Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Appeals Court Rolls Back Computer Privacy Guidelines

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the let's-shoot-from-the-hip-instead dept.

Privacy 88

Last year we discussed news of a court ruling that established a set of guidelines for how investigators can enact search warrants involving electronically stored data. Essentially, it required authorities to specify the data for which they were searching, and to take precautions to avoid the collection of unrelated data, whether it was incriminating or not. Now, a federal appeals court has thrown out those guidelines despite agreeing with the conclusion that investigators must only collect data specified in a warrant. Instead, the ruling (PDF) leaves us with a plea for "greater vigilance on the part of judicial officers in striking the right balance between the government’s interest in law enforcement and the right of individuals to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures."

cancel ×

88 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

fp? (3, Interesting)

jefe7777 (411081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572072)

yes, let's leave it to law enforcement to strike a proper balance. that sounds like it will work. uh huh.

Not sure what the big deal is (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572154)

I don't have anything on my computer but music, email and movies. I don't break the law. I am a average citizen in this respect, and I have nothing to hide. Let them look at my computer if they like.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572162)

Probably the 'movies' you were talking about.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572202)

I have 2 Tb of goatse. Let them look at my computer if they like.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33573354)

You'll also need 2TB each for tubgirl and lemonparty too.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572228)

Yeah, then somehow your computer contains CP or something. Digital evidence with technologically illiterate lawmakers and judges is a bad thing because it can be manipulated very, very easily.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572428)

Which is why you talk to your legal representative before trial and give them some questions to ask, like "What sanitisation procedures did the evidence collection follow? Where's the audit trail? How was read-only access guaranteed, from extraction from the defendants equipment through to exhibit in court? Audit trail? I'll be providing an independent expert to verify all this."

And then you'll wake up, realise you're still in jail, and your cellmate Jim-Bob has that glint in his eye again...

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33574980)

Which is why you talk to your legal representative before trial and give them some questions to ask, like "What sanitisation procedures did the evidence collection follow? Where's the audit trail? How was read-only access guaranteed, from extraction from the defendants equipment through to exhibit in court? Audit trail? I'll be providing an independent expert to verify all this."

How does that protect you from corrupt government? It's not like a police officer has never falsified an audit log.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572266)

I don't have anything on my computer but music, email and movies. I don't break the law. I am a average citizen in this respect, and I have nothing to hide. Let them look at my computer if they like.

I don't have any weapons or drugs in my house, I still don't want a police officer to come in unasked and search the place, or look through my windows to what I have inside, or what I am doing. My computer, and the data on it, are just as much in my house as the stuff in my drawers and closets.

And anyway, I wouldn't be so sure that you don't break the law. The fact that you don't know that you break the law does not mean you don't actually break it.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572624)

And anyway, I wouldn't be so sure that you don't break the law. The fact that you don't know that you break the law does not mean you don't actually break it.

And this is perhaps the biggest problem facing America right now: we have so many laws, it is hard to know whether or not you are actually breaking one. What we need is a wave of repeals, but no politician is brave enough to initiate such an action.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (3, Funny)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573150)

You have *NO* Idea how badly I want to cross state lines with poultry on my head again.

Oh those were the days...

- Dan.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572728)

I totally agree with captainpanic - -- America was founded on the rights of citizens to be protected by abuse by the government, specifically unreasonable search and seizure. We have to ballance safety vs freedoms guaranteed by American Principal and the constituion - else we become a police state our fore-fathers gave up their lives to defend, and we and our children are still dying for. "searching and grabbing" hard drives, etc., looking for DRM and other "illegal" files is just "law" for certain corporate (RIAA, MPAA, etc) to make more $$ using the law and its enforcement arm, instead of their own wits (as usual, they tried to use the courts to stop cable tv, VCRs, CD writers, DVD writers, DAT (successful), and MP3s, until the fear of priacy finally forced them to understand how to make real money off of their crap -- I site the DVD/Video tape, court vs people wars) "john doe" warrents, and 'unspecific' warrents are unconstitutional IMO -- we fight and die for those rights, don't let liberal courts take them away and spit on the constitution and the USA.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33573146)

