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Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

samzenpus posted about a month ago | from the smells-like-a-terabyte dept.

Crime 415

First time accepted submitter FriendlySolipsist points out a story about Rhode Island Police using a dog to find hidden hard drives. The recent arrival of golden Labrador Thoreau makes Rhode Island the second state in the nation to have a police dog trained to sniff out hard drives, thumb drives and other technological gadgets that could contain child pornography. Thoreau received 22 weeks of training in how to detect devices in exchange for food at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy. Given to the state police by the Connecticut State Police, the dog assisted in its first search warrant in June pinpointing a thumb drive containing child pornography hidden four layers deep in a tin box inside a metal cabinet. That discovery led the police to secure an arrest warrant, Yelle says. “If it has a memory card, he’ll sniff it out,” Detective Adam Houston, Thoreau’s handler, says.

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Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (2, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month ago | (#47396981)

Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that?

hidden four layers deep why that for a USB stick? doing that will make them want to look at the data.

Just shipping them unhidden is more likely to just pass though

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a month ago | (#47397007)

Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that?

Uh, yeah. Most judges rubber-stamp search warrants.

Also, does concealing a memory device now automatically imply child porn?

The cops get bolder every year, and people just go along.

Cop: "I asked him for his ID, and he went fishing in a pocket. IT COULD HAVE BEEN A GUN OR KNIFE, SO I SHOT HIM".

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (4, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month ago | (#47397033)

Does bubble wrap count as concealing now?

If so how can you safely ship stuff like HDD's with USPS, UPS, FEDEX with out damage?

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (4, Funny)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month ago | (#47397181)

If so how can you safely ship stuff like HDD's with USPS, UPS, FEDEX with out damage?

Include a few dried habanero peppers in the package.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (4, Insightful)

kesuki (321456) | about a month ago | (#47397047)

i guess if dogs can smell memory sneakernets into dictatorships to provide outside information is doomed. i wonder can they smell a blu-ray too? cause 25 GB is a lot of storage...

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (3, Funny)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a month ago | (#47397095)

Hell I can smell a bluray. Optical storage has a far bigger and more unique odor than a usb stick.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (3, Funny)

tehlinux (896034) | about a month ago | (#47397551)

Maybe you can help me find my copy of Step Brothers.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397103)

The dog is not being used to establish probable cause, it is being used to aid in the execution of a search warrant where probable cause has already been established.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (4, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a month ago | (#47397119)

>where probable cause has already been established.

Or where a suitably incriminating memory stick has been prepared just in case there isn't one inside the metal box

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397175)

I think you miss the point. A search cannot be legally executed unless there is probable cause established before hand.

In this case, it would probably mean the user was caught trading child pornography online and used that as the basis to apply for a warrant to search the premises for further information on the crime.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397315)

A search cannot be legally executed unless there is probable cause established before hand.

1. That's naive. It's quite common to conduct a search and then dream up the probable cause later.
2. Establishing probable cause is easier than most people think.
3. They don't need probable cause to search when crossing the border of the country.
4. Or when you're within an area referred to as a 'buffer zone' or 'national security corridor', which extends something like 100 miles from the international border itself, and can go even further in some cases.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397273)

Yeah that's my real worry about all this child porn stuff - "everyone" turns their brains off and starts getting their pitchforks ready to lynch you.

Guess how convenient this is if the powers that be want to get rid of inconvenient you...

And for what? Even if some pervert watches child porn doesn't make him a rapist or molester any more than you wanking off to "normal porn"[1] makes you a rapist or molester. If you say he's supporting child porn, then you should follow the money and jail those responsible for creating it. If he's torrenting it, then using the **AA's logic, he's killing the child porn industry ;).

[1] in some countries "normal porn" is illegal. Go figure.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (5, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about a month ago | (#47397477)

Also, does concealing a memory device now automatically imply child porn?

Where have you been the last ten years? Trying to conceal anything at all from a law enforcement officer implies you're up to something. Only criminals insist on privacy now, citizen!

