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(Washington Post)   SCOTUS: You know we might have to discuss how the Constitution applies to stuff like say your cell phone, you know like the Fourth Amendment   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line 19
    More: Interesting, U.S. Supreme Court, supreme courts, fourth amendment, amendments, cell phones, organizations, counter-terrorism, Nick Stahl  
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3648 clicks; posted to Politics » on 05 Aug 2013 at 12:48 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-08-05 11:13:11 AM  
5 votes:

SurfaceTension: I'm going to start off with saying that this justification for collection of metadata is NOT one that I agree with. However, I can see where an argument can be made for this view:

Your phone call is basically like sending a letter through the mail. It is absolutely illegal to open a letter and examine its contents, but if one wants to make the effort, they can examine the envelope of the letter and determine its source, its destination, whether its registered, the stamp that's affixed, how thick the envelope is, etc.

I'm wondering what people think about that?



To make a fair comparison, it would be as though every single piece of mail processed by the postal system passed through a government building, before being delivered, wherein all of the information you mention was recorded and stored in perpetuity. Sounds like the sort of thing J. Edgar Hoover would have creamed his bloomers over.
2013-08-05 03:07:07 PM  
2 votes:

pdkl95: hardinparamedic: pdkl95: "Why I wrote PGP", by Philip Zimmermann

Too bad you libby libs persecuted him for shooting a marijuana fiend.

Philip Zimmermann, noted cryptography expert and author of PGP ("Pretty Good Privacy") may have been investigated by the feds as a criminal, but that was because of their fantasy about certain types of math being a "munition" and covered by the Arms Export Control Act.

At no point should he be confused with a certain dickless coward.

/also, "libby libs"? Ahh, trolls yet again jumping at things they wish were true...
//welcome to yet another ignore list


I'm pretty sure if you run that through some restricted maths and programs like such as and furthermore you'll find it was a joke.
2013-08-05 01:13:27 PM  
2 votes:

SurfaceTension:  It is absolutely illegal to open a letter and examine its contents, but if one wants to make the effort, they can examine the envelope of the letter and determine its source, its destination, whether its registered, the stamp that's affixed, how thick the envelope is, etc.

I'm wondering what people think about that?


It's called the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, it's been around since 2001, and it's suffering basically the same legal challenges as the phone monitoring programs are, that is to say a lot of people are very upset and the courts are essentially conspiring to deny them their right to petition for redress of grievances by making up bullshiat technicalities about standing (bullshiat because literally everyone using the USPS should realistically have standing to challenge this).

The fact that the people are being straight-out blocked from even having their day in court on this issue is one of the most creepily 1984 bits of the whole deal, frankly.
2013-08-05 12:44:07 PM  
2 votes:
I'm going to just go ahead and assume I don't have any rights anymore.
2013-08-05 03:09:56 PM  
1 vote:

Deneb81: Smidge204: SurfaceTension: Your phone call is basically like sending a letter through the mail. It is absolutely illegal to open a letter and examine its contents, but if one wants to make the effort, they can examine the envelope of the letter and determine its source, its destination, whether its registered, the stamp that's affixed, how thick the envelope is, etc.

It's possible to send a letter almost completely anonymously, however. There's no requirement to put a return address on the envelope and you can send the letter from anywhere. So you have to add to it that it is always known what the originating address of the sender is, regardless of which post office it was postmarked at.
=Smidge=

You can do the same with a cellphone. Use a burner, turn it on only when you want to make calls.

You can't receive calls, but you can't receive mail without a standing address either.


1. Yes, you can receive mail at a post office box without having a fixed address.  That address is fixed, but analogous to a wired phone:  It never changes location, but you can.

2. Burners are of limited utility, especially if you employ them as you suggest.

First, you can't just leave it off until  you want to make a call.  Well, technically you can, but the problem is if your correspondents do the same thing, you'll be forever playing phone tag, which depending on how often you check your phone, could be nearly as bad as not having a phone at all.

Second, unless you are very, very scrupulous about never, ever using the phone in an area where you live, work, or play, they can still very likely figure out who you are.

Third, turning a phone on, conducting some businesses, and turning it off immediately is a suspicious pattern.  If I had access to all that metadata and I were looking for patterns that drug dealers or terrorists might have, that's probably the first thing I would think of:  Phones that are dark 99% of the time, pop up on the network at random locations, stay on for a few minutes at most, then go dark again.  That just *SCREAMS* "Hey, I'm trying to avoid being tracked over here!".

