we published a press release regarding our joint petition.

Q: Does the petition for CALEA rulemaking propose to apply CALEA to all types of online communication, including instant messaging and visits to websites?

A: No. The petition proposes CALEA coverage of only broadband Internet access service and broadband telephony service. Other Internet-based services, including those classified as "information services" such as email and visits to websites, would not be covered.

Q: Does the petition propose extensive retooling of existing broadband networks that could impose significant costs?

A: No. The petition contends that CALEA should apply to certain broadband services but does not address the issue of what technical capabilities those broadband providers should deliver to law enforcement. CALEA already permits those service providers to fashion their own technical standards as they see fit. If law enforcement considers an industry technical standard deficient, it can seek to change the standard only by filing a special "deficiency" petition before the Commission. It is the FCC, not law enforcement, that decides whether any capabilities should be added to the standard. The FCC may refuse to order a change in a standard on many different grounds. For example, a capability may be rejected because it is too costly. Therefore CALEA already contains protections for industry against paying undue compliance costs.


Q: Did law enforcement ask the FCC to curtail its usual review process to implement the petition?

A: No. Law enforcement asked the FCC to give the proposed rulemaking expedited treatment. Such treatment is often requested and granted when urgent matters are brought to the FCC's attention. Some FCC rulemaking proceedings can take years to complete. Law enforcement believes expedited treatment is warranted in this case based on evidence that terrorists, criminals, and/or spies are already exploiting the networks of broadband communication providers to evade lawful electronic surveillance.

Q: Is Law enforcement trying to dictate how the Internet should be engineered to permit whatever level of surveillance law enforcement deems necessary?

A: No. Law enforcement does not seek the power to dictate how the Internet should be engineered or even to decide how broadband communications networks should be engineered. As explained above, CALEA already allocates those decisions to industry and any resulting capability disputes between industry and law enforcement are decided by the FCC. Moreover, the level of surveillance is not an issue raised in the petition, is not within the scope of CALEA, and is not decided by law enforcement. Based on a statute known as "Title III," before a law enforcement agent or officer is permitted to engage in lawful electronic surveillance, he or she must seek an appropriate court order from a judge or magistrate. Only if a judicial order is issued can the lawful surveillance take place, and the level of surveillance is prescribed by the order.


Q: Does the petition ignore the letter or spirit of CALEA's "information services" exemption by seeking to apply CALEA to such services?

A: No. The petition notes that CALEA contains a definition of "telecommunications carrier" that is different from and broader than the definition of that term in the Communications Act, which governs most FCC actions. The petition therefore asks the FCC to decide the scope of CALEA coverage based on the CALEA definition, not the Communications Act definition. As a result, some carriers classified as "information service" providers for purposes of the Communications Act would be simultaneously deemed "telecommunications carriers" for purposes of CALEA.

Q: Would the petition force carriers to decode data that might be encrypted?

A: No. The petition does not raise the issue of encryption. That issue is already addressed by CALEA. The statute states that if encryption is provided by a telecommunications carrier and the carrier possesses the information necessary to decrypt the communication, it must decrypt the communications subject to an order for lawful interception. But if the encryption is provided by a subscriber or customer, the carrier is not responsible for decrypting the targeted communications.
Title: An Insecure Internet
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 27, 2010, 09:16:36 AM
And here's CATO's initial take. Hadn't heard that Greek and Chinese exploits are thought to have initiated through suveilance designed portals:

Designing an Insecure Internet

Posted by Julian Sanchez

If there were any doubt that the 90s are back in style, witness the Obama administration’s attempt to reignite the Crypto Wars by seeking legislation that would force Internet services to redesign their networks and products to provide a centralized mechanism for decrypting user communications. It cannot be stressed enough what a radical—and terrible—idea this is.  I’ll be writing on this at greater length this week, but a few quick points.

First, while the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) already requires phone and broadband providers to build in interception capacity at their network hubs, this proposed requirement—at least going on the basis of the press description, since there’s no legislative text yet—is both broader and more drastic. It appears that it would apply to the whole panoply of online firms offering secure communication services, not just big carriers, imposing a greater relative burden. More importantly, it’s not just mandating that already-centralized systems install a government backdoor. Rather, if I understand it correctly, the proposal would insist on a centralized (and therefore less secure) architecture for secure communications, as opposed to an end-to-end model where encryption is handled client-side. In effect, the government is insisting on the right to make a macro-design choice between competing network models for thousands of companies.

Second, they are basically demanding that providers design their systems for breach. This is massively stupid from a security perspective.  In the summer of 2004, still unknown hackers exploited surveillance software built in to one of Greece’s major cell networks to eavesdrop on high government officials, including the prime ministers. The recent hack of Google believed to originate in China may have used a law-enforcement portal to acquire information about dissidents. More recently, we learned of a Google engineer abusing his access to the system to spy on minors.

Third, this demand has implications beyond the United States. Networks designed for interception by U.S. authorities will also be more easily tapped by authoritarian governments looking to keep tabs on dissidents. And indeed, this proposal echoes demands from the likes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that their Blackberry system be redesigned for easier interception. By joining that chorus, the U.S. makes it more difficult for firms to resist similar demands from unlovely regimes.

Finally, this demand highlights how American law enforcement and intel agencies have been circumventing reporting requirements designed to provide information on this very problem. As the Crypto Wars of the 90s drew to a close, Congress amended the Wiretap Act, which creates strong procedural protections when the government wants to use intrusive electronic surveillance, to add a requirement that agencies report each instance in which they’d encountered encryption.  The idea was to get an objective measure of how serious a problem this posed. The most recent report, however, cited only one instance in which encryption was encountered, out of 2,376 wiretap orders. Why, then, are we now being told encryption is a huge problem? Almost certainly because law enforcement and intelligence agencies aren’t using the Wiretap Act to intercept electronic communications—preferring, instead, to avail themselves of the far more lax standards—and spare reporting requirements—provided by the Stored Communications Act.  It’s always easier to claim you need sweeping new powers from Congress when you’ve managed to do an end-run around the provisions Congress put in place to keep itself informed about how you’re using your existing powers, after all.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/designing-an-insecure-internet/
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 27, 2010, 09:50:50 AM
More importantly, it’s not just mandating that already-centralized systems install a government backdoor. Rather, if I understand it correctly, the proposal would insist on a centralized (and therefore less secure) architecture for secure communications, as opposed to an end-to-end model where encryption is handled client-side. In effect, the government is insisting on the right to make a macro-design choice between competing network models for thousands of companies.

**Uh, no, not according to the first article you posted.**

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 27, 2010, 09:59:29 AM
http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/calea/

CALEA COMPLIANCE - SOME BASIC INFORMATION

Pursuant to CALEA, industry is generally responsible for setting CALEA standards and solutions. Unless a party files a special petition pursuant to CALEA section 107(b), the Commission does not get formally involved with the compliance standards development process. CALEA also does not provide for Commission review of manufacturer-developed solutions. Entities subject to CALEA are responsible for reviewing the Commission's regulations and analyzing how this regulation applies per their specific network architecture.

A telecommunications carrier may comply with CALEA in different ways. First, the carrier may develop its own compliance solution for its unique network. Second, the carrier may purchase a compliance solution from vendors, including the manufacturers of the equipment it is using to provide service. Third, the carrier may purchase a compliance solution from a trusted third party (TPP). See CALEA Second Report and Order at para. 26. To contact TPPs, carriers may conduct an Internet search using such key words as "CALEA compliance" and "CALEA compliance help," or any combination that will yield a display of TPPs.

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 27, 2010, 11:58:08 AM
Quote
First, the carrier may develop its own compliance solution for its unique network.

Which impacts the little guys a lot more than the big, statist, companies.

What do you make of the claim that out of 2,376 wiretap orders, only one had to contend with encryption? Are we inventing a lot of infrastructure to deal with a rare occurrence?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 27, 2010, 12:12:42 PM
If it's not much of an issue at the moment (If), how long do we wait after it's determined to be an issue?

Do you see any problem requiring a telecommunication provider to able to comply to a lawfully issued title III warrant?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 27, 2010, 12:18:41 PM
Nope. Just don't like bureaucrats building in unsecure backdoors into stuff that have been exploited already. Actually expect the NSA already has this stuff well in hand, the question is now how far down the law enforcement food chain these capabilities creep.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on September 27, 2010, 12:28:40 PM
If this legislation works as CALEA has in the past, it's not a matter of bureaucrats building a backdoor into systems, just requiring the telecom provider to be able to comply with a title III warrant.
Title: POTH editorial
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 05, 2010, 09:16:58 AM
In a landmark 1967 case, the Supreme Court ruled that evidence from a wiretap on a phone booth was obtained unconstitutionally. Despite the public nature of a phone booth, the tap violated the defendant’s privacy under the Fourth Amendment. “Wherever a man may be,” the court explained, “he is entitled to know that he will remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Fast forward to today, when courts are wrestling with the question of whether new technology requires them to think differently about what is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

In August, three judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (two conservatives, one liberal) ruled unanimously — and correctly — that police violated the Constitution when they hid a GPS device on a person’s car and tracked his every move without a valid warrant. That person, Antoine Jones, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute crack and cocaine based on the tracking of his Jeep for four weeks.

The way to define what was reasonable for Mr. Jones to regard as private, the court said, is by focusing on what was unreasonable for law enforcement to consider public. “The whole of one’s movements over the course of a month is not constructively exposed to the public,” Judge Douglas Ginsburg said, adding that it “reveals an intimate picture of the subject’s life that he expects no one to have — short perhaps of his spouse.”

Last week, the Justice Department asked the whole court to rehear the case. The government relies heavily on one precedent. In 1983, the Supreme Court said it was legal for police to use a beeper without a warrant to track a suspect on public roads. The argument was dubious: The suspect’s movements were visible and anyone could have gleaned what the police did without the beeper’s help, so he had no reasonable expectation of privacy.

The government now contends that replacing the beeper with a GPS makes no difference because surveillance of Mr. Jones was on public roads as well. Two other appeals courts in the past three years have accepted that argument. In one, the opinion was written by Richard Posner, among the most respected federal judges.

He got it wrong. Judge Ginsburg got it right: “The difference is not one of degree but of kind.” He also said that, in the Supreme Court case, the justices “distinguished between the limited information discovered by use of the beeper — movements during a discrete journey — and more comprehensive or sustained monitoring.” The justices left for another day whether 24/7 surveillance should be regulated by another legal principle.

That day is here. Digital technology raises questions about differences between cyberspace and the physical world, which most search-and-seizure laws deal with. In showing why a powerful advance in technology calls for significantly greater protection of privacy, the three-judge panel provided an important example of how the law can respond to new circumstances.
Title: Re: Privacy, GPS tracking
Post by: DougMacG on October 05, 2010, 10:50:17 AM
Tracking the movement of a crack dealer by law enforcement makes perfect sense... except for that small detail, 'without a warrant'.

Whatever the police reasons were, they needed to run it by a judge first, otherwise they could be tracking any one of us on suspicion rather than probable cause. 
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 05, 2010, 11:31:04 AM
Ok, you are are a LEO tasked with counterterrorism duties. A friendly european law enforcement agency tips you to a resident of your city. They believe that the individual in question is running multiple AQ cells in both the US and europe. They either do not have or are not willing to share the evidence that makes them believe this. How do you get a warrant to place this person under surveillance?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 05, 2010, 12:31:06 PM
We don't! We throw out the Bill of Rights and go all Jack Bauer on his a$$!

What did I win?  :-D
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 05, 2010, 12:37:37 PM
Be sure to let me know when you come up with a valid argument.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 05, 2010, 12:45:22 PM
**Oh look, a case that was initiated by a tip from the brits. No throwing out of the bill of rights or Jack Bauer antics required to make a case. I bet lots of surveillance by the FBI was involved, however.**

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Two Chicago Men Charged in Connection with Alleged Roles in Foreign Terror Plot That Focused on Targets in Denmark

Two Chicago men have been arrested on federal charges for their alleged roles in conspiracies to provide material support and/or to commit terrorist acts against overseas targets, including facilities and employees of a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005, federal law enforcement officials announced today. There was no imminent danger in the Chicago area, officials said, adding that the charges are unrelated to recent terror plot arrests in Boston, New York, Colorado, Texas and central Illinois.

The defendants charged in separate criminal complaints unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago are David Coleman Headley, 49, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, also known as Tahawar Rana, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI. The complaints remained under seal temporarily after the defendants’ arrests, with court approval, so as not to compromise further investigative activity.

Headley, a U.S. citizen who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006 and resides primarily in Chicago, was arrested on Oct. 3, 2009, by the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) at O’Hare International Airport before boarding a flight to Philadelphia, intending to travel on to Pakistan. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts involving murder and maiming outside the United States and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to that overseas terrorism conspiracy.

Rana, a native of Pakistan and citizen of Canada who also primarily resides in Chicago, was arrested on Oct. 18, 2009, at his home by federal agents. Rana is the owner of several businesses, including First World Immigration Services, which has offices on Devon Avenue in Chicago, as well as in New York and Toronto. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorism conspiracy that involved Headley and at least three other specific individuals in Pakistan.

Both men have been held in federal custody since each was arrested. If convicted, Headley faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for conspiracy to murder or maim persons abroad, while Headley and Rana each face a maximum of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism.

On Oct. 18, 2009, JTTF agents executed search warrants in connection with the investigation at four locations: Headley’s and Rana’s residences on the north side of Chicago, Rana’s immigration business in Chicago, and a farm he owns in Kinsman, Ill., approximately 80 miles southwest of Chicago, which is used to provide halal meat for Muslim customers, as well as a grocery store in Chicago.

According to both complaints, since at least late 2008 until Oct. 3, 2009, as part of the conspiracy to murder and maim persons abroad, Headley allegedly identified and conducted surveillance of potential targets of a terrorist attack in Denmark on two separate trips to Denmark in January and July 2009, and reported and attempted to report on his efforts to other conspirators in Pakistan. As part of the conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism, Rana allegedly helped arrange Headley’s travels overseas and conceal their true nature and purpose to surveil potential terror targets overseas, and discussed potential targets for attack with Headley.

Headley allegedly reported and attempted to report on his overseas surveillance to other conspirators, according to the affidavits, including:

Ilyas Kashmiri, identified as the operational chief of the Azad Kashmir section of Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI), a Pakistani-based terrorist organization with links to al Qaeda. Kashmiri, who is presently believed to be in Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region in northwestern Pakistan, issued a statement this month that he was alive and working with al Qaeda;

"Individual A" (who is identified as Individual A in the Headley affidavit and as Individual B in the Rana affidavit), who is associated with Kashmiri, as well as with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), another Pakistani-based terrorist organization;

an individual identified as "Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A" (LeT Member A), who has substantial influence and responsibility within the organization and whose identity is known to the government.

"The public should be reassured that there was no imminent danger in the Chicago area. However, law enforcement has the duty to be vigilant to guard against not just those who would carry out attacks here on our soil but those who plot on our soil to help carry out violent attacks overseas. I wish to express my deep appreciation to the FBI agents and other members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force for their extremely hard work on this matter," said Mr. Fitzgerald.

"The criminal complaints unsealed today have exposed a serious plot against overseas targets by two Chicago-based men working with Pakistani-based terrorist organizations.  Information developed during this investigation was shared with our foreign partners as we worked together to mitigate these threats. This case is a reminder that the threat posed by international terrorist organizations is global in nature and requires constant vigilance at home and abroad," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

"This investigation demonstrates the well-established relationships that we have with our law enforcement partners, both foreign and domestic. We work closely with state, local and federal law enforcement agencies in the United States, as well as with our overseas partners, to identify and disrupt threats here and abroad," said Mr. Grant.

According to the affidavits in both cases, Headley at times has claimed to be a consultant with or representative of Rana’s business, First World Immigration Services, but appears to perform little if any actual work for the business. In addition, Headley’s apartment in Chicago is leased to an individual who is deceased. Despite his apparent lack of financial resources and substantial employment, Headley has traveled extensively since the second half of 2008, including multiple trips to Pakistan and various countries in Europe. Postings to an internet group for graduates of a military school in the Pakistani town of Hasan Abdal (a group that refers to itself as "abdalians"), reflect that both Rana and Headley have participated in the group and referred to their attendance at that school.

The Denmark Project

Beginning in late 2008, Headley corresponded extensively with Individual A and LeT Member A regarding what they referred to in coded communications as the "Mickey Mouse Project," "mmp," and "the northern project," according to the affidavit. The Mickey Mouse Project allegedly involved planning for one or more attacks at facilities and employees of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper that in 2005 published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, to which many Muslims took great offense. In October 2008, Headley allegedly posted a message to the "abdalians" internet discussion group stating that "I feel disposed towards violence for the offending parties," referring to the Danish cartoonists and others who he identified "as making fun of Islam."

Using coded language, Rana, Headley, Individual A and LeT Member A allegedly have referred to this plot, as well as discussions of other targets, as "investments," "projects," "business," and "action," and have described their hopes for success both in terms of receiving religious awards, as well as getting "rich," "richer," and making "profit." Between August 2008 and Dec. 7, 2008, Headley sent multiple email messages from internet addresses located in Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, the charges allege. On Dec. 7, 2008, just before traveling from Pakistan to the United States that same day, Headley alleged used one of multiple email accounts to store a detailed list of items for himself, which he titled "Mickey Mouse." Included on the list (contained in the affidavits) were the following items:

Route Design (train, bus, air)

Cross (Cover Authenticator)

Trade? Immigration?

Ad? (Lost Luggage) (Business) (Entry?)

Kings Square (French Embassy)

...

Counter surveillance (magic eye)

...

Security (armed)?

In January 2009, Headley traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Rana allegedly arranged portions of his travel. During the trip, Headley allegedly visited two different offices of the Jyllands-Posten — in Copenhagen and Arhus, Denmark. The Copenhagen office is located in Kings Square near the French Embassy. Headley falsely told Jyllands-Posten employees that he was visiting on behalf of First World Immigration Services, which he said was considering opening offices in Denmark and might be interested in advertising the business in the newspaper. While in Denmark, Headley instructed Rana to be alert for an email from a Jyllands-Posten sales representative, and to ask First World’s Toronto and New York offices to "remember me," in case a newspaper representative called. According to the complaints, Rana corresponded from Chicago with a representative of the Jyllands-Posten by email in which he pretended to be Headley.

After visiting Denmark, Headley traveled to Pakistan to meet with Individual A. During this visit, Headley traveled with Individual A to Pakistan’s FATA region and met with Kashmiri. Before returning to Chicago in June 2009, Headley sent his will to Rana and Rana responded by sending a coded message establishing a new email account, the complaint alleges.

In July and August 2009, Headley exchanged a series of emails with LeT Member A, including an exchange in which Headley asked if the Denmark project was on hold, and whether a visit to India that LeT Member A had asked him to undertake was for the purpose of surveilling targets for a new terrorist attack. These emails reflect that LeT Member A was placing a higher priority on using Headley to assist in planning a new attack in India than on completing the planned attack in Denmark. After this time, Headley and Individual A allegedly continued focusing on the plan with Kashmiri to attack the newspaper, rather than working with LeT, the complaint alleges.

In late July 2009, Headley traveled again to Copenhagen and to other locations in Europe, and Rana again arranged portions of his travel. When Headley returned to the United States, he falsely told border inspectors that he was traveling on business as a representative of First World Immigration, although his luggage contained no papers or other documents relating to First World.

After returning to Chicago in August 2009, Headley allegedly used coded language to repeatedly inquire if Individual A had been in touch with Kashmiri regarding planning for the attack, and expressing concern that Individual A’s communications with Kashmiri had been cut off. In early September 2009, Headley and Rana took a lengthy car ride during which they discussed the activities of the other individuals, including past terrorist acts, and Headley discussed with Rana five actions involving targets that expressly included "Denmark." In conversations with Rana and Individual A in August and September 2009, Headley indicated that if the "doctor" (alleged to be a reference to Kashmiri) and his people were unable to assist, then Headley would perform the planned operation himself.

In September 2009, after initial press reports indicated that Kashmiri had been killed in a drone attack in Pakistan, Headley and Individual A allegedly had a series of coded conversations in which they discussed the reports of Kashmiri’s death and what it meant for the projects they were planning. Individual A sought to reassure and encourage Headley, telling him, among other things, that "[t]his is business sir; these types of things happen." On Sept. 20, 2009, Headley allegedly told a family member words to the effect that he had spoken to Rana and they agreed that "business must go on."

In a Sept. 21, 2009, telephone conversation, Individual A indicated to Headley that Kashmiri was alive and "doing well." In a subsequent conversation on Sept. 30, 2009, Individual A again assured Headley that Kashmiri, whom he referred to as "Pir Sahib," was "absolutely all right" and had not gotten "married," which was code for being killed. Headley asked Individual A if it was possible to now have a meeting with Kashmiri and Individual A responded that Kashmiri "just today, was asking about you" (Headley).

According to the affidavit, Headley stated in conversations last month that he intended to travel to Pakistan in early October to meet with Individual A and Kashmiri, and he was arrested on Oct. 3 as he prepared to board a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia, intending to travel on to Pakistan. During a search of Headley’s luggage, a memory stick was recovered that contained approximately 10 short videos of Copenhagen, including video focused on the Jyllands-Posten building in King’s Square taken both during the day and night, as well as a nearby Danish military barracks and the exterior and interior of Copenhagen’s central train station, consistent with the checklist he stored which mentioned "route design." In addition, Headley had an airline reservation, allegedly made by Rana, to fly from Atlanta to Copenhagen on Oct. 29, 2009.

The investigation is continuing and is being conducted by the Chicago FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, with particular assistance from the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police and the Department of Homeland Security.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Collins and Vicki Peters from the Northern District of Illinois, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that a criminal complaint contains mere allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 05, 2010, 01:51:54 PM
**See, here is how it works: Law enforcement gets a tip to criminal activity. This tip is NOT probable cause. It may be valid, it may not. So you watch the suspects, looking for evidence of a crime or crimes. If you find sufficient evidence of a crime to reach the level of probable cause, you can THEN get search/arrest warrants.**

http://www.times-herald.com/Local/Four-arrested--money-cash-vehicles-guns-seized-during-drug-raid-1094161

Four arrested; money, cash, vehicles, guns seized during drug raid

By Alex McRae

The Times-Herald

Weeks of undercover surveillance paid off Sunday afternoon when a raid on a Highway 16 East residence by members of the Coweta Crime Suppression Unit resulted in four drug-related arrests and the seizure of weapons, vehicles, cash and methamphetamine valued at $300,000, according to Maj. James Yarbrough of the Coweta County Sheriff's Office.

"We've been watching these suspects for a while," Yarbrough said, "Sunday afternoon it finally paid off. We're glad to get these drugs off the street."

Members of the Crime Suppression Unit had been watching the residence at 3395 Highway 16 E. in Sharpsburg for more than two months, according to Sgt. Pat Lyons of the CSU.

Three individuals resided at the home: Charles Robert Stroup, 46; Stroup's daughter, Kassandra Lee Stroup, 23; and Karen Lanell Cary, 37, described as Charles Stroup's girlfriend.

The surveillance began after authorities received an anonymous tip that led them to believe drug-related activities were taking place. Heavier than normal vehicle traffic was observed during the surveillance, and CSU officers were able to get a search warrant issued for probable cause before Sunday's bust and seizure.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 05, 2010, 03:00:23 PM
Quote
Be sure to let me know when you come up with a valid argument.

Wow, a valid argument for respecting the Bill of Rights as envisioned by the Constitution's Framers. Hmm, I'll have to think on that.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 05, 2010, 03:06:44 PM
Please point out the part of the constitution that forbids police from surveilling suspects to determine if there is evidence of a crime.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 05, 2010, 03:48:20 PM
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Van Clark SHERMAN, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 92-30067.

 7

C. The district court admitted a videotape of the drug transaction which occurred on a mountain pass near Helena, Montana. Although Sherman wasn't present at the transaction, and therefore wasn't featured in the tape, he argues the surveillance violated the Fourth Amendment and the Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1986 (Title I). Sherman's Title I claim fails, because Title I doesn't regulate silent domestic video surveillance. United States v. Koyomejian, 970 F.2d 536, 540-41 (9th Cir.) (en banc), cert. denied, 113 S.Ct. 617 (1992). Such surveillance is, however, subject to the dictates of the Fourth Amendment. Id. at 541.
8

Although the parties frame the question as Sherman's ability to assert the privacy rights of his coconspirators who appear in the videotape, we don't decide the standing issue because we conclude none of them had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The transaction took place in plain view in a public place along a highway. Everything that was captured by the camera could just as easily have been seen by a person hiding in the trees where the camera was located. "Videotaping of suspects in public places ... does not violate the fourth amendment; the police may record what they normally may view with the naked eye." United States v. Taketa, 923 F.2d 665, 677 (9th Cir.1991); cf. United States v. Broadhurst, 805 F.2d 849, 855-56 (9th Cir.1986) (no reasonable expectation of privacy in translucent greenhouse, because activities are observable by planes and helicopters).
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 05, 2010, 05:14:52 PM
UNITED STATES, Petitioner
v.
Leroy Carlton KNOTTS.

No. 81-1802.

Argued Dec. 6, 1982.

Decided March 2, 1983.

Having reason to believe that one Armstrong was purchasing chloroform to be used in the manufacture of illicit drugs, Minnesota law enforcement officers arranged with the seller to place a "beeper" (a radio transmitter) inside a chloroform container that was sold to Armstrong. Officers then followed the car in which the chloroform was placed, maintaining contact by using both visual surveillance and a monitor which received the beeper signals, and ultimately tracing the chloroform, by beeper monitoring alone, to respondent's secluded cabin in Wisconsin. Following three days of intermittent visual surveillance of the cabin, officers secured a search warrant and discovered the chloroform container, and a drug laboratory in the cabin, including chemicals and formulas for producing amphetamine. After his motion to suppress evidence based on the warrantless monitoring of the beeper was denied, respondent was convicted in Federal District Court for conspiring to manufacture controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the monitoring of the beeper was prohibited by the Fourth Amendment.

Held: Monitoring the beeper signals did not invade any legitimate expectation of privacy on respondent's part, and thus there was neither a "search" nor a "seizure" within the contemplation of the Fourth Amendment. The beeper surveillance amounted principally to following an automobile on public streets and highways. A person traveling in an automobile on public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements. While respondent had the traditional expectation of privacy within a dwelling place insofar as his cabin was concerned, such expectation of privacy would not have extended to the visual observation from public places of the automobile arriving on his premises after leaving a public highway, or to movements of objects such as the chloroform container outside the cabin. The fact that the officers relied not only on visual surveillance, but on the use of the beeper, does not alter the situation. Nothing in the Fourth Amendment prohibited the police from augmenting their sensory faculties with such enhancement as science and technology afforded them in this case. There is no indication that the beeper was used in any way to reveal information as to the movement of the chloroform container within the cabin, or in any way that would not have been visible to the naked eye from outside the cabin. Pp. 280-285.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on October 05, 2010, 09:47:56 PM
Going back a couple of steps in this argument... I wrote regarding the placing of a GPS device on a crack dealer that they should get a warrant, with probable cause, "otherwise they could be tracking any one of us on a suspicion... "

GM replied with a question relating to counter-terrorism.  But I am with GM on that.  Whether by Patriot Act or new legislation if needed, I support going further to prevent an act like blowing up a city, than we would under criminal law or defendant rights.  The loophole in the 4th is the word "unreasonable" searches and seizures.  I posted previously that if I had dialed by accident or inadvertently bumped into one of bin Laden's henchmen I would expect and welcome the idea that some federal surveillance might be on me until my good name and the misunderstanding got cleared up. 

Preventing a crack deal from taking place doesn't rise to that level.  Probable cause seems like a fitting test to authorize a hidden device planted on the subject of a tip or suspicion, as you would need to enter their home.

Reading the US v. Knotts appeal at http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F2/662/515/416444/ I found: "On February 28, 1980, Minnesota agents delivered to the Hawkins Chemical Company a can of chloroform in which a beeper had been placed with the company's consent." The authorities were following a product they corrupted with permission, as it changed hands a couple of times to a suspected illegal use, not directly tracking a person under suspicion. I'm not sure how that that affected the decision but 'with the company's consent' seemed to be a relevant point in the facts. 

US v. Knotts is supportive of GM's argument to a point but I can't say I agree with the decision if it truly means the right to plant a GPS tracking device on a citizen without probable cause.

I wonder how a beeper of 1980, presumably a short range device of limited accuracy, compared with "using binoculars to enhance your field of vision" is analogous to planting a GPS device for satellite and computer based tracking indefinitely, based on (any?) 'reason to believe', short of probable cause. Assume I am found to be innocent, who owns the device hidden on me, do they sneak in again and take it back, inform me I am no longer under suspicion, or leave it on me for others to track me?  Does it contain metal and go off when I enter the airport or government center?  Did I have a reasonable expectation of that?  Or will they use the GPS that was required to be implanted in my phone for (reasonable expectation of) 911 services only.

Likewise with On-Star.  The listening device is already planted in the vehicle and it transmits over public airwaves.  The courts I believe require a warrant issued before the provider will switch on the listening capability for law enforcement. Even in all my attempts to be law abiding, I think still I will stay away from that technology.

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 06, 2010, 06:13:34 AM
Doug,

The relevant aspects of the caselaw that I posted are that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public areas. Just as a cat can look at a king, so can a cop. Using technological devices to assist in viewing the subject in public areas is no different than an agency like the FBI using teams of surveillance specialists and aircraft to track a suspect's movements through public spaces.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 06, 2010, 07:14:58 AM
As stated repeatedly, I have no problem with "retail" policing, that is policing where probable cause goes before a judge, a warrant is issued, terms abided by, and so on. What I object to is wholesale privacy invasions such as tracking locational data, data mining, camera surveillance, etc. where harvested data is put together to establish probable cause rather than some prerequisite act being required to enable the invasions of privacy outlined above.

As to the scenario that's lead to this thread, I expect you are acquainted with instances where information provided by a snitch has proved to be false; your pal Radley Balko has documented a lot of instances where incorrect or overstated drug "tips" have lead to shooting injuries and deaths. Information, moreover, can also be wrong with no malevolent intent involved. It really ought to take more that a few whispers to subject an American citizen to the kinds of scrutiny that can be unleashed these days, and it scares me greatly that the closeted Marxists at the helm today have access to surveillance tools that have been shown to have been casually applied by others.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 06, 2010, 07:51:20 AM
As stated repeatedly, I have no problem with "retail" policing, that is policing where probable cause goes before a judge, a warrant is issued, terms abided by, and so on. What I object to is wholesale privacy invasions such as tracking locational data, data mining, camera surveillance, etc. where harvested data is put together to establish probable cause rather than some prerequisite act being required to enable the invasions of privacy outlined above.

**Crimes, especially ongoing criminal conspiracies are often covertly structured to avoid scrutiny. By your standard, unless the mafia is leaving a body in your front yard, they should be ignored by law enforcement. Right?**

As to the scenario that's lead to this thread, I expect you are acquainted with instances where information provided by a snitch has proved to be false;

**Yes, which is why you INVESTIGATE any allegations made of criminal acts. This is why you are required to corroborate the information given by an informant and seek evidence of criminal acts to be presented to a judge to obtain a search/arrest warrant.**

 your pal Radley Balko has documented **You mean distorted/exaggerated/falsified**


a lot of instances where incorrect or overstated drug "tips" have lead to shooting injuries and deaths. Information, moreover, can also be wrong with no malevolent intent involved.

**Again, this is why you INVESTIGATE. People do supply incorrect information to police, sometimes with ill intent, sometimes by honest error. Either way, as as a LEO, you are morally/legally/ethically required to perform an investigation in a fair and impartial manner, which will ultimately be strictly scrutinized by a judge and jury.**

It really ought to take more that a few whispers to subject an American citizen to the kinds of scrutiny that can be unleashed these days

**It does. People that knowingly provide false information to law enforcement are usually criminally charged themselves. Major case investigations are costly in time, money and resources and all these are in especially short supply these days. They aren't undertaken lightly, and certainly not without corroboration of the initial complaint.**


, and it scares me greatly that the closeted Marxists at the helm today have access to surveillance tools that have been shown to have been casually applied by others.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 08, 2010, 09:33:52 AM
Quote
**Crimes, especially ongoing criminal conspiracies are often covertly structured to avoid scrutiny. By your standard, unless the mafia is leaving a body in your front yard, they should be ignored by law enforcement. Right?**

That's silly and you ought to know it. My concern is with wholesale invasions of privacy that hope to net criminals or information about their crimes when filtering through all the data. There is no way of knowing what is scooped up by wholesale operations--as I keep pointing out--won't be used inappropriately down the line. Despots have a long history of doing just that.

Quote
**Crimes, especially ongoing criminal conspiracies are often covertly structured to avoid scrutiny. By your standard, unless the mafia is leaving a body in your front yard, they should be ignored by law enforcement. Right?**

Yet one doesn't have to look too hard to find instances where investigated information leads to an incorrect door being kicked in.

Quote
**You mean distorted/exaggerated/falsified**

Others disagree. List members are invited to make up their own minds viewing the data shown here: http://www.cato.org/raidmap/

Quote
**Again, this is why you INVESTIGATE. People do supply incorrect information to police, sometimes with ill intent, sometimes by honest error. Either way, as as a LEO, you are morally/legally/ethically required to perform an investigation in a fair and impartial manner, which will ultimately be strictly scrutinized by a judge and jury.**

Yet as the map above attests, investigations lead to bad results. Or don't municipalities regularly pay out for wrongful deaths and injuries resulting from police activity?

I don't think we will ever resolve this disagreement between us GM, so I'm not sure how much more energy I'll put in to trying. You ultimately think that political administrations and the LEOs they hire can be trusted with fairly easy access to broad tools that are incredibly invasive, while I can't find a time in history where that kind of power wasn't grossly misused on a wholesale level. I hope you are right, and fear that I am.

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 08, 2010, 09:59:34 AM
You can't un-invent technology. If a government is oppressive, exactly how will some law or policy regarding the use of technology stop it from doing so?



Yet one doesn't have to look too hard to find instances where investigated information leads to an incorrect door being kicked in.


And there are civil and criminal liabilities related to the incorrect door being kicked in. Aside from the structural disincentives already present, what else would you do? To have a rule of law, laws must be enforced.



Others disagree. List members are invited to make up their own minds viewing the data shown here: http://www.cato.org/raidmap/


Note that the website you link to is the creation of Radley Balko, who will not let the truth get in the way of his anti-law enforcement agenda.

Or don't municipalities regularly pay out for wrongful deaths and injuries resulting from police activity?

In our litigious society, it's often the strategy to pay to settle suits rather than litigate them, no matter how much the suit might lack merit.




Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 08, 2010, 10:03:20 AM
GM, BBG:

Although your conversation may be without resolution, for me it most certainly has merit and I hope the two of you will continue.  There is much for the rest of us to learn from it.

The Adventure continues!
Marc
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 08, 2010, 11:49:28 AM
http://patterico.com/2009/07/29/balko-utterly-demolishes-a-few-arguments-that-jack-dunphy-and-i-never-made/

Oh look, Radley Balko not letting the truth get in the way of his agenda. Shocking.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 08, 2010, 02:44:41 PM
Quote
You can't un-invent technology. If a government is oppressive, exactly how will some law or policy regarding the use of technology stop it from doing so?

Straw man as I'm not arguing for that. Rather I'm arguing that invasive technologies only be applied in an accountable, retail manner rather than in a poorly accountable wholesale manner. We don't know what laundry the NSA sifts through. We do know the FBI is applying the Patriot Act in a manner that most citizens and most assuredly this nation's founders would take issue with. This trend is one worth resisting.

Quote
And there are civil and criminal liabilities related to the incorrect door being kicked in. Aside from the structural disincentives already present, what else would you do? To have a rule of law, laws must be enforced.

The argument grows circular here. You posit robust surveillance tools are required by law enforcement. I rejoin that these tools are ones that could be easily misused. You reply that rigorous rules and oversight prevent that from occurring. I bring up instances where that was not the case. You want to know what I'd suggest instead. I respond that strict accountability, retail rather than wholesale use, and a strong civil libertarian ethic would greatly reduce the chance of misuse. Alas, a strong civil libertarian ethic prevents police from using all the tools in the box when they want to and the circle starts again.

Quote
In our litigious society, it's often the strategy to pay to settle suits rather than litigate them, no matter how much the suit might lack merit.

Or stonewall when plenty of merit is there. I've already mentioned the Maryland mayor who was mistakenly raided, his dogs shot, while his head, his wife's and his mother's got kneeled on. That police chief is still swearing up and down that he'd make the same decisions if the same set of circumstances presented themselves today. Fool. Then there is a case in Sunrise, Florida where a police department that sounds pretty shady by several accounts I've read shot and killed a guy who had just fallen asleep after his restaurant shift. A small amount of marijuana was recovered, the informant he made the dead guy sound like a big dealer sounds pretty shady, while discovery has been thwarted at every turn. But hey, we live in the day of Google; click on one of the dots on the map then sniff around for yourself. Bet it wont take too long for most list member to find a case that makes them shake their head in disgust.

Quote
Oh look, Radley Balko not letting the truth get in the way of his agenda. Shocking.

Wow, and peeps who warble at each other on the internets disagree when quoting the other. Will wonders never cease?

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 08, 2010, 03:03:46 PM
The reason we know that some FBI agents haven't complied with the required documentation in some cases? Because the DOJ OIG investigated and published it's findings. I'm pretty sure that's what you would call oversight.

Exactly what surveillance tools are you objecting to?

The FBI works lots of public corruption cases. If there are indications of corrupt law enforcement agencies, they often get lots of attention from the feds. The NOPD springs to mind as an example.

Radley Balko uses inflammitory press clippings in the same way gun control groups do. Ohhhh, that gun is an "assault rifle" because it has a flash hider and folding stock! Oh, that Mini-14 is ok because it has a wooden stock. There is no legal difference between a LEO in a class b uniform, BDUs and external vest or "soft clothes". Graham v. Connor is still the legal standard for the use of force, no matter what a LEO is wearing or what use of force tools are used.

Title: Law Enforcement vs. Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on October 08, 2010, 03:59:50 PM
Like Crafty expressed, I am enjoying the contention (in a sort of painful way) between our rights to be left alone and our rights to have crime and corruption rooted out as necessary.

I am thankful for a couple of stings the FBI did within Minneapolis City Hall a few years back that shook up some of the corruption that festers when you have single party rule.  I am thankful for 19 al Qaida related arrests they made before I had to do with any of these people on a tenant application, though I know none of the facts so far.  I am thankful the IRS, after a couple of swings at me, determined that I am mostly a law abiding citizen and definitely a small fish unworthy of very much of their time.  They can be far more abusive than local police or FBI IMO.  I am thankful that my own small town on the outskirts of the metro has never had a rape, murder, abduction or armed robbery that i know of.  Leaves our fraction of a LEO very free to observe lumens from taillights and important matters like that.

Most of what is wrong in this country has to do with excessive laws, not excessive enforcement.  Little things like saying the houses have to be the same height and the same distance from the street piss me off more than current drug dealer and murder investigation techniques.

Every new law passed and every GPS bug planted, judge or no judge, should be with the understanding that most of us are innocent and want to be left alone.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 08, 2010, 05:50:30 PM
I can tell you that as someone that has spent the vast majority of my adult life working in some aspect of the criminal justice system, the vast majority of men and women in law enforcement are good people who go out to do the right thing for the right reasons.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 08, 2010, 06:22:33 PM
Doug,

A lot of seriously bad people get arrested as the result of traffic stops for very minor traffic offenses. If you look at the stats for wanted felons arrested every year, state troopers tend to have the highest rates. Not because of special units that chase wanted felons, but sheer numbers of traffic stops. The more contacts, the better your odds of grabbing someone who really needs to go into custody. Dirtbags tend to not maintain their cars, stolen vehicles often have certain tell-tale signs as well. So living in a place where the local cops do lots of traffic tends to deter the criminal element from that area.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 08, 2010, 06:47:07 PM
http://americansecurityproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Foiled-Plots.pdf

Key Findings
There is no silver bullet for thwarting terrorist attacks. Few of the terror plots thwarted after 9/11 were disrupted using a single, clearly identifiable method. Many of the plots were discovered through a combination of happenstance, allowing authorities to take advantage of what were, in essence, lucky breaks; diligent police work; foreign law enforcement cooperation; civilian-provided intelligence; and other means, none of which can be clearly identified as having been the most critical to thwarting an attack. Since it is difficult to determine objectively what has prevented terrorist attacks since 9/11, attempts to state definitively which piece of information or counterterrorism measure led to the disruption of a given terrorist network or plot must be treated with a degree of skepticism.
Post-9/11 counterterrorism measures—including the PATRIOT Act and amended FISA surveillance provisions, unlawful combatant designations, indefinite detentions, and the use of torture techniques—have been instrumental in thwarting attacks in only a small number of cases. There has been considerable speculation that post-9/11 counterterrorism provisions have been instrumental in preventing many or all of the terrorist attacks thwarted since 9/11.3 This report finds,

however, that the law enforcement techniques, detention and interrogation procedures, and legislative measures adopted after 9/11 demonstrably contributed to thwarting attacks in only five cases, or less than one-sixth of the total number of foiled attacks. The fact that intelligence and law enforcement officials often closely guard specific details of counterterrorism investigations makes it impossible to definitively claim that the use of techniques and legal provisions enacted after 9/11 has not contributed significantly to a larger number of post-9/11 counterterrorism successes. It is also critical to note, however, that there has been little clear evidence demonstrating that they have. In March 2009, for example, FBI director Robert Mueller stated that roving wiretaps had been obtained 147 times after 9/11.4 However, authorities identified roving wiretaps as having been used to disrupt only one terrorist plot.

Counterterrorism investigations leading to thwarted attacks have drawn heavily on traditional law enforcement techniques. A plurality of the post-9/11 terrorist plots were disrupted using traditional law enforcement techniques—specifically physical surveillance, undercover agents, and confidential informants—to obtain information on terror suspects and their attack plans. Though in some cases these techniques have been modified to take into account new developments in communication technology (e.g., monitoring internet chat rooms and jihadist websites), the techniques employed in the majority of thwarted attacks have been in keeping with those used in criminal investigations before 9/11.

Citizens’ vigilance and luck have played a fairly significant role in thwarting attacks. In approximately 21% of the cases examined, civilians’ proactive involvement (either through direct action or provision of intelligence) and simple happenstance that worked to the authorities’ advantage were significant factors in plots being discovered or disrupted. This does not suggest that direct or indirect civilian action can or should be relied upon as a means of thwarting attacks. Nor does it imply that successful counterterrorism is primarily a matter of luck. It does, however, underscore the complex range of factors and circumstances that contribute to preventing attacks and the danger inherent in uncritically reducing counterterrorism successes to an explicit validation of any one policy or tool.

International cooperation remains vital. In several cases foreign intelligence and law enforcement cooperation—including the provision of intelligence and making arrests—was instrumental in dismantling terror plots. Though this is hardly a new phenomenon, Umar Farouk Abdumutallab’s use of international transfer points to reach his final attack site highlights the increasing importance of international cooperation when terrorist conspirators live, plan, and operate in multiple international jurisdictions where the United States might have a limited presence or reach. Cooperation has also become especially important in light of the fact that terrorists increasingly conspire to attack targets in the United States and abroad simultaneously, as with the attempted liquid explosives attack and Dhiren Barot’s multiple international plots. This trend underscores the importance of making real-time communication and deconfliction of national and agency priorities paramount.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 09, 2010, 11:13:08 PM
http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/legal-division/podcasts/hot-issues-podcasts/hot-issues-transcripts/gps-tracking-transcript.html

Miller: How else might GPS be help to a law enforcement officer? I mean, could they track people with it?

Hodges: Yeah, and I think that’s the thrusts of where we want to go. And here’s how tracking works. Officers can take a GPS receiver and covertly attach it to a vehicle. The receiver is set up to at particular, pre-set, pre-determined intervals. It calculates its location and remembers it. That data is recorded and then later on the officers can download that information from the device, put it on a computer and display when and where the vehicle was. It can even show a vehicles particular route, speed and the life.

More sophisticated installations are going to have equipment that will immediately translate the location through a cell phone on another wireless connection and officers can stand back and live track the vehicle either through a notebook computer that receives a cell phone signal or I’ve seen set ups where officers back in their offices or maybe even cross country can all track the same vehicle at the same time and we call that live tracking.

Miller: It’s got to have some limitations; it can’t be all perfect.

Hodges: Nothings perfect and there are both technical and some legal implications. Now obviously the departments are going to have to obtain the equipment and I recommend that they get proper training from the manufacture on how to use it. There’s also a course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center called the Covert Electronic Tracking Program and you can go to the same FLETC website without the legal part and you can sign up for that course or get information about it.

Another limitation with GPS is that current technology requires that satellite antenna or the GPS satellite antenna be exposed, so it’s able to see the sky. If it can’t see the sky, it can’t get a satellite signal. If the receiver, or more accurately, if the receiver antenna’s at a place where it can’t do that like a parking garage or a heavily forested area then GPS won’t work or if it does it’s going to be severally limited.

Miller: There’s also there’s got to be some legal implications.

Hodges: There always is. It’s our friend the 4th Amendment that comes back again. It’s all about REP, reasonable expectations of privacy. I think the easiest way to look at this is to have somebody who wants to do a GPS installation and use it for tracking, that officer should ask himself or herself three questions. First, do I need to intrude into a REP area to get to the vehicle to install the equipment? Second question is do I need to intrude into the vehicle’s REP to install the equipment? And the third question is will the officer be tracking a vehicle as it moves into a REP area? So, if the answer to any of those three questions is yes, then we are going to need a warrant. If the answer to all three of those questions is no, then we don’t need a warrant.

Before we get too far into the details, let me say that this Podcast deals with federal law. State law can differ and some of the differences are outlined in that webpage article that we talked about earlier.

Miller: Well let’s take a look at that first question, location of the vehicle at the time of the installation. Tell me a little bit about that.

Hodges: Well you and Jenna Solari have covered this already in your 4th Amendment Podcast series. And the way it goes is this; if the vehicle is located in an area where there’s REP, such as on a curtilage, the officers are going to need a warrant to get into the REP area to install the equipment. On the other hand, if the vehicle is parked out on a public road, a parking garage or even a road in a gated community there is no intrusion into REP to get that to the um vehicle.

I would add that most federal cases hold that there is no REP in ordinary driveways leading up to a residence, but I would certainly recommend an officers speak to their AUSA before doing an warrant less installation on a vehicle that’s parked in an owners driveway.

Miller: Okay, let’s look at that second question, now REP on the vehicle.

Hodges: Right. In some cases all the GPS tracking equipment can be installed on the exterior of the vehicle and we’re not having to intrude in the vehicle’s interior or the trunk or taping into the vehicle’s wiring. In that case there is no intrusion into a REP area because there’s no REP as to the exterior of a vehicle. If officers do have to go into interior of the vehicle or the trunk or tap into the vehicle’s wiring, they we are going to have an intrusion into a REP area and then a warrant is going to be required.

Miller: Now you told me that you can use this GPS system to actually track the vehicle. Correct?

Hodges: That’s right.

Miller: Talk to me about this, this third issue location of the vehicle in terms of where it might move.

Hodges: Now, federal law does not require a warrant to GPS monitor a vehicle as it moves over public roads and highways. If you are going to go tracking in public roads or highways I should say if you’re going to track in a REP area then a warrant is required. Usually this last factor isn’t very important in GPS tracking and that’s because GPS doesn’t work indoors and most REP areas for a vehicle is going to be in some covered area like a garage or a large warehouse complex. If you get into RF tracking that would be a different matter but we’re not talking about RF tracking today, we’re just talking about GPS.

Miller: Okay, you covered a lot of information. Can you, can you review these three questions please?

Hodges: Yep, I think that’s a good idea. First question is do I need to intrude into a REP area to get to the vehicle to install the equipment? Second, do I need to intrude into the vehicle’s REP to install the equipment; and third, will the officer be tracking the vehicle as it moves into a REP area? And again the math on this is pretty simple. If the answer to all of the questions is no, then under federal law I don’t need a warrant. If the answer to any of the three questions is yes, then I am going to going to need a warrant.

Miller: Hey, does Title III wire taps have anything to do with this tracking device?

Hodges: Tim, it doesn’t. In fact, Title III specifically excludes tracking devices from its coverage.
Title: Privacy, Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on October 10, 2010, 01:05:44 PM
GM, This article is very helpful to understand their thinking and the criteria they use.  It answers one of my questions regarding the planting of the device.  I disagree slightly with their thinking.

If my private car is parked in a public location or close to the street in my driveway and someone without permission is seen climbing under it to attach something to it, pipe bomb, etc,  my reasonable expectation is that if law enforcement saw them, attaching, removing, tampering, whatever, they would arrest them, not be the ones planting or removing the device.

Planting a device and capturing (partially) private data goes IMO way beyond the comparison in the court case to aiding physical vision with binoculars.  In the case of Knotts/Armstrong, the FBI in fact planted the device with permission to the supplier and it was the supplier of the chemical that betrayed the trust of the suspect in the interest of preventing his product from being used for criminal activity.  Personally I see a distinction though I couldn't tell if the court did.

To the layman it seems like a small but important step to go from convincing the chief of police or FBI superviser, that a specific crime is so likely (probable) that it 'warrants' such a bold action, to convincing a judge of probable cause.  The difference is a tighter legal standard and having the review done by a somewhat neutral third party.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 10, 2010, 01:11:59 PM
Law enforcement officers are empowered to do things that others are not. A non-LEO cannot serve a search warrant/arrest warrant or obtain a title III warrant to wiretap a suspects phone or drive a vehicle far in excess of posted limits legally.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on October 10, 2010, 01:23:49 PM
http://volokh.com/2009/12/13/does-the-fourth-amendment-prohibit-warrantless-gps-surveillance/

IV. Why the Knotts/Karo Line Is a Reasonable One

Some readers may be thinking, “But wait, Knotts is wrong!” As a result, they may want the courts to do anything that helps limit Knotts or even plant the seeds of its overruling. That raises the more fundamental question of whether the future Supreme Court should stick with Knotts/Karo or adopt a different rule.

To answer this, it help to see Knotts and Karo as examples of a recurring question of Fourth Amendment law: How to adapt the inside/outside distinction in light of new technologies? As I argue in this article, the inside/outside distinction is the basic building block of the Fourth Amendment. Surveillance of open spaces does not trigger the Fourth Amendment, while surveillance that breaks into enclosed spaces does. This dividing line ordinarily gives the government the power to investigate open spaces but not enclosed ones. The key question is how or whether to apply this line when technology changes: If technology allows greater surveillance, should the Supreme Court move the Fourth Amendment line accordingly? Karo and Knotts update the old line in a way that retains the basic inside/outside distinction. The cases look to whether the information collected reveals information about the inside of the home or what is happening outside, treating the locating device as a virtual person who either enters the home or stays outside it.

I think that’s a reasonable choice, as it aims for technology neutrality. It’s the basic approach I advocate in applying the Fourth Amendment to the Internet. It’s not perfect, of course. In my view, it should also be supplemented by statutory privacy laws to regulate the use of GPS devices, much like existing statutory privacy law presently regulates location information for cell phones. Statutory privacy laws have the advantage of flexibility: They could adopt a mid-level standard such as “reasonable suspicion” to regulate GPS surveillance and deter abuses, something that is much harder to get from the Fourth Amendment (which ordinarily requires a warrant).

Finally, if you reject Knotts and the inside/outside line, you need to come up with a replacement. It’s easy to say that you think the Fourth Amendment should regulate GPS surveillance. But it’s much harder to come up with a general view as to how the Fourth Amendment should regulate public surveillance and then situate the case of GPS within it. It’s not impossible, but it’s much harder. It’s especially difficult for a group of Justices to agree on another line that could operate with a reasonable degree of clarity in a range of cases over time. So while Knotts/Karo do not provide the only line the Court could follow, I think they do offer a reasonable one.
Title: FBI terrorism stings
Post by: G M on October 10, 2010, 01:36:08 PM
**Should law enforcement engage in proactive terrorism investigations or wait to do post-blast investigations?**

http://abcnews.go.com/US/fbi-arrests-terrorists-sting-operations-dallas-springfield/story?id=8666300

The FBI concluded two sting operations in the last two days that culminated with the arrests of a pair of terrorism suspects who believed they would be blowing up buildings in Dallas and Springfield, Ill.

Although not connected, officials say the FBI and Justice Department had to coordinate the timing of the two cases so that arrests would not cause suspects to get cold feet with their intention to conduct their operations.

Today, shortly after noon in Dallas, FBI agents swooped in on Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, who allegedly placed what he believed to be explosives in a car bomb near Fountain Place in downtown Dallas. Smadi, 19, a resident of Italy, Texas, is a citizen of Jordan and was in the U.S. illegally.

FBI agents became aware of Smadi on Internet chat rooms. According to an FBI affidavit filed by Thomas Petrokowski, head of a counterterrorism squad in the FBI's Dallas field office, "Smadi stood out, based on his vehement intention to actually conduct terror attacks in the United States."

Just 24 hours earlier, FBI agents in Springfield, Ill., arrested and charged Michael Finton with attempted murder, after he planted what he thought was a one-ton bomb outside Springfield's federal courthouse. Finton, aka Talib Islam, drove a van that he believed was carrying nearly a ton of explosives and parked it in front of the courthouse. Then, the FBI says, Finton "got out of the van," according to court documents and jumped into another car and dialed a cell phone to remotely detonate the bomb.

Finton's arrest was a sting operation, the explosives were fake. Finton was arrested and has been appointed a lawyer from the federal defenders office in Springfield. In Washington Thursday, David Kris, the assistant attorney general for the National Security Divsion, said of Finton's case, "Fortunately, a coordinated undercover law enforcement effort was able to thwart his efforts and ensure no one was harmed,"

Suspect Monitored on Internet Vowing Attacks

On chat rooms and jihadist Internet forums, Smadi consistently stated his commitment to attacks and violent jihad. According to the affidavit, after Smadi repeated these comments, an FBI undercover employee made contact with the young Jordanian and had about 10 communications with him. "During those interactions, Smadi made clear his intention to serve as a solider for [Osama] bin Laden and [al Qaeda], and to conduct violent jihad," according to the FBI affidavit.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on October 11, 2010, 07:29:34 AM
The techniques that I would consider reasonable to extract information from a known terrorist to disrupt a planned, major terror act are far too graphic to post on this family friendly site.  I would distinguish anything to do with mass murder, genocide or suicide bombing from the rules of criminal law enforcement as we once knew it.  Besides the casualties of the act and the terror infliction on society, it is not possible to punish the suicide bomber after the fact.
Title: Why I don't have a smart phone
Post by: G M on October 15, 2010, 04:28:19 PM
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/25891/?p1=A4

Note that this is all private industry.
Title: Everything to be stored by Brit govt
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 22, 2010, 10:38:08 PM
Telegraph UK: Every Email And Website To Be Stored By Brit Government

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Every email, phone call and website visit is to be recorded and stored after the Coalition Government revived controversial Big Brother snooping plans. '

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolog...overnment.html
Title: Alert Radley Balko!
Post by: G M on October 23, 2010, 09:45:27 AM
**US Gov't uses Big Brother tactics on poor undocumented immigrants just trying to make a living.**

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/10/18/ST2010101806011.html?sid=ST2010101806011

Their surveillance effort captured more than 50,000 calls over six months, conversations that reached deep into Mexico and helped build a sprawling case against 43 suspects - including Mexican police and top officials - allegedly linked to a savage trafficking ring known as the Fernando Sanchez Organization.

According to the wiretaps and confidential informants, the suspects plotted kidnappings and killings and hired American teenage girls, with nicknames like Dopey, to smuggle quarter-pound loads of methamphetamine across the border for $100 a trip. To send a message to a rival, they dumped a disemboweled dog in his mother's front yard.

But U.S. law enforcement officials say the most worrisome thing about the Fernando Sanchez Organization was how aggressively it moved to set up operations in the United States, working out of a San Diego apartment it called "The Office."

At a time of heightened concern in Washington that drug violence along the border may spill into the United States, the case dubbed "Luz Verde," or Green Light, shows how Mexican cartels are trying to build up their U.S. presence.

The Fernando Sanchez Organization's San Diego venture functioned almost like a franchise, prosecutors say, giving it greater control over lucrative smuggling routes and drug distribution networks north of the border.

"They moved back and forth, from one side to the other. They commuted. We had lieutenants of the organization living here in San Diego and ordering kidnappings and murders in Mexico," said Todd Robinson, the assistant U.S. attorney who will prosecute the alleged drug ring next year.

The case shows that as the border becomes less of an operational barrier for Mexican cartels, it appears to be less of one for U.S. surveillance efforts. Because the suspects' cellphone and radio traffic could be captured by towers on the northern side of the border, U.S. agents were able to eavesdrop on calls made on Mexican cellphones, between two callers in Mexico - a tactic prosecutors say has never been deployed so extensively.
ad_icon

Captured on one wiretap: a cartel leader, a former homicide detective from Tijuana, negotiating with a Mexican state judicial police officer about a job offer to lead a death squad.

Recorded on other calls: the operation's biggest catch, Jesus Quinones Marquez, a high-ranking Mexican official and alleged cartel operative code-named "El Rinon," or "The Kidney." As he worked and socialized with U.S. law enforcement officials in his role as international liaison for the Baja California attorney general's office, Quinones passed confidential information to cartel bosses and directed Mexican police to take action against rival traffickers, prosecutors say.

He and 34 other suspects are now in U.S. jails. The remaining eight are still at large.

Investigators say it is not unusual for Mexican cartel leaders and their underlings to move north to seek refuge, or place representatives in such cities as Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta to manage large deliveries of drugs. But the Fernando Sanchez Organization was more ambitious. It was building a network in San Diego, complete with senior managers to facilitate large and small drug shipments and sales.
Title: Faraday your phone
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 31, 2010, 10:23:09 AM
I'm not familiar with this site, but saw this mentioned elsewhere:

http://www.itstactical.com/2010/10/19/carry-a-cloaking-device-for-your-cell-phone-anywhere-you-go/
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Vicbowling on November 01, 2010, 09:58:21 AM
It is total surveillance the the US government is pushing for. Your phone calls, emails and faxes haven't been private for years. Why would you expect your online surfing habits to be off limits? The child pornography thing is just an excuse to keep tabs on a lot of other stuff. You can install fancy
home security systems (http://www.alarm.com/) but so much about you is already in the public realm that even if your possessions aren't compromised your identity and personal information likely already is. Also, there is a big push in Washington to censor the Internet. Check this out: http://www.zeropaid.com/news/91177/chamber-of-commerce-claims-growing-support-for-filtering-the-web/

EDITED TO ADD From Marc/Crafty:  The link here has been reported by one of our members as a "malicious" website.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 02, 2010, 01:42:52 PM
How is the US gov't pushing for total surveillance? Please cite your source.
Title: CA Office of Privacy Protection
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 02, 2010, 03:02:59 PM
In general, this thread-- in particular, your posts :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

Tangentially related: 

The Office of Privacy Protection
www.privacyprotection.ca.gov

Haven't had a chance to look at it yet.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 02, 2010, 03:07:41 PM
My posts clearly define the legal restrictions involved in various forms of investigation as a counterpoint to the often hysterical sloganeering on the topic.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 02, 2010, 03:23:20 PM
GM:  It was an effort at humor, denotedby the presence of this symbol:    :lol:
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 02, 2010, 03:28:08 PM
Okay.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 03, 2010, 08:02:08 AM
It all depends on the "reasonable expectation of privacy". If something is encrypted and does not involve the transmission of the protected data to a second party, then a warrant would most likely be required to seize it as evidence. Even then, things like banking records are most likely going to require a search warrant.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 03, 2010, 08:36:02 AM
Is that only if the "evidence" is to be usable in a prosecution, or does that cover "sneak a peek" stuff too?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 03, 2010, 08:50:59 AM
"sneak a peek" ?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 05, 2010, 08:55:00 AM
I thought it a recognized phrase, but the gist of it is the idea that they can take a look but cannot use what they find as evidence because there was no warrant.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 05, 2010, 09:51:29 AM
If you as a peace officer were to breach into an area covered under "reasonable expectation of privacy" without legal authorization, you open yourself up to criminal prosecution and civil liability.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 05, 2010, 03:11:37 PM
So, if someone were to tap a phone line without permission, what would happen?  Certainly any intel obtained or evidence derived therefrom would be inadmissable as evidence, but what else would actually happen?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 05, 2010, 03:22:39 PM
Felony prosecution, imprisonment. In my state, some years back a retired state trooper was elected sheriff. He decided that he wanted to target some local alleged drug dealer with illegal wiretaps. The illegal taps were discovered, the sheriff was prosecuted and went to prison as a result. In Nevada, some years back, a NDI Agent and a DEA agent were discovered by other DEA agents engaging in illegal wiretaps. They were prosecuted and convicted of violating the federal wiretap statutes.
Title: Sneak and peek
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 05, 2010, 04:12:10 PM
Aha!  Found this:

http://www.law.uga.edu/academics/profiles/dwilkes_more/37patriot.html
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 05, 2010, 04:34:18 PM
Covert/delayed notification search warrants as well as covert entries to install title III wiretaps are legally authorized acts.
Title: Covert Entry Search Warrants
Post by: G M on November 05, 2010, 05:16:34 PM
http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/legal-division/podcasts/hot-issues-podcasts/hot-issues-transcripts/covert-entry-search-warrants-transcript.html/?searchterm=search%20warrant

Covert Entry Search Warrants (podcast transcript)

Solari: Hi. This is Jenna Solari from the FLETC Legal Division. I’m here today with Mr. Keith Hodges, also from the Legal Division to talk to you about some more legal tools for your investigative tool box. Mr. Hodges, let’s talk about covert entry search warrants as provided in the USA Patriot Act. Now I’m pretty sure I’ve also heard these referred to as sneak and peek warrants. Can you start us off with a little background about these?

Hodges: Sure. The USA Patriot Act amended or added a lot of provisions to the US Code. One of the amended provisions was 18 US Code §3103a concerning procedural requirements when executing search warrants. Now you remember from your training that after you execute a search warrant we have to leave a return. The amendment permits officers, with a magistrate’s approval, to delay providing a return on the results of a search. Covert entry warrants have been around for a long time and the value of the Patriot Act is that it now provides specific statutory authority to use them.

Solari: Well I think you’ve already given me a little bit of a preview, but how specifically does a covert entry search warrant differ from a regular search warrant?

Hodges: That’s a killer question. Covert entry warrants are exactly the same as a regular warrant, except that with a covert entry warrant, the officers request, and the magistrate can authorize, a delay in providing a return to the subject of the search and that return as we’ve already said, advises the subject of the search that a search was conducted and if evidence is taken from the search, what evidence was taken. Now, the officers still have to convince a magistrate there’s probable cause to search and they must still execute and serve a return. But the main difference of a covert entry warrant and a traditional search warrant is that there’s a delay in providing a return to the target of the search.

Solari: Well it seems like that the provision then would be primarily useful in an investigation where the officers don’t want to tip off the subject of the search.

Hodges: Jenna, that’s exactly its value. If officers immediately execute a return, the subject will know he is the target of an investigation. And when that happens, the defendant will have a chance to destroy evidence that was not discovered, and he may tip off his criminal partners, flee the jurisdiction, threaten witnesses or otherwise possibly jeopardize the investigation.

Solari: Well that makes sense then. Now why the nickname, why have some commentators called covert entry warrants sneak and peeks?

Hodges: I’ll tell you it’s not necessarily an inaccurate description. A covert entry warrant comes in two types. In the first type, agents can enter the target’s home, look around, take pictures, go through files, hop on the computer to look at emails or data, and make copies of what’s seen. The scope of their looking around will be based on the facts in the affidavit and what the magistrate approves. In this type of covert entry warrant, the agents are not authorized to seize anything. So, a sneak and peek is not a bad way to characterize this type of covert entry warrant. In the other types of covert entry warrants, the officers are specifically allowed to seize evidence that’s listed in the warrant.

Solari: Well now how would the officers know which type of warrant they have? In other words, how do they know whether they can seize evidence?

Hodges: Well it depends on whether the officers asked the magistrate to seize evidence, and the justification provided to the magistrate that requested the cover entry warrant. Now a magistrate can authorize a delay in return notification if reasonable cause is shown that providing immediate notification of the search will have an adverse result. If that’s all that’s shown, in other words, all the officers have is reasonable cause; the officers can only get a sneak and peek. They can’t seize evidence. If however it’s shown that there’s a reasonable necessity for a seizure of evidence, then the magistrate can authorize not only the entry and a delay in the return, but also the seizure of evidence.

Solari: Alright, well let’s back up one second. You just said that if the agents can show a potential adverse result from notification then they can get a sneak and peek warrant. Now what is an adverse result, and could you give me some examples?

Hodges: Sure. That term is defined in 18 US Code §2705. An adverse result means that if the officers provide an immediate return after execution of the warrant that immediate return might endanger someone’s life or physical safety, or it might cause flight from prosecution by the bad guys notifying their confederates, it may result in the tampering or destruction of evidence, or result in the intimidation of potential witnesses, or otherwise seriously jeopardize an investigation or unduly delay a trial. This provision that provides us the authority to delay giving notification is a really valuable tool and if you think you’re going to go in and you need to execute a search warrant especially, a sneak and peek just to look around, and don’t want to tip off the confederates this is the tool to use.

