thewayne: (Cyranose)
Stingrays are $100,000 devices that simulate cell phone towers and are used by law enforcement to capture a suspect's cell phone traffic. The problem is, it also captures EVERYONE ELSE'S TRAFFIC. There has been tremendous controversy about 4th Amendment rights because it's such a blanket capture of traffic. Many criminal cases have been dropped because the defense attorneys have pressed for details on the Stingrays and the prosecution abandoned the case under direction of the Federal Department of Justice to not reveal details.

Well, apparently they now they have smaller hand-held devices that are 1/20th the price and can filter for just a suspect's traffic. And the 4th Amendment problems remain.
thewayne: (Cyranose)
This guy is a cop of over 30 years experience and he freely admits that police are allowed to lie in the performance of their duties. He served as a consultant on a film called Ten Rules For Dealing With The Police. Here's the ten rules:

1. Always be calm and cool: a bad attitude guarantees a bad outcome.

2. Remain silent: what you don't say can't hurt you.

3. You have the right to refuse searches: saying no to searches can't be held against you.

4. Don't get tricked: remember, police are allowed to lie to you.

5. Determine if you're free to go: police need evidence to detain you.

6. Don't expose yourself: doing dumb stuff in public makes you an easy target.

7. Don't run: they'll catch you and make you regret it.

8. Never touch a cop: aggressive actions will only earn you a more aggressive response.

9. Report misconduct: be a good witness.

10. You don't have to let them in: police need a warrant to enter your home.

The important things to remember are that the police will sometimes use double negatives to get you to trick you in to permitting a search. Stand fast and say "I do not give consent for my car or house to be searched." Don't respond with a yes or no, make a clear and unequivocal statement. Also, don't let them in to your house unless a crime, such as a burglary, has happened. Go outside and stand on the porch. But the main thing is Tip #1: stay cool, a negative attitude guarantees a negative outcome. And #5 is also important, especially in light of these recent illegal searches that police have been doing on travellers, seizing cash that they have no proof that it has been used in a crime.

Oh, and if you are ever taken in for questioning as a suspect in a crime, demand an attorney and don't say a word until one is present. If you talk without one, you're probably screwed. You might be screwed even with one, but not having one pretty much guarantees it.

Thanks to [ profile] silveradept for the link!
thewayne: (Cyranose)
This is interesting. One case involve an appeal from a man convicted of involvement of a gang shooting. He was pulled over for expired tags on his car, and a field search of his phone found pix of him posing in front of a car used in a shooting. The other is the case of a convicted drug dealer whose phone tied him to his house, where drugs were found. The interesting point of the latter is that it was not a smartphone.

In the case of the former, I don't think the police had probable cause to search the phone, they definitely didn't have a 'hot pursuit' basis such as in a kidnapping or Amber Alert. In the second, they had probable cause to subpoena telephone records, so why didn't they?

The basic problem is that smart phones are our lives. The cops can't search computers without a warrant, they shouldn't be able to search phones either.

The Court will hear oral arguments in April and issue a ruling by the end of June.
thewayne: (Cyranose)
Two police cars barricaded a street, forcing drivers in to a small parking lot where contractors hired by the federal government asked them if they'd provide a saliva swab or blood sample or breathalyzer test. They'd be compensated $50 for blood, $10 for saliva, and nothing for the breathalyzer. The lovely consent form stated that their breath had already been scanned passively BEFORE consent was granted.

The parking lot used was on the border of Fort Worth and a suburb, both police departments deny that their officers were used in the event. Which is total BS, all of the modern mobile data terminals gives dispatch accurate position data to improve deploying cars to points where they're needed.

This procedure is going to be conducted in 30 cities over the next three years. They're reportedly studying drug and alcohol use in drivers. No statement what would happen if a person blew positive for alcohol.

So if you get pulled over and don't want to participate, don't. Don't even blow in the intoxylizer. The two questions are "Am I being detained?" and "Am I free to leave?", and if you don't like the answer, "I want to see the warrant."
thewayne: (Cyranose)
Interesting story. Guy steals woman's purse, then begins stalking her. She recognizes his car in the neighborhood, tells a cop, they get a district attorney to issue a subpoena to the phone company for a pen recording on the guy's phone line. Snatcher is arrested, sentenced to a decade in prison. Appeals ultimately to the Supreme Court that the phone calls were protected info under the 4th Amendment, SCOTUS says it ain't and that any records transmitted to a business are not protected.

Thus all Americans and most people around the world get spied upon wholesale by the United States government.
thewayne: (Cyranose)
NSL's are investigative tools used by the FBI to "fight terrorism". They go to an internet service provider, or a bank, or a library, and slap down the letter requesting information about a customer/client. The letter not only requires information, but is also a gag order on discussing it.

This particular case has a heck of a twist. An ISP was issued an NSL and appealed. "After the telecom challenged the NSL, the Justice Department took its own extraordinary measure and sued the company, arguing in court documents that the company was violating the law by challenging its authority."

The EFF was working with the ISP to challenge the NSL ASAP, IYKWIM. And a judge said there were lots of problems with them and has banned them, but the government has 90 days to appeal to the 9th Circuit.

I'm sure this will end up in the SCOTUS, one way or another. And it really needs to be exposed there, because unlike a search warrant, the FBI doesn't need a judge or demonstrated probable cause to get an NSL. They've been abused in the past, they're a bad tool, and they should be banned.
thewayne: (Default)
"In all, five justices said physically attaching the GPS device to the underside of a car amounted to a search requiring a warrant. Four justices, however, said the prolonged GPS surveillance in this case — a month — amounted to a search requiring a warrant, but was silent on whether GPS monitoring for shorter periods would require a warrant. All nine justices agreed to toss a District of Columbia drug dealer’s life sentence who was the subject of a warrantless, 28-day surveillance via GPS."