If you're really paranoid about it, eschew cell phones.  For most of what you'd want to use a cell phone for, you can do it using relatively short-range radios.  The shorter range, the better.  It's more vulnerable to casual eavesdropping, but ironically more secure against the sort of systematic monitoring that can be done with cell phones:  You can leave a radio on receive and it doesn't report your location every few minutes.  When you transmit, you can of course be DF'ed, but only if they have assets available and in range to DF you.
2013-08-05 02:51:01 PM  
1 vote:

An envelope, you say?

"Why I wrote PGP", by Philip Zimmermann

What if everyone believed that law-abiding citizens should use postcards for their mail? If a nonconformist tried to assert his privacy by using an envelope for his mail, it would draw suspicion. Perhaps the authorities would open his mail to see what he's hiding. Fortunately, we don't live in that kind of world, because everyone protects most of their mail with envelopes. So no one draws suspicion by asserting their privacy with an envelope. There's safety in numbers. Analogously, it would be nice if everyone routinely used encryption for all their email, innocent or not, so that no one drew suspicion by asserting their email privacy with encryption. Think of it as a form of solidarity.
2013-08-05 02:49:41 PM  
1 vote:

nocturnal001: Perfect then. If Verizon ever decides to monitor all of it's customer's phone calls for illegal activity, then they would be able to turn that info over to the government.  That is not what has happened here.


Which would be blatantly illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Phone companies cannot eavesdrop on their customers just because.

You're comparing a situation where a person lawfully allowed into your home witnessed an illegal act and reported it to police with a situation that from the very beginning is the definition of "Fruit from a poisoned tree".
2013-08-05 02:43:43 PM  
1 vote:

Teiritzamna: nocturnal001: So does having a plumber come in my home leave me open for a police search?

If he saw illegal things while in there, and then tells the police - yes



Perfect then. If Verizon ever decides to monitor all of it's customer's phone calls for illegal activity, then they would be able to turn that info over to the government.  That is not what has happened here.


TLDR,
Americans - every right we have is on the table to be reduced or nullified due to changes in technology and public safety, except for the 2nd amendment which is sacrosanct.  What's the point of guns if we have nothing to protect?
2013-08-05 02:00:39 PM  
1 vote:

hardinparamedic: Giltric: Isn't there a thing along the border (the new border...the one that stretches 200 miles into the states from the actual borders) that is considered an exclusion zone in regards to the constitution and anyone bringing in a password protected cell phone or lap top is compelled to give authorities their password if asked?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x163]

Someone's been reading the FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW: chain emails from grandma again.


http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/are-you -l iving-constitution-free-zone
2013-08-05 01:56:51 PM  
1 vote:

nmrsnr: dittybopper: But the point is that with the location metadata, I can build up the most scarily accurate profile of you.  I can tell where you live, where you work, who your friends and family are, where you like to shop, where  you like to eat, and all manner of other things.  I can tell if you have a lead foot, or even if you own a car, ride the bus, walk, or ride a bike*.  Based upon where you go, I can get a pretty accurate estimate of what you make.  I can tell where you go to church, if you do, and I can even tell which bars you like to frequent.   Based upon proximity to you, I can tell who your co-workers are, and your friends.  And I can build up relationship maps.  I bet I could even tell you, with a fair degree of accuracy, who is sleeping with who.

Yup, data mining is pretty awesome. I can also decide to turn my phone off, or leave it at home unless I absolutely need it. That's the crux of the "it's not a search" argument, all of that information is given voluntarily to a third party (the phone company) for the convenience of their service.


So does having a plumber come in my home leave me open for a police search?
2013-08-05 01:39:44 PM  
1 vote:

SurfaceTension: Your phone call is basically like sending a letter through the mail. It is absolutely illegal to open a letter and examine its contents, but if one wants to make the effort, they can examine the envelope of the letter and determine its source, its destination, whether its registered, the stamp that's affixed, how thick the envelope is, etc.


It's possible to send a letter almost completely anonymously, however. There's no requirement to put a return address on the envelope and you can send the letter from anywhere. So you have to add to it that it is always known what the originating address of the sender is, regardless of which post office it was postmarked at.
=Smidge=
2013-08-05 01:36:38 PM  
1 vote:
www.bitlogic.com
2013-08-05 01:27:35 PM  
1 vote:
It's almost as if this is the exact 'slippery slope' that people warned about when the patriot act was first passed...
2013-08-05 01:13:23 PM  
1 vote:

SurfaceTension: Sybarite: To make a fair comparison, it would be as though every single piece of mail processed by the postal system passed through a government building, before being delivered,

Not to quibble, but this actually happens.