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397505)

But ,,Think of the children!!!!! /s

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a month ago | (#47397521)

Either child porn or you are part of a terrorist cell.

Because you have something to hide, you are obviously guilty of something.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a month ago | (#47397531)

And this is what the head of Canada's prison system thinks of everyday Canadian citizens as: unconvicted criminals living in the community

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (2)

meerling (1487879) | about a month ago | (#47397535)

It's already known, and has been for decades now, there are lazy irresponsible & incompetent judges that keep pre-signed blank warrants in their desk for the cops to grab without bugging them.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (2)

jonwil (467024) | about a month ago | (#47397089)

Per TFA they generally have evidence that someone connected to the house they want a search warrant on is connected with criminal activity. And asking for a search warrant for all the data storage devices present at the house seems perfectly valid to me.

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397377)

They already had the search warrant to search for the thumb drive, but needed the dog to find it. Once they found it, presumably it contained illicit materials, as they were able to use it to get an arrest warrant.

It's not like they used the dog's sniffing results to get a search warrant. They already had a suspect and had reasonable suspicion that he had the data.

dom

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (5, Funny)

meerling (1487879) | about a month ago | (#47397533)

Since the dog can't smell memory, it must have been trained to smell something about the electronic components. That's bound to trigger a LOT of false positives in the modern world.

This might be a fun thing to do. Get a lot of old flash drives, sd cards, and the like, the old super cheap ones of course, and stick them everywhere. Under the carpet, taped to the bottom of the drawers, in the hem of the curtain, etc. After 30 or 40 of them, somebody is going to get sick of playing that game, and it might be the dog, If you're really mean, store a picture of a treasure map on each one, and maybe some lists of random hexadecimal numbers.

It'll drive them nuts. To really get the point across when they ask, just tell them the truth, that it's a joke, there's absolutely nothing of value stored on them, and yes, you want them back and undamaged. :P

Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about a month ago | (#47397537)

Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? hidden four layers deep why that for a USB stick? doing that will make them want to look at the data. Just shipping them unhidden is more likely to just pass though

No judge will go on that......in this case, the police had been following the guy compiling evidence for seven months before getting a warrant. The guy was abusing a 7 year old girl and taking pictures of her. They brought the dog in after the search warrant was obtained, because a lot of times child-molesters hide the pictures on small SD cards in ceiling tiles or something. At least read the article before getting outraged. Even if it's not as fun.

Sooo (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47396987)

Can he packet sniff?

Re:Sooo (1)

aphelion_rock (575206) | about a month ago | (#47397279)

"pinpointing a thumb drive containing child pornography" I didn't know a dog could read the content of a thumb drive.. What happens if the drive contains other content?

Re:Sooo (1)

TarPitt (217247) | about a month ago | (#47397387)

What if you loaded the thumb drive with pictures of squirrels? Would the dog recognize that?

Amazoing (5, Insightful)

governorx (524152) | about a month ago | (#47396993)

I had no idea the contents of a physical drive changed its smell!

This is very intriguing!

Re:Amazoing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397001)

It's true. As soon as my computer downloaded this, I could smell the bullshit.

Re:Amazoing (1)

governorx (524152) | about a month ago | (#47397123)

I just wanted to report: Downloading and storing some cake baking recipes still make the drives smell like metal oxides and warm plastic. Don't waste your time.

Re:Amazoing (4, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month ago | (#47397197)

I also smell the bullshit. I remember watching a USAF security specialist with a "drug" dog. He walked down the bay with the dog trotting beside him, stopped at a door and bounce a rubber ball off the door. The dog began to bark and scratch at the door. The CQ opened the door and they searched the lockers finding a bag of pot. Imagine that. That's when I realised that someone narced and the dog was for looks so no one would suspect.

you need to be on the jury (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month ago | (#47397015)

you need to be on the jury.

While child pornography is bad the lost of rights / junk science to by pass your rights is much worse

Re:you need to be on the jury (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a month ago | (#47397035)

you need to be on the jury.