Solari: This sounds like a great tool. Now how long the return could be delayed?

Hodges: Well for as long as the judge decides, and the statute also allows for extensions. It all depends on what facts are provided to the magistrate and what the magistrate decides to do.

Solari: Alright, so again just sort of grounded in reasonableness I guess. Now because this provision is in the USA Patriot Act, there’s gotta be a catch, so is it fair to say that this search warrant, this sneak and peek, has to somehow be connected to a terrorism investigation?

Hodges: Well as you well know, many Patriot Act provisions are terrorism-related, but not this one. While certainly useful in terrorism investigations, covert entry warrants can be used whenever officers can articulate an adverse result and the judge approves the covert entry warrant. It doesn’t have to be a terrorism investigation.

Solari: So just to be clear then, a magistrate could under the right circumstances approve a covert entry warrant in a fraud case that has nothing to do with terrorism?

Hodges: Yes, exactly. For example, if I have a probable cause that Joe is engaged in a fraud scheme with several other persons and that evidence of that scheme is located in his house, I might request a covert entry warrant to look around to determine the scope of the fraud, who are the actual or future fraud victims, where the proceeds of the fraud are being concealed, and very importantly, who the co-conspirators are. By using the covert entry warrant, I can see the evidence without tipping off criminal associates and causing them to flee or destroy evidence.

Solari: That’s a really powerful tool. Now in some public reporting, we’ve had people argue pro and con certain provisions of the Patriot Act. I think I’ve heard these warrants actually described by some of the people on the con side as nothing more than legalized burglary. Can that fairly be said to be an accurate description of sneak and peek warrants?

Hodges: I kind of like it, but I would tend to emphasize the word “legalized,” which would further mean there is no burglary; and I have read those claims and there are three things that opponents to covert entry warrants want to ignore. First, while the statutory provision wasn’t codified until 2001, these warrants have been around and used by the courts for a long, long time. Secondly, I think the operative word in “covert search warrant” is warrant. Like any search warrant, it has to be approved by a magistrate and supported by probable cause. And as we discussed earlier, the only difference between a covert entry and garden variety search warrant is that an immediate return - that immediate notification after execution of the warrant - is not required and the notification can be delayed. And finally is that for a covert entry warrant to be useful, the search has to be conducted when no one’s at home. The fact is there’s never been a requirement that a person be at home when a search warrant is executed.

Solari: That makes sense to me. These covert entry warrants appear to be an extremely useful tool for law enforcement officers, it seems they come in especially handy at the beginning of an investigation by not jeopardizing what comes later - like you said by tipping off confederates.

Hodges: Well I agree. Now, of course, with a garden variety warrant which requires an immediate return, the investigation can be severely impaired because the suspects know that officers are investigating. Covert entry warrants prevent that from happening. In addition, in complex cases with many defendants and wholesale concealing of evidence at various locations, these warrants can be used to ensure that all the defendants are identified and all the evidence is found. And again I like to remind folks of a couple things. First, it does not have to be a terrorism-related investigation; it can be for general crimes. Secondly, there two different types of covert entry warrants; one is a straight sneak and peek when you get to go in and look around, the other type is that you are actually allowed to actual seize evidence. And lastly, it’s the magistrate judge who is going to decide whether or not you get a sneak and peek. And so if you need a sneak and peek or a covert entry warrant, we need to include that in the affidavit and specifically tell the judge that that’s what you want, how long you want a delay for, and to articulate your reasons for that.

Solari: Well thank you Mr. Hodges for outlining for us the provisions and requirements of covert entry a/k/a sneak and peek warrants. I really appreciate that. Those of you out there who want to listen to some other of our podcast can find them at our website which is located at www.fletc.gov/legal.
Title: WSJ: BO administration preparing Internet privacy initiative
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 12, 2010, 06:20:49 AM
By JULIA ANGWIN
The Obama administration is preparing a stepped-up approach to policing Internet privacy that calls for new laws and the creation of a new position to oversee the effort, according to people familiar with the situation.

The strategy is expected to be unveiled in a report being issued by the U.S. Commerce Department in coming weeks, these people said. The report isn't yet final and could change, these people said.

In a related move, the White House has created a special task force that is expected to help transform the Commerce Department recommendations into policy, these people said. The White House task force, set up three weeks ago, is led by Cameron Kerry, the brother of Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.) and Commerce Department general counsel, and Christopher Schroeder, assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice.

The initiatives would mark a turning point in Internet policy. Recent administrations typically steered away from Internet regulations out of concern for stifling innovation. But the increasingly central role of personal information in the Internet economy helped spark government action, according to people familiar with the situation.

The Wall Street Journal has been examining this online information-gathering industry in its "What They Know" investigative series.

Privacy issues are bubbling up on Capitol Hill. Rep. Joe Barton (R., Texas), co-chairman of the Congressional Privacy Caucus and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he welcomed the administration's privacy initiative.

Title: Empty Committee
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 12, 2010, 08:45:55 AM
Alas, it appears the above piece only serves to distract from a failure on another front:

Physician, Heal Thyself

Posted by Jim Harper

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Commerce Department will soon come forth with a ”stepped-up approach to policing Internet privacy that calls for new laws and the creation of a new position to oversee the effort.”

Meanwhile, with nearly 22 months in office, President Obama has still not named a single candidate to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board that Congress established to review the government’s actions in response to terrorism. Had he appointed a board, it would have issued three public reports by now, and we would be awaiting a fourth.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/physician-heal-thyself-2/
Title: LA Times: Combat by Camera
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 12, 2010, 03:12:10 PM
Good catch BBG!

On another front, what, if anything stops the Feds from using this on us?
=========
COMBAT BY CAMERA

The changing face of aerial reconnaissance
Aerial spying is 'now the centerpiece of our global war on terrorism.' And that has meant a growing and potentially huge business even as the Pentagon looks at cutting back on big-ticket items.

A Global Hawk robotic plane, hovering more than 11 miles above Afghanistan, can snap images of Taliban hide-outs so crystal clear that U.S. intelligence officials can make out the pickup trucks parked nearby — and how long they've been there.

Halfway around the globe in a underground laboratory in El Segundo, Raytheon Co. engineers who helped develop the cameras and sensors for the pilotless spy plane are now working on even more powerful devices that are revolutionizing the way the military gathers intelligence.

The new sensors enable flying drones to "listen in" on cellphone conversations and pinpoint the location of the caller on the ground. Some can even "smell" the air and sniff out chemical plumes emanating from a potential underground nuclear laboratory.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get a daily snapshot of market numbers and trends, delivered right to your mobile phone. Text BUSINESS to 52669.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Reconnaissance is "now the centerpiece of our global war on terrorism," said David L. Rockwell, an electronics analyst with aerospace research firm the Teal Group Corp. "The military wants to have an unblinking eye over the war zone."

And that has meant a growing and potentially huge business for the defense industry at a time when the Pentagon is looking at cutting back on big-ticket purchases such as fighter jets and Navy ships.

The drone electronics industry now generates about $3 billion in revenue, but that's expected to double to $6 billion in the next eight years, Teal Group estimates.

The industry's projected growth has fueled a surge in mergers and acquisitions of companies that develop and make the parts for the sensor systems, many of them in Southern California.

"There has been an explosion in the reconnaissance market," said Jon B. Kutler, founder of Admiralty Partners, a Century City private investment firm that buys and sells small defense firms."It's one of the few remaining growth areas."

Kutler's company recently acquired Torrance-based Trident Space & Defense, which manufactures hard drives that enable drones to store high-resolution images.

Trident, which has about 70 employees, has seen its sales more than double to about $40 million over the last five years.

The demand for sensors is growing as the Pentagon steps up use of drones for intelligence gathering.

More than 7,000 drones — ranging from the small, hand-launched Raven to the massive Global Hawk — are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though some have been outfitted with laser-guided bombs or missiles — grabbing most of the news headlines — all are equipped with sensors for reconnaissance and surveillance work.

The most advanced cameras and sensors are on the Global Hawk, a long-endurance, high-altitude drone that can fly for 30 hours at a time at more than 60,000 feet, out of range of most antiaircraft missiles and undetectable to the human eye.

Peter W. Singer, author of "Wired for War," a book about robotic warfare, compares the technology to the popular "Where's Waldo" children's books, in which readers are challenged to find one person hidden in a mass of people.

The latest detectors not only can pick out Waldo from a crowd, but know when Waldo may have fired a rifle. Such sensors can detect the heat from the barrel of a gun and estimate when it was fired.

Many of the sensors have been developed by Raytheon engineers in El Segundo, where the company has had a long history of developing spy equipment, including those found on the famed U-2 spy plane.

Some of the more advanced cameras can cost more than $15 million and take 18 months to make. Raytheon develops the cameras in a humidity-controlled, dust-free laboratory to ensure that they are free of blemishes.

Each basketball-sized camera "must be perfect," said Oscar Fragoso, a Raytheon optical engineer. "If it isn't, we know we're putting lives at risk."

Raytheon has begun to face stiff competition as other aerospace contractors vie for its business.

Sparks, Nev.-based Sierra Nevada Corp., which is known for its work on developing parts for spy satellites, has developed a sensor system, named the Gorgon Stare, that widens the area that drones can monitor from 1 mile to nearly 3 miles.

Named for the creature in Greek mythology whose gaze turns victims to stone, the sensor system features 12 small cameras — instead of one large one. It is to be affixed to Reaper drones before the end of the year.

With the multiple cameras, the operator can follow numerous vehicles instead of just one, said Brig. Gen. Robert P. Otto, the U.S. Air Force's director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. "By the end of the year, we're going to be fielding capabilities that are unlike anything we've used before."

But with an increase in the number of drone patrols and new sensor technology, the Air Force will be "drowning in data," Otto said. "That means we're going to need a lot more people looking at computer screens."

The Pentagon has said that drones last year took so much video footage that it would take someone 24 years to watch it all.

By this time next year, the Air Force expects to have almost 5,000 people trawling through the images for intelligence information. That's up from little more than 1,200 nine years ago.

"The reconnaissance work that's being done now takes seconds, where it used to take days," Otto said. "We're pushing the edge of technology."

william.hennigan@latimes.com
Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 12, 2010, 03:15:53 PM

On another front, what, if anything stops the Feds from using this on us?

Money, personnel.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 12, 2010, 07:01:56 PM
That is less than reassuring , , ,
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 12, 2010, 07:11:41 PM
The more data you gather, the more analysts you need to turn the data into intel to be disseminated. Were a drone to fly over you, and no one views it, would that matter? Again, it goes back to "reasonable expectation of privacy". In the public sphere, you don't have it.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on November 12, 2010, 09:24:47 PM
"On another front, what, if anything stops the Feds from using this on us?"

"Money, personnel."

"That is less than reassuring"
------------------------------------
Personnel: 14.6 million employees

Money: $4 Trillion a year

These are not highly limiting factors. 

If you don't want the Feds looking you over, stay away from questionable activities... like giving money to the chamber of commerce.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 12, 2010, 10:18:27 PM
The federal employees either directly employed as law enforcement officers, or support personnel are a very small percentage of that.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 13, 2010, 06:14:45 AM
GM et al:

a) I would submit that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the public sphere if there is no one in sight, yet this technology would invade that privacy.

b) This technology can also spy on us when we are on private property.

Is there no articulable principal of privacy here?  Is there no 9th Amendment right?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on November 13, 2010, 07:38:45 AM
"there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the public sphere if there is no one in sight"

I think so. GM sees this I think from a different perspective.  If you are a suspect in a recent armed robbery, other competing rights come into play.  But under ordinary circumstances, in a wilderness area or park, others have the same right to be there and enjoy nature and privacy, but not a right to follow or snoop on you.  Stalking laws are based on that exact unenumerated right of privacy, everywhere you go.  Federal employees in a national forest likewise have a right to be there, to go about their business protecting trees, enforcing rules, doing their specific job, but don't otherwise have any right to mess with your privacy, follow you or observe you without official reason.  There might be an expectation that forest officials could stop by your campsite briefly to see if camping and fire rules are complied with, for example, but not to pull up a chair and observe continuously.  That would be an obvious violation of an unemumerated right as you correctly suggest, IMHO.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 13, 2010, 07:54:14 AM

GM et al:

a) I would submit that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the public sphere if there is no one in sight, yet this technology would invade that privacy.

**Just because you can't see someone, doesn't mean someone can't see you. A reasonable expectation of privacy can be said to exist in a place where someone exhibits an actual expectation of privacy that society recognizes as reasonable.**


https://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/legal-division/podcasts/4th-amendment-roadmap-podcasts/4th-amendment-transcripts/reasonable-expectation-of-privacy-part-1.html

Reasonable Expectation of Privacy (I) (podcast transcript)

Tim:  Hi, this is Tim Miller and Jenna Solari. We’re back again talking about a 4th Amendment search.  We discussed previously that the Fourth Amendment is triggered by a government intrusion into a place where one has a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Now Jenna, you told me who a government agent was, now let’s talk about reasonable expectation of privacy.  Again, a government agent going into a place were one has a reasonable expectation of privacy triggers the 4th Amendment, correct?

Jenna:  Yes, that’s right.

Tim:  OK now, what’s a reasonable expectation of privacy?

Jenna:  Well, a reasonable expectation of privacy, or “REP,” can be said to exist in a place where someone exhibits an actual expectation of privacy that society recognizes as reasonable.

Tim:  Sounds like a two part test.

Jenna:  It is actually.  There’s a subjective component, and that’s that actual expectation of privacy.  So that would mean that someone actually believes that an item or an area has been concealed from public view. So, for instance, I’m in my hotel room and I want to have a private conversation with someone so I try to keep my voice low enough that I believe no one else can hear what I am saying.  But then there is that second part of the two part test you mentioned, the objective test.  Society has to agree that what I am doing to conceal something is reasonable, that I have taken appropriate steps to conceal something from public view.  For instance, I am in that hotel room and I actually think that I am keeping my voice low enough so no one else can hear me, so I have that subjective part satisfied.  But objectively, let’s say my voice is actually loud enough that someone can hear me out in the hallway where they have every right to be.   So if a federal agent just happens to be standing out in the hallway and unbeknownst to me my voice is loud enough that he can hear what I am saying, then I don’t have that objective expectation of privacy.  Society is not willing to agree that what I am doing is a reasonable way to keep myself from being overheard.  So I wouldn’t have any REP in my conversation.

Tim:  OK, well how about giving me some examples of how a person might exhibit an expectation of privacy that society is willing to accept as being reasonable.

Jenna:  OK, well, I think the simplest example would be if you have an item you want conceal from public view, put it in an opaque container.  Put it inside a suitcase or a backpack, or if you want to keep it in your car, put it in the glove box or the trunk where people can’t see it when they just happen to be walking by.  If we’re talking about your body, we know that people typically have the highest expectation of privacy in their bodies and in their houses.  So, let’s say you have a tattoo on your left bicep you don’t want people to see.  The best way to have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that is to put on a shirt that covers it up. Don’t walk around, you know, with a tank top on so the whole world can see your tattoo.  Things inside the body have an incredibly high expectation of privacy that’s recognized by the courts.  So, if you think of your skin as a giant container, everything within your body, like blood, saliva, urine -- you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in those things.  Putting something inside your house, for the most part, gives you a reasonable expectation of privacy in that item, that is unless again, you put it somewhere where the whole world can see it.  Let’s say you put it in your living room picture window where someone can see it from the street – then, again, society would not agree that you’ve taken reasonable steps to keep that secure from public view.  But if you put it away somewhere where people couldn’t see it, then you’d have REP in that item.  So things like that.

Tim:  Sounds to me like if you put it inside of a container or you cover it up, society’s probably going to give you an expectation of privacy.

Jenna:  Yes, that’s right.

Tim:  Now, you know, a lot of kids nowadays have transparent book containers, book bags, and I think I know the answer to this, but can a child reasonably expect privacy in a transparent book bag?

Jenna:  No, and that’s really the whole reason behind it.  They’re required to carry transparent book bags, I assume, so that everybody can see what they have in there.  So, they really wouldn’t have any reasonable expectation of privacy in those things that are inside that book bag, because again, they are out there for the whole world to see.

Tim:  OK, well, you know, a trash can is a container.  Can I reasonably expect privacy inside my trash can?

Jenna:  That depends on where your trash can is, actually.  If it’s inside your house, again, things that are inside your house usually get the highest protection from the courts so, yeah, you’d have REP in your trash, inside your trash can while it is still in your house.  Now it gets a little different as the trash moves further from your house.  If it’s still close to the house -- let’s say it’s just inside your garage or maybe just outside your front door -- that’s on that area that we call curtilage, and we will talk about that a little later, you probably still have REP in that trash in your trash can.  It’s really when you put it out wherever collection takes place -- when you put it out on the street corner or the street in front of your house, what you have essentially done is told the whole world “I don’t want any of this any more.”  You’ve abandoned that property and said “I want the trash man to take it away.”  So, at that point you would not have any REP in that trash, even if you thought you did.  Even if you actually thought that was private until the trash man took it, at that point society says, “no, you’ve thrown that away so you don’t have REP in that anymore.”

Tim:  So, first, it has to be an actual expectation of privacy, and secondly, society has to recognize it as being reasonable.

Jenna:  Yes, sir, that’s right.

Tim:  OK, who can reasonably expect this privacy?  For example, you know, I’ve got a house, it’s my house.  I live there; I assume I can expect privacy inside my house.

Jenna:  Absolutely.

Tim:  Anybody else?

Jenna:  Sure, if you had overnight guests in your house, let’s say friends of yours or family members came to visit and you let them stay overnight.  Then you’ve essentially given them the run of at least part of your house. They have brought their private belongings in there and sort of established themselves in a room; they’d have REP inside your house.  Social guests who stay for an extended period of time or who come by your house pretty frequently -- maybe they keep things in your house or inside your garage -- they may have REP in your house to some extent.  I can tell you that people who wouldn’t have REP in there would be your commercial visitors, somebody who comes by just to sell you something or someone you invite just inside your front door maybe for five minutes at a time wouldn’t have any REP in your house.

Tim:  So my mom and dad coming to visit for the weekend, they probably have an REP inside my house?

Jenna:  Yes.

Tim:  However, the paperboy coming to collect the bill would not.

Jenna:  Right, the paperboy wouldn’t.  Or, let’s say the pizza guy, who just steps inside for a second while you go get some cash to pay him for the pizza, he wouldn’t have any REP inside your house.  He’s just that commercial visitor who stopped by for a few minutes.

Tim:  How about people who rent hotel rooms?  I guess the person who rents the room would have an REP inside that hotel room, would he not?

Jenna:  Sure, because it’s really -- our 4th Amendment protection isn’t limited to just houses as physical structures.  Really we are talking about dwellings, where people live, as least for some period of time.  So, that would include a hotel room.  And of course if you rented the room, you would have REP in the room. Someone else could, as well.  Let’s say you and someone else go on a trip and so that person is sharing a room with you.  That person has REP in there even if they weren’t the ones actually paying for it.  They have a room key, which means they have the right to exclude people.  They’re keeping things inside the room, so they would have REP in the room as well.

Tim:  OK, I’ve got a car.  I own that car; it’s my car -- I assume I have reasonable expectation of privacy in it.

Jenna:  Yes, you would.

Tim:  How about the passengers?

Jenna:  Mere -- we call “mere passengers” is what I think you’re referring to -- usually have no REP in the car itself.  And when I say “mere passenger” I mean, I’ve never borrowed your car, I don’t drive your car around, but at the end of work today I say, “Hey, Mr. Miller, can I grab a ride up to the front gate with you?” “Sure no problem,” you give me a ride up to the front gate.  I’m just a mere passenger; I’m just along for a ride, so I don’t have any REP in your car or in the glove box or in the trunk.  But I would retain REP in, say, I carry a briefcase and a purse from home to work every day.  So when I bring those things into your car, I would still have an expectation of privacy in my belongings, I just would not have any REP in your car.  Now, of course, it might be a little bit different if you shared that car with someone else -- a friend, a spouse or something like that.  Now that person might have REP in the car if they are authorized to drive it around or they use it a good bit.  But a mere passenger wouldn’t.

Tim:  OK, why make a big deal out of all this, I mean, who has the REP?  For example, suppose, I don’t know, Dillinger and I rob a bank. Dillinger owns the car, he drives the getaway car and we throw the guns and the money inside the trunk of Dillinger’s car.  The cops then search the car and find that evidence.  Can I get that evidence suppressed if the search is unreasonable?

Jenna:  No, actually, and as I understand it it’s Dillinger’s car, right?

Tim:  Right, yes.  

Jenna:  And you are essentially what we call a mere passenger, right?  You’re basically just hitching a ride away from the bank robbery?

Tim:  Check, I am just a mere passenger.

Jenna:  Ok, so then, no, it would be the same situation as when you give me a ride up to the front gate -- I can’t have any REP in your glove box or in your trunk, so when the police search the car and they find the evidence in that trunk, Dillinger could complain about that search because that is his reasonable expectation of privacy.  He could complain about whether it was reasonable or not.  You couldn’t, though, because you don’t have any REP in that area, and we call that “no standing to object.”  The only person who could object to the search is the person whose REP was intruded upon.

Tim:  So, if I had no standing to object, I couldn’t object to the search even if it was unreasonable.


b) This technology can also spy on us when we are on private property.


**Two related doctrines apply, Plain View and Open Fields.**


http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/legal-division/podcasts/4th-amendment-roadmap-podcasts/4th-amendment-transcripts/plain-view-podcast-transcript.html

Plain View (podcast transcript)

Miller: Jenna, let’s get this straight. There’s no REP in what an officer can see, hear or smell from a place he or she rightfully occupies; correct?

Solari: That’s right.

Miller: And that’s Mr. Hunsucker’s analogy “right to be, right to see.” So, if I’m a cop, standing on a public sidewalk, looking into the picture window of 123 Main Street and see a plant that I know is marijuana, I’ve not triggered the 4th Amendment. Isn’t that correct?

Solari: That’s right.

Miller: Why is the marijuana plant not considered to be in plain view?

Solari: Well, because you’ve only established two out of the three requirements for plain view. You have to observe the marijuana from a place you have a right to be. You satisfied this requirement in your example. You made the observation from a public sidewalk. Second, the incriminating nature of the evidence (the marijuana plant you can see through that picture window at 123 Main Street) has to be readily apparent. You satisfied that requirement too. Through your training and experience as a police officer you know what marijuana looks like.

Miller: So, what’s missing?

Solari: You have no lawful right of access. In your example, you haven’t explained that you have a warrant or any exception to the warrant requirement to actually enter or access 123 Main Street.

Miller: So, the plain view exception to the warrant requirement has three requirements. The officer must see the item from a place he or she rightfully occupies; it’s incriminating or evidentiary nature must be readily apparent to the officer; and, thirdly the officer must be able to lawfully access the evidence.

Solari: That’s right.

Miller: Is that right?

Solari: That’s right.

Miller: Now, in my example, I was lawfully present on the sidewalk when I observed the marijuana. How can I lawfully get inside 123 Main Street and make more observations?

Solari: Use what you’ve already seen and get an arrest warrant for the resident of 123 Main Street for possession of marijuana. Use what you’ve already seen through the picture window to go get a search warrant for that location. If you don’t have an arrest warrant or a search warrant, maybe there’s an exception to the warrant requirement that might let you inside. Maybe if you knock on the door you can get consent. If somebody runs inside whom you’re trying to apprehend maybe you can use hot pursuit. If the person inside 123 Main Street saw you looking through the picture window at his marijuana plant, grabbed it and made a dash for the garbage disposal, maybe you could use your probable cause coupled with destruction of evidence and use that exception to the warrant requirement.

Miller: The second requirement was that the evidentiary nature of the item must be readily apparent. That sounds almost like probable cause to me, correct?

Solari: Right

Miller: And based on training and experience, I think most officers can probably readily identify a marijuana plant.

Solari: Sure. I would think so. Readily apparent like you said means that the officer has probable cause to believe that whatever he or she is looking at is evidence of a crime - you can tell simply by looking at it. The officer has facts and circumstances made known to him, and those facts coupled with the officer’s observations, make the evidentiary nature of the object readily apparent. For example, let’s say officers are executing a search warrant inside 123 Main Street for a stolen television set. They know the resident’s a convicted felon and while their looking for the TV in places where they have a right to look, they see a handgun laying right there on the coffee table. Now obviously as a general matter, officers can secure firearms in a safe place during a search; however, in this case, there’s also probable cause to seize that firearm as evidence of a crime because the officers at the scene knows that a convicted felon in possession of a firearm is in violation of 18 USC §922 and of course that firearm does appear to be within the possession of a convicted felon.

Miller: Now finally, this third requirement is that the officer must have a lawful right of access.

Solari: Right and this is tricky. There’s a difference between lawfully present when the officer makes her observation and lawful access. Lawfully present refers to the officer’s position when she makes the observation. Lawful access refers to where she must be to actually put a hand on the item and retrieve it. So in your example, you were lawfully present on a sidewalk when you observed that marijuana through the picture window of 123 Main Street; however, you couldn’t actually lawfully put your hand out and touch that plant and seize it. You had no right of access.

Miller: Let’s assume I’ve got authority to be inside 123 Main Street where we saw that marijuana plant. Does that automatically allow me to go to the picture window and grab it?

Solari: Not necessarily. I’ve got to know what your authority is to actually access the room where you saw the marijuana growing. If you’ve got a search warrant to search 123 Main Street, then I’ll bet you’ve got authority to go search anywhere in that house where marijuana could be, so you’re probably going to get the plant then; however, if you knocked on the door and the owner let you in, but he refused to let you go any further than the foyer you still have no right of access to that plant you saw growing in the living room.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Open Field Doctrine Law & Legal Definition

The open field doctrine is a term used in criminal law to stand for the concept that anything plainly visible to the eye, even if it’s on private property, is subject to a search since it’s not hidden. Under this doctrine, consent to inspect the location is not required in order for a law enforcement officer to observe and report on things in plain view and include observations made. An open field is not an area protected under the Fourth Amendment, and there is no expectation of a right of privacy for an open field.

Is there no articulable principal of privacy here?  Is there no 9th Amendment right?


**The 9th (The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.) would seem to me as not applicable, given that the above caselaw/doctrine comes from the previously enumerated 4th amendment.**
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 13, 2010, 12:21:25 PM
Last point first:  My proposition is that amongst the unenumerated rates of the 9th are the right to privacy and the right of self-defense.

Private Open Fields:  Hypothetical:  I have private property which extends further than the human eye can see.  I am standing on the property where no one not on the property can see me.  Question presented:  Do I have privacy, or can the Feds, who presumably have a right to be in outer space, spy on me from outer space?  Or, can they spy on me from a drone?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on November 13, 2010, 01:24:18 PM
"private property which extends further than the human eye can see...Do I have [a right of] privacy?"

We will see what GM and others say.  I say yes.  Of course you have that right, up and until it conflicts with some other more compelling right of someone else.  Let's say that law enforcement has a reason to believe armed bank robbers may be hiding out there or that forest fire officials have reason to believe a fire may may spread from there.  People also have the right to have bank robberies pursued and forest fires prevented.  That does not eliminate your right, it just may in rare cases supersede it.

I recall county officials used to write to my uncle regarding a little used family lake cabin that we needed to update an old septic system to newer standards.  My uncle, a 9-term county attorney of a nearby county, would answer them with two questions. He wanted to know why he hadn't seen any report showing that the property was polluting in any way, and secondly he wanted them to refresh his memory with a copy of a letter signed by him giving them the permission they need to go on the property to conduct such a study, because he certainly didn't recall granting that permission.  It never went any further than that except that after he passed away the septic system suddenly needed upgrading.  If they had pressed on with legal action, I doubt he could have stopped them, but I think the question goes to Crafty's point, what right do they have to enter (observe, run tests) and what right does the property owner have to prevent them?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 13, 2010, 02:02:36 PM
Last point first:  My proposition is that amongst the unenumerated rates of the 9th are the right to privacy and the right of self-defense.

Private Open Fields:  Hypothetical:  I have private property which extends further than the human eye can see.  I am standing on the property where no one not on the property can see me.  Question presented:  Do I have privacy, or can the Feds, who presumably have a right to be in outer space, spy on me from outer space?  Or, can they spy on me from a drone?

Do you control the air space over your property? Could a private aircraft fly over and see you? Much like those celebrity weddings and the paparazzi flying overhead to try to get photos, or a news chopper trying for mystery missile footage, we have numerous aircraft photographing footage everywhere but restricted airspace. You've got both government and privately owned satellites with very detailed photographic equipment overhead constantly. The courts have upheld that using aircraft to spot marijuana grows on private property that couldn't be approached on foot was lawful, again open fields/plain view doctrines.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

**So, after decades of 4th amendment caselaw related to search and seizure, we're going to reach into the 9th amendment bag of tricks and create new privacy rights when the fourth has already clearly defined them? What would that look like? Do we reverse every conviction now? Explain how the missing blonde case would be different with your concept of privacy. The rapist didn't sign a release to be recorded by the hotel security cameras. Was his right of privacy violated?**

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 13, 2010, 02:23:33 PM
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/04.html#3

''Open Fields.'' --In Hester v. United States, 96 the Court held that the Fourth Amendment did not protect ''open fields'' and that, therefore, police searches in such areas as pastures, wooded areas, open water, and vacant lots need not comply with the requirements of warrants and probable cause. The Court's announcement in Katz v. United States 97 that the Amendment protects ''people not places'' cast some doubt on the vitality of the open fields principle, but all such doubts were cast away in Oliver v. United States. 98 Invoking Hester's reliance on the literal wording of the Fourth Amendment (open fields are not ''effects'') and distinguishing Katz, the Court ruled that the open fields exception applies to fields that are fenced and posted. ''[A]n individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home.'' 99 Nor may an individual demand privacy for activities conducted within outbuildings and visible by trespassers peering into the buildings from just outside. 100 Even within the curtilage and notwithstanding that the owner has gone to the extreme of erecting a 10- foot high fence in order to screen the area from ground-level view, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy from naked-eye inspection from fixed-wing aircraft flying in navigable airspace. 101 Similarly, naked-eye inspection from helicopters flying even lower contravenes no reasonable expectation of privacy. 102 And aerial photography of commercial facilities secured from ground-level public view is permissible, the Court finding such spaces more analogous to open fields than to the curtilage of a dwelling. 103 

  ''Plain View.'' --Somewhat similar in rationale is the rule that objects falling in the ''plain view'' of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure without a warrant 104 or that if the officer needs a warrant or probable cause to search and seize his lawful observation will provide grounds therefor. 105 The plain view doctrine is limited, however, by the probable cause requirement: officers must have probable cause to believe that items in plain view are contraband before they may search or seize them. 106 

The Court has analogized from the plain view doctrine to hold that once officers have lawfully observed contraband, ''the owner's privacy interest in that item is lost,'' and officers may reseal a container, trace its path through a controlled delivery, and seize and reopen the container without a warrant. 107   
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 14, 2010, 09:37:55 AM
"So, after decades of 4th amendment caselaw related to search and seizure, we're going to reach into the 9th amendment bag of tricks and create new privacy rights when the fourth has already clearly defined them?"

Is the Ninth Amendment meaningless?  If not, then what does it mean?


Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 14, 2010, 09:51:56 AM
I think your assertion that self defense would be covered under the 9th is very viable, given it's historic recognition in common law. I think other commonly recognized rights within society and the legal system that weren't specifically enumerated in the bill of rights would be covered by the 9th. It's not something to do lightly, as once the pandora's box were opened, then every activist judge would reach into the 9th for gay marriage, gov't healthcare, guranteed income and every other leftist cause du jour.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 14, 2010, 10:02:48 AM
"I think other commonly recognized rights within society and the legal system that weren't specifically enumerated in the bill of rights would be covered by the 9th"

Privacy meets this standard, yes?

"It's not something to do lightly,"

AMEN!

"as once the pandora's box were opened, then every activist judge would reach into the 9th for gay marriage, gov't healthcare, guranteed income and every other leftist cause du jour."

Well, the activist judges are already doing that for gay marriage with the Equal Protection Clause.   As for healthcare, guaranteed income, etc we already have FDR and BO  (see his Chicago Public Radio interview in 200o or so) admitting that the Constitudtuion's rights are negative not, positive.

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 14, 2010, 10:16:15 AM
Privacy is already enumerated in the 4th, yes?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on November 14, 2010, 11:31:11 AM
Privacy is already enumerated in the 4th, yes?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects (against unreasonable search/seizure)...

No. That did not protect anyone in Kelo (wrongly decided) and there was more privacy discovered in Griswold, Roe, and Lawrence decisions for examples than contained in the 4th.  Can't speak for Crafty by I am saying a much greater right of privacy than the standard for which we require a search warrant.  I don't know the words but an assumption of privacy, to be left alone in the pursuit of happiness, until another compelling interest becomes greater.

Here is California law regarding a landlord entering a tenant's space: http://www.landlord.com/lawresoverview.htm#6.%20Tenant%20Privacy%20and%20the%20Landlord%E2%80%99s%20Right%20to%20Enter%20the%20Dwelling
Basically it says only in an emergency or other established, compelling reason.  Even though the landlord owns the place, the tenant has a right of privacy not based at all in protection from government search and seizure.  That right is codified in state law but comes from a pre-existing and presumed right of privacy.  Yes?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 14, 2010, 11:36:22 AM
GM:

It appears you are following Bork's concept of privacy-- which is the very reason I opposed him for the Supreme Court.

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 14, 2010, 12:18:24 PM
Privacy is already enumerated in the 4th, yes?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects (against unreasonable search/seizure)...

No. That did not protect anyone in Kelo (wrongly decided)

**Kelo wasn't a 4th adm. case. It was 5th Adm. (Takings clause, as in "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."I agree that in Kelo, using gov't power seizing private property on behalf of another private entity cannot be defined as for public use by any reasonable definition.**


and there was more privacy discovered in Griswold, Roe, and Lawrence decisions for examples than contained in the 4th.

**Those were directly related to consensual sexual behavior amongst adults, which I would agree tend to fall under a right to privacy recognized by society (Which is part of a two part test related to the 4th regarding a reasonable expectation of privacy), with an exception in Roe, where a fetus also has rights to be considered.**


  Can't speak for Crafty by I am saying a much greater right of privacy than the standard for which we require a search warrant.  I don't know the words but an assumption of privacy, to be left alone in the pursuit of happiness, until another compelling interest becomes greater.

Here is California law regarding a landlord entering a tenant's space: http://www.landlord.com/lawresoverview.htm#6.%20Tenant%20Privacy%20and%20the%20Landlord%E2%80%99s%20Right%20to%20Enter%20the%20Dwelling
Basically it says only in an emergency or other established, compelling reason.  Even though the landlord owns the place, the tenant has a right of privacy not based at all in protection from government search and seizure.  That right is codified in state law but comes from a pre-existing and presumed right of privacy.  Yes?

**No. Laws are structured to regulate interactions between citizens, such as landlords and tenants, while the constitution places limits on the powers of government.**
Title: Now Here's a Surprise
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 16, 2010, 06:18:02 AM
Lotta source links on the site.

Bush’s Homeland Security Secretary flacking for nudie-scanners, too

By: Timothy P. Carney
Senior Examiner Columnist
11/15/10 12:20 PM EST


U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The companies that make the airport nudie-scanners have high-priced lobbying teams that include former congressmen, top Capitol Hill staff, and former TSA brass, as I reported in my column yesterday.

But because I focussed on registered lobbyists, I left out the highest-profile revolving-door character in the pay of the nudie-scanner industry: George W. Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. After the undie-bomber attempt on Christmas 2009, Chertoff went on a media tour promoting the use of these scanners, without disclosing that he was getting paid by Rapiscan, one of the two companies currently contracted by TSA to take a nude picture of you at the airport.

Here’s Chertoff in the NY Times just days after Christmas last year:

Screening technologies with names like millimeter-wave and backscatter X-ray can show the contours of the body and reveal foreign objects. Such machines, properly used, are a leap ahead of the metal detectors used in most airports, and supporters say they are necessary to keep up with the plans of potential terrorists. “If they’d been deployed, this would pick up this kind of device,” Michael Chertoff, the former homeland security secretary, said in an interview…

Chertoff was quickly reamed for not disclosing how he had monetized his public service.

The whole situation is depressing for two reasons:

1) It’s tawdry how much our “public servants” use their government jobs as meal tickets.2) It’s sad how much companies set up their businesses to depend on government, and thus lobbyists.

Influence magazine is a trade publication of K Street, and one of Rapiscan’s hired guns, McKenna Aldridge, is touting this article on its website:

Rapiscan’s Presence on Capitol Hill Pays Off

…Rapiscan Systems, an OSI Systems Inc. subsidiary, has already taken note. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company puts around 15 percent of its revenues back into the company to develop new technology.

But Rapiscan knows it needs to play ball in Washington to increase its profits. Like all companies that deal in homeland security, Rapiscan faces myriad legislative issues involving privacy, liability, customs, and the implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. To compete with Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and L-3 Communications Corp., among other companies, two years ago Rapiscan opened a Washington office and hired more outside lobbyists and agency-specific federal marketing and sales staff.

The results have been apparent. Last year the company did $17 million t $20 million in contracts. Over the past six months, the company has had $40 million in sales to the U.S. government, compared with $8 million in 2004.

Two parting notes:

1)  ”Play ball” is an interesting choice of words, considering that the alternative to walking through the Rapiscan is a friendly pat-down. 2) You’d think parent company OSI systems, when naming its nudie-scanner subsidiary, would have come up with a name less similar to RapeScan.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/bushs-homeland-security-secretary-flacking-for-nudie-scanners-too-108187479.html
Title: Fleshmob
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 16, 2010, 08:42:20 AM
German "fleshmob" shows up to protest the new nekid people scanners. Warning: scantily clothed, potato fed bods shown here:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jrgUhOrHFU&feature=player_embedded)
Title: FBI Meets w/ Facebook
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 17, 2010, 09:35:42 AM
F.B.I. Seeks Wider Wiretap Law for Web
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: November 16, 2010

WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, traveled to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to meet with top executives of several technology firms about a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users.

Mr. Mueller and the F.B.I.’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni, were scheduled to meet with senior managers of several major companies, including Google and Facebook, according to several people familiar with the discussions. How Mr. Mueller’s proposal was received was not clear.

“I can confirm that F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller is visiting Facebook during his trip to Silicon Valley,” said Andrew Noyes, Facebook’s public policy manager. Michael Kortan, an F.B.I. spokesman, acknowledged the meetings but did not elaborate.

Mr. Mueller wants to expand a 1994 law, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, to impose regulations on Internet companies.

The law requires phone and broadband network access providers like Verizon and Comcast to make sure they can immediately comply when presented with a court wiretapping order.

Law enforcement officials want the 1994 law to also cover Internet companies because people increasingly communicate online. An interagency task force of Obama administration officials is trying to develop legislation for the plan, and submit it to Congress early next year.

The Commerce Department and State Department have questioned whether it would inhibit innovation, as well as whether repressive regimes might harness the same capabilities to identify political dissidents, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

Under the proposal, firms would have to design systems to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages. Services based overseas would have to route communications through a server on United States soil where they could be wiretapped.

A Google official declined to comment. Mr. Noyes said it would be premature for Facebook to take a position.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/technology/17wiretap.html
Title: The New Gasden Slogan?
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 19, 2010, 06:58:41 AM
Don't touch my junk
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, November 19, 2010;

Ah, the airport, where modern folk heroes are made. The airport, where that inspired flight attendant did what everyone who's ever been in the spam-in-a-can crush of a flying aluminum tube - where we collectively pretend that a clutch of peanuts is a meal and a seat cushion is a "flotation device" - has always dreamed of doing: pull the lever, blow the door, explode the chute, grab a beer, slide to the tarmac and walk through the gates to the sanity that lies beyond. Not since Rick and Louis disappeared into the Casablanca fog headed for the Free French garrison in Brazzaville has a stroll on the tarmac thrilled so many.

Who cares that the crazed steward got arrested, pleaded guilty to sundry charges, and probably was a rude, unpleasant SOB to begin with? Bonnie and Clyde were psychopaths, yet what child of the '60s did not fall in love with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty?

And now three months later, the newest airport hero arrives. His genius was not innovation in getting out, but deconstructing the entire process of getting in. John Tyner, cleverly armed with an iPhone to give YouTube immortality to the encounter, took exception to the TSA guard about to give him the benefit of Homeland Security's newest brainstorm - the upgraded, full-palm, up the groin, all-body pat-down. In a stroke, the young man ascended to myth, or at least the next edition of Bartlett's, warning the agent not to "touch my junk."

Not quite the 18th-century elegance of "Don't Tread on Me," but the age of Twitter has a different cadence from the age of the musket. What the modern battle cry lacks in archaic charm, it makes up for in full-body syllabic punch.

Don't touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don't touch my junk, Obamacare - get out of my doctor's examining room, I'm wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don't touch my junk, Google - Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don't touch my junk, you airport security goon - my package belongs to no one but me, and do you really think I'm a Nigerian nut job preparing for my 72-virgin orgy by blowing my johnson to kingdom come?

In "Up in the Air," that ironic take on the cramped freneticism of airport life, George Clooney explains why he always follows Asians in the security line:

"They pack light, travel efficiently, and they got a thing for slip-on shoes, God love 'em."

"That's racist!"

"I'm like my mother. I stereotype. It's faster."

That riff is a crowd-pleaser because everyone knows that the entire apparatus of the security line is a national homage to political correctness. Nowhere do more people meekly acquiesce to more useless inconvenience and needless indignity for less purpose. Wizened seniors strain to untie their shoes; beltless salesmen struggle comically to hold up their pants; 3-year-olds scream while being searched insanely for explosives - when everyone, everyone, knows that none of these people is a threat to anyone.

The ultimate idiocy is the full-body screening of the pilot. The pilot doesn't need a bomb or box cutter to bring down a plane. All he has to do is drive it into the water, like the EgyptAir pilot who crashed his plane off Nantucket while intoning "I rely on God," killing all on board.

But we must not bring that up. We pretend that we go through this nonsense as a small price paid to ensure the safety of air travel. Rubbish. This has nothing to do with safety - 95 percent of these inspections, searches, shoe removals and pat-downs are ridiculously unnecessary. The only reason we continue to do this is that people are too cowed to even question the absurd taboo against profiling - when the profile of the airline attacker is narrow, concrete, uniquely definable and universally known. So instead of seeking out terrorists, we seek out tubes of gel in stroller pouches.

The junk man's revolt marks the point at which a docile public declares that it will tolerate only so much idiocy. Metal detector? Back-of-the-hand pat? Okay. We will swallow hard and pretend airline attackers are randomly distributed in the population.

But now you insist on a full-body scan, a fairly accurate representation of my naked image to be viewed by a total stranger? Or alternatively, the full-body pat-down, which, as the junk man correctly noted, would be sexual assault if performed by anyone else?

This time you have gone too far, Big Bro'. The sleeping giant awakes. Take my shoes, remove my belt, waste my time and try my patience. But don't touch my junk.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/18/AR2010111804494.html
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 19, 2010, 01:33:59 PM
Ok, so stop screening anyone that doesn't look "muslimy". Jihadists would never use children, or the disabled or the elderly in their plots, or jihadis that don't a middle eastern appearance. Perhaps the US could force every muslim to register their religious affiliation so as to facilitate the screening process?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 19, 2010, 04:20:48 PM
Coulda swore I heard somewhere about some small country beset by rabid enemies on all sides that manages its airports in an efficient manner that doesn't require the "security theater" of which the TSA partakes. Dang, what was that country's name. . . .
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 19, 2010, 04:27:28 PM
Glenn Beck says that former DHS head Chertkoff (sp?) is a lobbyist for the company that makes the scanners (Rapiscan) and that George Soros until 3 days ago had 11,000 shares.

Also, that Europe uses dogs just fine to solve the same challenges.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 19, 2010, 06:31:27 PM
BBG,

Yes, and that small country has a domestic intelligence agency that allows it to assemble a dossier on every passenger and then profile. Are you advocating that we duplicate that here?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 19, 2010, 07:04:46 PM
Before Maj. Hasan went on his shooting spree, he was a US Army officer with a DOD ID and a secret level security clearance. Exactly what sort of security screening should he have gone through before flying?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 20, 2010, 12:12:05 PM
I've heard more about the Israeli behavioral interviewing techniques that I have heard about the dossiers. Behavioral interviewing I have no problem with. Assembling dossiers on every citizen I do.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on November 20, 2010, 12:24:08 PM
"Before Maj. Hasan went on his shooting spree, he was a US Army officer with a DOD ID and a secret level security clearance. Exactly what sort of security screening should he have gone through before flying?"

A gun guy more than a chemist, I would run him through the metal detector.  Who is next in this line - let's keep it moving folks.

Some profiling for flying might have brought his issues into view and saved lives.  He was probably as likely to shoot up an airport as an airplane so that part of the Israeli system would have made sense.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1940011,00.html
"Nidal Malik Hasan struck some of his classmates as a "ticking time bomb" whose strange personality telegraphed trouble long before he allegedly killed 13 people at Fort Hood."

Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 20, 2010, 12:43:17 PM
Doug,

I'm pointing out that there are people in the US with positions in society that seems to be model citizens that could potentially be recruited to do things that could cause a catastrophic attack. Israel has a large domestic intelligence agency that does things not done in the US, this and their ethnically based profiling system are not things that can be done here under our legal system.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 20, 2010, 12:46:52 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20005566-10391695.html

A new government report released Thursday reveals that federal officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who are tasked with the job of spotting terrorists at airports have little training.

As CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian first reported on Wednesday the TSA's behavior detection officers have never spotted a terrorist. Furthermore, the Government Accountability Office discovered that at least 16 known terrorists travelled through 8 different U.S. airports 23 times where the program had been implemented.

The GAO report says the TSA implemented its behavior detection program, which now costs taxpayers about $200 million annually, without first determining if there was any scientific valid basis for using it.

Read the GAO Report

As part of the program, specialized TSA officers watch passengers waiting in lines at select U.S. airport checkpoints and are supposed to be able to recognize anyone who is a security threat based on an analysis of facial expressions and body language.

According to the GAO, the TSA's behavior detection officers typically work in teams of two and "training includes 4 days of classroom courses, followed by 3 days of on-the-job training."
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 20, 2010, 01:07:11 PM
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8VGOUA00&show_article=1

Swaid says he understands the need for security checks. "It's in my interest and that of all the other travelers," he said. But the screening should be done equally for both Arabs and Jews, he said.

Proponents of Israel's approach say checking all passengers equally would require manpower and resources many times greater than are needed today and would needlessly extend the time passengers spend waiting for flights.

Ariel Merari, an Israeli terrorism expert who has written about aviation security, said ethnic profiling is both effective and unavoidable.

"It's foolishness not to use profiles when you know that most terrorists come from certain ethnic groups and certain age groups," he said. "A bomber on a plane is likely to be Muslim and young, not an elderly Holocaust survivor. We're talking about preventing a lot of casualties, and that justifies inconveniencing a certain ethnic group."
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 20, 2010, 01:13:46 PM
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10763.pdf

10Although SPOT is based in some respects on El Al’s aviation security program, El Al’s processes differ in substantive ways from those used by the SPOT program. In particular, El Al does not use a list of specific behaviors with numerical values for each, or a numerical threshold to determine whether or not to question a passenger; rather, El Al security officers utilize behavioral indicators as a basis for interviewing all passengers boarding El Al passenger aircraft, and accessing relevant intelligence databases, when deemed appropriate. In addition, El Al officials told us that they train all their personnel—not just security officers—in elements of behavior analysis, and conduct covert tests of their employees’ attentiveness at frequent intervals. According to these officials, El Al also permits what is termed “profiling,” in which passengers may be singled out for further questioning based on their nationality, ethnicity, religion, appearance, or other ascriptive characteristics, but these are not the only basis on which a passenger may be questioned. In addition, El Al security officers are empowered to bar any passenger from boarding an aircraft. The scale of El Al operations is considerably smaller than that of major airlines operating within the United States. As of 2008, El Al had a fleet of 34 aircraft. In Israel, El Al operates out of one hub airport, Ben-Gurion International, and also flies to Eilat, a city in southern Israel; in contrast, there are 457 TSA-regulated airports in the United States. In 2008, El Al had passenger boardings of about 3.6 million; in contrast, Southwest Airlines alone flew about 102 million passengers in the same year.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 20, 2010, 04:30:34 PM
http://www.securitymanagement.com/article/profiling-aviation-threats-004454

A key reason for Israel’s excellent air-safety record, many security experts agree, is stringent screening of passengers before they even approach check-in counters. However, this procedure is being changed, because the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in April that security screens were discriminatory.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed suit in Israel’s supreme court in May 2007, arguing that airport security procedures wrongfully discriminate against Israeli Arabs, who make up 23 percent of Israel’s population of 7.1 million.

“This is an issue that we found across the board for Arab citizens. They are searched in a disproportionate way regardless of anything,” says Melanie Takefman, ACRI’s international media coordinator.

Security procedures begin as passengers approach the airport. Vehicles deemed to be a risk are ordered to stop for a search. At the terminal, agents closely question each passenger and run their names through databases. They tag passports and luggage with coded labels, according to each passenger’s ethnicity, essentially identifying Israeli Arabs as security risks.

Guards usually order more intensive searches for these passengers before they can proceed to check-in counters. Guards then escort them straight to their aircraft. The problem is that while few Israeli Jews are subjected to the extra scrutiny, nearly all Israeli Arabs have to undergo exhaustive checks, which can include body searches.

Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza are not even permitted to use Israeli airports. They must travel through Jordan instead.
Title: Congress Don't Get Nudie Scanned
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 20, 2010, 08:04:46 PM
Nice, ex congress-critters lobby for this stuff, current ones accept campaign contributions from those who peddle nudie scanners, but they are exempt from having their packages fondled. Only for the little people, I guess:

No Security Pat-Downs for Boehner
By JEFF ZELENY
3:37 p.m. | Updated Representative John A. Boehner, soon to be the Speaker of the House, has pledged to fly commercial airlines back to his home district in Ohio. But that does not mean that he will be subjected to the hassles of ordinary passengers, including the controversial security pat-downs.

As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. But there was no waiting in line for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the metal detectors and body scanners, and taken directly to the gate.

Mr. Boehner, who was wearing a casual yellow sweater and tan slacks, carried his own bags and smiled pleasantly at passengers who were leaving the security checkpoint inside the airport terminal. It was unclear whether any passengers waiting in the security line, including Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat who lost his re-election bid, saw Mr. Boehner.

At a Capitol Hill news conference after Election Day, as Mr. Boehner began laying out the changes he would make when he becomes House Speaker, he announced that he would continue to fly commercial airlines (usually Delta) back to Ohio. It was a not-so-subtle dig at the outgoing Democratic speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, who had been criticized by Republicans for flying military airplanes when she returned home to San Francisco.

“Over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my district on a commercial aircraft,” Mr. Boehner said at the time, “and I am going to continue to do that.”

And so on Friday, he did. But not without the perquisites of office, including avoiding those security pat-downs that many travelers are bracing for as holiday travel season approaches.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for the Republican leader, said in a statement that Mr. Boehner was not receiving special treatment. And a law enforcement official said that any member of Congress or administration official with a security detail is allowed to bypass security.

“The appropriate security procedures for all Congressional leaders, including Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid, are determined by the Capitol Police working with the Transportation Security Administration,” Mr. Steel said.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/no-security-pat-downs-for-boehner/?nl=us&emc=politicsemailema1
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 20, 2010, 08:06:29 PM
Those traveling with armed LEOs are exempted from screening. This includes prisoners.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 20, 2010, 08:21:59 PM
Title 49: Transportation
PART 1544—AIRCRAFT OPERATOR SECURITY: AIR CARRIERS AND COMMERCIAL OPERATORS
Subpart C—Operations

Browse Next
§ 1544.219   Carriage of accessible weapons.

(a) Flights for which screening is conducted. The provisions of §1544.201(d), with respect to accessible weapons, do not apply to a law enforcement officer (LEO) aboard a flight for which screening is required if the requirements of this section are met. Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to a Federal Air Marshal on duty status under §1544.223.

(1) Unless otherwise authorized by TSA, the armed LEO must meet the following requirements:

(i) Be a Federal law enforcement officer or a full-time municipal, county, or state law enforcement officer who is a direct employee of a government agency.

(ii) Be sworn and commissioned to enforce criminal statutes or immigration statutes.

(iii) Be authorized by the employing agency to have the weapon in connection with assigned duties.

(iv) Has completed the training program “Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed.”

(2) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the armed LEO must have a need to have the weapon accessible from the time he or she would otherwise check the weapon until the time it would be claimed after deplaning. The need to have the weapon accessible must be determined by the employing agency, department, or service and be based on one of the following:

(i) The provision of protective duty, for instance, assigned to a principal or advance team, or on travel required to be prepared to engage in a protective function.

(ii) The conduct of a hazardous surveillance operation.

(iii) On official travel required to report to another location, armed and prepared for duty.

(iv) Employed as a Federal LEO, whether or not on official travel, and armed in accordance with an agency-wide policy governing that type of travel established by the employing agency by directive or policy statement.

(v) Control of a prisoner, in accordance with §1544.221, or an armed LEO on a round trip ticket returning from escorting, or traveling to pick up, a prisoner.

(vi) TSA Federal Air Marshal on duty status.

(3) The armed LEO must comply with the following notification requirements:

(i) All armed LEOs must notify the aircraft operator of the flight(s) on which he or she needs to have the weapon accessible at least 1 hour, or in an emergency as soon as practicable, before departure.

(ii) Identify himself or herself to the aircraft operator by presenting credentials that include a clear full-face picture, the signature of the armed LEO, and the signature of the authorizing official of the agency, service, or department or the official seal of the agency, service, or department. A badge, shield, or similar device may not be used, or accepted, as the sole means of identification.

(iii) If the armed LEO is a State, county, or municipal law enforcement officer, he or she must present an original letter of authority, signed by an authorizing official from his or her employing agency, service or department, confirming the need to travel armed and detailing the itinerary of the travel while armed.

(iv) If the armed LEO is an escort for a foreign official then this paragraph (a)(3) may be satisfied by a State Department notification.

(4) The aircraft operator must do the following:

(i) Obtain information or documentation required in paragraphs (a)(3)(ii), (iii), and (iv) of this section.

(ii) Advise the armed LEO, before boarding, of the aircraft operator's procedures for carrying out this section.

(iii) Have the LEO confirm he/she has completed the training program “Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed” as required by TSA, unless otherwise authorized by TSA.

(iv) Ensure that the identity of the armed LEO is known to the appropriate personnel who are responsible for security during the boarding of the aircraft.

(v) Notify the pilot in command and other appropriate crewmembers, of the location of each armed LEO aboard the aircraft. Notify any other armed LEO of the location of each armed LEO, including FAM's. Under circumstances described in the security program, the aircraft operator must not close the doors until the notification is complete.

(vi) Ensure that the information required in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section is furnished to the flight crew of each additional connecting flight by the Ground Security Coordinator or other designated agent at each location.

(b) Flights for which screening is not conducted. The provisions of §1544.201(d), with respect to accessible weapons, do not apply to a LEO aboard a flight for which screening is not required if the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1), (3), and (4) of this section are met.

(c) Alcohol. (1) No aircraft operator may serve any alcoholic beverage to an armed LEO.

(2) No armed LEO may:

(i) Consume any alcoholic beverage while aboard an aircraft operated by an aircraft operator.

(ii) Board an aircraft armed if they have consumed an alcoholic beverage within the previous 8 hours.

(d) Location of weapon. (1) Any individual traveling aboard an aircraft while armed must at all times keep their weapon:

(i) Concealed and out of view, either on their person or in immediate reach, if the armed LEO is not in uniform.

(ii) On their person, if the armed LEO is in uniform.

(2) No individual may place a weapon in an overhead storage bin.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on November 21, 2010, 09:14:08 AM
Quote
Those traveling with armed LEOs are exempted from screening. This includes prisoners.

There are a lot of laws that Congress exempts itself from that likely would remain on the books long if they had to endure them.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on November 21, 2010, 09:43:15 AM
It's not just congress, it's anyone with a LEO security detail, like mayors, Governors and the like. The assumption is that the NYPD cops assigned to Bloomberg will keep him from wearing a suicide vest onto the flight.
Title: WSJ: The Right to be forgotten
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 01, 2010, 08:15:46 AM
A EU official tries to articulate a right , , ,

By John W. Miller

Senior European Union officials campaigned publicly for the first time Tuesday for an online “right to be forgotten.” Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, introduced the idea earlier this month. Her proposed rules, which now face 12 to 18 months of debate before they can become EU law, would force companies like Facebook to offer users the right to permanently delete photos, contact info and messages posted on websites.

She was the keynote speaker on Tuesday morning at the 2010 European Data Protection and Privacy Conference.

Welcoming “an opportunity to explain this publicly for the first time,” Mrs. Reding, rather unusually for a European politician, invoked the Almighty: “God forgives and forgets, but the web never does.”

That should change, she said. “There are great sites where you can share information with friends, but it may be one day that you don’t want to share that information any more.”

Privacy lawyers say they aren’t so sure the EU is on firm legal ground. “If you voluntarily give information to a private company, it’s pretty clear they own that information,” says a senior partner at a major U.S. law firm.

“We still need to work out the details, but I support the right to be forgotten,” said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Article 29 Working Party, an alliance of national data supervisors. “Personally, I’ve done things, we’ve all done things we’d like to be forgotten.”

Like Mrs. Reding, he also argued the philosophical: “One of the most fundamental things in human life is to grow, to change, to be an individual, to remove the stamp that defines you.”

Title: OPSEC-smartphones
Post by: G M on December 09, 2010, 10:04:47 AM
http://www.michaelyon-online.com/images/pdf/1012-geotags.pdf

Very good stuff here.
Title: WSJ: BO Administration calls for Privacy Policy Office & Privacy Bill of Rights
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 16, 2010, 09:42:20 AM



By JULIA ANGWIN
The Obama administration called Thursday for the creation of a Privacy Policy Office that would help develop an Internet "privacy bill of rights" for U.S citizens and coordinate privacy issues globally.

The U.S. Commerce Department's report stopped short of calling directly for specific privacy legislation. Instead, it recommends a "framework" to protect people from a burgeoning personal data-gathering industry and fragmented U.S. privacy laws that cover certain types of data but not others.

The report marks a turning point for federal Internet policy. During the past 15 years of the commercial Internet, Congress and executive branch agencies have largely taken a hands off approach to the Internet out of a concern that a heavy government hand would stifle innovation.

More
Complete Coverage: What They Know
.The report cites comments from some major technology companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc., expressing concerns about the current patchwork of rules and guidelines governing online privacy.

The 88-page Commerce Department report states that the use of personal information has increased so much that privacy laws may now be needed to restore consumer trust in the medium.

The report is preliminary and will be completed next year. At that time, the administration is expected to make more specific legislative recommendations.

The report rejects the current state of Internet privacy notices. It says people shouldn't be expected to read and understand the legal jargon contained in privacy policies "that nobody understands, if they say anything about privacy at all."

A better approach, the report suggests, might be for companies to conduct privacy impact assessments that would be available to the public. Such reports "could create consumer awareness of privacy risks in a new technological context," the report said.

The Commerce report says people should be notified when data about them is being used in a way that is different than the reason for which it was collected. "Consumers need to know that when their data are re-used, the re-use will not cause them harm or unwarranted surprise," the report says.

It calls for a Privacy Policy Office that would "serve as a center of commercial data privacy policy expertise." The agency wouldn't oversee government use of data or existing health and financial privacy laws. Instead, it would aim to help the personal data-gathering industry develop codes of conduct that could be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

The report also calls for the development of a national data breach law that would make it easier for companies to navigate the current patchwork of state data breach laws.

It also calls for strengthening the existing wiretapping law—written in 1986—to protect more types of data from government surveillance.

Write to Julia Angwin at julia.angwin@wsj.com



Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395204576023521659672058.html#ixzz18IVnjUbO
Title: Commercial dataminers
Post by: G M on December 17, 2010, 11:22:52 AM
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/technology/1012/gallery.data_miners/index.html?iid=HLM

These data miners know everything about you
Gathering your personal information to sell to marketers, insurers, employers and anyone else who wants it is big business. Here are some of the key players.
Title: The Apps got their eye on you , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 19, 2010, 02:06:16 PM
Good intel there GM.  Here's more:

DECEMBER 18, 2010
Your Apps Are Watching You
A WSJ Investigation finds that iPhone and Android apps are breaching the privacy of smartphone users

By SCOTT THURM and YUKARI IWATANI KANE
Few devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner's real name—even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off.

These phones don't keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps"—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.

The findings reveal the intrusive effort by online-tracking companies to gather personal data about people in order to flesh out detailed dossiers on them.

 WSJ's Julia Angwin explains to Simon Constable how smartphone apps collect and broadcast data about your habits. Many don't have privacy policies and there isn't much you can do about it.
Among the apps tested, the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Because of the test's size, it's not known if the pattern holds among the hundreds of thousands of apps available.

Apps sharing the most information included TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone's unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone's zip code, along with the user's age and gender, to two of them.

Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of a game called Paper Toss—players try to throw paper wads into a trash can—each sent the phone's ID number to at least five ad companies. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies.

"In the world of mobile, there is no anonymity," says Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group. A cellphone is "always with us. It's always on."

The Journal's Cellphone Testing Methodology
The Wall Street Journal analyzed 50 popular applications, or "apps," on each of the iPhone and Android operating systems to see what information about the phones, their users and their locations the apps send to themselves and to outsiders. More >

iPhone maker Apple Inc. says it reviews each app before offering it to users. Both Apple and Google say they protect users by requiring apps to obtain permission before revealing certain kinds of information, such as location.

"We have created strong privacy protections for our customers, especially regarding location-based data," says Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr. "Privacy and trust are vitally important."

The Journal found that these rules can be skirted. One iPhone app, Pumpkin Maker (a pumpkin-carving game), transmits location to an ad network without asking permission. Apple declines to comment on whether the app violated its rules.
Smartphone users are all but powerless to limit the tracking. With few exceptions, app users can't "opt out" of phone tracking, as is possible, in limited form, on regular computers. On computers it is also possible to block or delete "cookies," which are tiny tracking files. These techniques generally don't work on cellphone apps.

The makers of TextPlus 4, Pandora and Grindr say the data they pass on to outside firms isn't linked to an individual's name. Personal details such as age and gender are volunteered by users, they say. The maker of Pumpkin Maker says he didn't know Apple required apps to seek user approval before transmitting location. The maker of Paper Toss didn't respond to requests for comment.

Journal Community
Vote: Do you think apps should tell you when they collect and send information about the mobile device?

Many apps don't offer even a basic form of consumer protection: written privacy policies. Forty-five of the 101 apps didn't provide privacy policies on their websites or inside the apps at the time of testing. Neither Apple nor Google requires app privacy policies.

To expose the information being shared by smartphone apps, the Journal designed a system to intercept and record the data they transmit, then decoded the data stream. The research covered 50 iPhone apps and 50 on phones using Google's Android operating system. (Methodology at WSJ.com/WTK.)

The Journal also tested its own iPhone app; it didn't send information to outsiders. The Journal doesn't have an Android phone app.

Among all apps tested, the most widely shared detail was the unique ID number assigned to every phone. It is effectively a "supercookie," says Vishal Gurbuxani, co-founder of Mobclix Inc., an exchange for mobile advertisers.

On iPhones, this number is the "UDID," or Unique Device Identifier. Android IDs go by other names. These IDs are set by phone makers, carriers or makers of the operating system, and typically can't be blocked or deleted.

"The great thing about mobile is you can't clear a UDID like you can a cookie," says Meghan O'Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. "That's how we track everything."

Ms. O'Holleran says Traffic Marketplace, a unit of Epic Media Group, monitors smartphone users whenever it can. "We watch what apps you download, how frequently you use them, how much time you spend on them, how deep into the app you go," she says. She says the data is aggregated and not linked to an individual.

More From the Series
A Web Pioneer Profiles Users by Name
Web's New Goldmine: Your Secrets
Personal Details Exposed Via Biggest Sites
Microsoft Quashed Bid to Boost Web Privacy
On Cutting Edge, Anonymity in Name Only
Stalking by Cellphone
Google Agonizes Over Privacy
On the Web, Children Face Intensive Tracking
'Scrapers' Dig Deep for Data on Web
Facebook in Privacy Breach
Insurers Test Data Profiles to Identify Risky Clients
Shunned Profiling Technology on the Verge of Comeback
Race Is On to 'Fingerprint' Phones, PCs
The Tracking Ecosystem
Follow @whattheyknow on Twitter
Complete Coverage: What They Know
The main companies setting ground rules for app data-gathering have big stakes in the ad business. The two most popular platforms for new U.S. smartphones are Apple's iPhone and Google's Android. Google and Apple also run the two biggest services, by revenue, for putting ads on mobile phones.

Apple and Google ad networks let advertisers target groups of users. Both companies say they don't track individuals based on the way they use apps.

Apple limits what can be installed on an iPhone by requiring iPhone apps to be offered exclusively through its App Store. Apple reviews those apps for function, offensiveness and other criteria.