That was a great post, until I got to the point where you said "don't let liberal courts..." and you completely lost ALL credibility.... If you buy into the whole "Conservative" vs "liberal" propaganda, then you don't understand the system nearly as well as you think you do. Remove your childish labels, start looking at things as they truly are, and you'll see that both sides of the gov't are out for the same thing, personal financial gain and power, and it is not one side against the other, it's the people against the corporations.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33576504)

Actually, in this sense, liberal is about right. It's not the liberal verses conservative political thing, it's the change verses the same thing in the strictest sense. Liberal is synonymous with progressive which has a history of change for the sake of change. That's what lead up to the issues like we are discussing.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (1)

Hardolaf (1371377) | more than 4 years ago | (#33579160)

(n) liberal (a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets) http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=liberal [princeton.edu] Get your facts right. The term "liberal" has been horribly mutilated by modern day American politics.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (5, Insightful)

jefe7777 (411081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572346)

Parent post almost sounds like sarcasm. But if it's serious, here are a few points you might consider:

.

Do you really know the laws? There are thousands on the books, and thousands created each year.

Do you really know what's on your computer? If you're the average citizen, then there's a high probability that your computer has been or will be compromised at some point. "Hello Mr. Smith, we have some bad news for you. After forensic examination of your hard drive, we found evidence of money laundering, child pornography, and several thousand instances of copyright violation. But don't worry. We're going to make you an offer you can't refuse.

And you would not be able to rely on the common sense of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. You see, this is an adversarial process. It's not "Innocent to proven guilty". Law enforcement is tasked with making convictions, among other things. Numbers count. There's also this other little problem, the one of "low hanging fruit", ever heard of it? It's a reference to the fact that people tend to do as little as possible, and when that expresses itself in agents of the state, e.g. law enforcement, what you end up with is the majority of their efforts are expended on two bit criminals, and unlucky stupid people that are of no real threat to any one.

Here in the U.S., if I'm not mistaken, we're at the top of the list for the number of people imprisoned as a percentage of population. This leads me to believe that we incarcerate people for a lot of petty bullshit, especially the poor.

Here we go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572948)

Dear Slashdot Community,

Please take 45 minutes minutes to watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

From the video:
"Did you know it could be a federal offense for being in possession of a lobster?" ... 6:45 mark.

And why this court ruling is significant...

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573216)

Do you really know the laws? There are thousands on the books, and thousands created each year.

It's hard to control a free man who is innocent of any wrongdoing. He'll just tell you to fuck off. But if you make that free man a criminal, even if he doesn't know it yet, you've got him by the balls.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#33576858)

It's hard to control a free man who is innocent of any wrongdoing. He'll just tell you to fuck off. But if you make that free man a criminal, even if he doesn't know it yet, you've got him by the balls.

I think you just paraphrased Ayn Rand.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33582776)

It's hard to control a free man who is innocent of any wrongdoing. He'll just tell you to fuck off. But if you make that free man a criminal, even if he doesn't know it yet, you've got him by the balls.

I think you just paraphrased Ayn Rand.

Damn! I knew I heard that somewhere before.

Besides, if the current state of affairs in the United States is any indication, she was dead right.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 4 years ago | (#33581738)

t's hard to control a free man who is innocent of any wrongdoing. He'll just tell you to fuck off.

Bingo! There's plenty of 'free' countries where his doing that will make him a criminal.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (1)

IronChef (164482) | more than 4 years ago | (#33576918)

Here in the U.S., if I'm not mistaken, we're at the top of the list for the number of people imprisoned as a percentage of population. This leads me to believe that we incarcerate people for a lot of petty bullshit, especially the poor.
Big prison populations mean big money for companies like Corrections Corp. of America.
http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NYSE:CXW [google.com]

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (1)

ps2os2 (1216366) | more than 4 years ago | (#33596870)

Jefe7777 said:

Do you really know what's on your computer? If you're the average citizen, then there's a high probability that your computer has been or will be compromised at some point. "Hello Mr. Smith, we have some bad news for you. After forensic examination of your hard drive, we found evidence of money laundering, child pornography, and several thousand instances of copyright violation. But don't worry. We're going to make you an offer you can't refuse.

