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New Bill Pushes For Warrants To Access Cloud Data

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the unless-you're-in-that-cloud-naked dept.

Privacy 97

mask.of.sanity writes "A bill introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy in the US Senate would require authorities to obtain a court-issued search warrant before retrieving a person's email and other content stored in cloud services. The law would update a 28 year old law, which Leahy also introduced, that does not require warrants for data access. The Bill will not prevent the FBI from accessing data without a warrant under terrorism and intellgence clauses."

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Its weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36226224)

That this type of access/breach of privacy doesnt require a warrant

How is it different from them coming into your home and copying data off your pen drive/hard disk?

Re:Its weird (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226266)

This conundrum brought to you from our legal system's lack of forwards compatibility with Buzzword 2.0 .

Re:Its weird (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226282)

In practice, not very. Legally, the right to "be secure in one's person, papers, and effects" has generally been regarded as providing relatively strong protection to one's domicile and property stored therein(exceptions, of course, exist, because drugs are scary and terrorists are scary); but has not been regarded as being particularly relevant to some bits floating around somebody else's datacenter(that, depending on the ToS may or may not even be 'yours').

It would be nice to see offsite-stored "papers and effects" get some 4th amendment love. Unfortunately, as long as the 'terrorism and intelligence' loophole exists, the present bill is sort of a waste of effort.

Re:Its weird (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227728)

Unfortunately, as long as the 'terrorism and intelligence' loophole exists, the present bill is sort of a waste of effort.

It seems to me that this is a valid first step towards what you want. One senator and one bill usually can't solve a major issue like this in one shot. Many of the voters are still scared little idiots, seems like not exempting terrorism would doom this bill, as it would be a liability to anyone who voted for it in midterms. "The CIA says that you, senator smith, voted FOR ONLINE TERRORISM [gasp!]" Hopefully the voters can be educated that terrorists are not something they should be worried about to the point of giving up all their rights. While it's easy to be cynical and say that will never happen, I'd prefer at least my legislators to continue fighting for our rights.

Second, I don't know a lot about law enforcement, but this seems like a smaller loophole than you suggest. "Terrorism and intelligence" doesn't sound like a justification that just anyone can use (though that would be common sense, often lacking in law). How likely is it that your local prosecutor will be able to go on a fishing trip and just thumb through all your online data because you're friends with a guy who liked coke? Seems like it would be a stretch to say that's terrorism or intelligence related, though again I would not be too surprised to hear otherwise.

Sudden oubreak of common sense? (4, Interesting)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226226)

I know this doesn't eliminate the issues with the patriot act, etc., but at least it's a step in the right direction of treating digital 'property' the same as physical property when dealing with "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. . ." (emphasis mine).

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

yt8znu35 (1202731) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226238)

Don't get excited. This bill will go nowhere. The law enforcement industry will oppose it in the name of safety/freedom/the children/whatever. Also, in case you have not been keeping up, the 4th Amendment is no longer recognized.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226342)

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36226432)

That article disagrees with my preconceptions, so I've ignored it.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36226482)

I disagree with my postconceptions, so I've aborted them.

The 3rd ammendment's still going strong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36226698)

So far no troops have been quartered in private homes without the owners' consent!

Re:The 3rd ammendment's still going strong! (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226754)

Speak for yourself - I slept in my Mom's living room drunk on leave plenty of times.

Re:The 3rd ammendment's still going strong! (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227030)

Speak for yourself - I slept in my Mom's living room drunk on leave plenty of times.

By troops, I'm pretty sure they meant the US Army, Navy, and Air Force, not the the armies of the Alliance, Horde, or Fistandantilus.

Re:The 3rd ammendment's still going strong! (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227288)

Solid reference!

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226338)

As was reported by http://www.koat.com/r/27922147/detail.html [koat.com]
“While billed as an anti-terror tool, (a sneak-and-peek warrant) had no requirements on it that it precluded it from being used in standard criminal investigations,”
"According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s figures, the majority of the warrants are for drug cases."
Expect some very creative use of the term "terrorism and intellgence" over time even if they have a terrorism and intellgence clause.
Cloud data was always fair game to the NSA in bulk outside the USA and internally with a warrant/national security letters.
You have new delay period options in "blocks" of 90 days, Section 7 covers "voluntarily disclose content that is pertinent to addressing a cyberattack" - ie your telco reports you.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226418)

Wait, /. is supposed to think that there are no "digital property". Or is that only for other people? I'm confused.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226462)

I agree. Thankfully, privacy rights don't require property rights, or else there would be no need to warrants to tap phones.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 3 years ago | (#36228844)

Thankfully, privacy rights don't require property rights, or else there would be no need to warrants to tap phones.