Apple says iPhone apps "cannot transmit data about a user without obtaining the user's prior permission and providing the user with access to information about how and where the data will be used." Many apps tested by the Journal appeared to violate that rule, by sending a user's location to ad networks, without informing users. Apple declines to discuss how it interprets or enforces the policy.

Phones running Google's Android operating system are made by companies including Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Google doesn't review the apps, which can be downloaded from many vendors. Google says app makers "bear the responsibility for how they handle user information."

Google requires Android apps to notify users, before they download the app, of the data sources the app intends to access. Possible sources include the phone's camera, memory, contact list, and more than 100 others. If users don't like what a particular app wants to access, they can choose not to install the app, Google says.

"Our focus is making sure that users have control over what apps they install, and notice of what information the app accesses," a Google spokesman says.

Neither Apple nor Google requires apps to ask permission to access some forms of the device ID, or to send it to outsiders. When smartphone users let an app see their location, apps generally don't disclose if they will pass the location to ad companies.

Lack of standard practices means different companies treat the same information differently. For example, Apple says that, internally, it treats the iPhone's UDID as "personally identifiable information." That's because, Apple says, it can be combined with other personal details about people—such as names or email addresses—that Apple has via the App Store or its iTunes music services. By contrast, Google and most app makers don't consider device IDs to be identifying information.

A growing industry is assembling this data into profiles of cellphone users. Mobclix, the ad exchange, matches more than 25 ad networks with some 15,000 apps seeking advertisers. The Palo Alto, Calif., company collects phone IDs, encodes them (to obscure the number), and assigns them to interest categories based on what apps people download and how much time they spend using an app, among other factors.

By tracking a phone's location, Mobclix also makes a "best guess" of where a person lives, says Mr. Gurbuxani, the Mobclix executive. Mobclix then matches that location with spending and demographic data from Nielsen Co.

In roughly a quarter-second, Mobclix can place a user in one of 150 "segments" it offers to advertisers, from "green enthusiasts" to "soccer moms." For example, "die hard gamers" are 15-to-25-year-old males with more than 20 apps on their phones who use an app for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Mobclix says its system is powerful, but that its categories are broad enough to not identify individuals. "It's about how you track people better," Mr. Gurbuxani says.

Some app makers have made changes in response to the findings. At least four app makers posted privacy policies after being contacted by the Journal, including Rovio Mobile Ltd., the Finnish company behind the popular game Angry Birds (in which birds battle egg-snatching pigs). A spokesman says Rovio had been working on the policy, and the Journal inquiry made it a good time to unveil it.

Free and paid versions of Angry Birds were tested on an iPhone. The apps sent the phone's UDID and location to the Chillingo unit of Electronic Arts Inc., which markets the games. Chillingo says it doesn't use the information for advertising and doesn't share it with outsiders.

Apps have been around for years, but burst into prominence when Apple opened its App Store in July 2008. Today, the App Store boasts more than 300,000 programs.

Other phone makers, including BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. and Nokia Corp., quickly built their own app stores. Google's Android Market, which opened later in 2008, has more than 100,000 apps. Market researcher Gartner Inc. estimates that world-wide app sales this year will total $6.7 billion.

Many developers offer apps for free, hoping to profit by selling ads inside the app. Noah Elkin of market researcher eMarketer says some people "are willing to tolerate advertising in apps to get something for free." Of the 101 apps tested, the paid apps generally sent less data to outsiders.

Ad sales on phones account for less than 5% of the $23 billion in annual Internet advertising. But spending on mobile ads is growing faster than the market overall.

Central to this growth: the ad networks whose business is connecting advertisers with apps. Many ad networks offer software "kits" that automatically insert ads into an app. The kits also track where users spend time inside the app.

Some developers feel pressure to release more data about people. Max Binshtok, creator of the DailyHoroscope Android app, says ad-network executives encouraged him to transmit users' locations.

Mr. Binshtok says he declined because of privacy concerns. But ads targeted by location bring in two to five times as much money as untargeted ads, Mr. Binshtok says. "We are losing a lot of revenue."

Other apps transmitted more data. The Android app for social-network site MySpace sent age and gender, along with a device ID, to Millennial Media, a big ad network.

In its software-kit instructions, Millennial Media lists 11 types of information about people that developers may transmit to "help Millennial provide more relevant ads." They include age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views. In a re-test with a more complete profile, MySpace also sent a user's income, ethnicity and parental status.

A spokesman says MySpace discloses in its privacy policy that it will share details from user profiles to help advertisers provide "more relevant ads." My Space is a unit of News Corp., which publishes the Journal. Millennial did not respond to requests for comment on its software kit.

App makers transmitting data say it is anonymous to the outside firms that receive it. "There is no real-life I.D. here," says Joel Simkhai, CEO of Nearby Buddy Finder LLC, the maker of the Grindr app for gay men. "Because we are not tying [the information] to a name, I don't see an area of concern."

Scott Lahman, CEO of TextPlus 4 developer Gogii Inc., says his company "is dedicated to the privacy of our users. We do not share personally identifiable information or message content." A Pandora spokeswoman says, "We use listener data in accordance with our privacy policy," which discusses the app's data use, to deliver relevant advertising. When a user registers for the first time, the app asks for email address, gender, birth year and ZIP code.

Google was the biggest data recipient in the tests. Its AdMob, AdSense, Analytics and DoubleClick units collectively heard from 38 of the 101 apps. Google, whose ad units operate on both iPhones and Android phones, says it doesn't mix data received by these units.

Google's main mobile-ad network is AdMob, which it bought this year for $750 million. AdMob lets advertisers target phone users by location, type of device and "demographic data," including gender or age group.

A Google spokesman says AdMob targets ads based on what it knows about the types of people who use an app, phone location, and profile information a user has submitted to the app. "No profile of the user, their device, where they've been or what apps they've downloaded, is created or stored," he says.

Apple operates its iAd network only on the iPhone. Eighteen of the 51 iPhone apps sent information to Apple.

Apple targets ads to phone users based largely on what it knows about them through its App Store and iTunes music service. The targeting criteria can include the types of songs, videos and apps a person downloads, according to an Apple ad presentation reviewed by the Journal. The presentation named 103 targeting categories, including: karaoke, Christian/gospel music, anime, business news, health apps, games and horror movies.

People familiar with iAd say Apple doesn't track what users do inside apps and offers advertisers broad categories of people, not specific individuals.

Apple has signaled that it has ideas for targeting people more closely. In a patent application filed this past May, Apple outlined a system for placing and pricing ads based on a person's "web history or search history" and "the contents of a media library." For example, home-improvement advertisers might pay more to reach a person who downloaded do-it-yourself TV shows, the document says.

The patent application also lists another possible way to target people with ads: the contents of a friend's media library.

How would Apple learn who a cellphone user's friends are, and what kinds of media they prefer? The patent says Apple could tap "known connections on one or more social-networking websites" or "publicly available information or private databases describing purchasing decisions, brand preferences," and other data. In September, Apple introduced a social-networking service within iTunes, called Ping, that lets users share music preferences with friends. Apple declined to comment.

Tech companies file patents on blue-sky concepts all the time, and it isn't clear whether Apple will follow through on these ideas. If it did, it would be an evolution for Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who has spoken out against intrusive tracking. At a tech conference in June, he complained about apps "that want to take a lot of your personal data and suck it up."

—Tom McGinty and Jennifer Valentino-DeVries contributed to this report.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: DougMacG on December 19, 2010, 06:40:39 PM
There was a prediction out of cell phone use in Japan that by now cell phones and cell phone usage including all internet would be free at least to a decent consumer because the advertisers would pay your way to get access.  This is the opposite.  If you were a train passenger in Tokyo and consented to the service, you could be alerted to what movies were playing or what the restaurant specials are at the next stop.  Advertisers could hit consumers with precision instead of paying for broadcast to the whole metro and the subscriber of the service could benefit from timely, relevant, carefully placed info as well receiving a free service for particpating in the program.  Key to that scenario (in a free society) is that you could opt-in but you could also opt out.

My older cell phone had a software switch where you could switch your GPS off and hide it except for emergency services like a 911 call.  I can't find that option on my current 'smartphone' (treo, not iphone or android) meaning I assume that a GPS of me is running and sending all the time for anyone clever enough to track me, like a freeware or paidware app writer.  I notice that google searches from my cell phone tend to know where I am and give me local results first.  Nice feature up to a point.  When they decide to sell off the complete record of everywhere I've been to the highest bidder or every bidder, then it is not such a nice feature.

Opting out of privacy surrenders and unwanted advertising should always be a choice at a fair market price.  Bad business behavior like this by an unregulated market gives the over-regulators another generation of life and energy, and gives the Democrats and RINOs who yearn for a more government-centric, fully-regulated society the winning side of another consumer issue.  Free market conservatives and libertarians should get out in front of these privacy loss and disclosure issues.  Like the Do Not Call list concept, some government protection can be a good thing.  Give us the easy option of not being tracked or recorded.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on December 19, 2010, 07:07:45 PM
Depending on gov't to protect your privacy is like expecting it to protect your person. Law enforcement in the US is mostly stuck reacting to crimes after the fact.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: JDN on December 20, 2010, 06:38:06 AM
Depending on gov't to protect your privacy is like expecting it to protect your person. Law enforcement in the US is mostly stuck reacting to crimes after the fact.

True, however in general I like to think that by having laws with penalties and law enforcement available to enforce those laws, most people are deterred from breaking those laws.

For example, the "do not call list" has not eliminated calls, but I do think the volume of calls is much less.  If you put some sharp teeth into the penalty, and/or increase civil liability, even more people would be deterred. 
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 20, 2010, 09:08:29 AM
It seems to me that having clear statement of legal rights of privacy should be of great assistance to people looking to defend their privacy.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on December 20, 2010, 11:02:17 AM
What would that statement look like?
Title: A Bill of Privacy Rights for Social Network Users
Post by: rachelg on December 20, 2010, 08:18:18 PM
GM---You won't like the source

This doesn't cover non social networking stuff but if it didn't happen on facebook did it really happen???

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/05/bill-privacy-rights-social-network-users
A Bill of Privacy Rights for Social Network Users
Commentary by Kurt Opsahl
Social network service providers today are in a unique position. They are intermediaries and hosts to our communications, conversations and connections with loved ones, family, friends and colleagues. They have access to extremely sensitive information, including data gathered over time and from many different individuals.

Here at EFF, we've been thinking a lot recently about what specific rights a responsible social network service should provide to its users. Social network services must ensure that users have ongoing privacy and control over personal information stored with the service. Users are not just a commodity, and their rights must be respected. Innovation in social network services is important, but it must remain consistent with, rather than undermine, user privacy and control. Based on what we see today, therefore, we suggest three basic privacy-protective principles that social network users should demand:

#1: The Right to Informed Decision-Making

Users should have the right to a clear user interface that allows them to make informed choices about who sees their data and how it is used.

Users should be able to see readily who is entitled to access any particular piece of information about them, including other people, government officials, websites, applications, advertisers and advertising networks and services.

Whenever possible, a social network service should give users notice when the government or a private party uses legal or administrative processes to seek information about them, so that users have a meaningful opportunity to respond.

#2: The Right to Control

Social network services must ensure that users retain control over the use and disclosure of their data. A social network service should take only a limited license to use data for the purpose for which it was originally given to the provider. When the service wants to make a secondary use of the data, it must obtain explicit opt-in permission from the user. The right to control includes users' right to decide whether their friends may authorize the service to disclose their personal information to third-party websites and applications.

Social network services must ask their users' permission before making any change that could share new data about users, share users' data with new categories of people, or use that data in a new way. Changes like this should be "opt-in" by default, not "opt-out," meaning that users' data is not shared unless a user makes an informed decision to share it. If a social network service is adding some functionality that its users really want, then it should not have to resort to unclear or misleading interfaces to get people to use it.

#3: The Right to Leave

Users giveth, and users should have the right to taketh away.

One of the most basic ways that users can protect their privacy is by leaving a social network service that does not sufficiently protect it. Therefore, a user should have the right to delete data or her entire account from a social network service. And we mean really delete. It is not enough for a service to disable access to data while continuing to store or use it. It should be permanently eliminated from the service's servers.

Furthermore, if users decide to leave a social network service, they should be able to easily, efficiently and freely take their uploaded information away from that service and move it to a different one in a usable format. This concept, known as "data portability" or "data liberation," is fundamental to promote competition and ensure that users truly maintain control over their information, even if they sever their relationship with a particular service.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on December 20, 2010, 09:16:11 PM
So, is there a real concern/demand for such protections in social networking? Say you started "Rachelbook" with the policies below as your selling point. Do you think that would be a winning business plan for attracting people who go out of their way to post pictures of themselves puking on spring break?
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 21, 2010, 09:34:41 AM
Generally, I would like to see the principal of "opt-in" as versus "opt-out" with full and easy to understand disclosure of exactly what is involved.
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: rachelg on December 21, 2010, 08:11:26 PM
 Facebook certainly has its problems .  However your description of facebook is a couple of years old. The fastest growing group of facebook users  are 55+.    Personally  facebook  is very valuable part of my business (not to mention linkedin)  and I use to organize or be informed about community events  for grown up type stuff. 

I am really grateful that I went to college before  it would have been normal that  pictures of me at every single party I attended would  end up on facebook


The privacy concerned social network already exists  with Diaspora  but I don't see it  actually being a facebook competitor.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/196017994/diaspora-the-personally-controlled-do-it-all-distr
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 21, 2010, 08:47:22 PM
Another thing I would like to see is that the presence of surveillance cameras, private or governmental, must be posted.
Title: POTH: Computer surveillance smarter than you think
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 02, 2011, 08:42:00 AM
Hundreds of correctional officers from prisons across America descended last spring on a shuttered penitentiary in West Virginia for annual training exercises.

Some officers played the role of prisoners, acting like gang members and stirring up trouble, including a mock riot. The latest in prison gear got a workout — body armor, shields, riot helmets, smoke bombs, gas masks. And, at this year’s drill, computers that could see the action.
Perched above the prison yard, five cameras tracked the play-acting prisoners, and artificial-intelligence software analyzed the images to recognize faces, gestures and patterns of group behavior. When two groups of inmates moved toward each other, the experimental computer system sent an alert — a text message — to a corrections officer that warned of a potential incident and gave the location.

The computers cannot do anything more than officers who constantly watch surveillance monitors under ideal conditions. But in practice, officers are often distracted. When shifts change, an observation that is worth passing along may be forgotten. But machines do not blink or forget. They are tireless assistants.

The enthusiasm for such systems extends well beyond the nation’s prisons. High-resolution, low-cost cameras are proliferating, found in products like smartphones and laptop computers. The cost of storing images is dropping, and new software algorithms for mining, matching and scrutinizing the flood of visual data are progressing swiftly.

A computer-vision system can watch a hospital room and remind doctors and nurses to wash their hands, or warn of restless patients who are in danger of falling out of bed. It can, through a computer-equipped mirror, read a man’s face to detect his heart rate and other vital signs. It can analyze a woman’s expressions as she watches a movie trailer or shops online, and help marketers tailor their offerings accordingly. Computer vision can also be used at shopping malls, schoolyards, subway platforms, office complexes and stadiums.

All of which could be helpful — or alarming.

“Machines will definitely be able to observe us and understand us better,” said Hartmut Neven, a computer scientist and vision expert at Google. “Where that leads is uncertain.”

Google has been both at the forefront of the technology’s development and a source of the anxiety surrounding it. Its Street View service, which lets Internet users zoom in from above on a particular location, faced privacy complaints. Google will blur out people’s homes at their request.

Google has also introduced an application called Goggles, which allows people to take a picture with a smartphone and search the Internet for matching images. The company’s executives decided to exclude a facial-recognition feature, which they feared might be used to find personal information on people who did not know that they were being photographed.

Despite such qualms, computer vision is moving into the mainstream. With this technological evolution, scientists predict, people will increasingly be surrounded by machines that can not only see but also reason about what they are seeing, in their own limited way.

The uses, noted Frances Scott, an expert in surveillance technologies at the National Institute of Justice, the Justice Department’s research agency, could allow the authorities to spot a terrorist, identify a lost child or locate an Alzheimer’s patient who has wandered off.

The future of law enforcement, national security and military operations will most likely rely on observant machines. A few months ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon’s research arm, awarded the first round of grants in a five-year research program called the Mind’s Eye. Its goal is to develop machines that can recognize, analyze and communicate what they see. Mounted on small robots or drones, these smart machines could replace human scouts. “These things, in a sense, could be team members,” said James Donlon, the program’s manager.

Millions of people now use products that show the progress that has been made in computer vision. In the last two years, the major online photo-sharing services — Picasa by Google, Windows Live Photo Gallery by Microsoft, Flickr by Yahoo and iPhoto by Apple — have all started using face recognition. A user puts a name to a face, and the service finds matches in other photographs. It is a popular tool for finding and organizing pictures.

Kinect, an add-on to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console, is a striking advance for computer vision in the marketplace. It uses a digital camera and sensors to recognize people and gestures; it also understands voice commands. Players control the computer with waves of the hand, and then move to make their on-screen animated stand-ins — known as avatars — run, jump, swing and dance. Since Kinect was introduced in November, game reviewers have applauded, and sales are surging.

To Microsoft, Kinect is not just a game, but a step toward the future of computing. “It’s a world where technology more fundamentally understands you, so you don’t have to understand it,” said Alex Kipman, an engineer on the team that designed Kinect.

‘Please Wash Your Hands’

A nurse walks into a hospital room while scanning a clipboard. She greets the patient and washes her hands. She checks and records his heart rate and blood pressure, adjusts the intravenous drip, turns him over to look for bed sores, then heads for the door but does not wash her hands again, as protocol requires. “Pardon the interruption,” declares a recorded women’s voice, with a slight British accent. “Please wash your hands.”

Three months ago, Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., began an experiment with computer vision in a single hospital room. Three small cameras, mounted inconspicuously on the ceiling, monitor movements in Room 542, in a special care unit (a notch below intensive care) where patients are treated for conditions like severe pneumonia, heart attacks and strokes. The cameras track people going in and out of the room as well as the patient’s movements in bed.

==================

The first applications of the system, designed by scientists at General Electric, are immediate reminders and alerts. Doctors and nurses are supposed to wash their hands before and after touching a patient; lapses contribute significantly to hospital-acquired infections, research shows.

The camera over the bed delivers images to software that is programmed to recognize movements that indicate when a patient is in danger of falling out of bed. The system would send an alert to a nearby nurse.
If the results at Bassett prove to be encouraging, more features can be added, like software that analyzes facial expressions for signs of severe pain, the onset of delirium or other hints of distress, said Kunter Akbay, a G.E. scientist.

Hospitals have an incentive to adopt tools that improve patient safety. Medicare and Medicaid are adjusting reimbursement rates to penalize hospitals that do not work to prevent falls and pressure ulcers, and whose doctors and nurses do not wash their hands enough. But it is too early to say whether computer vision, like the system being tried out at Bassett, will prove to be cost-effective.

Mirror, Mirror

Daniel J. McDuff, a graduate student, stood in front of a mirror at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. After 20 seconds or so, a figure — 65, the number of times his heart was beating per minute — appeared at the mirror’s bottom. Behind the two-way mirror was a Web camera, which fed images of Mr. McDuff to a computer whose software could track the blood flow in his face.

The software separates the video images into three channels — for the basic colors red, green and blue. Changes to the colors and to movements made by tiny contractions and expansions in blood vessels in the face are, of course, not apparent to the human eye, but the computer can see them.

“Your heart-rate signal is in your face,” said Ming-zher Poh, an M.I.T. graduate student. Other vital signs, including breathing rate, blood-oxygen level and blood pressure, should leave similar color and movement clues.

The pulse-measuring project, described in research published in May by Mr. Poh, Mr. McDuff and Rosalind W. Picard, a professor at the lab, is just the beginning, Mr. Poh said. Computer vision and clever software, he said, make it possible to monitor humans’ vital signs at a digital glance. Daily measurements can be analyzed to reveal that, for example, a person’s risk of heart trouble is rising. “This can happen, and in the future it will be in mirrors,” he said.

Faces can yield all sorts of information to watchful computers, and the M.I.T. students’ adviser, Dr. Picard, is a pioneer in the field, especially in the use of computing to measure and communicate emotions. For years, she and a research scientist at the university, Rana el-Kaliouby, have applied facial-expression analysis software to help young people with autism better recognize the emotional signals from others that they have such a hard time understanding.

The two women are the co-founders of Affectiva, a company in Waltham, Mass., that is beginning to market its facial-expression analysis software to manufacturers of consumer products, retailers, marketers and movie studios. Its mission is to mine consumers’ emotional responses to improve the designs and marketing campaigns of products.

John Ross, chief executive of Shopper Sciences, a marketing research company that is part of the Interpublic Group, said Affectiva’s technology promises to give marketers an impartial reading of the sequence of emotions that leads to a purchase, in a way that focus groups and customer surveys cannot. “You can see and analyze how people are reacting in real time, not what they are saying later, when they are often trying to be polite,” he said. The technology, he added, is more scientific and less costly than having humans look at store surveillance videos, which some retailers do.

The facial-analysis software, Mr. Ross said, could be used in store kiosks or with Webcams. Shopper Sciences, he said, is testing Affectiva’s software with a major retailer and an online dating service, neither of which he would name. The dating service, he said, was analyzing users’ expressions in search of “trigger words” in personal profiles that people found appealing or off-putting.

Watching the Watchers

Maria Sonin, 33, an office worker in Waltham, Mass., sat in front of a notebook computer looking at a movie trailer while Affectiva’s software, through the PC’s Webcam, calibrated her reaction. The trailer was for “Little Fockers,” starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, which opened just before Christmas. The software measured her reactions by tracking movements on a couple of dozen points on her face — mostly along the eyes, eyebrows, nose and the perimeter of her lips.

To the human eye, Ms. Sonin appeared to be amused. The software agreed, said Dr. Kaliouby, though it used a finer-grained analysis, like recording that her smiles were symmetrical (signaling amusement, not embarrassment) and not smirks. The software, Ms. Kaliouby said, allows for continuous, objective measurement of viewers’ response to media, and in the future will do so in large numbers on the Web.

Ms. Sonin, an unpaid volunteer, said later that she did not think about being recorded by the Webcam. “It wasn’t as if it was a big camera in front of you,” she said.

=================

Page 3 of 3)



Christopher Hamilton, a technical director of visual effects, has used specialized software to analyze facial expressions and recreate them on the screen. The films he has worked on include “King Kong,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “The Matrix Revolutions.” Using facial-expression analysis technology to gauge the reaction of viewers, who agree to be watched, may well become a valuable tool for movie makers, said Mr. Hamilton, who is not involved with Affectiva.

Today, sampling audience reaction before a movie is released typically means gathering a couple of hundred people at a preview screening. The audience members then answer questions and fill out surveys. Yet viewers, marketing experts say, are often inarticulate and imprecise about their emotional reactions.
The software “makes it possible to measure audience response with a scene-by-scene granularity that the current survey-and-questionnaire approach cannot,” Mr. Hamilton said. A director, he added, could find out, for example, that although audience members liked a movie over all, they did not like two or three scenes. Or he could learn that a particular character did not inspire the intended emotional response.

Emotion-sensing software, Mr. Hamilton said, might become part of the entertainment experience — especially as more people watch movies and programs on Internet-connected televisions, computers and portable devices. Viewers could share their emotional responses with friends using recommendation systems based on what scene — say, the protagonists’ dancing or a car chase — delivered the biggest emotional jolt.

Affectiva, Dr. Picard said, intends to offer its technology as “opt-in only,” meaning consumers have to be notified and have to agree to be watched online or in stores. Affectiva, she added, has turned down companies, which she declined to name, that wanted to use its software without notifying customers.

Darker Possibilities

Dr. Picard enunciates a principled stance, but one that could become problematic in other hands.

The challenge arises from the prospect of the rapid spread of less-expensive yet powerful computer-vision technologies.

At work or school, the technology opens the door to a computerized supervisor that is always watching. Are you paying attention, goofing off or daydreaming? In stores and shopping malls, smart surveillance could bring behavioral tracking into the physical world.

More subtle could be the effect of a person knowing that he is being watched — and how that awareness changes his thinking and actions. It could be beneficial: a person thinks twice and a crime goes uncommitted. But might it also lead to a society that is less spontaneous, less creative, less innovative?

“With every technology, there is a dark side,” said Hany Farid, a computer scientist at Dartmouth. “Sometimes you can predict it, but often you can’t.”

A decade ago, he noted, no one predicted that cellphones and text messaging would lead to traffic accidents caused by distracted drivers. And, he said, it was difficult to foresee that the rise of Facebook and Twitter and personal blogs would become troves of data to be collected and exploited in tracking people’s online behavior.

Often, a technology that is benign in one setting can cause harm in a different context. Google confronted that problem this year with its face-recognition software. In its Picasa photo-storing and sharing service, face recognition helps people find and organize pictures of family and friends.

But the company took a different approach with Goggles, which lets a person snap a photograph with a smartphone, setting off an Internet search. Take a picture of the Eiffel Tower and links to Web pages with background information and articles about it appear on the phone’s screen. Take a picture of a wine bottle and up come links to reviews of that vintage.

Google could have put face recognition into the Goggles application; indeed, many users have asked for it. But Google decided against it because smartphones can be used to take pictures of individuals without their knowledge, and a face match could retrieve all kinds of personal information — name, occupation, address, workplace.

“It was just too sensitive, and we didn’t want to go there,” said Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google. “You want to avoid enabling stalker behavior.”
Title: Re: Privacy
Post by: G M on January 02, 2011, 11:49:53 AM
Another thing I would like to see is that the presence of surveillance cameras, private or governmental, must be posted.

I can tell you as someone who has worked in environments with video surveillance, that you soon stop thinking about it.
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 02, 2011, 03:41:57 PM
In many circumstances this might be true, but in many others I think not.   

Try an experiment.  Have someone you don't know and whose motives may or may not be known to you follow you around with a camera all the time.  See how it feels.

Requiring posting the presence of cameras seems to me quite a simple and right thing to do.
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: G M on January 02, 2011, 03:56:02 PM
A number of years ago, I was unfortunately a part of a national news story. I went to great lengths to avoid being interviewed and filmed. Just what restrictions on the press do you propose?
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: JDN on January 02, 2011, 04:38:24 PM
Try an experiment.  Have someone you don't know and whose motives may or may not be known to you follow you around with a camera all the time.  See how it feels.

Requiring posting the presence of cameras seems to me quite a simple and right thing to do.
Another thing I would like to see is that the presence of surveillance cameras, private or governmental, must be posted.
A number of years ago, I was unfortunately a part of a national news story. I went to great lengths to avoid being interviewed and filmed. Just what restrictions on the press do you propose?

I am a bit confused, but interested.  Different questions/issues are being addressed.  As GM has pointed out, and/or I did, photography on public property is pretty well open and protected.  I do a lot of photography and know the laws.  Except for rare exceptions you do not have to ask "permission".  Nor is there any age restrictions, etc. as long as there is not an expectation of privacy.  Whether the "press" is shooting the picture or not.  "Street shooting" has been around for a long time.  How you "feel" about being shot is not legally relevant.  Now the question, how it can be used is another issue.  Perhaps not for commercial purposes, but for "fine art" there are few restrictions.  You can avoid being "interviewed"; you can probably avoid being filmed on private property, but on public property it is difficult if not impossible to avoid being filmed/shot.  And you have little recourse.  There can and should be no restrictions.

Crafty, are you saying that signs should be posted in public spaces that surveillance cameras are being used?
On street corners?  In front of ATM machines?  Inside Office lobbies? Government buildings?  Hotels?  As long as you have no expectation of privacy,
I don't think there should be any restrictions on cameras. 

The key is expectation of privacy. For example, cameras in a hotel lobby/hallway/elevator seem reasonable.  Cameras in your private room are not.
Shots through your bedroom window from the street are legal; shots of you nude sunbathing in your enclosed back yard from a neighbor's tall tree are not.

Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 02, 2011, 06:20:04 PM
"Crafty, are you saying that signs should be posted in public spaces that surveillance cameras are being used?
On street corners?  In front of ATM machines?  Inside Office lobbies? Government buildings?  Hotels?"

Yes. 

"As long as you have no expectation of privacy, I don't think there should be any restrictions on cameras."

I have not said otherwise!  I have said that people should be informed if they are systematically surveilled.  To be perfectly clear, what I have in mind is different from, say, videoing someone on a workman's comp fraud case, or a politician or other public figure simply hiding cameras and recording every and anybody in sight.

@GM:  I would love to hear about that little adventure of yours, eithere here or by email :wink:

PS:  It occurs to me that your , , , comfort with authority may come from your being surveilled all the time  :lol:
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: JDN on January 02, 2011, 06:25:58 PM
"Crafty, are you saying that signs should be posted in public spaces that surveillance cameras are being used?
On street corners?  In front of ATM machines?  Inside Office lobbies? Government buildings?  Hotels?"

Yes. 

"As long as you have no expectation of privacy, I don't think there should be any restrictions on cameras."

I have not said otherwise!  I have said that people should be informed if they are systematically surveilled.

So you have no objection to someone photography you without your permission at will in a public space?
They find you "handsome"  :-D
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: JDN on January 02, 2011, 06:34:47 PM
"Crafty, are you saying that signs should be posted in public spaces that surveillance cameras are being used?
On street corners?  In front of ATM machines?  Inside Office lobbies? Government buildings?  Hotels?"

Yes. 


I guess what I am asking is since I or anyone can photograph you at will in a public place, without telling you or asking your permission,
why should the establishment, i.e. Hotel, etc. be required to give you notice?
Title: Look yourself up
Post by: bigdog on January 04, 2011, 08:12:51 AM
Check this out:

www.spokeo.com
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 04, 2011, 09:07:14 AM
@JDN:

Perhaps because if a human being is doing it, usually I can see them.    Surveillance cameras are often quite sneaky.  Also, with the accelerating technology in this area we are looking at levels of surveillance previously unimaginable.
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: G M on January 04, 2011, 09:11:04 AM
Crafty,

So, do you think the jurisdictions where police have arrested people for videotaping them in public venues are justified?
Title: Privacy & Big Brother: Give me your Social Security number!
Post by: DougMacG on January 05, 2011, 09:07:16 AM
If you have a speeding ticket in our state, I can already look up your birth date.  If you write me a check, I know your bank account number.  This new law could post under housing, tax policy or Glibness, but nobody cares politically about a landlord's paperwork issues, so let's turn it around the other way.  If you want to mow a lawn, shovel a walk, change a light bulb or a faucet washer for me, fine, give me your social security number.

New law effective 5 days ago (who knew?) requires a rental property owner to file a 1099 for anyone everyone that provided $600 of service in a year - that is $50/mo.  The only way to know if it will reach $600 per year is to track it from the first dollar and require a W-9 before the mower sets a wheel on the property and before the first dollar changes hands.  Part I required on the W-9: Exact name and exact matching social security number, not last 4 digits or any effort at privacy protection.

Those my age now look back and see how many people you would have your ss# by now as this new law carries over to every other area of money changing hands.

What could possibly go wrong? Besides bad landlords with info to sell, all the predator would have to do is stand in front of a vacant property, hire out small jobs, collect identity theft info and leave without paying while the work is in process.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/01/new-law-creates-big-tax-headache-rental-property-owners

Write to your new member of congress.
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: G M on January 05, 2011, 09:15:40 AM
Well, they had to pass it to find out what's in it.

Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 05, 2011, 09:24:44 AM
"Crafty, So, do you think the jurisdictions where police have arrested people for videotaping them in public venues are justified?"

How do you get that from what I am saying?  :?
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: G M on January 05, 2011, 09:30:56 AM
The argument is that there is a right of privacy enjoyed in the public venue by law enforcement and unauthorized  audio/video is a form of wiretapping.

My argument, along with the ACLU and Radley Balko (to my regret) is that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public.
Title: Schumer's Ploy
Post by: G M on January 19, 2011, 11:43:04 AM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2011/01/schumers-ploy.html

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Schumer's Ploy

This was inevitable...

When investigators discovered that Arizona gunman Jared Lee Loughner had been rejected by the Army (because of admitted drug use), it was just a matter of time before some politician connected the dots: Hey, let's require military recruiters to report anyone with a history of drug abuse to other federal agencies!

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), come on down. Earlier this week, Mr. Schumer proposed that federal officials who learn of an individual's illegal drug use must report that information to the FBI. The admission would then go into a federal database, and be used to deny the individual the right to purchase a gun.

From FoxNews.com:

Noting that the alleged shooter in the Tucson massacre had admitted to military recruiters that he had used drugs on several occasions, Schumer said he is proposing to the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that the military be required to to notify federal officials about such admissions. He said such a process does not require new legislation.

[snip]

Schumer said if military recruiters or other officials report admissions of drug use to a national database, those individuals could be denied a gun.

After Jared Loughner was interviewed by the military, he was rejected from the Army because of excessive drug use. Now by law, by law that's on the books, she should not have been allowed to buy a gun," Schumer told NBC.

"But the law doesn't require the military to notify the FBI about that and in this case they didn't. So I--this morning--I'm writing the administration and urging that be done and the military notify the FBI when someone is rejected from the military for excessive drug use and that be added to the FBI database."

Obviously, Schumer's "proposal" is little more than a thinly-veiled effort to restrict Second Amendment rights. But unfortunately, his suggestion may gain traction, given the fallout from the Tucson tragedy and the administration's own feelings on gun control. We can hear the arguments now: This is a reasonable proposal; it won't require any new laws and it might prevent a similar massacre in the future.

But even a cursory examination reveals that the Schumer suggestion is a horribly bad idea, on multiple levels. First, it places a undue burden on military recruiters, who talk to literally dozens of potential recruits during any given week. We're reasonably sure that Senator Schumer has no idea (read: doesn't care) how much work--and paperwork--is involved in processing a single person into the U.S. military.

Now, on top of all that effort, Schumer wants armed forces recruiters--who often work in a "one-deep" office, miles from the nearest military installation--to screen all of their contacts for illegal drug use and report it to the FBI. Memo to Mr. Schumer: in 21st Century America, most of the young men and women who express an interest in military service are ultimately rejected, for a variety of reasons. So, the recruiter must wade through his list of rejects, looking for individuals whose drug use might make them a future, crazed gunman.

Readers will also note that Senator Schumer didn't bother to define the level of illegal drug use that should be reported to the FBI. Why is that an issue? Because the U.S. military, thank God, has standards that are much tougher than society as a whole. By regulation, the armed services routinely reject applicants who fail a urinalysis test, or admit to the recreational use of marijuana (or other drugs) on more than 15 occasions. That's the way it should be. We don't want stoners (or drunks) handling classified information, or maintaining multi-billion dollar weapons systems.

But that doesn't necessarily mean those same individuals should be denied the right to own a gun. In many cases, that rejection by the military is a wake-up call, convincing young people to give up the weed or the booze and become responsible adults. Those individuals, with no arrest record or convictions on file, should not be penalized for what they told a military recruiter years ago. Under current laws, persons in that category are still eligible for gun ownership, and we see no reason to change.

Besides, the type of drug use in Lougher's case was not a clear predictor of his future rampage. We're guessing the marijuana didn't help, but no one can make the case that Lougher was pushed over the edge because of his drug use. Indeed, the type of activity that Lougher told the Army about is a misdemeanor offense in much of the country.

Ask yourself this question: Do we really need to create a national database of young people who have admitted to marijuana use, and send the FBI to pay them a visit--on the very remote chance they might buy a gun and go off the deep end? Personally, I'd rather see the FBI devote its resources to more important tasks, such as tracking down the thousands of individuals from terrorist havens who enter this country each year. That group poses a far greater menace than military rejects who admit to past recreational drug use and may choose to buy a gun some day.

Schumer's proposal creates civil liberties issues as well. Requiring military recruiters to report applicant's admitted drug use could be construed as a form of illegal domestic surveillance. There's also the matter of where the reporting might end. At some point, most recruits fill out a SF-86, which provides background information for their security clearance. Would Mr. Schumer like the military to hand over those as well? Compared to recruiter interview forms, the SF-86 is a veritable goldmine of information on past residences, associations and travels.

And while we're on that topic, what about notes from the Defense Investigative Service agents who interview the family and friends of those applying for a clearance? Did we mention that some of the claims made in those interviews are unsubstantiated? Now, imagine all that information making its way into a national database, accessible to legions of bureaucrats and available for all sorts of purposes. Gee, whatever happened to that supposed right to privacy that the left keeps harping about?

If it's any consolation, the Schumer proposal is still a ways from becoming a legal requirement. But don't discount that possibility, since it can be implemented without new legislation. Stroke of the pen, law of the land, as the Clintonistas used to say.
***
ADDENDUM: Hard-core libertarians and the folks at NORML should not interpret this as an endorsement of legalizing drugs. Far from it. We still support the "zero tolerance" policy of the U.S. military and wish the same standard could be applied to military recruits. Unfortunately, the armed services have elected to tolerate certain levels of recreational drug use among prospective enlistees, due to the widespread use of marijuana among those in the primary recruiting cohort (18-25 year-olds).
Title: POTB: Your Rx or your privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 31, 2011, 09:49:49 AM
Your Rx or your privacy
The Supreme Court will decide whether states can bar the buying and selling of prescription data.

IMS Health Inc. operates in the shadows of the healthcare industry, gathering data that drug makers can use to sell medications more effectively. The data, however, are taken from the prescriptions that doctors write for their patients. That information is at the heart of a dispute over how far states can go to protect privacy — a dispute that has reached the Supreme Court, and one that could broaden the reach of the 1st Amendment in troubling ways.

IMS and a handful of market research competitors pay pharmacists for the details contained in prescriptions, including the name of the doctor and the patient, the drug prescribed and the dosage. They compile that information into databases that track individual doctors' prescribing habits, replacing patients' names with "de-identified" numbers. Such databases can be valuable to the public, potentially helping to enforce drug laws, find patterns in the spread of disease and spot variations in how medications are used. But the main use — and the one that pays for the databases — is to help pharmaceutical companies persuade physicians to prescribe more of their products.

That's one of the reasons states across the country have proposed or enacted regulations governing prescription data mining. Drug makers hire legions of sales representatives to pitch physicians in person about new products and new applications for older medications. They pay market researchers millions of dollars for information on individual doctors' prescriptions because it helps them find sick people (chronically sick people in particular) who could be treated with their drugs or who are taking their competitors' medications.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get the best in Southern California opinion journalism delivered to your inbox with our Opinion L.A. newsletter. Sign up »
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Some doctors object to the disclosure of such arguably private information to drug company sales forces. And some consumer advocates argue persuasively that the marketing inevitably leads physicians to prescribe drugs too frequently, and to prescribe the newer and more expensive drugs that pharmaceutical companies hawk most aggressively. These drugs may have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily the best choice for the patient; the FDA doesn't compare the effectiveness of new drugs against existing therapies.

In light of these concerns, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont each adopted laws restricting the release of information on individual physicians' prescriptions. IMS, other market researchers and drug manufacturers challenged those laws in federal court, claiming that their 1st Amendment rights were violated. The plaintiffs contended that the information provided by market researchers to drug companies and from drug companies to physicians was a form of "speech" that the states could regulate only if there was a compelling state interest and only if they used the least restrictive means to do so. There was no evidence that drug marketing harmed physicians or patients, they argued, so there was no compelling state interest in limiting speech.

The U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the strictures in New Hampshire (and later, Maine) but the 2nd Circuit overturned the law in Vermont. The divergent rulings reflected a split between the courts over whether regulating the sale of such data amounted to a restraint on speech. The 1st Circuit held that New Hampshire's law restricted market research companies' conduct — namely, their ability to aggregate and transfer information for drug-marketing purposes — not their speech. The 2nd Circuit held that Vermont restricted speech by data miners and pharmaceutical companies, but did so without demonstrating a compelling state interest.

This month the Supreme Court agreed to consider Vermont's appeal, and we hope the justices will be guided by the dissent written by 2nd Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston. As Livingston noted, pharmacies obtain sensitive information about doctors and prescriptions only because the state orders them to gather it for law enforcement reasons. Otherwise, doctors and patients might insist that the data be kept confidential. That information is every bit as sensitive as a hospital chart or a doctor's notes, and should be subject to equally effective protection.

Just because IMS doesn't supply patients' names to drug companies, that doesn't mean they can't be tracked individually. According to Meredith Jacob of the American University Washington College of Law, the databases assign unique numbers to pharmacies' customers that can be used to follow their prescriptions over time, helping drug makers spot the patients most likely to be customers for their new drugs and market those medicines to their physicians.

What's worse, the data about prescriptions could conceivably be combined with other records to reveal some patients' names. That's because "de-identified" data may provide clues that enable it to be matched against names in other databases. In one example of this technique cited in a brief by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a researcher was able to use public records to name more than a third of the supposedly anonymized victims in Chicago's homicide database.

Drug makers should be able to market their products, but their 1st Amendment rights shouldn't guarantee them access to sensitive data that wouldn't exist but for the government's requirement that doctors and patients disclose it. Many of the public health and safety benefits cited by defenders of prescription data mining can be obtained without revealing prescribers' names to drug company sales reps. If states want to give doctors and their patients more protection against marketers gaining access to that information, they should be able to do so.
Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Title: Atlanta PD taps into private cameras too
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 18, 2011, 11:45:54 AM
BY MARCUS K. GARNER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Someday very soon, if you stroll through Piedmont Park, travel the Downtown Connector, hit one of the bars or restaurants in Midtown or visit the Georgia Dome or Philips Arena, you'll have an invisible companion: the Atlanta Police Department.

This spring, the department will open a video integration center designed to compile and analyze footage from thousands of public and private security cameras throughout the city. Images from as many as 500 cameras in downtown and Midtown are expected to be flowing into the center by mid-summer.

Several metro Atlanta police agencies use cameras to bolster public safety, but the city's new venture, which will integrate data supplied by private entities such as CNN, America's Mart and Midtown Blue as well as public agencies such as the Federal Reserve, MARTA and the Georgia Department of Transportation, represents a whole new level of electronic surveillance.

Atlanta police Chief George Turner pointed to the case of Charles Boyer, gunned down outside a Virginia-Highland apartment building in November, to show what cameras can do. Footage from a security camera, which captured images of men refueling a vehicle similar to one described by witnesses to the shooting, contributed to the arrest five days later of the three men charged with Boyer's murder.

"How successful were we in solving that crime because of the video we had?" Turner asked in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "That's an example of how this will work."

In fact, the technology installed in the new center will be capable of much more, according to David Wilkinson, president of the Atlanta Police Foundation, which funds a camera network operated by the private security agency Midtown Blue.

The foundation raised a half-million dollars to supplement the $2.6 million in federal funds the city will use to build its new center. The federal money came from Homeland Security grants and Justice Department seizure funds.

Wilkinson said the center will use software that can identify suspicious activity and guide officers right to the scene of a crime as it's occurring. In effect, the software will multiply the eyes and ears of the five to seven people per shift who will initially monitor video footage around the clock.

"Monitoring is somewhat of a fallacy," Wilkinson said. "Analytics will help control the cameras."

The software includes a program called "Gun Spotter," which automatically cues up cameras in the vicinity of the sound of gunfire, so dispatchers can get a quick jump on what happened. Other software will send images to the officers' in-car computers and even to the screens of web-enabled smart phones.

"The real goal is to prevent the crime," Wilkinson said. "You do that by setting up police patrols, cameras, things that deter criminal from ever committing crime."

Facial recognition systems, license plate reading and automatic tracking programs also are available, although cities such as Chicago, which has pioneered citywide video surveillance, has reported those technologies are not yet ready for prime time.

Atlanta is modeling its surveillance network after Chicago's, which integrates data from a 10,000-camera network. This week, the Illinois ACLU issued a report demanding a moratorium on further expansion of Chicago's system on the grounds that it represents an unacceptable threat to personal privacy.

"Cameras do not deter crime, they just displace it," said Adam Schwartz, a lawyer for the Illinois ACLU. "It's difficult to see where the benefits of using cameras outweighs the costs --- including a vast amount of money, potential privacy invasion and a potential chilling of free speech."

With the promise of integrated surveillance capabilities in the hands of Atlanta police, Georgia's ACLU is voicing similar concerns.

"We always hope for strong oversight and regulation to make sure there are no violations of privacy," Georgia ACLU attorney Chara Fisher Jackson said. "But until we see it [at work], we won't say what actions we might take."

Greg McGraw, who lives in East Cobb and works in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward, isn't too worried about police looking over his shoulder.

"People expose themselves so much on Facebook, privacy is a joke," McGraw said. "If it's going to make people safer, I'm for it."

Megan Larion, who lives in Buckhead and manages a Virginia-Highland apartment complex, is OK with the cameras, too, especially when she thinks about Boyer's slaying.

"I guess those folks who think these cameras mark the end of the world will be upset, but that's all," Larion said. "I think it's a good thing. It'll improve our industry, and people will feel more safe."

For a preview of how Atlanta's proposed network will function, you just have to look at the nearly 50 video screens that flicker above the front office of Midtown Blue. When someone calls in to report suspicious activity, a video dispatcher can remotely pan, tilt or zoom any one of the $13,000 cameras, tracking the suspect and directing an officer to the spot.

"When you have a dispatcher sitting here, you can actually catch crimes before they occur," said Col. Wayne Mock, a retired Atlanta policeman who manages Midtown Blue.

If a crime does occur, the cameras make excellent witnesses, he said. "The video tells you what actually happened and doesn't get excited like the average witness might."

Other local police agencies also are using cameras to bolster the impact of their officers.

"We were convinced that this was an effective force multiplier," said Lilburn police Chief John Davidson.

But cities in other states have encountered glitches. Cincinnati is currently on its second video surveillance network; the first system, started in 2005, proved ineffective. And Orlando's system failed to deliver on its promise when the city ran short of funds for the necessary software.

In Chicago, even with cameras on every corner, as Mayor Richard M. Daley famously said he wants, video has its limits, said Jonathan Lewin, managing deputy director of the city's emergency management office.

"It provides an overall positive effect if you can saturate the area," Lewin said. "But it's not going to provide the panacea that will completely eliminate crime."

Title: Big Brother seeks to track gold buyers
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 19, 2011, 10:52:28 AM


Prepare To Give Up All Private Data For Any Gold Purchase Over $100
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/18/2011 20:59 -0500
www.zerohedge.com




A week ago, when we reported on a move by the Dutch central bank that
ordered a pension fund to forcibly reduce its gold holdings, we speculated
that "this latest gold confiscation equivalent event is most certainly
coming to a banana republic near you." And while we got the Banana republic
right, the event that we are about to describe is not necessarily identical.
It is much worse. A bill proposed in the State of Washington (House Bill
1716), by representatives Asay, Hurst, Klippert, Pearson, and Miloscia,
whose alleged purpose is to regulate secondhand gold dealers, seeks to
capture "the name, date of birth, sex, height, weight, race, and address and
telephone number of the person with whom the transaction is made" or said
otherwise, of every purchaser of gold in the state of Washington.
Furthermore, if passed, Bill 1716 will record "a complete description of the
property pledged, bought, or consigned, including the brand name, serial
number, model number or name, any initials or engraving, size, pattern, and
color or stone or stones" and of course price. But the kicker: if a
transaction is mode for an amount over $100, which means one tenth of an
ounce of golds, also required will be a "signature, photo, and fingerprint
of the person with whom the transaction is made." In other words, very soon
Washington state will know more about you than you know about yourself, if
you dare to buy any gold object worth more than a C-note. How this proposal
is supposed to protect consumers against vulture gold dealers we don't quite
get. Hopefully someone will explain it to us. We do, however, get how
Americans will part with any and all privacy if they were to exchange fiat
for physical. And in a police state like America, this will likely not be
taken lightly, thereby killing the gold trade should the proposed Bill pass,
and be adopted elsewhere.
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: G M on February 19, 2011, 11:00:46 AM
Great.....
Title: WSJ: Developments in internet privacy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 28, 2011, 09:54:24 AM
By JULIA ANGWIN and EMILY STEEL
As the surreptitious tracking of Internet users becomes more aggressive and widespread, tiny start-ups and technology giants alike are pushing a new product: privacy.

Companies including Microsoft Corp., McAfee Inc.—and even some online-tracking companies themselves—are rolling out new ways to protect users from having their movements monitored online. Some are going further and starting to pay people a commission every time their personal details are used by marketing companies.


"Data is a new form of currency," says Shane Green, chief executive of a Washington start-up, Personal Inc. , which has raised $7.6 million for a business that aims to help people profit from providing their personal information to advertisers.

The Wall Street Journal's year-long What They Know investigation into online tracking has exposed a fast-growing network of hundreds of companies that collect highly personal details about Internet users—their online activities, political views, health worries, shopping habits, financial situations and even, in some cases, their real names—to feed the $26 billion U.S. online-advertising industry.

In the first nine months of last year, spending on Internet advertising rose nearly 14%, while the overall ad industry only grew about 6%, according to data from PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP and WPP PLC's Kantar Media.

Testing the new privacy marketplace are people like Giles Sequeira, a London real-estate developer who recently began selling his own personal data. "I'm not paranoid about privacy," he says. But as he learned more, he says, he became concerned about how his data was getting used.

People "have no idea where it is going to end up," he says.

So in December, Mr. Sequeira became one of the first customers of London start-up Allow Ltd. , which offers to sell people's personal information on their behalf, and give them 70% of the sale. Mr. Sequeira has already received one payment of £5.56 ($8.95) for letting Allow tell a credit-card company he is shopping for new plastic.

"I wouldn't give my car to a stranger" for free, Mr. Sequeira says, "So why do I do that with my personal data?"

As people are becoming more aware of the value of their data, some are seeking to protect it, and sometimes sell it. In January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, executives and academics gathered to discuss how to turn personal data into an "asset class" by giving people the right to manage and sell it on their own behalf.

"We are trying to shift the focus from purely privacy to what we call property rights," says Michele Luzi, a director at consulting firm Bain & Co. who led the Davos discussion.

Allow, the company that paid Mr. Sequeira, is just one of nearly a dozen start-ups hoping to profit from the nascent privacy market. Several promise to pay people a commission on the sale of their data. Others offer free products to block online tracking, in the hopes of later selling users other services—such as disposable phone numbers or email addresses that make personal tracking tougher. Still others sell paid services, such as removing people's names from marketing databases.


"Entrepreneurs smell opportunity," says Satya Patel, venture capitalist at Battery Ventures, which led a group of investors that poured $8 million in June into a start-up called SafetyWeb , which helps parents monitor their children's activities on social-networking sites and is rolling out a new privacy-protection service for adults, myID.com .

For the lightly regulated tracking industry, a big test of the new privacy marketplace is whether it will quiet the growing chorus of critics calling for tougher government oversight. Lawmakers this month introduced two separate privacy bills in Congress, and in December the Obama administration called for an online-privacy "bill of rights." The Federal Trade Commission is pushing for a do-not-track system inspired by the do-not-call registry that blocks phone calls from telemarketers.

The industry is hustling on several fronts to respond to regulatory concerns. Last week, Microsoft endorsed a do-not-track system. Microsoft also plans to add a powerful anti-tracking tool to the next version of its Web-browsing software, Internet Explorer 9. That's a reversal: Microsoft's earlier decision to remove a similar privacy feature from Explorer was the subject of a Journal article last year.

The online-ad industry itself is also rolling out new privacy services in hopes of heading off regulation. Most let users opt out of seeing targeted ads, though they generally don't prevent tracking.
The privacy market has been tested before, during the dot-com boom around 2000, a time when online tracking was just being born. A flurry of online-privacy-related start-ups sprang up but only a few survived due to limited consumer appetite.

As recently as 2008, privacy was so hard to sell that entrepreneur Rob Shavell says he avoided even using the word when he pitched investors on his start-up, Abine Inc. , which blocks online tracking. Today, he says, Abine uses the word "privacy" again, and has received more than 30 unsolicited approaches from investors in the past six months.

It's rarely a coincidence when you see Web ads for products that match your interests. WSJ's Christina Tsuei explains how advertisers use cookies to track your online habits.
In June, another company, TRUSTe, raised $12 million from venture capitalists to expand its privacy services. At the same time, Reputation.com Inc. raised $15 million and tripled its investments in new privacy initiatives including a service that removes people's names from online databases and a tool to let people encrypt their Facebook posts.

"It's just night and day out there," says Abine's Mr. Shavell.

Online advertising companies—many of which use online tracking to target ads—are also jumping into the privacy-protection business. AOL, one of largest online trackers, recently ramped up promotion of privacy services that it sells.

And in December, enCircle Media, an ad agency that works with tracking companies, invested in the creation of a privacy start-up, IntelliProtect . Last month IntelliProtect launched a $8.95-a-month privacy service that will, among other things, prevent people from seeing some online ads based on tracking data.

In its marketing material, IntelliProtect doesn't disclose its affiliation with the ad company, enCircle Media, that invested in it. When contacted by the Journal, IntelliProtect said it would never give or sell customer data to other entities, including its parent companies.
A cofounder of Allow, Justin Basini, also traces his roots to the ad industry. Mr. Basini came up with the idea for his new business when working as head of brand marketing for Capital One Europe. He says he was amazed at the "huge amounts" of data the credit-card companies had amassed about individuals.

But the data didn't produce great results, he says. The response rate to Capital One's targeted mailings was 1-in-100, he says—vastly better than untargeted mailings, but still "massively inefficient." Mr. Basini says. "So I thought, 'Why not try to incentivize the customer to become part of the process?"

People feel targeted ads online are "spooky," he says, because people aren't aware of how much personal data is being traded. His proposed solution: Ask people permission before showing them ads targeted at their personal interests, and base the ads only on information people agree to provide.

In 2009, Mr. Basini left Capital One and teamed up with cofounder Howard Huntley, a technologist. He raised £440,000 ($708,400) from family, friends and a few investors, and launched Allow in December. The company has attracted 4,000 customers, he says.

Mr. Basini says his strategy is to first make individuals' data scarce, so it can become more valuable when he sells it later. To do that, Allow removes its customers from the top 12 marketing databases in the U.K., which Mr. Basini says account for 90% of the market. Allow also lists its customers in the official U.K. registries for people who don't want to receive telemarketing or postal solicitations.

Currently, Allow operates only in the U.K., which (unlike the U.S.) has a law that requires companies to honor individuals' requests to be removed from marketing databases.


Then, Mr. Basini asks his customers to create a profile that can contain their name, address, employment, number of kids, hobbies and shopping intent—in other words, lists of things they're thinking about buying. Customers can choose to grant certain marketers permission to send them offers, in return for a 70% cut of the price marketers pay to reach them. Allow says it has finalized a deal with one marketer and has five more deals it hopes to close soon.

Mr. Basini says Allow tries to prevent people from "gaming" the system by watching for people who state an intention to buy lots of things, but don't follow through.
Because Allow's data comes from people who have explicitly stated their interest in being contacted about specific products, it can command a higher price than data gathered by stealthier online-tracking technologies. For instance, online-tracking companies routinely sell pieces of information about people's Web-browsing habits for less than a penny per person. By comparison, Allow says it sells access to Mr. Sequeira for £5 to £10 per marketer.

Mr. Sequeira, the London real-estate executive, says that after he filled out an "intention" to get a new credit card, he received a £15.56 credit in his Allow account: a £10 signing fee plus a £5.56 payment from the sale of his data to a credit-card marketer. So far, he says, he hasn't received a card offer from the company.

"I don't think it's going to make a life-changing amount of money," says Mr. Sequeira. But, he says he enjoyed the little windfall enough that he is now letting Allow offer his data to other advertisers. "I can see this becoming somewhat addictive."

Write to Julia Angwin at julia.angwin@wsj.com and Emily Steel at emily.steel@wsj.com
Title: WSJ: McCain-Kerry bill
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 09, 2011, 08:23:51 PM

By JULIA ANGWIN
(See Corrections & Amplifications item below.)

Sens. John McCain and John Kerry are circulating proposed legislation to create an "online privacy bill of rights," according to people familiar with the situation, a sign of bipartisan support for efforts to curb the Internet-tracking industry.

 
John McCain
.Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, are backing a bill that would require companies to seek a person's permission to share data about him with outsiders. It would also give people the right to see the data collected on them. The bill is expected to be introduced ahead of a Senate Commerce Committee hearing next Wednesday on online privacy.

The move comes amid widening scrutiny of the tracking industry. In the past year, The Wall Street Journal's "What They Know" series has revealed that popular websites install thousands of tracking technologies on people's computers without their knowledge, feeding an industry that gathers and sells information on their finances, political leanings and religious interests, among other things.

In another sign of Washington's efforts to regulate tracking, the Obama administration is moving to fill two key jobs related to privacy policy. People familiar with the matter said the administration is in talks with Jules Polonetsky, who currently heads the Future of Privacy Forum, an industry-funded think tank, to run a new privacy office in the Commerce Department. Mr. Polonetsky was previously chief privacy officer at online-advertising companies AOL Inc. and DoubleClick, now part of Google Inc.

 
John Kerry
.Daniel Weitzner, a Commerce Department official who pushed for creation of the agency's new privacy office, is expected to become deputy chief technology officer in the White House, where he would oversee a privacy task force, the people familiar with the matter said.

Sen. McCain's endorsement of privacy legislation adds a prominent Republican voice to the issue, indicating that concern over Internet tracking crosses party lines.

In December, the Federal Trade Commission urged Congress to authorize creation of a "do-not-track" system, modeled after the do-not-call list that governs telemarketers. Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, introduced such a bill in January.

The draft Kerry-McCain bill would create the nation's first comprehensive privacy law, covering personal-data gathering across all industries. That was a key recommendation of a recent Commerce Department's report, developed in part by Sen. Kerry's brother Cameron, the department's general counsel. Current laws cover only the use of certain types of personal data, such as financial and medical information.

Experience WSJ professional
 Editors' Deep Dive: Five Aspects of Online Privacy
SC MAGAZINE
DOJ Pushes for ISPs to Retain User Logs
 DMNews
Marketers Step Up Self-Regulation Practices
 The National Law Journal
Privacy and Online Data Collection at a Crossroads  Access thousands of business sources not available on the free web. Learn More  The Kerry-McCain bill would cover data ranging from names and addresses to fingerprints and unique IDs assigned to individuals' cellphones or computers. It would also establish a program to certify companies with high privacy standards. Those companies would be allowed to sell personal data to outsiders without seeking permission in each instance.

A spokeswoman for Sen. McCain confirmed that the two senators were "in discussion" but said "we don't have anything to announce at this time." A spokeswoman for Sen. Kerry declined to comment.

Last week, Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns said he would introduce draft privacy legislation soon, although his approach would largely allow the industry to continue many current practices.

Speaking at the Technology Policy Institute, Rep. Stearns said his proposal would allow the FTC to approve a five-year self-regulatory program that would encourage companies to offer more information to consumers about how they were being tracked. "The goal of the legislation is to empower consumers to make their own privacy choices," he said.



Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704629104576190911145462284.html#ixzz1GAR6fsIa
Title: Not quite sure what to make of this , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 18, 2011, 08:45:11 AM


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/online-persona-management_n_837153.html
Title: Federalizing Electronic Copyright Enforcement
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on March 30, 2011, 12:57:23 PM
White House wants new copyright law crackdown
by Declan McCullagh

 
The White House today proposed sweeping revisions to U.S. copyright law, including making "illegal streaming" of audio or video a federal felony and allowing FBI agents to wiretap suspected infringers.
In a 20-page white paper (PDF), the Obama administration called on the U.S. Congress to fix "deficiencies that could hinder enforcement" of intellectual property laws.

Victoria Espinel, the first Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, with Vice President Joe Biden during an event last year.
(Credit: Whitehouse.gov)
The report was prepared by Victoria Espinel, the first Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator who received Senate confirmation in December 2009, and represents a broad tightening of many forms of intellectual property law including ones that deal with counterfeit pharmaceuticals and overseas royalties for copyright holders. (See CNET's report last month previewing today's white paper.)
Some of the highlights:
• The White House is concerned that "illegal streaming of content" may not be covered by criminal law, saying "questions have arisen about whether streaming constitutes the distribution of copyrighted works." To resolve that ambiguity, it wants a new law to "clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances."
• Under federal law, wiretaps may only be conducted in investigations of serious crimes, a list that was expanded by the 2001 Patriot Act to include offenses such as material support of terrorism and use of weapons of mass destruction. The administration is proposing to add copyright and trademark infringement, arguing that move "would assist U.S. law enforcement agencies to effectively investigate those offenses."
• Under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it's generally illegal to distribute hardware or software--such as the DVD-decoding software Handbrake available from a server in France--that can "circumvent" copy protection technology. The administration is proposing that if Homeland Security seizes circumvention devices, it be permitted to "inform rightholders," "provide samples of such devices," and assist "them in bringing civil actions."
The term "fair use" does not appear anywhere in the report. But it does mention Web sites like The Pirate Bay, which is hosted in Sweden, when warning that "foreign-based and foreign-controlled Web sites and Web services raise particular concerns for U.S. enforcement efforts." (See previous coverage of a congressional hearing on overseas sites.)
The usual copyright hawks, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, applauded the paper, which grew out of a so-called joint strategic plan that Vice President Biden and Espinel announced in June 2010.
Rob Calia, a senior director at the Chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center, said we "strongly support the white paper's call for Congress to clarify that criminal copyright infringement through unauthorized streaming, is a felony. We know both the House and Senate are looking at this issue and encourage them to work closely with the administration and other stakeholders to combat this growing threat."
In October 2008, President Bush signed into law the so-called Pro IP ACT, which created Espinel's position and increased penalties for infringement, after expressing its opposition to an earlier version.
Unless legislative proposals--like one nearly a decade ago implanting strict copy controls in digital devices--go too far, digital copyright tends not to be a particularly partisan topic. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, near-universally disliked by programmers and engineers for its anti-circumvention section, was approved unanimously in the U.S. Senate.
At the same time, Democratic politicians tend to be a bit more enthusiastic about the topic. Biden was a close Senate ally of copyright holders, and President Obama picked top copyright industry lawyers for Justice Department posts. Last year, Biden warned that "piracy is theft."
No less than 78 percent of political contributions from Hollywood went to Democrats in 2008, which is broadly consistent with the trend for the last two decades, according to OpenSecrets.org.


Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20043421-281.html#ixzz1I79UjHQe
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 30, 2011, 03:49:51 PM
VERY interesting subject matter to me!!!  Cindy and I live an Sisyphean struggle on a regular basis with sites that pirate our DVDs.  :x :x :x
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: G M on March 30, 2011, 04:20:26 PM
I think it's obvious that the "war against copyright infringement" is a failure and the only option is legalization.


 :evil:
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 31, 2011, 11:17:22 AM
Very witty , , , and devoid of actual content  :-P :lol:
Title: Smile!
Post by: G M on April 02, 2011, 03:21:47 PM
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/129568/20110401/google-goggles-face-recognition-app-privacy-smartphone-mobile.htm

Friday, April 1, 2011 7:46 AM EDT

Privacy concerns plague Google Goggles facial recognition

By IBTimes Staff Reporter




As privacy concerns plague the much-anticipated Google Goggles facial recognition feature, the internet giant has asserted that it is "still working" on the smartphone app. The company's statement comes after a media report on the upcoming Google Goggle facial recognition app prompted tech observers raise questions on how the app would compromise on privacy.
 
CNN reported Thursday that Google was working on an app that would identify people's faces. The mobile application would allow users to snap pictures of people's faces in order to access their personal information, a director for the project said this week, the report said.
 
In response to the report on the upcoming app, Venture Beat argued Friday that Google's face-recognition app "sounds great for stalkers."
 
"Tech companies keep on creating great new technologies that raise a lot of privacy concerns. The latest example is Google's upcoming mobile app that will identify people's faces in order to access their personal information," the report noted.
Title: Re: Privacy & Big Brother (both State and Corporate)
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 02, 2011, 04:12:48 PM
 :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o :-o
Title: spear phishing
Post by: bigdog on April 04, 2011, 06:27:08 AM
With the news that millions of email addresses have been compromised, my employer sent out the following links for info on so-called "spear phishing." 

http://www.fbi.gov/page2/april09/spearphishing_040109.html
http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid14_gci1134829,00.html
https://www.microsoft.com/australia/athome/security/email/spear_phishing.mspx
Title: How Many Tiles in a Mosaic?
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on April 05, 2011, 07:58:25 PM
Applying the Mosaic Theory of the Fourth Amendment to Disclosure of Stored Records
Orin Kerr • April 5, 2011 4:54 pm

I’ve blogged a few times about United States v. Maynard, the controversial D.C. Circuit case holding that over time, GPS surveillance begins to be a search that requires a warrant. Maynard introduced a novel mosaic theory of the Fourth Amendment: Although individual moments of surveillance were not searches, when you added up the surveillance over time, all the non-searches taken together amounted to a search. The obvious question is, just how much is enough to trigger a search? At what does point the Constitution require the police to get a warrant?

This issue recently came up in a court order application before Magistrate Judge James Orenstein in Brooklyn seeking historical cell-site location for two cell phones used by a particular suspect. Regular readers will be familiar with Judge Orenstein: He is a very civil libertarian judge who has a strong sense of his own role, and he has concluded that Maynard is correct. In the most recent case, In the Matter of an Application of the United States of America for an Order Authorizing the Release of Historical Cell-Site Information, 2011 WL 679925 (Feb 16, 2011), Judge Orenstein tries to apply Maynard to determine if a particular discosure of information is protected by the Fourth Amendment under the Maynard mosaic theory. In the case, the government sought a court order under 18 U.S.C. 2703(d) for the cell-site records of two phones used by the same person. For one phone, the records were sought for one three-day period and a separate six-day period weeks later, and for the second phone, the records were sought for a twelve-day period several months later. The question was, did these records, viewed collectively, create a mosaic that triggers the Fourth Amendment?