I respond: Please clarify this: you should insert the words" MS operating system" some where in the paragraph.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572724)

I don't have anything on my computer but music, email and movies. I don't break the law.

If you're an American, the USC is about 16,500 pages long:

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

The tax code is about 3,500 pages. And that's just the US federal stuff, you also have to worry about state laws (at least in a criminal capacity). You can also be fined at the county and municipal level.

I'm sure you're contravening something. Heck, there are people who have been convicted of owning a lobster:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik#t=6m30s

Re:fp? (4, Interesting)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572166)

agreed. There was a reason that the original rules were so strict. The founders could have requested that the powerful should just be nice in their handling of the masses, but they instead chose to be explicit. Sorry to the coppers if that gives them a little extra work, but it is nice to avoid a witchhunt.

Re:fp? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#33575442)

but it is nice to avoid a witchhunt.

It's funny that, despite all of the founding father's hard work and explicit instruction, we've basically been incapable of doing just that from day one....It appears that enlightened philosophy is no match for the will of the mobs.

Yes a FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572118)

Excellent point.

I'm going to go with... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572124)

WHAT. THE. FUCK?

I know a lot of officers in various branches (police, *BI, sheriff, etc.) and count several as close friends.. but I wouldn't trust a single one of them to not go beyond the mandate of the warrant without something official binding them. The egos of most officers I have met have all been "I _am_ the law" style of bullshit that leads to people being hanged before their guilt has been proven and then "Whoops, we made a mistake. Oh well. I'm sure s/he was guilty of something." Meanwhile, the innocent person has been vilified in the news and can't do business where they live anymore.

We either need strict rules that our police officers have to follow, or we need psych evaluations to weed out the overzealous people who go too far, too fast, without consideration that someone is innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Re:I'm going to go with... (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572290)

or we need psych evaluations to weed out the overzealous people who go too far, too fast, without consideration that someone is innocent until PROVEN guilty.

We already have those, they are called elections. Unfortunately the people still haven't figured out that the loser should be euthanized instead of given power.

Re:I'm going to go with... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573310)

euthanized

Why?

I say they should go out the hard way. Feed them to the lions.

Re:I'm going to go with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33581228)

Have you no sympathy for the lions? Consuming that much bullshit, hot air, and dead weight cannot be good for those cats.

Re:I'm going to go with... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573270)

We either need strict rules that our police officers have to follow, or we need psych evaluations to weed out the overzealous people who go too far, too fast, without consideration that someone is innocent until PROVEN guilty.

... in a court of law, not in their heads.

Re:I'm going to go with... (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 4 years ago | (#33574672)

I know a lot of officers in various branches (police, *BI, sheriff, etc.) and count several as close friends.. but I wouldn't trust a single one of them to not go beyond the mandate of the warrant without something official binding them. The egos of most officers I have met have all been "I _am_ the law" style of bullshit that leads to people being hanged before their guilt has been proven and then "Whoops, we made a mistake. Oh well. I'm sure s/he was guilty of something." Meanwhile, the innocent person has been vilified in the news and can't do business where they live anymore.

And yet, you "count [those miscreants] as close friends".

Well... we're boned. (4, Informative)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572192)

Nice to know our latest appointee to the Supreme Court is looking out for our privacy rights.

From TFA:

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, as solicitor general last year, had urged the court to reverse itself amid complaints that federal prosecutions were being complicated, and computer searches were grinding to a halt, because of the detailed guidelines.

Re:Well... we're boned. (3, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572226)

Meet the new boss?

Re:Well... we're boned. (1)

orthancstone (665890) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572354)

Spot on, fuck that "offtopic" nonsense from the mod.

Re:Well... we're boned. (1)

jefe7777 (411081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572406)

that's some serious insightfulness in four words.

looks like some boot-licking mod took a shot at your karma.

Re:Well... we're boned. (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572288)

Yeah, now we have to do things properly and document everything it takes some effort to do and we don't like that.