Sure there would be. To tap your phone directly (without your permission) would violate your property rights, obviously, but tapping a line at the phone company without their permission would just as obviously be a violation of their property rights. If you're smart, your service contract with them will ensure that they can't grant anyone permission to listen in to your conversations voluntarily, in which case the police would still require a warrant. Alternatively, you could simply take steps to ensure your own privacy, such as encrypting your communications.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36230934)

Those property rights are a terrible way to protect individual privacy. The federal government is capable of applying a great deal of pressure on private companies.

You won't get a privacy clause from any of the big players in telecommunications. The A&T debacle shows us just how much they care about our privacy.The small players CAN'T give you such a clause because the big players they have to deal with won't.

A privacy right protects individuals AND the companies that contract services to them from that sore of federal intrusion (iff they are enforced by SCOTUS that is).

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (0)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226500)

You're probably being a bit of a troll but that is an interesting way to look at it. I've long been anti piracy (though I used to pirate often and still do to some degree, I don't pretend I'm some kind of freedom fighter) and pro privacy. I never looked at it in the terms of the "information wants to be free" argument.

How can you be for privacy but still cling to the tired defense of piracy?

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226542)

May a tiny bit of a troll. But yes, that was my point.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226576)

Privacy laws are about preventing the dissemination of information to people you don't want to have it.

Intellectual Property laws are about controlling what someone can do with the information once you have (willingly) given it to them.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226692)

Intellectual Property laws are about controlling what someone can do with the information once you have (willingly) given it to them.

But when you willfully give give your information to a service such as Facebook and they expose the information you gave them in a way you didn't want them to, is that or is that not a violation of privacy? Of course they have a privacy policy they are bound by. How is that different from the license a creative work is sold under? If violation of a privacy policy is bad, does it not also follow that violation of a license is bad for the same reason, as essentially they serve the same purpose (regulating what can and can not be done with the information being given to another party)?

And lastly, how do you feel about the GPL?

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36227332)

But when you willfully give give your information to a service such as Facebook and they expose the information you gave them in a way you didn't want them to, is that or is that not a violation of privacy?

In my opinion, no. It's completely your fault.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226590)

Well, if you don't pay property taxes on it it can't be property, can it?

That's the trouble with analogies; they're usually misleading and/or wrong.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226612)

You're saying analogies are like women?

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (2)

mms3k (2192016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226792)

That's why ladyboy analogies are the best. They look pretty, but they are still as wise as men.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227704)

Of course you are confused. Big Media loves to push the idea that everything that's "created" should be governed by copyright when the truth of the matter is quite the opposite.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36230202)

Well, Big Media is kind of right (in this narrowly-defined situation) -- everything you write is copyrighted by you. It's just that that's irrelevant, because if you don't distribute it then it's also essentially a [trade] secret, which is a stronger protection.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

RadiantPhoenix (2029232) | more than 3 years ago | (#36230862)

There is a difference between information for use by others, e.g.:
* Music
* Movies
* Software
and information not for use by others, e.g.:
* Financial information
* Calendar
* Passwords

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226928)

No, a sudden outbreak of common sense would be courts throwing out all previously attained data because it was collected in violation of the 4th amendment. We don't need a law protecting our data, the 4th amendment does that. Our government is simply too corrupt to follow the Constitution though.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36229550)

What evidence do you have that the 4th Amendment is not being applied as intended today? The 4th amendment is used by the Judiciary to ascertain if the enforcement agencies collected the evidence legally. You might get arrested by someone violating your 4th amendment rights but actually convicting you of a crime is something else. Most domestic enforcement agencies go out of their way to obey the laws because they know they end up looking like idiots when their actions get over turned by the courts. The system isn't perfect but I don't see the wide spread corruption of the Consititution you claim. All I see is a country struggling to adjust it's laws and attitudes concerning data and information issues that were not around when the constitution was first written.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36230492)

What evidence do you have that the 4th Amendment is not being applied as intended today?