In an earlier case, Judge Orenstein had concluded that the records of a 58-day period of a single cell phone did create a sufficient mosiac as to create a reasonable expectation of privacy under Maynard, such that a warrant was required to release that information. But in this case, Judge Orenstein concludes that the records sought are not protected by a reasonable expectation of privacy — and no warrant is required — because the records if released would not amount to enough of a mosaic to trigger Maynard. As a result, Orenstein agrees to issue the order without first finding probable cause. According to the opinion, here’s the reason why the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply:

The instant application requires me to consider the point at which a request for location tracking information is extensive enough to trigger the warrant requirement.. . . The rationale in Maynard, in essence, was that a month’s worth of location tracking provides an intimate picture of the subject’s life, and one that he does not meaningfully subject to public exposure, in part because sustained physical surveillance over such a period is effectively impossible.

The Maynard court took pains to distinguish the case before it from the circumstances of United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983), in which the Supreme Court decided that the use of a beeper to track a single trip on public roads did not implicate the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment. Maynard, 615 F.3d at 556. It did not attempt to define the length of time over which location tracking technology must be sustained to trigger the warrant requirement. I recognize that any such line-drawing is, at least to some extent, arbitrary. . . .

I do not mean to suggest that I can or should define the minimum duration that transforms the kind of discrete surveillance effort at issue in Knotts into the sustained location tracking that triggers the warrant requirement under Maynard. I venture no further than the appellate court that decided Maynard. In that case, the government sustained its GPS-based surveillance for one month. . . .

And while the period at issue here — a total of 21 days — is not necessarily so much shorter than the month at issue in Maynard to compel the conclusion that the same reasoning does not apply, there is a further complicating factor here. The government does not seek location tracking records for a single mobile phone over a continuous period of 21 days; instead, it seeks records for one telephone for a three-day period and a separate six-day period weeks later, and also the records of a different telephone (albeit one allegedly used by the same investigative subject) for a twelve-day period several months later. Even if it would be just as impractical for the government to conduct physical surveillance in lieu of electronic tracking for such shorter periods, I cannot assume that the information gleaned over such shorter periods, separated by breaks of weeks or months, would necessarily be as revealing as the sustained month-long monitoring at issue in Maynard.

Because I conclude that the Fourth Amendment does not bar application of the SCA in the circumstances of this case, I grant the government’s application


To my mind, this opinion reveals the absurdity of Maynard’s mosaic theory. The analysis is all “look ma, no hands.” No one knows where the line is, or even what the line is. Sure, you could just count days of surveillance: perhaps 30 days triggers a warrant but 29 days doesn’t. But there is no reason the access to records has to be continuous. The government can skip around days, or get records from a few days here and a few days there. Who can tell how much is enough? No one knows what is revealing, because what is revealing depends on what the records actually say — and no one but the phone companies know what they say. So Judge Orenstein has to wing it, announcing that “he cannot assume” that the information would be revealing because it has breaks in time. But it’s not clear to me why the break in time matters: It’s the same net amount of data collected, so I don’t know why it matters if it was collected all at once or over several discrete periods. And how much of a break matters? If 21 days is too long, is 21 days with a one-day break enough? How about a 3-day break? One week? No one knows, it seems, not even the judge himself.

And of course, as soon as courts are clear as to where the line may be, the police just have to go right up to it to avoid the warrant requirement: They’ll do just shy of what the courts say requires a warrant. And presumably the poilice will then try to get multiple orders over time, meaning that judges will have to develop a jurisprudence of how multiple order applications (perhaps from different law enforcement groups) accumulate pieces of the mosaic. For example, if 30 days is too long, but 15 days with a one-week break is okay, the police can try to get the equivalent of 30 days of records in two parts — 15 days at a time, each with a one-week break. Imagine that there is a different magistrate on duty when the second order is obtained. Does the second judge need to know of the prior order, so he can properly accumulate the days of surveillance and realize that the break in time of one order is filled by the second order so that the collection of the two orders amounts to a search? If so, are the contents of the first order supressible, even though it alone didn’t amount to a search, on the theory that the collection of the first and second order together amounted to a search, and that they should be viewed together even though the orders were obtained at different times?

There are some readers who will say that the cause of justice sometimes requires hard decisions, and that if judges need to make arbitrary calls like that, then that is what we pay them to do in order to enforce the Constitution. But as I see it, the oddity of the inquiries called for by the Maynard mosaic theory shows why it is not part of the Constitution at all. In Fourth Amendment law, the lawfulness of governent conduct has always been viewed discretely: Each government act is either a search or it is not a search. Under Maynard, conduct can be a non-search if viewed in isolation but a search if viewed in context — but there is no guide to tell how much context is proper. If you want to say that certain conduct is a search, then just be direct and say it’s a search. That’s fine. But a mosaic theory, in which non-searches become searches if grouped a particular way, has no proper place in Fourth Amendment law.

http://volokh.com/2011/04/05/applying-the-mosaic-theory-of-the-fourth-amendment-to-disclosure-of-stored-records/
Title: New! Improved! (partial) Privacy!
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on April 13, 2011, 11:24:40 AM
Privacy 'bill of rights' exempts government agencies
by Declan McCullagh

 
Two U.S. senators introduced sweeping privacy legislation today that they promise will "establish a framework to protect the personal information of all Americans."
There is, however, one feature of the bill (PDF) sponsored by senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) that has gone relatively unnoticed: it doesn't apply to data mining, surveillance, or any other forms of activities that governments use to collect and collate Americans' personal information.
At a press conference in Washington, D.C., McCain said the privacy bill of rights will protect the "fundamental right of American citizens, that is the right to privacy." And the first sentence of the legislation proclaims that "personal privacy is worthy of protection through appropriate legislation."
But the measure applies only to companies and some nonprofit groups, not to the federal, state, and local police agencies that have adopted high-tech surveillance technologies including cell phone tracking, GPS bugs, and requests to Internet companies for users' personal information--in many cases without obtaining a search warrant from a judge.

"What's a bill of rights if it doesn't provide rights against the government?" asks Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the free-market Cato Institute.
It also doesn't apply to government agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, the Census Bureau, and the IRS, which collect vast amounts of data on American citizens.
The Department of Veterans Affairs suffered a massive security breach in 2006 when an unencrypted laptop with data on millions of veterans was stolen. A government report last year listed IRS security and privacy vulnerabilities. The government of Texas yesterday revealed that it disclosed the personal information of 3.5 million citizens, including Social Security numbers. Even the Census Bureau has, in the past, shared information with law enforcement from its supposedly confidential files.
Another feature missing from Kerry and McCain's bill of rights: a strict requirement that would force federal agencies to notify American citizens in the event of a data breach.
In 2007, the Bush White House asked agencies (PDF) to develop breach notification rules. But there are no civil or criminal penalties if violated, and agencies are allowed to make their own decisions as to whether a breach has generated sufficient "harm" to warrant notification--a self-policing measure that gives them a strong incentive to downplay any potential ill effects.
Making the governmental exemption more pointed is the fact that the senators' press conference comes as the Obama Justice Department is lobbying for broader surveillance powers and trying to head off pro-privacy reforms.
In January, the Justice Department announced that investigations "are being frustrated" because no law currently exists to force Internet providers to keep track of what their customers are doing. A month later, the FBI outlined its push for expanded Internet wiretapping authority.
Last week, the Justice Department said it opposed proposals--backed by AT&T, Google, Microsoft, eBay, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Americans for Tax Reform--to protect Americans' privacy by requiring a search warrant to access online files and track Americans' locations. Then, on Friday, the Justice Department renewed its opposition to being required to use a search warrant to access the Twitter accounts of Wikileaks volunteers.
"Kerry and McCain are saying, 'Do as I say, not as I do,'" Harper says. "If they want to lead on the privacy issue, they'll lead by getting the federal government's house in order."
Instead, their legislation would regulate only commercial and nonprofit use of information that's personally identifiable, with exceptions for information "obtained from public records that is not merged" with other data and information "reported in public media."
The measure shares many features with similar, unsuccessful bills introduced last year: Personally identifiable information is defined as including a first and last name, a residential mailing address, a Web cookie, an e-mail address, a telephone number, biometric data, and so on. "Sensitive" information is a subset and includes health records, religious information, or data that could lead to "economic or physical harm."
In general, personal information can only be used for a list of purposes specified in the legislation, including processing transactions, certain types of marketing, "reasonably expected" uses, and responding to police and other governmental requests. Violations would be punished by the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC would also be given one year to set up a "safe harbor" program, which would be administered by approved non-governmental organizations. Companies that participate in the safe harbor, as long as it includes similar data use restrictions, would be "exempt" from the more restrictive aspects of the bill.


Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20053367-281.html#ixzz1JQeDKrJP
Title: POTH editorial on computer searches at the border
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 23, 2011, 09:57:45 AM


The Supreme Court has never heard a case challenging the government’s authority to search a computer. It is time, after a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opened the way last month to vast government intrusion. It ruled that, without good reason to suspect evidence of a crime, border agents could seize a laptop and open a dragnet search of files, e-mails and Web sites visited.

The majority pats itself on the back for stopping “far short of ‘anything goes’ at the border,” since any intrusion must not violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on “unreasonable searches and seizures.” But by not requiring the government to have a reason for seizing a computer or to say what it is searching for, a dissent notes, the majority “allows the government to set its own limits.” In other words, pretty much anything goes.

The government asked the court to create this precedent, though in this case it had genuine grounds for suspicion. When the defendant crossed from Mexico into Arizona, his criminal record as a child molester came up in a database. When the government looked for child pornography, it found plenty on his laptop. The government has a duty to secure the borders against this and other kinds of illegal material, including drugs and weapons.

Fourth Amendment law already gives border agents huge leeway, allowing them to search travelers and their belongings, without a warrant, proof of probable cause or suspicion of illegal activity. The Ninth Circuit decided that computers could be searched on site as part of those belongings. But this ruling allows the government to hold a laptop for weeks or even months, transport it away from the border and subject it to an intensive search.

The difference between the search of a briefcase’s physical space and a laptop’s cyberspace — a window into the user’s mind — is profound. As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, the Fourth Amendment must protect just such “privacies of life.” It was 1928 when he warned that “ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences.”

Searching a computer is a major invasion of privacy — one that may be necessary to protect the country’s security. But there still must be limits and protections. It is now up to the Supreme Court to establish those limits.

Title: Officer Bowser & PC
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on April 27, 2011, 05:21:17 AM
How Well-Trained Does A Drug-Sniffing Dog Need to Be Before a Positive Alert Creates Probable Cause?
Orin Kerr • April 26, 2011 6:02 pm

Under the automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment, the police can search a car without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe there is contraband inside it. And under Illinois v. Caballes, the use of a drug-sniffing dog to alert for the presence of drugs in a car is not a Fourth Amendment search. As a result, the police often bring out the dogs to a traffic stop and see if the dog alerts: Under the Fourth Amendment, the police can search the car if the dog’s positive alert amounts to probable cause. But this raises a question: Just how well-trained does a dog need to be before its alert will trigger probable cause? And how do you know how reliable the dog is? In just the last week, I’ve noticed an interesting split emerge on the question.

First, last Friday, the Tenth Circuit adopted the view that an up-to-date certification of the dog’s prowess at finding drugs is enough to satisfy the requisite level of reliability, at least if the certifying authority isn’t challenged. The case is United States v. Ludwig (Gorsuch, J., joined by Judge Murphy and Judge Tymkovich). From the opinion:

t surely goes without saying that a drug dog’s alert establishes probable cause only if that dog is reliable. See id. at 1283. But none of this means we mount a full-scale statistical inquisition into each dog’s history. Instead, courts typically rely on the dog’s certification as proof of its reliability. See id.; United States v. Kennedy, 131 F.3d 1371, 1378 (10th Cir.1997) (“[W]ith a canine, the reliability should come from the fact that the dog is trained and annually certified to perform a physical skill.”) (quotation omitted). After all, it is safe to assume that canine professionals are better equipped than judges to say whether an individual dog is up to snuff. And beyond this, a dog’s credentials provide a bright-line rule for when officers may rely on the dog’s alerts—a far improvement over requiring them to guess whether the dog’s performance will survive judicial scrutiny after the fact. Of course, if a credentialing organization proved to be a sham, its certification would no longer serve as proof of reliability. But the judicial task, we hold, is so limited: to assessing the reliability of the credentialing organization, not individual dogs. And in this case there is no suggestion that the California Narcotic Canine Association, the organization that credentialed the drug dog in this case, is all smoke and mirrors. [FN: This is not to say that a dog’s alerts are necessarily unreliable just because the dog lacks an acceptable certification. An uncertified dog’s accuracy could still, in theory at least, be established by examining its training history and record for reliability. Our point is that this is a needless exercise when, as here, the dog has been certified by an organization whose bona fides are unchallenged.]

The Tenth Circuit also noted that while probable cause isn’t and even shouldn’t be a numerical concept — citing some dubious scholarship along the way — even if probable cause were to be treated as a numerical concept, the evidence in that case was enough that the dog was reliable:

[T]he dog’s records—spanning some 200 pages in the record and covering 7 years’ worth of data—reveal that its alerts have identified a seizable quantity of drugs . . . 58% of the time. . . . While we hesitate to get into the business of affixing figures on probable cause, if we were pushed to do so we would hold this to be enough. After all, probable cause doesn’t require an officer’s suspicion about the presence of contraband to be “more likely true than false.” Texas v. Brown, 460 U.S. 730, 742 (1983); United States v. Padilla, 819 F.2d 952, 962 (10th Cir. 1987); see also United States v. Garcia, 179 F.3d 265, 269 (5th Cir. 1999) (“[T]he requisite ‘fair probability’ is something more than a bare suspicion, but need not reach the fifty percent mark.”) . . . .

Contrast the Tenth Circuit’s analysis with a new opinion of the Florida Supreme Court, handed down last Thursday, Harris v. State. Harris specifically rejects the view that an up-to-date certification of the dog is enough:

[W]e hold that evidence that the dog has been trained and certified to detect narcotics, standing alone, is not sufficient to establish the dog‘s reliability for purposes of determining probable cause— especially since training and certification in this state are not standardized and thus each training and certification program may differ with no meaningful way to assess them.

Accordingly, we conclude that to meet its burden of establishing that the officer had a reasonable basis for believing the dog to be reliable in order to establish probable cause, the State must present the training and certification records, an explanation of the meaning of the particular training and certification of that dog, field performance records, and evidence concerning the experience and training of the officer handling the dog, as well as any other objective evidence known to the officer about the dog‘s reliability in being able to detect the presence of illegal substances within the vehicle. To adopt the contrary view that the burden is on the defendant to present evidence of the factors other than certification and training in order to demonstrate that the dog is unreliable would be contrary to the well-established proposition that the burden is on the State to establish probable cause for a warrantless search. In addition, since all of the records and evidence are in the possession of the State, to shift the burden to the defendant to produce evidence of the dog‘s unreliability is unwarranted and unduly burdensome.

[T]he fact that the dog has been trained and certified is simply not enough to establish probable cause to search the interior of the vehicle and the person. We first note that there is no uniform standard in this state or nationwide for an acceptable level of training, testing, or certification for drug-detection dogs. . . .

In the absence of a uniform standard, the reliability of the dog cannot be established by demonstrating only that a canine is trained and certified. “imply characterizing a dog a ‘trained‘ an ‘certified‘ imparts scant information about what the dog has been conditioned to do or not to do, or how successfully.” Matheson, 870 So. 2d at 14. In other words, whether a dog has been sufficiently trained and certified must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. . . .

[A] necessary part of the totality of the circumstances analysis in a given case regarding the dog‘s reliability is an evaluation of the evidence concerning whether the dog in the past has falsely alerted, indicating that the dog is not well-trained, or whether the alerts indicate a dog who is alerting on a consistent basis to residual odors, which do not indicate that drugs are present in the vehicle. Accordingly, evidence of the dog‘s performance history in the field—and the significance of any incidents where the dog alerted without contraband being found—is part of a court‘s evaluation of the dog‘s reliability under a totality of the circumstances analysis.8   In particular, when assessing the factors bearing on the dog‘s reliability, it is important to include, as part of a complete evaluation, how often the dog has alerted in the field without illegal contraband having been found.


Is this dog going to sniff its way to the Supreme Court? Perhaps. Stay tuned.

http://volokh.com/2011/04/26/how-well-trained-does-a-drug-sniffing-dog-need-to-be-before-a-positive-alert-creates-probable-cause/
Title: Bin Laden's Revenge
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 05, 2011, 08:29:31 AM
Bin Laden’s Revenge
By Randall Holcombe
Tuesday May 3, 2011 at 12:17:08 PM PDT

 

I just returned from a conference.  The guy sitting next to me on the plane had with him a laptop computer, an iPad, an iPod, and a phone.  Yep, four “portable electronic devices.”  I figured the guy was probably a terrorist.  Because they keep announcing it to potential terrorists on aircraft, I know that portable electronic devices can interfere with the aircraft’s navigation system.  And this guy had four of them.

Now that bin Laden has been killed some have conjectured that al Qaeda will initiate some retaliation, and they probably would want to strike quickly.  Targeting aircraft would be difficult because of the heavy security already in place.  For example, someone wanting to bring down an aircraft using toothpaste would have a difficult time because the TSA prohibits carrying toothpaste, except in extremely small quantities, on aircraft.

So, you’d have to think that anyone wanting to initiate a terrorist attack with toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, or soft drinks would have a very difficult time getting those dangerous and banned items onto an aircraft.  The big loophole in all this is portable electronic devices which, despite repeated announcements about their danger to aircraft, are still allowed on board.

How hard would it be, for example, for al Qaeda to book a dozen operatives onto a flight, all of whom had four portable electronic devices like my recent seat-mate, and then when below 10,000 feet, to all turn them on at once?  That would be 48 portable electronic devices, which would cripple the aircraft’s navigation system and bring the aircraft down.  Don’t need box cutters.  Don’t need toothpaste.  It can be done with something the TSA routinely lets through checkpoints, even as the flight attendants announce on every flight how dangerous they are.

Skeptical readers will argue that despite these announcements, portable electronic devices pose no threat to aircraft navigation, and perceptive passengers will note that even as the airline crews announce the dangers of these devices on every flight, the airlines have even started selling in-flight internet service (above 10,000 feet), so we can all fire up our portable electronic devices and surf the web rather than focusing on the fact that we are hurling along six miles above the surface of the Earth, where the air is too thin to breathe, at 550 mph in an aluminum cylinder.  Could it be that these devices interfere with aircraft navigation below 10,000 feet, but not in the thinner air above?

Most people don’t question things we’re told to do for our safety.  On one of my flights this trip, a passenger didn’t turn off his portable music player as the aircraft descended and the familiar announcement was made, and was accosted by a fellow passenger who told the offending music listener that his player could “mess up” the aircraft’s navigation system, and that he was endangering our flight.  Meanwhile, for our own safety, we disrobe at TSA checkpoints, and don’t carry dangerous items like mouthwash and shampoo, remaining compliant because most people think this makes us safer.

The damage al Qaeda’s attack caused when it destroyed the World Trade Center was about $10 billion (not including the substantial cost in terms of human life).  Meanwhile, the TSA’s annual budget is $6.3 billion, so we’re spending more than half the cost of the destruction of the World Trade Center every year to protect ourselves from another attack.  Clearly, the bulk of the cost of the September 11, 2001 attack has come in terms of the costs we have incurred since that day, not the cost of the actual destruction from the attack.  That is bin Laden’s revenge.

Part of bin Laden’s revenge comes in the form of the monetary cost, and part comes in the form of our ready acceptance of our loss of liberty.  Our Constitution says, “The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated… but upon probable cause…”  Yet everyone who takes an airline flight undergoes such a search, with no probable cause.  The TSA has yet to discover anyone at any checkpoint poised to undertake any terrorist activity.

Yes, there was the financial cost and loss of life, but perhaps a bigger victory, and an on-going one, for bin Laden, is the undermining of our constitutional rights.  I talk with people all the time who tell me they believe our loss of rights is worth it to make flying safer.  They don’t question the nonsensical TSA rules.  We’re training compliant citizens, and those citizens trained to be more compliant to government mandates at TSA checkpoints indirectly are being trained not to question government mandates in all areas of our lives.

No thinking person can believe that preventing people from carrying their own bottled water onto airplanes, or carrying their own toothpaste and shampoo, makes us safer.  Even preventing people from carrying knives on board does not make us safer.  Prior to September 11, 2001, the conventional wisdom on an aircraft hijacking was to quietly comply with the hijacker’s demands so everyone could land safely.  That conventional wisdom disappeared before that day was over, as the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 heard about the other hijackings and overpowered the hijackers.  Passengers will no longer be compliant with hijackers’ demands, and if the passengers had knives, it would enable them to more effectively fight back, as they would do today.

We can debate the wisdom of allowing people to carry knives on board aircraft, but how about deodorant, or shampoo?  Where do we draw the line?  The answer is that we don’t.  We have been intimidated, by bin Laden’s terrorist network and our own federal government, into complying with demands that everyone should recognize as absurd, and a violation of our constitutional rights.

The Constitution always has been a pesky obstacle standing in the way of the government taking away more of our liberties.  Bin Laden’s attacks were aimed directly at the constitutional safeguards that make ours a free country.  Bin Laden is gone, but his revenge is the erosion of our constitutional liberties that will live on.

http://www.independent.org/blog/index.php?p=10419
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 05, 2011, 08:46:15 AM
Please cite the part of the constitution where your have the right to board a commercial flight.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 06, 2011, 09:21:38 AM
Sure, when you cite the part that allows you to trim your toenails. Or are limited, enumerated powers as clearly described by the framers concepts too difficult to grasp?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 06, 2011, 09:34:23 AM
Can you see a difference between securing commercial aircraft post-9/11 and personal grooming?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 06, 2011, 09:36:42 AM
There are multiple challenges to TSA screening in the court system now. We'll see if the constitutionality of the screening is upheld. I know where I'd put my money if there was betting on the ultimate ruling.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 06, 2011, 09:45:37 AM
Me too: on the ever expanding nanny state which strays ever further from the founding vision for this nation.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 06, 2011, 09:51:12 AM
And yes, I can tell the difference between the two. In view of Obamacare, over-criminalization, EPA CO2 rulings, insanely complex tax code, second amendment restrictions, and so on, can you understand why one might not be pleased by yet further federal encroachment, particularly by an agency that has not caught a single terrorist, regularly fails security audits, hasn't addressed gaping security holes where airport staff are concerned, et al? Or are we supposed to pretend they provide competent security as we imagine ourselves to be a free people?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 06, 2011, 10:02:21 AM
With the many document flaws of TSA, it still looks good when compared to the private security screening of pre-9/11.

TSA screening is designed to deter terrorists, not catch them. Now there are criminal investigators/FAMS assigned to Joint Terrorism Task Forces that are seeking out terrorists proactively.....

I have yet to see a better system suggested that is practical in the US. If you want El Al profiling, you better get on board with Shin Bet domestic intelligence gathering.
Title: Retroactive Probable Cause
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 11, 2011, 10:33:18 AM
And retroactive self-incrimination, too.

DoJ to Congress: Make ISPs keep tabs on users
10 CommentsRSSEmailPrint

Many wireless companies — which must collect some data — also do not retain some other records. | AP Photo Close
By TONY ROMM | 5/10/11 12:05 PM EDT

As a new Senate privacy panel considers the data collected by iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys, the Department of Justice is reminding lawmakers that it needs Internet providers to store more data about their users to help with federal investigations.

Current law doesn't require those Internet service providers to "retain any data for any particular length of time," although some already do, said Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general at the DOJ's Criminal Division. And many wireless companies — which must collect some data — also "do not retain records that would enable law enforcement to identify a suspect's smartphone based on the IP address collected by websites the suspect visited," he noted in prepared testimony.

Continue Reading
Text Size
-+reset Listen
That's why Weinstein urged the Senate Judiciary’s Privacy, Technology and the Law subcommittee on Tuesday to consider data-retention legislation as it weighs new privacy efforts in the digital age. The top DOJ official said such a congressional fix would boost the agency's ability to investigate privacy breaches, prosecute other digital crimes and ferret out abuses in the offline world.

"Those records are an absolutely necessary link in the investigative chain," Weinstein told the panel.

Data retention has proven to be a particularly divisive issue in the privacy community. Some top tech stakeholders believe it would allow companies and law enforcement agencies too much access to consumers' personal information, such as the websites they visit. The resulting caches of information could further be subject to data breach, many argue.

But data-retention rules are particularly appealing to DOJ, which argued at a hearing earlier this year that such legislation would assist greatly with cyberstalking and other tough law enforcement investigations. Weinstein stressed Tuesday the department seeks a law that would require providers to keep records for a “reasonable period of time,” and seeks a “balance” between the needs of law enforcement, private industry and consumers.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54658.html
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 11, 2011, 10:44:43 AM
I'm not sure how you get "Retroactive probable cause" out of that article.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 11, 2011, 11:24:46 AM
Most of us think of our online warblings as ethereal things with a short shelf life. Should you come under government scrutiny, words long since forgotten could be used as reason to launch a criminal investigation. To my mind, it's like if the post office opened, copied, and stored every piece of mail, with you finding out decades later that something long discarded is now being used to start criminal proceedings against you.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 11, 2011, 11:44:58 AM
Unless you are engaging in criminal conduct on the net, there isn't anything to be concerned about.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 11, 2011, 12:58:07 PM
As someone who has already explained to you how postings of mine did indeed come back to haunt me I am less than reassured, particularly in view of bits of info like this:

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/record-number-of-americans-targeted-by-national-security-letters

As the feds have already pooped all over citizen's live's enforcing foreign laws the citizens in question had no knowledge of, it does not take a lot of wild eyed extrapolation to conjure a circumstance where and ISP could be forced to hand over information it had been mandated to store that then goes on to be used by LEOs as evidence of some sort of malfeasance for which the target of the investigation was unaware. Conspiracy to import undersized lobsters, anyone?

Indeed, as someone who deals with his share of HR issues I've already had to contend with interesting discovery requests. What happens to civil litigation when there are decades worth of records stored somewhere only in need of a court order to sift through? You can't see that being ability being abused, either?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 11, 2011, 01:06:25 PM
Discovery in civil litigation goes both ways. As you point out, both in the civil and criminal areas, all sorts of records can be accessed. Should we not have records of any transactions? The interwebs isn't a secure environment, assume that everything can be compromised.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 12, 2011, 10:11:26 AM
Precisely my point: with a federally mandated storage regimen yesterday's harmless bit of fun becomes today's pattern of behavior. I regularly cull professional communications after 3 years just so I don't have to worry about sifting through tens of thousands of emails looking for what some lawyer might putatively consider germane as he instead tries to foist a lot of time wasting discovery in the hope a settlement becomes deemed easier than complying with his fishing expedition. And now the Feds want to archive all that stuff? For how long? Who has access? To what end? Looks to me like they are casting a huge net without answering fundamental questions. Hell, this act might save the USPS by increasing the use of first class mail, which would not be subject to these requirements. Yet.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 12, 2011, 10:18:33 AM
Unless a "harmless bit of fun" is a violation of criminal law, what is your concern? If I was that worried about the net, I'd throw my computers into a blast funace and never go online again. You act as if you are writing samizdat under Stalin.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 12, 2011, 11:50:42 AM
And I've already detailed issues I've dealt with in the past. One example I used here are the standards of banter used in the kitchen v. the standards of banter in a civil service gig. If utterings in the former were detailed in the latter all sorts of consternation would ensue. You can imagine no future employer who might take issue with your online habits? Plenty of your posts would cause a lot of raised eyebrows in some quarters. Is your email better sanitized than your online life? Plenty of folks already contending with HR opprobrium due to their posting habits on Facebook, do we really want a net of undefined size and duration to be cast even further? You can't imagine that resource ever being abused or standards changing to the point that something commonplace in the past is taboo today?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 12, 2011, 12:05:33 PM
It's an totally different situation of employment law vs. search and seizure related to criminal investigations.
Title: Indiana court strips citizens of right to resist unlawful police entry
Post by: bigdog on May 16, 2011, 04:29:21 PM
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/05/16/indiana-court-strips-citizens-of-right-to-resist-unlawful-police-entry/
Title: Re: Indiana court strips citizens of right to resist unlawful police entry
Post by: G M on May 16, 2011, 04:44:29 PM
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/05/16/indiana-court-strips-citizens-of-right-to-resist-unlawful-police-entry/

And your thoughts BD?
Title: Thin Thread of Privacy
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 16, 2011, 05:25:42 PM
Nothing to see here, move along.

THE SECRET SHARER
Is Thomas Drake an enemy of the state?
by Jane Mayer
MAY 23, 2011

Drake, a former senior executive at the National Security Agency, faces some of the gravest charges that can be brought against an American citizen. Photograph by Martin Schoeller.

On June 13th, a fifty-four-year-old former government employee named Thomas Drake is scheduled to appear in a courtroom in Baltimore, where he will face some of the gravest charges that can be brought against an American citizen. A former senior executive at the National Security Agency, the government’s electronic-espionage service, he is accused, in essence, of being an enemy of the state. According to a ten-count indictment delivered against him in April, 2010, Drake violated the Espionage Act—the 1917 statute that was used to convict Aldrich Ames, the C.I.A. officer who, in the eighties and nineties, sold U.S. intelligence to the K.G.B., enabling the Kremlin to assassinate informants. In 2007, the indictment says, Drake willfully retained top-secret defense documents that he had sworn an oath to protect, sneaking them out of the intelligence agency’s headquarters, at Fort Meade, Maryland, and taking them home, for the purpose of “unauthorized disclosure.” The aim of this scheme, the indictment says, was to leak government secrets to an unnamed newspaper reporter, who is identifiable as Siobhan Gorman, of the Baltimore Sun. Gorman wrote a prize-winning series of articles for the Sun about financial waste, bureaucratic dysfunction, and dubious legal practices in N.S.A. counterterrorism programs. Drake is also charged with obstructing justice and lying to federal law-enforcement agents. If he is convicted on all counts, he could receive a prison term of thirty-five years.

The government argues that Drake recklessly endangered the lives of American servicemen. “This is not an issue of benign documents,” William M. Welch II, the senior litigation counsel who is prosecuting the case, argued at a hearing in March, 2010. The N.S.A., he went on, collects “intelligence for the soldier in the field. So when individuals go out and they harm that ability, our intelligence goes dark and our soldier in the field gets harmed.”

Top officials at the Justice Department describe such leak prosecutions as almost obligatory. Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General who supervises the department’s criminal division, told me, “You don’t get to break the law and disclose classified information just because you want to.” He added, “Politics should play no role in it whatsoever.”

When President Barack Obama took office, in 2009, he championed the cause of government transparency, and spoke admiringly of whistle-blowers, whom he described as “often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government.” But the Obama Administration has pursued leak prosecutions with a surprising relentlessness. Including the Drake case, it has been using the Espionage Act to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national-security leaks—more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined. The Drake case is one of two that Obama’s Justice Department has carried over from the Bush years.
Gabriel Schoenfeld, a conservative political scientist at the Hudson Institute, who, in his book “Necessary Secrets” (2010), argues for more stringent protection of classified information, says, “Ironically, Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history—even more so than Nixon.”

ne afternoon in January, Drake met with me, giving his first public interview about this case. He is tall, with thinning sandy hair framing a domed forehead, and he has the erect bearing of a member of the Air Force, where he served before joining the N.S.A., in 2001. Obsessive, dramatic, and emotional, he has an unwavering belief in his own rectitude. Sitting at a Formica table at the Tastee Diner, in Bethesda, Drake—who is a registered Republican—groaned and thrust his head into his hands. “I actually had hopes for Obama,” he said. He had not only expected the President to roll back the prosecutions launched by the Bush Administration; he had thought that Bush Administration officials would be investigated for overstepping the law in the “war on terror.”

“But power is incredibly destructive,” Drake said. “It’s a weird, pathological thing. I also think the intelligence community coöpted Obama, because he’s rather naïve about national security. He’s accepted the fear and secrecy. We’re in a scary space in this country.”

The Justice Department’s indictment narrows the frame around Drake’s actions, focussing almost exclusively on his handling of what it claims are five classified documents. But Drake sees his story as a larger tale of political reprisal, one that he fears the government will never allow him to air fully in court. “I’m a target,” he said. “I’ve got a bull’s-eye on my back.” He continued, “I did not tell secrets. I am facing prison for having raised an alarm, period. I went to a reporter with a few key things: fraud, waste, and abuse, and the fact that there were legal alternatives to the Bush Administration’s ‘dark side’ ”—in particular, warrantless domestic spying by the N.S.A.

The indictment portrays him not as a hero but as a treacherous man who violated “the government trust.” Drake said of the prosecutors, “They can say what they want. But the F.B.I. can find something on anyone.”

Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, says of the Drake case, “The government wants this to be about unlawfully retained information. The defense, meanwhile, is painting a picture of a public-interested whistle-blower who struggled to bring attention to what he saw as multibillion-dollar mismanagement.” Because Drake is not a spy, Aftergood says, the case will “test whether intelligence officers can be convicted of violating the Espionage Act even if their intent is pure.” He believes that the trial may also test whether the nation’s expanding secret intelligence bureaucracy is beyond meaningful accountability. “It’s a much larger debate than whether a piece of paper was at a certain place at a certain time,” he says.

Jack Balkin, a liberal law professor at Yale, agrees that the increase in leak prosecutions is part of a larger transformation. “We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state,” he says. In his view, zealous leak prosecutions are consonant with other political shifts since 9/11: the emergence of a vast new security bureaucracy, in which at least two and a half million people hold confidential, secret, or top-secret clearances; huge expenditures on electronic monitoring, along with a reinterpretation of the law in order to sanction it; and corporate partnerships with the government that have transformed the counterterrorism industry into a powerful lobbying force. Obama, Balkin says, has “systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the Bush Administration.”

On March 28th, Obama held a meeting in the White House with five advocates for greater transparency in government. During the discussion, the President drew a sharp distinction between whistle-blowers who exclusively reveal wrongdoing and those who jeopardize national security. The importance of maintaining secrecy about the impending raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound was likely on Obama’s mind. The White House has been particularly bedevilled by the ongoing release of classified documents by WikiLeaks, the group led by Julian Assange. Last year, WikiLeaks began releasing a vast trove of sensitive government documents allegedly leaked by a U.S. soldier, Bradley Manning; the documents included references to a courier for bin Laden who had moved his family to Abbottabad—the town where bin Laden was hiding out. Manning has been charged with “aiding the enemy.”

Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, attended the meeting, and said that Obama’s tone was generally supportive of transparency. But when the subject of national-security leaks came up, Brian said, “the President shifted in his seat and leaned forward. He said this may be where we have some differences. He said he doesn’t want to protect the people who leak to the media war plans that could impact the troops.” Though Brian was impressed with Obama’s over-all stance on transparency, she felt that he might be misinformed about some of the current leak cases. She warned Obama that prosecuting whistle-blowers would undermine his legacy. Brian had been told by the White House to avoid any “ask”s on specific issues, but she told the President that, according to his own logic, Drake was exactly the kind of whistle-blower who deserved protection.

As Drake tells it, his problems began on September 11, 2001. “The next seven weeks were crucial,” he said. “It’s foundational to why I am a criminal defendant today.”
The morning that Al Qaeda attacked the U.S. was, coincidentally, Drake’s first full day of work as a civilian employee at the N.S.A.—an agency that James Bamford, the author of “The Shadow Factory” (2008), calls “the largest, most costly, and most technologically sophisticated spy organization the world has ever known.” Drake, a linguist and a computer expert with a background in military crypto-electronics, had worked for twelve years as an outside contractor at the N.S.A. Under a program code-named Jackpot, he focussed on finding and fixing weaknesses in the agency’s software programs. But, after going through interviews and background checks, he began working full time for Maureen Baginski, the chief of the Signals Intelligence Directorate at the N.S.A., and the agency’s third-highest-ranking official.
 
Even in an age in which computerized feats are commonplace, the N.S.A.’s capabilities are breathtaking. The agency reportedly has the capacity to intercept and download, every six hours, electronic communications equivalent to the contents of the Library of Congress. Three times the size of the C.I.A., and with a third of the U.S.’s entire intelligence budget, the N.S.A. has a five-thousand-acre campus at Fort Meade protected by iris scanners and facial-recognition devices. The electric bill there is said to surpass seventy million dollars a year.

Nevertheless, when Drake took up his post the agency was undergoing an identity crisis. With the Cold War over, the agency’s mission was no longer clear. As Drake puts it, “Without the Soviet Union, it didn’t know what to do.” Moreover, its technology had failed to keep pace with the shift in communications to cellular phones, fibre-optic cable, and the Internet. Two assessments commissioned by General Michael Hayden, who took over the agency in 1999, had drawn devastating conclusions. One described the N.S.A. as “an agency mired in bureaucratic conflict” and “suffering from poor leadership.” In January, 2000, the agency’s computer system crashed for three and a half days, causing a virtual intelligence blackout.

Agency leaders decided to “stir up the gene pool,” Drake says. Although his hiring was meant to signal fresh thinking, he was given a clumsy bureaucratic title: Senior Change Leader/Chief, Change Leadership & Communications Office, Signals Intelligence Directorate.

The 9/11 attacks caught the U.S.’s national-security apparatus by surprise. N.S.A. officials were humiliated to learn that the Al Qaeda hijackers had spent their final days, undetected, in a motel in Laurel, Maryland—a few miles outside the N.S.A.’s fortified gates. They had bought a folding knife at a Target on Fort Meade Road. Only after the attacks did agency officials notice that, on September 10th, their surveillance systems had intercepted conversations in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia warning that “the match begins tomorrow” and “tomorrow is Zero Hour.”

Drake, hoping to help fight back against Al Qaeda, immediately thought of a tantalizing secret project he had come across while working on Jackpot. Code-named ThinThread, it had been developed by technological wizards in a kind of Skunk Works on the N.S.A. campus. Formally, the project was supervised by the agency’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, or SARC.

While most of the N.S.A. was reeling on September 11th, inside SARC the horror unfolded “almost like an ‘I-told-you-so’ moment,” according to J. Kirk Wiebe, an intelligence analyst who worked there. “We knew we weren’t keeping up.” SARC was led by a crypto-mathematician named Bill Binney, whom Wiebe describes as “one of the best analysts in history.” Binney and a team of some twenty others believed that they had pinpointed the N.S.A.’s biggest problem—data overload—and then solved it. But the agency’s management hadn’t agreed.

Binney, who is six feet three, is a bespectacled sixty-seven-year-old man with wisps of dark hair; he has the quiet, tense air of a preoccupied intellectual. Now retired and suffering gravely from diabetes, which has already claimed his left leg, he agreed recently to speak publicly for the first time about the Drake case. When we met, at a restaurant near N.S.A. headquarters, he leaned crutches against an extra chair. “This is too serious not to talk about,” he said.

Binney expressed terrible remorse over the way some of his algorithms were used after 9/11. ThinThread, the “little program” that he invented to track enemies outside the U.S., “got twisted,” and was used for both foreign and domestic spying: “I should apologize to the American people. It’s violated everyone’s rights. It can be used to eavesdrop on the whole world.” According to Binney, Drake took his side against the N.S.A.’s management and, as a result, became a political target within the agency.
Binney spent most of his career at the agency. In 1997, he became the technical director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, a division of six thousand employees which focusses on analyzing signals intelligence. By the late nineties, the N.S.A. had become overwhelmed by the amount of digital data it was collecting. Binney and his team began developing codes aimed at streamlining the process, allowing the agency to isolate useful intelligence. This was the beginning of ThinThread.

In the late nineties, Binney estimated that there were some two and a half billion phones in the world and one and a half billion I.P. addresses. Approximately twenty terabytes of unique information passed around the world every minute. Binney started assembling a system that could trap and map all of it. “I wanted to graph the world,” Binney said. “People said, ‘You can’t do this—the possibilities are infinite.’ ” But he argued that “at any given point in time the number of atoms in the universe is big, but it’s finite.”

As Binney imagined it, ThinThread would correlate data from financial transactions, travel records, Web searches, G.P.S. equipment, and any other “attributes” that an analyst might find useful in pinpointing “the bad guys.” By 2000, Binney, using fibre optics, had set up a computer network that could chart relationships among people in real time. It also turned the N.S.A.’s data-collection paradigm upside down. Instead of vacuuming up information around the world and then sending it all back to headquarters for analysis, ThinThread processed information as it was collected—discarding useless information on the spot and avoiding the overload problem that plagued centralized systems. Binney says, “The beauty of it is that it was open-ended, so it could keep expanding.”

Pilot tests of ThinThread proved almost too successful, according to a former intelligence expert who analyzed it. “It was nearly perfect,” the official says. “But it processed such a large amount of data that it picked up more Americans than the other systems.” Though ThinThread was intended to intercept foreign communications, it continued documenting signals when a trail crossed into the U.S. This was a big problem: federal law forbade the monitoring of domestic communications without a court warrant. And a warrant couldn’t be issued without probable cause and a known suspect. In order to comply with the law, Binney installed privacy controls and added an “anonymizing feature,” so that all American communications would be encrypted until a warrant was issued. The system would indicate when a pattern looked suspicious enough to justify a warrant.

But this was before 9/11, and the N.S.A.’s lawyers deemed ThinThread too invasive of Americans’ privacy. In addition, concerns were raised about whether the system would function on a huge scale, although preliminary tests had suggested that it would. In the fall of 2000, Hayden decided not to use ThinThread, largely because of his legal advisers’ concerns. Instead, he funded a rival approach, called Trailblazer, and he turned to private defense contractors to build it. Matthew Aid, the author of a heralded 2009 history of the agency, “The Secret Sentry,” says, “The resistance to ThinThread was just standard bureaucratic politics. ThinThread was small, cost-effective, easy to understand, and protected the identity of Americans. But it wasn’t what the higher-ups wanted. They wanted a big machine that could make Martinis, too.”

The N.S.A.’s failure to stop the 9/11 plot infuriated Binney: he believed that ThinThread had been ready to deploy nine months earlier. Working with N.S.A. counterterrorism experts, he had planned to set up his system at sites where foreign terrorism was prevalent, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. “Those bits of conversations they found too late?” Binney said. “That would have never happened. I had it managed in a way that would send out automatic alerts. It would have been, Bang!”

Meanwhile, there was nothing to show for Trailblazer, other than mounting bills. As the system stalled at the level of schematic drawings, top executives kept shuttling between jobs at the agency and jobs with the high-paying contractors. For a time, both Hayden’s deputy director and his chief of signals-intelligence programs worked at SAIC, a company that won several hundred million dollars in Trailblazer contracts. In 2006, Trailblazer was abandoned as a $1.2-billion flop.

oon after 9/11, Drake says, he prepared a short, classified summary explaining how ThinThread “could be put into the fight,” and gave it to Baginski, his boss. But he says that she “wouldn’t respond electronically. She just wrote in a black felt marker, ‘They’ve found a different solution.’ ” When he asked her what it was, she responded, “I can’t tell you.” Baginski, who now works for a private defense contractor, recalls her interactions with Drake differently, but she declined to comment specifically.

In the weeks after the attacks, rumors began circulating inside the N.S.A. that the agency, with the approval of the Bush White House, was violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—the 1978 law, known as FISA, that bars domestic surveillance without a warrant. Years later, the rumors were proved correct. In nearly total secrecy, and under pressure from the White House, Hayden sanctioned warrantless domestic surveillance. The new policy, which lawyers in the Justice Department justified by citing President Bush’s executive authority as Commander-in-Chief, contravened a century of constitutional case law. Yet, on October 4, 2001, Bush authorized the policy, and it became operational by October 6th. Bamford, in “The Shadow Factory,” suggests that Hayden, having been overcautious about privacy before 9/11, swung to the opposite extreme after the attacks. Hayden, who now works for a security-consulting firm, declined to respond to detailed questions about the surveillance program.

When Binney heard the rumors, he was convinced that the new domestic-surveillance program employed components of ThinThread: a bastardized version, stripped of privacy controls. “It was my brainchild,” he said. “But they removed the protections, the anonymization process. When you remove that, you can target anyone.” He said that although he was not “read in” to the new secret surveillance program, “my people were brought in, and they told me, ‘Can you believe they’re doing this? They’re getting billing records on U.S. citizens! They’re putting pen registers’ ”—logs of dialled phone numbers—“ ‘on everyone in the country!’ ”

Drake recalled that, after the October 4th directive, “strange things were happening. Equipment was being moved. People were coming to me and saying, ‘We’re now targeting our own country!’ ” Drake says that N.S.A. officials who helped the agency obtain FISA warrants were suddenly reassigned, a tipoff that the conventional process was being circumvented. He added, “I was concerned that it was illegal, and none of it was necessary.” In his view, domestic data mining “could have been done legally” if the N.S.A. had maintained privacy protections. “But they didn’t want an accountable system.”

Aid, the author of the N.S.A. history, suggests that ThinThread’s privacy protections interfered with top officials’ secret objective—to pick American targets by name. “They wanted selection, not just collection,” he says.

A former N.S.A. official expressed skepticism that Drake cared deeply about the constitutional privacy issues raised by the agency’s surveillance policies. The official characterizes him as a bureaucrat driven by resentment of a rival project—Trailblazer—and calls his story “revisionist history.” But Drake says that, in the fall of 2001, he told Baginski he feared that the agency was breaking the law. He says that to some extent she shared his views, and later told him she feared that the agency would be “haunted” by the surveillance program. In 2003, she left the agency for the F.B.I., in part because of her discomfort with the surveillance program. Drake says that, at one point, Baginski told him that if he had concerns he should talk to the N.S.A.’s general counsel. Drake claims that he did, and that the agency’s top lawyer, Vito Potenza, told him, “Don’t worry about it. We’re the executive agent for the White House. It’s all been scrubbed. It’s legal.” When he pressed further, Potenza told him, “It’s none of your business.” (Potenza, who is now retired, declined to comment.)

Drake says, “I feared for the future. If Pandora’s box was opened, what would the government become?” He was not about to drop the matter. Matthew Aid, who describes Drake as “brilliant,” says that “he has sort of a Jesus complex—only he can see the way things are. Everyone else is mentally deficient, or in someone’s pocket.” Drake’s history of whistle-blowing stretches back to high school, in Manchester, Vermont, where his father, a retired Air Force officer, taught. When drugs infested the school, Drake became a police informant. And Watergate, which occurred while he was a student, taught him “that no one is above the law.”

Drake says that in the Air Force, where he learned to capture electronic signals, the FISA law “was drilled into us.” He recalls, “If you accidentally intercepted U.S. persons, there were special procedures to expunge it.” The procedures had been devised to prevent the recurrence of past abuses, such as Nixon’s use of the N.S.A. to spy on his political enemies.

Drake didn’t know the precise details, but he sensed that domestic spying “was now being done on a vast level.” He was dismayed to hear from N.S.A. colleagues that “arrangements” were being made with telecom and credit-card companies. He added, “The mantra was ‘Get the data!’ ” The transformation of the N.S.A., he says, was so radical that “it wasn’t just that the brakes came off after 9/11—we were in a whole different vehicle.”

ew people have a precise knowledge of the size or scope of the N.S.A.’s domestic-surveillance powers. An agency spokesman declined to comment on how the agency “performs its mission,” but said that its activities are constitutional and subject to “comprehensive and rigorous” oversight. But Susan Landau, a former engineer at Sun Microsystems, and the author of a new book, “Surveillance or Security?,” notes that, in 2003, the government placed equipment capable of copying electronic communications at locations across America. These installations were made, she says, at “switching offices” that not only connect foreign and domestic communications but also handle purely domestic traffic. As a result, she surmises, the U.S. now has the capability to monitor domestic traffic on a huge scale. “Why was it done this way?” she asks. “One can come up with all sorts of nefarious reasons, but one doesn’t want to think that way about our government.”

Binney, for his part, believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later. In the past few years, the N.S.A. has built enormous electronic-storage facilities in Texas and Utah. Binney says that an N.S.A. e-mail database can be searched with “dictionary selection,” in the manner of Google. After 9/11, he says, “General Hayden reassured everyone that the N.S.A. didn’t put out dragnets, and that was true. It had no need—it was getting every fish in the sea.”

Binney considers himself a conservative, and, as an opponent of big government, he worries that the N.S.A.’s data-mining program is so extensive that it could help “create an Orwellian state.” Whereas wiretap surveillance requires trained human operators, data mining is automated, meaning that the entire country can be watched. Conceivably, U.S. officials could “monitor the Tea Party, or reporters, whatever group or organization you want to target,” he says. “It’s exactly what the Founding Fathers never wanted.”
On October 31, 2001, soon after Binney concluded that the N.S.A. was headed in an unethical direction, he retired. He had served for thirty-six years. His wife worked there, too. Wiebe, the analyst, and Ed Loomis, a computer scientist at SARC, also left. Binney said of his decision, “I couldn’t be an accessory to subverting the Constitution.”

ot long after Binney quit the N.S.A., he says, he confided his concerns about the secret surveillance program to Diane Roark, a staff member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the agency. Roark, who has flowing gray hair and large, wide-set eyes, looks like a waifish poet. But in her intelligence-committee job, which she held for seventeen years, she modelled herself on Machiavelli’s maxim that it is better to be feared than loved. Within the N.S.A.’s upper ranks she was widely resented. A former top N.S.A. official says of her, “In meetings, she would just say, ‘You’re lying.’ ”

Roark agrees that she distrusted the N.S.A.’s managers. “I asked very tough questions, because they were trying to hide stuff,” she says. “For instance, I wasn’t supposed to know about the warrantless surveillance. They were all determined that no one else was going to tell them what to do.”

Like Drake and Binney, Roark was a registered Republican, skeptical about bureaucracy but strong on national defense. She had a knack for recruiting sources at the N.S.A. One of them was Drake, who introduced himself to her in 2000, after she visited N.S.A. headquarters and gave a stinging talk on the agency’s failings; she also established relationships with Binney and Wiebe. Hayden was furious about this back channel. After learning that Binney had attended a meeting with Roark at which N.S.A. employees complained about Trailblazer, Hayden dressed down the critics. He then sent out an agency-wide memo, in which he warned that several “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow. . . . Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.” Roark says of the memo, “Hayden brooked no opposition to his favorite people and programs.”

Roark, who had substantial influence over N.S.A. budget appropriations, was an early champion of Binney’s ThinThread project. She was dismayed, she says, to hear that it had evolved into a means of domestic surveillance, and felt personally responsible. Her oversight committee had been created after Watergate specifically to curb such abuses. “It was my duty to oppose it,” she told me. “That is why oversight existed, so that these things didn’t happen again. I’m not an attorney, but I thought that there was no way it was constitutional.” Roark recalls thinking that, if N.S.A. officials were breaking the law, she was “going to fry them.”

She soon learned that she was practically alone in her outrage. Very few congressional leaders had been briefed on the program, and some were apparently going along with it, even if they had reservations. Starting in February, 2002, Roark says, she wrote a series of memos warning of potential illegalities and privacy breaches and handed them to the staffers for Porter Goss, the chairman of her committee, and Nancy Pelosi, its ranking Democrat. But nothing changed. (Pelosi’s spokesman denied that she received such memos, and pointed out that a year earlier Pelosi had written to Hayden and expressed grave concerns about the N.S.A.’s electronic surveillance.)

Roark, feeling powerless, retired. Before leaving Washington, though, she learned that Hayden, who knew of her strong opposition to the surveillance program, wanted to talk to her. They met at N.S.A. headquarters on July 15, 2002. According to notes that she made after the meeting, Hayden pleaded with her to stop agitating against the program. He conceded that the policy would leak at some point, and told her that when it did she could “yell and scream” as much as she wished. Meanwhile, he wanted to give the program more time. She asked Hayden why the N.S.A. had chosen not to include privacy protections for Americans. She says that he “kept not answering. Finally, he mumbled, and looked down, and said, ‘We didn’t need them. We had the power.’ He didn’t even look me in the eye. I was flabbergasted.” She asked him directly if the government was getting warrants for domestic surveillance, and he admitted that it was not.

In an e-mail, Hayden confirmed that the meeting took place, but said that he recalled only its “broad outlines.” He noted that Roark was not “cleared to know about the expanded surveillance program, so I did not go into great detail.” He added, “I assured her that I firmly believed that what N.S.A. was doing was effective, appropriate, and lawful. I also reminded her that the program’s success depended on it remaining secret, that it was appropriately classified, and that any public discussion of it would have to await a later day.”

During the meeting, Roark says, she warned Hayden that no court would uphold the program. Curiously, Hayden responded that he had already been assured by unspecified individuals that he could count on a majority of “the nine votes”—an apparent reference to the Supreme Court. According to Roark’s notes, Hayden told her that such a vote might even be 7–2 in his favor.

Roark couldn’t believe that the Supreme Court had been adequately informed of the N.S.A.’s transgressions, and she decided to alert Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, sending a message through a family friend. Once again, there was no response. She also tried to contact a judge on the FISA court, in Washington, which adjudicates requests for warrants sanctioning domestic surveillance of suspected foreign agents. But the judge had her assistant refer the call to the Department of Justice, which had approved the secret program in the first place. Roark says that she even tried to reach David Addington, the legal counsel to Vice-President Dick Cheney, who had once been her congressional colleague. He never called back, and Addington was eventually revealed to be one of the prime advocates for the surveillance program.

“This was such a Catch-22,” Roark says. “There was no one to go to.” In October, 2003, feeling “profoundly depressed,” she left Washington and moved to a small town in Oregon.

Drake was still working at the N.S.A., but he was secretly informing on the agency to Congress. In addition to briefing Roark, he had become an anonymous source for the congressional committees investigating intelligence failures related to 9/11. He provided Congress with top-secret documents chronicling the N.S.A.’s shortcomings. Drake believed that the agency had failed to feed other intelligence agencies critical information that it had collected before the attacks. Congressional investigators corroborated these criticisms, though they found greater lapses at the C.I.A. and the F.B.I.

Around this time, Drake recalls, Baginski warned him, “Be careful, Tom—they’re looking for leakers.” He found this extraordinary, and asked himself, “Telling the truth to congressional oversight committees is leaking?” But the N.S.A. has a rule requiring employees to clear any contact with Congress, and in the spring of 2002 Baginski told Drake, “It’s time for you to find another job.” He soon switched to a less sensitive post at the agency, the first of several.

As for Binney, he remained frustrated even in retirement about what he considered the misuse of ThinThread. In September, 2002, he, Wiebe, Loomis, and Roark filed what they thought was a confidential complaint with the Pentagon’s Inspector General, extolling the virtues of the original ThinThread project and accusing the N.S.A. of wasting money on Trailblazer. Drake did not put his name on the complaint, because he was still an N.S.A. employee. But he soon became involved in helping the others, who had become friends. He obtained documents aimed at proving waste, fraud, and abuse in the Trailblazer program.

The Inspector General’s report, which was completed in 2005, was classified as secret, so only a few insiders could read what Drake describes as a scathing document. Possibly the only impact of the probe was to hasten the end of Trailblazer, whose budget overruns had become indisputably staggering. Though Hayden acknowledged to a Senate committee that the costs of the Trailblazer project “were greater than anticipated, to the tune of, I would say, hundreds of millions,” most of the scandal’s details remained hidden from the public.

In December, 2005, the N.S.A.’s culture of secrecy was breached by a stunning leak. The Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau revealed that the N.S.A. was running a warrantless wiretapping program inside the United States. The paper’s editors had held onto the scoop for more than a year, weighing the propriety of publishing it. According to Bill Keller, the executive editor of the Times, President Bush pleaded with the paper’s editors to not publish the story; Keller told New York that “the basic message was: You’ll have blood on your hands.” After the paper defied the Administration, Bush called the leak “a shameful act.” At his command, federal agents launched a criminal investigation to identify the paper’s source.

The Times story shocked the country. Democrats, including then Senator Obama, denounced the program as illegal and demanded congressional hearings. A FISA court judge resigned in protest. In March, 2006, Mark Klein, a retired A.T. & T. employee, gave a sworn statement to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was filing a lawsuit against the company, describing a secret room in San Francisco where powerful Narus computers appeared to be sorting and copying all of the telecom’s Internet traffic—both foreign and domestic. A high-capacity fibre-optic cable seemed to be forwarding this data to a centralized location, which, Klein surmised, was N.S.A. headquarters. Soon, USA Today reported that A.T. & T., Verizon, and BellSouth had secretly opened their electronic records to the government, in violation of communications laws. Legal experts said that each instance of spying without a warrant was a serious crime, and that there appeared to be hundreds of thousands of infractions.

President Bush and Administration officials assured the American public that the surveillance program was legal, although new legislation was eventually required to bring it more in line with the law. They insisted that the traditional method of getting warrants was too slow for the urgent threats posed by international terrorism. And they implied that the only domestic surveillance taking place involved tapping phone calls in which one speaker was outside the U.S.

Drake says of Bush Administration officials, “They were lying through their teeth. They had chosen to go an illegal route, and it wasn’t because they had no other choice.” He also believed that the Administration was covering up the full extent of the program. “The phone calls were the tip of the iceberg. The really sensitive stuff was the data mining.” He says, “I was faced with a crisis of conscience. What do I do—remain silent, and complicit, or go to the press?”

Drake has a wife and five sons, the youngest of whom has serious health problems, and so he agonized over the decision. He researched the relevant legal statutes and concluded that if he spoke to a reporter about unclassified matters the only risk he ran was losing his job. N.S.A. policy forbids initiating contact with the press. “I get that it’s grounds for ‘We have to let you go,’ ” he says. But he decided that he was willing to lose his job. “This was a violation of everything I knew and believed as an American. We were making the Nixon Administration look like pikers.”

Drake got in touch with Gorman, who covered the N.S.A. for the Baltimore Sun. He had admired an article of hers and knew that Roark had spoken to her previously, though not about anything classified. He got Gorman’s contact information from Roark, who warned him to be careful. She knew that in the past the N.S.A. had dealt harshly with people who embarrassed it.

Drake set up a secure Hushmail e-mail account and began sending Gorman anonymous tips. Half in jest, he chose the pseudonym The Shadow Knows. He says that he insisted on three ground rules with Gorman: neither he nor she would reveal his identity; he wouldn’t be the sole source for any story; he would not supply her with classified information. But a year into the arrangement, in February, 2007, Drake decided to blow his cover, surprising Gorman by showing up at the newspaper and introducing himself as The Shadow Knows. He ended up meeting with Gorman half a dozen times. But, he says, “I never gave her anything classified.” Gorman has not been charged with wrongdoing, and declined, through her lawyer, Laura Handman, to comment, citing the pending trial.

Starting on January 29, 2006, Gorman, who now works at the Wall Street Journal, published a series of articles about problems at the N.S.A., including a story describing Trailblazer as an expensive fiasco. On May 18, 2006, the day that Hayden faced Senate confirmation hearings for a new post—the head of the C.I.A.—the Sun published Gorman’s exposé on ThinThread, which accused the N.S.A. of rejecting an approach that protected Americans’ privacy. Hayden, evidently peeved, testified that intelligence officers deserved “not to have every action analyzed, second-guessed, and criticized on the front pages of the newspapers.”

At the time, the government did not complain that the Sun had crossed a legal line. It did not contact the paper’s editors or try to restrain the paper from publishing Gorman’s work. A former N.S.A. colleague of Drake’s says he believes that the Sun stories revealed government secrets. Others disagree. Steven Aftergood, the secrecy expert, says that the articles “did not damage national security.”

Matthew Aid argues that the material Drake provided to the Sun should not have been highly classified—if it was—and in any case only highlighted that “the N.S.A. was a management nightmare, which wasn’t a secret in Washington.” In his view, Drake “was just saying, ‘We’re not doing our job, and it’s having a deleterious effect on mission performance.’ He was right, by the way.” The Sun series, Aid says, was “embarrassing to N.S.A. management, but embarrassment to the U.S. government is not a criminal offense in this country.” (Aid has a stake in this debate. In 1984, when he was in the Air Force, he spent several months in the stockade for having stored classified documents in a private locker. The experience, he says, sensitized him to issues of government secrecy.)

While the Sun was publishing its series, twenty-five federal agents and five prosecutors were struggling to identify the Times’ source. The team had targeted some two hundred possible suspects, but had found no culprits. The Sun series attracted the attention of the investigators, who theorized that its source might also have talked to the Times. This turned out not to be true. Nevertheless, the investigators quickly homed in on the Trailblazer critics. “It’s sad,” an intelligence expert says. “I think they were aiming at the Times leak and found this instead.”

Roark was an obvious suspect for the Times leak. Everyone from Hayden on down knew that she had opposed the surveillance program. After the article appeared, she says, “I was waiting for the shoe to drop.” The F.B.I. eventually contacted her, and in February, 2007, she and her attorney met with the prosecutor then in charge, Steven Tyrrell, who was the head of the fraud section at the Justice Department. Roark signed an affidavit saying that she was not a source for the Times story or for “State of War,” a related book that James Risen wrote. She also swore that she had no idea who the source was. She says of the experience, “It was an interrogation, not an interview. They treated me like a target.”

Roark recalls that the F.B.I. agents tried to force her to divulge the identity of her old N.S.A. informants. They already seemed to know about Drake, Binney, and Wiebe—perhaps from the Inspector General’s report. She refused to coöperate, arguing that it was improper for agents of the executive branch to threaten a congressional overseer about her sources. “I had the sense that N.S.A. was egging the F.B.I. on,” she says. “I’d gotten the N.S.A. so many times—they were going to get me. The N.S.A. hated me.” (The N.S.A. and the Justice Department declined to comment on the investigations.)

In the months that followed, Roark heard nothing. Finally, her lawyer placed the case in her “dead file.”

n July 26, 2007, at 9 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, armed federal agents simultaneously raided the houses of Binney, Wiebe, and Roark. (At Roark’s house, in Oregon, it was six o’clock.) Binney was in the shower when agents arrived, and recalls, “They went right upstairs to the bathroom and held guns on me and my wife, right between the eyes.” The agents took computer equipment, a copy of the Inspector General complaint and a copy of a commercial pitch that Binney had written with Wiebe, Loomis, and Roark. In 2001, the N.S.A. indicated to Binney that he could pursue commercial projects based on ThinThread. He and the others thought that aspects of the software could be used to help detect Medicare fraud.

Binney professed his innocence, and he says that the agents told him, “We think you’re lying. You need to implicate someone. ” He believed that they were trying to get him to name Roark as the Times’ source. He suggested that if they were looking for criminal conspirators they should focus on Bush and Hayden for allowing warrantless surveillance. Binney recalls an agent responding that such brazen spying didn’t happen in America. Looking over the rims of his owlish glasses, Binney replied, “Oh, really?”
Roark was sleeping when the agents arrived, and didn’t hear them until “it sounded as if they were going to pull the house down, they were rattling it so badly.” They took computers and a copy of the same commercial pitch. Her son had been interested in collaborating on the venture, and he, too, became a potential target. “They believed everybody was conspiring,” Roark says. “For years, I couldn’t talk to my own son without worrying that they’d say I was trying to influence his testimony.” Although she has been fighting cancer, she has spoken with him only sparingly since the raid.

The agents seemed to think that the commercial pitch contained classified information. Roark was shaken: she and the others thought they had edited it scrupulously to insure that it did not. Agents also informed her that a few scattered papers in her old office files were classified. After the raid, she called her lawyer and asked, “If there’s a disagreement on classification, does intent mean anything?” The question goes to the heart of the Drake case.

Roark, who always considered herself “a law-and-order person,” said of the raid, “This changed my faith.” Eventually, the prosecution offered her a plea bargain, under which she would plead guilty to perjury, for ostensibly lying to the F.B.I. about press leaks. The prosecutors also wanted her to testify against Drake. Roark refused. “I’m not going to plead guilty to deliberately doing anything wrong,” she told them. “And I can’t testify against Tom because I don’t know that he did anything wrong. Whatever Tom revealed, I am sure that he did not think it was classified.” She says, “I didn’t think the system was perfect, but I thought they’d play fair with me. They didn’t. I felt it was retribution.”

Wiebe, the retired analyst, was the most surprised by the raid—he had not yet been contacted in connection with the investigation. He recalls that agents locked his two Pembroke Welsh corgis in a bathroom and commanded his daughter and his mother-in-law, who was in her bathrobe, to stay on a couch while they searched his house. He says, “I feel I’m living in the very country I worked for years to defeat: the Soviet Union. We’re turning into a police state.” Like Roark, he says of the raid, “It was retribution for our filing the Inspector General complaint.”

