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FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use "Stingrays" In Public Places

Marful Re:Someone please aware me: (303 comments)

Because when you are in a public place you have no right to the expectation of privacy. If you are walking and talking down the sidewalk in town other people are able to hear your side of the conversation. Depending on if your state and the state the other party is in are two or one party states it is a moot point.

This is true, in a public place you have no expectation of privacy... But this fact is completely irrelevant because the methods the stingray devices use to gain the data are deceptive. And more importantly, have absolutely nothing to do with whether you are in a public place or not.

You could be inside your own home, a location afforded and protected by the highest level of what is deemed to be "private", and a stingray device could still gain access to your private data. Again: being in public, or not, has absolutely NOTHING to do with how and why a stingray device operates.

The stingray devices deceives your wireless device into believing they are connected to a legitimate cell tower when it is, in fact, not connected to a legitimate cell tower. Then your phone, believing it is connected to a legitimate cellular tower, pushes it's data like it would to the carrier's cell tower.

The issue then, is not one of a location based privacy nature (re: public/private), but one of whether or not such actions by police are considered fraudulent. Clearly, in order for the stingray device to work, some form of deceptive action must be taken by the device at the behest of the police. The question then becomes: is such using deception to trick a person into believing they are dealing with a legitimate cell tower service that they are paying for a criminal act?

The answer is yes. Deceiving someone and intercepting their communications without their explicit knowledge is in fact a federal criminal act. Specifically, it is the criminal act known as "Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications" colloquially referred to as wiretapping and defined in the following United States Federal Statute:

18 U.S. Code 2511 (link: http://www.law.cornell.edu/usc...)

(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter any person who—

(a) intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication;
(b) intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when—
(i) such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or
(ii) such device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of such communication; or
(iii) such person knows, or has reason to know, that such device or any component thereof has been sent through the mail or transported in interstate or foreign commerce; or
(iv) such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on the premises of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or (B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or
(v) such person acts in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States;
(c) intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;
(d) intentionally uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection; or
(i) intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, intercepted by means authorized by sections 2511 (2)(a)(ii), 2511 (2)(b)–(c), 2511(2)(e), 2516, and 2518 of this chapter,
(ii) knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of such a communication in connection with a criminal investigation,
(iii) having obtained or received the information in connection with a criminal investigation, and
(iv) with intent to improperly obstruct, impede, or interfere with a duly authorized criminal investigation,

shall be punished as provided in subsection (4) or shall be subject to suit as provided in subsection (5).

about three weeks ago

Doppler Radar Used By Police To Determine Home Occupancy

Marful I believe this is already covered by scotus... (139 comments)

There is already a SCOTUS ruling on this issue: Kyllo v. United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyllo_v._United_States)

In this case, the police used FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red) cameras equipped on a police helicopter to look at the heat signatures through the walls of a house.

The courts ruled (5-4) that doing such is a defacto search of the property and a clear 4th amendment violation.

The point of the ruling, is not the intrusiveness or the technical means by which the police overcome the privacy and property rights, but the fact that doing so is a search of the property.

Justice Scalia, who wrote the presiding opinion, further went on to protect against all future attempts at bypassing the barriers of privacy and conduct searches of property without a warrant by the way he wrote his opinion. Again, it is not the technological means by which one overcomes the property's barriers to privacy, regardless how non-intrusive or passive such measures are, but the fact hat doing such is conducting a search of the property.

about three weeks ago

Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Marful Re:Cameras only a partial solution (368 comments)

First responders that don't have to worry about every person potentially having a gun will have that luxury. Welcome to the US gun culture.

But that's just it, first responders don't have to worry about every person potentially having a gun.

Because, (CLUE-TRAIN!), every person doesn't have a gun.

Welcome to left-wing sensationalistic bullshit.

about a month ago

Judge Unseals 500+ Stingray Records

Marful Re:Police legal authority (165 comments)

Police also have qualified immunity. Which is the most important part that separates regular citizens and police from effecting arrests.

about 2 months ago

LAPD Gets Some Hand-Me-Down Drones From Seattle, Promises Discretion

Marful Will the LAPD arrest and fine themselves? (108 comments)

Even the LAPD needs a license.

As per the FAA website:

Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Myth #3: Commercial UAS operations are a “gray area” in FAA regulations.

Fact—There are no shades of gray in FAA regulations. Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft—manned or unmanned—in U.S. airspace needs some level of FAA approval. Private sector (civil) users can obtain an experimental airworthiness certificate to conduct research and development, training and flight demonstrations. Commercial UAS operations are limited and require the operator to have certified aircraft and pilots, as well as operating approval. To date, only two UAS models (the Scan Eagle and Aerovironment’s Puma) have been certified, and they can only fly in the Arctic. Public entities (federal, state and local governments, and public universities) may apply for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA)

about 8 months ago

Traffic Optimization: Cyclists Should Roll Past Stop Signs, Pause At Red Lights

Marful Pedestrian or Vehicle: Pick one. (490 comments)

How about instead of a 3rd set of rules for the road, cyclists just pick one and fucking stick to it?