The 4th amendment says that I shall be secure in my papers unless a warrant is issued. The existing law allows my papers to be searched without a warrant. This is blatantly unconstitutional. I don't see any way an honest person can argue that it's not. Unfortunately, we don't have any honest people on the Supreme Court, all we have are lawyers.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36231842)

The exceptions to the 4th amendment dealing with national security issues do provide a free pass for someone to gain access to your papers however any prosecutions are still subject to judicial review before prosecution. Whether this is done using a FISA warrant or no warrant at all the enforcement agency will need to provide justification showing that the warrantless action was executed in good faith or the request proves itself after the fact. Such as a notebook containing the activation and location of a nuclear device that is about to detonate. The law enforcement agencies say the hell with a warrant and bust in to get the notebook to locate and disarm the device. In this situation the 4th amendment is clearly being violated. Is this justified? If the police busted into your house today without a warrant and seized your diary containing all the details of the 20 people you killed they would not be able to use it against you in court, however they may have prevented you from claiming another victim. There are several ways around the 4th amendment in a situation like this but if the prosecution cannot avail themselves to the other remedies (such as inevitable discovery) you could not be prosecutred on the diary evidence alone. As far as supreme court judges go they have the freedom to ignore any and all political pressures after they are appointed to the court. Out of all of our government positons of power their position doesn't require them to bend their will to anyones politics except their own. A president and congress have no leverage against these people after they get confirmed. This doesn't mean they can't make bonehead decisions on their own and they probably do go through the motions of at least listening to other opinions but I just can't see them as politically driven power mongers looking to usurp the citizens rights. If there is any undue influence peddling in this area of government I would focus on the clerks who manage and provide all the information a judge uses when analysing a case and rendering a decision. These people are usually the ones looking for future federal court appointments and for that they do need political support.

Re:Sudden oubreak of common sense? (1)

rhalstead (1864536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247456)

One of, if not the most important reason I oppose using the cloud for anything personal or business related. True those who know how can get access to your own machine, but out in the cloud it's far easier as many more hands are on it. Then there is data integrity. It appears that several major pieces on the cloud caused some expensive breaches. At one time I was a project manager, installing and working on FDA validated systems. The companies at that time had to retain physical control and possession of all parts of the system including networking. Validation started out as a 1" thick stack and resulted in about a 3 to 4' high stack of printouts. If even a single line of code were changed, or a router replaced, anything using that routine had to be revalidated and the replacement of the router had to be fully documented and validated again. Plain and simple, I do not trust the cloud for either security or integrity.

Head in cloud storage and darker body parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36226232)

Bye, bye miss american pie, left my chevy.... Everyone is getting tired of the USSA gubermint. Eventually when no one listens, takes the dollar, or pays taxes they'll get the message.

Re:Head in cloud storage and darker body parts (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226312)

Meanwhile, billions of people listen, everyone takes more dollars than ever before, and people (not corporations) pay more taxes than ever.

The message is that as tired as people are, they fear an alternative. And for good reason: the alternative is nearly certain to be worse - probably much, much worse.

Why don't you run for office and make it worth listening, buying into, paying taxes to? Even if just the school board. Stop whining with kindergarten doomsday talk and do something, however small, proportional to you own potential for making a difference.

Outpaced by other legislation you mean (3, Interesting)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226240)

I'd like to point out, that it's laws such as Sarbanes–Oxley that say you have to store e-mail for 5 years (well if you're a public company). There are a slew of other laws too that have obfuscated the situation so bad my former employer is archiving 100% of Mail, including mail normally rejected to a user's inbox, for over a year. Perhaps that's not such a bad thing, however my point is the problems with all these privacy acts is that they need not exist in the first place had the original laws never been written. I mean, if I keep a wallet for more than 180 days does that subject it to a warrantless search? If do not shred my journal after 180 days does that subject it to a warrantless search? Why would electronic communications ever be subject to a warrantless search after 180 days, whether it is here in 2011 or even back in 1986?

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226308)

While publicly traded corporations, and their friends, love to cry about sarbox and similar, to say that those created the situation is so misleading as to constitute a lie. The concern for natural persons is the fact that things like Gmail are socially pretty much the same as personal mail; but have none of the 4th amendment jurisprudence protecting them.

Work email, and records, since those are already widely understood to be an open book as far as the employer is concerned, are already not usefully private, even if the state didn't exist. The fact that your boss can read them any time he pleases, with even less oversight than the most sinister three-letter-intelligence agency, basically ensures that.

(now, as the IT department, having to do document retention annoys me as much as anybody; but conflating requirements that corporations voluntarily bring upon themselves as a condition of being publicly traded, limited liability entities(a very valuable status...) with the novel privacy problems encountered by services that are treated as "personal" but run as outsourced hosted services is either confused or dishonest.)

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226402)

That's a bit of a stretch, I think. I applaud Sarbines-Oxley or whatever it;'s called. I don't think corporations are people and I don't think they should have rights. You don't have to send private emails from your work email address, and in fact it's against most companies' policies. Use your own email account from your own computer or phone.

Perhaps if elections here were publicly funded the corporatti would have less influence in this country, and perhaps we, the people, would have more freedom.

