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Comment: Re:Just stupid (Score 1) 201

by meta-monkey (#49631917) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

So you suggest we should allow law enforcement to track cellphones without a warrant because its obvious the guy was a criminal?


They didn't track him. They didn't track anybody. What about what I said makes you think I'd be okay with cops just tracking cell phones?

I don't think you understand what happened in this case, and what a court order is. The cops didn't actually do anything, or track anyone. They got a court order for the phone company to hand over specific, limited billing data for one guy for whom reasonable cause had been demonstrated to a federal judge. That's how the whole system is supposed to work.

They can't just barge in to the phone company and seize their records. Is that what you think is going to happen? A judge always has to review it. That's a requirement of the SCA (the Stored Communications Act). And if the judge does a shitty job, the defense attorney challenges the validity of the order. Oh, and the SCA precludes phone companies from voluntarily handing over this call data. An order MUST be obtained from an impartial magistrate.

  This is a higher standard than other business records already. Your bank records can be subpoenaed by a clerk of the court (and challenged by the bank if the bank things they aren't relevant to anything the court is doing). That requires no judge.

And a warrant would be worse, because warrants authorize the cops to do the searching, rather than the trust the holder of the evidence to hand it over. So instead of a court order compelling the phone company to hand over specific documents (meaning they can take care to limit disclosure to only the things the court needs) you've got the cops coming in to the phone company and rummaging through everybody's stuff until they find what they want. Again, with a judge's approval.

The meat of this case is that the defense argued that the cell location data constitutes a search of the defendant, rather than an order to produce to the phone company (for their records...remember, "your phone records" are not your phone records. They're the records of the operation of the phone business). But the judge said "no, that's bull because you're using a cell phone, which everybody knows has to connect to a cell tower, of which there's surely a record."

The 4th amendment protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Not all search and seizure. If that were the case, there would be no warrants. What about this particular order to procure records do you find unreasonable?

Comment: Re:Just stupid (Score 1) 201

by meta-monkey (#49631421) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

They got a court order. A warrant would be worse. Then the cops would be going to the phone company and conducting a search. Meaning they'd see lots and lots of other stuff. A court order telling the phone company to produce only the info they wanted is far less invasive for the suspect, the phone company, and everybody else.

They will always still have to have the court order. A warrant is just one type of court order. What else do you think they're going to do?

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 190

by meta-monkey (#49629771) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

No, I think they would happen simultaneously. If I were the engineer designing the automated navigation system, I would consider this problem and specify the system only operate on well-mapped roads and would talk to the map provider to get details on how accurate and recent their maps are. Perhaps cross match them to other available mapping data. Then I would preclude the system from operating on roads with data integrity below a certain threshold.

I would inform the navigation data provider of this, and the purchaser of the vehicle. Then there'd be a /. article about how "9% Of Mapping Data Unusable For Autonomous Driving." And the crowd would get all rabid about how ridiculous and unsafe and nefarious this all is, and people would rabblerabblerabble and the companies that provide mapping data would produce the better data they'd already been working on anyway because they're not complete morons.

Comment: Re:This seems batshit crazy. (Score 1) 201

by meta-monkey (#49629697) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

I don't think you understand what happened in this case. They weren't just randomly tracking phones. The prosecutor got a court order from a federal magistrate for the phone records of the suspect (and only the suspect). The evidence presented to the judge to argue there was reasonable cause to get the records included eyewitness testimony, statements from the suspect's accomplices, surveillance footage of the armed robberies, and DNA evidence from the getaway car. The records were limited to the suspect's calls only, for the two month window the robberies were underway, and included only phone number, incoming/outgoing, date/time/duration, and the location of the cell tower the phone was connected to during the call. No call content, no text message content, no keep-alive packets or other tracking information for time the phone was on but not making/receiving a call.

I'm pretty sure that's exactly how the framers wanted it. You're protected from unreasonable searches and seizures, but this all seems pretty reasonable to me. Specific person. Specific information. Articulable facts. Sworn statements. Judge's order. Limited scope.

What do you think is the problem? Was there not enough evidence presented to argue reasonable cause? Was the information not relevant to a legitimate investigation? Was the scope of the request too large? I'm genuinely curious.

Comment: Re:Just stupid (Score 4, Informative) 201

by meta-monkey (#49629585) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

I read the decision. Go read the first few pages (linked in TFS). It makes perfect sense to me.

What do you think happened here? The cops didn't just go mining some random guy's cell signal.

They already had tons of evidence against the guy. Eyewitness testimony. Camera footage of the armed robberies (someone matching his description). DNA evidence collected from the getaway car. The government presented this to a federal magistrate who said it constitutes reasonable grounds for the government to seize the phone records that are relevant and material to the case.

And the only data they got was, for the specific two month period the armed robberies were underway, this one person's call records, limited to phone number, data/time/duration, incoming or outgoing, and the cell tower location. No call contents. No text message contents. No keep-alive packets or other location tracking data when the phone was powered but not making or receiving a call. No GPS data. Just enough to say "we know the suspect was in this mile and a half radius making a phone call near the time of the robbery."

So what do you think is the problem?

Were there not reasonable grounds to authorize the order? Not enough evidence? Were the phone records not relevant to the case? Do you think too much information was seized?

I'm genuinely curious as to where you think the government overreach occurred in this case, or if you just think the government should never be able to seize or search anything for any reason.

