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!

Michigan Police Could Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the gentlemen-do-not-read-each-other's-texts dept.

Privacy 525

SonicSpike writes "The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program. A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and videos 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." Popular Mechanics has a short conversation with a 4th Amendment lawyer about the practice of slurping cellphone data, too, though it's unclear if the Michigan police are actually using these devices to their full potential.

cancel ×

525 comments

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

Police often violate 4th amendment rights.. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874642)

But, speaking from experience, you can claim illegal search and seizure at preliminary trials, which can result in the charges being dropped.

It's disgusting that it happens, but it does. Just, rest assured, cops rarely get away with it if you have a decent lawyer.

Re:Police often violate 4th amendment rights.. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874862)

Just, rest assured, cops rarely get away with it if you have a decent lawyer.

It takes a damn good lawyer to get a cop tried for deprivation of rights under color of law. It ought to happen every time the exclusionary rule is applied.

yes, but do they archive that data? (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874864)

yes, but do they archive that data? what do they do with that data? would that data be later used against you in a different case?

Re:yes, but do they archive that data? (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874924)

All data is archived somewhere. Data is sexy. No one in authority can resist troves of data for long.

Re:yes, but do they archive that data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875016)

So keep a copy of every virus you can find stored on your phone.

Re:Police often violate 4th amendment rights.. (5, Interesting)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874880)

Most people do not go after the officers for deprivation of civil rights under color of authority (USC 1983 violation), which leaves them with civil and criminal liability and also bars their unions and departments of the ability to pay their legal fees. If more people would file these lawsuits against officers who violate their rights the practice would end very quickly.

Power that can be abused will be abused. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874972)

If more people would file these lawsuits against officers who violate their rights the practice would end very quickly.

No, those "trouble makers" would be marked and "eliminated" as quickly as possible. Imagine the dispatcher decides to ... "accidentally" forget for a few minutes that you called for help when someone is invading your home, or the patrol car that has been dispatched decided to ... take the "scenic route" to your home while you're being robbed at gun point.

No, I don't have any faith in the legal system, from police up to the supreme court.

Re:Power that can be abused will be abused. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875126)

Police couldn't be there in time anyways. For those situations, you're better be prepared to defend yourself.

Re:Power that can be abused will be abused. (1)

dlt074 (548126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875150)

and you should rightfully be skeptical of them... which has me wondering why you're relying on them to protect your life in a home invasion.

OUTRAGEOUS cost (5, Informative)

fwice (841569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874704)

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680.

emphasis mine. ACLU put in a FOIA, police wanted $544,680 to respond.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? No one, when the pay-to-play is that high...

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (2)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874722)

Wow, that's just disgusting.

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (-1, Offtopic)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874820)

So is taking a shit, but we all do it...

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875088)

Taking a shit feels good. Especially when it's into the mouth of a hot asian chick with a shaved pussy.

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875132)

Taking a shit feels good. Especially when it's into the mouth of a hot asian chick with a shaved pussy.

Let me get this straight. You have a hot asian chick with a shaved pussy ... and all you can think to do with her is take a shit on her?

Man, what the hell is wrong with you?

Product link (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874770)

Check out the specs on these things:
http://www.cellebrite.com/forensic-products.html [cellebrite.com]
"Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags" and the list just goes on and on.

So, can anyone buy one of these? If it's legal for police, then...

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874888)

I thought it was illegal to charge more than actual processing costs when someone files an FOIA?

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874976)

I thought it was illegal to charge more than actual processing costs when someone files an FOIA?

It is, but the Chief has to buy a summer house to "process and fulfill" the FOIA request in.

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875050)

Well, if they have 54468 cases on record, and they set the processing fee at $10/case...

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875074)

What do you want to bet the company that makes the unit charges per record or per phone pulled out of it. That would let the police hide the transaction cost in the normal budget instead of adding it to the equipment budget and the company would make a freaking fortune.

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (5, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875082)

My dad likes to file FOIA requests when the police in his home town (of 1 million people) do something illegal. They frequently quote absurd fees, after which he leaves and comes back with an officer of the court who makes them do it for free. He should have been a lawyer. Or maybe the world is better off with one fewer lawyer and one more electrical engineer.

Re:OUTRAGEOUS cost (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875170)

My dad likes to file FOIA requests when the police in his home town (of 1 million people) do something illegal. They frequently quote absurd fees, after which he leaves and comes back with an officer of the court who makes them do it for free. He should have been a lawyer. Or maybe the world is better off with one fewer lawyer and one more electrical engineer.