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226544)

Is your position that people performing their jobs not be granted the same protection of rights as they would otherwise due to the fact that business is a public matter and (taking a bit of a leap here) that way we help to preserve the notion of the "well-informed" consumer? Do you view this as something that should only be for large corporations, or should this apply to small shops and contractors working out of their homes as well? I'm trying to figure out how your statements above would apply to your overall thoughts on economic liberty.

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226712)

I think it should only apply to corporations, not privately owned companies. A sole owner of a company is responsible for that company and what it does, stockholders in a corporation have no such responsibility. If a corporation kills a dozen people and is sued out of business, the stockholders lose only their investment, while a private owner is responsible for all the damages and could be ruined for life.

As to what you do on the job, if your job requires you to break the law, maybe you should look for a different one.

As to "economic liberty", that's an interesting concept. To me, economic liberty means a multimillionaire has more rights than me.

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227356)

Use your own email account from your own computer or phone.

Why?

No, seriously, why? I suppose one could make the argument that it's trivial to setup access to a personal email account from the office, but why should email be treated any differently from a phone call? Do you think my employer has the right to listen in on conversations with my doctor just because they were made with an office phone?

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36228946)

In some jobs they DO listen in on your phone calls. Even if using email for personal use wasn't against company policy, I'd still use my own email just because I don't trust my employer. These days, why would you need to use your desk phone (and only we who wwork at desks have desk phones; construction workers, linemen, etc don't have them) when you have your own phone in your pocket that it's illegal for your employer to listen in on?

The question shouldn't be "why use your own phone" but "why use your employer's phone or email when you have a phone and email in your pocket?" My email and possibly work phone is subject to monitoring, my private possessions are not.

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36230104)

In some jobs they DO listen in on your phone calls.

I wasn't saying they don't, I was more of incorrectly presuming that you think they should not be allowed to.

While I certainly agree that it's safer to use your own personal device rather than trusting your employer to "do the right thing", I do not think people should be required to own a cellphone in order to have a private conversation while at the office, nor do I think that the near-ubiquitous presence of personal cell phones should be used to justify an employer monitoring 100% of employee activity on company email/phone/etc.

That's not to say I think there should be 0% monitoring. Obviously a balance must be struck between ensuring proper allocation of resources and employee privacy. I simply disagree with the notion that employees do not deserve at least a modicum of privacy.

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36230684)

Actually, I don't think they should be allowed to, but they are and they do. We live in the world we live in, and if you have a cell phone (who but my eighty year old dad doesn't?), why not use it?

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227808)

'We the people' have spoken.. 'We' do not want more freedom.. In fact, too many [alternet.org] (these are your kids, so this is your future) think we already have too much [freedomforum.org] . If 'we' did, 'we' would vote for freedom regardless of the propaganda being spewed against it. 'We' want convenience and American Idol and will kill anybody [costofwar.com] who gets in the way of that... Big business is the government. It is delusional to expect 'reform'. Regime change will not be peaceful by any means.

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226502)

I should have been clearer. How is a 1986 SBX Like law ever considered constitutional when it comes to private communications? Why does the 1986 law need to be 'fixed' at all, it shouldn't have ever applied to personal communications. And for practicl purposes, it didn't apply until some johnny fracking asshit FED realized this law could be used to unconstitutionally read your e-mail stored on your GMail/ISP/whatever mail server. "Who cares about the 4th amended right, there is this law see, so you gotta send us up the base."

What I meant by comparing SBX and other laws is that the government paper pushers are 'interprerting' them in a manner to constantly violate our 4th amendment rights. Corporations do not have 4th Amendment rights, but I do. I don't care what bill passes the senate, my private documents not stored out in the open public are not subject to a warrantless search. It shouldn't matter if it was written on paper, on electronic bits, or on stone tablets, nor should it matter where it's stored so long as that storage is private - only I and my 'landlord' can have access. How will another law help when the law is already being broken in the first place... by the very people who are suppose to be upholding it?

If I put a journal in a storage locker, you need a warrant to search for it regardless of the fact that I'm only renting the space and do not own it. How was it ever interpreted that it doesn't count the same way for a digital location. So to be clear, the 1986 law as is has been recently applied to private e-mail accounts was, and is, unconstitutional. Thus, why do we need a law that 'fixes' the situation?

Re:Outpaced by other legislation you mean (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227172)

I'd like to point out, that it's laws such as Sarbanes–Oxley that say you have to store e-mail for 5 years (well if you're a public company).

Can government agencies access that email without a warrant? I honestly don't know the answer, but I would hope that they can't.

Jurisdiction (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226256)

Not if I store my data on the moon. MUAHAHAHAHA =3

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36229064)

There's an American flag and American military aerospace equipment on the moon. Technically, its a US sovereign territory. Nice try though.

