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Aussie Cops Want Powers To Search Any Computer

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the cold-dead-fingers dept.

Privacy 262

goatherder23 writes in with news that the New South Wales cabinet has proposed new powers for police to search computers anywhere under a search warrant, and adds: "The Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse are invoked to explain why police need the new laws, which have yet to be introduced into Parliament. Would someone please explain to them before this happens that all computers on the Internet are "networked" and that some computers may be found outside NSW (or even Australia)?" "Police Minister David Campbell says police are currently only able to search computer hardware found on a premises named in a search warrant. He says with the changes, they will be able to go a step further and search other networked computers, regardless of where they are located. 'What we know is that there are organized crime gangs who use the Internet and other forms of technology to hide their crimes,' he said."

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Ineffective (5, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663036)

Any organized crime syndicate worth their weight is going to understand how to encrypt data and use hidden volumes. With the seven day limit, that only allows for a cursory search and not the kind of in depth forensic combing it would take to actually find actionable data. So in the end, the only people actually harmed of it are ordinary citizens who are having their rights abused by heavy handed searches.

Re:Ineffective (2, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663086)

Couldn't they just low-level image it and give the drives back? Then they can comb at their leisure. Not that I'm supporting the bill- it's obviously stupid and a horrifying violation of search and seizure rights. Any intelligent australian will be full-volume passphrase encrypting their drives from now on.. when the police start realizing that they can't do anything with anyone's data without their permission, they might just give up?

Re:Ineffective (2, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663338)

Couldn't they just low-level image it and give the drives back?

No, they will want to keep the drives in case something changes in the analysis technology, and they can extract more information. When you live in an environment which has a vested interest in suspicion, niceties rarely get much attention.

Re:Ineffective (4, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663372)

Then just clone the drives and give the suspect the copy and not the original HD.

Re:Ineffective (4, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663414)

That would imply that the suspect has some rights and that the government doesn't strip the accused of every right they have as soon as the finger has been pointed. Don't know how Australia does it, but in the US, look at everyone who gets their gear seized either in a raid or crossing a border. Also look up "civil forfeiture" which gives the government the right to steal your property for its own profit without a crime having occurred.

Re:Ineffective (1)

Xenophon Fenderson, (1469) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664002)

A block-level copy won't include detailed encoding data that might allow more advanced forms of data recovery.

Re:Ineffective (5, Funny)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663578)

Couldn't they just low-level image it and give the drives back? [...]

Verbing weirds language.

Re:Ineffective (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664158)

Your signature is so apt.

Re:Ineffective (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663660)

Time based encryption?

I seem to recall some dude who had encryption on his drive, notably a porn situation, where the crypto had some kind of time component where after a week the key rotated or something? Anyone have the links for it? I think that would cause some issues on this one too.

Re:Ineffective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663676)

Maybe they could give a copy of the data back on a bigger drive? Talk about a win-win for everyone!

Re:Ineffective (1)

ptte (847981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663120)

What ordinary citizens? You do know that there are only criminals and terrorists on that thing right? "What we know is that there are organized crime gangs who use the Internet and other forms of technology to hide their crimes"

Smart crooks use encryption (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663148)

Dumb crooks don't.

If you want to catch crooks who use encryption, toll the statute of limitations until the technology catches up with the encryption. If Guidowski the Italian-Russian mobster encrypts his stuff using standard public-key encryption, it will be breakable with quantum computers within 10-20 years.

On the other hand, if he has access to quantum encryption, you probably have bigger worries than a few bodies in cement boots.

Re:Ineffective (5, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663238)

So in the end, the only people actually harmed of it are ordinary citizens who are having their rights abused by heavy handed searches.
And you assume that this is not the actual intent. Why?

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We *want* them broken. You'd better get it straight That it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against- then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

Re:Ineffective (5, Informative)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663410)

Attribution where due, please. From Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, which I heartily recommend. It makes especially good reading on a long train ride.