Seriously, cops seem to wonder why they're not better appreciated and respected. No sense of irony.

As a whole, it's not like the police have a great deal of respect for citizens who exercise their rights. So I have to wonder: do they retaliate? Do they suddenly take a really hard look at his driving and see how many things they can charge him with that they'd normally let slide? Do they insist on searching him for guns/drugs/dead hookers/etc. every time he gets pulled over for i.e. speeding?

Wire? (2)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874724)

Once I saw this was wired (obviously), I started to wonder about the practicality of this (ignoring all the rights issues). I mean fairly common phones are one thing. But for those of us who buy the cheaper phones...usually they use fairly obscure power/data jacks (so they can charge us an arm and a leg for power cables when they break or get lost). It'd be quite annoying to carry about a few hundred different cables...

Re:Wire? (2)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874776)

It does say that it works with 3,000 different phones and the fact that most manufacturers will stick to same types of jacks for their product lines, probably limits the number of jacks cops have to have in the cruiser to maybe a dozen or two.

Re:Wire? (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874904)

Not to mention that most new phones are using either mini or micro USB jacks.

Re:Wire? (4, Informative)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874844)

Oh, no they have a convenient carrying storage case [cellebrite.com] . Since the summary didn't bother you may have a look see here [cellebrite.com] for their wares.

Re:Wire? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875140)

The Cellebrite UFED Ruggedized kit is a complete end-to-end solution contained in a hard case for safe transport which includes: a UFED Ruggedized device, a universal rapid phone charger, 85+ data cables, a USB flash drive, and other mission critical accessories. ...
Universal phone charger - For rapid charging of handsets/PDAs in the field which are found with no battery life remaining. Includes more than 40 charging tips with phone booster for the majority of handsets available worldwide.UFED Ruggedized [cellebrite.com]

Damn, I gotta gitme one of these things!

Erase your phone (4, Informative)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874742)

According to http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2110 [apple.com] , you want to own an iPhone 3GS or later.

You can remove all settings and information from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using "Erase All Content and Settings" in Settings > General > Reset.

When you opt to "Erase All Content and Settings," the process can take up to several hours. The time this process takes will vary by device:

Devices that support hardware encryption: Erases user settings and information by removing the encryption key to the data. This process takes just a few minutes.
Devices that overwrite memory: Overwrites user settings and information, writing a series of ones to the data partition. This process can take several hours, depending on the storage capacity of your iPhone or iPod touch. During this time, the device displays the Apple logo and a progress bar.

F$%K That! (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874818)

That's nice and all...
But at what point are all these spineless citizens going to stand up and say 'enough of this shit!'

You know what would be even nicer? To be able to go about my daily life without some jackboot thinking he has any right whatsoever so look at any of my belongings on the spot.

In fact, here is a deal for the 'police'. Immediately allow full and public access to ANY of your dash cams, at any moment, by request. You are supposed to be serving the public, so it would be nice of us to be able to know that you are competently performing your job, and not just taking your word for it. You know, 'trust but verify'. If you aren't doing anything wrong, you should have nothing to worry about. Right? That is what you are relying on in order to justify this intrusion into peoples personal lives, isn't it?

Re:F$%K That! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874968)

Poor AC. Too bad outrage doesn't matter as much as it used to.

Re:Erase your phone (1)

volkerdi (9854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874828)

Yeah, that'll help you when you're pulled over in Michigan. Add obstruction of justice to the charges, wiseguy.

Re:Erase your phone (1)

stating_the_obvious (1340413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875048)

It's only obstruction of justice if the cops have a right to search and seize. This is still pretty unsettled space. So yes, so chucklehead, minimum wage, part-time cop and a just passed the bar (barely) ADA might toss an obstruction charge into the mix, all that will do is get the ACLU that much more excited to come help you beat the pants of the silly police.

Re:Erase your phone (3, Interesting)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875128)

You're not obstructing justice if you're not a suspect or a material witness ... IANAL.

That question you see lawyers ask on TV all the time? You should ask it. "Am I being charged with something officer?"

Of course, people are afraid of police abuse (for good reason) and just do what's asked of them anyway.

IMHO the police should realize who they serve.

