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View Diary: Police violate Fourth Amendment in order to get their hands on nifty gadgets (305 comments)

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  •  Assuming you're not being dismissively snarky (4+ / 0-)

    and really want to know what I meant, I meant that as I understand it, a digital "backdoor" gets you access to a given set of data or code, but doesn't necessarily give you the ability to understand or do much with it, just as getting access to a bank's locked safe doesn't mean that you've opened it.

    For example, every corporation in the world has computers and servers on which it stores vital confidential data. These devices are usually protected from access by unauthorized people by various physical and digital measures, e.g being in a locked and secure room, firewalls, passwords, audit trails, etc. But even if one somehow managed to get past all these safeguards to access these devices and the data on them, you'd still have to decrypt that data, and assuming they used RSA-level encryption (RSA is a commonly used and very secure encryption algorithm), that would be quite some challenge.

    Does this make sense, or were you, in fact, being dismissively snarky?

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:35:12 AM PST

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    •  No not at all I rec'd you so you'd know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      I can type fast, understand quick but you guys were losing me.

      Also tried to give you caselaw below about fishing for decryption.

      Apparently there is a huge line at Apple to decrypt Iphones (which again is kinda strange) in addition to the things I noted. There were a bunch of articles about it last year.

      Strange that police need to go to Apple. Also, I'd think a lot are just to "see" an issue in itself.

      You get me on a murder rap. I don't see why you need to see what's on my computer too. But who knows I didn't read may be just in cases where it applies. Funny that sounds optimistic.

      •  Now I don't understand you :-) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ClevelandAttorney, FarWestGirl

        If you're a murder suspect, can't the police easily obtain a warrant to search your computer and other devices to find evidence implicating you in it?

        But in any case we're not talking about legitimate suspects and ensuing warrants, but surveillance that falls outside such circumstances and is thus of questionable legality. I'm guessing that both statutory and case law lag technology at present, and likely always will.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:57:36 AM PST

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        •  Sorry, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie, FarWestGirl

          yes I do see why if I am arrested. (You should be a lawyer you parse my words well and are good at creating grey matter).

          I meant I don't know as I did not read the Iphone article, although there were a bunch of them "Apple says get in line to Police waiting to Decrypt".

          My first assumption was - these people already are sentenced in SOME cases. And loosely commenting that if you have me behind bars for murder why do you need my pin number for my iphone? Or me to log into my computer?

          Under the guise of finding something more or as an excuse?

          Whereas yes I agree that in building a case discovery would probably get me a warrant for your phone and all your activity unless it serves no purpose whatsoever.

          I would assume a lot are simply confiscated and being decrypted because we like info. Not to prove a smoking gun. But I don't know.  

          I don't mean to confuse. I think you understand me.

          •  Yes, I think I understand now (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ClevelandAttorney, FarWestGirl

            Again, IANAL but it seems fairly obvious to me that once someone has been convicted, unless a judge can be convinced to reopen a case, the police no longer have a good reason to search that person's property, even if it's still in their possession, with or without a warrant, unless it can be connected to another, still-open case, and a judge agrees.

            Of course, that's the theory. In practice, no doubt PDs violate this all the time with impunity and judges let them get away with it.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 09:32:51 AM PST

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            •  Yes exactly I think you are dead right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FarWestGirl

              and I was commenting in passing although perhaps based on those articles if I read a bit more maybe we are not far off.

              I do not see how there is a "line" for Apple to decrypt?

              Also why would they need Apple?

              •  I'm guessing that what's meant here (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FarWestGirl, ClevelandAttorney

                is that government entities such as local PDs, the FBI, NSA, etc., have asked Apple to help them get access to decrypted versions of certain data that Apple currently has possession of and the means to decrypt it, that these agencies cannot otherwise do on their own, at least lawfully. But that's just my guess.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 10:13:29 AM PST

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    •  Yes it makes sense (0+ / 0-)

      I can access it. But I don't speak that language. So it's a false assumption if I have a "back-door" that everything is there to be read without more? As getting in is only one step?

      •  In some cases, I'm sure, the "back door" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FarWestGirl, ClevelandAttorney

        grants you complete access to the data and code, to do with as you please. But these are increasingly rare, even on your average underprotected personal PC or device, which almost always come with SOME kinds of built-in protection (some required by law, other prudent for business reasons).

        Thus there's always at least two steps involved in such things.

        First, obtain the data you want, be it by "capturing" it if it's being transmitted, whether over the airways or via wire or fiber, or by "breaking into" the devices on which it's being stored (either physically and/or digitally)--all of which call for specialized and sophisticated devices, not always legal to own and use and often quite expensive and difficult to obtain and use.

        And second, be able to use the data in such a way as to make it of use to you, whether this means actual decryption, or being able to read a proprietary database scheme or file format in a way that makes sense to you.

        It's hard enough to do the former, but the second as well, makes it that much harder, more expensive, and of dubious legality.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 09:50:00 AM PST

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