Re:Ineffective (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663478)

Someone quoted this paragraph before while I was saying essentially the same thing as the grandparent. I recognized the quote right away from the rather unique Dr. Ferris attribution. I think this alone makes it clear that the whole thing is a quote from something. From what? Well, maybe trying to find who is Dr. Ferris will lead someone to finding who is John Galt. I left the by-line out on purpose. :)

Re:Ineffective (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663928)

... as long as that train doesn't go through a tunnel under a mountain.

Re:Ineffective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22664296)

Long train ride is looooooooooooong.

Re:Ineffective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663652)

Ayn Rand psycho bullshit.

Re:Ineffective (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663840)

In a nutshell, the more complex and ambiguous the law, the more exploitable the law is for those who control the law.

Put another way, the bigger the government, the more profitable the business of government.

It's such a dead-obvious, simple truth, that I can *almost* understand why the vast majority of people refuse to believe it. Perhaps because one must first accept the simple fact that freedom is proportional to the size of government.

Re:Ineffective (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663314)

Any organized crime syndicate worth their weight is going to understand how to encrypt data and use hidden volumes.

I'm not entirely sure of that.

Are all criminals tech savvy? Do they have an IT department to take care of such things? How much does organized crime rely on computers and network technology?

Somehow I'm having a hard time imagining a bunch of people running a crime family sitting around deciding if they need stronger encryption, or different protocols, or using hidden volumes. I just can't see someone involved in drug smuggling, or extortion, or human trafficking firing up their laptops to print the cover sheet for their TPS report. :-P

Maybe I'm totally wrong on this, and they're really dialed into these things. It just seems to damned bizarre to me as to almost be a sitcom.

Cheers

Re:Ineffective (3, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664242)

Somehow I'm having a hard time imagining a bunch of people running a crime family sitting around deciding if they need stronger encryption, or different protocols, or using hidden volumes.

Of course this is silly. The people running a crime family are like the people running any other business. They make the high-level decisions. The mundane details are handled by the people hired to take care of such things. If you've got a few geek kids in the family, it's not hard to develop an appropriate IT operation. Your business data needs aren't really any different from any other business, and you can use the same software as everyone else.

How many CEOs have any clue about computers? Most of them never even touch a keyboard. Such things are for the hired help. It's no different with crime organizations. In fact, aside from externalities like the legality of their business, there's not really any difference to speak of.

War on Data (5, Insightful)

Chukcha (787065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663044)

I expect that the "War on Data" will be as effective as the "War on Drugs", War on Terror", and "War on Poverty" have been. In other words, very successful at giving the state more control, more jobs, and more opportunities for corruption. Discuss...

First, they came for the desktops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663108)

Australia is just following it's downward spiral into fascism. First they want the right to search any computer... and afterward, they are just going to realize they can do all that remotely, too! Then, they figure "hey, it's just as easy to search a computer in the USA as it is in Australia!"

Next thing you know, the CIA and NSA are just using Australia to continue making their data mine of US citizen's information. Australia is already more than happy to carry water for US conservatives, so this really isn't a huge leap from what's already being done.

Re:War on What, exactly? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663156)

Of course, for that is the real goal. What you are seeing are individual battles in the war on limits of government power. Every government, once formed, takes on a life of its own and seeks to increase authority, power and influence at the expense of personal liberty. Sadly, it is the natural order of things and the history books are rich with examples.
Government power is like acid. It will eat away at the vessel that contains (no matter how well constructed, see the American Constitution for example) it until it escapes. It will destroy those in its path.

I'm only an amateur student of history, but I am not aware of any instance where a government, once empowered, has relinquished those powers without force.

Re:War on What, exactly? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663426)

but I am not aware of any instance where a government, once empowered, has relinquished those powers without force.
Gandhi? of course you all know the reason they teach about Gandhi, it's to show you that there's another way except force that worked well once, so there's no need for you to get up in arms against the government if Gandhi didn't have to.

Re:War on What, exactly? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664256)

Nope, sorry. Gandhi did an amazing job of forcing the British to hand over the reins of the Indian government to the Indians...but he didn't make the Indian government give up any powers. The government retained all the powers it had under British rule and even added some more.