Re:Erase your phone (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874836)

A moderately effective stopgap, perhaps, but having to nuke all your phone data because you were pulled over for something that may or may not have been a traffic violation is hardly an acceptable state of affairs.

Re:Erase your phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874848)

You can also erase your phone by creating a 150,000 volt potential difference with your phone in the middle. There is even a Slashdot article [slashdot.org] about doing just that.

Re:Erase your phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874850)

According to http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2110 [apple.com] , you want to own an iPhone 3GS or later.

Actually I'm sure according to Apple you want to own the iPhone 4, and when the iPhone 5 comes out you want to own that, and when the iPhone 6 comes out you want to own that, and... :)

Those pesky Michigan people... (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874744)

I bet they thought they were citizens of the United States, guess they was wrong, the police are busy schooling them pretty good.

Re:Those pesky Michigan people... (3, Informative)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874980)

No, they are not citizens, they are now property of the State. They can hold elections and have their elected government dissolved. They do not have a functional vote.. They have no say in their government. They are taxed without representation. Michigan has serious issues, and their new martial law techniques raise serious questions.

Just say (2)

Ziwcam (766621) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874750)

"Sorry officer, I don't have a cellphone"

Re:Just say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874906)

then he illegally searches you and charges you for obstruction when he finds it. then he makes up probable cause for the search and you're fucked.

Re:Just say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874908)

"Sorry officer, I don't have a cellphone"

Great, turn a ticket into jail-time by lying. In the states you don't even have to answer, why lie?

Re:Just say (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874964)

Never Lie to the Police! That actually IS illegal!

Just tell them you refuse to answer the question. You have a 5th amendment right to say nothing. But you do not have a 5th amendment right to lie.

Re:Just say (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875042)

You have a first amendment right to lie. Doesn't mean the government respects it.

the police have the right to lie to me (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875158)

let them prove I lied. "I don't recall saying that..."

Fuck the Michigan State Police. Michigan is a hole anyway, no idea why anyone but a redneck or militia member would want to live there.

Re:Just say (2)

romco (61131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874986)

Not good to give false information to a cop but you are not required to give information that might incriminate you either.

You could say nothing or:

"I do not consent to searches, am I free to do now?"

or just:

"am I free to go now".

Full Phone Encryption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874752)

Do any of the smart phones offer full phone encryption, or would this device bypass that?

Encrypt it... (2)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874754)

...then use the DMCA. Instant justice.

Re:Encrypt it... (3, Informative)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875168)

1201(e) exempts law enforcement.

waste of money (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874758)

Use of such a device on motorists would be a clear 4th amendment violation. Courts have ruled that police can only search for items that would relate/be evidence to the crime committed There is little chance your phone data is relavent to an illegal lane change.

Re:waste of money (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874796)

There is little chance your phone data is relavent to an illegal lane change.

The police would presumably argue that they need the data to verify that you weren't distracted by using your phone when you made that lane change. Hence they need your call history, you text messages, all your photos and videos, etc... just in case.

Re:waste of money (2)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874978)

It has already been upheld that police can only search items that are in plain view during a traffic stop absent probable cause. What probable cause would they have to search your phone? Not to mention you can toss it in a glove box and at that point they will need a your permission, a warrant, or to impound the car in order to search it. I really hope the ACLU gives them the smack down in US Supreme Court over this.

Re:waste of money (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875068)

Glove box is a bad choice, because they are legally permitted to request license and registration, plus in much of the country insurance information. So if you've got any of those things in the glove box like many people do, they're still likely to see it as they do watch when you reach in their.

Re:waste of money (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875136)

In their what?
What part of the police officer exactly are you reaching into and does it get you out of tickets?

Re:waste of money (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875144)

I keep all paperwork in my wallet on purpose. Photocopies of course, originals are not necessary.

Re:waste of money (1)

slinches (1540051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875066)

That's only true if they have a reason to suspect that you are in violation of a law specifically prohibiting the use of cell phones (which Michigan doesn't have*) or violated another traffic law with the use of a cell phone (i.e. distracted driving). Most of the time they don't have enough evidence to support a distracted driving charge and you'll receive a ticket for a specific violation like speeding or drifting across lane lines. This type of device, if used appropriately, could provide evidence in these cases. The problem is what qualifies as sufficient cause to warrant a search of a phone (and what the data security practices are)? I would think it would be the same as any other personal item like a laptop or briefcase. If it's in your hand with a half completed text on the screen, then sure. If it's in a pocket or even just sitting idle on the seat, then I would think it would be inadmissible as evidence.

