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Comment Re:LOL Corporations! (Score 1) 149

No, big WHOOSH. You missed my point entirely.

The important thing is what was meant, not the exact words. For example, a person's "papers" were their personal records. Today, a person's personal records can be their income tax returns, their emails, or their telephone bills (including location data).

The whole purpose of the 4th Amendment was to prevent government from collecting this kind of data about people willy-nilly. That's the important part. It doesn't matter if it isn't printed on "paper".

Comment Re:Would such an upgrade have mitigated Katrina? (Score 1) 34

Complete bullshit.

In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest--and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm's landfall.


The federal government has almost nothing to do with emergency response. It's idiotic to even suggest they should be involved. Local authorities need to have plans and prepare for such events like Florida does. As a last resort the feds show up when it's an unmitigated disaster. Katrina was a category 1 when it made landfall, New Orleans was completely unprepared. Money for levees, flood walls and other precautions was funneled by local politicians to casinos and other local business projects.

Comment Re:LOL Corporations! (Score 1) 149

Please read my tagline above; I disagree that it is, any popular sense, a "living document".

Rather, it is a set of absolute rules intended to limit the power of Federal government. But "absolute" does not refer to an "interpretation" of the words; rather, it means that laws are to be followed in the way that the original writers intended. Not according to modern changed meanings of words or phrases, or in some way that a non-scholar might read them without knowing the history.

The only sense in which the Constitution is "living", is in the sense that there is an already well defined method of changing if we want. That method is known as "amendment" and there are solid and well-established rules for amending it.

Comment Re:better title:some common encryption practices s (Score 1) 207

Unless the government has compromised nearly every software and hardware vendor in the world... at which point you couldn't even trust the devices you're using to connect. The fundamental problem here is the strength of the governing bodies constitution and the the respect it has for that constitution. If you have, as we do today, a government that considers the constitution to be an outdated stumbling block rather than the backbone of a free society that it is, no amount of security or encryption will save you. They have unlimited time, money and people. They will always win.

Comment Re:LOL Corporations! (Score 1) 149

"The point is the type of 'records' doesn't matter except in very very specific cases. If it's held by a 3rd party, you don't have grounds to invoke the 4th Amendment."

I disagree about whether that is "the point". I think the court is missing "the whole point" of the 4th Amendment. Remember that generally speaking, it is not the letter of the law that is important, but what the authors of the law meant when they wrote it.

There are a couple of things that are pretty clear about this, given the realities of the day: (1) that this kind of electronic record is, for all intents and purposes, equivalent to "the papers and effects" envisioned when the 4th Amendment was written; and (2) these are essential parts of many people's daily lives without which they cannot function normally in society, not something you are "voluntarily" turning over to a 3rd party.

The spirit of the law says this court was wrong. In fact this is precisely the kind of information that the 4th Amendment was created to protect.

"The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it." -- James Wilson

Comment Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (Score 1) 529

"Its like sticking a group of children in a room full of knives and blaming the children when someone gets hurt."

I disagree completely. These were supposedly responsible news organizations. So what it was really like was sticking a group of adults in a room full of knives, and blaming those adults when someone gets hurt.

If you loan someone a dangerous object... say you loan someone your rifle because they want to go hunting, or because Grandma is coming over and she is a little crazy and you don't want the gun in the house... and that person then goes out and shoots somebody with your gun, YOU are not responsible. Either legally or morally.

A news media organization messed up. And it wasn't deliberate, it was an accident. But they were adults, and should have known better.

Comment Re:LOL Corporations! (Score 1) 149

"While the ruling is troubling on a number of levels the concept itself is fine. "

There is another aspect to it that is being ignored here, and by the court as well.

Other courts (I don't have a specific citation at hand, but it's been in the news) have ruled that while collecting specific data may not be a search, aggregating data over time can constitute surveillance or a search subject to 4th Amendment protection.

I think it is pretty clear that cell phone location data is aggregated over time, and can reveal things about one's life that even a direct search (or police "tail") might not do. So it seems pretty obvious to me that this kind of data is covered by that precedent, but this court ignored that.

Comment Re:LOL Corporations! (Score 1) 149

"After all, they need the location data for billing purposes."

I would argue over whether they even need this much... to a degree anyway.

On a typical plan, all they need to know is: "Is it 'native', or roaming?" and "Is it long distance, or local?"

Because most plans only distinguish between home area and roaming, and long distance or local. And some unlimited plans do not even do that. Further, most cell plans don't even distinguish between local and long distance anymore, as long as it is within the U.S.

So the location data in most cases can be broadened to simply "Were they in their home coverage area?" Which, for many providers, is a rather large percentage of the U.S.

Yes, the nature of cell phones does require fairly specific location data at the time of call. But there is no user-specific need to retain those records.

Comment Re:What's most surprising about this story. (Score 0) 260

Speaking of fascinating.

Just generally speaking, don't you know... it is fascinating to me how some people can complain about the actions of others, then turn around and hypocritically indulge in the widely vilified, socially unacceptable practice of sock puppetry. Fascinating indeed.

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