Re:War on What, exactly? (4, Informative)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664288)

I'm only an amateur student of history, but I am not aware of any instance where a government, once empowered, has relinquished those powers without force.
Here you go. [wikipedia.org]

Onion-esque (1)

mosch (204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663860)

Government Requests More Power.

Today the (insert country) government has introduced a bill that would greatly expand it's power. It claims that this to fight (evil thing), but realists note that it wouldn't be of significant use for the claimed utility.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Re:War on Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22664004)

Exactly. I can't believe my ears when I hear people claim that (for example) drug prohibition is a failure.

It's only a failure if you're not part of the elite group which runs the business of government.

If you are, then drug prohibition has been an incredible success. Short of war itself, prohibition has probably done more to expand government in terms of both revenue and power over the people, and to consolidate that power into the hands of the elite few, than anything else government does.

War may be the health of the state -- as observed long ago by Lord Acton -- but obviously, there's quite a "market" for prohibition as well. Hundreds of billions of dollars per year's worth of a market, if you follow the money all the way to the bottom of the sewer.

Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant for (5, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663048)

The proposed laws would allow police to search computers networked to those listed on a search warrant.
In a few words: Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant for all computers worldwide that happen to be on the Internet. Gosh, and you Aussies let such laws pass without torching the parliament building, and putting all heads who voted for it on a stake?

Re:Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant f (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663304)

You'd expect that from a prison colony wouldn't you? :)

Re:Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant f (5, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663324)

Before today you would have thought "Government Seeks Warrant to Search the Internet" was a headline from The Onion.

RTFS (4, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663344)

...the New South Wales cabinet has proposed new powers for police to search computers anywhere under a search warrant, and adds: "The Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse are invoked to explain why police need the new laws, which have yet to be introduced into Parliament...."

Read The Fucking Summary. Thank you.

Or, if you still don't get it: The laws have been proposed, not passed. There's still the chance that parliament will figure out the implications and reject the law, in favor of sanity.

Re:RTFS (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663556)

The laws have been proposed, not passed.
Oops, you're right. I was a little bit fast, sorry for that. Ok, so I'll just wait the necessary 2 or 3 weeks, and post it again when the law is passed.

There's still the chance that parliament will figure out the implications and reject the law, in favor of sanity.
Well, let's hope so, but given the Aussies' past performance on all matters Internet, I somehow doubt this... Unless the Australian people raise enough of a stink against this beforehand...

Re:RTFS (1)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664252)

Or, if you still don't get it: The laws have been proposed, not passed. There's still the chance that parliament will figure out the implications and reject the law, in favor of sanity.
Oh you mean like how the Australian parliament figured out the implications of the new draconian gun laws [worldnetdaily.com] and rejected them in favour of sanity?

You chide him for not reading the summary? You clearly don't know who your real enemy is or what he's capable of.

Re:Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant f (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663714)

Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant for all computers worldwide that happen to be on the Internet.

Not a problem. They are free to search any internet connected computer on the internet now. Most will display public web pages and login pages. Going beyond the internet connected public space and trying to intercept encrypted content will be a problem with any and all protected content servers such as any e-commerce, and DRM content site.

Think iTunes will let them in? how about Amazon, .gov sites, thepiratebay, or MSN Hotmail? This isn't going very far. It attempts to reach globally outside their jurisdiction which is where it falls apart.

Re:Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant f (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664030)

Just because the warrant says they can search any computer networked with one on the premises doesn't mean they have to search every computer that falls under that category. They don't have to test the warrant against anything they know beforehand will screw them. They can just use their discretionary power to reach however far they want.

Re:Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant f (1)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663852)

One begins to wonder what, exactly, would happen with all of the information that they gather from distant computers. Do the cops in question even have jurisdiction? Do the courts? Would Australian rules of evidence make any of this admissible?

It seems like the law would serve more to justify blackmail and harassment than to generate legitimate evidence. Unless, you know, they're looking for terrorists or something.