Under the law, such complaints are confidential, and employees who file them are supposed to be protected from retaliation. It’s unclear if the Trailblazer complaint tipped off authorities, but all four people who signed it became targets. Jesselyn Radack, of the Government Accountability Project, a whistle-blower advocacy group that has provided legal support to Drake, says of his case, “It’s the most severe form of whistle-blower retaliation I have ever seen.”
few days after the raid, Drake met Binney and Wiebe for lunch, at a tavern in Glenelg, Maryland. “I had a pretty good idea I was next,” Drake says. But it wasn’t until the morning of November 28, 2007, that he saw armed agents streaming across his lawn. Though Drake was informed of his right to remain silent, he viewed the raid as a fresh opportunity to blow the whistle. He spent the day at his kitchen table, without a lawyer, talking. He brought up Trailblazer, but found that the investigators weren’t interested in the details of a defunct computer system, or in cost overruns, or in the constitutional conflicts posed by warrantless surveillance. Their focus was on the Times leak. He assured them that he wasn’t the source, but he confirmed his contact with the Sun, insisting that he had not relayed any classified information. He also disclosed his computer password. The agents bagged documents, computers, and books, and removed eight or ten boxes of office files from his basement. “I felt incredibly violated,” he says.

For four months, Drake continued coöperating. He admitted that he had given Gorman information that he had cut and pasted from secret documents, but stressed that he had not included anything classified. He acknowledged sending Gorman hundreds of e-mails. Then, in April, 2008, the F.B.I. told him that someone important wanted to meet with him, at a secure building in Calverton, Maryland. Drake agreed to the appointment. Soon after he showed up, he says, Steven Tyrrell, the prosecutor, walked in and told him, “You’re screwed, Mr. Drake. We have enough evidence to put you away for most of the rest of your natural life.”

Prosecutors informed Drake that they had found classified documents in the boxes in his basement—the indictment cites three—and discovered two more in his e-mail archive. They also accused him of shredding other documents, and of deleting e-mails in the months before he was raided, in an attempt to obstruct justice. Further, they said that he had lied when he told federal agents that he hadn’t given Gorman classified information.

“They had made me into an enemy of the state just by saying I was,” Drake says. The boxes in his basement contained copies of some of the less sensitive material that he had procured for the Inspector General’s Trailblazer investigation. The Inspector General’s Web site directs complainants to keep copies. Drake says that if the boxes did, in fact, contain classified documents he didn’t realize it. (The indictment emphasizes that he “willfully” retained documents.) The two documents that the government says it extracted from his e-mail archive were even less sensitive, Drake says. Both pertained to a successor to Trailblazer, code-named Turbulence. One document listed a schedule of meetings about Turbulence. It was marked “unclassified/for official use only” and posted on the N.S.A.’s internal Web site. The government has since argued that the schedule should have been classified, and that Drake should have known this. The other document, which touted the success of Turbulence, was officially declassified in July, 2010, three months after Drake was indicted. “After charging him with having this ostensibly serious classified document, the government waved a wand and decided it wasn’t so classified after all,” Radack says.

Clearly, the intelligence community hopes that the Drake case will send a message about the gravity of exposing government secrets. But Drake’s lawyer, a federal public defender named James Wyda, argued in court last spring that “there have never been two documents so benign that are the subject of this kind of prosecution against a client whose motives are as salutary as Tom’s.”

Drake insists, too, that the only computer files he destroyed were routine trash: “I held then, and I hold now, I had nothing to destroy.” Drake, who left the N.S.A. in 2008, and now works at an Apple Store outside Washington, asks, “Why didn’t I erase everything on my computer, then? I know how to do it. They found what they found.”
ot everyone familiar with Drake’s case is moved by his plight. A former federal official knowledgeable about the case says, “To his credit, he tried to raise these issues, and, to an extent, they were dealt with. But who died and left him in charge?”

In May, 2009, Tyrrell proposed a plea bargain: if Drake pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the Espionage Act and agreed to coöperate against the others, he would get a maximum of five years in prison. “They wanted me to reveal a conspiracy that didn’t exist,” Drake says. “It was all about the Times, but I had no knowledge of the leak.” Drake says that he told prosecutors, “I refuse to plea-bargain with the truth.”

That June, Drake learned that Tyrrell was leaving the government. Tyrrell was a Republican, and Drake was hopeful that a prosecutor appointed by the Obama Administration would have a different approach. But Drake was dismayed to learn that Tyrrell’s replacement, William Welch, had just been transferred from the top spot in the Justice Department’s public-integrity section, after an overzealous prosecution of Ted Stevens, the Alaska senator. A judge had thrown out Stevens’s conviction, and, at one point, had held Welch in contempt of court. (Welch declined to comment.)

In April, 2010, Welch indicted Drake, shattering his hope for a reprieve from the Obama Administration. But the prosecution’s case had shrunk dramatically from the grand conspiracy initially laid out by Tyrrell. (Welch accidentally sent the defense team an early draft of the indictment, revealing how the case had changed.) Drake was no longer charged with leaking classified documents, or with being part of a conspiracy. He is still charged with violating the Espionage Act, but now merely because of unauthorized “willful retention” of the five documents. Drake says that when he learned that, even with the reduced charges, he still faced up to thirty-five years in prison, he “was completely aghast.”

Morton Halperin, of the Open Society Institute, says that the reduced charges make the prosecution even more outlandish: “If Drake is convicted, it means the Espionage Law is an Official Secrets Act.” Because reporters often retain unauthorized defense documents, Drake’s conviction would establish a legal precedent making it possible to prosecute journalists as spies. “It poses a grave threat to the mechanism by which we learn most of what the government does,” Halperin says.

The Espionage Act has rarely been used to prosecute leakers and whistle-blowers. Drake’s case is only the fourth in which the act has been used to indict someone for mishandling classified material. “It was meant to deal with classic espionage, not publication,” Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University who is an expert on the statute, says.

The first attempt to apply the law to leakers was the aborted prosecution, in 1973, of Daniel Ellsberg, a researcher at the RAND Corporation who was charged with disclosing the Pentagon Papers—a damning secret history of the Vietnam War. But the case was dropped, owing, in large part, to prosecutorial misconduct. The second such effort was the case of Samuel L. Morison, a naval intelligence officer who, in 1985, was convicted for providing U.S. photographs of a Soviet ship to Jane’s Defence Weekly. Morison was later pardoned by Bill Clinton. The third case was the prosecution, in 2005, of a Defense Department official, Lawrence Franklin, and two lobbyists for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. Franklin pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, and the case against the lobbyists collapsed after the presiding judge insisted that prosecutors establish criminal intent. Unable to prove this, the Justice Department abandoned the case, amid criticism that the government had overreached.

Drake’s case also raises questions about double standards. In recent years, several top officials accused of similar misdeeds have not faced such serious charges. John Deutch, the former C.I.A. director, and Alberto Gonzales, the former Attorney General, both faced much less stringent punishment after taking classified documents home without authorization. In 2003, Sandy Berger, Clinton’s national-security adviser, smuggled classified documents out of a federal building, reportedly by hiding them in his pants. It was treated as a misdemeanor. His defense lawyer was Lanny Breuer—the official overseeing the prosecution of Drake.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who served in the Bush Justice Department, laments the lack of consistency in leak prosecutions. He notes that no investigations have been launched into the sourcing of Bob Woodward’s four most recent books, even though “they are filled with classified information that he could only have received from the top of the government.” Gabriel Schoenfeld, of the Hudson Institute, says, “The selectivity of the prosecutions here is nightmarish. It’s a broken system.”
Mark Feldstein, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, warns that, if whistle-blowers and other dissenters are singled out for prosecution, “this has gigantic repercussions. You choke off the information that the public needs to judge policy.”

Few people are more disturbed about Drake’s prosecution than the others who spoke out against the N.S.A. surveillance program. In 2008, Thomas Tamm, a Justice Department lawyer, revealed that he was one of the people who leaked to the Times. He says of Obama, “It’s so disappointing from someone who was a constitutional-law professor, and who made all those campaign promises.” The Justice Department recently confirmed that it won’t pursue charges against Tamm. Speaking before Congress, Attorney General Holder explained that “there is a balancing that has to be done . . . between what our national-security interests are and what might be gained by prosecuting a particular individual.” The decision provoked strong criticism from Republicans, underscoring the political pressures that the Justice Department faces when it backs off such prosecutions. Still, Tamm questions why the Drake case is proceeding, given that Drake never revealed anything as sensitive as what appeared in the Times. “The program he talked to the Baltimore Sun about was a failure and wasted billions of dollars,” Tamm says. “It’s embarrassing to the N.S.A., but it’s not giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”

Mark Klein, the former A.T. & T. employee who exposed the telecom-company wiretaps, is also dismayed by the Drake case. “I think it’s outrageous,” he says. “The Bush people have been let off. The telecom companies got immunity. The only people Obama has prosecuted are the whistle-blowers.” ♦

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/23/110523fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=all
Title: Re: Indiana court strips citizens of right to resist unlawful police entry
Post by: bigdog on May 17, 2011, 03:44:39 AM
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/05/16/indiana-court-strips-citizens-of-right-to-resist-unlawful-police-entry/

And your thoughts BD?

GM,
     I suspect this might lead to another 4 day discussion, but the 4th amendment exists for a reason.  I can't for the life of me think of a good reason to take away a right to protect oneself against an unlawful entry, no matter who is doing the entering. 
Title: Re: Indiana court strips citizens of right to resist unlawful police entry
Post by: G M on May 17, 2011, 04:22:04 AM
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/05/16/indiana-court-strips-citizens-of-right-to-resist-unlawful-police-entry/

And your thoughts BD?

GM,
     I suspect this might lead to another 4 day discussion, but the 4th amendment exists for a reason.  I can't for the life of me think of a good reason to take away a right to protect oneself against an unlawful entry, no matter who is doing the entering. 

As I read the ruling, this is there relavant part to me:

We believe however that a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Nowadays, an aggrieved arrestee has means unavailable at common law for redress against unlawful police action. E.g., Warner, supra, at 330 (citing the dangers of arrest at common law—indefinite detention, lack of bail, disease-infested prisons, physical torture—as reasons for recognizing the
 5
 right to resist); State v. Hobson, 577 N.W.2d 825, 835–36 (Wis. 1998) (citing the following modern developments: (1) bail, (2) prompt arraignment and determination of probable cause, (3) the exclusionary rule, (4) police department internal review and disciplinary procedure, and (5) civil remedies). We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest—as evident by the facts of this instant case. E.g., Hobson, 577 N.W.2d at 836 (―But in arrest situations that are often ripe for rapid escalation, one‘s ‗measured‘ response may fast become excessive.‖). Further, we note that a warrant is not necessary for every entry into a home. For example, officers may enter the home if they are in ―hot pursuit‖ of the arrestee or if exigent circumstances justified the entry. E.g., United States v. Santana, 427 U.S. 38, 42–43 (1976) (holding that retreat into a defendant‘s house could not thwart an otherwise proper arrest made in the course of a ―hot pursuit‖); Holder v. State, 847 N.E.2d 930, 938 (Ind. 2006) (―Possible imminent destruction of evidence is one exigent circumstance that may justify a warrantless entry into a home if the fear on the part of the police that the evidence was immediately about to be destroyed is objectively reasonable.‖). Even with a warrant, officers may have acted in good faith in entering a home, only to find later that their entry was in error. E.g., Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1, 11 (1994); United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 922–25 (1984). In these situations, we find it unwise to allow a homeowner to adjudge the legality of police conduct in the heat of the moment. As we decline to recognize a right to resist unlawful police entry into a home, we decline to recognize a right to batter a police officer as a part of that resistance

Nothing prevents an aggrived party from filing IA complaints, a civil right complaint with the FBI per 42 USC 1983 (There are both civil and criminal liabilities at the federal level for civil rights violations done under the color of authority) as well as state level civil and criminal liability for police misconduct.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 17, 2011, 06:36:49 AM
Hot pursuit is a lawful entry.  Imminent destruction of evidence is a lawful entry.  So using those as examples to allow unlawful entry is a little weird. 

I have taught my children never to assume that a person with a badge at the door is a police officer and to call the police if someone knocks on the door when I am not home.  This is common practice, because safety experts realized a long time ago that people can pose as police officers to enter the home. 

Why would a court not realize the same thing?  Why would someone allow anyone to unlawfully enter a home?  An appeal to the FBI ot IA doesn't stop illegal actions froming taking place to begin with. 

I am a little surprised by your stance here, to be honest. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: DougMacG on May 17, 2011, 08:04:53 AM
"I have taught my children never to assume that a person with a badge at the door is a police officer and to call the police..."

I like this advice and the forethought involved.  If it is police with no warrant but worthy reasons, no harm is done with a 911 call.  If it is false and criminal, the earliest alert has been made.

For hot pursuit to the wrong house or imminent destruction of evidence when you are innocent, you know that is not the case, but that does not change the minds of the officers. 

Seems to me there is ground in between granting permission and actively resisting.  In hot pursuit or imminent destruction, misguided or not, they will be coming in whether you open the door or not.  I still like the idea that for kids home alone or for wife and kids with any doubt, you don't open the door. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 17, 2011, 08:50:55 AM
Hot pursuit is a lawful entry.  Imminent destruction of evidence is a lawful entry.  So using those as examples to allow unlawful entry is a little weird. 

I have taught my children never to assume that a person with a badge at the door is a police officer and to call the police if someone knocks on the door when I am not home.  This is common practice, because safety experts realized a long time ago that people can pose as police officers to enter the home. 

Why would a court not realize the same thing?  Why would someone allow anyone to unlawfully enter a home?  An appeal to the FBI ot IA doesn't stop illegal actions froming taking place to begin with. 

I am a little surprised by your stance here, to be honest. 

How in the heat of the moment are you going to determine if the entry by the officers is legal or illegal? in that moment, how are you going to calibrate your use of force for those circumstances?

If one ever needs to determine LE status, 9-1-1 is the place to start, see what dispatch says.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 17, 2011, 11:22:55 AM
Hmmm , , , lets see.  I am on the can and someone knocks on the door shouting "Police!".  I flush the toilet to go answer the door, but whoops! no need!  They have kicked in the door and are in my house.  For the sake of argument, lets say they are undercover.  What could go wrong here?  What remedy?  Apparently my flushing the toilet is now  , , , probable cause?  Indeed any hurried noises (e.g. a naked woman looking to clother herself quickly) are now probable cause?

Call 911 to verify that the folks on the other side of the door are police.  Is this really a serious suggestion?  Have you ever tried calling 911?  I did once to report some bangers breaking into a car.  By the time the brain dead moron answering the phone allowed me to give the facts, the bangers were gone.  Here, just how long is it going to take the person answering the call to confirm or deny those guys at my door. Somehow I seriously doubt it will be timely enough so as to be meaningful , , ,
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 17, 2011, 02:13:35 PM

http://policelink.monster.com/training/articles/2078-supreme-court-further-clarifies-knock-and-announce-rule-

In United States v. Banks, 124 S.Ct. 521 (2003), the Supreme Court further clarified the rules regarding knocking an announcing during the execution of search warrants. The Court has decided a number of cases pertaining to this issue over the last several terms.

A brief review of the cases provides guidance into this critical police task.

In Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 U.S. 927 (1995), the Court held that whether or not officers knock and announce during the execution of a search warrant will factor into whether the manner in which the warrant was executed was reasonable. Thus Rule #1 is “knocking and announcing” is a factor that a court will consider with respect to the reasonableness of the execution of a search warrant.

In Richards v. Wisconsin, 520 U.S. 385 (1997), the Court held that a “no-knock” warrant meets constitutional standards where an officer, in the warrant application provides “reasonable grounds to expect futility or to suspect that one or another such exigency already exists or will arise instantly upon knocking.” Richards v. Wisconsin further held that even if officers have not sought a “no-knock” warrant but are met with similar exigent circumstances when they arrive on the scene, they may dispense with the need to knock and announce their presence.

Thus, Rule #2 allow police to obtain a no-knock warrant when they can articulate exigency prior to the time of the execution of the warrant and

Rule #3 allows police to dispense with their knock and announcement when exigency develops upon their execution of the warrant.

Finally, in United States v. Ramirez, 523 U.S. 65 (1998), the Court held “that police in exigent circumstances may damage premises so far as necessary for a no-knock entrance without demonstrating the suspect risk in any more detail than the law demands for an unannounced intrusion simply by lifting the latch.”

Rule #4 Police may cause reasonable damage in effecting a no-knock entry.

The Court faced a new issue in United States v. Banks. Federal agents along with members of the North Las Vegas Police Department developed information that Banks was dealing drugs. The officers sought and obtained a search warrant for Banks’ two-bedroom apartment.

The officers responded to Banks’s apartment at 2:00 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon. The officers knocked on the front door and shouted “police search warrant” loud enough so that officers at the rear of the building heard the officers. The officers waited for 15 to 20 seconds and then forced the door open with a battering ram. Banks later testified that he did not hear the officers knock because he was in the shower and did not know the police were there until he heard the crash of the battering ram through his door. Officers seized crack cocaine and weapons as well as other evidence.
Banks’s argument before the Supreme Court was that it was unreasonable for the police to enter his home after waiting only 15-20 seconds. He argued that it would take a person more time than 15-20 seconds to get to their door.

In analyzing the facts of this case the Court indicated that the focus was not on how long it would take someone to get to their front door, but rather, how long it would take someone to destroy the evidence the police were seeking. The Court provided an example of officers looking for a stolen piano obviously having to wait longer than officers seeking drugs that can quite easily be flushed down a toilet. By focusing on the time it would take a person to begin the act of destroying evidence, the Court avoided making fine distinctions based on the size of the residence to be searched. Thus, the owner of a mansion does not get a longer reprieve from a forced police entry since it may take him or her longer to get to the front door since the focus is evidence destruction that may take place anywhere within the residence.

The Court concluded that the officers acted reasonably in this case when they forced entry after waiting only 15-20 seconds. The Court noted that the warrant was executed at a time of day when a person would likely be up and around; officers in the rear of the building heard the announcement; and 15-20 seconds would be enough time for a drug dealer to get to a toilet or sink to begin the process of getting rid of the drugs sought by the police. The Court asserted: “it is imminent disposal, not travel time to the entrance [of the residence], that governs when the police may reasonably enter, since the bathroom and the kitchen are usually in the interior of a dwelling, not the front hall, there is no reason generally to peg the travel time to the location of the door, and no reliable basis for giving the proprietor of a mansion a longer wait than the resident of a bungalow, or an apartment like Banks’s. And 15 to 20 seconds does not seem an unrealistic guess about the time someone would need to get in a position to rid his quarters of cocaine.”

Rule #5 Officers may force entry after knocking and announcing where, based upon the nature of the evidence, exigent circumstances have developed because the occupants have not opened the door in a time frame that would allow the occupants time to begin destroying evidence.

Note, the Court mentioned that the case at issue involved a serious offense and expressed that they were not addressing a no-knock entry based upon exigent circumstances for a minor offense.


Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 17, 2011, 02:40:10 PM

EXECUTING A SEARCH WARRANT

Model Policy

Effective Date
December 1, 1989

Subject
Executing a Search
Warrant

Distribution

Reevaluation Date
November 30, 1990

PURPOSE
The purpose of this policy is to provide law enforcement officers with
guidelines for the execution of a search warrant.

POLICY
It is the policy of this law enforcement agency to (1) provide
techniques to accomplish a thorough and legal search; (2) observe the
constitutional rights of the person(s) the warrant is being served
upon; (3) minimize the level of intrusion experienced by those who are
having their premises searched; (4) provide for the highest degree of
safety for all persons concerned; and (5) establish a record of the
entire execution process.

DEFINITIONS
A.
Search Site:
The premises or person to be searched, as
explicitly stated in the search warrant.
B.
Search Personnel:
Law enforcement officers and supporting
personnel taking part in the execution of a search warrant.
C.
Evidence Collector:
Member of the search team responsible for
the possession, packaging, sealing and marking of all items
seized.
D.
Supervising Officer: Search team member most knowledgeable about
the case and/or responsible for the investigation.

PROCEDURES
A.
Uniform and Equipment Requirements
1.
The search team shall at all times include at least one
uniformed officer.
All non-uniformed officers shall be
clearly identified as law enforcement officers by wearing a
distinctive armband, jacket or some other indicator of
office.

2.
All members of the search team should be equipped with body
armor and a safety holster.
B.
Time Limitations on Search Warrant Execution
1.
A search warrant shall be executed as soon as practicable
within the conditions stated in state law.
Circumstances
that may necessitate a delay in executing a search warrant
include, but are not limited to:
a.
The need to have many searches occur at the same

time, which requires coordination and mobilization of
law enforcement resources.
b.
The seizable items have not arrived at the search
site.
c.
The probability that substantial resistance will be
encountered.
d.
A particular person(s) is absent from the search
site, and the supervisory officer feels that the
search would best be conducted if that person were
present.
e.
The need to protect an informant's identity.
2.
Absent court approval necessity or authorization by law, a
search should be conducted during daylight hours.

Preparation for Execution of Warrant
1.
Prior to entering the premises, the supervisory officer
shall conduct a pre-entry briefing of the execution process
with all search team personnel. The briefing shall include
a review of the actual order of operations and procedures
the search personnel will follow, a simulation of the
conditions of the search site (using maps, charts and
diagrams, when appropriate) and tactics and equipment to be
used in the event of forced entry.
2.
The supervisory officer shall attempt to determine if any
circumstances have changed that make executing the search
warrant at that time undesirable.
3.
The supervisory officer shall ensure that the entire search
warrant execution process is documented, from beginning to
end, and continued until the search team leaves the
premises.
A written record shall be supported by
photographs and, if practical, a videotaping of the entire
search site from start to finish.
Entry Procedures
1.
The approach to the scene shall be executed without sirens.
If a pre-execution surveillance team is on the scene, radio
contact shall be made to ensure that it is an appropriate
time to serve the search warrant.
2.
The supervisory officer shall be responsible for ensuring
that the search warrant is valid and that the property
about to be searched is the property listed on the warrant.
3.
The supervisory officer shall ensure that the entry is tape
recorded.

4.
The search personnel shall position themselves in the
following manner:
a.
Exits from the premises shall be covered.
b.
Uniformed officers shall be the most visible members
of the search team, and shall conduct the entry.

c.
Non-uniformed officers shall be the last members to
enter the search site.
5.
Notification
a.
The supervisory officer, or a uniformed officer,
shall notify persons inside the search site, in a
voice loud enough to be heard inside the premises,
that he/she is a police officer and has a warrant to
search the premises, and that he/she demands entry to
the premises at once.
(GM-I have had training that said to use the PA system from a police vehicle to announce the Search Warrant "Knock and announce" so the demand for entry is heard no only by the residence of the house to be searched, but by everyone in the proximity who could later be called as witnesses as to the loudness of the announcement for the demand to enter.)

b.
No-knock entries shall be made in accordance with
state law.
On Premises Activities
1.
The supervisory officer shall ensure that a member of the
search team conducts a security sweep of the search site.
2.
After the search site has been secured, search personnel
shall develop a prioritized strategy that details the
likely whereabouts of the items to be seized and an order

of operation for conducting the search.
One
person
shall
be
designated
as
responsible
for
collecting, preserving and documenting all items seized
until possession is transferred to the evidence custodian.
If damage occurs during an entry to premises that will be
left vacant, and the damage may leave the premises
vulnerable to security problems, arrangements shall be made
to guard the premises until it can be secured.
If damage occurs, a special report shall be prepared on the
actions that caused the damage and a detailed description
of the nature and extent of the damage.

3.

4.

5.

BY ORDER OF

_________________________
CHIEF OF POLICE

This model policy is intended to serve as a guide for the police executive who is interested
in formulating a written procedure to govern executing a search warrant. The police executive
is advised to refer to all federal state and municipal statutes ordinances,
regulations and
judicial and administrative decisions to ensure that the policy he or she seeks to implement
meets the unique needs of the jurisdiciton. 1 / 3


Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 17, 2011, 02:59:11 PM
The “knock and announce” rule requires the officers to announce their presence and authority. The officers need not actually knock on the target dwelling’s door for compliance nor must they state any “magic words.” A reviewing court will be interested in whether the occupants have been adequately alerted to the officers’ presence and authority and been given the opportunity to comply. The use of a bullhorn or other appropriate means is acceptable.4
Once the officers have notified the occupants of their intentions, they must allow those inside a reasonable chance to act lawfully.5 The time required varies from case to case. Many courts have permitted officers to enter after waiting more than five seconds.6 Likewise, many courts have found entry at five seconds or less to be unreasonable.7 However, no such “bright line” five second rule exists.
Each case must turn on its own facts. Certain instances will require more time. For instance, officers serving a warrant in the late evening or early

4 U.S. v. Spike, 158 F.3d 913 (6th Cir. 1998)
5 U.S. v. Dice, 200 F.3d 978 (6th Cir. 2000)
6 U.S. v. Markling, 7 F.3d 1309 (7th Cir. 1993); U.S. v. Spriggs, 996 F.2d 320 (D.C. Cir. 1993); U.S. v. Ramos, 923 F.2d 1346 (9th Cir. 1991); U.S. v. Myers, 106 F.3d 936 (10th Cir. 1997); U.S. v. Knapp, 1 F.3d 1026 (10th Cir. 1993); U.S. v. Gatewood, 60 F.3d 248 (6th Cir. 1995)
7 U.S. v. Moore, 91 F.3d 96 (10th Cir. 1996); U.S. v. Lucht, 18 F.3d 541 (8th Cir. 1994); U.S. v. Marts, 986 F.2d 1216 (8th Cir. 1993) morning hours must take into account that they must awake the occupants, who must gather their senses, and perhaps dress themselves before responding. In other circumstances, such as when there is a barking dog, the law may require less time before the officers force entry into the dwelling.8
Once the occupants have rejected the officers’ request to enter the dwelling peacefully, force may be used.
Refused admittance need not be an affirmative refusal. Officers can infer refusal from circumstances such as the failure of occupants to respond,9 the sound of evidence being destroyed,10 or of fleeing suspects.11
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 18, 2011, 03:59:46 AM
GM, I don't understand the point of your most recent three posts.  The first two relate to the execution of search warrants, which is lawful entry.  The third one is interesting, but of the entire string cite of cases only one them is binding on Indiana (the state from which this current line of discussion stems) and a single, different case is applicable in California (Guro's state of residence, and thus the likely source of his query). 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 18, 2011, 07:18:41 AM
BD,

I was responding to Crafty's post, although I cannot vouch for the professionalism (or lack thereof) of dispatch or the local level law enforcement in any given area.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 18, 2011, 09:12:47 AM
"An appeal to the FBI ot IA doesn't stop illegal actions froming taking place to begin with. "

Reasonable, rational law enforcement officers tend to try to perform their duties in such a way as to avoid being the subject of civil and criminal liability.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 18, 2011, 10:52:45 AM
BD,

I was responding to Crafty's post, although I cannot vouch for the professionalism (or lack thereof) of dispatch or the local level law enforcement in any given area.

Thank you for the clarification.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 18, 2011, 10:54:42 AM
"An appeal to the FBI ot IA doesn't stop illegal actions froming taking place to begin with. "

Reasonable, rational law enforcement officers tend to try to perform their duties in such a way as to avoid being the subject of civil and criminal liability.

In that case, reasonable, rational LEOs shouldn't be all that concerned about individuals who react to illegal entries.  They won't happen.  Right?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 18, 2011, 10:58:27 AM
The concern is with those indidividuals who think they know what is illegal and don't. In the heat of the moment isn't the time to try to adjudicate such things, is it?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 18, 2011, 12:31:11 PM
The concern is with those indidividuals who think they know what is illegal and don't. In the heat of the moment isn't the time to try to adjudicate such things, is it?

Don't trained LEOs know when a search/entry is illegal?  If so, why are they acting in an irresponsible manner? 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 18, 2011, 01:20:06 PM
I think if' you read the case law, you'll find that sometimes it's unclear if a warrantless entry will be ruled to be legal until it goes before the court who'll judge it on the totality of the circumstances. Many times, officers must make decision in a compressed time frame that are later contemplated at the leisure of the court. There are many disincentives to discourage officers from acting in bad faith in these scenarios.

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/march_2011/copy_of_perspective

Although courts have long recognized the existence of an exigent circumstance exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, the Supreme Court’s decisions in Brigham City and Fisher provide much-needed guidance to officers who routinely confront situations, such as those present in these two cases. Reliance on an objective reasonableness standard allows for scrutiny based on the facts and circumstances confronting law enforcement at the time, as opposed to guesswork regarding the officers’ intentions and consideration of information learned after the fact. The legal standard set forth by the Court in these cases enables officers to make onthe- spot decisions as to whether they should enter a home or other dwelling to resolve an emergency situation. Because the government has the burden of justifying warrantless searches and seizures occurring under this exception, officers need to fully articulate the specific facts and circumstances known to them at the time they acted. This is essential because the courts use an examination of the totality of the circumstances to determine whether officers had reasonable grounds to act.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 18, 2011, 10:52:26 PM
"I can't for the life of me think of a good reason to take away a right to protect oneself against an unlawful entry, no matter who is doing the entering."

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 19, 2011, 02:54:06 AM
I am not often advised that I should read more case law.  I agree that there are disincentives in place to reign in officers acting in bad faith.  And taking away a natural right of self defense is taking away one of those reasons for police officers from acting in exactly that manner.  

Under what other conditions do you think it is acceptable to limit the natural right of self defense?  

I think if' you read the case law, you'll find that sometimes it's unclear if a warrantless entry will be ruled to be legal until it goes before the court who'll judge it on the totality of the circumstances. Many times, officers must make decision in a compressed time frame that are later contemplated at the leisure of the court. There are many disincentives to discourage officers from acting in bad faith in these scenarios.

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/march_2011/copy_of_perspective

Although courts have long recognized the existence of an exigent circumstance exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, the Supreme Court’s decisions in Brigham City and Fisher provide much-needed guidance to officers who routinely confront situations, such as those present in these two cases. Reliance on an objective reasonableness standard allows for scrutiny based on the facts and circumstances confronting law enforcement at the time, as opposed to guesswork regarding the officers’ intentions and consideration of information learned after the fact. The legal standard set forth by the Court in these cases enables officers to make onthe- spot decisions as to whether they should enter a home or other dwelling to resolve an emergency situation. Because the government has the burden of justifying warrantless searches and seizures occurring under this exception, officers need to fully articulate the specific facts and circumstances known to them at the time they acted. This is essential because the courts use an examination of the totality of the circumstances to determine whether officers had reasonable grounds to act.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 19, 2011, 07:33:30 AM

"Under what other conditions do you think it is acceptable to limit the natural right of self defense?"
 
I can think of a few I went through first hand. One was responding to a call where a woman that was reported to have been drinking and ingesting chemicals and was reported to be brandishing a firearm with a young child in the home with her. It wasn't my jurisdiction, but I was closest to the scene and requested by the Sheriff's Dept. to respond to the call with the above information relayed to me through my dispatch. I arrived at the residence, knocked at the door and announced my presence. No response. Deciding there were exigent circumstances, I made entry into the house. I located a female party unconscious on the floor in a child's room. The child was in a crib, unharmed. A medium frame revolver was visible on a shelf in the room, the adult female didn't awaken when I cuffed her, secured the revolver and awaited the arrival of the responding deputy.

If that female subject had been awake, did she have the natural right of self defense against a warrantless entry by a tribal police officer into her home?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 19, 2011, 04:29:31 PM
Was it an illegal entry?  That has been my focus the whole time.


"Under what other conditions do you think it is acceptable to limit the natural right of self defense?"
 
I can think of a few I went through first hand. One was responding to a call where a woman that was reported to have been drinking and ingesting chemicals and was reported to be brandishing a firearm with a young child in the home with her. It wasn't my jurisdiction, but I was closest to the scene and requested by the Sheriff's Dept. to respond to the call with the above information relayed to me through my dispatch. I arrived at the residence, knocked at the door and announced my presence. No response. Deciding there were exigent circumstances, I made entry into the house. I located a female party unconscious on the floor in a child's room. The child was in a crib, unharmed. A medium frame revolver was visible on a shelf in the room, the adult female didn't awaken when I cuffed her, secured the revolver and awaited the arrival of the responding deputy.

If that female subject had been awake, did she have the natural right of self defense against a warrantless entry by a tribal police officer into her home?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 19, 2011, 04:41:51 PM
I don't think so. I turned the scene over to the responding deputy, briefed him on what had happened. I wrote a report detailing what I had done. Never questioned about it by my chain of command. I never got a complaint, I never was subpoenaed to testify in court about it, so I assume the case was plea barganed.

Do you think that was legal?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 19, 2011, 05:06:59 PM
I only have the information you gave me, but based on that information: yes.

What I don't know is, among other things: who reported her (i.e., was it a p.o.'d ex to get back at her; was it someone with a history of calling "wolf" to the local PD, etc.); what was the age of the child (young depends in part on context); etc.

Reminder: the article I posted that led to this line of questioning specifically that the Indiana court decision "effectively means that officers may enter any residence without warrant, probable cause or permission of the owner."  It seems to me that you DID have probable cause. 

Again, the starting point is illegal entry, GM.  So, I am led to believe that you find no problems with police, who are government agents, illegally entering one's residence.  So much for the Bill of Rights, I guess. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 19, 2011, 05:18:28 PM
What I don't know is, among other things: who reported her (i.e., was it a p.o.'d ex to get back at her; was it someone with a history of calling "wolf" to the local PD, etc.); what was the age of the child (young depends in part on context); etc.

Yeah, hopefully dispatch has made some determinations to that effect. When you catch a call like that, you often have very limited amounts of infomation while you run code to the location. Thus is the reality of police work.

Can you give me a scenario where you have a case of illegal entry by law enforcement and how self defense would provide an effective resolution to that?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 20, 2011, 02:29:24 AM
Yeah, hopefully dispatch has made some determinations to that effect. When you catch a call like that, you often have very limited amounts of infomation while you run code to the location. Thus is the reality of police work.

Can you give me a scenario where you have a case of illegal entry by law enforcement and how self defense would provide an effective resolution to that?

Hmmm, well you (plural) are gutsy to do that job.  That isn't much information to work on.  And please don't think I am trying to be disrespectful to the LEOs.  Not a chance.  You do good work, and I am honored to be friends with many.

I'd rather not try to come up with a hypothetical scenario.  I do know that any other situation that I can think of at this hour, whether or not I am able have an "effective resolution," I am able to legally act in self defense.  And that is what bothers me enough to have posted the original link. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 20, 2011, 05:42:49 AM
Here is the problem, most people can't tell you who the vice president is and are pretty darn fuzzy on the rest of the facts about the constitution, laws and everything else about our system. I still have people tell me they think that shooting someone outside their home and then dragging the decendent inside and planting a knife in their hand is a good idea. This, after years of CSI: Wherever that has juries demanding forensic techniques that exist only in some screenwriter's imagination.

I don't think the idea floating around of using self defense on the police is going to work out well for either the public at large or law enforcement. There are already legal disincentives for police misconduct, and if those don't deter bad cops, the idea of "self defense" certainly won't.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 20, 2011, 08:18:10 AM
"There are already legal disincentives for police misconduct,"

which as a practical matter are often meaningless

"and if those don't deter bad cops,"

and sometimes they don't,

"the idea of "self defense" certainly won't."

If a rogue cop is attacking you, you have a right to defend yourself.   In the American Creed, our rights come from our Creator.  Amongst these rights is the right to self-defense.  It IS that simple.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 20, 2011, 08:25:35 AM
Can you cite any examples of lawful self defense against illegal police conduct in the US?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 20, 2011, 08:58:55 AM
No.

That said, it seems to me quite feasible that in such cases, no one have a motive to go public with it.


Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 20, 2011, 09:00:52 AM
Do you think that if you defend yourself against an officer you deem to be acting illegally, that he just goes on his way and nothing else comes from that?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 20, 2011, 10:45:36 AM
The article in question has to do with illegal searches, not what a private citizen "deems" to be an illegal search.  And at this point I would also like to note Guro's response above.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 20, 2011, 11:21:09 AM
Until someone in a black robe deems a legal or illegal search/seizure, how do we know it's status?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 20, 2011, 01:56:00 PM
Who is "we"?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 20, 2011, 02:02:55 PM
You, me, any other interested observer.

Until Terry v. Ohio was decided, was it possible to say with any assurance the legitimacy of Det. McFadden's stop and frisk of John Terry?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 20, 2011, 04:30:30 PM
Can you cite any examples of lawful self defense against illegal police conduct in the US?

Randy Weaver comes close. Alas, in most instances he who writes the police report defines the legality of the conduct, and few citizens write police reports.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 20, 2011, 04:36:52 PM
Do you see Randy Weaver as some kind of hero? I don't. He was effective in hiding behind his wife and kids, I'll give him that.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 20, 2011, 07:28:13 PM
Dude, don't ask questions if you don't want them answered, and if you get an answer that doesn't conform to your screed du jour how about if you respond to the point rather than sliding into the ad hominen?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 20, 2011, 07:32:29 PM
I'll agree with your point that whomever writes the report tends to shape the narrative in the legal proceeding.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: JDN on May 21, 2011, 08:29:16 AM
Recently, I listened to a police interrogation on tape; then I read the report written by the detective.

"shape the narrative"?  The report was unbelievably one sided.  Another reason to say nothing until your attorney is there.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 21, 2011, 09:22:57 AM
Recently, I listened to a police interrogation on tape; then I read the report written by the detective.

"shape the narrative"?  The report was unbelievably one sided.  Another reason to say nothing until your attorney is there.

That detective will get toasted by any semi-compitent defense atty with the report and tape.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 21, 2011, 10:58:12 AM
You, me, any other interested observer.

Until Terry v. Ohio was decided, was it possible to say with any assurance the legitimacy of Det. McFadden's stop and frisk of John Terry?

I just don't understand the way that you obfuscate the issues at hand, GM.  The question is the rights of people to resist illegal entry into their home.  I seriously think that sometimes you don't read carefully.  Or do you just make [stuff] up?  Or do you just keep going and going like the bunny with nowhere to go? 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 21, 2011, 01:48:58 PM
Please cite some case law that is more relevant then. Terry v. Ohio was pretty important search and seizure case law that codified "stop and frisk" methods for LE.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 21, 2011, 01:54:07 PM
Well Terry is relevant to making the point that it is not always known what the law is until after the fact, but still the question presented remains.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 21, 2011, 02:13:33 PM
In US legal history, there are police methods that were struck down by the courts that had been a historic standard practice in law enforcement. The 60's/70's had lots of profound limitations placed on police that hadn't existed before.

The use of force, including deadly force on fleeing felons dates back hundred of years to England's common law, but ended here in 1985. When that Memphis Officer shot Garner, he was acting in compliance with both Tenn. state law and MPD policy. It was reasonable to believe it was a lawful seizure given those circumstances, the SCOTUS disagreed.

So, even if the officer acts in good faith and in compliance with dept. policy and state law doesn't mean those actions will ultimately be ruled lawful by the court.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 21, 2011, 04:14:03 PM
OK, but not sure how that connects to the question presented , , ,
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 21, 2011, 04:23:19 PM

So, even if the officer acts in good faith and in compliance with dept. policy and state law doesn't mean those actions will ultimately be ruled lawful by the court.

Unless/until someone in a black robe gives the thumbs up/thumbs down on an officer's actions, how does the officer or the person who in the heat of the moment believes the officer's entrance into their home is illegal, know if the entry is legal or not? Under exegent circumstances that might justify a warrantless entry, the officer/s are probably not going to sit down with the resident and debate the point over a cup of chai.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 21, 2011, 05:20:31 PM
Would this situation have been improved by the plaintiffs using force against the officers?

http://www.sdsheriff.net/legalupdates/docs/0411.pdf

Huff v. City of Burbank (9th Cir. Jan. 11, 2011) 632 F.3rd 539

Rule: A non-consensual, warrantless entry into a residence cannot be justified by an
unsubstantiated rumor.

Facts: Burbank Police Officers responded to a high school to investigate a report by the
principal concerning rumors that a student, Vincent Huff, had written a letter threatening
to “shoot up” the school. Principal Sister Milner, concerned about the safety of her
students, asked the officers to investigate. Several other students were interviewed, but
the officers couldn’t verify the existence of such a letter. Vincent hadn’t been at school
for two days. So they decided to go to Vincent’s home where he lived with his parents,
George and Maria. At the Huff residence, no one responded when the officers knocked
at the door and announced their presence. The officers called the residence by telephone,
but no one answered. They then called Maria’s cell phone. Maria answered. Informed
that the officers wished to talk to her and her son, she hung up on them. Two minutes
later, Maria and Vincent came out on the front steps. When the officers told them that
they were there investigating some threats at the school, Vincent responded; “I can’t
believe you’re here for that.” Maria was asked if they could go inside to talk, to which
Maria responded; “No,” not without a warrant. Asked if there were any guns in the
home, Maria avoided the question and responded that she would get her husband. She
then turned and went into the house. One of the officers followed her in. Vincent and a
second officer also went inside. One of the officers testified to making entry into the
8
house out of concern for their safety. Two other officers entered the house after
everyone else. The officers all remained in the living room as George entered the room
and challenged their authority for being there. After a five to ten minute conversation in
the living room, upon satisfying themselves that the rumors about shooting up the school
were false, the officers all left. The Huffs thereafter sued the Burbank Police Department
and the officers involved in federal court. The trial court found for the civil defendants
after a two-day bench trial. The Plaintiff Huffs appealed.

Held: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal reversed. The issue on appeal was whether
upon making the warrantless entry into the Huff’s residence, the officers had probable
cause and exigent circumstances. The Ninth Circuit ruled that they had neither and that
the entry into the Huff residence was done in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Likening the officers’ entry of the Huff home to an entry done for the purpose of
conducting a warrantless search, the Court held that such an entry is lawful only when
officers have “a reasonable belief that their entry is necessary to prevent physical harm to
the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of the
suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement
efforts.” The Court interpreted this requirement as requiring “probable cause.” But you
can’t justify probable cause on information that amounts to no more than an
unsubstantiated rumor. Secondly, even if the officers had probable cause, there must also
be “exigent circumstances” requiring an immediate entry. The exigent circumstances
argued here by the civil defendants was for the safety of the officers or the occupants of
the house. The civil defendants (i.e., officers) argued that, in addition to the rumor
concerning Vincent possibly threatening to shoot up the school, the following facts were
sufficient to warrant a finding of exigent circumstances: (1) The unusual behavior of the
parents in not answering the door or the telephone; (2) Maria hanging up on the officers
when they finally reached her on her cell phone; (3) Maria not inquiring about the reason
for their visit or expressing concern that they were investigating her son; (4) Maria
refusing to tell the officers whether there were any guns in the house; and (5) Maria
running back into the house while being questioned about the possible presence of
firearms. These facts, per the Court, amounted to no more than “speculation” on the part
of the officers that their safety was in jeopardy. Lastly, the Court noted that although not
argued by the civil defendants, the “emergency circumstances” theory also fails to justify
a warrantless entry into the home. “Emergency circumstances,” allowing for a
warrantless entry into a residence, may be found when officers reasonably believe entry
is necessary to protect or preserve life or avoid serious injury. “Probable cause” is not
necessary. But the officers must have “some reasonable basis, approximating probable
cause, to associate the emergency with the area or place to be searched.” In this case the
Court found that there was “no objectively reasonable basis for concluding that there was
an immediate need to protect others or themselves from serious harm.” The entry of the
house, therefore, was in violation of the Fourth Amendment, providing the Huffs with a
cause of action for civil damages.
Note: This case is so screwy, and so wrong, that I almost didn’t brief it. In justifying
their belief that the entry into the house was illegal, the Court wanders through all sorts of
irrelevant legal theories, using tests and factors applicable to searches. Although this
9
case involved a warrantless entry into a residence, it did not involve a search. Same
constitutional amendment—the Fourth—but different problem altogether. This case
involved officers trying to protect themselves while responding to a situation reportedly
involving firearms. Although I don’t have a case directly on point supporting my
argument, it seems to me that if an officer can pat a person down for weapons based upon
no more than a “reasonable suspicion,” then they should be allowed to follow an
uncooperative homeowner into the house under circumstances that would lead any
reasonable officer to believe that she just might be intending to fetch a firearm. The
United States Supreme Court has already rejected the Ninth Circuits attempts to fit
potentially dangerous situations into neat little categories meant for searches. In Brigham
City v. Stuart (2006) 547 U.S. 398, the High Court upheld a warrantless residential entry
in a case involving “an objectively reasonable basis for believing” that someone may
suffer serious injury if an immediate entry is not made. As for the dangerousness of the
situation in the Huff case, the Court failed to mention Vincent’s very telling remark; “I
can’t believe you’re here for that.” While this might very well be interpreted as
Vincent’s denial that he ever intended a threat, it also serves as validation for the
argument that he did in fact say or write something that could be interpreted as a threat to
shoot up his school. So were the officers, while responding to a report potentially
involving firearms and a threatened school shooting, when confronted by some very
uncooperative parents of the potential shooter, justifiably concerned for their own safety
when the parent suddenly decided to disappear back into her house during an inquiry
about weapons? In my humble opinion; you betcha!
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 22, 2011, 03:09:47 AM
I wear a black robe, at least ocasionally.  I am excited that I get to play a role in making these types of decisions.   8-)

I think that you give too much credit to the USSC (or perhaps rely too much) assuming that is the court you meant when you stated that "even if the officer acts in good faith and in compliance with dept. policy and state law doesn't mean those actions will ultimately be ruled lawful by the court."  Given that the USSC currently hears about .01% of the cases that are appealled to it, and not all of them relate to police actions, the odds aren't all that good that a particular police action will be reviewed by the highest court.  

The basis for the Fourth Amendment, which has its basis in English Common Law, as does most of American law:
"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!" William Pitt

As for a list of cases, here you go:


John Bad Elk v. United States, 177 U.S. 529 (1900):
Held, that the court clearly erred in charging that the policemen had the right to arrest the plaintiff in error and to use such force as was necessary to accomplish the arrest, and that the plaintiff in error had no right to resist it.

At common law, if a party resisted arrest by an officer without warrant, and who had no right to arrest him, and if, in the course of that resistance, the officer was killed, the offence of the party resisting arrest would be reduced from what would have been murder, if the officer had had the right to arrest, to manslaughter.

"If the officer had no right to arrest, the other party might resist the illegal attempt to arrest him, using no more force than was absolutely necessary to repel the assault constituting the attempt to arrest."

United States v. Di Re, 332 U.S. 581 (1948): "One has an undoubted right to resist an unlawful arrest, and courts will uphold the right of resistance in proper cases."

Miller v. United States, 357 U.S. 301 (1958): Held: petitioner could not lawfully be arrested in his home by officers breaking in without first giving him notice of their authority and purpose...

PAYTON V. NEW YORK, 445 U. S. 573 (1980): Held: The Fourth Amendment, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits the police from making a warrantless and nonconsensual entry into a suspect's home in order to make a routine felony arrest. Pp. 445 U. S. 583-603.


And here is some commentary on the Indiana Supreme Court decision.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/88027.html
An interesting line, and one that speaks to your line of thinking, in discussing the Indiana case with a Michigan case: "In the interests of brevity, these rulings should be consolidated under the name “Rapist Doctrine,” in recognition of the fact that are pseudo-scholarly versions of the advice once urged upon women enduring sexual assault: Don’t resist — it will only make things worse."

http://www.libertyflorida.org/?p=563

Even the home schoolers are concerned: http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/in/201105180.asp


And, some commentary on the right to resist unlawful arrest/entry in general:

http://cad.sagepub.com/content/46/4/472.short ("attacks on the common law right are based on a misunderstanding of the original justifications for the right and that there remains a great need for the right particularly as new police tactics increase the probability of arbitrary assertions of authority."


http://www.markmccoy.com/self-defense.html: This site also has many other cases you can look at if you wish.










Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 22, 2011, 04:46:24 AM
I think that you give too much credit to the USSC, or rely too much is better wording, assuming that is the court you meant when you stated that "even if the officer acts in good faith and in compliance with dept. policy and state law doesn't mean those actions will ultimately be ruled lawful by the court."  Given that the USSC currently hears about .01% of the cases that are appealled to it, and not all of them relate to police actions, the odds aren't all that good that a particular police action will be reviewed by the highest court. 


I get that very few cases go in front of the supremes. However, every police action has the potential for some level of judicial review. Just because a officer acts in good faith and in compliance with dept. policy and state law does not mean the officer's actions will be upheld by a court.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 22, 2011, 10:25:01 AM
http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/88027.html
An interesting line, and one that speaks to your line of thinking, in discussing the Indiana case with a Michigan case: "In the interests of brevity, these rulings should be consolidated under the name “Rapist Doctrine,” in recognition of the fact that are pseudo-scholarly versions of the advice once urged upon women enduring sexual assault: Don’t resist — it will only make things worse."

I'm not sure I'd want to cite anything from Lew Rockwell.


http://reason.com/archives/2008/01/16/who-wrote-ron-pauls-newsletter

Who Wrote Ron Paul's Newsletters?

Libertarian movement veterans, and a Paul campaign staffer, say it was "paleolibertarian" strategist Lew Rockwell

Julian Sanchez & David Weigel | January 16, 2008


 



Ron Paul doesn't seem to know much about his own newsletters. The libertarian-leaning presidential candidate says he was unaware, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, of the bigoted rhetoric about African Americans and gays that was appearing under his name. He told CNN last week that he still has "no idea" who might have written inflammatory comments such as "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks"—statements he now repudiates. Yet in interviews with reason, a half-dozen longtime libertarian activists—including some still close to Paul—all named the same man as Paul's chief ghostwriter: Ludwig von Mises Institute founder Llewellyn Rockwell, Jr.
 
Financial records from 1985 and 2001 show that Rockwell, Paul's congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982, was a vice president of Ron Paul & Associates, the corporation that published the Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Survival Report. The company was dissolved in 2001. During the period when the most incendiary items appeared—roughly 1989 to 1994—Rockwell and the prominent libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard championed an open strategy of exploiting racial and class resentment to build a coalition with populist "paleoconservatives," producing a flurry of articles and manifestos whose racially charged talking points and vocabulary mirrored the controversial Paul newsletters recently unearthed by The New Republic. To this day Rockwell remains a friend and advisor to Paul—accompanying him to major media appearances; promoting his candidacy on the LewRockwell.com blog; publishing his books; and peddling an array of the avuncular Texas congressman's recent writings and audio recordings.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 22, 2011, 06:23:06 PM
Just because someone is wrong about some things doesn't make him wrong about everything. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 22, 2011, 06:40:54 PM
I must confess I'm a bit confused about your takes on some positions, Bigdog. I'm I recall correctly, it's your position OBL should have been arrested (if possible) and given the due process of law, right? Yet an American police officer accused of misconduct shouldn't at least get the same?

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 22, 2011, 07:05:53 PM
Why wouldn't an American police officer accused of misconduct not be given the due process of law? 

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 22, 2011, 07:10:48 PM
Well, if he or she is killed by someone who thinks that they have that right because they deem the officer to have entered their residence illegally.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 22, 2011, 07:17:56 PM
I wish you wouldn't put words in my mouth.  I never said that there was some kind of carte blanche right to off police officers, or anyone else.  Good grief.  In fact, if you look at a few posts back, you will see this included there too:

John Bad Elk v. United States

"If the officer had no right to arrest, the other party might resist the illegal attempt to arrest him, using no more force than was absolutely necessary to repel the assault constituting the attempt to arrest."


Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 22, 2011, 07:21:25 PM

"If the officer had no right to arrest, the other party might resist the illegal attempt to arrest him, using no more force than was absolutely necessary to repel the assault constituting the attempt to arrest."

Ok BD, how would a reasonable person determine if an officer's attempt to arrest was legal or illegal?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 23, 2011, 03:19:02 AM
GM, you suggested one way that "a reasonable person" could "determine if an officer's attempt to arrest was legal or illegal."  Moreover, your point a few days ago about the ignorance of the average man about who is VP, and what is in the Constitution, etc. is true up to a point.  There are many, many who are far less ignorant about the law than the average.  So, perhaps it is reasonable to expect that some people know what the law is.  Or perhaps, it is reasonable to expect that everyone should become more educated about the Constitution and the laws of their state.

Can I safely say that you believe in a living Constitution, since you seem to think that we can't possibly know when entry is illegal before we go to a court of law?  Is it true that the 4th Amendment is just a guide, but given that there have been changes made to police techniques and with new technologies, we can disregard the original intent of the Framers and/or the 700 years of precedent (including the common law tradition that is the basis of our legal system)?  Will you be voting for President Obama's reelection?   

How in the heat of the moment are you going to determine if the entry by the officers is legal or illegal? in that moment, how are you going to calibrate your use of force for those circumstances?

If one ever needs to determine LE status, 9-1-1 is the place to start, see what dispatch says.

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 23, 2011, 04:42:14 AM
A momentary tangent:

"Just because someone is wrong about some things doesn't make him wrong about everything."

Certainly this is true, but I for one prefer to note it when there are notorious aspects to someone I quote.

End of tangent. 

Carry on.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 23, 2011, 05:01:07 AM
I am certainly willing to note that.  I must, I confess, plead ignorance to his notorious side before being edified by GM. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 23, 2011, 08:21:22 AM
Indeed, I too learned of the Rockwell-Rothbard nexus and its ugly concepts thanks to GM.

Returning to the subject at hand, I emailed Mitch Vilos, the author of the "Self-Defense Law in the 50 States" book which we carry in our catalog (also, see the relevant thread on the Martial Arts forum) the URL of this thread.  Given his unusually extensive research in this area, I was curious for his input, which he was kind enough to give:

Here it is:

You notice that we did not address this as part of our template for each
state because we felt it was not something that most people would ever have
to consider or anticipate.  But, that said, we did come across states that
addressed the issue and as I recall, Indiana was not the only state that had
statutes indicating that citizens are not justified in resisting an unlawful
arrest or entry. 

With the disclaimer that I haven't researched it extensively (for reasons
given above), my guess is that this is a huge "thumbs down" factor in any
case.  If you resist and bad things happen to a police officer, it's going
to result in arrest, prosecution and possible conviction just because there
tends to be a belief by most potential jurors that policemen can do no wrong
(with some inner city exceptions, of course).  Remember, Texas has a strong
home defense statute.  But one of the thumbs down factors in the home is if
the intruder is a child.  Reference the Texas thumbs down case (Gonzales as
I recall) where the Texas trailer owner shot and killed one of several young
teens in his trailer to steal candy.  He was arrested, tried and finally
acquitted, but nevertheless had to endure a life-changing experience.  I
suspect that is going to be the way it will be for using or threatening
deadly force against a LEO in most cases. Same with spousal shootings
(Chapter 13).  Unless the battered wife gets out of the home, if she shoots
her husband in her own home, she will be arrested and prosecuted.  She is
seldom acquitted.   

A horrible outgrowth of this issue is going to be home invasions where the
invaders pose as cops.  The more this happens, the more homeowners will
shoot to kill no matter that whoever enters is screaming, "police, get
down!!! Hands where we can see them!!!!!"  One clue to a real cop entry
might be the "flash-bang."  I suspect we'll see more severe penalties for
impersonating LEOs during home invasions for this very reason.  It makes the
entry more and more dangerous for the real LEOs.  Unfortunately Indiana's
removal of right to resist unlawful police entry gives a signal to home
invaders that impersonating SWAT no knock entries will be the key to
success. 

One corollary.  The more home invaders impersonate officers, the less likely
a defending citizen will be convicted for using force against unlawful
entries where there is a "reasonable man" standard for self-defense. But
that won't keep citizens from being arrested and prosecuted for using force
against officers even in the event of an unlawful entry. 

Hope this gives some helpful insight into the issue.  Mitch



Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 23, 2011, 09:26:57 AM
Well said by Mitch.

Here is the ugly reality, when guns come out, shiite gets real dangerous. This applys to both LEOs and armed citizens. Off duty, plain clothes cops have been shot by uniformed officers responding to a "man with a gun" call. One can have the best intentions in the world and still end up as the shooter or shootee of a blue on blue fatality.

Even best case scenario in a general citizen self-defense shooting or LEO line of duty use of deadly force, the best you can hope for is to keep everything you had at the moment you pressed the trigger. Meaning your life, your freedom, your career, your marriage, your assets.

If you are a citizen, and using force against a LEO, the odds of this turning out well for you is slim and none. Handing violent resistance to arrest is something cops are trained and equipped to do. Both policy and caselaw allow officers to use more force than is being used against them. LEOs are trained and empowered to use whatever force is required to win, including deadly force, if needed.

BD, you asked if I believed in a "living constitution". I'm not sure how to best answer this. I believe that the constitution is our framework and the intent of the founders is very important. I also think the founders intended for there to be law enforcement, and for there to be a common sense balance between individual rights and public safety. I'm most interested in finding that pragmatic sweet spot between either extreme that maximizes individual freedom while having a safe society.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 23, 2011, 11:33:44 AM
"If you are a citizen, and using force against a LEO, the odds of this turning out well for you is slim and none."

With this I completely agree.  And court decisions that gut the 4th amendment protections offered in the Bill of Rights, a series of amendments made becuase of the fear of an over reaching government, don't help this. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 23, 2011, 11:47:32 AM
Speaking of which, this from today's LA Times-- a source which I often mock-- but here it reads rather well:

May 23, 2011
One of the most important functions of the Supreme Court is to put legal limits on police excesses. But the court failed to fulfill that responsibility last week when it widened a loophole in the requirement that police obtain a warrant before searching a home.

The 8-1 decision came in the case of a search of an apartment in Kentucky by police who suspected illegal drugs were being destroyed. The police, who said they smelled marijuana near the apartment, had knocked loudly on the door and shouted, "This is the police." Then, after hearing noises they thought indicated the destruction of evidence, they broke down the door.

Related
 Court says police may break into homes in certain cases
 Carving out class-action exceptions
 Supreme Court: Class (action) dismissed
Prop. 8: Who's fit to judge?
Let sun shine on dependency court
For Alejandra Tapia, prison as punishment
See more stories »
 
XScrutinizing Wal-Mart
 Police don't need a warrant to enter a residence when there are "exigent circumstances," such as imminent danger, the possibility that a suspect will escape or concern about the immediate destruction of evidence. But in this case, the police actually created the exigent circumstances that they then capitalized on to conduct the warrantless search.

According to Kentucky's Supreme Court, the exigent-circumstances exception didn't apply because the police should have foreseen that their conduct would lead the occupants of the apartment to destroy evidence. Overturning that finding, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the court that as long as the police officers' behavior was lawful, the fact that it produced an exigent circumstance didn't violate the Constitution. That would be the case, Alito suggested, even if a police officer acted in bad faith in an attempt to evade the warrant requirement.

But as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out in her dissent, Alito's reasoning "arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the 4th Amendment's warrant requirement in drug cases. In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant."

Ginsburg also dismissed the argument that entering the apartment in the Kentucky case was necessary to prevent the destruction of drug evidence. Quoting the majority opinion, she wrote that "persons in possession of valuable drugs are unlikely to destroy them unless they fear discovery by the police." Therefore, police can take the time to obtain a warrant.

Allowing police to create an exception to the warrant requirement violates the 4th Amendment. That is how the court should have ruled.
Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
     ShareNew(2)
« Previous Story More Editorials Next Story »  To fix California's budget, we need taxes too Cellphones: Quieting the public nuisances
Related storiesFrom the L.A. Times
Police arrest suspect in beating of Giants fan at Dodger Stadium
Man suspected in kidnapping of Riverside girl may have more victims
Supreme Court gives police leeway in home searches
From KTLA
Police: Man Runs Over Friend, Officer After Nightclub Fight |ktla.com
Family Turns To Social Media To Find Missing Teen |ktla.com
Around the Web
Supreme Court gives police new entryway into homes |chicagotribune.com
Supreme Court gives police a new entryway into homes |orlandosentinel.com
In San Diego, not your typical police scandal |fox5sandiego.com
Comments (2)Add / View comments | Discussion FAQ
Kiljoy616 at 9:33 AM May 23, 2011
The Constitution a nice idea that is slowly dying out one piece at a time.
southerncalifornia.republican at 12:13 AM May 23, 2011
Finally! An editorial that I completely, 100% agree with. In this case, the court was wrong.


Title: Not so fast.....
Post by: G M on May 23, 2011, 12:20:30 PM
Speaking of which, this from today's LA Times-- a source which I often mock-- but here it reads rather well:
Stick with the instinct to mock the Left Angeles Times, it'll always serve you well.



http://www.llrmi.com/articles/legal_update/2011_us_king.shtml
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 23, 2011, 07:31:14 PM
Some interesting analysis on the King opinion:

http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/23/the-supreme-courts-advice-abou

http://www.scotusblog.com/?p=119933

http://volokh.com/2011/05/19/common-misreadings-of-kentucky-v-king-and-the-difference-between-exigent-circumstances-and-police-created-exigencies/

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/kentucky-v-king/

http://www.utahdefenders.com/kentucky-v-king-good-for-utah-police-bad-for-our-liberties/
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 24, 2011, 06:17:35 AM
Orin Kerr pretty much hammers all the other commenters in his piece on this ruling.

Utahdefenders? Not only was that the lamest bit on the topic, they sound like a superhero group from South Park.  :-D
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 24, 2011, 06:37:58 AM

Utahdefenders? Not only was that the lamest bit on the topic, they sound like a superhero group from South Park.  :-D

Agreed on both counts.  And I love the South Park comparison! 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 24, 2011, 07:01:08 AM
Speaking of Orin Kerr and the 4th, care to take a crack at this, BD?
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=976296

Four Models of Fourth Amendment Protection

Orin S. Kerr
George Washington University - Law School



Stanford Law Review, Vol. 60, 2007
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 246
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 246


Abstract:     
The Fourth Amendment protects reasonable expectations of privacy, but the Supreme Court has refused to provide a consistent explanation for what makes an expectation of privacy reasonable. The Court's refusal has disappointed scholars and frustrated students for four decades. This article explains why the Supreme Court cannot provide an answer: No one test can accurately and consistently distinguish less troublesome police practices that do not require Fourth Amendment oversight from more troublesome police practices that are reasonable only if the police have a warrant or compelling circumstances. Instead of endorsing one single approach, the Supreme Court uses four different tests at the same time. There are four models of Fourth Amendment protection: a probabilistic model, a private facts model, a positive law model, and a policy model. The use of multiple models has a major advantage over a singular approach, as it allows the courts to use different approaches in different contexts depending on which can most accurately and consistently identify practices that need Fourth Amendment regulation.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 24, 2011, 08:18:29 AM
"In her dissent, Justice Ginsburg contends that the Court’s decision “arms police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases”; in a largely rhetorical question, she also asks whether our homes will actually remain secure “if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity[.]”  To maintain the protections of the Fourth Amendment, she argues, the exigent circumstances must exist “when the police come on the scene, not subsequent to their arrival, prompted by their own conduct.”

"Justice Ginsburg notes that if the police had not knocked, no evidence would have been destroyed; she emphasizes that even the Court’s opinion concedes that “[p]ersons in possession of valuable drugs are unlikely to destroy them unless they fear discovery by the police,” and here the suspects would not have anticipated police discovery but for the knock.  The police could have posted officers outside the apartment while obtaining a warrant for entry because there was “very little risk” that the evidence would have been destroyed while awaiting a warrant."

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 24, 2011, 08:30:29 AM
The Queen-Mother of the ACLU dissents? No way!  :-o

Well, what she leaves out is the totality of the circumstances.

If the facts of the case were that the police in the case just happened to knock at a door, hear sounds of things moving inside and then make a forcible entry based on that alone, then her dissent might make sense. This is only a small portion of the facts at the moment that influenced the decisionmaking of those officers in this case.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 24, 2011, 08:38:51 AM
There are LOTS of circumstances well within the law which will induce people to start moving around when there is a loud knocking on the door of "Its the police!!!

As noted, there was time for a warrant.

" here the suspects would not have anticipated police discovery but for the knock.  The police could have posted officers outside the apartment while obtaining a warrant for entry because there was “very little risk” that the evidence would have been destroyed while awaiting a warrant."

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 24, 2011, 08:48:47 AM
The officers were chasing a suspect that ran into one of two apartments. There was an odor of marijuana present. If it was reasonable to wait for a warrant, then what circumstances would you find reasonable to enter without a warrant to prevent the destruction of evidence?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 24, 2011, 11:44:08 AM
When it wasn't reasonable to wait for a warrant :-D

And if I remember correctly the suspect did not know the police were after him.  He simply went home.   The risk of destruction of evidence was triggered by the knock.
The police could have waited while sending for a warrant.  Oh wait!  Maybe they couldn't have gotten one (on the dealing charge) because they had only a 50% (or less if there were more than two apartments) chance of giving the judge the right address , , ,  :roll:  Is a 50% chance of getting the right place a sufficient % for you?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 24, 2011, 12:02:43 PM
When you run after a suspect that just sold a U/C oficer drugs, and when faced w/ two apartment doors, knock at one and detect the odor of an illegal drug and after announcing "Police" hear sounds which are consistent with the destruction of evidence that might be reasonably expected for those involved in the illegal drug trade to do, would tend to indicate that the officer had selected the correct door and that exigent circumstances exist to prevent the destruction of evidence, even with federally mandated low flow toilets.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 24, 2011, 03:37:11 PM
The wittiness of the lo-flo toilets is noted, as is the failure to note that in point of fact , , , they got the wrong apartment.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 24, 2011, 03:40:14 PM
Yes, but it was reasonable to believe it was the right apartment, and upon making entry there was evidence of criminal acts in plain view of the officers.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 24, 2011, 04:58:00 PM
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=490&invol=386


The "reasonableness" of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. See Terry v. Ohio, supra, at 20-22. The Fourth Amendment is not violated by an arrest based on probable cause, even though the wrong person is arrested, Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797 (1971), nor by the mistaken execution of a valid search warrant on the wrong premises, Maryland v. Garrison, 480 U.S. 79 (1987). With respect to a claim of excessive force, the same standard of reasonableness at the moment applies: "Not every push or shove, even if it may later seem unnecessary in the peace of a judge's chambers," Johnson v. Glick, 481 F.2d, at 1033, violates the Fourth Amendment. The calculus of reasonableness must embody [490 U.S. 386, 397]   allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving - about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 24, 2011, 09:12:52 PM
Those cases, if memory serves, all deal with persons not homes, except for the one with the search warrant at the wrong address.  I believe Guro's point is that there is no search warrant.  Also, there is an assumption of heighten protection in the home. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 25, 2011, 05:45:57 AM
"Those cases, if memory serves, all deal with persons not homes, except for the one with the search warrant at the wrong address."