Comment: Re:Which is why we disguise cell towers (Score 1) 201

by meta-monkey (#49629447) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

This was not (necessarily) voluntary. The court order required the phone company to hand over the data, and the company complied.

But for the life of me I can't see any reason why they wouldn't or shouldn't. The court order was authorized by a federal magistrate who was presented with specific and arguable facts (eyewitness testimony, DNA evidence, surveillance camera footage during the armed robberies, more) that clearly show reasonable grounds to believe the company's business records would be "relevant and material" to the government's case. And they only got records of calls made (phone number, time/date/duration, cell tower location) during the specific 2 month window when the robberies were underway. No call content, no text message data, no keep-alive packets or other location data when the phone was on but not making calls.

What's the problem? Blanket surveillance of everybody all the time for all their records, is bullshit. But this is...exactly how the system is supposed to and needs to work. Specific person. Specific information. Specific facts. Reasonable grounds. Judge's order. And they got a violent dirtbag who shot at people and threatened many more with guns while robbing them of their stuff. Justice served. Well done, prosecutor.

Comment: Re:Which is why we disguise cell towers (Score 1) 201

by meta-monkey (#49629347) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

In this case the prosecutor got a court order to compel the phone company to turn over the call record.

I don't really see the problem here.

1) They already had a case built against the defendant. Eye witnesses who placed him at the scene of the robberies. Surveillance footage of someone who matched his description conducting the robberies. DNA evidence collected from the getaway car. Statements from accomplices. The cell records are just supporting documents, showing that not only was somebody who looked like him in the area, but he was actually in the area, too.

2) The government applied to a federal magistrate for the court order. They presented specific and arguable facts (see part 1), showing reasonable grounds to believe the phone company's business records were "relevant and material" to the investigation. I don't really see how anyone can disagree with it.

3) The data asked for and provided was specific to the investigation. It was data only for the two-month time period during which the robberies were underway. They provided:

a) Phone numbers for calls to and from the suspect's phone.
b) Whether the call was incoming or outgoing.
c) Date, time, duration of call.
d) The location of the cell tower to which the phone was connected at the time.

The records did NOT show:

a) Contents of calls.
b) Any text message data/details.
c) Any location information for when the phone was powered on but not making or receiving calls. So, no keep-alive packets or anything. No GPS or real-time data.

What the NSA does, blanket surveillance of everyone, all the time, with no probable cause, storing everything forever, that's bullshit. But this case...I for the life of me cannot see the problem. This is exactly how the system is supposed to work. The fourth amendment protects from unreasonable search and seizure. How is this in any way unreasonable?

And with regards to the "but it's my records" thing. It's not. They didn't get the suspect's records. They got the phone company's records of their dealings with the suspect. You sell me a pencil and write down "meta-monkey bought a pencil from me on May 6, 2015" and hand a me a receipt. You now have a record of the purchase, and I have a record of the purchase. If I later stab someone in the face with that pencil and the police come to you and ask for a record of the're not giving them my receipt. You're giving them your ledger entry. That's your record. Not mine.

Comment: Re:Some secrecy is necessary to permit negotiation (Score 4, Insightful) 148

by meta-monkey (#49628793) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

Yeah, I'm fine with secret negotiations. I don't see how you could negotiate effectively if every offer and counteroffer were broadcast to the world.

However, congressional representatives should not be subject to that level of obfuscation. I want my representative to be able to oversee what's going on to make sure the general direction is in my best interests (I know, I know, corps, plebes, money, don't care about you, blah blah blah, I'm talking about the way the system should work, not the way it does).

And I don't like the rumblings I've been hearing about "fast tracking" TPP. I don't know how true that is, I've only seen it in passing.

Negotiate in secret, fine. But let my representatives review the process. And once the negotiations are done, publish the full draft of the agreement and allow a lengthy, lengthy time for the public and lawmakers to deliberate over the provisions.

+ - Two Programmers Expose Dysfunction and Abuse in the Seattle Police Department->

Submitted by reifman
reifman writes: Programmers Eric Rachner and Phil Mocek are now the closest thing Seattle has to a civilian police-oversight board. Through shrewd use of Washington's Public Records Act, the two have acquired hundreds of reports, videos, and 911 calls related to the Seattle Police Department's internal investigations of officer misconduct. Among some of Rachner and Mocek's findings: a total of 1,028 SPD employees (including civilian employees) were investigated between 2010 and 2013. (The current number of total SPD staff is 1,820.) Of the 11 most-investigated employees—one was investigated 18 times during the three-year period—every single one of them is still on the force, according to SPD. In 569 allegations of excessive or inappropriate use of force (arising from 363 incidents), only seven were sustained—meaning 99 percent of cases were dismissed. Exoneration rates were only slightly smaller when looking at all the cases — of the total 2,232 allegations, 284 were sustained. This is partly why the Seattle PD is under a federal consent decree for retraining and oversight. You can check out some of the typically excellent Twitter coverage by Mocek from his #MayDaySea coverage.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Mainframe era? (Score 3, Interesting) 44

by afidel (#49625095) Attached to: Intel Launches Xeon E7-8800 and E7-4800 V3 Processor Families

Uh, it's nearly as much CPU power (141 cores at 5.2GHz, but even more CISC that x86) as the current mainframe, zSeries hasn't been about brute CPU in decades, it's about balanced CPU and I/O combined with high QoS and absolute stability. As an example the Z13 has nearly 1GB of L4 cache in the I/O coprocessors.

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"