Re:Get a warrant for one computer, get a warrant f (1)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663856)

and you Aussies let such laws pass without torching the parliament building

The NSW Parliament hasn't passed anything. The laws haven't even been introduced into Parliament yet! They're thinking about suggesting this law, and even tabling it is still far away from passing it (or do you imagine the Parliament exists only to rubber-stamp legislation?)

I know it's unfashionable to read articles here, but you could at least read the whole summary (or even simply the text you quoted) instead of every second word.

tough question (1)

OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663050)

for domestic networks: yes. for over-seas networks: yes and no. yes for allied countries, no for hostile nations

Networked? (2, Interesting)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663056)

From TFA:

The proposed laws would allow police to search computers networked to those listed on a search warrant.


So, if there's a cable modem / DSL in use when the computer is searched the entire subnet could be searched? How about the web servers of sites displayed in a browser?

How do these new regulations define "networked"?

Re:Networked? (1)

FST777 (913657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663608)

If history has taught us anything about the affinity politicians have with tech, the definition will probably be: "tied to each other using one or more electrical cables, wires or tubes."

That or there will be no definition at all. Law is usually very vague in defining things, they assume that those things will be sorted out in jurisprudence.

Re:Networked? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663696)

So if I have wifi I am safe?

Re:Networked? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664032)

When I download Windows Updates, or use Google, my computer connects to their computers.

Get THEM to give you access to their files!

New part of police education? (1)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663060)

So. If I understand this correctly, the newest addition to the curriculum of the police school will be:

Intahwebs Hacking 101: How to break into networked computers for dummies.

I don't quite get this bill, to be honest. There is almost never a fully open continuous connection between networked computers to begin with, and I seriously doubt that any sort of crime syndicate would be so stupid as to share directories over the internet or something equally dumb.

So the only thing I can possibly think of is them trying to hack into machines that have been/are connected to the machine they have physical access to, and I'm sure that'll be protested by every privacy and civil liberty organisation in existance.

This is what you get if you let people with absolutely 0 knowledge about how things work (other than from a buzzbingo chart) make laws and or decisions about technology.

Sad, really...

Options (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663066)

Well, you can always move to the United States.

Global Police (1, Interesting)

notgm (1069012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663074)

you know, the more i think about this story, the more i realize that a global police/government force is almost necessary in our times. defining an act as legal/illegal solely based on physical location is, by and large, nonsensical.

sure, there are proximity crimes, but i'm talking about something unrelated to location. theft, for instance.

we can prosecute you if you steal while standing here, but we cannot prosecute you if you steal while you are standing there.

something is broken.

Re:Global Police (2, Insightful)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663128)

A global police force already exists pretty much in the shape of Interpol. So really no need to go and invent one. Any sort of crime that goes beyond a country's borders pretty much ends up at Interpol, and through them at the police forces in the countries affected by the crime.

Global lawmaking however is going to be extremely hard, or even impossible, considering the many different ideas people have about freedom, censorship, crime in general (is marihuana legal yes/no), etc, etc.

Re:Global Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663192)

You can't have global police without global law to enforce. What's considered "stealing" in one place is not necessarily considered stealing in another place. That's why we have different states in the first place. Different laws.

Re:Global Police (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663888)

defining an act as legal/illegal solely based on physical location is, by and large, nonsensical.

On the surface, that appears to be the case, but, some regional location based law makes lots of sense. If I am in the woods with a deer tag and a loaded deer rifle, this is fine. Doing the same thing at my local bank is not. Look beyond the obvious.

In the US, it is illegal to posess endangered sea turtle shells. In the Cayman Islands, to protect the species, they breed them. To pay the cost, the turtle farm is authorized to sell turtle products. (turtle stew is delicious). I can buy endangered turtle products, but I can't bring them into the US.

http://turtle.ky/ [turtle.ky]

"Since the Farm has begun local turtle releases, the sightings of green sea turtles by divers and residents living along the coast have been common. To fully assess the re-establishment of a Cayman turtle population, the Farm, with the cooperation of the Cayman Islands Government, has initiated both aerial and ground level surveys of the beaches and waters surrounding the islands. The public has cooperated by providing information on turtle sightings and nestings. Because of observed dog and crab predation and increased public use of all beaches, reported nests are relocated to the Cayman Turtle Farm's hatchery for incubation. All hatchlings are then returned to the collection beach for release."