Re:Well... we're boned. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572366)

Given the chance, they'd much prefer to be given a set of calipers and a phrenology chart than to actually have to do some investigation and evidence gathering.

Maybe a ruler to check if their eyes are too far apart / close together. I'm not sure which would result in a conviction. Probably both.

I lose a little more faith in the judicial system every time I hear something like this.

Re:Well... we're boned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572336)

It's funny how through the years we seem to have developed this idea that women will make much better leaders when in fact women in power tend to be much more abusive.

Re:Well... we're boned. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572480)

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, as solicitor general last year, had urged the court to reverse itself amid complaints that federal prosecutions were being complicated, and computer searches were grinding to a halt, because of the detailed guidelines.

Detailed guidelines like the forth amendment? What is with these anti-American people and why do they hate freedom?

Law of Evidence (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572530)

The law of evidence is there for a good reason.
People have a right not to be harassed by flimsy tissue thin accusations without substance.

  The reasoning for departing from same is not stated
Sure, let them say we are looking for a-z + anything else that might be incriminating - it will be overturned accordingly, remembering a-z searches has precedent saying exactly that is intolerable.
Which is why you have to write it down beforehand, and not make it up AFTER the search. Normally people who have completed primary school level education have the ability to say what they want.
If Fed's or the Police are dumber and more confused than an 11 year old - we have problems.

Overturning these laws is a dilution of natural justice and equity.
Those criminals or suspects with well heeled lawyers and deep pockets will now get off on a technicality. No matter how it is twisted 'fishing' is not allowed, and if they were not specific before the warrant was issued, then admissibility can be challenged later.

The opinion of one will be overturned on appeal , and those old pesky guidelines - well they were put in to stop automatic appeals, so I guess the court system is asking to be bogged down further.

Re:Well... we're boned. (2, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572836)

From TFA:

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, as solicitor general last year, had urged the court to reverse itself amid complaints that federal prosecutions were being complicated, and computer searches were grinding to a halt, because of the detailed guidelines.

Since when the job to prosecute should be easy/quick/cheap? The last I know, the principles were:
Innocent until proved guilty and better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer [wikipedia.org] . Nothing in there sound to me as "first and above all, do the prosecution blind-fast".

More worrisome: the position comes from a judge...
But maybe I'm growing too old too fast already.

Re:Well... we're boned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33573190)

Supreme Court? Did you read the article?

This is from the 9th district (read: California). It may end up in the supreme court but that's questionable.

Also, if you read the ruling, there's a lot of langue about the 4th amendment (privacy right). It looks like the majority didn't know what to do so they punted it to another date and the concurring wanted to outline a plan to deal with said privacy concerns now. Both arguements are well reasoned and aren't (currently) a breach of the 4th amendment.

Re:Well... we're boned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33573236)

So, rather than force the force a judicial authority to do the legwork required concerning data guidelines while respecting a presumed innocent parties legal rights as afforded to them, we're gonna throw out the roadblock designed to insure impartiality and what's left is fair game and the accused be damned?

What the hell kinda Justice is this? Blind, right?

Re:Well... we're boned. (1)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 4 years ago | (#33577638)

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, as solicitor general last year, had urged the court to reverse itself amid complaints that federal prosecutions were being complicated, and computer searches were grinding to a halt, because of the detailed guidelines.

Lemme guess: they were using Bing?

Doesn't pass the laugh test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572204)

Perhaps the synopsis is biased but did a judge really say the law doesn't matter we should just rely on the good will and judgment of government officials? There is an unfortunate tendency for government officials and workers to view outsiders, that is ordinary people as as somehow evil and ignorant while citizens view government officials as evil and corrupt. Of course both views have an element of truth.

What balance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33572232)

What balance is there to be struck between an 'interest' on the one hand, and a 'right' on the other? Is there a different legal definition of 'interest' to the one the rest of us use? Because I have an (entirely peurile) interest in seeing every attractive woman that crosses my vision starkers - but that's not an even slightly convincing argument for why I should be allowed to do so.