Re:Jurisdiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36229214)

Um, no they don't, not even technically. But don't let ratified international treaties stop you from claiming that.

Warrants for Temperature Data Too? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36226268)

If taxpayer funded scientists are going to be deleting their raw data so that it can't be shown to the taxpaying public through the British equivalent of the FOIA, maybe warrants need to be issued for the police to seize data relating to that. In America, at least, it's illegal to destroy data so that it can't be released through FOIA. Does the British equivalent not have that kind of clause?

That is the kind of cloud data we're talking about, right?

What a load of bollocks (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226270)

They put in Anti-terrorism legislation here in the UK for searching people. Soon everyone became a terrorist and the search laws get used by the local council to look in your bins to make sure your recycling.
Apart from a few poor people being blown up, (which I'm very sorry for) - most "terror" and "evil" acts are done by the name of the government. Can I have my freedom back? I'm not bothered about being blown up that much any more. Means I don't have to keep paying tax.

Re:What a load of bollocks (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226424)

Apart from a few poor people being blown up

Maybe in the UK, but where I live you're in far more danger of being blown down. [www.cbc.ca]

Re:What a load of bollocks (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226682)

I've been watching that on the news. It seems to happen each year. I'm not too sure why people continue to build in a tornado belt or why they build wooden structures there. I thought houses would be made to stand up to a 100+ year event in that area. If that's possible / feasible. I'm sure a tornado does more damage and has way more power than I give it credit for.

My first guess it that it's very cheap land so poor people can afford it and they build within their means. So it just lands more woe on the poor as it wipes them all out, again.In the UK they drained and then built cheap housing in floodplains. Oddly nature didn't care much either and as soon as it got the chance it flooded them again.

As populations expand we'll meet more and more natural disasters. It will be the poor that get fucked over as they can't afford protection and get forced into the outskirts.

Re:What a load of bollocks (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226998)

Actually, there are few if any places in the US that aren't prone to some natural disaster, whether tornados, floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes. I was in a hurricane in Deleware in the early 70s, and a tornado in 2006 here in Illinois. If you're never been in a tornado [slashdot.org] it's impossible to imagine the power and destruction (please pardon the rambling style of the journal).

The tornado in Joplin tore down double walled brick houses. It's like being in a giant blender. And yes, the poor suffer most, as they're usually in less well constructed houses, or even trailors.

Re:What a load of bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36228430)

The problem isn't the weather, it's just people being human.

I've volunteered at several relief efforts* and all you hear from people is "I can't believe it" or "I never thought this could happen to us". Most people are like that. Reality is harsh, so we protect ourselves with delusion. We live day to day in a magical bubble that protects us from tragedy.

We can build tornado-proof buildings. It isn't that hard and it's actually dirt cheap. Problem is, they're ugly. Not many people want to live in a concrete igloo. And when you've got large numbers of people in Tornado Alley without tornado shelters or even insurance, such a thing has no hope of catching on.

Re:What a load of bollocks (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36231174)

A tornado belt isn't a small area, it covers several complete states. Are you suggesting we should evacuate the entire middle of our country (an area larger than the UK)? Then we would have to evacuate California as well, and Florida and Louisiana.

As for building homes to withstand a tornado, the only option is to put it underground or possibly a foot thick concrete dome could handle it. I saw a tornado that scrubbed a neighborhood clear. It took the trees, grass, houses, and pavement with it. Simply using brick will not do. If the people living in tornado alley had to build to survive a tornado, they would be homeless.

Agreed that the poor often the the short end of the stick. Those who have a lot tend to get more and those with little tend to loose it. Nothing attracts wealth like wealth.

Re:What a load of bollocks (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237186)

I'd not evacuate, I'd just think really hard about living there after my house was blown away.
Given the huge area I've just been made aware of. I am suggesting there is a market for decent looking affordable tornado proofed housing. Its a shame there isn't a government and insurance company backed tax loss subsidy scheme to research this. Japan has done it with earth quake proof it's building to help it's population.
To gain back land and to reach new engineering heights is a good reason to do things that seem impossible, impractical and are a bit very hard.

Re:What a load of bollocks (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241952)

In California, the building code includes measures to survive earthquakes. In our coastal areas where hurricanes are common, the building code includes measures to withstand hurricanes. However, for tornadoes, your options really are underground, concrete dome, or hope you don't get hit by one.

Of course, it's also a matter of odds. Most people who live in the tornado belt never encounter a tornado.

This map [wikimedia.org] may help put it in perspective.

The one I don't understand is when people build on a flood plain and don't put the house on stilts, even when rebuilding after a flood. Unlike tornado victims, if you get flooded once, you're quite likely to be flooded again.

