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Comment: Re:Strictly speaking... (Score 1, Informative) 95

by blueg3 (#47409007) Attached to: Thousands of Leaked KGB Files Are Now Open To the Public

Oddly, it's not. That's where OP is coming from. "Treasure trove" comes ultimately from Latin via French (or at least, some language fragments the Normans brought over). The "trove" means "found", so it's "found treasure". That's why in the original (pre-English) phrase, the word order is backwards: "trove" is the adjective, "treasure" is the noun, and it follows the appropriate French/Latin word order. It was pulled directly into English without reordering (common for borrowed phrases). Eventually, "trove" (which had no English meaning at all) became a synonym (a shortening) for "treasure trove".

So by etymology, "trove" was originally an adjective. However, it means nothing in English. The phrase "treasure trove" is a noun phrase all by itself that can't really be broken into parts.

Comment: Re:seems like snowden did the exact same thing. (Score 5, Insightful) 95

by blueg3 (#47407887) Attached to: Thousands of Leaked KGB Files Are Now Open To the Public

Well:
* The documents are being revealed to the public now and document events from 30-40 years ago.
* These are documents that he personally worked with, rather than a cache of documents acquired for the purpose of copying and releasing them.
* There's no question, I think, that this guy was a spy and defector. He was moved from Russia to the UK with the help of UK intelligence agencies in exchange for Russian secrets. Nobody's trying to claim that he's a "whistleblower". No comment on his actions or motivations vs. Snowden's, but they are potentially substantially different.
* This guy is dead.

Up to you to decide if any of these are substantive differences and why, but there are distinct differences.

Comment: Re:Strictly speaking... (Score 2, Informative) 95

by blueg3 (#47407805) Attached to: Thousands of Leaked KGB Files Are Now Open To the Public

In English, "trove" has been a standalone noun for more than two hundred years. It's short for "treasure trove".

Etymologically, the "trove" in "treasure trove" comes from an adjective, but "trove" by itself isn't an English adjective. That's language for you.

Strictly speaking, you're inventing a meaning that would make sense etymologically and asserting that it's the "real" meaning of the word. It's only dictionaries and speakers of English that disagree with you.

Comment: Re:Better idea (Score 1) 415

by blueg3 (#47401121) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

I think the cops probably need to do more old-school investigating and undercover work.

This is part of "old-school investigating". The dog is to help them execute search warrants. The child porn can be stored on any kind of electronic storage medium, and that can be hidden pretty much anywhere in the house. It's a ton of failure-prone work to dig all that stuff up so you can search it.

In this particular case, it actually involves undercover work, too. Investigators get on P2P file sharing networks or infiltrate underground trading rings (which is sometimes pretty tough) and find people trading illicit material. Often, judges want a fair bit of supporting evidence that they're intentionally sharing explicit material (since everyone knows the "a virus did it" defense), so they'll get the target to reveal information sufficient for a warrant. (On top of that, they have to make sure the person is within their jurisdiction.)

Often times, a child porn case starts because someone calls the cops, and that requires a fair bit of proper investigation, too. Usually the accused is in contact with a child, and you have to figure out if something is going on there. Sometimes it's people planting evidence to get back at an ex-boyfriend or something, and you want to eliminate that possibility, too. (One guy tried to steal his neighbor's wife by planting CP on his neighbor's computer. Really not a great plan.)

Comment: Re:Sigh...fucking slashdot (Score 1) 683

by blueg3 (#47398881) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

While this could be for another form of 'tracking' with cell phone tracking technologies (which exist), I feel it would be impossible to know just from cell phone identification what a person intends to do.

You need a photo ID and a boarding pass to pass the checkpoint, and they record it when you do. The area is under video surveillance. It seems like they have tracking pretty well covered.

Oddly, I could swear that this has been a theoretical travel rule for ages (at least, before the TSA existed) -- a security checkpoint "may" ask you to power on a laptop to demonstrate that it's really electronics. No idea what happens otherwise. I don't recall ever encountering it.

Comment: Re:This is so incredibly stupid. (Score 1) 415

by blueg3 (#47398849) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

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?

Most of the people they actually catch and prosecute are pathological collectors.

Rhode Island is actually a little unusual in that they're pursuing people based on online leads. That's a ton of work. Last I knew, most state forensic labs already had their hands full with evidence to process from direct-referral cases. Those are were someone calls the police to initiate the investigation. Those cases are easier, since there's independent (and non-digital) evidence or testimony. They're also very often associated with actual abuse of a child of a friend or family member (whereas the guy you pick up on the other side of a P2P file sharing network could be otherwise harmless). So most places don't bother pursuing online leads, because they already have their hands full with easier cases.

Comment: Re:The smell of YOU! (Score 1) 415

by blueg3 (#47398775) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

They're not looking for (or claiming) "certain content". When you get warrants to arrest someone for child porn and search their house, the search generally includes seizing any digital media on the premises. Reasonable, since the guys often hide their incriminating collection somewhere. Digital media is small, easy to hide, and comes in all sorts of forms (as you well know), so reliably finding all of it in a house can be a real pain. Guys have gone free because the police didn't find the incriminating drive during their search, and the guy had a friend wipe the incriminating drive after he was arrested.

Seems plausible that a dog could sniff out electronics, which is really all they're looking for.

Comment: Re:After reading over other posts... (Score 1) 560

by blueg3 (#47331805) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

The mistake of saying that it contains evidence and that he has the capacity to unlock it is a huge mistake. In general (IANAL), in order to compel you to do something like unlock a safe, the prosecution needs to have a reasonable belief that the safe contains evidence relevant to the case, that you know how to unlock the safe, and that the safe (and/or evidence?) are yours.

He admitted all three of these. If he hadn't, then at the very least they'd have to work much harder to prove to a judge that all three were true before trying to compel him to decrypt the drive. The latter two are probably easy -- if the drive is in his physical possession and attached to his computer, then it's reasonable to assume (though not always true) that it is both his and that he has the means to access it. But they'd need something more than a hope or a guess that it actually contained evidence to compel decryption.

Comment: Re:WTF? How is this not self incrimination? (Score 1) 560

by blueg3 (#47326861) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

No part of it makes any distinction between "providing evidence" or "trestifying".

The word "witness" does. A witness is someone who provides testimony in a legal proceeding. It is not someone who provides non-testimonial evidence relevant to a legal matter.

The way I see it...

...is not the way the law works. Testimony is separate from other kinds of evidence, and the 5th Amendment covers testimony. (The 4th Amendment provides different protections to other kinds of evidence.)

Despite how frequently it occurs, it turns out that your home-grown, intentionally-overbroad, untrained interpretation of the Constitution is not, in fact, a good basis for reasoning about the law.

Comment: Re:WTF? How is this not self incrimination? (Score 1) 560

by blueg3 (#47325977) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

In two ways. First, being compelled to provide evidence that already exists isn't protected under the 5th Amendment, only giving testimony. (There are lots of details here, but that's the short version.) Second, once you volunteer information, you waive your 5th Amendment protections for that line of inquiry. (Again, details.) He told the police that the encrypted drive contained evidence and that he had the ability to decrypt it. Not a good move.

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