Abusable (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572240)

I think the idea behind the rules was that this couldn't happen:

"Yes sir, we have reason to believe you have terrorist training manuals on your hard-disk"
*search*
"Nope, none found, but we did find some music which the RIAA might be interested in, some videos the MPAA might be interested in, a particular movie Voltage might be interested in, also you said a rude joke in a chatroom which was not properly filtered and marked for adults only"

*lawsuits to death*

But now it can :)

Re:Abusable (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572280)

(cont..)

"...and this video entitled MyGirlfriendThreeMenSomeMudAndABaseballBat.avi which we're all interested in..."

Re:Abusable (3, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572302)

So. Ahhhh....

Hmmm..... Errr......

Where *can* I find "MyGirlfriendThreeMenSomeMudAndABaseballBat.avi"?

Re:Abusable (3, Insightful)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572908)

I think the idea behind the rules was that this couldn't happen:

"Yes sir, we have reason to believe you have terrorist training manuals on your hard-disk"
*search*
"Nope, none found, but we did find some music which the RIAA might be interested in, some videos the MPAA might be interested in, a particular movie Voltage might be interested in, also you said a rude joke in a chatroom which was not properly filtered and marked for adults only"

*lawsuits to death*

But now it can :)

No - the rules were intended to prevent a repeat of what *did* happen:

1. Feds get a warrant to obtain drug testing records of 10 specific baseball players (based on actual evidence against those 10 players).
2. Judge specifically limits them, saying that they have to separate out the records of everyone else, and only keep the records on the 10 specific players.
3. Feds ignore judge's limits, getting records on hundreds of individuals (not limited to just baseball players). No attempt is made to separate out the records on the specific players.
4. Feds then use the info on other players (that they previously had no reason to suspect) to issue supoenas for evidence against those additional players.

What's really scary about this whole mess is that the government is relying on the "in plain sight" doctrine, which basically states that if an officer observes something that is in plain sight during the course of a legal search, whatever the officer observes can be seized and used as evidence even if it wasn't listed on the warrant. For instance, if they're searching your house on looking for stolen goods, and they see your stash of pot, they can seize it and charge you with possession.

But once you have access to a computer, pretty much anything on it is readily accessible (unless encrypted). So applying this doctrine to digital searches ends up being analogous to getting a search warrant for a specific set of (dead tree) files, and then claiming that *all* of the files in the file cabinet are now "in plain sight", and as such they can browse them to their heart's content.

The court *did* uphold that the supoenas, and any information resulting from them, were invalid. But by removing the specific guidelines the earlier court had created, they've opened the door to a repeat performance of this whole mess. Which you can bet *will* happen fairly quickly.

Re:Abusable (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573370)

But by removing the specific guidelines the earlier court had created, they've opened the door to a repeat performance of this whole mess.

I get the impression that many people in power feel that our social problems can be cured by simply applying more law enforcement. I don't know why they think that: it has never worked in the past.

Re:Abusable (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#33575496)

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

- Princess Leia, A New Hope

Re:Abusable (1)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 4 years ago | (#33576432)

I get the impression that many people in power feel that our social problems can be cured by simply applying more law enforcement. I don't know why they think that: it has never worked in the past.

It worked against Shay's Rebellion, but, no, not for the people.

And the RIAA gets the fishing rods again... (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572282)

It's time to go data fishing! Get those John Doe IP probable cause subpoenas ready, because they're gonna find "evidence" on any computer they want if they dig deep enough!

Re:And the RIAA gets the fishing rods again... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572420)

Meh why bother. They should just do a "RIAA Vs Citizens of the US" class action lawsuit. Saves them a lot of trouble.

I'm sure many of the latter class won't bother turning up.

Re:And the RIAA gets the fishing rods again... (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573070)

You're thinking too small. Their lawyers are already drafting Entertainment Industry versus Human Population and are asking for the entire GNP of north america as lost revenue with all the money in the world as punitive damages.

Re:And the RIAA gets the fishing rods again... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573380)

are asking for the entire GNP of north america as lost revenue

Well. They can ask.

Discovery? (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572374)

IANAL, but I would think part of the problem with incriminating data for a completely unrelated crime being found might have something to do with the proper steps required for the discovery of evidence.

Do any real lawyers or law professors want to weigh in on this?