*From the michigan.gov traffic laws FAQ:

Question: Is it against the law to talk on a cell phone while driving in Michigan?

Answer: Michigan does not have a law specifically prohibiting cell phone use in a vehicle. A driver who becomes distracted by using a cell phone, and commits a traffic violation could be charged with careless driving, or with the specific violation, such as improper lane use, if they are drifting in and out of their lane.

Some municipalities have recently enacted local ordinances that prohibit using a cellular phone while driving within their respective jurisdiction. Any municipality that establishes such an ordinance should post notification at their jurisdictional boundaries to alert motorists.

Re:waste of money (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874958)

Use of such a device on motorists would be a clear 4th amendment violation. Courts have ruled that police can only search for items that would relate/be evidence to the crime committed There is little chance your phone data is relavent to an illegal lane change.

I think the problem is if you get arrested, then the police have a right to search your person out of concern for their own safety (or something like this, I can't remember). I don't think this has been decided yet in the courts, but does such a search justified by physical safety allow the police to search the electronic contents of your phone?

Re:waste of money (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875038)

Absolutely not courts have ruled any search beyond what is viewable requires a warrant unless it relates to the crime in question. That is if you robbed a bank they can search for a gun. If your driving without a license they can't search anything.

it's a trap (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874766)

I am currently rigging a phone that has an unusually high power output on the incorrect USB contacts. I will keep it in my car. Is it my fault their little toy let the smoke out?

Re:it's a trap (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875018)

That could be considered a booby trap by the DA, I wouldn't risk it. You'll especially be in trouble if your device causes injury to any of the officers.

Re:it's a trap (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875100)

"This is not a phone. It has been modified internally so that I can use it for . Do you understand?"

Re:it's a trap (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875114)

FFS. "so that I can use it for {another tech-buzzword-filled purpose}". Damn < and >

Re:it's a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875124)

fuck the police

And the simple solution is... (1)

NoxNoctis (936876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874768)

Don't get stopped by the police in Michigan. If that's not possible, phone out of view. They may be trying to skirt around the 4th Amendment by slurping the phone data, but they can't search your car (for your phone) with PC or a warrant. And I'm sorry, but "most people have a cellphone so I'm going to find yours" is not PC for a search.

Re:And the simple solution is... (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874832)

I have trouble believing that these high-end forensic products are used exclusively in Michigan.

Re:And the simple solution is... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874896)

A better solution is just stay out of Michigan. I'm sure there are at least 49 better states you can visit.

Re:And the simple solution is... (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875072)

All it takes is a K9 officer to fake a "tell" on your car, and they can search you. Cops lie about probable cause all the time.

Nokia E71 Full Device AES encryption? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874782)

Can it get past the AES128 full device boot encryption on my Nokia E71? The phone won't boot until you put the password in and both the memory card and internal memory are fully encrypted.
http://discussions.europe.nokia.com/t5/Eseries-and-Communicators/E71-E66-Encryption-specifications/td-p/371392

Re:Nokia E71 Full Device AES encryption? (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874806)

It can if Nokia gives their encryption key to the manufacturer of the devices, can't it?

Re:Nokia E71 Full Device AES encryption? (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875046)

That only works if every phone is using the same encryption key, somehow I doubt that is the case. It is more likely that your phone will generate a key when you enable the full device encryption, since this has to be generated when you select a pass phrase.

Re:Nokia E71 Full Device AES encryption? (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874866)

That's great. But soon all Nokia fones will be Windows Phone 7 with a backdoor for police conveniently built in.

There's an app for that (or there will be) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874794)

I'm sure some smart folks will come up with a nice app that provides backup and an easily triggerable secure wipe. Sure, you'll need to do the backups regularly, but if you'd prefer the cops keep their mitts off your stuff, the inconvienence will be more than worth it.

I'm curious, though, what the policy will be if you refuse to provide your cell phone to them. Presumably, they'll need a warrant to take it out of your car if their only motivation is the refusal itself. It doesn't sound like you'll be required to hand over your phone on demand.

Re:There's an app for that (or there will be) (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875162)

I'm sure some smart folks will come up with a nice app that provides backup and an easily triggerable secure wipe.