Most people avoid jury duty like the plague because they don't get properly compensated for lost time at work.

My employer (the federal government) pays me my normal wage while on jury duty, so I take it whenever it is offered.

Re:you need to be on the jury (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397149)

I avoid jury duty because I don't want to be on the official record as saying that I believe that anything a cop says is a lie, that the prosecuter wouldn't care if the defendant is guilty or not as long as he or she gets another conviction, and that all judges should be hanging judges -- that is, they should all be dragged out and hanged.

Sure, they make you swear to tell the truth, but actually doing so is usually not so great an idea.

Re:you need to be on the jury (0)

mi (197448) | about a month ago | (#47397177)

Sure, they make you swear to tell the truth, but actually doing so is usually not so great an idea.

Well, now that you've posted your incendiary speech on a public forum, you may as well repeat it in court. Or do you believe in that "Anonymous" nonsense? Of course not...

Re:you need to be on the jury (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month ago | (#47397215)

It's not like it matters. No one gives a shit anyway. As long as he's small potatos he can rant his drivel all he wants. It's like a fart in the wind. Only a tiny percentage of the people in this country want to be free.

right... (1)

publiclurker (952615) | about a month ago | (#47397519)

It is the self-important nobodies like you that are special. Your mommie even told you.

Re:you need to be on the jury (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397087)

The dog is not being used to establish probable cause. The police already have a warrant (which requires probable cause already to have been established) for suspected child pornography possession / distribution, the dog is simply being used by the police to aid in the search for any "memory" devices.

Otherwise, they would just tear your house apart for half a day and look for it without the dog.

You're fucked either way and no rights violation has occurred, assuming the warrant itself was proper.

Re:you need to be on the jury (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397115)

Do memory devices have a specific smell or are they just going by human scent? The use of animals in any legal process is a bit shifty regardless.

Re:you need to be on the jury (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month ago | (#47397223)

It's been going on a looooong time. Bloodhounds chasing convicts and other handy uses. Dogs are nifty for police work.

Re:you need to be on the jury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397447)

There are a lot of things that people swear by that have been used for thousands of years but that doesn't mean they are any good. How about a well documented, peer reviewed scientific write up on the ability of dogs to smell memory devices. This is the kinda of media bullshit that is helping turn the word "encryption" into the word "guilty."

Re:you need to be on the jury (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about a month ago | (#47397245)

They are going by bs - a dog sniffed out a hidden child porn storage device. And of course everyone in the world can be framed if necessary, but it's better if it's not framing, but he acutally has beaten around the bush, like creating a general picture about the individual. Like if he looks at porn online, keep feeding him pages with children. If he buys a computer on ebay, fill it up with "barely legal" porn and some "warez" and give it to him like that. Make sure he can no longer buy his favorite safety razor anymore, and keep sending him to brainwashing sites about how cheap and "cool" razor blades, the old style you sharpen with a stone, are. Also when he's on google books keep feeding him serial killer novels or at least intricate political treachery and backstabbing novels, when he searches for "chemistry", "encyclopedia" "mechanical machinery," and try to get him to get a CDL, so you can send him on a route where the fresh bodies from the morgues can be laid as cadavers whereever he's given a route, in fact the availability of such a fresh young corpse is what determines which way he gets a shipment next, and this way you can erase anyone. False witnesses are simple, also fake child porn usb flash drives, but it's more comforting to have some actual substance to it, some of it hard to explain away, such as being caught with your pants down. Or at least having a dangerous hobby, like mountain climbing, skiing, or even fishing will do, anything, anything.. violence, drugs, sex offender, child porn, financial fraud, speeding, driving without insurance, practicing free speech that's offensive or might be taken the wrong way, or at least out of context.. there is a shitlist by Da Man to eliminate anyone who's a threat to his world domination quest, if, by nothing else, by running their mouth on Slashdot. And don't believe just because some of you post as Anonymous Coward, they don't know exactly who said what when, don't assume that.