Re:What a load of bollocks (1)

FreelanceWizard (889712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36234576)

Relatively high risk areas for tornadoes (which, by the way, covers a substantial part of the U.S.) are far, far less risky than high risk flood zones. A tornado is a short-lived, rare event that's capable of incredible damage, but that damage is contained to a small area. Tornadoes can have long paths, but the average tornado runs for about 5 miles in a 500 foot swath. That's a preciously small area of damage. The probability of suffering a tornado hit is quite low. In cities in such a zone, there are many homes that are over 100 years old that have suffered no wind or tornado damage. I know, 'cause I live in one.

Floods, on the other hand, do severe damage over a massive area (the floodplain) and are somewhat predictable in terms of probabilities. That's why the U.S. government provides guarantees for flood insurance, why FEMA puts so much effort into flood preparedness, and why your insurance rates are sky high if you live in a high risk flood zone.

Floods and tornadoes are completely different types of risks. It's entirely possible to live in a tornado prone area one's entire life and never be within sight of an actual tornado.

Re:What a load of bollocks (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237208)

The news doesn't give that type of perspective. They show whole towns thrown about the place and 80 dead, more expected. No point having a tornado proof house really. Just have a place to hide and keep safe and rebuild later.

Re:What a load of bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36227110)

NO. You can't.
Why? Because you *asked*. Like it wasn't your thing to decide, and you had to beg for it at the feet of your master.

Don't *ask*. *Take* what is rightfully yours. Don't let others tell you what is right or wrong. Because that is the whole problem right there: Passive cattle people without a individuality of their own.
The worst possible fate for a life-form, as it is death without death. Zombie-like.
I doubt you want to become like that. :)

"You decide! (For your existence,)” If you don't get anything other from this, please put that on a sign, and put it in front of your bed, so it's the first thing you see every morning. :)

Badges? (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226278)

"We don't need no steenking badges!!"

Secure in Our Papers and Effects (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226294)

Amendment IV [cornell.edu]

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

"Secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" is the definition of privacy. We have a right to privacy. It doesn't matter that the Constitution signers "couldn't have imagined" cloud computing. They imagined that they couldn't imagine new things, so they signed a Constitution that recognizes our right to privacy in specific terms of that right.

If we can't require the government at least obtain a judge's authorization on probable cause specifying what's to be searched and seized, we have no boundary between what's private and what the public can force. The 4th Amendment's line protecting the private from invasion by the public except when it's reasonable and limited is the fundamental right to a limited government. Give it up as we already largely have and we're living in tyranny.

Re:Secure in Our Papers and Effects (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227850)

...we're living in tyranny.

By choice.. majority rule at its best/worst

Border Backup/Restore (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226322)

If cloud storage has better legal protection than local storage when crossing the border, then I want an app that backs up all my data and configs to the cloud and deletes it locally whenever my GPS says I'm near an airport or the border, then restores it after I'm across - or on demand, when I've passed border control.

Re:Border Backup/Restore (4, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226390)

If you live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders (along with ~70% of the US), your data is going to be gone for many of the people you may want to interact with.
http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/are-you-living-constitution-free-zone [aclu.org]
and the map http://www.aclu.org/constitution-free-zone-map [aclu.org] of where inland Border Patrol checkpoints can be used.

Re:Border Backup/Restore (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227994)

The entire country is a constitution free zone.. Who's going to defend you in court when a cop shoots you in the back during a botched bust? Just burn it.. Bush was right.. It's just a goddamn piece of paper..

Re:Border Backup/Restore (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36228960)

Just watch out for asset forfeiture laws in some states, best keep that "crack"berry hidden.

Re:Border Backup/Restore (2)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226490)

Or just - don't take that data to that country.

I know plenty of people that have stopped taking data (and sometimes their business) over to the states since they started getting too heavy-handed while at the same time ordering the EU to send personal data on visitors to them.

They either VPN it in and access it live (which is still dodgy because certain people could insist they do that with them watching, but I supposed you'd at least get a choice to notice that from the home-base and revoke their credentials), or don't take the data to the US at all. Some of them literally take re-imaged laptops and/or nothing at all and work it out the other end.

Re:Border Backup/Restore (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227844)

No, this is for people who live in the USA. If you're near the border they can search your computer whether you were crossing it or not. That means if you love freedom and you live near the border, move. Or you know, go do something about these bullshit laws, I guess. Good luck.

Ha! (1)

atomicbutterfly (1979388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226348)

would require authorities to obtain a court-issued search warrant

Yeah right. As if the US Government really cares about obtaining a warrant anymore. There's been enough news recently regarding the blatant disregard for warrants and due process that it all just a bunch of bullshit at this point.