Here is the reference to the sale of turtle products;

"The new owners intended to operate the farm more as a non profit organization, funnelling any profits from the sale of products back into sea turtle conservation and protection projects, using the site as an international sea turtle research facility. However, export restrictions continued and sufficient revenue could not be generated to maintain the approximately 100,000 turtles on hand."

Due to the export restrictions, I only bought edible turtle products, as when I left, it would have been illegal to take the souvenirs home.
In the US they made it illegal to possess turtle parts to reduce poaching. In the caymans, they made it legal for the Turtle Farm to raise them and sell products to replenish the endangered species with great success.

Drama? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663076)

Not 100% sure of how closely Australia tracks with US laws, but would this require a full search warrant, or a bench warrant, or ...?

(and do they have probable cause laws?)

IOW, they still have to prove their case before they can start poking about, yes?

(and now more than ever, we really need some tech-savvy law types to get their asses into judicial positions, no matter which country we're talking about...)

/P

Re:Drama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663458)

There's no 'proving' of a case to obtain a warrant, even in the US. (Especially?)

tech saavy law types? as judges? where would you find them? in the galley at a MS anti-trust hearing? What we need are more independent technical organizations to provide oversight for government offices, including Homeland Security, the IRS, and all the acronyms.

Australia laws (1)

fuzzlost (871011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663084)

I am not familiar with Australian laws.. are investigators allowed to search any part of a drive searching for data that might be incriminating? And if they find unrelated illegal data, is it submittable in court, or possibly as a new case? For example, John Smith has his computer seized for suspicion of fraud, and they find child porn on the computer. Can he be arrested/tried for possession/distribution of child porn? And wouldn't this law allow investigators to search/seize anyone this guy has connected to in search of child porn? How big is the scope of this law?

What crime? (1)

muffel (42979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663088)

'What we know is that there are organized crime gangs who use the Internet and other forms of technology to hide their crimes,' he said."
If they can hide their crimes using the Internet, the crimes can't have been that bad in the first place?

Re:What crime? (3, Funny)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663812)

If they can hide their crimes using the Internet, the crimes can't have been that bad in the first place?

You'd be amazed how many dead bodies you can hide in a series of tubes.

Re:What crime? (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664366)

Is that why my dump trucks of data keep getting stuck in the tubes? It's entirely due to corpses? Brings a whole new meaning to the term "bandwidth throttling" - "use too much of the wrong data and we'll strangle you!".

N.B. I'm patenting the idea of strangling people for using the internet in the wrong way. So if you want to use it Comcast (BTW, you might want to just call it 'permanent sentience delaying' in the T's and C's) you're going to have to pay me for it.

Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663102)

I count three:
1. terrorism (boogedy-boogedy!)
2. kiddie pr0n (think of the children!)
3. fraud (oh no, my precious inbox is filled with spam!)

What's number four?

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (1)

deepershade (994429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663210)

4 may be Anti-Government sentiments? or Blogs?, Piracy?

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (5, Funny)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663250)

What's number four?

SCO.

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663432)

Could the fourth horseman be National Security?

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (1)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663642)

What's number four?
Well, if we get all Biblical on this, the original four inflicted Strife/Persecution/Conquest, War, Famine/iniquity, and Pestilence/Death on the mortal world. So...
1. Terrorism --> War
2. kiddie pr0n --> Iniquity
3. fraud --> Pestilence

That leaves Strife/Conquest. If I could channel how the post-9/11 technology-oriented security official might see things, I would guess, um, Microsoft.
But then, we've already extended this metaphor too far.