Re:you need to be on the jury (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month ago | (#47397261)

Police K-9s are routinely used during roadside automobile stops to establish probable cause in cases where consent to search is not granted.

It would be an incredible act of good faith to suppose that law enforcement would never use this technique outside of this narrow venue.

Likening the use of storage devices to repositories of child porn is but a step away from condemning personal computers for the same principle. "You wouldn't mind us searching if you have nothing to hide, right?"

Re:you need to be on the jury (2)

mysidia (191772) | about a month ago | (#47397395)

Police K-9s are routinely used during roadside automobile stops to establish probable cause in cases where consent to search is not granted.

Police K-9s who can sniff illegal substances. Silicon memory chips/processors are not an illegal substance.

Re:you need to be on the jury (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a month ago | (#47397451)

you need to be on the jury.

Even if this story was about using the dog's response to establish probable cause for a search, any assessment of the validity of that probable cause is done during the preliminary stages of the trial, before the jury is called in. The jury is then merely instructed that the search was valid. It's incredibly rare that a jury is allowed to assess the validity of evidence gathering, or even told that the defence raised any issue at all.

Re:Amazoing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397061)

I had no idea the contents of a physical drive changed its smell!

This is very intriguing!

Yes, almost as intriguing as knowing that most pedophiles don't wash their hands before hiding thumb drives...or after jerking off.

Re:Amazoing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397183)

Yes, almost as intriguing as knowing that most pedophiles don't wash their hands before hiding thumb drives...or after jerking off.

Hopefully they make the kids wash their hands, at least. Teaching proper hygiene is everyone's responsibility.

Re:Amazoing (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month ago | (#47397227)

I bet they really bark at the keyboard then. I wonder if the ones with the dirty pictures smell different than the ones with the TPS reports.

Re:Amazoing (1)

Warhawke (1312723) | about a month ago | (#47397253)

This is why I store all of my flash drives in a Milkbone box: hiding in plain sight.

Re:Amazoing (2)

TarPitt (217247) | about a month ago | (#47397391)

A dog's sense of smell is amazing. I bet a dog could tell if a search warrant is valid or not by smell alone. Perhaps the ACLU should train some of those dogs, to find invalid search warrants and prevent violations of the 4th amendment.

Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397003)

that those dogs can distinguish between kiddie porn and say, databases of purchase orders just by sniffing around. From what I've heard, the pat req technology at Facebook and Google isn't nearly as advanced.

dogs sniffing underage pussy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397005)

I'm pretty sure there's porn of that.

Re:dogs sniffing underage pussy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397111)

Where can I download it?

Re:dogs sniffing underage pussy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397139)

Nice try.

And what if your case for "probable cause" (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a month ago | (#47397019)

Your Honor, this person of interest may have hard drives or thumb drives, and these types of storage devices are commonly used to store CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OHHHH GOD THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!! WHY WONT YOU PROTECT THE BABY JESUS??????"

Warrant granted -- get those scumbags. And I wont cry if they die before seeing a jail cell!

Re:And what if your case for "probable cause" (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month ago | (#47397229)

Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out.

Somebody, think of the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397059)

Yeah, the dogs were trained to find hard drives that contain child pornography. Cause that's the impetus for this kind of search.

what a load (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397091)

Or could it be that technology is everywhere now so any place the dog triggers on could have some type of memory.

Next thing you know, they will have dogs that can sniff out penthouse and leave playboy behind.

This is right up there with lie detectors and the people who make $$$ convincing idiots to pay for them.

Re:what a load (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a month ago | (#47397247)

Can they tell the difference between RDRam and SDRam?

HDDs smell bad (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a month ago | (#47397101)

Especially old SCSI drives. Peuw! Stink-o-rama! It's like really bad B.O.

When does it start to smell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397107)

Does the memory smell once it is packaged? Or when it is being built? Before a logo is put on it or after? Does ECC memory have a different smell than non-ecc?