I need to get my eye checked (0, Offtopic)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572622)

I read "Apple rolls back computer privacy guidelines".

Encryption: just goes to show (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572704)

All the more reason to start using TrueCrypt now if you haven't already.

Until the cops in the US get the authority to legally compel you to divulge passwords, your computer will be safe from prying eyes.

Re:Encryption: just goes to show (2, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#33572996)

All the more reason to start using TrueCrypt now if you haven't already.

Until the cops in the US get the authority to legally compel you to divulge passwords, your computer will be safe from prying eyes.

Ya, about the password. I figure if you use the constitution as a password, there's no way the officials will ever be able to get into it.

Or my something along the lines of "fuck you, you'll never get my password" as the password.

Re:Encryption: just goes to show (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573184)

I suppose in a pinch you could settle for a weaker key by just using the Preamble to the Constitution.

Re:Encryption: just goes to show (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33573168)

My company has a special policy for America, because of the constant laptop searches at the borders.

Employees have to take laptops with a fresh linux image mounted readonly. Then SSH to the company servers from inside. Depending on the hotel, it can be slow, but those are the rules.
No data, and definitely no encrypted images are to pass though customs.

Re:Encryption: just goes to show (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573346)

All the more reason to start using TrueCrypt now if you haven't already. Until the cops in the US get the authority to legally compel you to divulge passwords, your computer will be safe from prying eyes.

My understanding is that a Federal judge ruled, a couple of years ago, that a password stored in someone's head cannot be forced from him. If, on the other hand, said person writes that password down and the cops find it, that's fair game.

Re:Encryption: just goes to show (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573482)

Yup, that's my understanding too.

That's partly how the feds busted that Russian spy ring. They were using all kinds of crypto, but the dummies wrote down the passwords.

A few useful links for disk encryption (3, Informative)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573332)

Whole disk encryption needs to become mainstream. There are many approaches. Here are a few useful links.

If you want your OS to encrypt everything, Fedora [linuxbsdos.com] makes it easy. So does Ubuntu. [ubuntuforums.org]

If you want an add-on software package, PGP [pgp.com] works well. In a slightly more involved way, so does Truecrypt. [truecrypt.org]

If you prefer a hardware solution, you can adapt regular, off-the shelf drives with an encryptor such as the Deskcrypt. [istorage-uk.com] Fully-encrypted hard drives are available from most vendors, too, but the ones I've found most generally useful (as in, "compatible with every other sort of hardware") are the Eclypt models from Stonewood. [stonewood.co.uk]

I have owned and used all the products above and like them very much. If you feel different, feel free to Google things like "Momentus FDE" or "WinMagic" or "Guardian Edge Hard Drive" for other vendors and approaches. Take whatever path seems most reasonable and logical to you.

But for God's sake, would everyone please start encrypting your drives? That's not everything you need to do. It's just a minimal first step toward personal security. But it's a start.

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573620)

I'm pretty sure that telling the feds "You can look, but the entire drive is encrypted so you can't look at anything which isn't garbled" is not going to win you a free ticket.

Not to mention that having to encrypt/decrypt everything puts large overheads on I/O.

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (2, Interesting)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573822)

I'm not looking for a free ticket from the feds. I've been a victim of a burglary, one of those things where they throw all your stuff on bed sheets and drag it out. I mean, cleaned out to the walls. Once you've been through that, your attitude toward personal security and privacy changes. At minimum, if someone gets my computer, I don't want them to have access to anything on it.

If this protects me from malicious prosecution, too, then all the better.

As for the overhead, yes, it's an issue. But for normal people, computers (including the I/O) are already plenty fast to do whatever we need. For 99% of folks, the overhead would be unnoticed. I admit you have a point, though. I work in an environment where every machine has full disk encryption and I've been able to test extensively. I have found a few cases where the encryption noticeably slows a machine. But even in those cases, just spec'ing slightly zoomier hardware would have rendered the issue moot.

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#33577158)

Not to mention that having to encrypt/decrypt everything puts large overheads on I/O.