I'm curious if they threw out the drug dealer's case entirely or just the sentence, and whether or not it can be re-tried again without the GPS evidence.

Aside from the privacy implications, I think the thing that bothers me the most is technology replacing "good ol' fashioned police work." I was on the jury for one trial, and it was a drug bust. Guy was charged with three counts of selling marijuana to a minor, one count of selling. It was all to the same informant (whom the police had busted and turned to get at the defendant), but the informant turned 18 during the scope of the investigation. The prosecution had fingerprints, photographs, witness testimony, etc., and we convicted the defendant on three of the four counts. Of course, the whole case was screwy from the start: the lead detective's sister (caucasian) was dating the defendant (black) in Morman Mesa. We the jury wondered if the defendant would have been pursued quite so vigorously if he hadn't been involved with the detective's sister.
thewayne: (Default)
Case in Florida where a drug-sniffing dog, outside of someone's house, alerted, so the cops got a warrant and raided the house, finding drugs.

The issue is whether the dog was an unreasonable detection device. There were cases in California where police used thermal imaging cameras to detect hot rooms in residences where people were using heat lamps to grow pot. It was ruled to be an invasive search mechanism and the cases were thrown out. The defendant is claiming that the dog is a similar such device.

A comment posted the obvious counter-move: toss unused/scrap/dregs marijuana in front of other people's houses to increase the rate of false positives. I'd be sure to include the houses of the mayor and police chief if I did such a thing.
thewayne: (Default)
There's no telling how they will rule. There is an irregularity in the case of the guy who brought the suit: the cops had 10 days in which to install the tracker, they installed it on the 11th day. So it's possible the court could rule on this 10 day issue and punt on GPS tracking in general.

But I'm glad to see that they are disturbed.
thewayne: (Default)
He bought it from the brother of his girlfriend, said brother later fled to Mexico and may be involved in the drug trade. The guy lives with the parents of his girlfriend. He thinks the Feds may think that since they guy he bought the SUV from might be a drug dealer, that he might be. Classic guilt by association.

The story gets flat-out weird and a little scary when Wired shows up to photograph the devices and three marked police cars show up. Someone's phone apparently was also tapped.
thewayne: (Default)
The Feds want unfettered access, claiming that "...a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one place to another...". I believe that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public, in that, if I overhear an adult talking about having sex with a 14 year old, I'll notify the police. I expect that I'll probably have my picture taken without my knowledge when I'm in public or in a store. But there's no need for the government knowing where I'm driving to and from WITHOUT A WARRANT AND PROBABLE CAUSE.

Roger Easton, the principal inventor of GPS technology, is urging the Supreme Court to not allow such warrantless tracking. "Easton, now 90 and the principal inventor and developer of the Timation Satellite Navigation System at the Naval Research Laboratory more than five decades ago, and the others are telling the high court that its precedent on the topic is outdated, and the government’s reliance on it should be rejected." The case in question involves an appeal by a drug dealer whose movements were tracked without a warrant, whenever he stopped somewhere that could potentially be a cache, the cops got a warrant to search that site for drugs.

This is not good. Our location is already constantly monitored by our cell phones, I think the FBI needs to step up their investigations a notch and follow the laws that everyone else has to follow.
thewayne: (Default)
and they use it at routine traffic stops. The ACLU is suing them for Fourth Amendment violation.

"A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

"Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags," a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device's capabilities. "The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps."

Man, I hope the ACLU wins on this one. This is entirely too much power too easily used without having reasonable suspicion and a proper search warrant. I'm also curious how well this works against a fully-encrypted Android OS phone.
thewayne: (Default)
According to the article, they're on every continent in the world except Antarctica. What, no terrorist penguins?

These are lower resolution than the ones being used in airports because they're designed for penetrating cars looking for suspicious/contraband material, still... One of the points made is that you can't be searched beneath your clothing without a search warrant according to the 4th amendment.

Remember the assault because of co-workers talking about a TSA worker's small penis? Well, a Heathrow scanner operator has been slapped with a sexual harassment complaint after scanning a flight attendant who "allegedly told her “I love those gigantic tits” after taking the scan." Now, chances are that he would have been hit with a complaint sooner or later, but the equipment certainly made it easier.
thewayne: (Default)
(August 20, 2010) US legislators want to know why US Marshalls Service stored images of body scans taken at a Florida courthouse. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) sent a letter to the agency expressing their concern that citizens' privacy may have been violated.

The letter was also signed by Senators Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Thomas Carper (D-Delaware), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) and Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia). The images stored were not accessed until the agency received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). The Marshalls service says the images are not available without an administrative password. Despite the Marshall Service assurance that details were fuzzy enough so that people could not be identified, even by gender, the legislators want to know why the images were saved, if there are any other locations where full body imaging technology is being used, whether images from those locations are being stored, and if so, why.
thewayne: (Default)
"Eleventh Circuit Decision Largely Eliminates Fourth Amendment Protection in E-Mail

Last Thursday, the Eleventh Circuit handed down a Fourth Amendment case, Rehberg v. Paulk, that takes a very narrow view of how the Fourth Amendment applies to e-mail. The Eleventh Circuit held that constitutional protection in stored copies of e-mail held by third parties disappears as soon as any copy of the communication is delivered. Under this new decision, if the government wants get your e-mails, the Fourth Amendment lets the government go to your ISP, wait the seconds it normally takes for the e-mail to be delivered, and then run off copies of your messages." ...

[sarcasm] I'm sure such a decision would never be abused by our government. [/sarcasm]

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