Please tell me the police are not actually believing this crap.

Re:When does it start to smell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397453)

It didn't start off with the police believing this crap, rather with the police trying to persuade everyone else to believe in this crap.

A little behind the times (4, Funny)

WWJohnBrowningDo (2792397) | about a month ago | (#47397137)

Typical government bureaucracy, relying on outdated technology.

Nearly 10 years ago, top minds in the private industry [wikipedia.org] already developed super dogs that not only detected DVDs but could also determine the legal status of said DVDs by smell alone.

Re:A little behind the times (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a month ago | (#47397167)

This is true....don't ask me how I know.

Re:A little behind the times (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a month ago | (#47397309)

Interesting, but the link you provided claims no distinction was noted between real and counterfeit disc detection.

Re:A little behind the times (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about a month ago | (#47397333)

I think WWJBD's point is that the dogs are actually useless exactly because they can't make this distinction, and that it was all a bullshit PR exercise; the subtext is that this is similar.

Re:A little behind the times (2)

torsmo (1301691) | about a month ago | (#47397483)

From the article:

. . . then-MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said . . . "the dogs are some of the greatest employees we have here at the MPAA"

You know what, I totally believe that the guy was speaking the truth. I mean, the characteristics possessed by the average dog puts it fair and square above an MPAA employee.

Dog's accuracy depends... (1)

luckymutt (996573) | about a month ago | (#47397165)

...on where said thumb (drive) was recently stuck.

Easy to foil (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a month ago | (#47397179)

Just store pics of skunks

Re:Easy to foil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397221)

Child skunks? Pervert!

So What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397205)

Is the dog also trained to crack truecrypt files?

Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397237)

because child pornography on a thumb drive smells entirely different from vacation photos on a thumb drive.

Before we go down the misinformation rabbit hole (2, Insightful)

Warhawke (1312723) | about a month ago | (#47397241)

Let's get this out of the way. Search tactics using dogs is always going to be prone to abuse. However, dogs have been sniffing out electronics [psychologytoday.com] for years now. Additionally, and this should be obvious, the dog isn't sniffing out hard drives that contain child pornography, it's merely sniffing out all hard drives. In this case, the dog was deployed as the result of a search warrant that undoubtedly allowed for the seizure of all electronic devices within the home. Use in this manner is much less controversial than using the dog to find the drive, thus establishing probable cause to bypass a warrant entirely.

Re:Before we go down the misinformation rabbit hol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397407)

Did you actually read the article? It's very clear they're NOT talking about merely finding concealed hard drives, but actually determining the content of the memory using a dog's sense of smell.

What a waste, who the hell are we protecting here (1)

bradrum (1639141) | about a month ago | (#47397267)

Are you telling me that they can't stop people from making child pornography by identifying the children in the films and finding the perverts who do that kind of stuff? There must be mountains of other forensic evidence they can use to connect the people that actually did these crimes than the sick people that view that stuff.

There must be all kinds of techniques they can use to uncover the equipment that the stuff is made on, identifying the children that are in the the stuff, and finding the perps. I am sure that a ton of children could be saved by basic investigation techniques. But they find something like this and get money from the feds for dogs that sniff memory on the chance that someone has ratholed a usb stick with illegal stuff on it. And the long arm of the law grows longer and longer as they get tools like this and need a purpose for them.

This has unreasonable search and seizure written all over it. To go to such lengths to find a usb stick with some pictures on it seems more like a justification for an invasive use of investigative powers than a legitimate tactic to protect children from abuse. Next it will be used on investigative reporters in the interests of "national security".

Re:What a waste, who the hell are we protecting he (1)

roger10-4 (3654435) | about a month ago | (#47397353)

If you read the article, the police got a search warrant based on other evidence. The dog was subsequently used to locate the device which led to an arrest warrant.

Re:What a waste, who the hell are we protecting he (1)

bradrum (1639141) | about a month ago | (#47397409)

I understand that.