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664320)

Strife and Conquest? But video games would never hurt us!

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (1)

adam.dorsey (957024) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663902)

I count three:

1. terrorism (boogedy-boogedy!)

2. kiddie pr0n (think of the children!)

3. fraud (oh no, my precious inbox is filled with spam!)

What's number four?
Software/music/video piracy.

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663956)

I count three:
1. terrorism (boogedy-boogedy!)
2. kiddie pr0n (think of the children!)
3. fraud (oh no, my precious inbox is filled with spam!)

What's number four?


4. Hacking - buffer overflow exploits, botnets.

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664098)

common sense

Re:Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse? (2, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664304)

I count three:
1. terrorism (boogedy-boogedy!)
2. kiddie pr0n (think of the children!)
3. fraud (oh no, my precious inbox is filled with spam!)

What's number four?


4. ???
5. Profit!

Internet gangs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663104)

Hallo! Internet hate machine reporting for duty!

Might actually be a good thing (0, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663106)

It might cause people to finally take computer security seriously. After all, an Australien cop breaking into a, say, Swiss computer, is just a criminal hacker and needs to be repelled. Methods for this are the usual: Firewalls, NAT, AV software, intrusion detection sytems and keeping your patches up to date.

Re:Might actually be a good thing (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663490)

After all, an Australien cop breaking into a, say, Swiss computer, is just a criminal hacker and needs to be repelled.
Hihi, in the end it will not be that big of a difference from the usual scenario of a German tax investigator breaking into a, say, Liechtenstein computer...

Open up the border... To rivers running stupid. (5, Insightful)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663138)

I guess it's worth noting that the law was just proposed, not actually passed. You could fill up a million pages on slashdot just with all the stupid bills governments all over the world table every day. So this is just playing on our guilty pleasure of ragging on any possibility of a law that would infringe on our rights, however unlikely they'll ever get passed.

Re:Open up the border... To rivers running stupid. (1)

putaro (235078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663638)

If there's no outrage against it, it *will* get passed. These are the kind of laws that lazy law enforcement types love. They bring them again and again until they slip through somehow.

The US has been passing stupid laws left and right in the wake of "9-11". Australia doesn't have to be so stupid. Be upset or it will happen.

Re:Open up the border... To rivers running stupid. (3, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663662)

There's actually a pretty good reason for having a good, old-fashioned uproar whenever something like this is proposed. It's called a trial balloon, and the reason it's floated is so the government of the day can judge the level of outrage they'll have to deal with if they try to pass a similar law. The usual method is to propose something as ridiculous as this, then work hard to enact a less draconian alternative that still manages to undermine civil liberties in a big way. The non-thinking majority of drones then nod their heads wisely and say, "Wow, we really dodged a bullet on that one, didn't we."

Not that I disagree with you about how much fun it is to ridicule these fascist half-wits, mind you. There's no rule that says you can't do something valuable and have a huge laugh at the same time.

Now, where did I put that crime? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663176)

'What we know is that there are organized crime gangs who use the Internet and other forms of technology to hide their crimes
Yes, because when I (and my legitimate businessmen associates) want to hide my crimes, the first thing I do is post information about them on the internet. Because, of all places I could put my crimes in the hope of hiding them, the Internet is the best choice. It's not like law enforcement has the time to monitor all the tubes, after all, and even if they did, they can't check all the trucks.

I know that quote was cherry-picked from the article because it's so ridiculous, but really... people should make certain that the person publically commenting on programs knows what they are talking about and can express their FUD in a way that makes sense to both Joe Oilcan and the techies.

How is this even feasible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663184)

One wonders if the Australian legislature has thought about how far these searches can go, and what constitutes a "networked computer". If a criminal did a search on Google that morning, does that mean the Australian cops can hack Google because a criminal may have connected to it? What if they played Counterstrike that morning (as unlikely as it may seem)? Does that mean anyone who connected to the CS server the unlucky criminal was playing on can be searched by the Australian police?

Talk about dumb, practically unenforceable laws.

