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Comment Re:Power off, reboot, or stall (Score 1) 219

The crashboot might be construed as obstruction of justice, since it's an intentional act that you do once you know that what you've got is likely to be evidence. If you worry about it, set your iPhone to wipe after ten failed login attempts and disable the fingerprint activation (or whatever the equivalent is for your phone) ahead of time. They can't complain about that.

Comment Re:confusion about self-incrimination (Score 1) 219

Taking cheek swabs, forced fingerprinting, etc., are all things the police do to you. They will happen if the court orders, whether you agree or not. Since they can take your fingerprints no matter whether you're innocent or guilty, the act itself doesn't incriminate you. You can be compelled to do all sorts of things, as long as they aren't under your initiative, but if there's any decision you make then the fact that you can make that decision has evidentiary value and you may not be compelled. If you're ordered to enter a password, and there's any doubt you know it, and the phone has some connection to something illegal, then entering a password reveals that you know the password, and that may not be compelled.

"Papers and effects" have nothing to do with the Fifth. The Fourth doesn't prevent the police from doing any searches or seizures, as long as they have probable cause and go through the right formalities. They can conduct reasonable searches and seizures at their own discretion, and can seek warrants for all others.

Comment Re: Mall shooting in Germany (Score 1) 184

No, the NRA did not lobby to stop government research on gun violence.

According to the NYT, the NRA did lobby to stop government research on gun violence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01...
N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: January 25, 2011

The dearth of money can be traced in large measure to a clash between public health scientists and the N.R.A. in the mid-1990s. At the time, Dr. Rosenberg and others at the C.D.C. were becoming increasingly assertive about the importance of studying gun-related injuries and deaths as a public health phenomenon, financing studies that found, for example, having a gun in the house, rather than conferring protection, significantly increased the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

Alarmed, the N.R.A. and its allies on Capitol Hill fought back. The injury center was guilty of âoeputting out papers that were really political opinion masquerading as medical science,â said Mr. Cox, who also worked on this issue for the N.R.A. more than a decade ago.
Initially, pro-gun lawmakers sought to eliminate the injury center completely, arguing that its work was âoeredundantâ and reflected a political agenda. When that failed, they turned to the appropriations process. In 1996, Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, succeeded in pushing through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the disease control centersâ(TM) budget, the very amount it had spent on firearms-related research the year before.

The research into gun violence is under the purview of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The federal agencies keep statistics on actual crime rates and don't try to force conclusions based on an uber-liberal bias.

According to articles in Science and Nature, researchers in gun violence say that the statistics gathered by the Department of Justice and FBI https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-t... are worthless for epidemiological investigation into the important questions they want to answer.

For example, much of the statistical reporting is voluntary, which biases the result. And they don't give the identity of the victims or accused, or the reporting officer, as they do in auto accidents for example, so you can't take a sample of cases and track down the causes and associated factors, as that NEJM suicide study did.

When I used to research auto safety, I found many US and foreign studies of auto accidents which would give complete details on hundreds or thousands of accidents -- type of accident, damage to car, type of injury, vehicle speed, weather, cause(s) of accident, etc. From these studies they could figure out what was causing accident deaths and injuries and figure out how to prevent them. For example, they proved that seat belts saved lives, by about 50% or more, and 100% in certain kinds of accidents. Everybody was pretty sure that seat belts saved lives, but lobbyists from the US auto industry were denying it, and congress would't accept or require seat belts in US cars it until engineers published papers demonstrating it in 1967. The result was seat belt laws that saved about 25,000 lives a year. I also used to research medical device accidents, and the FDA had the same kind of reporting system.

In contrast, you can't use the DOJ and FBI statistics for that kind of analysis. Why do people kill each other? How many of those guns were legally bought and how many of them were illegally obtained? Where did they get the illegal guns from? You can't tell from that data.

Comment Re:confusion about self-incrimination (Score 1) 219

You're confusing the Fourth and the Fifth. The Fourth shields you from unreasonable search and seizure and provides certain criteria for warrants. It doesn't stop the government from doing anything, provided they have probable cause and go through the formalities. The Fifth is absolute: the government cannot require you to say or type anything incriminating, no matter what. (If you are ordered to say or type something specific, that's not incriminating.) Exactly what that means in relation to passwords is not yet fully clarified in US law, but it's definite that you can't be compelled to divulge a password if there's any reasonable case to be made that it provides evidence. If they know the phone's yours, that's unsettled. If they know the phone is possibly evidence, and they don't know it's yours, then divulging the password is admitting that you're connected with the phone.

Comment Re:Fingerprint might not work (Score 1) 219

If you do have a duress finger, you could try not telling them. You can't legally prevent them from holding your fingers to the sensor, but I don't know that they can compel you to say which one. (If there's any doubt that the phone is yours, they probably can't.) However, there are people who, unlike me, have actually studied law and who can answer these sorts of questions much better than I can. Before relying on anything I may have said in a criminal case, ask one of those guys first.