Yes I'm cynical, and I don't even fucking live in the US (though I do live in Australia, which I believe is one of the US states at this point).

Well (4, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226360)

What stops the Feds from simply claiming anyone they want to investigate is a "suspected terrorist" and doing all the snooping they want. Suppose the Feds simply declare that due to "secret" information, they believe that someone is a "suspected terrorist". They tap his phone, bug his car, break into his email accounts...and discover that John Doe buys personal use quantities of prescription pain meds without a prescription. (but is not a terrorist). Or some other low-end crime.

Can the Feds put John Doe into prison based on this information?

Re:Well (1)

jr0dy (943553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226446)

What stops the Feds from simply claiming anyone they want to investigate is a "suspected terrorist" and doing all the snooping they want. Suppose the Feds simply declare that due to "secret" information, they believe that someone is a "suspected terrorist". They tap his phone, bug his car, break into his email accounts...and discover that John Doe buys personal use quantities of prescription pain meds without a prescription. (but is not a terrorist). Or some other low-end crime.

Can the Feds put John Doe into prison based on this information?

I was just about to post to this effect - you're spot on.

Re:Well (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226516)

If this passes with the provision to allow the feds un-restricted access without a warrant under the guise of "intelligence" and "terrorism", then all it means is that in the future ALL accesses will be requested under these exceptions. Might as well write them a free pass to usurp whatever data they want now, and get this out into the open. I mean seriously, does anyone believe in this shit anymore?

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36227262)

Child porn is another good one or even smoking pot.

Last week I was taking my girlfriend to the doctor along with our 5 month child. I own a truck so our son was in the passenger seat in his car seat strapped in with the shoulder belt. I was driving and my girlfriend was sitting in the center seat that can fold up on down. There is no back seat in my truck.

Halfway into our trip to the doctor's office, our son unloaded, I mean unloaded into his diaper. Our windows were up with the AC on. My girlfriend first smelled it and looked at me with a scrunched up nose. I then smelled it. I rolled down my window and stuck my head out of it. My girlfriend then was trying to stick her head out the window. Thirty seconds of this and we pass a cop on the other side of the road looking for speeders coming from the direction we were going. I saw him put down the radar gun as he looked at me.

We were on a divided highway going around a corner to our left so I lost sight of him rather quickly. I didn't think anything of it because I was well under the speed limit with my head out the window and he was on the other side of the road.

I was doing about 45 in a 55 mph zone and I knew that last turn around was probably more than a mile or two behind me. All of a sudden I see this cop car come racing up at probably more than 100mph. He was closing the gap quick, then pulled in right behind me.

I pulled off to the side of the road and waited. He then came up to the drivers side window. The first question he asked is that were we both buckled up? We both said yes and tugged at our belts. He then said that he had us on radar speeding. I knew that I was well below the speed limit. He said that since he was on the other side of the road that the radar didn't have a lock and couldn't get a true speed.

He then noticed that the window tint I had on the passenger window was too dark. He said that he could write me a citation for the tint being to dark. I informed the officer that when I bought the truck new it was a dealer installed option and the dealer should know the law about how much tint could be on the window.

He disappeared for a minute or so and came back with this device. He told me to roll my drivers side window up half way and stuck this handheld device on the window. He said that the window tint has to be less than 32. The machine flickered the number 30 and 31. He then said that he could write me a ticket for that.

He then said "You don't mind if I search your vehicle, do you?" The one trick where you answer either yes or no, he assumes you agree. I then said "No, I do not agree to you searching my truck." At that moment, it was on....

He then said "You know, I smell pot smoke coming from your vehicle. Have either of you been smoking today." I have never smoked anything in my life and neither had my girlfriend. Why would either of us be smoking anything with a 5 month child in the vehicle anyway? He said "Both of you step out of the vehicle." We both stepped out and he brought both of us to the front passenger side of the vehicle to stand there.

He opened the drivers side door and stuck his head in. He then got a full whiff of a fully loaded diaper. He searched around for only 10 to 15 seconds. The smell must have been over powering to him. He didn't look under or behind the passenger seat.

He told the both of us that he was letting us go with a warning.

Moral of the story, if the police want in your vehicle, they have an arsenal of tools to get in there. If they want in, they are getting in. If it happens at the cop level it is happening at the Fed level.

I also felt harassed and violated by the police. We are supposed to trust and believe them? After that I have no trust and belief in them any more.