My point is that the as the
a) long arm of the law grows longer the potential for misuse grows larger as well
b) that the cops in this case are either
1) probably going after someone that there is very little evidence against or 2) that they have overlooked significant evidence against if they have rip the whole place to shreds and need to use a dog to find deeply hidden usb stick.

This sounds fishy. (1)

buckfeta2014 (3700011) | about a month ago | (#47397269)

How can they tell the difference between a stick of memory, and some random PCB, by smell alone?

About Shenzhen LED-Hero Electronic Technology Co., (-1, Offtopic)

sophia fang (3735299) | about a month ago | (#47397271)

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Re:About Shenzhen LED-Hero Electronic Technology C (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397351)

But can the dogs sniff out the LEDs? Do they contain memory?

Time to hermeticly seal the drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397303)

I'm envisioning something like a very-short-range wireless-access data-storage device that charges itself wirelessly, but one with a hardware on/off switch. When it's off, it's completely off.

It's in a hermetically sealed environment, with the on-off switch activated in some way that won't require breaking the hermetic seal. The hermetic seal is made of a substance that is either undetectable by dogs or one that is so common that a dog won't be able to detect it from the "noise" in typical household.

Wrap one of those babies in a few layers of aluminum foil then hide it. Tell Fido "good luck, you'll need it."

Re:Time to hermeticly seal the drives (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about a month ago | (#47397365)

Yeah, selling expensive, failure-prone hard drives to criminals so that dogs can't find them and the police will instead tear their house to pieces to eventually find a specialized sealed hard drive for avoiding detection which only a (very, very stupid) criminal would want.

Sounds like a real business opportunity, are you selling shares?

I don't even want to know what you think the "few layers of aluminum foil" would be good for, but I am certain it wouldn't work, whatever it is.

The smell of YOU! (1)

MindPrison (864299) | about a month ago | (#47397307)

At first, I had a real good laugh when I read this. There's no way the dog can smell certain memory cards with certain content on it, anyone with half a decent brain and some knowledge in electronics knows this.

But then it occurred to me, it's not the card/usb-stick the dogs are smelling, it's the fact that some human touched it, probably repeatedly from using the USB-memory (or harddrive) for a long time, this is bound to leave your human scent on them, and thus making it easy for the amazing dog nose to sniff it out.

Yeah, I'd say that's fully plausible!

Re:The smell of YOU! (2)

Aryden (1872756) | about a month ago | (#47397381)

If it is in your home, one would assume a great many things would smell like you, namely your clothes bed, couch, fridge, chairs, table, door handles, bathrooms, and any number of other things that would all register as false positives were that the case.

Re:The smell of YOU! (1)

MindPrison (864299) | about a month ago | (#47397417)

If it is in your home, one would assume a great many things would smell like you, namely your clothes bed, couch, fridge, chairs, table, door handles, bathrooms, and any number of other things that would all register as false positives were that the case.

I agree with you on that, but it makes a lot of sense as the culprit would probably have used the drive quite a lot, especially during certain acts *no further descriptions needed*, I'd expect certain secretions to become transferred to the surface of that drive making it unusually easy for any dog to sniff out. You know how small micro-SD cards are, right? Imagine someone hiding it in-between the wafering of a cardboard box, or perhaps a crack in the wallpaper? Surely that must give off the odor of the contaminated SD-card rather than the wallpaper? It's not like you touch the wallpaper all the time etc.?

Still plausible in my world.

of course that won't be used here in the US (1)

jcomeau_ictx (696704) | about a month ago | (#47397319)

the fourth amendment won't allow such intrusion into our personal belongings. Thoreau will have to be sent to China or North Korea to use his talents. also, I'm pretty sure Henry David would not be happy with the choice of the dog's name.

Title/summary mismatch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397329)

I shouldn't need to point this out given the regular clientele of Slashdot, but as usual the title doesn't match the summary. It looks like the dogs are trained to sniff out computer storage media, not memory (i.e. RAM). There is a difference, unless you think keeping all your valuable data in volatile space is a good idea.

