Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who's Sneakin' Round Your Backdoor?

CNET's Declan McCullagh:

February 3, 2010 4:00 AM PST
Police want backdoor to Web users' private data
by Declan McCullagh
Anyone with an e-mail account likely knows that police can peek inside it if they have a paper search warrant.

But cybercrime investigators are frustrated by the speed of traditional methods of faxing, mailing, or e-mailing companies these documents. They're pushing for the creation of a national Web interface linking police computers with those of Internet and e-mail providers so requests can be sent and received electronically.

CNET has reviewed a survey scheduled to be released at a federal task force meeting on Thursday, which says that law enforcement agencies are virtually unanimous in calling for such an interface to be created. Eighty-nine percent of police surveyed, it says, want to be able to "exchange legal process requests and responses to legal process" through an encrypted, police-only "nationwide computer network." (See one excerpt and another.)

(See McCullagh's article for all links.)

I don't see how this will change my immediate behavior, but it's very easy to misconstrue radical political statements as somehow terroristic. And for a low-level cop, this might just be his or her big chance... gosh, if I could just catch a terr'ist, ... And thus I do not like this notion one damned bit. The presumption is supposed to be of innocence, how hard can that be to understand... but with this apparatus, how can that possibly be the case?

I have read that if the cops pick you up, the best thing is to say nothing until your lawyer is present. Nothing... period. I've thought long and hard about it, and that is what I intend to do. It will not be easy, because I am a cooperative person and inclined to help the police when I can. But things are different these days. No one regrets that more than I do, but think what could be twisted from a cop's transcription of what you or I say. So... no free help from me. You want a statement? Sure; just get my lawyer out here...

As for what you steal by subpoena from my ISP, I can't stop that. But expect me to object strongly in court.

1 comment:

  1. They keep piling on the hay when they can't find the needle. This is stupid.

    An e-mail is not a legal document unless it can be proved to show communication between two specific people.

    An e-mailed warrant doesn't have a judge's signature, so it isn't a warrant. That's the way the laws are written. If it's an encrypted, police-only network, how does that help to speed up serving papers - the recipients wouldn't have access?

    Saving 5 years worth of traffic is a total waste of resources without any real basis for concluding it would help. More hay, and who pays for it?

    We had a separate New York State Police Information Network when I was in law enforcement, and the "information" was not reliable, because it depended on people to update it. How will this system be any better? Have they figured out how to eliminate human error?

    Prove that the FBI can be computerized, and then we'll talk.



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