That's been my number 1 concern with the idea thus far. I've been told it's not the case, but I've not had a PC I'm willing to wipe and test it with.

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33577804)

If you really want no noticeable performance penalty (I'm talking 1% or less), you can get your full disk encryption built into the drive hardware. Select a solid-state drive and it will most likely be far faster than whatever you're using now.

Here's a good example. [stonewood.co.uk] Note that the datasheet (which may be outdated; I think they have a higher-capacity product now.) shows that a 256 gig SSD is available. It's a pain to type in your passphrase at the pre-boot login but it's only a small pain. The peace of mind is priceless.

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#33578364)

The peace of mind is priceless.

O_O

It would have to be at the prices they're asking.

I'll just stick with Truecrypt for now for the actual important data. There's not a whole lot of reason to encrypt things like my Guild Wars template files and Borderlands savegames. :)

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 4 years ago | (#33578652)

The problem is that Windows tosses a bunch of caching data in all sorts of random directories (good luck finding them all), so even if your main hard drive is nothing but the bare bones windows partition and you keep everything else on separate encrypted disks, if there's a file name like "illegal_picture.jpeg", they'll still point to that and say "AHA, he's done something wrong. Hang him jury!".

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#33587362)

People let Windows see their important files? ;)

Actually, I'm pretty sure that said random cache/junk you mentioned is going to factor into my Master's Thesis (Digital Forensics) somehow... as soon as I figure out what it's going to be. :P (I'm better at solving problems than coming up with them.)

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (1)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 4 years ago | (#33577870)

I'm pretty sure that telling the feds "You can look, but the entire drive is encrypted so you can't look at anything which isn't garbled" is not going to win you a free ticket.

I think the point is that the encrypted portions are no longer "in plain sight" and thus cannot be innocently browsed, evidence for an unrelated offense found and used against you. With encrypted drives/portions on the HD, it forces the gov't to actually follow the rules and get probable cause, then a warrant issued as outlined in the 4th amendment and case law, yadda yadda.

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33577054)

Whole disk encryption needs to become mainstream. There are many approaches. Here are a few useful links.

If you want your OS to encrypt everything, Fedora [linuxbsdos.com] makes it easy. So does Ubuntu. [ubuntuforums.org]

If you want an add-on software package, PGP [pgp.com] works well. In a slightly more involved way, so does Truecrypt. [truecrypt.org]

If you prefer a hardware solution, you can adapt regular, off-the shelf drives with an encryptor such as the Deskcrypt. [istorage-uk.com] Fully-encrypted hard drives are available from most vendors, too, but the ones I've found most generally useful (as in, "compatible with every other sort of hardware") are the Eclypt models from Stonewood. [stonewood.co.uk]

I have owned and used all the products above and like them very much. If you feel different, feel free to Google things like "Momentus FDE" or "WinMagic" or "Guardian Edge Hard Drive" for other vendors and approaches. Take whatever path seems most reasonable and logical to you.

But for God's sake, would everyone please start encrypting your drives? That's not everything you need to do. It's just a minimal first step toward personal security. But it's a start.

I much prefer the diskGenie, which is also a product from istorage-uk.com, however it feels more rugged, has a very nice tactile feel. Has the same encryption level as most of the others and reqires a 6-16digit pin to access the data.I have the 500gb 256 version and a 128gb ssd both reasonably priced.

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33586738)

OK, you're hard drive is encrypted BUT your ISP's servers are not. Now what?

Re:A few useful links for disk encryption (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33590838)

I'm worried about data access for someone who steals my computer. I'm not much interested in people who want to spy on what sites I browse. I'm single and old enough to not give a rat's ass about what people think, so if someone finds out that I occasionally visit youporn, my attitude is "So what?"

Now, other people may have more to hide. If I were in a country where talking about Tibet gets me imprisoned and looking for bare boobies on the net got me stoned, there's other things to do. Lessee, off the top of my head there are: never using an unencrypted connection when an encrypted one is available, proxying services that will take your money to help, open proxies that can be used (chain together one in Belarus and one in Venzuala and I sorta doubt that the U.S. feds will want to go to that much trouble for anything short of a realistic threat of a major terror attack), getting a shell account somewhere obscure and encrypting your connection to it before using it as your gateway to the world, TOR and other software and systems designed to make tracing hard, darknets like I2P and Freenet, and I suppose I could go on and on.