Not that the editors or even samzenpus would know (or care) about the difference.

If It's All Encrypted Who Cares What the Dogs Find (1)

myfacelaunchd50ships (3726569) | about a month ago | (#47397339)

I would assume the dogs don't get their treat if the flashes drives are encrypted.

This is so incredibly stupid. (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about a month ago | (#47397343)

A) There is this little thing called "The Internet" that people use to send each other information. Why the hell would someone go to the risk of keeping a thumb drive that can be identified as in their possession and have their fingerprints, when they can just send an encrypted file?

B) I doubt the dog can smell memory in particular, he can probably just sniff electronics. Everything nowdays has some kind of electronic component, I doubt this will be very useful.

Re:This is so incredibly stupid. (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a month ago | (#47397371)

I suspect that mechanical hard disks stand out since they are lubricated with some kind of oil. But otherwise not.

Good luck with that... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a month ago | (#47397357)

In my home I have way too many hard drives laying around from old computers - and a lot of other electronic parts. It will take quite a while for them to go through the stuff - provided that they can find useful controller cards for reading them.

How can it tell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397379)

the difference between my encrypted child pron, pirated media and leaked documents

It's all the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397405)

Leaky stolen child pirate pron!

There will be no changes. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397389)

As the drugs war winds down... another war on freedom starts.

Memory? (2)

Arker (91948) | about a month ago | (#47397403)

I am not surprised that the reporter is a technical illiterate who cant tell memory from storage, but surely the submitter or the editor one could show half a brain cell working and correct it?

All the devices mentioned are storage, not "memory".

Anyway, police dogs are a scam. Like Clever Hans, they are more attuned to their trainers emotions than s/he is, and can baffle and impress the unwary with seemingly impossible tricks as a result. Granting a warrant based on a dog alerting is effectively the same thing as granting it because a cop has a hunch.

Re:Memory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397429)

You misunderstood -- they already had the search warrant, but needed the dog to find what was specified in the warrant because it was so well hidden. As a result of what was on the memory stick that the dog found, an arrest warrant was issued.

I think you overlooked that there was first a search warrant and then an arrest warrant.

dom

It's "The Fifth Sense"... (1)

Horshu (2754893) | about a month ago | (#47397415)

Seriously, this sounds like that ep of Always Sunny where Dolph Lundgren is the voice of a dog that can smell crime, and then it wound up being a giant nose on Dolph Lundgren's body. (Doctor) Dolph Lundgren could smell the crime before it even happened, though.

Lots of false positives ... (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about a month ago | (#47397427)

... on the child porn. But it creates 'probable cause' to hold someone and go through the rest of their personal belongings, car, house, etc.

Re:Lots of false positives ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397461)

All this computer searching is ridicules especially under the guise of child pornography. I thought we were looking for terrorist.

Re:Lots of false positives ... (2)

runeghost (2509522) | about a month ago | (#47397525)

... on the child porn. But it creates 'probable cause' to hold someone and go through the rest of their personal belongings, car, house, etc.

And we have a winner! This is nothing more than a slightly more elaborate version of the plastic "magic wands" Iraqi security forces were (and probably still are) using to detect everything from explosives to drugs. The could be counting birds flying by or examining entrails: the point is to let them legally search (harass) citizens.

One time pad (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a month ago | (#47397491)

So now I can't even hide my one time pad? Which I keep for perfectly legitimate purposes.

I'm going to start hiding beef jerky in random places in my house.

Fuck this feminist police state. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47397501)

Fuck this cuntry.
It is a feminist police state.
Which controls the rest of the world and culture too.

useless. (4, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about a month ago | (#47397513)

One step closer to 'thoughtcrime' ;(

Side note, there's a shortage of dogs capable of doing real work, like search and rescue. why waste good talent on this shit? I can't think of a reason this should ever be an issue.

Is the end game going to be that whenever going through customs all storage will be scanned and stored "just in case"? :(

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