The Fourth Amendment "objective reasonableness" standard is used to judge both the search of places and the seizure of persons equally.

"Also, there is an assumption of heighten protection in the home." 

Yes there is, there is also a court recognized warrantless exemption regarding exigent circumstances, including the prevention of the immediate destruction of evidence.

http://www.bluesheepdog.com/2011/05/19/kentucky-v-king-supreme-court-on-exigent-circumstances/

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 to overturn the Kentucky suppression.  Justice Ginsburg was the sole dissenting opinion.  In the Opinion of the Court, written by Justice Alito, it affirmed three areas of exigency that permit a warrantless entry into a home.  While the Court only touched on “emergency aid” and “hot pursuit of a fleeing suspect,” at issue in Kentucky v. King is the exception “to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence.”
 


Justice Alito wrote that lower courts have imposed further requirements to the exigent circumstances rule.  The U. S. Supreme Court rejects those restrictions.  Simply listed, they are:  “bad” faith, reasonable foreseeability, probable cause and time to secure a warrant, and standard or good investigative tactics.  In each of these requirements, lower courts have added upon law enforcement additional legal burdens that are not recognized by the Supreme Court with regard to exigent circumstances.
 
Quoting Graham v. Conner, the Court cited “the calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments—in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving.”
 
Ultimately, the Supreme Court articulated that in Kentucky v. King, the exigency of the possible destruction of evidence did exist and that it was not created by the officers’ knock and announce at the door.  The ruling was reversed and remanded for further proceeding in Kentucky.
 
It is interesting that this type of Fourth Amendment judgment was so overwhelmingly supported by seven of the Justices.  I find it refreshing that it seems to hold accountable the actions of the suspects, in refusing to answer the door, for directly contributing to the circumstances that brought about a lawful warrantless entry.
Title: POTH editorial
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 25, 2011, 06:25:53 AM
Refusing to answer the door is a grounds for kicking it in?

==================================

What’s wrong with the police kicking in the door of an apartment after they smell marijuana drifting from it, if they knock hard, announce who they are and then hear what sounds like evidence being destroyed?

Related in News
Search Allowed if Police Hear Evidence Being Destroyed (May 17, 2011) Some lower courts have said the answer is pretty much everything, because the police themselves created the pretext for barging in. But the Supreme Court ruled last week that such a warrantless search does not necessarily violate the Fourth Amendment, according to a vague new standard for determining whether the police violated the protection against unreasonable search, or threatened to do so.

They sent the case back to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which is going to have a hard time understanding the new standard — and in any case never resolved whether any evidence was, in fact, destroyed.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the lone dissenter in this strange decision, wisely warned that the new rule gave the police “a way routinely to dishonor” the constitutional requirement that they obtain a warrant, by manufacturing an exception to it. There are already exceptions for “exigent circumstances,” emergencies like an imminent risk of death or a danger evidence will be destroyed. But the urgency usually exists when the police arrive at the scene. In this case, the police caused the exigent circumstances themselves.

The new rule undermines the rule of law by shifting the power to approve a forced entry from a magistrate to the police. It empowers the police to decide whether circumstances allow them to kick in the door.

The majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito Jr. says that the “exigent circumstances” rule applies even though the police triggered the danger that evidence would be destroyed. Apartment-dwellers with nothing to hide, the justice said, are at fault if they don’t take advantage of their right to refuse entry when the police knock. (As if this would be realistic even in Justice Alito’s neighborhood.)

Justice Ginsburg asks, “How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?”

Her dissent is a reminder of the enduring value of privacy, as well as of her value to American law. It is unsettling that she is the only justice to insist that the law hold the line on its definition of exigent circumstances so that our “officers are under the law,” as Justice Robert Jackson once put it. But it is reassuring to have her stand up for the Fourth Amendment and to police power that is literally and constitutionally unwarranted.

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on May 25, 2011, 06:47:07 AM
This Court is too liberal, and the King decision proves that.  It must be that there are liberal activist justices like Alito. 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 25, 2011, 06:56:27 AM
And abominable, counterproductive drug laws that produce the appearance of probable cause every time an herb is ignited.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 25, 2011, 07:38:31 AM
"Refusing to answer the door is a grounds for kicking it in?"

 That alone? NO. With the totality of the circumstances in the above case? YES.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 25, 2011, 07:43:04 AM
"This Court is too liberal, and the King decision proves that.  It must be that there are liberal activist justices like Alito. "

Don't forget those ultraliberals, Scalia and Thomas!   :wink:
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on May 25, 2011, 07:46:57 AM
"And abominable, counterproductive drug laws that produce the appearance of probable cause every time an herb is ignited."

Don't forget all those horrific counter-terrorism efforts intended to prevent religious activists from using plutonium as an aspect of their belief system. Plutonium is NATURAL, and thus incapible of doing anything bad.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: DougMacG on May 25, 2011, 09:19:19 AM
"Justice Kennedy's opinion included an array of anecdotes regarding prison conditions in California, where "as many as 54 prisoners may share a single toilet" "

  - I don't have time to study a case now, but that sounds like the foundation of a solid argument ...  to fund an additional toilet.  How does a factual statement have the words "as many as"..."may" in it?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 25, 2011, 09:24:18 AM
Somehow, I'm not worried about Iran getting its hands on a bunch of pot , , , Indeed, it might mellow them out a bit.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 25, 2011, 10:15:15 AM
Quote
Don't forget all those horrific counter-terrorism efforts intended to prevent religious activists from using plutonium as an aspect of their belief system. Plutonium is NATURAL, and thus incapible of doing anything bad.

Apples, meet oranges. Or kumquats. Or something.
Title: SWAT team kills , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 27, 2011, 05:50:00 PM
http://www.kgun9.com/story/14621212/marine-killed-by-swat-was-acting-in-defense-says-family?redirected=true&config=H264

 :cry: :cry: :cry:
Title: Who's Near Fear
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on May 28, 2011, 04:07:42 AM
A lot of inferences and suppositions here, but I think they are on to something. My guess is that, among other things, domestic spooks are tracking terror suspects via cell phone locational data, noting what other cells are proximate to suspects as they go about their day, then looking for patterns within that locational data post facto. This leads to a couple scary conclusions: first, if you find yourself stopped at a light next to a suspect of some sort, your locational data likely now has someone's interest piqued. Say you work at a college with several active Muslim organizations on it; there is likely no way not to end up next to someone who's phone is being tracked.

Secondly, there is no way these sorts of associational searches are being run in real time. That strongly implies that all "business record" (see below) locational data for all cell phones are being obtained and archived somewhere, with the situational searches run after the fact. If true that means ever citizen owning something with locational tracking ability has all their movements stored somewhere by who knows who, with who knows what kind of shelf life, accessible for who knows what reason, to who knows what end. Oversight would appear negligible in the vacuum within which all this is occurring. A massive infringement on constitutional protections as I understand them, in other words, one sure to be answered to some day.

Atlas Bugged: Why the “Secret Law” of the Patriot Act Is Probably About Location Tracking

Posted by Julian Sanchez

Barack Obama’s AutoPen has signed another four-year extension of three Patriot Act powers, but one silver lining of this week’s lopsided battle over the law is that mainstream papers like The New York Times have finally started to take note of the growing number of senators who have raised an alarm over a “secret interpretation” of Patriot’s “business records” authority (aka Section 215). It would appear to be linked to a “sensitive collection program” referenced by a Justice Department official at hearings during the previous reauthorization debate—one that would be disrupted if 215 orders were restricted to the records of suspected terrorists, their associates, or their “activities” (e.g., large purchases of chemicals used to make bombs). Naturally, lots of people are starting to wonder just what this program, and the secret interpretation of the law that may be associated with it, are all about.

All we can do is speculate, of course: only a handful of legislators and people with top-secret clearances know for sure. But a few of us who closely monitor national security and surveillance issues have come to the same conclusion: it probably involves some form of cellular phone geolocation tracking, potentially on a large scale. The evidence for this is necessarily circumstantial, but I think it’s fairly persuasive when you add it all up.

First, a bit of background. The recent fiery floor speeches from Sens. Wyden and Udall are the first time widespread attention has been drawn to this issue—but it was actually first broached over a year ago, by Sen. Richard Durbin and then-Sen. Russ Feingold, as I point out in my new paper on Patriot surveillance. Back in 2005, language that would have required Section 215 business record orders to pertain to terror suspects, or their associates, or the “activities” of a terror group won the unanimous support of the Senate Judiciary Committee, though was not ultimately included in the final reauthorization bill. Four years later, however, the Justice Department was warning that such a requirement would interfere with that “sensitive collection program.” As Durbin complained at the time:

The real reason for resisting this obvious, common-sense modification of Section 215 is unfortunately cloaked in secrecy. Some day that cloak will be lifted, and future generations will ask whether our actions today meet the test of a democratic society: transparency, accountability, and fidelity to the rule of law and our Constitution.

Those are three pretty broad categories of information—and it should raise a few eyebrows to learn that the Justice Department believes it routinely needs to get information outside its scope for counterterror investigations. Currently, any record asserted to be “relevant” to an investigation (a standard so low it’s barely a standard) is subject to Section 215, and records falling within those three categories enjoy a “presumption of relevance.” That means the judges on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court lack discretion to evaluate for themselves whether such records are really relevant to an investigation; they must presume their relevance. With that in mind, consider that the most recent report to Congress on the use of these powers shows a record 96 uses of Section 215 in 2010, up from 22 the previous year. Perhaps most surprisingly though, the FISC saw fit to “modify” (which almost certainly means “narrow the scope of”) 42 of those orders. Since the court’s discretion is limited with respect to records of suspected terrorists and their associates, it seems probable that those “modifications” involved applications for orders that sweep more broadly. But why would such records be needed? Hold that thought.

Fast forward to this week. We hear Sen. Wyden warning that “When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry,” a warning echoed by Sen. Udall. We know that this surprising and disturbing interpretation concerns one of the three provisions that had been slated for sunset. Lone Wolf remains unused, so that’s out, leaving roving wiretaps and Section 215. In the context of remarks by Sens. Feingold and Durbin, and the emphasis recently placed on concerns about Section 215 by Sen. Udall, the business records provision seems like a safe bet. By its explicit terms, that authority is already quite broad: What strained secret interpretation of it could be surprising to both legislators and the general public, but also meet with the approval of the FISC and the Office of Legal Counsel?

For one possible answer, look to the criminal context, where the Department of Justice has developed a novel legal theory, known as the “hybrid theory,” according to which law enforcement may do some types of geolocation tracking of suspects’ cellular phones without obtaining a full-blown probable cause warrant. The “hybrid theory” involves fusing two very different types of surveillance authority. “Pen registers” allow the monitoring, in real time, of the communications “metadata” from phones or other communications devices (phone numbers dialed, IP addresses connected to). For cellular phones, that “metadata” would often make it possible to pinpoint at least approximately—and, increasingly, with a good deal of precision, especially in urban areas—the location of the user. Federal law, however, prohibits carriers from disclosing location information “solely” pursuant to a pen register order. Another type of authority, known as a 2703(d) order, is a bit like Patriot’s business records authority (though only for telecommunications providers), and is used to compel the production of historical (as opposed to real-time/prospective) records, without any exclusion on location information. The Justice Department’s novel theory—which I discussed at a recent Cato event with Sen. Wyden on geolocation tracking—is that by bundling these two authorities in a new kind of combination order, they can do real-time geolocation tracking without the need to obtain a full Fourth Amendment warrant based on probable cause. Many courts have been skeptical of this theory and rejected it—but at least some have gone along with this clever bit of legal origami. Using the broad business records power of Patriot’s Section 215 in a similar way, to enable physical tracking of anyone with a cellphone, would seem to fit the bill, then: certainly surprising and counterintuitive, not what most people think of when we talk about “obtaining business records,” but nevertheless a maneuver with a legal track record of convincing some courts.

Now, consider that Sen. Wyden has also recently developed a concern with the practice of mobile location tracking, which has become so popular that the U.S. Marshall Service, now the federal government’s most prolific (known) user of pen register orders, of which it issued over 6,000 last year, employs the “hybrid theory” to obtain location information by default with each such order. Wyden has introduced legislation that would establish standards for mobile location tracking, which has two surprising and notable feature. First, while the location tracking known to the public all involves criminal investigations subject to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), that’s not where Wyden’s bill makes its primary modifications. Instead, the key amendments are made directly to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—which language is then incorporated by reference into ECPA. Second, even though one section establishes the “exclusive means” for geolocation tracking, the proposal goes out of its way to additionally modify the FISA pen register provision and the Section 215 business records provision to explicitly prohibit their use to obtain geolocation information—as though there is some special reason to worry about those provisions being used that way, requiring any possible ambiguity to be removed.

Sen. Udall, meanwhile, always uses the same two examples when he talks about his concerns regarding Section 215: he warns about “unfettered” government access to “business records ranging from a cell phone company’s phone records to an individual’s library history,” even when the records relate to people with no connection to terrorism.  The reference to libraries is no surprise, because the specter of Section 215 being used to probe people’s reading habits was raised so insistently by librarians that it became common to see it referenced as the “library provision.” The other example is awfully specific though: he singles out cell phone records, even though many types of sensitive phone records can already be obtained without judicial oversight using National Security Letters. But he doesn’t just say “phone records”—it’s cell phone records he’s especially concerned about. And where he talks about “an individual’s” library records, he doesn’t warn about access to “an individual’s” cell phone records, but rather the company’s records.  As in, the lot of them.

Tracking the location of suspected terrorists, and perhaps their known associates, might not seem so objectionable—though one could argue whether Section 215′s “relevance” standard was sufficient, or whether a full FISA electronic surveillance warrant (requiring a showing of probable cause) would be a more appropriate tool. But that kind of targeted tracking would not require broad access to records of people unconnected to terror suspects and their known associates, which is hinted at by both Sen. Udall’s remarks and the high rate of modifications imposed on Section 215 orders by the FISA court. Why might that be needed in the course of a geolocation tracking program?

For a possible answer, turn to the “LocInt” or “Location Intelligence” services marketed to U.S. law enforcement and national security clients by the firm TruePosition. Among the capabilities the company boasts for its software (drawn from both its site and a 2008 white paper the company sponsored) are:

● the ability to analyze location intelligence to detect suspicious behavioral patterns,
● the ability to mine historical mobile phone data to detect relationships between people, locations, and events,
● TruePosition LOCINT can mine location data to find out if the geoprofile of a prepaid phone matches the geoprofile of a potential threat and identify it as such, and
● leveraging location intelligence, officials can identify mobile phones of interest that frequently communicate with each other, or are within close proximity, making it easier to identify criminals and their associates. [Emphasis added.]

Certainly one can see how these functions might be useful: terrorists trained in counterintelligence tactics might seek to avoid surveillance, or identification of co-conspirators, by communicating only in person. Calling records would be useless for revealing physical meetings—but location records are another story. What these functions have in common, however, is that like any kind of data mining, they require access to a large pool of data, not just the records of a known suspect. You can find out who your suspect is phoning by looking at his phone records. But if you want to know who he’s in close physical proximity to—with unusual frequency, and most likely alone—you need to sift through everyone’s phone location records, or at any rate a whole lot of them.  The interesting thing is, it’s not obvious there’s any legal way to actually do all that: full-fledged electronic surveillance warrants would be a non-starter, since they require probable cause for each target. But clearly the company expects to be able to sell these capabilities to some government entity. The obvious candidate is the FBI, availing itself of the broad authority of Section 215—perhaps in combination with FISA pen registers when the tracking needs to happen in real time.

As a final note of interest, the Office of the Inspector Generals’ reports on National Security Letter contain numerous oblique references to “community of interest [REDACTED]” requests. Traditional “community of interest” analysis means looking at the pattern of communications of not just the primary suspect of an investigation, but their whole social circle—the people the suspect communicates with, and perhaps the people they in turn communicate with, and so on. Apparently the fact that the FBI does this sort of traditional CoI analysis is not considered secret, because that phrase remains unredacted. What, then, could that single omitted word be? One candidate that would fit in the available space is “location” or “geolocation”—meaning either location tracking of people called by the suspect or perhaps the use of location records to build a suspect’s “community of interest” by “identify[ing] mobile phones…within close proximity” to the suspects. The Inspector General reports cover the first few years following passage of the Patriot Act, before an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel held that NSLs could not properly be used to obtain the full range of communications metadata the FBI had been getting under them. If NSLs had been used for location-tracking information prior to that 2008 opinion, it would likely have been necessary to rely on Section 215 past that point, which would fit the timeline.

Is all of that conclusive? Of course not; again, this is speculation. But a lot of data points fit, and it would be quite surprising if the geolocation capabilities increasingly being called upon for criminal investigations were not being used for intelligence purposes. If they are, Section 215 is the natural mechanism.

Even if I’m completely wrong, however, the larger point remains: while intelligence operations must remain secret, a free and democratic society is not supposed to be governed by secret laws—and substantive judicial interpretations are no less a part of “the law” than the text of statutes. Whatever power the government has arrogated to itself by an “innovative” interpretation of the Patriot Act, it should be up to a free citizenry to consider the case for it, determine whether it is so vital to security to justify the intrusion on privacy, and hold their representatives accountable accordingly. Instead, Congress has essential voted blind—reauthorizing powers that even legislators, let alone the public, do not truly understand. Whether it’s location tracking or something else, this is fundamentally incompatible with the preconditions of both democracy and a free society.
Title: Re: Who's Near Fear
Post by: G M on May 28, 2011, 09:10:28 AM
A lot of inferences and suppositions here, but I think they are on to something. My guess is that, among other things, domestic spooks are tracking terror suspects via cell phone locational data, noting what other cells are proximate to suspects as they go about their day, then looking for patterns within that locational data post facto. This leads to a couple scary conclusions: first, if you find yourself stopped at a light next to a suspect of some sort, your locational data likely now has someone's interest piqued. Say you work at a college with several active Muslim organizations on it; there is likely no way not to end up next to someone who's phone is being tracked.

Secondly, there is no way these sorts of associational searches are being run in real time. That strongly implies that all "business record" (see below) locational data for all cell phones are being obtained and archived somewhere, with the situational searches run after the fact. If true that means ever citizen owning something with locational tracking ability has all their movements stored somewhere by who knows who, with who knows what kind of shelf life, accessible for who knows what reason, to who knows what end. Oversight would appear negligible in the vacuum within which all this is occurring. A massive infringement on constitutional protections as I understand them, in other words, one sure to be answered to some day.



If these methods are being used for counterterrorism investigations, do you think it would make sense to have an organizational chart of suspects that sprawls into the millions? If you have identified a "person of interest", you'd be looking to connect him/her to others in a cell, which would involve specifically sorting out all the chaff of normal interactions in the day to day life of the suspect.
Title: POTH: Criminals pretending to be police
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 29, 2011, 07:42:09 AM
In Florida, Criminals Pose as Police More Frequently and for More Violent Ends
By DON VAN NATTA Jr.
 
MIAMI — A black BMW flashing red and blue lights suddenly filled Alexandria Armeley’s rearview mirror one evening last month. At a stoplight, the BMW’s driver pulled up next to her, waved a gold badge and told her “I’m a cop.”

 
But Ms. Armeley was suspicious. Before she pulled over, she called her stepfather, Alex Hernandez, a police detective in Biscayne Park, Fla., who warned her that the man was probably not a police officer. Speed away, he told her.

A terrified Ms. Armeley took off and was chased by the BMW for several miles through southern Miami-Dade County. Detective Hernandez had jumped in his car to help and eventually caught up to them.

So the real officer arrested the fake officer, whose name is Daniel A. Barros. Asked why he had tried to pull over Ms. Armeley, a 23-year-old college student, Mr. Barros, 22, told officers, “She was speeding.”

The BMW 7 Series car, outfitted with police lights and a siren, was “lit up like a Christmas tree,” Detective Hernandez recalled about the midnight encounter. “There are a lot of guys walking around with phony badges, but this guy had the whole works. Who knows what he would have done if he had gotten my stepdaughter to stop?”

Mr. Barros is facing several charges in the case, including impersonating an officer.

As long as police officers have worn uniforms and carried badges, criminals have dressed like them to try to win the trust of potential victims. Now the impersonators are far more sophisticated, according to nearly a dozen city police chiefs and detectives across the country.

In South Florida, seemingly an incubator of law-breaking innovation, police impersonators have become better organized and, most troubling to law enforcement officials, more violent. The practice is so common that the Miami-Dade Police Department has a Police Impersonator Unit.

Since the unit was established in 2007, it has arrested or had encounters with more than 80 phony officers in Miami-Dade County, and the frequency has increased in recent months, said Lt. Daniel Villanueva, who heads the unit.

“It’s definitely a trend,” Lieutenant Villanueva said. “They use the guise of being a police officer to knock on a door, and the victim lowers their guard for just a second. At that point, it’s too late.”

He added that part of the problem was that it was easy for civilians to buy “police products,” like fake badges, handcuffs and uniforms. “The states need to lock this down and make impersonating a police officer a more serious crime because we’re seeing more people using these types of these things to commit more serious crimes,” he said.

Detective Javier J. Baez of the Miami-Dade Police Department said, “These types of crimes here in Miami typically have a nexus to drugs.”

Increasingly, fake police officers are pulling off crimes together, the authorities say.

One evening three weeks ago, three men in police uniforms knocked on the door of a home in southwest Miami-Dade County.

When the home’s owner, Jose Montoya, opened the door, the men barged in and yelled, “Police, police! Get down, get down!” The men tied up Mr. Montoya, his wife and their toddler and then spent hours ransacking the house, the authorities said. They beat up Mr. Montoya, who was treated at a nearby hospital, and stole cash, jewelry and several weapons, the police said.

Before leaving, the robbers warned Mr. Montoya and his family not to call the police, the authorities said, or they would return and kill them.

Some police impersonators commit violent crimes like home invasions, car-jackings, rapes and, rarely, murders.

Last summer, a Tampa man impersonating an undercover officer used a badge and a siren to pull over a 28-year-old woman and rape her. In January, the man, Luis Harris, 31, was convicted of sexual battery, grand theft, kidnapping and impersonating a police officer, among other charges. A judge sentenced Mr. Harris to life in prison

==============

Page 2 of 2)



Other police impersonators, police chiefs and detectives say, masquerade as officers for more benign reasons, like trying to scare or impress someone. “Usually,” Detective Baez said, “the wannabe cop outfits their vehicles with police lights and fake insignias to fulfill some psychological need.”

This happened in Chicago when a 14-year-old boy named Vincent Richardson donned police garb and walked into the Third District precinct during morning roll call in January 2009. Officers handed him a radio and told him to ride along with a female officer. The teenager even helped make an arrest.

“After four or five hours, she asks, ‘Who is this guy?’ ” recalled Jody P. Weis, who was the Chicago police superintendent at the time. “He’s in a uniform, he has a goofy badge, he doesn’t have a weapon and he’s a high school kid. It was so embarrassing.” (The embarrassment did not end there for Mr. Weis, who said he had recommended against punishing the teenager in juvenile court because no harm had been done. Three months later, the boy was arrested and charged with stealing a car. Last week, he was arrested on several weapons charges.)

Impersonating an officer is a misdemeanor in some states, though it is a felony in Florida. The charge’s severity, and punishment, increases if a criminal charged with posing as a police officer commits a felony. Several chiefs and detectives say the crime is not taken seriously enough by the justice system and the public. Often, the crime goes unreported, the police say.

“Unfortunately, there is not a lot of downside for a criminal to impersonate a police officer,” said Commissioner Edward Davis of the Boston Police Department. “You can charge them with impersonating a police officer, but that’s not a very serious crime. The way the law views this crime, it’s as an innocent or silly prank. But it has become a much more serious crime than it is perceived by the public.”

Detective Hernandez, of Biscayne Park, Fla., said: “People minimize it. They just let it go. They won’t think about how dangerous this potentially can be. They just don’t see it.”

Some law enforcement officials said the public did not take these types of episodes seriously because of the types of cases often highlighted by the news media. People charged with impersonating police officers are often portrayed as befuddled, hapless and harmless.

In March, a motocross champion was arrested in Orlando, Fla., and charged with impersonating a police officer. The man, James Stewart Jr., 25, tried to stop another car using red and blue lights, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The car that he tried to stop contained two off-duty troopers.

Last October in Boca Raton, Fla., Andrew Novotak, in his white Crown Victoria with flashing green lights, pulled over motorists and quizzed them about whether they had been drinking alcohol, the police said.

When the police questioned him, Mr. Novotak was wearing a police badge and carrying a loaded gun. He also had a German shepherd in his back seat, which he insisted was a police-trained dog. After arresting him, officers said they smelled alcohol on his breath. He was charged with impersonating an officer and driving under the influence.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 29, 2011, 01:13:44 PM

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/05/16/
Title: SCOTUS: Kentucky vs. King
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 01, 2011, 07:58:23 AM


Haven't read this yet, but it seems likely to be quite relevant to our discussion here:

1. Supreme Court decides Kentucky v. King -- warrantless entry case.
 
AELE, joined by the IACP and NSA, urged the Court to adopt an objective reasonableness standard for warrantless entries into premises predicated on exigent circumstances. The brief stressed that officers need clear guidance and a uniform rule for training and operational purposes -- and for their safety when confronting dangerous offenders. Read the AELE brief at http://www.aele.org/ky-king.pdf
 
The Court, in an 8-1 holding, overturned the Kentucky Supreme Court. See http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1272.pdf

Note: This case is a huge win for police officers.
 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 02, 2011, 10:09:42 AM
Quote
If these methods are being used for counterterrorism investigations, do you think it would make sense to have an organizational chart of suspects that sprawls into the millions? If you have identified a "person of interest", you'd be looking to connect him/her to others in a cell, which would involve specifically sorting out all the chaff of normal interactions in the day to day life of the suspect.

Sure, which would by necessity require whomever to have recorded the locational data of every trackable device for a number of years as the only way to correlate that stuff would be to have all available location data stored somewhere. Once you find an association you wouldn't only want to project it forward, but mine it backwards too, yes? Guess we know what the NSA needs all those yottabytes of storage for. It'll be interesting to see what happens when American citizens discover that they all are being tracked all the time.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 02, 2011, 01:36:19 PM
Quote
If these methods are being used for counterterrorism investigations, do you think it would make sense to have an organizational chart of suspects that sprawls into the millions? If you have identified a "person of interest", you'd be looking to connect him/her to others in a cell, which would involve specifically sorting out all the chaff of normal interactions in the day to day life of the suspect.

Sure, which would by necessity require whomever to have recorded the locational data of every trackable device for a number of years as the only way to correlate that stuff would be to have all available location data stored somewhere. Once you find an association you wouldn't only want to project it forward, but mine it backwards too, yes? Guess we know what the NSA needs all those yottabytes of storage for. It'll be interesting to see what happens when American citizens discover that they all are being tracked all the time.

Imaginitive but very unlikely. The costs involved would be massive and the usefullness very limited. Cell phone location data isn't very exact. Pinging someone from a cell tower can give you a general location in a given area of a cell phone in relation to a cell tower, but it's very difficult to run down an exact address under most circumstances.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 03, 2011, 06:48:40 AM
And so all those yottabytes or storage are for. . . ? And the two pieces I've posted that are starting to unravel this mystery should be dismissed for what reason?

Just so you can get an idea of the scale of the storage that I guess is being used to catalog chicken salad sandwich recipes or something:

How Big is a Yottabyte? [Infographic]

By Alex Williams / May 17, 2011 9:30 AM / 0 Comments
Hacker News Share & Save

This post is part of our ReadWriteWeb Solution Series, which explores specific technologies and industries that use virtualization for critical operations. We hope this expert analysis and discussion will inspire you in use new ways to use virtualization technology within your organization. This post is sponsored by VMware & IBM. For more, see: IBM Tivoli Manager: Overcoming the Challenges of Backing Up and Restoring Virtual Machines

This year it's become clear that data is scaling to such an degree that you have to change how you manage your desktop and your entire information architecture in order to not just manage your daily work but to succeed.

It's the core issue of our day, one that's that's a top priority when planning to adopt a virtualized infrastructure that allows for people to access apps from tablets and smartphones.

The first step is to get a perspective on the size of the data. This infographic shows what a yottabyte represents in comparison to other terms for units of measurement. It may seem far out to think in such terms but considering projected storage requirements, the concept doesn't seem so far fetched.

(http://rww.readwriteweb.netdna-cdn.com/solution-series/assets_c/2011/05/infographicyottabyte_thumb1-thumb-560x1085-29962.jpg)

As I'm sure you know, when evaluating an opponent you have to assess his capabilities rather than his intentions. The capabilities of US intelligence collection agencies is truly jaw dropping; you think we should dismiss those capabilities as we attempt to provide oversight for them?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 03, 2011, 07:08:04 AM
And so all those yottabytes or storage are for. . . ? And the two pieces I've posted that are starting to unravel this mystery should be dismissed for what reason?

Just so you can get an idea of the scale of the storage that I guess is being used to catalog chicken salad sandwich recipes or something:


As I'm sure you know, when evaluating an opponent you have to assess his capabilities rather than his intentions. The capabilities of US intelligence collection agencies is truly jaw dropping; you think we should dismiss those capabilities as we attempt to provide oversight for them?

As more and more people on the planet use some type of communication technology, the NSA needs a place to put everything it hoovers up.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 03, 2011, 09:22:13 AM
Yup. Unconstitutionally, but my bet is it is vacuuming it all up nonetheless and likely using the rationale that they only look at the archived files if they have good reason to so American citizens should not be concerned if there every phone call, every identifiable location, every internet activity, every purchase, and so on is being collected, collated, and cross referenced by organs of the federal government.

George Orwell, Big Brother is holding your calls.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 03, 2011, 12:10:52 PM
Yup. Unconstitutionally, but my bet is it is vacuuming it all up nonetheless and likely using the rationale that they only look at the archived files if they have good reason to so American citizens should not be concerned if there every phone call, every identifiable location, every internet activity, every purchase, and so on is being collected, collated, and cross referenced by organs of the federal government.

George Orwell, Big Brother is holding your calls.

Oh brother. Does everyone on the planet enjoy constitutional protections?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 03, 2011, 05:35:36 PM
Uh , , , no.  Duh.  The concern here IS American citizens.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 03, 2011, 06:01:01 PM
Uh , , , no.  Duh.  The concern here IS American citizens.

Then why the hysteria that the NSA is listening in on foreign phone calls/texts/emails? That's their job.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 04, 2011, 08:58:50 PM
Is that what we have been discussing?  I seem to have missed that , , ,
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 05, 2011, 08:32:10 AM
No, we're discussing the theoretical horrors of what if the gov't knew where your cell was at all times.  :roll:
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 05, 2011, 08:44:49 AM
So why the nonsense about non-Americans having Constitutional rights?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 05, 2011, 08:48:42 AM
"As more and more people on the planet use some type of communication technology, the NSA needs a place to put everything it hoovers up."

"Yup. Unconstitutionally, but my bet is it is vacuuming it all up nonetheless and likely using the rationale that they only look at the archived files if they have good reason to so American citizens should not be concerned if there every phone call, every identifiable location, every internet activity, every purchase, and so on is being collected, collated, and cross referenced by organs of the federal government."

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 05, 2011, 09:10:54 AM
C'mon GM, you are too bright for this.  Our concern has been expressed in terms of American Constitutional rights.  Posting as if we are trying to extend American C'l rights to the whole planet is , , , tedious.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 05, 2011, 09:18:20 AM
I pointed out the NSA global role. BBG spun into a constitutional complaint. Our intel agencies work on SIGINT and other forms of intel gathering outside the US.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 05, 2011, 12:30:06 PM
But our complaint concerns tracking us here in the US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 05, 2011, 12:34:11 PM
Who is tracking you here in the US?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 05, 2011, 04:35:22 PM
BBG as quoted by you on May 28:

 lot of inferences and suppositions here, but I think they are on to something. My guess is that, among other things, domestic spooks are tracking terror suspects via cell phone locational data, noting what other cells are proximate to suspects as they go about their day, then looking for patterns within that locational data post facto. This leads to a couple scary conclusions: first, if you find yourself stopped at a light next to a suspect of some sort, your locational data likely now has someone's interest piqued. Say you work at a college with several active Muslim organizations on it; there is likely no way not to end up next to someone who's phone is being tracked.

Secondly, there is no way these sorts of associational searches are being run in real time. That strongly implies that all "business record" (see below) locational data for all cell phones are being obtained and archived somewhere, with the situational searches run after the fact. If true that means ever citizen owning something with locational tracking ability has all their movements stored somewhere by who knows who, with who knows what kind of shelf life, accessible for who knows what reason, to who knows what end. Oversight would appear negligible in the vacuum within which all this is occurring. A massive infringement on constitutional protections as I understand them, in other words, one sure to be answered to some day.


Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 05, 2011, 04:45:03 PM
Yes, and as I pointed out, his theory on the needed yottabites of storage for everyone's (domestic) cell phone locational data doesn't hold up. It would be immensely expensive and not very useful.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 05, 2011, 07:19:47 PM
That can be debated, but the point remains that your commentary about extending American C'l rights to outside the US was non-responsive.
Title: SWAT busts into house over student loan default
Post by: bigdog on June 08, 2011, 09:48:04 AM
http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/06/swat-team-busts-into-house-over-student-loan-default/
Title: Re: SWAT busts into house over student loan default
Post by: G M on June 08, 2011, 06:20:06 PM
http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/06/swat-team-busts-into-house-over-student-loan-default/
UPDATE: The Department of Education emailed Raw Story with a comment from spokesman Justin Hamilton to say the search warrant and raid were related to a criminal investigation, not a student loan default. The ABC affiliate has yanked its story that made the now seemingly false claim.
 
“While it was reported in local media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect. This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General’s Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments,” Hamilton said. “Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we can’t comment on the specifics of the case.”
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on June 08, 2011, 06:26:23 PM
Well, that is good news.  Thanks GM.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 08, 2011, 06:32:17 PM
I would hate to see search warrants being served over a simple failure to pay. That would not make sense.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 09, 2011, 08:30:34 AM
Thank you for the correction to the false original report.  I am relieved to hear it.
Title: FB has facial recognition program
Post by: bigdog on June 12, 2011, 01:56:23 PM
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2011/06/12/nr.holmes.armstrong.facebook.cnn?hpt=hp_t2
Title: Law Enforcement and Cellphone Searches
Post by: JDN on June 14, 2011, 08:46:05 AM
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-cellphone-20110614,0,336967.story
Title: We Don't Need No Stinking Warrants
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 15, 2011, 11:47:37 AM
FBI’s New Guidelines Further Loosen Constraints on Monitoring

Posted by Julian Sanchez

The New York Times‘s Charlie Savage reports that the FBI is preparing to release a new Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), further relaxing the rules governing the Bureau’s investigation of Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

This comes just three years after the last major revision of FBI manual, which empowered agents to employ a broad range of investigative techniques in exploratory “assessments” of citizens or domestic groups, even in the absence of allegations or evidence of wrongdoing, which are needed to open an “investigation.” The FBI assured Congress that it would conduct intensive training, and test agents to ensure that they understood the limits of the new authority—but the Inspector General found irregularities suggestive of widespread cheating on those tests.

Agents can already do quite a bit even without opening an “assessment”: They can consult the government’s own massive (and ever-growing) databases, or search the public Internet for “open source” intelligence. If, however, they want to start digging through state and local law enforcement records, or plumb the vast quantities of information held by commercial data aggregators like LexisNexis or Acxiom, they currently do have to open an assessment. Again, that doesn’t mean they’ve got to have evidence—or even an allegation—that their target is doing anything illegal, but it does mean they’ve got to create a paper trail and identify a legitimate purpose for their inquiries. That’s not much of a limitation, to be sure, but it does provide a strong deterrent to casual misuse of those databases for personal reasons. That paper trail means an agent who might be tempted to use government resources for personal ends—to check up on an ex or a new neighbor—has good reason to think twice.

Removing that check means there will be a lot more digging around in databases without any formal record of why. Even though most of those searches will be legitimate, that makes the abuses more likely to get lost in the crowd. Indeed, a series of reports by the Inspector General’s Office finding “widespread and serious misuse” of National Security Letters, noted that lax recordkeeping made it extremely difficult to accurately gauge the seriousness of the abuses or their true extent—and, of course, to hold the responsible parties accountable. Moreover, the most recent of those reports strongly suggests that agents engaged in illegal use of so-called “exigent letters” resisted the introduction of new records systems precisely because they knew (or at least suspected) their methods weren’t quite kosher.

The new rules will also permit agents to rifle through a person’s garbage when conducting an “assessment” of someone they’d like to recruit as an informant or mole. The reason, according to the Times, is that “they want the ability to use information found in a subject’s trash to put pressure on that person to assist the government in the investigation of others.” Not keen into being dragooned into FBI service? Hope you don’t have anything embarrassing in your dumpster! Physical surveillance squads can only be assigned to a target once, for a limited time, in the course of an assessment under the current rules—that limit, too, falls by the wayside in the revised DIOG.

The Bureau characterizes the latest round of changes as “tweaks” to the most recent revisions. That probably understates the significance of some of the changes, but one reason it’s worrying to see another bundle of revisions so soon after the last overhaul is precisely that it’s awfully easy to slip a big aggregate change under the radar by breaking it up into a series of “tweaks.”

We’ve seen such a move already with respect to National Security Letters, which enable access to a wide array of sensitive financial, phone, and Internet records without a court order—as long as the information is deemed relevant to an “authorized investigation.” When Congress massively expanded the scope of these tools under the USA Patriot Act, legislators understood that to mean full investigations, which must be based on “specific facts” suggesting that a crime is being committed or that a threat to national security exists. Just two years later, the Attorney General’s guidelines were quietly changed to permit the use of NSLs during “preliminary” investigations, which need not meet that standard. Soon, more than half of the NSLs issued each year were used for such preliminary inquiries (though they aren’t available for mere “assessments”… yet).

The FBI, of course, prefers to emphasize all the restrictions that remain in place. We’ll probably have to wait a year or two to see which of those get “tweaked” away next.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/fbi’s-new-guidelines-further-loosen-constraints-on-monitoring/
Title: Re: We Don't Need No Stinking Warrants
Post by: G M on June 15, 2011, 11:52:05 AM
Oh no, the FBI can use investigative techniques to investigate!  :roll:
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 15, 2011, 12:01:39 PM
In the absence of allegations, better yet. What could go wrong with that?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 15, 2011, 12:22:22 PM
I dunno, maybe we could go back to the good old days.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11923151/ns/us_news-security/t/agent-who-arrested-moussaoui-blasts-fbi/

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The FBI agent who arrested Zacarias Moussaoui in August 2001 accused headquarters of criminal negligence for its refusal to investigate Moussaoui aggressively after his arrest, according to court testimony Monday.

Agent Harry Samit testified under cross-examination at Moussaoui’s trial that FBI headquarters’ refusal to follow up “prevented a serious opportunity to stop the 9/11 attacks” that killed nearly 3,000 people.
 
Moussaoui is the only person charged in this country in the attacks.
 
The FBI’s actions between Moussaoui’s arrest on immigration violations on Aug. 16, 2001, and Sept. 11, 2001, are crucial to his trial because prosecutors allege that Moussaoui’s lies prevented the FBI from thwarting or at least minimizing the Sept. 11 attacks. Prosecutors must prove that Moussaoui’s actions caused the death of at least one person on 9/11 to obtain a death penalty.
 
The defense argues that nothing Moussaoui said after his arrest would have made any difference to the FBI because its bureaucratic intransigence rendered it incapable of reacting swiftly to Moussaoui’s arrest under any circumstances.
 
Memo predicted aircraft hijacking
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Edward MacMahon, Samit acknowledged that he predicted in an Aug. 18, 2001, memo that Moussaoui was a radical Islamic terrorist in a criminal conspiracy to hijack aircraft. Moussaoui ended up pleading guilty to two specific counts that Samit had explicitly predicted in his Aug. 18 memo.
 
Despite Samit’s urgent pleadings, FBI headquarters refused to open a criminal investigation and refused Samit’s entreaties to obtain a search warrant.

“You needed people in Washington to help you out?” MacMahon asked.
 
“Yes,” Samit said.
 
“They didn’t do that, did they?”
 
Samit said no.
 

He confirmed under questioning that he had attributed FBI inaction to “obstructionism, criminal negligence and careerism” in an earlier report.
 
One FBI supervisor in Washington told Samit that he was getting unnecessarily “spun up” about his concerns over Moussaoui.
 
Death or life in prison to be determined
Moussaoui pleaded guilty in April to conspiring with al-Qaida to hijack aircraft and commit other crimes. The sentencing trial will determine his punishment: death or life in prison.
 
Moussaoui denies he had anything to do with 9/11 and says he was training for a future attack.
 
MacMahon also questioned Samit on whether the government could have legally searched Moussaoui’s Minnesota hotel room without first obtaining a warrant.
 
Samit said that in certain circumstances agents can conduct a search on foreign nationals immediately and obtain a warrant after the fact. But he said in Moussaoui’s case, he and his supervisors determined that it would be best to arrest Moussaoui first.
 
Samit testified before the trial’s recess last week that Moussaoui lied to him after his arrest and thwarted his ability to obtain a search warrant. Samit said that the FBI would have launched an all-out investigation if it had been able to search Moussaoui’s belongings.
 
“You blew an opportunity to search ... without arresting him?” MacMahon asked Samit.
 Samit responded, “That’s totally false.”
 
He said he found himself in a bureaucratic bind because he had opened an intelligence investigation on Moussaoui rather than a criminal investigation and therefore needed Justice Department approval to get a search warrant. Many of the barriers between criminal and intelligence investigations were removed after 9/11.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 15, 2011, 12:36:58 PM
Well the only thing absent there is the absence of allegations, so your point is?

Guess you missed this sentence, too:

Quote
The defense argues that nothing Moussaoui said after his arrest would have made any difference to the FBI because its bureaucratic intransigence rendered it incapable of reacting swiftly to Moussaoui’s arrest under any circumstances.

Just how would the ability to investigate anyone at any time without a prerequisite act combat the rank buffoonery quoted above?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 15, 2011, 12:42:02 PM
I didn't miss the sentence. The FBI bureaucracy uses the FBI guidelines to impede the investigations of the "brick agents" that do the actual work. The guidelines do not change any legal restrictions the FBI operates under, just internal policy and procedure.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 15, 2011, 12:56:45 PM
So, in hindsight, would it have been better to have Special Agent Samit working under tighter or looser guidelines? On the plus side, none of the 9/11 hijackers had their civil rights violated by Big Brother......

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2006/03/21/1142703358754.html

Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, declined to comment on the evidence from Mr Samit, who remains an agent in the FBI's Minneapolis office.

Michael Maltbie, the primary supervisor Mr Samit accused of impeding his investigation, said on Monday that the issues raised in court "have been looked at extensively by Congress, the Justice Department, my own people".

"The [FBI] director has given me a chance to respond to some of these issues that have come up," said Mr Maltbie, a former counterterrorism supervisor at headquarters in Washington and now a supervisory special agent in Cleveland, Ohio.

Moussaoui, 37, pleaded guilty last April to conspiring with al-Qaeda in the September 11 attacks. He was sitting in jail on that day following his arrest a month earlier after his activities raised suspicion at a Minnesota flight school.

On Monday, as jurors watched images of FBI documents flashing on television screens, a defence lawyer, Edward MacMahon, walked Mr Samit through a recital of government mistakes, prefacing nearly every question with: "You wanted people in Washington to know that … right?"

Moussaoui had raised Mr Samit's suspicions because he was training on a 747 simulator with limited flying experience and could not explain his foreign sources of income.

By August 2001 Mr Samit was telling FBI headquarters that he believed Moussaoui intended to hijack a plane "for the purpose of seizing control of the aircraft".

Mr Samit said he kept trying to persuade his bosses to authorise the surveillance warrant or a criminal search warrant until the day before the attacks.
Title: SC expands juvenile Miranda Rights
Post by: bigdog on June 16, 2011, 07:22:32 PM
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/06/16/supreme-court-expands-juveniles-miranda-rights/
Title: Re: SC expands juvenile Miranda Rights
Post by: G M on June 16, 2011, 07:29:18 PM
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/06/16/supreme-court-expands-juveniles-miranda-rights/

I actually agree with the court in this ruling. A juvie in the scenario would probably not feel free to refuse to answer questions and leave.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: JDN on June 16, 2011, 08:18:16 PM
Good for you GM.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 16, 2011, 09:45:08 PM
Good thing I was sitting down as I read that or the shock might have been too much for me  :lol: :-D
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 16, 2011, 09:54:51 PM
Bust my chops all you will.  :-D

If you'll look a bit deeper you'll find my opinions on search and seizure and other related constitutional issues are well within the mainstream of legal thought. I like to look at prior prescidentprecedentpresi....case law when contemplating legal questions. I have interviewed criminal suspects without Mirandizing them, however I made it clear from the outset that it was totally voluntary and set up the office seating so the person being interviewed had direct, unimpeded access to an exit door.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 17, 2011, 04:54:07 AM
Quote
I didn't miss the sentence. The FBI bureaucracy uses the FBI guidelines to impede the investigations of the "brick agents" that do the actual work. The guidelines do not change any legal restrictions the FBI operates under, just internal policy and procedure.

I see, and so your response to poor job performance is less accountability. Seems we attended different schools of employee management. Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding; is your argument that the FBI's management is so lacking that brick and mortar agents should be left essentially unsupervised? Either way it would seem there's a big problem, one that had better be addressed rather than ignored.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 17, 2011, 05:16:36 AM
The biggest problem in law enforcement, more often than not is the lack of quality leadership. The system tends to reward bureaucracy and risk aversion and lose sight of what the agency is supposed to be doing, like enforcing the law. If you have a remedy, I'd like to hear it.


http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl/2002_3552355/fbi-whistle-blower-assails-bureaucracy-agency-risk.html

WASHINGTON - The FBI agent whose impassioned protest letter ignited a storm of criticism of the bureau's management told a Senate committee on Thursday that the FBI's bureaucracy discouraged innovation, drowned investigators in paperwork and punished agents who sought to cut through the many layers of gatekeepers at FBI headquarters.
 The agent, Coleen Rowley, a lawyer in the bureau's Minneapolis office, gave the Senate Judiciary Committee a rare glimpse into life in the FBI's field offices, where most of the investigative work is done, but where, she said, agents operate under the thumb of risk-averse superiors in Washington.
 
"There's a certain pecking order and it's real strong," Rowley said, referring to how agents were effectively barred from raising issues over the heads of their immediate supervisors. Even then, she said, numerous layers of officials at headquarters reviewed the decisions of agents in the field. "Seven to nine levels is really ridiculous," she said.
 
In a letter, sent on May 21 to the FBI director Robert Mueller, Rowley bitterly criticized the performance of FBI headquarters agents in handling the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged 20th hijacker. She complained that headquarters agents stifled attempts by Minneapolis agents to obtain a warrant to examine Moussaoui's laptop computer. Moussaoui's computer was not searched until after the attacks.
 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 20, 2011, 09:31:30 AM
Quote
The biggest problem in law enforcement, more often than not is the lack of quality leadership. The system tends to reward bureaucracy and risk aversion and lose sight of what the agency is supposed to be doing, like enforcing the law. If you have a remedy, I'd like to hear it.

Not my area of expertise so I do not have a remedy beyond not handing the foxes the keys to the chicken coops.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 20, 2011, 09:36:28 AM
Again, any arrest/prosecution ends up in front of a judge and jury who vet the investigative work done. In addition, the FBI has an OPR and the DOJ has an IG.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 20, 2011, 09:47:27 AM
And hence we should not be concerned when an investigator mucks around in someone's life when there was no identifiable prerequisite act or probable cause because it does not end up in front of a judge? Somehow I suspect the founders would disagree. I'd feel better if all investigations did end up in front of a judge as that would establish a feedback loop that might dissuade inappropriate or unnecessary investigations. As I read these new rules, a lot of trees could fall in a lot of forests absolutely unheard.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 20, 2011, 09:52:44 AM
Mucks around how exactly? What exactly are you concerned about ?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 20, 2011, 12:51:15 PM
Uh, the concerns raised by the piece that started this latest circular dance, the one with the lede reading:

Quote
The New York Times‘s Charlie Savage reports that the FBI is preparing to release a new Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), further relaxing the rules governing the Bureau’s investigation of Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

Emphasis added.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 20, 2011, 12:54:55 PM
Uh, the concerns raised by the piece that started this latest circular dance, the one with the lede reading:

Quote
The New York Times‘s Charlie Savage reports that the FBI is preparing to release a new Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), further relaxing the rules governing the Bureau’s investigation of Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

Emphasis added.

Well, you know if it's in the New York Times, it's the unvarnished truth! They'd never spin things.....
Title: Overstating Benefits while Blind to Costs
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 21, 2011, 09:01:44 AM
Blind Terror, Dumb State by Deepak Lal
from Cato Recent Op-eds

Earlier this month coming back to Delhi after a month long trip to Argentina, my wife, who is a US citizen and has had ten-year multi-entry visas for India ever since we married nearly 40 years ago, was not allowed to board the flight from Heathrow as she was returning less than two months since her departure from Delhi, in early April. Despite my loud protests that there was no such restriction on her visa, she had to return to London, and after some pulling strings got a stamp on her passport to re-enter India signed by the Indian High commissioner. This 'new' visa policy, is of course the government's response to the David Headley affair and, as with so many responses in the 'war on terror', it is fighting the last war. The draconian screening of airline passengers did not prevent a Nigerian student from concealing a bomb in his underpants across airline scanners in three airports as late as December 2009. So, now airline passengers have to virtually strip to board a plane. What are the costs and benefits of these growing restrictions on personal liberty and increase in state power?

When the 'war on terror' was launched in 2001, John Mueller (now at Ohio State University) and I wrote papers on this issue for a book edited by Richard Rosecrance and Arthur Stein (No More States, Rowman and Littlefield, 2006). The direct costs to the US economy were miniscule ($100 billion — less than 0.8 per cent of its GDP).The most serious costs were the increase in the uncertainty associated with doing business, and from preventive measures taken as an overreaction to the terrorist threat. Thus, apart from the direct costs of homeland security, there are the costs imposed on travellers in terms of the opportunity costs of the time lost in security searches at airports. These were estimated in 2002 to be $16 and $32 billion annually for the US. A more recent estimate by Mueller and Mark Stewart (at Newcastle University in Australia) of these indirect costs to US travellers between 2002 and 2011 was $417 billion. Wilst the direct costs of extra homeland security was $690 billion. This expenditure would only have been cost effective, they estimate, if it had prevented or deterred four attacks every day like the one foiled in Times Square in New York.

Neither are the personal risks that citizens face from terrorism serious. Since 1960 till 2001, based on the US State department data, Mueller estimated that the number of Americans killed by international terrorism (including 9/11) is about the same as the number killed over the same period by lightning, or by accidental deer, or by severe allergic reaction to peanuts. While, including both domestic and international terrorism, "far fewer people were killed by terrorists in the entire world over the [20th century] than died in any number of unnoticed civil wars during the century" (pg 48).

What about the fears of future terrorist attacks using stolen chemical, biological and nuclear weapons? Of these, for various reasons, the danger of a 'dirty bomb' using stolen fissile materials is the most pertinent. Biological and chemical weapons are not easy to use by private agents. The damage from a 'dirty bomb' would be localised to the real estate in the area which was made radioactive. The personal danger from the likely 25 per cent increase in radiation over background radiation in the area is miniscule. "A common recommendation from nuclear scientists and engineers" notes Mueller, "is that those exposed should calmly walk away" (pg 62).

The costs of actual and potential terrorism have thus been considerably overblown. Worse, the 'war on terror' by inducing the unjustified panic which the terrorists seek to create, foster their aim of creating terror. Worse, by extending State powers and emasculating civil liberties they promote the very illiberal societies and 'police' states the jehadis themselves seek. A 'terror industry' develops with the same rent-seeking purposes as so many other state-sponsored attempts to create 'risk free' societies. Terrorism will always be with us. But, as for instance, given the known risks from driving, which causes over 40,000 deaths every year in automobile accidents in the US, Americans have not stopped driving. But, with the hysteria and panic created by the much smaller number of deaths from terrorism, they (and increasingly many across the world in liberal democracies) are willing to devote scarce resources to chasing horrendous phantoms. They would do better to remember the words of an earlier President." The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

How should the terrorist threat be dealt with? For many years I lived in London during the IRA's terrorist operations. The IRA not only succeeded in nearly killing Margret Thatcher and most of her cabinet in the Brighton bombing, but successfully launched a missile into John Major's cabinet room during a meeting. But during these Irish troubles, the British continued to follow the advice in an official Second World poster (to be issued in case of a German invasion): KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. They dealt with the IRA terrorists by hunting them down through the usual intelligence methods and incarcerating or killing them. Meanwhile, the economic chaos and insecurity the IRA caused in its 'homeland' — Northern Ireland — plus the growing realisation of the failure of terrorism to achieve its aims, led to the political settlement contained in the Good Friday agreement.

In dealing with the undeniable state-sponsored Pakistani terrorism in India, a similar policy is relevant. The only long-term solution is to change the Pakistan army's calculus that it can succeed in destroying India (or its economy) through its jihadi agents. As this tiger it has unleashed, increasingly turns( as it has) against its sponsors, and the growing distance between its citizens in a stagnant and those in the booming Indian economy becomes apparent to its people (as is happening), the 'rent seeking' soldiers might at last realise that it is in their interests to complete the deal, which Musharaff nearly completed with Dr Manmohan Singh. Meanwhile, intelligence remains vital in apprehending and forestalling ISI-sponsored terrorists. But this is not done through heavy handed suppression of civil liberties. When,with information from Western intelligence agencies, about the co-ordinates of suspicious boats moving to Bombay, along with mobile numbers of some terrorists, Indian intelligence failed to forestall the 26/11 attacks, it is absurd to believe that they can forestall future terrorist plots by preventing my 70-year-old American wife from coming back to India, a month after she had left our New Delhi home

Deepak Lal is the professor of international development studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13215
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 21, 2011, 09:35:12 AM
"So, now airline passengers have to virtually strip to board a plane. What are the costs and benefits of these growing restrictions on personal liberty and increase in state power?"

How many 9/11's would be needed to destroy the global aviation infrastructure? Let's work out the cost/benefit analysis of successful catastrophic terror attacks on a regular basis.

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 22, 2011, 07:51:44 AM
So this is a benefit cost analysis free zone? As pointed out before, TSA's airport employee regimens are abysmal; why do we have to wait for a vulnerability to be exploited before it's addressed, and why do we fling tens of billions of dollars against threats unlikely to materialize as the next 9/11 style hijacking will generate an in-flight passenger response? Are you advocating against adaptability and for rigid structures that fail to address concrete threats?
Title: Show Us Your Papers
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 22, 2011, 07:52:21 AM
TSA Now Storming Public Places 8,000 Times a Year

By Tara Servatius
Americans must decide if, in the name of homeland security, they are willing to allow TSA operatives to storm public places in their communities with no warning, pat them down, and search their bags.  And they better decide quickly.

Bus travelers were shocked when jackbooted TSA officers in black SWAT-style uniforms descended unannounced upon the Tampa Greyhound bus station in April with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and federal bureaucrats in tow.

A news report by ABC Action News in Tampa showed passengers being given the signature pat downs Americans are used to watching the Transportation Security Administration screeners perform at our airports. Canine teams sniffed their bags and the buses they rode. Immigration officials hunted for large sums of cash as part of an anti-smuggling initiative.

The TSA clearly intends for these out-of-nowhere swarms by its officers at community transit centers, bus stops and public events to become a routine and accepted part of American life.

The TSA has conducted 8,000 of these security sweeps across the country in the past year alone, TSA chief John Pistole told a Senate committee June 14.  They are part of its VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) program, which targets public transit related places.

All of which is enough to make you wonder if we are watching the formation of the "civilian national security force" President Obama called for on the campaign trail "that is just as powerful, just as strong and just as well funded" as the military.

The VIPR swarm on Wednesday, the TSA's largest so far, was such a shocking display of the agency's power that it set the blogosphere abuzz.

In a massive flex of muscle most people didn't know the TSA had, the agency led dozens of federal and state law enforcement agencies in a VIPR exercise that covered three states and 5,000 square miles. According to the Marietta Times, the sweep used reconnaissance aircraft and "multiple airborne assets, including Blackhawk helicopters and fixed wing aircraft as well as waterborne and surface teams."

When did the TSA get this powerful? Last year, Pistole told USA Today he wanted to "take the TSA to the next level," building it into a "national-security, counterterrorism organization, fully integrated into U.S. government efforts."

What few people realize is how far Pistole has already come in his quest. This is apparently what that next level looks like. More than 300 law enforcement and military personnel swept through a 100-mile stretch of the Ohio Valley alone, examining the area's industrial infrastructure, the Charleston Gazette reported.

Federal air marshals, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the FBI, the Office of Homeland Security and two dozen other federal, state and local agencies teamed up to scour the state's roads, bridges, water supply and transit centers under the TSA's leadership.

What is remarkable about these security swarms is that they don't just involve federal, state and local law enforcement officials. The TSA brings in squads of bureaucrats from state and federal agencies as well, everything from transportation departments to departments of natural resources.

The TSA had received no specific threats about the Tampa bus station before the April sweep, reporters were told.

They were there "to sort of invent the wheel in advance in case we have to if there ever is specific intelligence requiring us to be here," said Gary Milano with the Department of Homeland Security in an ABC News Action television report. "This way us and our partners are ready to move in at a moment's notice."

Federal immigration officials from Customs and Border Patrol swept the station with the TSA, looking for "immigration violations, threats to national security" and "bulk cash smuggling." (How the bulk cash smuggling investigation related to national security was never explained.)

"We'll be back," Milano told reporters. "We won't say when we'll be back. This way the bad guys are on notice we'll be back."

The TSA gave the same vague answers when asked about the three-state sweep this week. That sweep wasn't in response to any specific security threat, either.

The purpose was to "have a visible presence and let people know we're out here," Michael Cleveland, federal security director for TSA operations in West Virginia told the Gazette. "It can be a deterrent."

It might be -- if Americans are willing to live this way.

Tara Servatius is a radio talk show host. Follow her @TaraServatius and on Facebook.


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2011/06/tsa_now_storming_public_places_8000_times_a_tear.html at June 22, 2011 - 09:51:53 AM CDT
Title: Cast a Big Enough Net you Catch just about Everything
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 22, 2011, 08:00:04 AM
2nd post:

http://reason.com/archives/2011/06/21/what-you-dont-know-can-hurt-yo

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

The peril of vague criminal statutes

Harvey Silverglate from the July 2011 issue

The Soviet Union enacted an infamous law in 1922 that criminalized “hooliganism.” The crime was in the eye of the beholder, the beholder of consequence being the Soviet secret police. Because it was impossible for dissidents to know in advance whether they were violating this prohibition, they were always subject to arrest and imprisonment, all ostensibly according to law.

In the United States, we have legal safeguards against Soviet-style social controls, not least of which is the judicial branch’s ability to nullify laws so vague that they violate the right to due process. Yet far too many federal laws leave citizens unsure about the line between legal and illegal conduct, punishing incorrect guesses with imprisonment. The average working American adult, going about his or her normal life, commits several arguable federal felonies a day without even realizing it. Entire lives can change based on the attention of a creative federal prosecutor interpreting vague criminal laws.

Mail Fraud for Art Supplies

Consider the federal prohibition of “mail fraud,” which mainly describes the means of a crime (“through the mails”) rather than the substantive acts that violate the law (“a scheme or artifice to defraud”). In 2004, Steven Kurtz, an art professor at the State University of New York in Buffalo, was indicted on mail fraud charges for what boiled down to a paperwork error. Federal agents, after learning that Kurtz was using bacteria in his artwork to critique genetic engineering, launched a full-scale bioterrorism investigation against him. Finding nothing pernicious about the harmless stomach flora, they resorted to a creative interpretation of the mail fraud statute. Because Kurtz had ordered the bacteria through a colleague at the University of Pittsburgh Human Genetics Laboratory, his “scheme” to “defraud” consisted of not properly indicating on the order form that the bacteria were meant for his own use.

Or consider the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a 1986 law whose prohibitions—accessing a computer “without authorization,” for example—have been stretched to cover a wide swath of activity never envisioned when the bill was passed. In 2008, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles won a conviction in an online harassment case based on the theory that violating a website’s “terms of service” is a crime under this law. Thankfully, the judge rejected this interpretation and threw out the jury’s conviction.

The most dangerously far-reaching statutes tend to result from knee-jerk congressional reactions to the threat du jour. Stopping bullies, for example, is all the rage in legislatures as well as classrooms, especially given all the new ways Americans can transmit unpleasant messages. In April 2009, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) proposed the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, which would have made it a felony, punishable by up two to years in prison, to transmit by electronic means any message “with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.” Sánchez named the bill after a 13-year-old Missouri girl who took her own life in 2006 after being taunted by a middle-aged woman who had assumed the online identity of a teenage boy (which led to the aforementioned online harassment case). Testifying in favor of the bill at a September 2009 hearing, Judi Westberg Warren, president of Web Wise Kids, said “speech that involves harm to others is wrong.”

That may be so, but using the criminal law to punish upsetting messages is also wrong, as well as inconsistent with constitutional freedom of speech. At the same hearing, testifying on behalf of the Cato Institute, I pointed out that the bill’s open-ended language extended far beyond adolescent (or middle-aged) bullies. Reporters, lawyers, even members of Congress are tasked daily, by virtue of their jobs, with what the bill defined as “cyberbullying.” A scathing online exposé, a stern letter emailed to an adversary, or a legislator’s principled stand articulated on Facebook might well cause someone, somewhere, to experience emotional distress. Prosecutors easily could argue that such a foreseeable effect was intended. And what about the time-honored American art of parody? If this law were passed, would Stephen Colbert be pulled off the air?

Fortunately, these and other common-sense objections seemed to hit home; the bill never made it out of committee, and it died with the 111th Congress. But the setback hasn’t stopped anti-bullying advocates, who last year introduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act in response to yet another high-profile tragedy, the 2010 death of a Rutgers freshman who killed himself after his roommate secretly recorded his sexual encounter with another man. Although the bill, which was reintroduced this year, would not create any new criminal provisions, it would dramatically expand the civil concept of peer-on-peer “harassment” at colleges and universities that accept federal funds. The archives of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit organization that I co-founded and currently chair, provide ample evidence that the elastic concept of harassment on campus is already the most abused tool in suppressing campus speech and expression.

While Congress has not passed anti-bullying legislation yet, it did react to the financial collapse of 2008 with a complex law that transforms many non-fraudulent financial practices into felonies. The 848-page behemoth known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act introduced dozens of new federal offenses, many of which do not include the crucial requirement of criminal intent. For instance, the bill criminalizes any “trading, practice, or conduct” that disregards “the orderly execution of transactions during the closing period.” It also criminalizes the practice commonly known as “spoofing”—bidding or offering with the intent to cancel before execution. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission will have to define “orderly executions” and decide when a canceled bid or offer amounts to “spoofing.” In other words, dense, changeable rules issued by an unelected regulatory body will determine the difference between a legitimate trader and a felon.

Peaceniks for Terrorism

The federal ban on providing “material support” to a terrorist group, the statute that the federal government uses most frequently in prosecuting terrorism cases, provides another example of how difficult it can be to stay on the right side of the law. In 1998 the Humanitarian Law Project (HLP), a human rights organization based in Los Angeles, asked a federal judge whether the material support ban, which was first enacted in 1996, applied to its planned nonviolent advocacy on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey, which appears on the State Department’s list of “foreign terrorist organizations.” The HLP wanted to train the group’s members on how to peacefully resolve disputes through international law, including methods to obtain relief from the United Nations.

Although the HLP’s plans were limited to offering advice and training aimed at avowedly peaceful ends, the answer to its legal question was by no means clear. Originally enacted as part of the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which passed with broad bipartisan support following the Oklahoma City bombing, the material support statute has been amended several times, most notably by the 2001 PATRIOT Act, which added prohibitions on providing “training,” “expert advice or assistance,” and “personnel.” HLP President Ralph Fertig did not want to risk a prison sentence in finding out what the various provisions meant.

Fertig got his answer about a dozen years after initially seeking authoritative guidance, when the Supreme Court ruled that the material support law did indeed cover instruction in peaceful advocacy. In a 6-to-3 decision handed down in June 2010, the Court ruled in Holder v. HLP that the statute was not unconstitutionally vague and did not violate the right to freedom of speech or freedom of association. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts reasoned that helping terrorist organizations to resolve disputes through international bodies or obtain humanitarian relief from the United Nations inevitably would free up resources for other, more nefarious ends. Hence a “person of ordinary intelligence would understand” that such conduct constitutes “material support.”