Re:Well (1)

jon.siebert1 (2146474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36228520)

almost makes you want to travel around with dirty diapers

Re:Well (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226914)

Maybe there should be a clause that unless the charges are actually terrorist/intelligence related, that any information obtained under the guise of "terror" should be inadmissible for any other offenses. So, if they searched your files without a warrant under the terror label, and found information about how you were selling drugs, then this information could not be used in court, as they got it without a warrant. If however, they found that you had plans to blow up a building, then they could use the information. However, there would be one loop hole in that they could mine everyone's data, or just people that were somewhat suspect to find out who was guilty, and then once they knew what you were doing, go through the proper channels to find other data that they could arrest you with. Once you know who's committing the crimes, it's pretty easy to find evidence against them.

Re:Well (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227200)

Maybe there should be a clause that unless the charges are actually terrorist/intelligence related, that any information obtained under the guise of "terror" should be inadmissible for any other offenses

Maybe we should just require a warrant, period.

In addition to the philosophical question of whether you should sell your freedom for improved (illusion of) security, there's the simple fact that 9/11 didn't succeed because it was too hard to get warrants; it succeeded because no one high enough up the chain of command connected the dots between the various hints that something was afoot.

But for the most part, the FBI has done a darn good job of busting up domestic terror plots for decades - warrants and all.

Re:Well (1)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36229458)

Yes, they can. IANAL mind you, but generally anything found would be deemed that it was "open and available" and thus they obviously just happened to find it. This is part of the reason why you make sure they've got a warrant before letting the police or the feds into your home, your car, or otherwise. If they can "see" something illegal then it's deemed admissable.

Is it bullshit? You bet your probably-going-to-be-jailed-at-some-point-in-your-life ass.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36230006)

What stops the Feds from simply claiming anyone they want to investigate is a "suspected terrorist"

nothing

Can the Feds put John Doe into prison based on this information?

Yes, or possibly noy yet, but soon that will be legal. Remember everything that the Stasi did was legal under their law system.

Of course not. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226644)

The Bill will not prevent the FBI from accessing data without a warrant under terrorism and intellgence clauses.

We can't be concerned with trivial things like civil liberties when people are wetting their pants.

Missing a point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36226778)

How can you get new blood into your government if people have their seats for 37 YEARS!!! Second in seniority, who's the first, Methusela?

why is this even an issue? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36226960)

We've had PGP for what, 15 or 20 years now?

What sort of idiot would store data they wanted to keep private in the cloud and not encrypt it?

Mensch (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36226972)

Patrick Leahy takes a huge amount of shit from the right-wing talking heads. We get to hear how he hates freedom, hates America, blah blah.

But if you look at his career, you start to see someone who has worked quietly for the common good for a long time.

I'm afraid that any bill that protects any right that isn't about guns is never going to pass the Republican House of Representatives.

Re:Mensch (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227210)

I'm afraid that any bill that protects any right that isn't about guns is never going to pass the Republican House of Representatives.

The Democrats don't exactly have a strong record of standing up to them these days.

Re:Mensch (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232370)

The Democrats don't exactly have a strong record of standing up to them these days.

True enough.

Nice idea, doesn't work (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227316)

Accordingly, all warrentless accesses of personal data will be done for anti-terrorism reasons.

Government will use every power it has, always, to do whatever it is it wants to do.

The original intent of the power is *utterly and wholly irrelevant*.

Safety Deposit Box (1)

brendank310 (915634) | more than 3 years ago | (#36227980)

Cloud data should be treated the same way that the contents of a safety deposit box are treated.

Re:Safety Deposit Box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36233306)

And facebook should be treated like a telephone company. If I send a text-message to my friends, my phone company is not allowed to read it. Why can facebook still monitor everything we say to our friends?

Another good reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36228440)

Another good reason that my data will stay on my computer (s) and NOT on someone else's servers (the "cloud")!

Privacy... NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36229878)

This is another example of why Cloud Computing is a bad idea.

According to US Judge Harold Baker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36229956)

An IP address is not a person. OK, OK, I know that has to do with P2P file sharing but wouldn't this apply to any data transmitted over the 'net?

Oh peachy: Leahy and my Civil Liberties (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 3 years ago | (#36231264)

--sarcasm mode on--
I can sleep better knowing that Sen. Leahy is looking out for my civil liberties, especially where the 'Net and privacy are concerned.
--sarcasm mode off--

This may sound jaded but any time that particular name is associated with anything to do with our rights and civil liberties, I always seem to be saying under my breath "repeat after me: check the fine print" as there are very few individuals at the national level that I trust less. And I would love to see if the /. community agrees or disagrees with my assessment of his record on those issues.

So the feds can ignore peoples rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232304)

as long as they accuse them of being a terrorist? Yeah, that won't ever be abused.

Just to be safe (1)

cavebison (1107959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236384)

I tend to use Web-mail, not Cloud-mail.

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