Which will be rejected from the App store thanks to the lobbying efforts of Police Unions and law makers. See also, DUI Checkpoint apps.

Turn it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874810)

If they use it as a matter of course, just turn your phone off (or better, pull the battery) if you get stopped. No power = no transmitting. If it's something more like a K-9 unit where they bring it in as an additional search measure, you're pretty much stuck. They'll just make you power up and turn on your phone. If they're using it passively at intersections, that's an utter outrage.

Don't see a useful lawful purpose for this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874824)

How can this be beneficial in a traffic stop? To see if they were using a cell phone while driving?

If it was handsfree, most places don't have laws against it. So even if they were using it, if it was hands free there is nothing against the law there. Unless the phone some how tell them if an earpiece was in use during a call.

If you have it in your pocket, can they ask you for it? What if it's locked in your trunk where there's no reasonable expectation that you could have held it in your hand to use it?

What lawful purpose does a complete data dump serve in a traffic stop? The only thing a traffic stop should cover is what they can see, hear, smell about your car and in your car when they walk up.

Besides, I would trust the information on your cell phone activity from the phone companies more than I would coming off your individual phone. It'll become common place to wipe the data off the phone in a simple sequence press if this becomes common.

Plus, just load up the phone with non-incriminating data but just make it revolting or insulting to cops to review it. It's not like the guy who pulled you over is going to sit and review all of your 8gb+ of data, or be expected to.

BTW, If this law is true, this law is insane. How can you read about it and not think "Jesus they don't even try to hide the corrupt process anymore."

Re:Don't see a useful lawful purpose for this. (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875094)

Plus, just load up the phone with non-incriminating data but just make it revolting or insulting to cops to review it. It's not like the guy who pulled you over is going to sit and review all of your 8gb+ of data, or be expected to.

Load your phone full of mp3's then call the RIAA when the police "pirate" all that music. Problem solved!

defeat passwords? how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874826)

> The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections

My mobile (a Nokia) runs GPG and the few things I care about the privacy of are encrypted. Do they have some amazing new technology that'll let them defeat AES256 in a few minutes that I should know about? If there's such a known weakness, better to know about it so I don't keep depending on something that's known to be broken.

Lock down your phone (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874846)

Looking through the manual, the device can read data through bluetooth, cable, or SIM card. It also requires an app installed for smartphones other than Symbian and Blackberries. Those running CDMA phones with bluetooth off and a password lock activated should be safe(r) from this machine.

Apple claims its stuff is secure (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874854)

But here we have a device that can defeat password protections, rip everything off the phone in a matter of minutes, and pretty much expose anything you do with that device.

Welcome to Steve's Walled Garden. The only Windows aren't there for you, they're for the government and businesses PAYING him.

Re:Apple claims its stuff is secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874932)

why don't they just make encryption standard on phones?
there is no way that device will beat good encryption, if it would, they would have something like that for computer encryption too.

Re:Apple claims its stuff is secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875002)

why don't they just make encryption standard on phones?
there is no way that device will beat good encryption, if it would, they would have something like that for computer encryption too.

Phones are different in that it's hard to enter complex passwords. A hand-held computer would make quick work of short passwords.

Re:Apple claims its stuff is secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875160)

They used an Apple iPhone as an example. They also say it works on 3000 other phones...

Physical access IS root access. This can be said for ANY system where physical control is compromised; not just fanboy products.

This was a weak attempt at making another apple bashing thread.

Remember when... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874878)

Americans wouldn't put up with this Soviet crap?

Re:Remember when... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875022)

It was anti-Soviet crap when we did it before to hunt down the red menace. Now we do it to hunt down the terrorists and drug dealers.

Won't work on mine... (3, Interesting)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874890)

Neither of the articles are clear about this, but from the picture, I assume that the "snooping" device actually has to be physically connected with the phone via USB. I hacked my Nexus One to enable USB host mode, which effectively disables client mode. Any connected device won't be able to mount my SD card or onboard storage.

Is it even real? (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874910)

Is this device even real or could it be a fake like the expensive handheld detector where you inserted a polaroid? How about all the money the feds paid to the guy who claimed Al Queda was broadcasting hidden messages and only his software could decode it? Just saying'.

CAN is not the same as ARE (1, Flamebait)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874912)

What an outrageous summary. Even the FA it is based on.

The title of the story says they ARE doing this. The body of the article gives NO evidence that they are doing it, just that they have a box with the capability to read a cell phone in a short period of time.