In a vivid illustration that the material support ban is not nearly as clear as Roberts claims, Georgetown law professor David Cole, who represented the HLP before the Supreme Court, pointed out in a January 2011 New York Times op-ed that several hawks in the War on Terror may have unwittingly violated the statute. By speaking at a December 2010 conference in Paris organized by supporters of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, an Iranian opposition group, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former National Security Adviser Frances Townsend, and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani arguably coordinated their speech with a “foreign terrorist organization” and therefore, by the Supreme Court’s logic, provided it with “material support.”

These examples show that vague laws threaten Americans from all walks of life and all points on the political spectrum. Yet that depressing fact is actually encouraging, because it suggests the possibility of a broad coalition in support of much needed legal reforms, beginning with the basic principle that, absent a clearly stated prohibition, people must not be punished for conduct that is not intuitively criminal, evil, or antisocial. Otherwise we risk creating a modern American equivalent to the ban on hooliganism.

Harvey A. Silverglate (has@harveysilverglate.com), a criminal defense and civil liberty lawyer in Boston, is the author of Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (Encounter Books), which was just published in paperback. Kyle Smeallie helped him research and write this piece.
Title: Re: Show Us Your Papers
Post by: G M on June 22, 2011, 08:07:17 AM


Federal immigration officials from Customs and Border Patrol swept the station with the TSA, looking for "immigration violations, threats to national security" and "bulk cash smuggling." (How the bulk cash smuggling investigation related to national security was never explained.)


Oh my god! The feds are looking for illegal aliens and threats to national security! Cue the hysterical sobbing from Libertarians.
Title: Re: Show Us Your Papers
Post by: G M on June 22, 2011, 08:26:03 AM
You know, once upon a time, you could fly with a nuclear device or radiological materials and not get hassled by the MAN! First they came for the nukes......

On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration completed a three-day exercise at Denver International Airport aimed at training the agency's "VIPR" teams in the use of nuclear and radiological detection equipment, said Robert Selby, assistant to the special agent in charge of the Federal Air Marshal Service's Denver field office.

VIPR stands for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response units — groups of officers TSA has assembled to patrol aviation, rail and marine facilities nationwide as a counterterrorism measure.

VIPR teams include agents with varying responsibilities: air marshals, TSA inspectors, explosives-detection canine teams, bomb appraisal officers, explosive security specialists and behavior detection officers.

They frequently include local law enforcement officers; VIPR teams patrolled numerous locations in Denver during last year's Democratic National Convention.

The drill completed at DIA on Thursday included training on three pieces of Preventative Radiological Nuclear Detection equipment, Selby said.

One is a "mini" device about the size of a pager or PDA that can be worn on a belt. A second is a hand-held "radioactive isotope identification device" that can be directed by an agent at a potential radiological source, Selby added.

The third piece of equipment that officers will use is a radiation detection backpack.

Officers can use the equipment openly at stationary positions, as they were doing at DIA on Thursday — screening passengers at one sixth-level entrance to the terminal — or they can carry some of the devices covertly as they move about the airport or other facilities, officials said.

VIPR teams are deploying the radiological devices as part of a pilot program initiated by the Homeland Security Department's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, Selby said.

"This is but another tool we have," he said, noting that for several years, VIPR teams have had explosives detection capabilities.



Read more: TSA tests capability of nuclear-detection devices at DIA - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/newsheadlines/ci_14022529
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 22, 2011, 08:53:34 AM
Quote
Oh my god! The feds are looking for illegal aliens and threats to national security! Cue the hysterical sobbing from Libertarians.

. . . by cordoning off and then rounding up all citizens in an area and then patting them down and doing ID checks despite the fact the only thing resembling probable cause is that said people were standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a CCW holder who doesn't have a high regard for the skills most LEOs bring to encounters with legally armed citizens I suspect it's just a matter of time before SWAT wannabe "operators" shoot an otherwise innocent taxpayer who had the misfortune to look like a threat when the "team" crashed through the often times wrong door.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 22, 2011, 08:56:09 AM
Quote
You know, once upon a time, you could fly with a nuclear device or radiological materials and not get hassled by the MAN! First they came for the nukes......

Uhm, nowhere in that piece did the feds cordon off an area, subject all within it to ID checks and then feel up citizens going about their business so your point is?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 22, 2011, 09:06:57 AM
". . . by cordoning off and then rounding up all citizens in an area and then patting them down and doing ID checks despite the fact the only thing resembling probable cause is that said people were standing in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Thus far, the courts have upheld administrative searches as part of screening passangers in mass transit, so this isn't just "rounding up citizens".

"As a CCW holder who doesn't have a high regard for the skills most LEOs bring to encounters with legally armed citizens I suspect it's just a matter of time before SWAT wannabe "operators" shoot an otherwise innocent taxpayer who had the misfortune to look like a threat when the "team" crashed through the often times wrong door."

I'm not sure what this has to do with VIPR teams. So, having officers without advanced tactical training serving search warrants is better?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 22, 2011, 09:10:42 AM
Quote
You know, once upon a time, you could fly with a nuclear device or radiological materials and not get hassled by the MAN! First they came for the nukes......

Uhm, nowhere in that piece did the feds cordon off an area, subject all within it to ID checks and then feel up citizens going about their business so your point is?

Officers can use the equipment openly at stationary positions, as they were doing at DIA on Thursday — screening passengers at one sixth-level entrance to the terminal — or they can carry some of the devices covertly as they move about the airport or other facilities, officials said.

Read more: TSA tests capability of nuclear-detection devices at DIA - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/newsheadlines/ci_14022529
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 22, 2011, 09:43:28 AM
http://openjurist.org/482/f2d/893/united-states-v-davis

482 F.2d 893
 
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Charles DAVIS aka Marcus Anderson, Defendant-Appellant.
 
No. 71-2993.
 
United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.
 
June 29, 1973.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 23, 2011, 07:25:31 AM
Please use the Subject line to facilitate finding this in the future and please provide a statement of why you are posting this.
Title: Press "Print" and Self-Incriminate
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 24, 2011, 06:43:01 AM
Why you can't print counterfeit money on a color laser printer
by Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld   Jun 24, 2011 9:00 am

Could you print counterfeit money, certificates, or other official documents on a color laser or LED printer? Some current printer models are indeed capable of creating reasonable facsimiles. The authorities, however, have already taken steps to thwart such activity.


Print any nontext image on your printer, and take a very close look at it under bright light: You might just be able to make out a subtle pattern of yellow dots covering the page. Those dots are a microscopic code that allows government agencies to trace the page back to the printer that created it—making the person who pressed the Print button pretty easy to find.

How is the code printed, and what data does it contain? That's secret, of course—printer vendors remain tight-lipped about the details. In 2005, the Electronic Frontier Foundation cracked the anticounterfeiting code on a Xerox color laser printer; the documents the EFF examined were date- and time-stamped, and could be traced to the location of the printer. Digging further in 2008, the EFF used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain hundreds of pages of documents on the use of printer-tracing technology from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. According to EFF staff technologist Seth Schoen, "the strategy of the government agencies that have worked on this technology—both U.S. and foreign governments--is mainly to keep as quiet as possible and hope that as little information as possible gets out."

As color laser printers become affordable enough for small or home offices, this tracing technology is coming closer to where we all live. "We were able to buy a low-end Dell color laser that was targeted to home users for just a few hundred dollars," Schoen notes, "and it included tracking dots. It seems like they're a part of the printers that more and more people use every day."

Consumers who discover the dots are understandably surprised. Brahm's Yellow Dots, a blog dating from 2008, chronicles the efforts of Brahm Neufeld, a student at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, to communicate with his printer's vendor, Lexmark, after a friend told him about the yellow dots. To Lexmark's credit, the company eventually acknowledged what was going on and even offered to refund Neufeld for his printer. Neufeld, now an electrical engineer, remains concerned about the technology and the extreme discretion that printer vendors are exercising around it. "My motivation was always to document my experience—as a consumer--trying to get printer companies to fess up to this somewhat-shady practice."

What does all of this mean for you and your beloved color laser or LED printer? Unfortunately, you can do nothing about it, even though it means that almost anything you print on a compliant laser printer could, theoretically, be traced back to you. Consider, too, that when PCWorld reported on the yellow-dot controversy in 2004, the technology was already about 20 years old. "There's almost certainly a new-generation tracking technology that does not use yellow dots," warns Schoen. As if we needed more reasons to be paranoid.

http://www.macworld.com/article/160717/2011/06/counterfeit.html#lsrc.rss_main
Title: Re: Press "Print" and Self-Incriminate
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 06:47:10 AM
It's just so tragic that counterfeiters face this horrific oppression.  :roll:
Title: Re: Show Us Your Papers
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 24, 2011, 06:53:54 AM
Quote
Thus far, the courts have upheld administrative searches as part of screening passangers in mass transit, so this isn't just "rounding up citizens".

A finding which I think is fundamentally unAmerican and do not support, hence my posts. Or does disagreeing with any finding any court has ever made preclude us from posting?

Quote
I'm not sure what this has to do with VIPR teams. So, having officers without advanced tactical training serving search warrants is better?

My original point regarded the roving TSA checkpoints, with the piece in question citing one such cordoning effort occurring in Florida. You can't imagine an encounter with an armed citizens occurring in FL? You think TSA agents are qualified to navigate that sort of scenario? If so, you have a far higher regard for their training and leadership than I do.


Title: Re: Press "Print" and Self-Incriminate
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 24, 2011, 06:57:57 AM
Quote
It's just so tragic that counterfeiters face this horrific oppression.

And that all Americans can be spied on by their government without their knowledge and contrary to my understanding of constitutional protections.
Title: Re: Show Us Your Papers
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 07:05:59 AM
Quote
Thus far, the courts have upheld administrative searches as part of screening passangers in mass transit, so this isn't just "rounding up citizens".

A finding which I think is fundamentally unAmerican and do not support, hence my posts. Or does disagreeing with any finding any court has ever made preclude us from posting?

Quote
I'm not sure what this has to do with VIPR teams. So, having officers without advanced tactical training serving search warrants is better?

My original point regarded the roving TSA checkpoints, with the piece in question citing one such cordoning effort occurring in Florida. You can't imagine an encounter with an armed citizens occurring in FL? You think TSA agents are qualified to navigate that sort of scenario? If so, you have a far higher regard for their training and leadership than I do.



Post whatever you want, but be prepared to have it criticized. Mass transit has and will continue to be a target for terrorists. It's reasonable to take steps to prevent that from happening rather than just sweep up the body parts and hope the terrorists get tired of mass slaughter.

As far as VIPR, there are Federal Air Marshals and others with law enforcement status doing the actual law enforcement, not just TSA screeners who are not LEOs.
Title: Re: Press "Print" and Self-Incriminate
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 07:09:12 AM
Quote
It's just so tragic that counterfeiters face this horrific oppression.

And that all Americans can be spied on by their government without their knowledge and contrary to my understanding of constitutional protections.

Spied on? Nice inflammatory language but not exactly accurate. Where exactly is there a constitutional protection of counterfeiting?
Title: The Government spies on your phone!
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 07:22:27 AM
Hey BBG,

Did you know your phone has something called a "phone number"? It's a number that starts with an "area code" that gives an approximate geographic area of where you live. Even worse, there are things called "phone books" that list names and the actual phone number assigned by the phone company, sometimes even with an actual street address as well!

Did you know that there are private companies that actually print up these "phone books" and give them away? Even worse, they give them to law enforcement agencies!!!!

Oh when will the spying end? This used to be a free country before phones!
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: DougMacG on June 24, 2011, 10:47:30 AM
"Mass transit has and will continue to be a target for terrorists."

 - Yet we have a national policy and regional policy almost everywhere to push people into mass transit.  Those who choose not to be molested should not have to pay for mass transit - in any way.
Title: Commensurate Scruples on Parade
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 24, 2011, 10:54:11 AM
GM:

Dont dish it out if you can't deal with it.

Quote
Post whatever you want, but be prepared to have it criticized. Mass transit has and will continue to be a target for terrorists. It's reasonable to take steps to prevent that from happening rather than just sweep up the body parts and hope the terrorists get tired of mass slaughter.

Cogent criticism I have no qualm with. Circular criticism full of smoking holes in the landscape justifying myriad governmental transgressions are more often than not non-responsive hyperbole.

Quote
As far as VIPR, there are Federal Air Marshals and others with law enforcement status doing the actual law enforcement, not just TSA screeners who are not LEOs.

Non-responsive yet again. The feds are cordoning off areas where armed citizens are sure to be. My experience and that of many others is that LEOs don't have particularly high regard for armed citizens, see them as a potential threat, and hence tend to take things in a cuff 'em up and kneel on their head direction. Let me know if you need me to partake of your habit of citing case after case of this sort of behavior since cutting, pasting, asking stark questions and posting snide comments seem to be your preferred method of tangling.

Quote
Spied on? Nice inflammatory language but not exactly accurate. Where exactly is there a constitutional protection of counterfeiting?

I know you are not so dense as to think I'm arguing for counterfeiting so who is it that is being inflammatory? I'm arguing against the ability of the government to associate every given piece of paper printed or photocopied to a particular machine at a particular time and hence to particular people. There have been a lot of times and places where mere possession of certain political printed matter was good for a trip to the gulag or gas chamber, free speech protections ought to extend to printed material one expects to keep anonymous, and it's not hard to imagine a chilling effect once the American populace as a whole understands that just about every sheet of paper can be traced back to them.

If a policy is so critical that it must be so widely applied than there ought to be an argument made for it to the electorate. And if it is suspected that said electorate wouldn't sit still for this sort of snooping perhaps that ought to inform the thinking of those who scurry about launching these silent, complex schemes.

Quote
Did you know your phone has something called a "phone number"? It's a number that starts with an "area code" that gives an approximate geographic area of where you live. Even worse, there are things called "phone books" that list names and the actual phone number assigned by the phone company, sometimes even with an actual street address as well!

Did you know that there are private companies that actually print up these "phone books" and give them away? Even worse, they give them to law enforcement agencies!!!!

Oh when will the spying end? This used to be a free country before phones!

Hey GM:

Did you know there are these things called principles upon which this nation is founded? Perhaps you should review the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, found here:

http://www.wfu.edu/~zulick/340/Declaration.html

For each of the "long train of abuses and usurptations" there is a modern day American analogue, and for each there was no doubt a snotty 1770s Crown official who could condescendingly explain why all those concerns should be dismissed. Well fornicate that; me and mine have an inalienable right to go about our business without the proboscis of Big Government being inserted in our collective affairs and if that means some Fed actually has to work for a living rather than running a search through all the data they should not be collecting, well boo-hoo.

Indeed, let me dispose of another argument you all too often use to excuse all sorts of intrusions. I loathe golf. My first cooking gig was at a public golf course where I discovered quite quickly that the game attracts a lot of unpleasant human beings. As such I know little about the game, and have no desire to learn more. However, should I be flipping through the channels and happen to see Tiger Woods slicing a shot into the rough I'm allowed to say "Whoa, he sure shanked that one."

Should I post that comment to a blog somewhere I'm relatively confident a bunch of golf pros won't show up and argue I can't say "Tiger Woods shanked a shot," unless I'm able tell Tiger how to improve his game. I don't know if he should keep his elbow flexed or bent, his head up or down, his hips square or canted, and so on, but I can tell when a shot is shanked and can't think of a reason I shouldn't say so.

Well the TSA regularly shanks shots. Feeling up little girls in a manner that would be defined as sexual assault in any other context is a shanked shot. Taking a plastic hammer from and autistic person is a shanked shot. Not allowing a father to assist his son as the son removes a cast is a shanked shot. And so on. This principle extends to MD mayors who mistakenly endure SWAT raids where their dogs get shot, to federal habits of vacuuming up all manner of commo that they then store and cross reference in a manner utterly devoid of oversight, to VIPR round ups, et al. All those activities are in fundamental conflict with the founding principles of this nation and thus ought not to occur and I don't have to come up with a better plan before saying so.

And you know what, if an LEO is so inept and unable to investigate or prevent a crime without tinkling all over the founding principles of this nation he or she ought to have his or her fanny fired. And if law enforcement agencies make similar arguments they ought to be disbanded for trying to kill the very thing they are sworn to protect and serve. Devolve those duties to the 50 states, let those laboratories of democracy find out what works, and then export those best practices to other agencies. And I, as a citizen, don't have to come up with any plan better than that before I can say this or that law enforcement agency shanked the bejesus out of a shot.

Maybe that makes this constitutional environment to hostile for some LEOs to do there job. Fortunately there are other opportunities in other environs where those pesky constitutional protections don't apply. For instance, I understand Gaddafi is hiring so all ought to have employment opportunities commensurate with their scruples.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 11:26:51 AM
"Maybe that makes this constitutional environment to hostile for some LEOs to do there job. Fortunately there are other opportunities in other environs where those pesky constitutional protections don't apply. For instance, I understand Gaddafi is hiring so all ought to have employment opportunities commensurate with their scruples."

Citing Ka-daffy now? I guess Hitler, Stalin and Mao are taking a well-earned break from the usual hysterical screeds of how we are plunging into the depths of totalitarianism. I guess we better just burn all the books on forensic science since everything from fingerprints to toolmark analysis to DNA and hairs and fibers could be used by a totalitarian gov't to track down dissidents.

You rightfully mock the warmist hysteria "Oh god!(gaia) The poles are melting, the polar bears are drowning and AGW is going to kick your cat!"

Yet you do the exact same thing with your Libertarian police-state hypochrondria. "Oh god! The police have the ability to investigate crimes. We're doomed!"

Yes, you don't know anything about police work. Sure, you have a constitutionally protected freedom to voice your profound lack of knowledge and paranoia on the topic. I have a constitutionally protected right to criticize the uniformed and paranoid statements.
Title: The ink library of DOOM!
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 12:08:46 PM

http://gcn.com/Articles/2009/03/16/Secret-Service-Digital-Ink.aspx

Secret Service’s ink evidence library now electronically searchable
◦By Kathleen Hickey
◦Mar 16, 2009

The Secret Service’s Digital Ink Library, used to analyze ink evidence in investigations of financial crimes and protective intelligence cases, is now electronically searchable.

The Digital Library separates ink samples into unique bands by using a solvent system and digitizes the results. As a result of being digitized, ink sample matching takes minutes as opposed to hours or days, and inks remain safe from environmental degradation and accidental contamination.

“The transition of the Secret Service’s Digital Ink Library represents an important milestone in our efforts to enhance evidence collection and analysis to enable more rapid, effective prosecution,” said David Boyd, director of the Science and Technology Directorate’s Command, Control and Interoperability Division in the Homeland Security Department. “The Digital Ink Library will significantly enhance the Secret Service’s ability to assist local, tribal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies with the investigation and identification of suspects, making our nation safer and more secure.”

The largest digital ink library of its kind, the system was created in partnership with the Secret Service, CAMAG Scientific and the University of Lausanne. The Secret Service and other federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies are able to access nearly 10,000 digitized ink samples in the library to identify and analyze written evidence. The inks are used to investigate criminal and terrorist cases involving fraudulent financial documents, checks, money orders, property and asset documents, and threats to persons under law enforcement protection.

**Oh the humanity!
Title: Why privacy matters even if you have nothing to hide
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2011, 06:50:03 AM

May 15, 2011

Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide'
Enlarge ImageBy Daniel J. Solove

When the government gathers or analyzes personal information, many people say they're not worried. "I've got nothing to hide," they declare. "Only if you're doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don't deserve to keep it private."

The nothing-to-hide argument pervades discussions about privacy. The data-security expert Bruce Schneier calls it the "most common retort against privacy advocates." The legal scholar Geoffrey Stone refers to it as an "all-too-common refrain." In its most compelling form, it is an argument that the privacy interest is generally minimal, thus making the contest with security concerns a foreordained victory for security.

The nothing-to-hide argument is everywhere. In Britain, for example, the government has installed millions of public-surveillance cameras in cities and towns, which are watched by officials via closed-circuit television. In a campaign slogan for the program, the government declares: "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear." Variations of nothing-to-hide arguments frequently appear in blogs, letters to the editor, television news interviews, and other forums. One blogger in the United States, in reference to profiling people for national-security purposes, declares: "I don't mind people wanting to find out things about me, I've got nothing to hide! Which is why I support [the government's] efforts to find terrorists by monitoring our phone calls!"

The argument is not of recent vintage. One of the characters in Henry James's 1888 novel, The Reverberator, muses: "If these people had done bad things they ought to be ashamed of themselves and he couldn't pity them, and if they hadn't done them there was no need of making such a rumpus about other people knowing."

I encountered the nothing-to-hide argument so frequently in news interviews, discussions, and the like that I decided to probe the issue. I asked the readers of my blog, Concurring Opinions, whether there are good responses to the nothing-to-hide argument. I received a torrent of comments:

My response is "So do you have curtains?" or "Can I see your credit-card bills for the last year?"
So my response to the "If you have nothing to hide ... " argument is simply, "I don't need to justify my position. You need to justify yours. Come back with a warrant."
I don't have anything to hide. But I don't have anything I feel like showing you, either.
If you have nothing to hide, then you don't have a life.
Show me yours and I'll show you mine.
It's not about having anything to hide, it's about things not being anyone else's business.
Bottom line, Joe Stalin would [have] loved it. Why should anyone have to say more?
On the surface, it seems easy to dismiss the nothing-to-hide argument. Everybody probably has something to hide from somebody. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn declared, "Everyone is guilty of something or has something to conceal. All one has to do is look hard enough to find what it is." Likewise, in Friedrich Dürrenmatt's novella "Traps," which involves a seemingly innocent man put on trial by a group of retired lawyers in a mock-trial game, the man inquires what his crime shall be. "An altogether minor matter," replies the prosecutor. "A crime can always be found."

One can usually think of something that even the most open person would want to hide. As a commenter to my blog post noted, "If you have nothing to hide, then that quite literally means you are willing to let me photograph you naked? And I get full rights to that photograph—so I can show it to your neighbors?" The Canadian privacy expert David Flaherty expresses a similar idea when he argues: "There is no sentient human being in the Western world who has little or no regard for his or her personal privacy; those who would attempt such claims cannot withstand even a few minutes' questioning about intimate aspects of their lives without capitulating to the intrusiveness of certain subject matters."

But such responses attack the nothing-to-hide argument only in its most extreme form, which isn't particularly strong. In a less extreme form, the nothing-to-hide argument refers not to all personal information but only to the type of data the government is likely to collect. Retorts to the nothing-to-hide argument about exposing people's naked bodies or their deepest secrets are relevant only if the government is likely to gather this kind of information. In many instances, hardly anyone will see the information, and it won't be disclosed to the public. Thus, some might argue, the privacy interest is minimal, and the security interest in preventing terrorism is much more important. In this less extreme form, the nothing-to-hide argument is a formidable one. However, it stems from certain faulty assumptions about privacy and its value.

To evaluate the nothing-to-hide argument, we should begin by looking at how its adherents understand privacy. Nearly every law or policy involving privacy depends upon a particular understanding of what privacy is. The way problems are conceived has a tremendous impact on the legal and policy solutions used to solve them. As the philosopher John Dewey observed, "A problem well put is half-solved."

Most attempts to understand privacy do so by attempting to locate its essence—its core characteristics or the common denominator that links together the various things we classify under the rubric of "privacy." Privacy, however, is too complex a concept to be reduced to a singular essence. It is a plurality of different things that do not share any one element but nevertheless bear a resemblance to one another. For example, privacy can be invaded by the disclosure of your deepest secrets. It might also be invaded if you're watched by a peeping Tom, even if no secrets are ever revealed. With the disclosure of secrets, the harm is that your concealed information is spread to others. With the peeping Tom, the harm is that you're being watched. You'd probably find that creepy regardless of whether the peeper finds out anything sensitive or discloses any information to others. There are many other forms of invasion of privacy, such as blackmail and the improper use of your personal data. Your privacy can also be invaded if the government compiles an extensive dossier about you.

Privacy, in other words, involves so many things that it is impossible to reduce them all to one simple idea. And we need not do so.

In many cases, privacy issues never get balanced against conflicting interests, because courts, legislators, and others fail to recognize that privacy is implicated. People don't acknowledge certain problems, because those problems don't fit into a particular one-size-fits-all conception of privacy. Regardless of whether we call something a "privacy" problem, it still remains a problem, and problems shouldn't be ignored. We should pay attention to all of the different problems that spark our desire to protect privacy.

To describe the problems created by the collection and use of personal data, many commentators use a metaphor based on George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell depicted a harrowing totalitarian society ruled by a government called Big Brother that watches its citizens obsessively and demands strict discipline. The Orwell metaphor, which focuses on the harms of surveillance (such as inhibition and social control), might be apt to describe government monitoring of citizens. But much of the data gathered in computer databases, such as one's race, birth date, gender, address, or marital status, isn't particularly sensitive. Many people don't care about concealing the hotels they stay at, the cars they own, or the kind of beverages they drink. Frequently, though not always, people wouldn't be inhibited or embarrassed if others knew this information.

Another metaphor better captures the problems: Franz Kafka's The Trial. Kafka's novel centers around a man who is arrested but not informed why. He desperately tries to find out what triggered his arrest and what's in store for him. He finds out that a mysterious court system has a dossier on him and is investigating him, but he's unable to learn much more. The Trial depicts a bureaucracy with inscrutable purposes that uses people's information to make important decisions about them, yet denies the people the ability to participate in how their information is used.

The problems portrayed by the Kafkaesque metaphor are of a different sort than the problems caused by surveillance. They often do not result in inhibition. Instead they are problems of information processing—the storage, use, or analysis of data—rather than of information collection. They affect the power relationships between people and the institutions of the modern state. They not only frustrate the individual by creating a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, but also affect social structure by altering the kind of relationships people have with the institutions that make important decisions about their lives.

Legal and policy solutions focus too much on the problems under the Orwellian metaphor—those of surveillance—and aren't adequately addressing the Kafkaesque problems—those of information processing. The difficulty is that commentators are trying to conceive of the problems caused by databases in terms of surveillance when, in fact, those problems are different.

Commentators often attempt to refute the nothing-to-hide argument by pointing to things people want to hide. But the problem with the nothing-to-hide argument is the underlying assumption that privacy is about hiding bad things. By accepting this assumption, we concede far too much ground and invite an unproductive discussion about information that people would very likely want to hide. As the computer-security specialist Schneier aptly notes, the nothing-to-hide argument stems from a faulty "premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong." Surveillance, for example, can inhibit such lawful activities as free speech, free association, and other First Amendment rights essential for democracy.

The deeper problem with the nothing-to-hide argument is that it myopically views privacy as a form of secrecy. In contrast, understanding privacy as a plurality of related issues demonstrates that the disclosure of bad things is just one among many difficulties caused by government security measures. To return to my discussion of literary metaphors, the problems are not just Orwellian but Kafkaesque. Government information-gathering programs are problematic even if no information that people want to hide is uncovered. In The Trial, the problem is not inhibited behavior but rather a suffocating powerlessness and vulnerability created by the court system's use of personal data and its denial to the protagonist of any knowledge of or participation in the process. The harms are bureaucratic ones—indifference, error, abuse, frustration, and lack of transparency and accountability.

One such harm, for example, which I call aggregation, emerges from the fusion of small bits of seemingly innocuous data. When combined, the information becomes much more telling. By joining pieces of information we might not take pains to guard, the government can glean information about us that we might indeed wish to conceal. For example, suppose you bought a book about cancer. This purchase isn't very revealing on its own, for it indicates just an interest in the disease. Suppose you bought a wig. The purchase of a wig, by itself, could be for a number of reasons. But combine those two pieces of information, and now the inference can be made that you have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. That might be a fact you wouldn't mind sharing, but you'd certainly want to have the choice.

Another potential problem with the government's harvest of personal data is one I call exclusion. Exclusion occurs when people are prevented from having knowledge about how information about them is being used, and when they are barred from accessing and correcting errors in that data. Many government national-security measures involve maintaining a huge database of information that individuals cannot access. Indeed, because they involve national security, the very existence of these programs is often kept secret. This kind of information processing, which blocks subjects' knowledge and involvement, is a kind of due-process problem. It is a structural problem, involving the way people are treated by government institutions and creating a power imbalance between people and the government. To what extent should government officials have such a significant power over citizens? This issue isn't about what information people want to hide but about the power and the structure of government.

A related problem involves secondary use. Secondary use is the exploitation of data obtained for one purpose for an unrelated purpose without the subject's consent. How long will personal data be stored? How will the information be used? What could it be used for in the future? The potential uses of any piece of personal information are vast. Without limits on or accountability for how that information is used, it is hard for people to assess the dangers of the data's being in the government's control.

Yet another problem with government gathering and use of personal data is distortion. Although personal information can reveal quite a lot about people's personalities and activities, it often fails to reflect the whole person. It can paint a distorted picture, especially since records are reductive—they often capture information in a standardized format with many details omitted.

For example, suppose government officials learn that a person has bought a number of books on how to manufacture methamphetamine. That information makes them suspect that he's building a meth lab. What is missing from the records is the full story: The person is writing a novel about a character who makes meth. When he bought the books, he didn't consider how suspicious the purchase might appear to government officials, and his records didn't reveal the reason for the purchases. Should he have to worry about government scrutiny of all his purchases and actions? Should he have to be concerned that he'll wind up on a suspicious-persons list? Even if he isn't doing anything wrong, he may want to keep his records away from government officials who might make faulty inferences from them. He might not want to have to worry about how everything he does will be perceived by officials nervously monitoring for criminal activity. He might not want to have a computer flag him as suspicious because he has an unusual pattern of behavior.

The nothing-to-hide argument focuses on just one or two particular kinds of privacy problems—the disclosure of personal information or surveillance—while ignoring the others. It assumes a particular view about what privacy entails, to the exclusion of other perspectives.

It is important to distinguish here between two ways of justifying a national-security program that demands access to personal information. The first way is not to recognize a problem. This is how the nothing-to-hide argument works—it denies even the existence of a problem. The second is to acknowledge the problems but contend that the benefits of the program outweigh the privacy sacrifice. The first justification influences the second, because the low value given to privacy is based upon a narrow view of the problem. And the key misunderstanding is that the nothing-to-hide argument views privacy in this troublingly particular, partial way.

Investigating the nothing-to-hide argument a little more deeply, we find that it looks for a singular and visceral kind of injury. Ironically, this underlying conception of injury is sometimes shared by those advocating for greater privacy protections. For example, the University of South Carolina law professor Ann Bartow argues that in order to have a real resonance, privacy problems must "negatively impact the lives of living, breathing human beings beyond simply provoking feelings of unease." She says that privacy needs more "dead bodies," and that privacy's "lack of blood and death, or at least of broken bones and buckets of money, distances privacy harms from other [types of harm]."

Bartow's objection is actually consistent with the nothing-to-hide argument. Those advancing the nothing-to-hide argument have in mind a particular kind of appalling privacy harm, one in which privacy is violated only when something deeply embarrassing or discrediting is revealed. Like Bartow, proponents of the nothing-to-hide argument demand a dead-bodies type of harm.

Bartow is certainly right that people respond much more strongly to blood and death than to more-abstract concerns. But if this is the standard to recognize a problem, then few privacy problems will be recognized. Privacy is not a horror movie, most privacy problems don't result in dead bodies, and demanding evidence of palpable harms will be difficult in many cases.

Privacy is often threatened not by a single egregious act but by the slow accretion of a series of relatively minor acts. In this respect, privacy problems resemble certain environmental harms, which occur over time through a series of small acts by different actors. Although society is more likely to respond to a major oil spill, gradual pollution by a multitude of actors often creates worse problems.

Privacy is rarely lost in one fell swoop. It is usually eroded over time, little bits dissolving almost imperceptibly until we finally begin to notice how much is gone. When the government starts monitoring the phone numbers people call, many may shrug their shoulders and say, "Ah, it's just numbers, that's all." Then the government might start monitoring some phone calls. "It's just a few phone calls, nothing more." The government might install more video cameras in public places. "So what? Some more cameras watching in a few more places. No big deal." The increase in cameras might lead to a more elaborate network of video surveillance. Satellite surveillance might be added to help track people's movements. The government might start analyzing people's bank rec ords. "It's just my deposits and some of the bills I pay—no problem." The government may then start combing through credit-card records, then expand to Internet-service providers' records, health records, employment records, and more. Each step may seem incremental, but after a while, the government will be watching and knowing everything about us.

"My life's an open book," people might say. "I've got nothing to hide." But now the government has large dossiers of everyone's activities, interests, reading habits, finances, and health. What if the government leaks the information to the public? What if the government mistakenly determines that based on your pattern of activities, you're likely to engage in a criminal act? What if it denies you the right to fly? What if the government thinks your financial transactions look odd—even if you've done nothing wrong—and freezes your accounts? What if the government doesn't protect your information with adequate security, and an identity thief obtains it and uses it to defraud you? Even if you have nothing to hide, the government can cause you a lot of harm.

"But the government doesn't want to hurt me," some might argue. In many cases, that's true, but the government can also harm people inadvertently, due to errors or carelessness.

When the nothing-to-hide argument is unpacked, and its underlying assumptions examined and challenged, we can see how it shifts the debate to its terms, then draws power from its unfair advantage. The nothing-to-hide argument speaks to some problems but not to others. It represents a singular and narrow way of conceiving of privacy, and it wins by excluding consideration of the other problems often raised with government security measures. When engaged directly, the nothing-to-hide argument can ensnare, for it forces the debate to focus on its narrow understanding of privacy. But when confronted with the plurality of privacy problems implicated by government data collection and use beyond surveillance and disclosure, the nothing-to-hide argument, in the end, has nothing to say.

Daniel J. Solove is a professor of law at George Washington University. This essay is an excerpt from his new book, Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security, published this month by Yale University Press.


Title: Re: Why privacy matters even if you have nothing to hide
Post by: G M on July 04, 2011, 07:13:50 AM



One can usually think of something that even the most open person would want to hide. As a commenter to my blog post noted, "If you have nothing to hide, then that quite literally means you are willing to let me photograph you naked? And I get full rights to that photograph—so I can show it to your neighbors?" The Canadian privacy expert David Flaherty expresses a similar idea when he argues: "There is no sentient human being in the Western world who has little or no regard for his or her personal privacy; those who would attempt such claims cannot withstand even a few minutes' questioning about intimate aspects of their lives without capitulating to the intrusiveness of certain subject matters."

**Would someone who walks naked in public areas have a right of privacy that prevents them from being photographed? Or is there a requirement that if one wishes to assert privacy rights, that one actually takes steps to preserve that privacy?

But such responses attack the nothing-to-hide argument only in its most extreme form, which isn't particularly strong. In a less extreme form, the nothing-to-hide argument refers not to all personal information but only to the type of data the government is likely to collect. Retorts to the nothing-to-hide argument about exposing people's naked bodies or their deepest secrets are relevant only if the government is likely to gather this kind of information. In many instances, hardly anyone will see the information, and it won't be disclosed to the public. Thus, some might argue, the privacy interest is minimal, and the security interest in preventing terrorism is much more important. In this less extreme form, the nothing-to-hide argument is a formidable one. However, it stems from certain faulty assumptions about privacy and its value.

To evaluate the nothing-to-hide argument, we should begin by looking at how its adherents understand privacy. Nearly every law or policy involving privacy depends upon a particular understanding of what privacy is. The way problems are conceived has a tremendous impact on the legal and policy solutions used to solve them. As the philosopher John Dewey observed, "A problem well put is half-solved."


Of course, this is a strawman arguement typically found in this and other Libertarian threads. It's not a matter of "not having anything to hide", it's about balancing individual rights and freedoms with national security and public safety. The Libertarians that decry law enforcement never seem to leave this "statist" country for the various places on the planet without governments in place. Funny enough, without the rule of law, freedom tends to not mean much.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2011, 04:12:49 PM
"**Would someone who walks naked in public areas have a right of privacy that prevents them from being photographed? Or is there a requirement that if one wishes to assert privacy rights, that one actually takes steps to preserve that privacy?"

The problem arises when the government shoves a camera down your pants or up your anus.

More precisely, the point being made here is different than the straw man you attack.  The point is that people do and should have a right to privacy-- and that the "well if you have nothing to hide" argument is unsound.

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on July 04, 2011, 04:40:16 PM
"The problem arises when the government shoves a camera down your pants or up your anus."

I missed that one? Where and when are cameras going into anal cavities?

"The point is that people do and should have a right to privacy-- and that the "well if you have nothing to hide" argument is unsound."

As has been discussed in detail, the courts recognize a "reasonable expectation of privacy". In your home with the blinds drawn is on the upper end of that, walking naked in public, not so much.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2011, 04:44:54 PM
The point being addressed here is the "Well, if you have nothing to hide argument".  May I take your response to mean that you agree that the argument is unsound?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on July 04, 2011, 04:57:28 PM
Yes, the arguement is unsound. I don't want to live in a society where police have unlimited powers.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2011, 09:52:20 PM
 8-) 8-) 8-)
Title: Brits, Ruport Murdoch, and the lack of privacy
Post by: bigdog on July 06, 2011, 09:28:47 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/04/news-of-the-world-hacked-milly-dowler_n_889809.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/06/news-of-the-world-hacking_n_891333.html#s303541&title=March_2002
Title: Big brother cameras free the innocent
Post by: G M on July 10, 2011, 01:00:37 PM
San Francisco’s crime cameras were first installed in 2005 as a crime-fighting tool when The City’s homicide tally reached a decade-high 96. Advocates billed the cameras, which continuously record the activities in crime hot spots throughout San Francisco, as a creative new way to deter illegal behavior.
 
For a map of locations of San Francisco's crime cameras and more information, click on the photo to the right.
 
But the cameras have since become more than just a crime-fighting tool. They have also become a tool exploited by defense lawyers who often seek footage from the cameras to exonerate falsely accused clients. The footage is not monitored in real time, but can be reviewed upon request by attorneys, police and prosecutors.
 
Nearly one-third of 109 requests for footage made last year came from defense attorneys, according to data supplied by The City in response to a public records request by The San Francisco Examiner.
 
Criminal defendants have been cleared or had charges reduced when footage proved their alibis or disproved police or witnesses’ accounts of incidents.
 
“We’ve incorporated the existence of surveillance tapes into our practice,” Public Defender Jeff Adachi said, adding that his office has a list of all the city surveillance cameras and his attorneys are trained to request the footage.
 
“It is hit or miss. You have an obligation to secure that evidence,” Adachi said. “They have proven valuable in some cases.”
 
Deputy Public Defender Kwixuan Maloof was the defense attorney in one of the more well-known cases where surveillance camera footage resulted in someone being exonerated. Maloof’s client, 44-year-old Michael Cooper, had a 2008 murder charge dropped when the footage showed Cooper was acting in defense of a disabled woman.
 
“In that case, there were witnesses that gave statements to the police that were blatantly false,” Maloof said.

 
The 71 cameras, once at the center of budget battles and political sparring over civil liberties, remain in operation in 24 locations, selected for their high-crime concentrations. The system costs $200,000 annually to operate.


Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/crime/2011/07/san-franciscos-crime-cameras-zoom-innocent
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: bigdog on July 10, 2011, 01:58:28 PM
Very interesting.  While I still do not like the presence of cameras on every street corner, the unintended consequence here is a nice one.  Thanks for sharing this article also.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on July 10, 2011, 02:19:24 PM
Very interesting.  While I still do not like the presence of cameras on every street corner, the unintended consequence here is a nice one.  Thanks for sharing this article also.

Evidence is evidence. The evidentiary techniques that can lead to convictions can also lead to acquittals. DNA can put a guilty man on death row, and free an innocent from it.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 10, 2011, 02:28:28 PM
I'm with BD on this.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on July 10, 2011, 02:34:31 PM
Obviously cameras are not a crime fighting silver bullet, though there are certain locations where they are useful. At 200,000 dollars a year, I think it is worthwhile. Given salary and benefits, 200,000 probably would barely cover the cost of two entry level SFPD officers.
Title: Surveillance video and the Leibby Kletzky case
Post by: G M on July 17, 2011, 12:46:55 PM
The Investigation into the Death of Leibby Kletzky
From the moment Leibby disappeared to his horrifying discovery, the investigation moved at a rapid pace. Police were able to quickly piece together surveillance video that led them to Levi Aron and the little boy's body. Pei-Sze Cheng takes us through the investigation step by step.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/The_Investigation_in_the_Death_of_Leiby_Kletzky_New_York-125541418.html
Title: Re: Surveillance video and the Leibby Kletzky case
Post by: G M on July 17, 2011, 01:09:23 PM
http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/wpix-missing-boy-body,0,4230265.story?track=rss

Commissioner Kelly said that police arrested Aron at his home at 466 East 2nd St. in Brooklyn at 2:40 Wednesday morning. When cops first stormed up to Aron's third-floor attic apartment at 2:00 A.M., they found the door ajar, Kelly said. Detectives asked Aron where the boy was, and Aron pointed to the refrigerator in his apartment. Cops found blood stains on the refrigerator door, which they opened to find a bloody cutting board, a knife and body parts.

"[Aron] killed him [in the apartment], then dismembered the body," Commissioner Kelly said at a press briefing at Police Headquarters Wednesday morning. Further questioning resulted in Aron telling detectives that he had moved more of the boy's remains to a dumpster two miles away in South Park Slope.

Police responded to that dumpster on 20th Street near 4th Avenue minutes later. Inside, they found a plastic bag inside a suitcase. Inside that bag were some of the boy's remains.

"I heard [the detectives] say they had a head and a torso," Samantha Hernandez told PIX11 News.

She lives in an apartment building two doors up from where the dumpster was, and watched the scene unfold outside her window. She and her brother also ran up to the roof of their building to see what was unfolding in the early morning investigation.

"They had a... bag," she said, "tied at both ends, and it wasn't as long as the boy['s body] that I saw on the video."

She's talking about surveillance video of the last minutes before Leiby Kletzky (pronounced, "Lye - bee Kletz - key") vanished.

In the video, the boy wanders around the corner of 18th Avenue and Dahill Road in Borough Park around 5:30 p.m. Monday, then is approached by a man. Commissioner Kelly identified the man as Aron. Kelly said that the boy had been walking home from his day camp for the first time ever and got lost. Leiby Klotzky apparently asked Aron for directions. Aron talkes with the boy, then leaves to go into a nearby dentist's office to pay a bill. For seven minutes, Leiby waits on the corner, possibly having been told by Aron to stay there. Aron returns, and the boy who's been described as autistic ends up getting into a 1990 gold-colored Honda with Aron.

That car, according to the commissioner, was found by volunteer community searchers near Aron's home, which is about six blocks from where the surveillance video was recorded. The volunteers alerted police in one of two major breaks in the case, according to Commissioner Kelly.

The other break came from the dentist's office out of which Levi Aron emerged to pick up the boy. Detectives reached the dentist at his home in New Jersey overnight Tuesday and got access to records showing that Levi Aron had been in the dentist's office minutes before Kletzky disappeared. That linked Aron to the surveillance video and the license plate number of the car that volunteers found matched Aron as well.

Once investigators connected the clues, they swooped in, and the case quickly unfolded.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 17, 2011, 03:28:01 PM
I noted that when I read about the case.  A powerful example for your POV.
Title: DC Circuit Holds that New Airport Screening Security Measures Comply With 4th
Post by: G M on July 18, 2011, 06:02:00 AM
http://volokh.com/2011/07/15/dc-circuit-holds-that-new-airport-screening-security-measures-comply-with-the-fourth-amendment/



DC Circuit Holds that New Airport Screening Security Measures Comply With the Fourth Amendment

Orin Kerr • July 15, 2011 11:19 am


The new airport screening measures involving millimeter wave technology and backscatter technology — together with the opt-out of a pat-down — have received a great deal of public attention. Back when the new measures were first widely introduced, I blogged about why a Fourth Amendment challenge to the new practices was an uphill battle. Today, the DC Circuit handed down an opinion in EPIC v. Department of Homeland Security holding that the new practices comply with the Fourth Amendment. I believe this is the first clear court ruling on the question, and it’s certainly the first from a federal court of appeals. The opinion is by Judge Douglas Ginsburg, and it was joined by Judges Henderson and Tatel. From the opinion:


[T]he petitioners argue that using [Advanced Imaging Technology] AIT for primary screening violates the Fourth Amendment because it is more invasive than is necessary to detect weapons or explosives. In view of the Supreme Court’s “repeated[] refus[al] to declare that only the least intrusive search practicable can be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment,” City of Ontario v. Quon, 130 S. Ct. 2619, 2632 (2010) (internal quotation marks omitted), and considering the measures taken by the TSA to safeguard personal privacy, we hold AIT screening does not violate the Fourth Amendment.

As other circuits have held, and as the Supreme Court has strongly suggested, screening passengers at an airport is an “administrative search” because the primary goal is not to determine whether any passenger has committed a crime but rather to protect the public from a terrorist attack. See United States v. Aukai, 497 F.3d 955, 958–63 (9th Cir. 2007) (en banc) (passenger search at airport checkpoint); United States v. Hartwell, 436 F.3d 174, 178–81 (3d Cir. 2006) (Alito, J.) (same); United States v. Edwards, 498 F.2d 496, 499–501 (2d Cir. 1974) (Friendly, J.) (carry-on baggage search at airport); see also Illinois v. Lidster, 540 U.S. 419 (2004) (police set up checkpoint to obtain information about earlier crash); Mich. Dep’t of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990) (sobriety checkpoint). An administrative search does not require individualized suspicion. City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32, 41, 47–48 (2000) (individualized suspicion required when police checkpoint is “primarily [for] general crime control,” that is, “to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing” unlike “searches at places like airports ... where the need for such measures to ensure public safety can be particularly acute”). Instead, whether an administrative search is “unreasonable” within the condemnation of the Fourth Amendment “is determined by assessing, on the one hand, the degree to which it intrudes upon an individual’s privacy and, on the other, the degree to which it is needed for the promotion of legitimate governmental interests.” United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112, 118–19 (2001) (internal quotation marks omitted).

That balance clearly favors the Government here. The need to search airline passengers “to ensure public safety can be particularly acute,” Edmond, 531 U.S. at 47–48, and, crucially, an AIT scanner, unlike a magnetometer, is capable of detecting, and therefore of deterring, attempts to carry aboard airplanes explosives in liquid or powder form. On the other side of the balance, we must acknowledge the steps the TSA has already taken to protect passenger privacy, in particular distorting the image created using AIT and deleting it as soon as the passenger has been cleared. More telling, any passenger may opt-out of AIT screening in favor of a patdown, which allows him to decide which of the two options for detecting a concealed, nonmetallic weapon or explosive is least invasive.

Contrary to the EPIC’s argument, it is not determinative that AIT is not the last step in a potentially escalating series of search techniques. In Hartwell, from which the petitioners tease out this argument, the Third Circuit upheld an airport search that started with a walk-through magnetometer, thence to scanning with a hand-held magnetometer and, when the TSA officer encountered a bulge in the passenger’s pocket, progressed (according to the passenger) to the officer’s removing a package of crack cocaine from that pocket. 436 F.3d at 175–76. The court noted, however, that its opinion, while describing the search at issue there as “minimally intrusive,” did “not purport to set the outer limits of intrusiveness in the airport context.” Id. at 180 & n.10. Nothing in Hartwell, that is, suggests the AIT scanners must be minimally intrusive to be consistent with the Fourth Amendment.

It’s a bit surprising, given the public controversy, that the analysis here was so sparse. It seems that Judge Ginsburg didn’t even think it required any heavy lifting — just a quick paragraph or two. And notably, no one wrote separately. That’s particularly interesting given that this opinion is from a pretty Fourth-Amendment-rights-friendly panel: Note that Judge Ginsburg authored the recent Maynard decision holding that GPS surveillance requires a warrant, which also was joined by Judge Tatel.

It is also worth noting that another part of the same decision sends back the DHS rule on procedural admin law grounds, so the ultimate ruling is a partial victory for the challengers to the new policy. I see that Eugene has just blogged on that issue below, so please post any comments relating to the non-Fourth Amendment parts in the thread attached to Eugene’s post.

Thanks to Adam J. White for the link.
Title: 84 kids
Post by: bigdog on July 23, 2011, 03:57:34 AM
I have taught my children never to assume that a person with a badge at the door is a police officer and to call the police if someone knocks on the door when I am not home.  This is common practice, because safety experts realized a long time ago that people can pose as police officers to enter the home. 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/07/23/norway.explosion/index.html?iref=BN1&hpt=hp_t1

It was while authorities were searching for survivors of the mid-afternoon bombing in Oslo that a man wearing a police uniform and identifying himself as a officer arrived by boat at Utoya island, where word was spreading among the campers about the explosion in the capital, Pracon said.

The hundreds teens and young adults attending the camp were gathered in a large meeting room where camp organizers were sharing information about the bombing in Olso when the police officer asked if he could address the group, Pracon said.

"We, of course, allowed him to come" in and address the group, Pracon said.

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on July 23, 2011, 07:13:36 AM
I have taught my children never to assume that a person with a badge at the door is a police officer and to call the police if someone knocks on the door when I am not home.  This is common practice, because safety experts realized a long time ago that people can pose as police officers to enter the home. 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/07/23/norway.explosion/index.html?iref=BN1&hpt=hp_t1

It was while authorities were searching for survivors of the mid-afternoon bombing in Oslo that a man wearing a police uniform and identifying himself as a officer arrived by boat at Utoya island, where word was spreading among the campers about the explosion in the capital, Pracon said.

The hundreds teens and young adults attending the camp were gathered in a large meeting room where camp organizers were sharing information about the bombing in Olso when the police officer asked if he could address the group, Pracon said.

"We, of course, allowed him to come" in and address the group, Pracon said.



Note: This was written prior to the BTK killer having been captured.

FBI Profiler John Douglas in the book Obsession has a chapter on the BTK strangler. It is the chapter called "Motivation X".  Within the book, Douglas states that there were no defensive wounds found on any of the victims, assuming that the killer used a gun to control them.  He further stated that the killer's letters to the police had so much detail that he is convinced that the perpetrator had taken his own crime scene photos in order to have a keepsake of the crime to fantasize about later.

Douglas states that the killer used police lingo in his letters - Douglas thinks he may actually be a cop, or may impersonate a cop - he probably reads detective magazines and may have even bought a police badge.  He would attempt to insert himself in the investigation.  He would be tempted to brag or leave hints about what he had done.

Douglas states that the killer was in all probability a loner, inadequate, in his 20s or 30s, might possibly have an arrest record for break-ins or voyeurism, but probably no actual rapes.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 23, 2011, 09:36:18 PM
This is a fascinating subject you broach here GM, but I am thinking the Security thread or the Citizen-Police Interaction thread on the MA forum might be a better place for it.
Title: Cryptogram
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 15, 2011, 03:49:01 AM
       CRYPTO-GRAM

                August 15, 2011

               by Bruce Schneier
       Chief Security Technology Officer, BT
              schneier@schneier.com
             http://www.schneier.com


A free monthly newsletter providing summaries, analyses, insights, and commentaries on security: computer and otherwise.

For back issues, or to subscribe, visit <http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram.html>.

You can read this issue on the web at
<http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-1108.html>.  These same essays and news items appear in the "Schneier on Security" blog at <http://www.schneier.com/blog>, along with a lively comment section.  An RSS feed is available.


** *** ***** ******* *********** *************

In this issue:
      Developments in Facial Recognition
      News
      Schneier News
      Is There a Hacking Epidemic?


** *** ***** ******* *********** *************

      Developments in Facial Recognition



Eventually, it will work.  You'll be able to wear a camera that will automatically recognize someone walking towards you, and a earpiece that will relay who that person is and maybe something about him.  None of the technologies required to make this work are hard; it's just a matter of getting the error rate down low enough for it to be a useful system.
  And there have been a number of recent research results and news stories that illustrate what this new world might look like.

The police want this sort of system.  MORIS is an iris-scanning technology that several police forces in the U.S. are using.  The next step is the face-scanning glasses that the Brazilian police claim they will be wearing at the 2014 World Cup.

     A small camera fitted to the glasses can capture 400 facial images
     per second and send them to a central computer database storing up
     to 13 million faces.

     The system can compare biometric data at 46,000 points on a face
     and will immediately signal any matches to known criminals or
     people wanted by police.

In the future, this sort of thing won't be limited to the police.
Facebook has recently embarked on a major photo tagging project, and already has the largest collection of identified photographs in the world outside of a government.  Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have combined the public part of that database with a camera and face-recognition software to identify students on campus.  (The paper fully describing their work is under review and not online yet, but slides describing the results can be found here.)

Of course, there are false positives -- as there are with any system like this.  That's not a big deal if the application is a billboard with face-recognition serving different ads depending on the gender and age
-- and eventually the identity -- of the person looking at it, but is more problematic if the application is a legal one.

In Boston, someone erroneously had his driver's license revoked:

     It turned out Gass was flagged because he looks like another
     driver, not because his image was being used to create a fake
     identity. His driving privileges were returned but, he alleges in a
     lawsuit, only after 10 days of bureaucratic wrangling to prove he
     is who he says he is.

     And apparently, he has company. Last year, the facial recognition
     system picked out more than 1,000 cases that resulted in State
     Police investigations, officials say. And some of those people are
     guilty of nothing more than looking like someone else. Not all go
     through the long process that Gass says he endured, but each must
     visit the Registry with proof of their identity.

     [...]

     At least 34 states are using such systems. They help authorities
     verify a person's claimed identity and track down people who have
     multiple licenses under different aliases, such as underage people
     wanting to buy alcohol, people with previous license suspensions,
     and people with criminal records trying to evade the law.

The problem is less with the system, and more with the guilty-until-proven-innocent way in which the system is used.

     Kaprielian said the Registry gives drivers enough time to respond
     to the suspension letters and that it is the individual's
     "burden'" to clear up any confusion. She added that protecting
     the public far outweighs any inconvenience Gass or anyone else
     might experience.

     "A driver's license is not a matter of civil rights. It's not a
     right. It's a privilege," she said. "Yes, it is an inconvenience
     [to have to clear your name], but lots of people have their
     identities stolen, and that's an inconvenience, too."

Related, there's a system embedded in a pair of glasses that automatically analyzes and relays micro-facial expressions.  The goal is to help autistic people who have trouble reading emotions, but you could easily imagine this sort of thing becoming common.  And what happens when we start relying on these computerized systems and ignoring our own intuition?

And finally, CV Dazzle is camouflage from face detection.

MORIS:
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/07/iphone_iris_sca.html

Brazilian face-scanning glasses:
http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/04/brazilian-police-will-have-face.html

Facebook photo tagging:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/229870/facebook_photo_tagging_a_privacy_guide.html
or http://tinyurl.com/3pbqmof

Carnegie Mellon research:
http://blogs.forbes.com/kashmirhill/2011/08/01/how-face-recognition-can-be-used-to-get-your-social-security-number/
or http://tinyurl.com/42fl3m2
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/08/01/tech-today-using-facebook-and-facial-recognition-to-id-random-people/
or http://tinyurl.com/3dodgu2
http://pda.physorg.com/news/2011-08-facial-recognition-software-reveal-social.html
or http://tinyurl.com/3o4fty9
http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/~acquisti/face-recognition-study-FAQ/

Billboard with face-recognition:
http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/04/billboards-with-facial-recognition-software-trickling-out/
or http://tinyurl.com/4o9ltd

Boston false positive:
http://articles.boston.com/2011-07-17/news/29784761_1_fight-identity-fraud-facial-recognition-system-license
or http://tinyurl.com/3sppab3

IEEE Spectrum and The Economist have published similar articles.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/riskfactor/computing/it/heres-looking-at-you-and-you-and-you-
or http://tinyurl.com/3rfuusw
http://www.economist.com/node/21524829

Micro facial expression analysis glasses.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128191.600-specs-that-see-right-through-you.html
or http://tinyurl.com/64won9f

CV Dazzle:
http://www.core77.com/blog/core77_design_awards/core77_design_award_2011_cv_dazzle_student_winner_for_speculative_objectsconcepts_20115.asp
or http://tinyurl.com/3w4lhcs


** *** ***** ******* *********** *************

      News


Ross Anderson discusses the technical and policy details of the British
phone hacking scandal.
http://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2011/07/16/phone-hacking-technology-and-policy/
or http://tinyurl.com/3lhz8fn

This is really clever: the Telex anti-censorship system uses deep-packet
inspection to avoid Internet censorship.
https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/jhalderm/anticensorship-internets-infrastructure
or http://tinyurl.com/4yhnwm6
https://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/researchers-develop-end-middle-proxy-system-evade-censorship-071811
or http://tinyurl.com/3lzntqt
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/researchers-develop-end-to-middle-anti-censorship-tech.ars

The police arrested sixteen suspected members of the Anonymous hacker group.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/07/members_of_anon.html

Google detects malware in its search data, and alerts users.  There's a
lot that Google sees as a result of its unique and prominent position in
the Internet.  Some of it is going to be stuff they never considered.
And while they use a lot of it to make money, it's good of them to give
this one back to the Internet users.
http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2011/07/using-data-to-protect-people-from.html
or http://tinyurl.com/3v8zuzd

Smuggling drugs in unwitting people's car trunks.
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/21/138548294/at-border-teacher-becomes-unwitting-drug-smuggler
or http://tinyurl.com/4yumaou
This attack works because 1) there's a database of keys available to
lots of people, and 2) both the SENTRI system and the victims are
predictable.

Revenge effects of too-safe playground equipment.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/science/19tierney.html

iPhone iris scanning technology:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/20/us-crime-identification-iris-idUSTRE76J4A120110720
or http://tinyurl.com/44fdowt

Good article on liabilities and computer security.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/will-your-employer-get-sued-for-your-security-screw-ups.ars
or http://tinyurl.com/3nx4wkv
I've been talking about liabilities for about a decade now.  Here are
essays I wrote in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006.
http://www.schneier.com/essay-369.html
http://www.schneier.com/essay-025.html
http://www.schneier.com/essay-073.html
http://www.schneier.com/essay-116.html

Matt Blaze analyzes the 2010 U.S. Wiretap Report.
http://www.crypto.com/blog/wiretap2010/

I second Matt's recommendation of Susan Landau's book "Surveillance or
Security: The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies" (MIT Press,
2011).  It's an excellent discussion of the security and politics of
wiretapping.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0262015307/counterpane/

Data privacy as a prisoner's dilemma: a good analysis.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/why-the-us-needs-a-data-privacy-lawand-why-it-might-actually-happen.ars
or http://tinyurl.com/3n2gytv
The solution -- and one endorsed by the essay -- is a comprehensive
privacy law.  That reduces the incentive to defect.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/07/data_privacy_as.html

ShareMeNot is a Firefox add-on for preventing tracking from third-party
buttons (like the Facebook "Like" button or the Google "+1" button)
until the user actually chooses to interact with them.  That is,
ShareMeNot doesn't disable/remove these buttons completely.  Rather, it
allows them to render on the page, but prevents the cookies from being
sent until the user actually clicks on them, at which point ShareMeNot
releases the cookies and the user gets the desired behavior (i.e., they
can Like or +1 the page).
http://sharemenot.cs.washington.edu/

Hacking Apple laptop batteries.
https://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/apple-laptop-batteries-can-be-bricked-firmware-hacked-072211
or http://tinyurl.com/43zgnpw

Bypassing the lock on luggage.
http://kipkay.com/videos/just-for-fun/is-your-luggage-safe-from-airport-security/
or http://tinyurl.com/3hv3dld

Interesting paper: "Science Fiction Prototyping and Security Education:
Cultivating Contextual and Societal Thinking in Computer Security
Education and Beyond," by Tadayoshi Kohno and Brian David Johnson.
http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/yoshi/papers/SIGCSE/csefp118-kohno.pdf or
http://tinyurl.com/3ecj6c3

Breaking the Xilinx Virtex-II FPGA bitstream encryption.  It's a
power-analysis attack, which makes it much harder to defend against.
And since the attack model is an engineer trying to reverse-engineer the
chip, it's a valid attack.
http://eprint.iacr.org/2011/390

Attacking embedded systems in prison doors.
http://m.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/07/prison-plc-vulnerabilities/
This seems like a minor risk today; Stuxnet was a military-grade effort,
and beyond the reach of your typical criminal organization.  But that
can only change, as people study and learn from the reverse-engineered
Stuxnet code and as hacking PLCs becomes more common.  As we move from
mechanical, or even electro-mechanical, systems to digital systems, and
as we network those digital systems, this sort of vulnerability is going
to only become more common.

The article is in the context of the big Facebook lawsuit, but the part
about identifying people by their writing style is interesting.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24gray.html
It seems reasonable that we have a linguistic fingerprint, although 1)
there are far fewer of them than finger fingerprints, 2) they're easier
to fake.  It's probably not much of a stretch to take that software that
"identifies bundles of linguistic features, hundreds in all" and use the
data to automatically modify my writing to look like someone else's.

A good criticism of the science behind author recognition, and a paper
on how to evade these systems.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3317
http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/IAAI/IAAI09/paper/view/257

Seems that the one-time pad was not first invented by Vernam.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/science/26code.html
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/26/perfect_cipher_crypto_discovery/
or http://tinyurl.com/3cbv8me
The paper:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01611194.2011.583711

Two items on hacking lotteries.  The first is about someone who figured
out how to spot winners in a scratch-off tic-tac-toe style game, and a
daily draw style game where expected payout can exceed the ticket price.
  The second is about someone who has won the lottery four times, with
speculation that she had advance knowledge of where and when certain
jackpot-winning scratch-off tickets would be sold.
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/07/broken-lotteries/
http://www.scribd.com/doc/60495831/Nathaniel-Rich-The-Luckiest-Woman-on-Earth-Three-Ways-to-Win-the-Lottery

Home-made Wi-Fi hacking, phone snooping, UAV.
http://www.geekosystem.com/tag/wireless-aerial-surveillance-platform/

German police call airport full-body scanners useless.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jGUyRTjF-WA40GLjIMEo6dFgSxlw?docId=CNG.d76d1890df3edca8dd08181cb6808c7f.881
or http://tinyurl.com/4y9dvud

Here's a story about full-body scanners that are overly sensitive to
sweaty armpits.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20086884-71/new-airport-scanners-alarmed-by-sweaty-armpits/
or http://tinyurl.com/3slpxgo

The Zodiac cipher was announced as cracked, but the break was a hoax.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/08/zodiac_cipher_c.html

XKCD on the CIA hack.
http://www.xkcd.com/932/

I've been using the phrase "arms race" to describe the world's
militaries' rush into cyberspace for a couple of years now.  Here's a
good article on the topic that uses the same phrase.
http://www.businessweek.com/printer/magazine/cyber-weapons-the-new-arms-race-07212011.html
or http://tinyurl.com/3ehcpa8

New bank-fraud Trojan.
http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/07/trojan-tricks-victims-into-transfering-funds/
or http://tinyurl.com/4y8cof5

An article on MRI lie detectors -- lots of interesting research.
http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2011/07/23/lie_detector_excerpt/index.html
or http://tinyurl.com/3cbdr74
My previous blog post on the topic.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/07/mri_lie_detecto_1.html

There's a security story from biology I've used a few times: plants that
use chemicals to call in airstrikes by wasps on the herbivores attacking
them.  This is a new variation:  a species of orchid that emits the same
signals as a trick, to get pollinated.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2008/05/12/orchid-lures-in-pollinating-wasps-with-promise-of-fresh-meat/
or http://tinyurl.com/3r9unrm

I'm a big fan of taxonomies, and this "Taxonomy of Operational Cyber
Security Risks" -- from Carnegie Mellon -- seems like a useful one.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/08/taxonomy_of_ope.html

GPRS hacked.
http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/38268/
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/10/gprs_cellphone_call_snooping/
http://blogs.computerworld.com/18776/mobile_phone_eavesdropping_made_easy_hackers_crack_gprs_encryption?source=rss_blogs
or http://tinyurl.com/3rafv3k

Security flaws in encrypted police radios:  "Why (Special Agent) Johnny
(Still) Can't Encrypt: A Security Analysis of the APCO Project 25
Two-Way Radio System," by Sandy Clark, Travis Goodspeed, Perry Metzger,
Zachary Wasserman, Kevin Xu, and Matt Blaze.  I've heard Matt talk about
this project several times.  It's great work, and a fascinating insight
into the usability problems of encryption in the real world.
http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/p25sec08102011.pdf
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/08/10/security-flaws-in-feds-radios-make-for-easy-eavesdropping/?mod=WSJBlog&mod=
or http://tinyurl.com/3suhkte

Counterfeit pilot IDs and uniforms will now be sufficient to bypass
airport security.  TSA is testing a program to not screen pilots.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/08/counterfeit_pil.html

The African crested rat applies tree poison to its fur to make itself
more deadly.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/08/110803-african-rat-poison-crested-hair-science-proceedings/
or http://tinyurl.com/42q8opk

A couple of weeks ago Wired reported the discovery of a new,
undeletable, web cookie.
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/07/undeletable-cookie/
The Wired article was very short on specifics, so I waited until one of
the researchers -- Ashkan Soltani -- wrote up more details.  He finally
did, in a quite technical essay.
http://ashkansoltani.org/docs/respawn_redux.html


** *** ***** ******* *********** *************

      Schneier News



My new book, "Liars and Outliers," has a cover.  Publication is still
scheduled for the end of February -- in time for the RSA Conference --
assuming I finish the manuscript in time.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/08/liars_and_outli.html
Older posts on the book:
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/05/status_report_t.html
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/02/societal_securi.html

Interview with me from the Homeland Security News Wire.
http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/attackers-have-advantage-cyberspace-says-cybersecurity-expert
or http://tinyurl.com/3jhw73s


** *** ***** ******* *********** *************

      Is There a Hacking Epidemic?