Either follow the rules for vehicles or the rules for pedestrians.

If they want to ride on sidewalks and not have to wait in a line of cars, then they can be a pedestrian. If they want to take up a lane of traffic then they can fucking follow the rules for vehicles. Whichever they choose just fucking stick to it.

All of the problems I've had with cyclists comes from them following the rules for one and switching to the other when it's most convenient to them.

Because what we really need is another set of traffic rules to really confuse the shit out of people with.

about 8 months ago

Death Wish Meets GPS: iPhone Theft Victims Confronting Perps

Marful Re: frosty piss (664 comments)

But what makes the state more money?

Finding your stolen phone and arresting the perp, or writing 6 tickets in the span of an hour?

Modern policing has NOTHING to do with protecting society. It is all about revenue generation and enforcing the status quo so the populace doesn't get out of line.

about 9 months ago

How the FBI and Secret Service Know Your Network Has Been Breached Before You Do

Marful Re:NSA (72 comments)

Of course "on paper" they actually did police work.

But what do you think gave them "the hunch" that so-and-so was the badguy and just so happened to have exactly the incriminating evidence they needed to bust him in folder XYZ in his "My Documents" folder?

"Police Work" is often just another term for collecting the evidence and creating the link from A to Z, after the fact, to justify the police's actions.

about 10 months ago

Final Fantasy XIV Failed Due To Overly Detailed Flowerpots

Marful Or maybe people are tired of hamster wheels... (195 comments)

I remember how it took me nearly two weeks to get to level 12 in FFXI.

Why would I ever want to subject myself to the same kind of leveling game mechanic a second time?

about 10 months ago

Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches

Marful Re:Sure (500 comments)

The only requirement is if one of the occupants consents to the search. It doesn't have to be someone that lives there or owns the property. Any random person whom is inside the property can give consent, including a 2 year old or a dog.

And you don't see this getting abused?

That is fucking absurd.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You To Tell Your Client That His "Expert" Is an Idiot?

Marful Most likely you'll just have to deal with them... (384 comments)

My best advice for anyone in this situation is to document everything .

I spent a few years working customer service handling orders for manufacturing company. One particularly customers was a consistent problem. This company believed one of their personnel shat gold bricks, but I realized right off that they were incompetent and used lies & intimidation to cover this up.

This person would routinely fax their orders at the end of the day (right before they would leave) without confirming that they actually sent me the files necessary to start their order, and that their orders were almost always "rush" orders with very very short turn around times. Another thing this person would do, would be to call me up, tell me they had an order and ask me what the latest day they would need to receive the order by a specific date and time. I would tell them, then they would wait well past this final submittable date, submit their order and then claim that I had promised to turn around the product by that time. Over the years, the turn around time necessary to complete their orders shrunk to impossible expectations and their customer began getting upset as my customer started blaming me personally for the delays.

The irritating part, is that whenever I some how failed to live up to this person's errors (i.e., I was unable to cover for them), they would call up my boss and complain about me. My boss only believed half their bullshit, but it was still enough to impact my career.

Unfortunately for them, one of their customers wasn't an idiot, and had remembered me when he came along to our plant for a facility inspection prior to us beginning production of their product. This customer set up a meeting between our companies and asked me point blank when I received the purchase order, when I received the files and when I delivered the product. Thankfully, I had records of the time and date of every purchase order that company had ever sent, along with records of the time and date of receipt of every file to begin production, as well as the delivery date of the product to their warehouse.

It turned out that the end customer was sending the purchase orders to our problem person up to three weeks before the problem person would send me the PO and files. The problem person would sit on the file for weeks before submitting it to their production and farming out our part to us. The problem person ended up losing their company around $2million in sales yearly when they lost their client.

We ended up being directly contracted by the end customer to continue manufacturing our part of their product.

about a year ago

Cops With Google Glass: Horrible Idea, Or Good One?

Marful Re:Anything it sees may be used against you (192 comments)

Given how shady cops are with their actions while they conduct themselves, the cameras are much much more of a detriment to an officer's behavior/actions than the citizenry's.

Many of the article's I've read on the subject talk about how many less complaints the department received. One article even mentioned that the when only half the police department wore the cameras (the other half refused to wear said cameras...), the Excessive Use of Force complaints went down by over 70%.

So the question becomes, is this because the citizenry aren't making complaints? Or is it because police were moderating their behavior and not using excessive force or heavy handed tactics as their first response to every situation?

Either way is a win/win for us taxpayers. And the latter is a HUGE win for us citizenry as far as police tyranny is concerned.

Having been on the receiving end of such a shady cop violating the law, departmental "procedure" and having the dash-cam video go "missing" during discovery, I am all for more accountability for cops.

about a year ago

DOJ, MIT, JSTOR Seek Anonymity In Swartz Case

Marful Re:Translation: (236 comments)

Yay ignorant populace!

I love how making something illegal, no mater how innocuous and innocent that something is, immediately polarizes the populace against them. After all, that person is now a scumbag felon.