Yes, so what if the CAN do it? They should be able to do it when it is necessary and legal. If they find a dead body and a cellphone in the pocket, they should be able to get data from it as fast as possible. That means the device should be with the troopers, not locked up in the office where it would take time to get it where it is needed.

Nothing in this article even begins to show that they are doing it to random people on traffic stops. It's just pure hypothesis and nonsense. If the ACLU had evidence it is being used illegally, then they would be suing already. Someone would have been the subject of a search and someone would have reported it to them.

Freedom is a fickle thing (5, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874920)

Should this be allowed to stand, traffic stops will become a new tool for police to conduct what would in any other context be considered illegal suspicionless searches. It's bad enough they can do this at the border for reasons unrelated to airline security, but now they want to get away with it anywhere in the country.

When citizens take freedom for granted it becomes way too easy for the government to take those freedoms away. It's also way too easy to forget the sacrifices of generations past and sit idly by as the government flushes people's freedom down the toilet.

Re:Freedom is a fickle thing (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875086)

Should this be allowed to stand,

Should WHAT be allowed to stand? This unsupported allegation? That's all you are dealing with here. The article says they CAN do something, not that they ARE doing it.

They have GUNS, too. They CAN shoot you. They have nightsticks they CAN whack you on the head with. They have a device they CAN read your cellphone with during a traffic stop.

When the ACLU or anyone else provides even a shred of evidence that they ARE doing this, then you can rant and moan and rave about how awful it is. Otherwise, you're wasting a lot of energy over nothing.

... what would in any other context be considered illegal suspicionless searches.

In this context, too, Adrian. That's why the ACLU would already be suing if they were taking place.

Any GPL'ed Software On it? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874930)

This thing seems to read quite a few different filesystems and has lots of connectivity options. I supposed that could all be hacked up from scratch, and I didn't see any GPL'ed software on their website.

Who has access to one of these things to do a dump?

Stop Citizen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874942)

Pixels please.

Cellebrite (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874946)

List of supported phones:
http://www.cellebrite.com/ufed-support-center/ufed-supported-phones.html [cellebrite.com]

Looking at the phone data extraction [cellebrite.com] tutorial, it doesn't seem to be anything fancy or use any secret backdoors or anything to get data. Requires putting the phone in data connection mode. I have my phone default to Charge Only when connected, and they can't make me unlock it for them. And since I'm on Verizon, there's no SIM. If they have access to the a SIM they can easily get whatever is stored on that, which is pretty much nothing on more complex phones. They can also clone the SIM id, which let's them unlock phones which use a SIM lock, which I assume is what they mean by "defeat password protections"

Anyway, this is a grave abuse of power. Unless I see a warrant, I'm not letting them touch my phone. I'm from Michigan and am quite bothered by this. I mean. Seriously. What the frak.

Don't talk to the police. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35874982)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

It's simple really (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874984)

Officer: "May I search your car?"

You: "No, you may not."

Done.

You should NEVER, EVER, EVER allow an officer of the law, under any circumstances what-so-ever, to search your person, your belongings, or your car. Clearly this includes your mobile phone as well.

Re:It's simple really (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875070)

Well after you are done paying $1000's in traffic violations, let me know if it was worth it. He could simply claim he thought you were texting, bam, probable cause.

Re:It's simple really (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875110)

Doesn't mean they won't make up a reason to search you anyway.

encryption? (1)

bizitch (546406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35874998)

Could this not be defeated with encryption? Is there something out there for Android?

Every now and then, I get a fresh reminder of why I really hate police.

Re:encryption? (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875090)

My N900 can't do a full system partition encryption, which is very unfortunate. It stores my passwords for email in plain text. Is Android any better?

Siezure (1)

Widowwolf (779548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35875026)

So if a cop takes your phone, what if you have corporate secrets on your phone, wheat if they were to misjack the machine into it and break it? I am wondering if this machine of theirs could void warranties..And wouldn't this be considered breaking encryption, which is same law against people who rip thier dvd's and get in trouble for it.

They need a warrent or probable cause.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875078)

Lock it in you glove box and tell them to get a warrent. Legal and probably effective.

3000 isn't enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35875120)

Good luck with mine. I run my own custom OS, and I bet your little device doesn't work with it. One more reason I decided to start making as many devices i use myself.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?