Re:How is this even feasible? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663534)

sounds like fun if the relevant cop can be identified - that's begging for arrest-at-the-airport if they go on holiday to the US having hacked into a computer there.

Is it's their responsibility to ask... (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663186)

...And their government to deny?

Or is it wrong that the police even asks.

I don't think they should be made responsible of analyzing the full ramifications of what they see as a chance to apply the law. Let them ask and politely deny the obviously idiotic proposition.

In other poice state news... (5, Insightful)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663190)

Criminals also use roads and sidewalks, therefore when searching a property for criminal activity all properties connected by roads or sidewalks to the suspect property should be searched as well.

Errrr... (1)

zaunuz (624853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663208)

right to search networked computers, not only the computers found on site.. in 99.9% of the cases these computers are connected to the intertubes, thus making the computers they'd be allowed to search spread pretty much over the entire world. And speaking of intertubes, i wouldn't be surprised if US States Senator Ted Stevens agreed with it. O.o

There is a solution (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663216)

The only solution to all these jurisdiction problems related to the internets everyone seems to be having is to introduce an all new international authority that only deals with the internets and has jurisdiction online and only online. It would make sure everyone is kept safe and it would not answer to any one government.

You know, sort of like Haag, but for the internet. What d' you think?

LOL (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663254)

I always thought that the US had cornered the stupid politician market, but I see that Australia & the UK are not to be outdone by our lawmaker's base ineptitude.

Re:LOL (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663570)

Politicians aside, it will be up to cops to enact this...

... Aussie cops.

Cop - "G'day mate, I'm here for your hard disk, got a warrant and everything."

User - "No worries, have a tinny before you start though."


Cop - (3 hours later) "... bye then mate, shouldn't I be taking something from here, oh yehr, another beer! nice one mate, take it easy"

Policing how it should be done.

John McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663276)


For Prisoner-Of-War [needlenose.com]

And next... (2, Funny)

kabdib (81955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663308)

The proposed legislation giving us X-ray Mind-Reading Super Powers will permit us to find out when people are thinking Bad Thoughts, anywhere! Criminals should give themselves up now!

Cop: "Yer unner arrest."

Perp: "What for? I haven't done anything."

Cop: "Dis machine here says you wuz gonna."

Perp: "You got me. It's a fair cop."

criminals are now using buildings OH NOES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663422)

Police Minister David Campbell says police are currently only able to search a premises named in a search warrant. He says with the changes, they will be able to go a step further and search other premises, regardless of where they are located. 'What we know is that there are organized crime gangs who use houses and other forms of buildings to hide their crimes,' he said....

In other news today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663470)

4Chan's australian servers mysteriously burned down this morning, no one was harmed, but all that was left was a Guy Fawkes Mask.

iwantapony (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663502)

To whoever tagged this article "iwantapony": Sheer genius, sheer genius.

Most likely scenario... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663540)

Without having read the specifics of the proposed legislation, I would say that the scope would be limited to direct network connections such as VPN, SSH and custom software.

This would remove a significant amount of red tape and allow Police to examine connected machines for evidence of collaboration on criminal activities. In effect, it would allow rapid identification of potential organised groups, swift seizures with greater preservation of evidence and, hopefully, the ability to quickly secure vulnerable persons.

I would expect such legislation not to cover P2P software, IRC, IM, etc. Any software that could not be determined to establish a form of private network between selected individuals, as to provide them with an encapsulated network, would be outside the proposed scope. I would expect this legislation to cover membership of criminal websites and possibly email/IM contacts.

That said, I have not seen the proposed legislation but this would seem like the common sense approach.

i'm torn (1)

emagery (914122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663550)

I have difficulty with this because one is forced to between two evils... or, one ever-present evil, and one potential and deadly evil... namely, crime vs. oppression. If you bind the bonds of law enforcement too tightly, then crime will be able to run circles around 'em ... but with power comes temptation, and we've all seen a lot of abuses of power lately (not to mention, historically.) It should go without saying that with authority and power comes greater responsibility and accountability. Except, it doesn't seem to go without saying, does it?