If I really had something to hide, I suppose I'd carry out as thorough an analysis of the threats I face as I could and then deploy whatever technical solutions seem reasonable.

As an aside, though, I don't think any of that should be necessary. Stuff like this should be turned on, by default, everywhere, all the time. ISPs should see nothing but encrypted streams flowing this way and that with no idea what's in them. But that hasn't happened. Until it does, there are solutions available to anyone who understands that they need them.

That's my answer to "Now, what?" Sound reasonable?

So what if it makes things harder for prosecutors? (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#33573356)

The whole point of civil rights is to make the legal system more reliable by protecting people from unjust and wrong prosecutions. They're a check and balance against human error, laziness, incompetence and career ambitions that would taint the results of the legal system. Judges screw with them at the peril of our legal system because once the public starts to question whether the legal system is reliable, the attitude "well hell, they're no better at enforcing the law than the next guy" becomes mainstream and suddenly vigilantism becomes a defensible alternative since the legal system's results are basically about as good as mob justice.

Re:So what if it makes things harder for prosecuto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33598100)

...once the public starts to question whether the legal system is reliable...

I wasn't alive when the starting happened. I don't know anyone who thinks that it is reliable. I have long ago stopped staring at that spot on the horizon where that crossed line used to be. Hopefully it'll make it all the way back around before I die. I'm looking east now. It's too late to fix what's broken, but just because you can't stop the dark from coming doesn't mean that the daylight won't return.

Starting to hate US Federal Courts (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 4 years ago | (#33574324)

'nuff said

I can see right through this (1)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 4 years ago | (#33575138)

The feds were getting mad because they had to pass up all the pronz they were finding.

Filing Cabinet Metaphor, Anyone? (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 4 years ago | (#33576084)

With a warrant, approved by a judge, police may search your filing cabinets looking for a specific type of files, let's say, records related to a suspect business deal. If they find a locked drawer, they may ask you to open it, then force it open, if you refuse. In the process of that search, should they come across illicit drugs, child pornography or other incriminating evidence, they are not required to dismiss that evidence as not pertinent to the warrant. In fact, they are required to act on it.

Why should your PC/hardrive/NAS/thumbdrive/laptop/iPhone be more or less protected than the metaphoric filing cabinet?

Re:Filing Cabinet Metaphor, Anyone? (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 4 years ago | (#33579394)

If you've got very large filing cabinets, and they sift through all your personal documentation, despite one folder being very clearly labeled $Search_Warrant_Specified_Information , they damn well are going well beyond their search warrant and should be slapped down. A search warrant is not an invitation to tear someone's house apart, wall by wall until you either have what you think they have or there's no house left. It's there to find some specific information in the least intrusive manner possible (since you are innocent till proven guilty). Yes, there are cases where a broad search warrant can and should be obtainable, but the judiciary should be weighing the kind of evidence presented to justify a warrant vs the scope of what that warrant wants to search. If the evidence is weak, you don't get to poke into all aspects of someone's life just to see if there's something you can hang him by. If you've got him standing over a dead body with a bloody knife in his hands, sure, get a warrant to tear his house apart and dig up his yard looking for more bodies.

Yeah... (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 4 years ago | (#33577296)

We should let law enforcement decide what the 'proper balance' should be. After all they are 100% objective and have no ulterior motives....RIGHT?

NO balance between interest... and constitution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33579826)

The stated goal "striking the right balance between the government's interest in law enforcement and the [constitutional] right of individuals to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures" is invalid. There can be NO COMPROMISE between an "interest" and a constitutional right, at least not one that can be established by a court directly.

If the government wants to establish a compromise, they can try passing a law and if THAT is not unconstitutional then the courts can start "balancing it" within the existing framework.

Choose citizenshipresidency in another country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33582982)

It seems that the state has all the power of search, jail, torture by transport to Syria, and much more. Your constitution and laws don't mean a pinch of coonshit.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?