Who cares if they were railroaded. Who cares if the prosecutions abused the law. Who cares if the prosecutors used smear campaigns and black mail to destroy a persons life just so they can cut a notch on their belt during their next their re-election. None of this matters because the ignorant public (in case you didn't catch it, I'm referring to you, spire3661) see only the "label" of what they are accused of and instantly write off that person as a human being and are perfectly acceptable in watching that person's rights be violated.

I just fucking love how history keeps repeating itself.

about 2 years ago

Is It Time To Enforce a Gamers' Bill of Rights?

Marful Re:Better off enforcing an EA boycott (469 comments)

I agree.

The only discretion available in a completely voluntary relationship where you are dissatisfied with the other participant, is to not participate. (I.E. boycott EA).

On the flipside, some of the things done by these companies can be considered fraudulent or criminal (particularly in the case of installing rootkits).

about 2 years ago

Dotcom Wins Right To Sue NZ Government

Marful Re:His mansion (127 comments)

When did we start to allow police forces in Western countries start to behave like militias?

It's been that way for over almost a decade now.

DHS just dropped ~$100 million on a bunch of APCs, school Districts are buying assault weapons for their on-campus police forces and the LAPD has been known to send out swat team members to deal with parking tickets.

The bottom line is: the police have realized that they can practically guarantee they get to go home at the end of the day if they treat every interaction like a military engagement and utilize overwhelming force to suppress their enemy. The fact that innocent people will get murdered in their zeal of officer-safety-at-all-costs doesn't even enter their thought process.


about 2 years ago

The Accidental Betrayal of Aaron Swartz

Marful Re:The mindset of criminal investigators in Americ (409 comments)

You're right, "Lawyer up" is more of something you do once you are arrested, regardless of how ambiguous or pretextual the whole encounter appears.

And Hiibel v. Nevada isn't applicable to every state, only those with Stop & Identify laws. IIRC Hiibel v. Nevada even mentions this in reference to Kolender v. Lawson.

There is quite a bit of difference between complying with legal requests by a law enforcement officer and answering vague open-ended questions that are superfluous to a LEO's execution of their job. Questions like "Do you know why I pulled you over?", "Why are you in such a hurry?" and my all time favorite: "Is there anything illegal in your possession that I should know about?"

But to be fair, you are absolutely right. When subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury and give testimony there isn't much you can do. And historically federal criminal prosecutors have used subpoena's to force individuals to divulge sensitive information against other members of their family, friends, cliques, groups or organizations. But some subpoena's can be squashed (not saying that is very likely or easy with a federal subpoena...) and most importantly, going in with the mindset and knowledge that you aren't going to some how miraculously say the magic words that make the situation all better is an important piece of information to understand and remember when answering questions. I'm sure a practiced attorney could help coach an individual on how to answer questions and the exact scope of the required complicity a subpoenaed individual most provide.

I.E. if a criminal investigator is asking you questions, they aren't asking you questions to get information to exonerate your friend/family member/self, that is not their job (that is your friend/family's defense attorney's job). They are asking you questions to give them evidence and help them build a case to so they can bring charges and/or convict someone of a crime.

On a side note, I present this quote from Supreme Court Justice of the United States Stephen Breyer, quoted in the oft famous (and I think cited several times on by other commentators on this topic...) "Don't talk to the Police" youtube video, as quoted from Rubin v. United States (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/98-93.ZD.html)

“...the complexity of modern federal criminal law, codified in several thousand sections of the United States Code and the virtually infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an investigation into a possible violation of the law, make it difficult for anyone to know, in advance, just when a particular set of statements might later appear (to a prosecutor) to be relevant to some such investigation.”

Again, you are absolutely right. There wasn't much Quinn Norton could do when subpoenaed, but still I think this quote is particularly applicable given the context of the situation that Quinn Norton found herself in her unwitting contribution to the miscarriage and perversion of justice executed against Aaron Swartz.

I think subpoenas and discovery motions are two elements of our legal system that are oft abused to the detriment of this nation as a whole. The former by the zealous over-criminalization of America and the latter by copyright attorneys extorting money from individuals otherwise protected from identification by law. This case is just yet another incident of the rampant abuse of our legal system and what saddens and disgusts me is that there isn't much that can be done about it.

about 2 years ago

The Accidental Betrayal of Aaron Swartz

Marful Re:The mindset of criminal investigators in Americ (409 comments)

Sadly, immunity wouldn't of helped Quinn Norton in this case as her words weren't being used against herself, but another.

Now if only such a similar criminal investigation would be brought against the people (and by people, I mean the federal prosecutors who targeted Swartz) who subverted the justice system to push corporate special interest.

about 2 years ago

The Accidental Betrayal of Aaron Swartz

Marful The mindset of criminal investigators in America: (409 comments)

If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.

~Attributed to Cardinal Richelieu.

When it comes to criminal investigations in America, there is nothing you can ever say that will help your case. The only thing you can do is make it worse. The best bit of advice is to shut the fuck up and lawyer up.

about 2 years ago


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