I guess I would say, perhaps in accordance with the concept of FISA court, do what you have to do... but then submit yourself for judgement when all is said and done. Be the penalty upon you for abuse of power be greater than the penalty upon he who who you would use it to persue. It's an idea.

Not Safe (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663592)

some computers may be found outside NSW

I think you missed a consonant there. "outside not safe work" doesn't even make any sense.

Re:Not Safe (1)

notorious ninja (1137913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664266)

New South Wales :)

www.nsa.gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663618)

So all a criminal needs to do is open a web browser with www.nsa.gov as a URL - that means that his computer is now "networked" with the NSA. They want to issue a warrant to search the NSA? Good luck.

Or have them connect to the local DA's office website - and then the defense attorney will have the right to discovery of all the email servers at the DA's office.

Here's what *I* know (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663636)

Police are lazy and want cases to solve themselves. Politicians are crooked and want to keep their "jobs" so they'll pull all kinds of shady shit and sell it to the sheep as "protecting them" so they can go about buying iPods and spending more than they make.

Any PC networked in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663690)

What if one happens to have *.navy.mil as the address?

"The Aussies want our PCs, admiral!"

"Nuke 'em."

... On a Computer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22663692)

Why do people think that throwing a computer into the equation suddenly invalidates everything that comes before?

From the point of view of the law enforcement people, a computer is a box in which you put files. Treat it like any other box you put files in - just like a cardboard bankers box. Sure, a computer can connect to the internet and save files in Outer Elbonia, but you can do that with regular files too. Just have Julie in accounting take the envelope from the one box, put it into another box, and ship the box with FedEx to Outer Elbonia.

The warrants should work the same way. Need a warrant to search the cardboard boxes at an office? - you need one for the computers too (can be the same warrant, naturally). Need a separate one to search physical files at their branch office? - then you need a separate one to search the computers there. Need a warrant to get FedEx to say if they shipped any filing boxes to Outer Elbonia? - well, get a warrant for the ISP to tell you if there's been any file transfers to Outer Elbonian addresses.

"... on a computer" is a canard [wikipedia.org] . It's just like those sham "... on a computer!" patents, or the dot-com bust, where people thought that using a computer to sell pet food somehow invalidated basic economics.

This law won't last long if passed (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663834)

All it takes is one police officer seizing the hard drive of a politician whom he thinks is guilty of a crime because "it was networked with this other suspect's computer via the Internet" and threatening to seize other politicians' hard drives because they were networked with the first politician's computer.

That's one reason I'm surprised so many politicians here in the US support George Bush's warrantless wiretapping -- what exactly do they believe prevents him from ordering the FBI/CIA/NSA/etc. to wiretap them (and throw anyone who divulges the wiretapping into Guantanamo forever) or the next President from doing the same?

Some of my favorite quotes that seem to apply (1)

Grelfod (1222108) | more than 6 years ago | (#22663942)

The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'.

We need a better legal system that doesn't bind the minds and souls of men with ropes of fear.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

no shit, I'd like that power too . . . (1)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664008)

Then I'd be like the computer kid on Heroes. Hey Australians, Heroes isn't real. Mexicans don't make black goo come out of your eyes and kill you either.

Re:no shit, I'd like that power too . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22664348)

Mexicans don't make black goo come out of your eyes and kill you either.

Of course not. That would require that they do some work...



(Apologies to all the Mexicans in the real world who don't fit the cultural stereotype.)

One billion dollars (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664090)


Well I want a million bucks, and that ain't gonna happen either.

"You've got to be kidding", part 85667365: (1)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22664264)

They obviously haven't thought through what they're asking to do. They can legislate something like this all they want to, but it's just words on a page as soon as a network cable leaves Australian territory; no other country is obligated to allow them to barge in and search or seize computers. On top of that, I seriously doubt that Australian authorities would agree to authorities from other countries searching and seizing computers within Australia. I'm tempted to say that there's something else going on here.
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