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 219

What the Fifth does here is prevent the government from compelling you to turn over a password or PIN or whatever if knowing you can unlock the phone will have any value as evidence. If they know a certain phone is involved in a crime, and they don't already know it's yours, then compelling you to unlock it would be compelling you to admit your phone was involved in a crime, and that's self-incrimination. (If you've got a passphrase that's a confession on some device, they can't force you to reveal the passphrase. If it's found legal to compel you to provide a password, they can force you to type it in yourself.)

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 219

The choice for most people is not between more or less security, it's between some security and no security. People use the fingerprint unlock, including those who wouldn't stand for entering a PIN each time. An actual passphrase would be really awkward to type on the device, and almost nobody would ever use it. (It's still an option, I believe, but just having the phone wipe itself on ten failed logins and having a four-digit PIN means an intruder has only a 1% chance of getting through.)

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 219

The Apple fiasco was actually the FBI trying to compel Apple to produce that modified OS (after thoroughly muffing the evidence collection), and Apple argued that it couldn't be compelled to cooperate in that way. The FBI's dropping of the legal action suggests to me that Apple would have won. The FBI claimed that it had found another way to read it.

The technique the FBI tried to get Apple to do would work on an iPhone 5 or earlier, and not on any phone Apple currently sells.

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 219

In the US, you can be compelled to provide physical evidence and do certain things, such as allow a cheek swab or have your finger pressed to a sensor. Whether the courts can compel the use of a password isn't really settled. It seems that it's allowed if it decrypts something already known to exist, and it's certainly not legal to compel someone to give up the password to a phone if it isn't known that the person has used the password. (Example: a phone is found at a crime scene. If I demonstrate that I can unlock it, I'm incriminating myself by tying myself to an object at the scene.)

Comment Re:RIP (Score 3, Informative) 31

Errr... the build quality for Vizio TVs is dreadful. I had one fail twice in the warranty period and then of course immediately after the warranty expired.

Opening the thing up the mainboard of the device was fastened to the backlight panel chassis with packing tape. I'd never seen such shoddy construction, not to mention the very poor quality of the boards themselves.

In general I think the idea of "smart tvs" is bad for the consumer economically. On top of that selling our viewing habits a profit center for Vizio on their already crappy throw-away TVs. And to add insult to injury, the UI for most smart TVS is just terrible. I replaced the Vizio with a Samsung, not because I wanted another smart tv, but because it was cheap. Not only was the search function hopelessly broken, the damn thing interrupted stuff I was watching on Netflix or Amazon with service change bulletins for Samsung services I neither subscribed to nor used. How could any UI designers be so damned stupid.

But you almost can't get a smallish HD TV that's not "smart". I ended up with a Hitachi "Roku TV" which is just a plain old TV with a Roku stick stuck in one the HDMIs. I'm much happier with Roku's UI and service, but if I wanted to I could just pop the Roku stick out and have a plain old TV.

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 219

Sure, they can do that. On an iPhone, anyway, what they'll get is the contents encrypted with a random 256-bit key using encryption that is pretty much universally considered uncrackable. In other words, it's secure from anything short of a Kardashev Type III civilization with ultra-efficient quantum computers, and if one of them wants to get me they will anyway.

The key is held in a separate piece or area of silicon, and can only be extracted from it with extremely exacting physical analysis of the chip, which is likely to destroy the key permanently. The Secure Enclave is perfectly capable of erasing the key, and then nothing is recoverable. It handles the verification of the PIN itself. There's got to be ways to breach the security, but Apple is trying to remove them.

Comment Re:It's not money... not unlike US green back (Score 1) 136

Your delusion levels are high.

Tell you what: pull out $100 US anywhere in the world and see if you find any takers. THAT'S how much credibility the US treasury and the Federal Reserve have. I've got a 500,000,000 dinar note from when Serbia was in hyperinflation (Nicola Tesla's picture!) and people were burning them for fuel. That's never happened, and will never happen, in the US (with a particular caveat mentioned below).

Right now, Euro bonds are paying negative interest. At least at the moment, the dollar is still king worldwide.

Now, if a certain vulgar talking yam becomes president, that might change, but for now, everybody wants dollars. Even the silly fuckers at Infowars are putting money into US treasuries. Alex Jones will blow you for $20 US.

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 219

Having your iPhone set up to delete itself after ten failed logins is the sort of nice unequivocal policy that companies use, and as a policy it provides protection against other potential intruders. You'd have to deliberately fail to login ten times to do anything really wrong, and that will take a long time because of lockouts. Therefore, according to a pseudonymous guy on the Internet who will assure you he's not a lawyer, it should be fine.

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