Freakonomics asks: "Why has there been such a spike in hacking recently?
Or is it merely a function of us paying closer attention and of
institutions being more open about reporting security breaches?"

They posted five answers, including mine:

     The apparent recent hacking epidemic is more a function of news
     reporting than an actual epidemic. Like shark attacks or school
     violence, natural fluctuations in data become press epidemics, as
     more reporters write about more events, and more people read about
     them. Just because the average person reads more articles about
     more events doesn't mean that there are more events -- just more
     articles.

     Hacking for fun -- like LulzSec -- has been around for decades.
     It's where hacking started, before criminals discovered the
     Internet in the 1990s. Criminal hacking for profit -- like the
     Citibank hack -- has been around for over a decade.  International
     espionage existed for millennia before the Internet, and has never
     taken a holiday.

     The past several months have brought us a string of newsworthy
     hacking incidents. First there was the hacking group Anonymous, and
     its hacktivism attacks as a response to the pressure to interdict
     contributions to Julian Assange's legal defense fund and the
     torture of Bradley Manning.  Then there was the probably
     espionage-related attack against RSA, Inc. and its authentication
     token -- made more newsworthy because of the bungling of the
     disclosure by the company -- and the subsequent attack against
     Lockheed Martin. And finally, there were the very public attacks
     against Sony, which became the company to attack simply because
     everyone else was attacking it, and the public hacktivism by
     LulzSec.

     None of this is new.  None of this is unprecedented.  To a security
     professional, most of it isn't even interesting. And while
     national intelligence organizations and some criminal groups are
     organized, hacker groups like Anonymous and LulzSec are much more
     informal. Despite the impression we get from movies, there is no
     organization. There's no membership, there are no dues, there is
     no initiation. It's just a bunch of guys. You too can join
     Anonymous -- just hack something, and claim you're a member.
     That's probably what the members of Anonymous arrested in Turkey
     were: 32 people who just decided to use that name.

     It's not that things are getting worse; it's that things were
     always this bad. To a lot of security professionals, the value of
     some of these groups is to graphically illustrate what we've been
     saying for years: organizations need to beef up their security
     against a wide variety of threats. But the recent news epidemic
     also illustrates how safe the Internet is. Because news articles
     are the only contact most of us have had with any of these attacks.

http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/07/19/why-has-there-been-so-much-hacking-lately-or-is-it-just-reported-more-a-freakonomics-quorum/
or http://tinyurl.com/3jtfcnk


** *** ***** ******* *********** *************

Since 1998, CRYPTO-GRAM has been a free monthly newsletter providing
summaries, analyses, insights, and commentaries on security: computer
and otherwise.  You can subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your address
on the Web at <http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram.html>.  Back issues
are also available at that URL.

Please feel free to forward CRYPTO-GRAM, in whole or in part, to
colleagues and friends who will find it valuable.  Permission is also
granted to reprint CRYPTO-GRAM, as long as it is reprinted in its entirety.

CRYPTO-GRAM is written by Bruce Schneier.  Schneier is the author of the
best sellers "Schneier on Security," "Beyond Fear," "Secrets and Lies,"
and "Applied Cryptography," and an inventor of the Blowfish, Twofish,
Threefish, Helix, Phelix, and Skein algorithms.  He is the Chief
Security Technology Officer of BT BCSG, and is on the Board of Directors
of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).  He is a frequent
writer and lecturer on security topics.  See <http://www.schneier.com>.

Crypto-Gram is a personal newsletter.  Opinions expressed are not
necessarily those of BT.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Bruce Schneier.
Title: When in doubt, STFU.
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 17, 2011, 07:54:10 AM


http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/08/16/7387638-man-steals-57k-from-neighbors-using-their-facebook-info?GT1=43001
Title: 8 Weird Ways People Are Using Facial Recognition Software
Post by: G M on August 20, 2011, 02:08:46 PM
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how-to/software/8-weird-ways-people-are-using-facial-recognition-software?click=pm_news#fbIndex1

8 Weird Ways People Are Using Facial Recognition Software


Read more: 8 Weird Ways People Are Using Facial Recognition Software - Popular Mechanics
Title: POTH: SCOTUS to rule on GPS surveillance
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 11, 2011, 02:23:53 PM
WASHINGTON — The precedent is novel. More precisely, the precedent is a novel.

In a series of rulings on the use of satellites and cellphones to track criminal suspects, judges around the country have been citing George Orwell’s “1984” to sound an alarm. They say the Fourth Amendment’s promise of protection from government invasion of privacy is in danger of being replaced by the futuristic surveillance state Orwell described.

In April, Judge Diane P. Wood of the federal appeals court in Chicago wrote that surveillance using global positioning system devices would “make the system that George Orwell depicted in his famous novel, ‘1984,’ seem clumsy.” In a similar case last year, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the federal appeals court in San Francisco wrote that “1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it’s here at last.”

Last month, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn turned down a government request for 113 days of location data from cellphone towers, citing “Orwellian intrusion” and saying the courts must “begin to address whether revolutionary changes in technology require changes to existing Fourth Amendment doctrine.”

The Supreme Court is about to do just that. In November, it will hear arguments in United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259, the most important Fourth Amendment case in a decade. The justices will address a question that has divided the lower courts: Do the police need a warrant to attach a GPS device to a suspect’s car and track its movements for weeks at a time?

Their answer will bring Fourth Amendment law into the digital age, addressing how its 18th-century prohibition of “unreasonable searches and seizures” applies to a world in which people’s movements are continuously recorded by devices in their cars, pockets and purses, by toll plazas and by transit systems.

The Jones case will address not only whether the placement of a space-age tracking device on the outside of a vehicle without a warrant qualifies as a search, but also whether the intensive monitoring it allows is different in kind from conventional surveillance by police officers who stake out suspects and tail their cars.

“The Jones case requires the Supreme Court to decide whether modern technology has turned law enforcement into Big Brother, able to monitor and record every move we make outside our homes,” said Susan Freiwald, a law professor at the University of San Francisco.

The case is an appeal from a unanimous decision of a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said last year that the government was simply seeking too much information.

“Repeated visits to a church, a gym, a bar or a bookie tell a story not told by any single visit, as does one’s not visiting any of those places in the course of a month,” wrote Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg.

He added: “A person who knows all of another’s travel can deduce whether he is a weekly churchgoer, a heavy drinker, a regular at the gym, an unfaithful husband, an outpatient receiving medical treatment, an associate of particular individuals or political groups — and not just one such fact about a person, but all such facts.”

Federal appeals courts in Chicago and San Francisco, on the other hand, have allowed the police to use GPS tracking devices without a warrant. The police are already allowed to tail cars and observe their movements without warrants, those courts said, and the devices merely allow them to do so more efficiently.

Judge Richard A. Posner, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel in the Chicago case, did caution that institutionalized mass surveillance might present a different issue.

Some judges say that world is fast approaching.

“Technology has progressed to the point where a person who wishes to partake in the social, cultural and political affairs of our society has no realistic choice but to expose to others, if not to the public as a whole, a broad range of conduct and communications that would previously have been deemed unquestionably private,” Magistrate Judge James Orenstein of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn wrote last year.

The case to be heard by the Supreme Court arose from the investigation of the owner of a Washington nightclub, Antoine Jones, who was suspected of being part of a cocaine-selling operation. Apparently out of caution, given the unsettled state of the law, prosecutors obtained a warrant allowing the police to place a tracking device on Mr. Jones’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. The warrant required them to do so within 10 days and within the District of Columbia. The police did not install the device until 11 days later, and they did it in Maryland. Now contending that no warrant was required, the authorities tracked Mr. Jones’s travels for a month and used the evidence they gathered to convict him of conspiring to sell cocaine. He was sentenced to life in prison.

The main Supreme Court precedent in the area, United States v. Knotts, is almost 30 years old. It allowed the use of a much more primitive technology, a beeper that sent a signal that grew stronger as the police drew closer and so helped them follow a car over a single 100-mile trip from Minnesota to Wisconsin.

The Supreme Court ruled that no warrant was required but warned that “twenty-four hour surveillance of any citizen of the country” using “dragnet-type law enforcement practices” may violate the Fourth Amendment.

Much of the argument in the Jones case concerns what that passage meant. Did it indicate discomfort with intense and extended scrutiny of a single suspect’s every move? Or did it apply only to mass surveillance?

In the Jones case, the government argued in a brief to the Supreme Court that the Knotts case disapproved of only “widespread searches or seizures that are conducted without individualized suspicion.”

The brief added: “Law enforcement has not abused GPS technology. No evidence exists of widespread, suspicionless GPS monitoring.” On the other hand, the brief said, requiring a warrant to attach a GPS device to a suspect’s car “would seriously impede the government’s ability to investigate leads and tips on drug trafficking, terrorism and other crimes.”

A decade ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the police needed a warrant to use thermal imaging technology to measure heat emanating from a home. The sanctity of the home is at the core of what the Fourth Amendment protects, Justice Antonin Scalia explained, and the technology was not in widespread use.

In general, though, Justice Scalia observed, “it would be foolish to contend that the degree of privacy secured to citizens by the Fourth Amendment has been entirely unaffected by the advance of technology.”

Title: WSJ: FTC seeks increased privacy protection for children
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 16, 2011, 11:50:44 AM


By EMILY STEEL
The Federal Trade Commission wants to give parents more control over what information websites can collect about their children.

The FTC is proposing changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act that include requiring parental consent for websites to collect a broader range of information about children under age 13, including location. They also would require parental permission for a website to use tracking software, known as cookies, to build a profile about a child and monitor children's online activities for purposes such as targeting ads.

Journal Community
Question of the Day: Should Congress pass laws requiring parental consent for companies to gather information about children's online activities?

.The move marks a major action by federal regulators to bolster privacy protections for Internet users.

The proposed changes, however, are likely to face stiff opposition from Internet and advertising companies, as new rules would drastically change how they currently operate. Websites currently only have to obtain parental consent when collecting personal information about children such as their name and email address.

The FTC's proposed changes to the decade-old children's privacy rules come amid escalating scrutiny from federal regulators and lawmakers of the fast-growing business of tracking Internet users and selling personal details about their lives such as their online purchases and social-networking activities.

"The Internet revolution makes snapshot photography and wiretap technology look like child's play," FTC Commissioner Julie Brill said during a speech Thursday at the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Ms. Brill said that the level of online tracking is unprecedented, largely undetected by the consumer and raises serious privacy concerns.

As proof that the use of consumer data is wading into dangerous territory, Ms. Brill cited a 2010 story from The Wall Street Journal's "What They Know" series on online privacy issues about a life insurer that used tracking data about consumers to help determine their life expectancy, rates and insurance coverage.

In addition to Thursday's proposed changes, the FTC has been calling for companies to build stronger privacy protections for consumers and be more transparent about information they collect. The commission also has launched investigations of Internet, advertising and mobile companies for deceptive online privacy practices or violating established guidelines.

In the "What They Know" series, the Journal last year reported that popular children's websites install more tracking technologies on personal computers than the top websites aimed at adults.

Internet and advertising industry groups argue that many of the changes are unnecessary.

The Direct Marketing Association disputed the FTC's proposed change that would require parental consent before using tracking cookies because the programs don't always identify children but rather the computer. The trade group said the definition of "personal information" only should include information that could be used to directly contact or communicate with a child.

"We think they may have gone a little too far," said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs for the Direct Marketing Association.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau, which represents more than 500 media and Internet companies, took issue with a proposed change that would require self-regulatory groups to audit their members annually and report the results to the commission. The group said it supports random audits but that yearly audits would create a "dangerous precedent which would impose burdensome and largely unnecessary expenses on the very companies that are proactively taking steps to protect children."

Meanwhile, lawmakers and privacy advocates applauded the commission's proposed updates.

"Given the potential for this sensitive data to be misused to endanger a child, the commission's proposal in this area is a much-needed step," Rep. Edward Markey (D., Mass.), said in a statement. Mr. Markey, along with Rep. Joe Barton (R., Tex.), introduced a children's online privacy bill earlier this year to update existing rules and would extend privacy safeguards to teenagers. The bill now is in committee. "Strong legal requirements along with vigilant enforcement are needed to protect children from tracking and targeting on the Internet," Mr. Markey said.

The FTC is soliciting comments on its proposed changes until Nov. 28. The commission last reviewed the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act in 2005, without making changes.

Write to Emily Steel at emily.steel@wsj.com

Title: 4 y/o Hate Crime Offenders
Post by: Cranewings on September 16, 2011, 02:28:18 PM
"Over 30,000 British schoolchildren, some as young as three, have had their names registered on a government database and branded “racist” or “homophobic” for using playground insults, infractions that could impact their future careers.

The shocking figures were disclosed after civil liberties group the Manifesto Club made a Freedom of Information Act request which betrayed the fact that kids who used petty jibes are now being treated as thought criminals by education authorities.

34,000 incidents of “racism” in total were reported for the year 2009-2010, with nursery school toddlers as young as three being put on a state database for using the words “gay” and “lesbian”. One child who called another “broccoli head” was also reported to authorities. Other cases included a child who used the word “gaylord,” while another who told a teacher “this work is gay,” was also added to the thought crime database. "

- http://www.infowars.com/3-year-olds-branded-racist-homophobic-put-in-government-database/
Title: Re: 4 y/o Hate Crime Offenders
Post by: G M on September 16, 2011, 02:32:14 PM
"Over 30,000 British schoolchildren, some as young as three, have had their names registered on a government database and branded “racist” or “homophobic” for using playground insults, infractions that could impact their future careers.

The shocking figures were disclosed after civil liberties group the Manifesto Club made a Freedom of Information Act request which betrayed the fact that kids who used petty jibes are now being treated as thought criminals by education authorities.

34,000 incidents of “racism” in total were reported for the year 2009-2010, with nursery school toddlers as young as three being put on a state database for using the words “gay” and “lesbian”. One child who called another “broccoli head” was also reported to authorities. Other cases included a child who used the word “gaylord,” while another who told a teacher “this work is gay,” was also added to the thought crime database. "

- http://www.infowars.com/3-year-olds-branded-racist-homophobic-put-in-government-database/

Yes, this isn't a good thing at all, but infowars rots the brain. There are better sources out there.
Title: Re: 4 y/o Hate Crime Offenders
Post by: Cranewings on September 16, 2011, 02:45:21 PM
Yes, this isn't a good thing at all, but infowars rots the brain. There are better sources out there.

I don't know anything about infowars. I just heard about this on Savage last night and thought some folks might enjoy it.

The bully thing is weird to me. If they really want to help kids that are bullied, they should educate the parents to move, home school their kids, help the kids learn it gets better when they grow up, or see if it is possible to whip the kid into fighting shape or something so he can defend himself. Yelling at bullies isn't going to change their nature.

Who knows. Maybe the psychologists know what they are doing? (;
Title: Re: 4 y/o Hate Crime Offenders
Post by: G M on September 16, 2011, 02:49:58 PM
Yes, this isn't a good thing at all, but infowars rots the brain. There are better sources out there.

I don't know anything about infowars. I just heard about this on Savage last night and thought some folks might enjoy it.

The bully thing is weird to me. If they really want to help kids that are bullied, they should educate the parents to move, home school their kids, help the kids learn it gets better when they grow up, or see if it is possible to whip the kid into fighting shape or something so he can defend himself. Yelling at bullies isn't going to change their nature.

Who knows. Maybe the psychologists know what they are doing? (;

Addressing bullying is important, but placing children in a thoughcrimes database isn't the way to go about it.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 16, 2011, 04:14:10 PM
IMO (Notice the distinction from IMHO please) Infowars.com is a seriously dubious site that occasionally raises something interesting.   Any time it is cited around here, I'd appreciate a notation to that effect.

Continuing with the conversation:

As best as I can tell, the gay forces have seized on the term "bullying" because many gay kids get bullied.  Naturally as a result of their gayness, they seek solution in neuterization-- as some dead French guy said, "the idea of virtue consisting of the absence of clause" or something like that.

A more Taoist approach would see that Bullying is but one half of the totality, the other being Wimpiness-- the emasculinization of the manly energy in our culture IS Wimpiness-- and the Progressive-PC-liberal-left-socialist solution is to solve it by further emasculinization! Its like solving a debt crisis by deficit spending!!!
 
In my humble opinion it would make more sense to offer physical education classes in martial arts and self-defense.  Strength and Honor is the solution to the Bully.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on September 16, 2011, 04:37:36 PM
IMO (Notice the distinction from IMHO please) Infowars.com is a seriously dubious site that occasionally raises something interesting.   Any time it is cited around here, I'd appreciate a notation to that effect.

Continuing with the conversation:

As best as I can tell, the gay forces have seized on the term "bullying" because many gay kids get bullied.  Naturally as a result of their gayness, they seek solution in neuterization-- as some dead French guy said, "the idea of virtue consisting of the absence of clause" or something like that.

A more Taoist approach would see that Bullying is but one half of the totality, the other being Wimpiness-- the emasculinization of the manly energy in our culture IS Wimpiness-- and the Progressive-PC-liberal-left-socialist solution is to solve it by further emasculinization! Its like solving a debt crisis by deficit spending!!!
 
In my humble opinion it would make more sense to offer physical education classes in martial arts and self-defense.  Strength and Honor is the solution to the Bully.

I'd agree to a certain extent, however I don't want to see the school culture turn into that found within "gladiator academies". Yes, the culture of wimpiness the left wants to cultivate is a problem, but we don't want to raise kids exactly like the spartans did, do we?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Cranewings on September 16, 2011, 08:47:00 PM
When I was in jr. high school I got in a fight with this kid that lived by my grand mother after he knocked the books out of my hand. Neither of us got hurt and too many people came so we had to stop. Anyway, after it was over I got confronted by the biggest bully in the school. He was bigger than everyone else and had a black belt in some kind of karate. I had actually seen him stomp kick a high school kid through his car door. "You like to fight? I didn't know you liked to fight." He had a cast. "When my cast comes off you and I are going to fight."

Anyway, two weeks later, after talking shit all week about how he was going to kick my ass, he beats up some other kid and never looks at me again. So I never had to fight the guy. He beat up a lot of kids.

If they offered karate and self defense at high school, just like wrestling, I'm pretty sure it would only be the most fit kids that would get any benefit out of it. You would just make the bullies stronger because it isn't like the education staff has any authority or capacity to help the right kids.

I like the idea of kids that get bullied going to home school, getting some classes in confidence building / social skills, being sent to karate, and then going back to a new school, or maybe even their old one. I don't like the idea of just teaching big groups of kids how to fight better.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2011, 06:44:44 AM
Well, certainly I'm not advocating the school yard become a Darwinian cagefighting pit, I'm thinking more like a good BJJ class.  EVERY ONE has to tap in BJJ sometimes and it seems to me a good way to channel and ritualize energies that will make themselves felt in one way or another.   It offers a vehicle for the not naturally tough to toughen up.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: ccp on September 17, 2011, 11:25:20 AM
"In my humble opinion it would make more sense to offer physical education classes in martial arts and self-defense.  Strength and Honor is the solution to the Bully."

"You would just make the bullies stronger"

Both seem like good points.  I guess the question is moot anyway as I could not see martial arts being allowed in public schools for two reasons:

not politically correct
liability issues

That suggested, I am no expert in martial arts but did have past exposure with a few different instructors.  It seems like the ethical? ones IMveryHO would teach martial arts more to avoid conflict and too use physical means only as last resort.

"If they really want to help kids that are bullied, they should educate the parents to move, home school their kids, help the kids learn it gets better when they grow up, or see if it is possible to whip the kid into fighting shape or something so he can defend himself. Yelling at bullies isn't going to change their nature."

I guess every case is unique in it's own way.  I would rather the bully get the penalty.  If discipline at school doesn't work, then get the law involved (assualt or and battery).

If the bullying is so bad (like with gangs) then yea I guess getting the heck out of the area is best or the only means of really doing anything.

The "karate kid" thing is just a movie anyway.

 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2011, 12:56:34 PM
FWIW my sense of things is that the world "bully" has become a blunderbuss to bludgeon far too much of the banter and social battering that is part of growing up.  As far as making bullies stronger, IMHO more often we would be giving a place for the naturally competitve and naturally aggressive to channel their energies.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on September 17, 2011, 01:08:35 PM
FWIW my sense of things is that the world "bully" has become a blunderbuss to bludgeon far too much of the banter and social battering that is part of growing up.  As far as making bullies stronger, IMHO more often we would be giving a place for the naturally competitve and naturally aggressive to channel their energies.


I think we should encourage competitive and aggressive behavior (as opposed to the modern trend of soccer games where no score is kept because someone's widdle feelings might be hurt), but be sure to teach lessons about when and where it is ok to be aggressive and even violent, and when it isn't.
Title: OnStar spys on customers even after cancellation of service
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 21, 2011, 02:14:14 PM
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/onstar-announces-tracking-continues-even-after-cancellation/
Title: WSJ: Big Brother is tracking you with "stingrays"
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 24, 2011, 06:48:28 AM


By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES
For more than a year, federal authorities pursued a man they called simply "the Hacker." Only after using a little known cellphone-tracking device—a stingray—were they able to zero in on a California home and make the arrest.

 
A Harris StingRay II, one of several devices dubbed 'stingrays.'

Stingrays are designed to locate a mobile phone even when it's not being used to make a call. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the devices to be so critical that it has a policy of deleting the data gathered in their use, mainly to keep suspects in the dark about their capabilities, an FBI official told The Wall Street Journal in response to inquiries.

A stingray's role in nabbing the alleged "Hacker"—Daniel David Rigmaiden—is shaping up as a possible test of the legal standards for using these devices in investigations. The FBI says it obtains appropriate court approval to use the device.

Stingrays are one of several new technologies used by law enforcement to track people's locations, often without a search warrant. These techniques are driving a constitutional debate about whether the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, but which was written before the digital age, is keeping pace with the times.

On Nov. 8, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether or not police need a warrant before secretly installing a GPS device on a suspect's car and tracking him for an extended period. In both the Senate and House, new bills would require a warrant before tracking a cellphone's location.

More
Key Documents in 'Stingray' Case
Digits: How 'Stingray' Devices Work
Digits: How Technology Is Testing the Fourth Amendment
.<div class="noFlash">
{if djIsFlashPossible}
<p>The version of Adobe Flash Player required to view this interactive has not been found. To enjoy our complete interactive experience, please download a free copy of the latest version of Adobe Flash Player here (http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash)</p>
{else}
<p>This content can not be displayed because your browser does not support the Adobe Flash player required to view it.</p>
{/if}
</div>
.And on Thursday in U.S. District Court of Arizona, Judge David G. Campbell is set to hear a request by Mr. Rigmaiden, who is facing fraud charges, to have information about the government's secret techniques disclosed to him so he can use it in his defense. Mr. Rigmaiden maintains his innocence and says that using stingrays to locate devices in homes without a valid warrant "disregards the United States Constitution" and is illegal.

His argument has caught the judge's attention. In a February hearing, according to a transcript, Judge Campbell asked the prosecutor, "Were there warrants obtained in connection with the use of this device?"

The prosecutor, Frederick A. Battista, said the government obtained a "court order that satisfied [the] language" in the federal law on warrants. The judge then asked how an order or warrant could have been obtained without telling the judge what technology was being used. Mr. Battista said: "It was a standard practice, your honor."

Judge Campbell responded that it "can be litigated whether those orders were appropriate."

On Thursday the government will argue it should be able to withhold details about the tool used to locate Mr. Rigmaiden, according to documents filed by the prosecution. In a statement to the Journal, Sherry Sabol, Chief of the Science & Technology Office for the FBI's Office of General Counsel, says that information about stingrays and related technology is "considered Law Enforcement Sensitive, since its public release could harm law enforcement efforts by compromising future use of the equipment."

Enlarge Image

Close.The prosecutor, Mr. Battista, told the judge that the government worries that disclosure would make the gear "subject to being defeated or avoided or detected."

A stingray works by mimicking a cellphone tower, getting a phone to connect to it and measuring signals from the phone. It lets the stingray operator "ping," or send a signal to, a phone and locate it as long as it is powered on, according to documents reviewed by the Journal. The device has various uses, including helping police locate suspects and aiding search-and-rescue teams in finding people lost in remote areas or buried in rubble after an accident.

The government says "stingray" is a generic term. In Mr. Rigmaiden's case it remains unclear which device or devices were actually used.

The best known stingray maker is Florida-based defense contractor Harris Corp. A spokesman for Harris declined to comment.

Harris holds trademarks registered between 2002 and 2008 on several devices, including the StingRay, StingRay II, AmberJack, KingFish, TriggerFish and LoggerHead. Similar devices are available from other manufacturers. According to a Harris document, its devices are sold only to law-enforcement and government agencies.

Some of the gadgets look surprisingly old-fashioned, with a smattering of switches and lights scattered across a panel roughly the size of a shoebox, according to photos of a Harris-made StingRay reviewed by the Journal. The devices can be carried by hand or mounted in cars, allowing investigators to move around quickly.

A rare public reference to this type of technology appeared this summer in the television crime drama "The Closer." In the episode, law-enforcement officers use a gadget they called a "catfish" to track cellphones without a court order.

The U.S. armed forces also use stingrays or similar devices, according to public contract notices. Local law enforcement in Minnesota, Arizona, Miami and Durham, N.C., also either possess the devices or have considered buying them, according to interviews and published requests for funding.

The sheriff's department in Maricopa County, Ariz., uses the equipment "about on a monthly basis," says Sgt. Jesse Spurgin. "This is for location only. We can't listen in on conversations," he says.

Sgt. Spurgin says officers often obtain court orders, but not necessarily search warrants, when using the device. To obtain a search warrant from a court, officers as a rule need to show "probable cause," which is generally defined as a reasonable belief, based on factual evidence, that a crime was committed. Lesser standards apply to other court orders.

A spokeswoman with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in Minnesota says officers don't need to seek search warrants in that state to use a mobile tracking device because it "does not intercept communication, so no wiretap laws would apply."

FBI and Department of Justice officials have also said that investigators don't need search warrants. Associate Deputy Attorney General James A. Baker and FBI General Counsel Valerie E. Caproni both said at a panel at the Brookings Institution in May that devices like these fall into a category of tools called "pen registers," which require a lesser order than a warrant. Pen registers gather signals from phones, such as phone numbers dialed, but don't receive the content of the communications.

To get a pen-register order, investigators don't have to show probable cause. The Supreme Court has ruled that use of a pen register doesn't require a search warrant because it doesn't involve interception of conversations.

But with cellphones, data sent includes location information, making the situation more complicated because some judges have found that location information is more intrusive than details about phone numbers dialed. Some courts have required a slightly higher standard for location information, but not a warrant, while others have held that a search warrant is necessary.

The prosecution in the Rigmaiden case says in court documents that the "decisions are made on a case-by-case basis" by magistrate and district judges. Court records in other cases indicate that decisions are mixed, and cases are only now moving through appellate courts.

The FBI advises agents to work with federal prosecutors locally to meet the requirements of their particular district or judge, the FBI's Ms. Sabol says. She also says it is FBI policy to obtain a search warrant if the FBI believes the technology "may provide information on an individual while that person is in a location where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy."

Experts say lawmakers and the courts haven't yet settled under what circumstances locating a person or device constitutes a search requiring a warrant. Tracking people when they are home is particularly sensitive because the Fourth Amendment specifies that people have a right to be secure against unreasonable searches in their "houses."

"The law is uncertain," says Orin Kerr, a professor at George Washington University Law School and former computer-crime attorney at the Department of Justice. Mr. Kerr, who has argued that warrants should be required for some, but not all, types of location data, says that the legality "should depend on the technology."

In the case of Mr. Rigmaiden, the government alleges that as early as 2005, he began filing fraudulent tax returns online. Overall, investigators say, Mr. Rigmaiden electronically filed more than 1,900 fraudulent tax returns as part of a $4 million plot.

Federal investigators say they pursued Mr. Rigmaiden "through a virtual labyrinth of twists and turns." Eventually, they say they linked Mr. Rigmaiden to use of a mobile-broadband card, a device that lets a computer connect to the Internet through a cellphone network.

Investigators obtained court orders to track the broadband card. Both orders remain sealed, but portions of them have been quoted by the defense and the prosecution.

These two documents are central to the clash in the Arizona courtroom. One authorizes a "pen register" and clearly isn't a search warrant. The other document is more complex. The prosecution says it is a type of search warrant and that a finding of probable cause was made.

But the defense argues that it can't be a proper search warrant, because among other things it allowed investigators to delete all the tracking data collected, rather than reporting back to the judge.

Legal experts who spoke with the Journal say it is difficult to evaluate the order, since it remains sealed. In general, for purposes of the Fourth Amendment, the finding of probable cause is most important in determining whether a search is reasonable because that requirement is specified in the Constitution itself, rather than in legal statutes, says Mr. Kerr.

But it is "odd" for a search warrant to allow deletion of evidence before a case goes to trial, says Paul Ohm, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School and a former computer-crime attorney at the Department of Justice. The law governing search warrants specifies how the warrants are to be executed and generally requires information to be returned to the judge.

Even if the court finds the government's actions acceptable under the Fourth Amendment, deleting the data is "still something we might not want the FBI doing," Mr. Ohm says.

The government says the data from the use of the stingray has been deleted and isn't available to the defendant. In a statement, the FBI told the Journal that "our policy since the 1990s has been to purge or 'expunge' all information obtained during a location operation" when using stingray-type gear.

As a general matter, Ms. Sabol says, court orders related to stingray technology "will include a directive to expunge information at the end of the location operation."

Ms. Sabol says the FBI follows this policy because its intent isn't to use the data as evidence in court, but rather to simply find the "general location of their subject" in order to start collecting other information that can be used to justify a physical search of the premises.

In the Rigmaiden example, investigators used the stingray to narrow down the location of the broadband card. Then they went to the apartment complex's office and learned that one resident had used a false ID and a fake tax return on the renter's application, according to court documents.

Based on that evidence, they obtained a search warrant for the apartment. They found the broadband card connected to a computer.

Mr. Rigmaiden, who doesn't confirm or deny ownership of the broadband card, is arguing he should be given information about the device and about other aspects of the mission that located him.

In the February hearing, Judge Campbell said he might need to weigh the government's claim of privilege against the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights, and asked the prosecution, "How can we litigate in this case whether this technology that was used in this case violates the Fourth Amendment without knowing precisely what it can do?"

Write to Jennifer Valentino-DeVries at Jennifer.Valentino-DeVries@wsj.com

Title: Smart Meters
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 26, 2011, 06:05:13 AM
A bit paranoid, but some interesting points

http://goldsilver.com/video/smart-meters/
Title: Schneier
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 15, 2011, 11:43:29 AM
CRYPTO-GRAM

               October 15, 2011

               by Bruce Schneier
       Chief Security Technology Officer, BT
              schneier@schneier.com
             http://www.schneier.com


A free monthly newsletter providing summaries, analyses, insights, and commentaries on security: computer and otherwise.

For back issues, or to subscribe, visit <http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram.html>.

You can read this issue on the web at
<http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-1110.html>.  These same essays and news items appear in the "Schneier on Security" blog at <http://www.schneier.com/blog>, along with a lively comment section.  An RSS feed is available.


** *** ***** ******* *********** *************

In this issue:
      Three Emerging Cyber Threats
      Status Report: Liars and Outliers
      News
      Official Malware from the German Police
      Domain-in-the-Middle Attacks
      Schneier News
      Insider Attack Against Diebold Voting Machines
      National Cybersecurity Awareness Month


** *** ***** ******* *********** *************

      Three Emerging Cyber Threats



Last month, I participated in a panel at the Information Systems Forum in Berlin.  The moderator asked us what the top three emerging threats
were in cyberspace.   I went last, and decided to focus on the top three
threats that are not criminal:

* The Rise of Big Data.  By this I mean industries that trade on our data. These include traditional credit bureaus and data brokers, but also data-collection companies like Facebook and Google.  They're collecting more and more data about everyone, often without their knowledge and explicit consent, and selling it far and wide: to both other corporate users and to government.  Big data is becoming a powerful industry, resisting any calls to regulate its behavior.

* Ill-Conceived Regulations from Law Enforcement.  We're seeing increasing calls to regulate cyberspace in the mistaken belief that this will fight crime.  I'm thinking about data retention laws, Internet kill switches, and calls to eliminate anonymity.  None of these will work, and they'll all make us less safe.

* The Cyberwar Arms Race.  I'm not worried about cyberwar, but I am worried about the proliferation of cyber weapons.  Arms races are fundamentally destabilizing, especially when their development can be so easily hidden.  I worry about cyberweapons being triggered by accident, cyberweapons getting into the wrong hands and being triggered on purpose, and the inability to reliably trace a cyberweapon leading to increased distrust.  Plus, arms races are expensive.

That's my list, and they all have the potential to be more dangerous than cybercriminals.

Big data:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1926431

Internet kill switches:
http://www.schneier.com/essay-224.html

Calls to eliminate anonymity:
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/02/anonymity_and_t_3.html

Cyberwar:
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/12/cyberwar_and_th.html
Title: Iran's uses same phone tracking capabilities as possessed by US
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 27, 2011, 11:11:36 AM



By STEVE STECKLOW, FARNAZ FASSIHI and LORETTA CHAO
When Western companies pulled back from Iran after the government's bloody crackdown on its citizens two years ago, a Chinese telecom giant filled the vacuum.

Huawei Technologies Co. now dominates Iran's government-controlled mobile-phone industry. In doing so, it plays a role in enabling Iran's state security network.

Huawei recently signed a contract to install equipment for a system at Iran's largest mobile-phone operator that allows police to track people based on the locations of their cellphones, according to interviews with telecom employees both in Iran and abroad, and corporate bidding documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It also has provided support for similar services at Iran's second-largest mobile-phone provider. Huawei notes that nearly all countries require police access to cell networks, including the U.S.

Huawei's role in Iran demonstrates the ease with which countries can obtain foreign technology that can be used to stifle dissent through censorship or surveillance. Many of the technologies Huawei supports in Iran—such as location services—are available on Western networks as well. The difference is that, in the hands of repressive regimes, it can be a critical tool in helping to quash dissent.

See a screenshot of an article about Huawei reprinted on the website of the Chinese embassy in Tehran. It first appeared in August 2009, two months after mass demonstrations erupted in Iran. The article notes that Huawei's clients include "military industries."

Last year, Egyptian state security intercepted conversations among pro-democracy activists over Skype using a system provided by a British company. In Libya, agents working for Moammar Gadhafi spied on emails and chat messages using technology from a French firm. Unlike in Egypt and Libya, where the governments this year were overthrown, Iran's sophisticated spying network remains intact.

In Iran, three student activists described in interviews being arrested shortly after turning on their phones. Iran's government didn't respond to requests for comment.

Iran beefed up surveillance of its citizens after a controversial 2009 election spawned the nation's broadest antigovernment uprising in decades. Authorities launched a major crackdown on personal freedom and dissent. More than 6,000 people have been arrested and hundreds remain in jail, according to Iranian human-rights organizations.

Enlarge Image

 
Close.This year Huawei made a pitch to Iranian government officials to sell equipment for a mobile news service on Iran's second-largest mobile-phone operator, MTN Irancell. According to a person who attended the meeting, Huawei representatives emphasized that, being from China, they had expertise censoring the news.

The company won the contract and the operator rolled out the service, according to this person. MTN Irancell made no reference to censorship in its announcement about its "mobile newspaper" service. But Iran routinely censors the Internet using sophisticated filtering technology. The Journal reported in June that Iran was planning to create its own domestic Internet to combat Western ideas, culture and influence.

In winning Iranian contracts, Huawei has sometimes partnered with Zaeim Electronic Industries Co., an Iranian electronics firm whose website says its clients include the intelligence and defense ministries, as well as the country's elite special-forces unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. This month the U.S. accused a branch of the Revolutionary Guards of plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. Iran denies the claim.

Huawei's chief spokesman, Ross Gan, said, "It is our corporate commitment to comply strictly with all U.N. economic sanctions, Chinese regulations and applicable national regulations on export control. We believe our business operations in Iran fully meet all of these relevant regulations."

William Plummer, Huawei's vice president of external affairs in Washington, said the company's location-based-service offerings comply with "global specifications" that require lawful-interception capabilities. "What we're doing in Iran is the same as what we're doing in any market," he said. "Our goal is to enrich people's lives through communications."

 .Firms Aided Libyan Spies
8/30/2011
Cisco Poised to Help China Keep an Eye on Its Citizens
7/5/2011
Iran Vows to Unplug Internet
5/28/2011
U.S. Products Help Block Mideast Web
3/28/2011
Full Coverage: Wsj.com/censorship
.Huawei has about 1,000 employees in Iran, according to people familiar with its Iran operations. In an interview in China, a Huawei executive played down the company's activities in Iran's mobile-phone industry, saying its technicians only service Huawei equipment, primarily routers.

But a person familiar with Huawei's Mideast operations says the company's role is considerably greater, and includes a contract for "managed services"—overseeing parts of the network—at MTN Irancell, which is majority owned by the government. During 2009's demonstrations, this person said, Huawei carried out government orders on behalf of its client, MTN Irancell, that MTN and other carriers had received to suspend text messaging and block the Internet phone service, Skype, which is popular among dissidents. Huawei's Mr. Plummer disputed that the company blocked such services.

Huawei, one of the world's top makers of telecom equipment, has been trying to expand in the U.S. It has met resistance because of concerns it could be tied to the Chinese government and military, which the company denies.

Last month the U.S. Commerce Department barred Huawei from participating in the development of a national wireless emergency network for police, fire and medical personnel because of "national security concerns." A Commerce Department official declined to elaborate.

Enlarge Image

 
CloseBloomberg News
 
Building F1, home to the exhibition hall, stands at the Huawei Technologies Co. campus in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, on Thursday, May 19, 2011.
.In February, Huawei withdrew its attempt to win U.S. approval for acquiring assets and server technology from 3Leaf Systems Inc. of California, citing opposition by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The panel reviews U.S. acquisitions by foreign companies that may have national-security implications. Last year, Sprint Nextel Corp. excluded Huawei from a multibillion-dollar contract because of national-security concerns in Washington, according to people familiar with the matter.

Huawei has operated in Iran's telecommunications industry since 1999, according to China's embassy in Tehran. Prior to Iran's political unrest in 2009, Huawei was already a major supplier to Iran's mobile-phone networks, along with Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG, according to MTN Irancell documents.

Iran's telecom market, which generated an estimated $9.1 billion in revenue last year, has been growing significantly, especially its mobile-phone business. As of last year, Iran had about 66 million mobile-phone subscribers covering about 70% of the population, according to Pyramid Research in Cambridge, Mass. In contrast, about 36% of Iranians had fixed-line phones.

As a result, mobile phones provide Iran's police network with far more opportunity for monitoring and tracking people. Iranian human-rights organizations outside Iran say there are dozens of documented cases in which dissidents were traced and arrested through the government's ability to track the location of their cellphones.

Many dissidents in Iran believe they are being tracked by their cellphones. Abbas Hakimzadeh, a 27-year-old student activist on a committee that published an article questioning the actions of Iran's president, said he expected to be arrested in late 2009 after several of his friends were jailed. Worried he could be tracked by his mobile phone, he says he turned it off, removed the battery and left Tehran to hide at his father's house in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

A month later, he turned his cellphone back on. Within 24 hours, he says, authorities arrested him at his father's house. "The interrogators were holding my phone records, SMS and emails," he said.

He eventually was released and later fled to Turkey where he is seeking asylum. In interviews with the Journal, two other student activists who were arrested said they also believe authorities found them in hiding via the location of their cellphones.

In early 2009, Siemens disclosed that its joint venture with Nokia, NSN, had provided Iran's largest telecom, government-owned Telecommunications Company of Iran, with a monitoring center capable of intercepting and recording voice calls on its mobile networks. It wasn't capable of location tracking. NSN also had provided network equipment to TCI's mobile-phone operator, as well as MTN Irancell, that permitted interception. Like most countries, Iran requires phone networks to allow police to monitor conversations for crime prevention.

NSN sold its global monitoring-center business in March 2009. The company says it hasn't sought new business in Iran and has established a human-rights policy to reduce the potential for abuse of its products.

A spokesman for Ericsson said it delivered "standard" equipment to Iranian telecom companies until 2008, which included built-in lawful-interception capabilities. "Products can be used in a way that was not the intention of the manufacturer," the spokesman said. He said Ericsson began decreasing its business in Iran as a result of the 2009 political upheaval and now doesn't seek any new contracts.

As NSN and Ericsson pulled back, Huawei's business grew. In August 2009, two months after mass protests began, the website of China's embassy in Tehran reprinted a local article under the headline, "Huawei Plans Takeover of Iran's Telecom Market." The article said the company "has gained the trust and alliance of major governmental and private entities within a short period," and that its clients included "military industries."

The same month the Chinese embassy posted the article, Creativity Software, a British company that specializes in "location-based services," announced it had won a contract to supply a system to MTN Irancell. "Creativity Software has worked in partnership with Huawei, where they will provide first and second level support to the operator," the company said.

The announcement said the system would enable "Home Zone Billing"—which encourages people to use their cellphones at home (and give up their land lines) by offering low rates—as well as other consumer and business applications that track user locations. In a description of the service, Creativity Software says its technology also enables mobile-phone operators to "comply with lawful-intercept government legislation," which gives police access to communications and location information.

A former telecommunications engineer at MTN Irancell said the company grew more interested in location-based services during the antigovernment protests. He said a team from the government's telecom-monitoring center routinely visited the operator to verify the government had access to people's location data. The engineer said location tracking has expanded greatly since the system first was installed.

An official with Creativity Software confirmed that MTN Irancell is a customer and said the company couldn't comment because of "contractual confidentiality."

A spokesman for MTN Group Ltd., a South African company that owns 49% of the Iranian operator, declined to answer questions, writing in an email, "The majority of MTN Irancell is owned by the government of Iran." He referred questions to the telecommunications regulator, which didn't respond.

In 2008, the Iranian government began soliciting bids for location-based services for the largest mobile operator, TCI's Mobile Communication Co. of Iran, or MCCI. A copy of the bidding requirements, reviewed by the Journal, says the contractor "shall support and deliver offline and real-time lawful interception." It also states that for "public security," the service must allow "tracking a specified phone/subscriber on map."

Ericsson participated in the early stages of the bidding process, a spokesman said. Internal company documents reviewed by the Journal show Ericsson was partnering with an Estonian company, Reach-U, to provide a "security solution" that included "Monitor Security—application for security agencies for locating and tracking suspects."

The Ericsson spokesman says its offering didn't meet the operator's requirements so it dropped out. An executive with Reach-U said, "Yes, we made an offer but this ended nowhere."

One of the ultimate winners: Huawei. According to a Huawei manager in Tehran, the company signed a contract this year to provide equipment for location-based services to MCCI in the south of Iran and is now ramping up hiring for the project.

One local Iranian company Huawei has done considerable business with is Zaeim Electronic Industries. "Zaeim is the security and intelligence wing of every telecom bid," said an engineer who worked on several projects with Zaeim inside the telecom ministry. Internal Ericsson records show that Zaeim was handling the "security part" of the lawful-interception capabilities of the location-based services contract for MCCI.

On its Persian-language website, Zaeim says it launched its telecommunications division in 2000 in partnership with Huawei, and that they have completed 46 telecommunications projects together. It says they now are working on the country's largest fiber-optic transfer network for Iran's telecom ministry, which will enable simultaneous data, voice and video services.

Zaeim's website lists clients including major government branches such as the ministries of intelligence and defense. Also listed are the Revolutionary Guard and the president's office.

Mr. Gan, the Huawei spokesman, said: "We provide Zaeim with commercial public use products and services." Zaeim didn't respond to requests for comment.



Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204644504576651503577823210.html#ixzz1c0UPXuMc
Title: WSJ: Drone use growing in LE
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 13, 2011, 08:43:18 AM
DALLAS—Drones, the remote-controlled aircraft used in combat zones, are now hovering over some U.S. cities as police enlist them to get a bird's-eye view of crime scenes and accidents at relatively low expense.

But as financially strapped municipalities add drones to their crime-fighting arsenal, they are facing increasing questions about the vehicles' safety, as well as their potential to violate citizens' privacy.

Law-enforcement officials say the unmanned aircraft help avoid putting police in the line of fire, either by performing surveillance close to the ground, like a live officer, or by monitoring from high up, removing pilots from potential danger. Earlier this year, a police helicopter in Los Angeles had to make an emergency landing after it was shot at by a gunman.

Drones are also considerably cheaper than regular aircraft. Officials in Montgomery County, near Houston, Texas, estimate it costs $30 an hour to operate a drone, compared with a minimum of $500 an hour for a helicopter. The purchase price of a drone is typically less than that of a chopper or plane, too.

Airborne Enforcer
How one drone shapes up

Department: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Texas

Model: Shadowhawk

Cost:$300,000

Manufacturer: Vanguard Defense Industries LLC

Altitude limit: 8,000 feet

Weight: About 50 pounds

Features: Infrared camera that can detect the heat emitted by a person below

Source: Vanguard Defense Industries LLC, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office .That math was attractive to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, which recently used a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase a $300,000 drone called the Shadowhawk, made by Vanguard Defense Industries LLC, of Conroe, Texas. It comes equipped with an infrared camera that can detect the heat emitted by a person below. In addition to crime-fighting assistance, officials say, that will help track lost hikers in a nearby national forest.

"We certainly do not have the funds to go out and purchase our own helicopter," said Randy McDaniel, the office's chief deputy.

Most departments say the small craft aren't suitable for high-speed chases of suspects. But police are finding they can help with other duties, including monitoring crowds at parades, performing reconnaissance ahead of raids and helping ground officers respond more quickly to accidents such as highway pileups and hazardous-material spills.

Because of increasing demand for small unmanned aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration is devising new rules to regulate their flight. A proposal is expected in January.

The FAA grants permits to operate drones on a case-by-case basis, depending on their planned use. As of September, there were 285 active permits requested by 85 government groups, including public universities, federal law-enforcement agencies and police departments.

However, some airplane pilots complain that the rules set by those individual permits are largely unknown to the rest of the flying public. Heidi Williams, of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, said that drones should be subject to a set of standard rules, just like manned aircraft.

"There has to be some way for them to integrate safely into the airspace system," she said.

Though drones have been used by the military for decades, they are still relatively new in law enforcement on U.S. soil. The models used by police are smaller and unarmed, weigh less than 55 pounds and are maneuvered from the ground through a computer or a joystick. Their range varies from a few hundred to several thousand feet in altitude, and their price from $5,000 for in-house-fabricated models to several hundred thousand dollars.

Vanguard Defense, the company that made the Montgomery County drone, markets its law-enforcement units through in-person presentations and at industry trade shows such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, said Michael S. Buscher, the company's chief executive.

Civil-rights advocates worry the technology could be used to pry into citizens' lives.

"There's a question about the degree to which Americans are going to be able to preserve the privacy of movement that we've all enjoyed," said Catherine Crump, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in New York.

In response to such concerns, some agencies are setting guidelines that allow the flight of drones only for specific missions, rather than random air patrols.

Andrew Cohen, a sergeant with the Miami-Dade Police Department, said its two units were reserved for emergencies, and hadn't been deployed a single time since the agency got a flying permit for them six months ago.

Another challenge for police is changing the drone's public image.

"We are purposely not calling these drones. When people hear the word 'drone' they automatically think of the huge military-type aircraft equipped with weapons," said Lt. Chad Gann of the Arlington police department.

He prefers the term "small unmanned aircraft" to describe the two units his department is buying. Mr. Gann said they will help jump-start fatal-crash investigations by arriving to the scene sooner and taking aerial pictures, saving money and officers' time.

In Columbia, S.C., police planning a raid on a house where an armed man had barricaded himself used a small drone to get details of the property, such as the direction in which the door opened, said Ruben Santiago, deputy chief of operations. "It cut down on the time it would take for us to do the necessary surveillance," he said.

Mr. Cohen, at the Miami-Dade Police Department, said that whenever the drones make their debut, residents don't have to worry about the aircraft sneaking up on them, because they sound like flying lawn mowers.

"It's not stealth technology at all," he said.  (That may change though, yes?)

Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on December 13, 2011, 10:25:37 AM

"It's not stealth technology at all," he said.  (That may change though, yes?)


So?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 13, 2011, 10:47:29 AM
C'mon GM, you already know the answer to that.  The technological trajectory is towards the capability to have Big Brother watching all the time everywhere.  That may fit your idea of a free people in a free society, but it does not fit mine.  You already know this.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on December 13, 2011, 10:48:37 AM
Law enforcement having aircraft is new?
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 13, 2011, 02:39:01 PM
The technology in short order will produce zillions of flying surveillance robots, too small or too far away to be seen or heard.

Please feel free to break out of your self-sustaining feedback loop on this one , , ,
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on December 13, 2011, 02:50:17 PM
 :roll:

Uhuh. Yeah, the police departments that are cancelling academies, laying off officers, closing specialized units just to put bodies into uniforms to catch calls are going to have legions of remote aircraft watching everything.

Totally realistic concern.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 13, 2011, 03:04:52 PM
Ummm , , , I see, , , our American Creed and the Freedom with which we live is to be dependent on the government not deciding to spend/print money on this stuff-- stuff which, like all technology, rapidly decreases in cost?  , , , You know that bill we are discussing on another thread with the troubling language that Congress is working on rather secretly to have American citizens indefinitely detained by US military?

This is the proper time, use, and place for drones: 
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/intense-footage-shows-taliban-insurgents-destroyed-in-bombings/

Not as SOP for daily life in America.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on December 13, 2011, 03:18:31 PM
Human beings don't decrease in cost. A UAV might be cheaper than a conventional aircraft, but it still has to be flown by a trained pilot and maintained by trained personnel. Anything that has the potential to crash or cause any sort of injury/death has a huge legal price tag attached to it.

How many SoCal law enforcement agencies that used to have aviation programs have gutted them or shut them down completely?
Title: UAVs, or Nothing Can Go Wrong, Go Wrong. . .
Post by: G M on December 13, 2011, 03:49:45 PM
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/jsp_includes/articlePrint.jsp?headLine=UAVs, or Nothing Can Go Wrong, Go Wrong. . .&storyID=news/bca0108p2.xml

UAVs, or Nothing Can Go Wrong, Go Wrong. . .
By George C. Larson
 
Before most people noticed, the idea of employing aircraft in the national airspace without pilots aboard them -- unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs (and sometimes UAS, where the S is for "systems") -- has gotten to a point where their introduction is considered inevitable. Who'd have thought? After all, these machines were originally developed to conduct military missions in areas deemed too hazardous for humans, not for ordinary flying tasks. Advocates like to say UAVs are best at "3-D missions" -- those that are dull, dirty or dangerous.

Now there's palpable pressure from UAV advocates to insert the aircraft into an array of civilian missions as well. And there are two leading arguments for their use: long endurance and low cost.

It's true that replacing the weight of a pilot with an equal amount of fuel confers on the UAV a higher fuel fraction in its design gross weight, which is where the endurance comes from. A solar-powered Zephyr UAV stayed aloft for 54 hours, setting a record in 2006, and the turbofan-powered Northrop Global Hawk operated by the U.S. Air Force has a claimed 42-hour endurance. No current production human-piloted aircraft can match numbers like those, although Burt Rutan's one-off designs for record-setting aircraft prove that endurance can be had with a pilot aboard. (Rutan's Voyager flew for nine days, or 216 hours, on its nonstop, round-the-world flight. It also demonstrated that a flight of that length is hard on pilots.)

The cost-saving argument, though, may not hold up for high-end machines such as the military's Predator and Global Hawk families, which can be priced in the tens of millions (average Global Hawk in 2003: $57 million) and require extensive logistics and ground crew. Versions tailored to the less-exotic needs of civil operators are cheaper but still priced like small business jets. Economy-class UAVs are confined to much smaller vehicles in a class with radio-control scale-model hobby aircraft; they are cheaper to acquire and operate. One problem at the low end is that many would-be operators think of them as the same as recreational scale models and don't yet realize that the flight of these vehicles falls under the jurisdiction of the FAA.

Perhaps a typical example is one from The New York Times of Jan. 13, 2005. Chang Industry, Inc., of La Verne, Calif., was reported to be marketing a five-pound aircraft with a four-foot wing and a unit cost of only $5,000. The company anticipated a demonstration for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to show off a video surveillance camera. With a fabric wing and kite-like structure, a service ceiling of 1,000 feet and an endurance of 20 minutes, the little airplane seemed harmless enough if things went south. But Chang knew its market: There was also a $15,000 model in the works with an eight-foot wing. An FAA spokesman quoted in the story pointed out that the agency would issue limited certificates of authorization defining where such aircraft could operate and under what conditions. And that's still the way it's done today.

There's no argument in wartime over the preference for an unmanned aircraft in combat areas where lives are at stake. The saving of an American life trumps all, and Congress has responded in kind. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that between 2001 and 2004, UAV expenditures rose from $667 million to over $1.1 billion. In Washington, UAVs (now labeled "transformational," the magic word around the Department of Defense) are the darlings of procurement programs and may well have a total market somewhere north of $3 billion by now.

But the question lingers as to a UAV's comparative effectiveness and cost performing ordinary surveillance missions in the national airspace system (NAS) when the competition is a Cessna 182 with aux tanks and containing a couple of observers with night binoculars and piddle packs. Some estimates peg operating cost at six times a manned aircraft like the Cessna, while UAV advocates prefer to compare the price of their wares with a Lockheed P-3, a four-engine Navy antisubmarine patrol aircraft, or a Sikorsky Black Hawk. That argument won't be settled here, though. The issue of concern to business aviation is how the introduction of UAVs may affect our operations, particularly at the lower and middle altitudes where the civil versions are likely to fly.

Law-enforcement agencies conduct a lot of airborne surveillance missions, but within the last 30 to 40 years, eyeballs have concentrated along the borders, particularly the 2,062-mile-long one dividing the United States and Mexico. And there's lot to watch for, from smugglers running illegals across at night to drug couriers moving their goods north to urban markets. The former Customs Service ranged far and wide in its drug-interdiction missions, even employing sensor-equipped Cessna Citations to pursue blacked-out aircraft headed for landing strips and drop zones. The Border Patrol spent its days and nights in low-flying airplanes and helicopters "cutting sign" -- their term for tracking -- in the desert. Now the two agencies have been combined to form U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) under the Department of Homeland Security. A 2005 report counted some 10,000 agents on duty on the southern border alone; the figure is sure to have risen.

With the exception of aerostats, simple tethered balloons mounting sensors that scan wide areas, aerial surveillance has been conducted mainly in piloted aircraft by these agencies and others. And throughout these efforts, the presence of pilots on the aircraft has ensured the safety of their operation in the NAS. In addition to the see-and-avoid doctrine governing visual flight, pilots flying surveillance could interact with ATC. Perhaps a science payload might fly IFR, but surveillance, by its very nature, connotes visual conditions. And for the most part, such flights were ordinary in every sense.

Aerostats present the same issues as tall broadcast towers and appear on charts and in NOTAMs. Impromptu deployments are a cause for concern, however. In November 2007, a Honolulu police helicopter collided with a balloon being flown above a department store and was forced to make an emergency landing with its tail rotor inoperable.

Advocates of UAVs argue that aircraft like the Predator B, operating today as the MQ-9 Unmanned Aircraft System for the CBP's Air and Marine division from a center in Riverside, Calif., fly at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet and are well above commercial and business traffic. However, the sensors deliver better images from altitudes lower than that, and operators are likely to go for the best pictures. The aircraft, manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in San Diego, is operated remotely from the Air and Marine Operations Center by either line-of-sight direct link or Ku-band links via satellite when the horizon intervenes. Most of the General Atomics Predator family is also said to be capable of autonomous flight: programmed flight plans flown without a remote link.

When a Predator B surveillance aircraft crashed near Nogales, Ariz., in April 2006, a subsequent investigation revealed that the fuel supply to the aircraft's engine had been inadvertently shut down during a mix-up as two remote operators changed controls. The aircraft continued to descend, giving no indication of the problem, until it struck the ground. Although there were no casualties or property damage, the incident put the spotlight on a serious operational flaw. A news report at the time cited the value of the aircraft at $6.5 million (another said $14 million) and stated that it was generally operated at 15,000 feet. Another recent accident in Kinshasa, capital of the Congo, involving a European Union-operated Belgian-built UAV, reportedly killed one person and injured two others.

According to a CRS estimate, the UAV accident rate is 100 times that of manned aircraft, a factor that is seldom considered when system costs are reckoned.

Surveillance flights by UAVs are one thing when they're operating along the southern border far from congested airspace. But it's another matter to envision them performing surveillance over the major port cities on both coasts, although there is considerable enthusiasm among their advocates for employing them in just that role.

From a 2003 CRS document: "Additional roles for UAVs in the near future may include homeland security and medical resupply. The Coast Guard and Border Patrol, parts of the newly formed Department of Homeland Security, already have plans to deploy UAVs to watch coastal waters, patrol the nation's borders, and protect major oil and gas pipelines. Congressional support exists for using UAVs like the Predator for border security." Military operation would be inappropriate for such duties, the report said, so domestic agencies would carry out the missions. Still . . . medical resupply? Watch coastal waters? From another CRS paper: "The longer flight times of UAVs means that sustained coverage over a previously exposed area may improve border security."

But if the purpose is to stare at one spot for a very long time, why not install an aerostat or a camera tower? And the language justifying use of these vehicles invariably rolls out the "T" word. Has there been one proven instance of a terrorist entering the United States by overland crossing of the border in a remote area? Would a terrorist choose that route to, say, a crowded railroad terminal? So far, only government agencies have been seated around the tables where such questions are debated, and the FAA has been the sole guardian of NAS integrity.

Setting aside the unsettling feeling that the UAV movement is at least partly fueled by overwrought enthusiasm, there are the practicalities of their operation, and that's what moved the AOPA to ask for formation of a Special Committee under the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) to formulate the operational specifications of UAVs to operate in civilian airspace. The creation of SC-203 under the RTCA effectively blocks helpful suggestions from UAV advocates that the best solution to NAS flights was to revise the FARs or create semi-permanent temporary flight restrictions. The AOPA pointed out that a restricted area in a swath painted along the southern border would affect more than 100 airports.

In medicine, physicians adhere to the tenet "Do no harm." Heidi Williams, AOPA director of Air Traffic Services, states flatly, "We have gone on record to the FAA that any [UAV] integration into the NAS should be done without any harm to the existing civil airspace user." In expanding upon that, she says, the organization believes UAVs in the NAS should be regulated and equipped like other aircraft. At the heart of the discussion within circles such as SC-203 is the concept of "sense and avoid" and what that will mean. Obviously rooted in the concept of "see and avoid," the execution of an automated equivalent adds considerable complexity to the current architecture of the UAV, which is focused on surveillance below, not the airspace surrounding it. And the AOPA is rightly focused on keeping attention on the low- and mid-altitude vehicles with enough mass to create a hazard. Williams also emphasizes that the AOPA is not opposed to the introduction of UAVs into the NAS.

Envisioning actual operations leads to looming questions. How will UAVs in climb and descent phases of their missions manage encounters with other aircraft? If you instinctively think, "Light that sucker up so I can avoid him," you're not alone. Both visual and electronic beacons are needed even in daylight VMC because UAVs can be difficult to spot. But the current thinking would provide the UAV itself with an electronic awareness of its surroundings and automate its responses. That means programming relatively complicated scenarios such as the Right of Way Rule (FAR Part 91.113) governing overtaking, intersecting courses and head-on encounters. If you put yourself into any of those situations while driving your Learjet on an arrival profile, you would wish for an automated maneuver that would take the UAV out of the play completely.

The AOPA's Williams characterizes the present level of discussions as "concept and philosophy." Spokesman Chris Dancy adds, "The immediate concern the AOPA has is potential civil end users. They're getting ahead of the game but are not looking at the regulatory environment." He's talking about law-enforcement agencies, of course, in small towns everywhere who are thinking about how cool it would be to have their own little mini-Predator.
 
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: G M on December 13, 2011, 04:25:42 PM
http://www.khou.com/news/local/HPD-helicopters-grounded-following-fuel-budget-cut--125791023.html

HOUSTON -- Numerous sources within HPD's Helicopter Unit say they are upset because the department's fuel budget was just cut by 75 percent.
 
And now the choppers, which are used for public safety, are just sitting on the ground for most of the day.
 
"I have received information today that the helicopters have been reduced from about 20-plus hours in the air to about 3 hours in the air per day. That is unacceptable," City Council Member C.O. Bradford said.
 
Bradford knows a lot about the fleet. He spent 24 years with HPD and for seven years he was the police chief.
 
"We have about a dozen helicopters sitting out there costing about a million dollars each and they are new. These helicopters are probably two years of age or less. We cannot afford to have those helicopters, and all of the technology inside those helicopters sitting on the ground," Bradford said.
 
KHOU 11 News confirmed Monday that a new Bell 412 helicopter, purchased by the federal government for HPD, will arrive soon.
 
When it gets here, sources inside HPD said mechanics will drain all of its fluids and store it in a hangar. It will not be used.
 
"You can bet I will be calling the police chief, asking the mayor to do what we can do in this city to get that safety tool back in the air," Bradford said.
 
Even though HPD's budget has been cut by $40 million, Bradford and Houston City Council Member James Rodriguez say the helicopter cuts are a concern because it affects public safety.
 
"We need to find the resources in this city to get those helicopters back into the air," Bradford said.
Title: Police helicopter programs get trimmed
Post by: G M on December 13, 2011, 04:33:44 PM

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/helicopter-240425-beach-police.html

Published: March 22, 2010 Updated: March 23, 2010 6:23 p.m.


Police helicopter programs get trimmed


Government agencies work to trim their budget resulting in less flight time for law enforcement's helicopters.BY ANNIE BURRIS / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER



Hovering about 900 feet in the air in a police helicopter, officer Ryan Walker moves a spotlight with 50 million candlepower over a local park looking for a missing 11-year-old girl.
 
Tactical flight officer Walker and pilot Rob Dimel circle the park and surrounding neighborhoods searching for the girl, who was last seen about an hour before in a red shirt and jeans. They cover miles at a time, doing what might take a patrol officer on the ground hours of legwork.





Tactical Flight Officer Ryan Walker, left, and pilot Rob Dimel patrol the skies over Orange County Friday night.

KEVIN SULLIVAN, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

MORE PHOTOS »

ADVERTISEMENT



Cuts:
 
Huntington Beach – Voted March 1 to slash their helicopter budget by $108,000, taking two pilots and putting them back on regular patrol and having the helicopters fly 40 hours a week instead of 60.
 
Anaheim – Cut 15 hours of flying time out of the helicopter's usual 60 hours, saving the city about $868,000.
 
Orange County Sheriff – Cut their patrol time in half to two and a half hours a day, saving the department about $700,000.
 
A.B.L.E. – Cut its training budget by about $80,000.




 
Minutes later, a broadcast over one of the helicopter's nine radios confirms that the girl was found and has gone home. Mission accomplished.
 
"We are doing the same thing patrol cars are doing, we just see a whole lot more,'' said Dimel, who has worked 10 years with Costa Mesa and Newport Beach's joint helicopter program, including three as a pilot.
 
Law enforcement officials tout their helicopter programs as one of their most important and effective tools. Helicopters can move and search faster than a patrol car and they often act as a psychological deterrent to crime, they say. However, with the economic slowdown, agencies countywide have trimmed their helicopter programs by about $1.2 million and grounded their helicopters for more than 40 total hours a week.
 
Huntington Beach, Anaheim, the Orange County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol have their own helicopter departments. Costa Mesa and Newport share a combined program called Airborne Law Enforcement, or A.B.L.E., which also contracts with the Santa Ana Police Department.
 
Huntington Beach's helicopter is called HB1, Anaheim's is Angel, A.B.L.E.'s is Eagle, and the sheriff's is Duke after John Wayne. CHP's helicopter names vary throughout the state.
 
Due to budget cuts, Huntington Beach has decreased its flight time to 40 hours from 60, saving about $108,000. Anaheim has cut their hours to 45 from 60, reducing costs by $311,000, and the Sheriff's Department slashed its air time in half – from five hours a day to two and a half, saving $700,000. A.B.L.E. decreased its training budget by about $80,000.
 
"It is so helpful on so many incidents," said Sgt. Rick Martinez with the Anaheim Police Department. "You can feel the void when they are not there."
 
Because of the decreased air time, Huntington Beach police have fewer resources readily available, spokesman Lt. Russell Reinhart said.
 
"A lot of it is less efficiency on our end and less service we can give to the community," he said.
Title: Any day now.....
Post by: G M on December 13, 2011, 05:21:03 PM
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=aL6a0DLT6YQ&NR=1[/youtube]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=aL6a0DLT6YQ&NR=1

Imminent threat.
Title: Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 14, 2011, 08:39:12 AM
GM:

Frankly I see these articles you post as non-responsive to the points I am making.

a) we should not depend upon costs of int