Sybarite: wherein all of the information you mention was recorded and stored in perpetuity.

This, not so much. At least not that we are aware.


Guess again.Every piece of mail is photographed

The postal service only keeps the images for a month. Want to bet on whether there's a hard drive just outside Bluffdale, Utah where those are kept around forever?
2013-08-05 01:11:12 PM  
1 vote:

Sybarite: To make a fair comparison, it would be as though every single piece of mail processed by the postal system passed through a government building, before being delivered, wherein all of the information you mention was recorded and stored in perpetuity. Sounds like the sort of thing J. Edgar Hoover would have creamed his bloomers over.


Like the databases maintained by the US Post office?
2013-08-05 12:47:41 PM  
1 vote:

nmrsnr: dittybopper: But the point is that with the location metadata, I can build up the most scarily accurate profile of you.  I can tell where you live, where you work, who your friends and family are, where you like to shop, where  you like to eat, and all manner of other things.  I can tell if you have a lead foot, or even if you own a car, ride the bus, walk, or ride a bike*.  Based upon where you go, I can get a pretty accurate estimate of what you make.  I can tell where you go to church, if you do, and I can even tell which bars you like to frequent.   Based upon proximity to you, I can tell who your co-workers are, and your friends.  And I can build up relationship maps.  I bet I could even tell you, with a fair degree of accuracy, who is sleeping with who.

Yup, data mining is pretty awesome. I can also decide to turn my phone off, or leave it at home unless I absolutely need it. That's the crux of the "it's not a search" argument, all of that information is given voluntarily to a third party (the phone company) for the convenience of their service.


I think the best way to explain this to moron legislators and tech stupid judges is to run a metadata analysis on them using about a months worth of data.

Then see if they like the results. If they don't like it, then maybe they'll do something about it.
2013-08-05 11:57:39 AM  
1 vote:

nmrsnr: dittybopper: Imagine if the post office knew where you were 24/7.  That's a more appropriate analogy.

It's also a more appropriate analogy if you imagine you were asking the post office to deliver your mail to you wherever you are, at any time day or night.


Granted.

But the point is that with the location metadata, I can build up the most scarily accurate profile of you.  I can tell where you live, where you work, who your friends and family are, where you like to shop, where  you like to eat, and all manner of other things.  I can tell if you have a lead foot, or even if you own a car, ride the bus, walk, or ride a bike*.  Based upon where you go, I can get a pretty accurate estimate of what you make.  I can tell where you go to church, if you do, and I can even tell which bars you like to frequent.   Based upon proximity to you, I can tell who your co-workers are, and your friends.  And I can build up relationship maps.  I bet I could even tell you, with a fair degree of accuracy, who is sleeping with who.

And I can tell all of that never having listened to the content of a single call, or seen the actual text of your text messages, tweets, or facebook postings.

There is almost no limit to the information I can gather just from the metadata of where you are and when you are there, combined with the metadata of who you call, when, and for how long.

*All of those things have a different "profile" based upon speed, location, how often they stop, etc.
2013-08-05 11:45:50 AM  
1 vote:

dittybopper: Imagine if the post office knew where you were 24/7.  That's a more appropriate analogy.


It's also a more appropriate analogy if you imagine you were asking the post office to deliver your mail to you wherever you are, at any time day or night.
2013-08-05 11:39:46 AM  
1 vote:

SurfaceTension: I'm going to start off with saying that this justification for collection of metadata is NOT one that I agree with. However, I can see where an argument can be made for this view:

Your phone call is basically like sending a letter through the mail. It is absolutely illegal to open a letter and examine its contents, but if one wants to make the effort, they can examine the envelope of the letter and determine its source, its destination, whether its registered, the stamp that's affixed, how thick the envelope is, etc.

I'm wondering what people think about that?


I think it's pretty short-sighted:  A cell phone periodically reports your position.  It has to for the system to work properly:  Your cell provider needs to know what cell tower to route your calls through.  That is also part of the metadata that is collected.

Imagine if the post office knew where you were 24/7.  That's a more appropriate analogy.
 
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