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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, July 31, 2021

If you've ever read a privacy policy, you may have noticed a section that says something about how your data will be shared with law enforcement, which means if the police demand it and have the necessary paperwork, they'll likely get it.

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...But maybe, like most American adults, you don't read privacy policies very carefully if at all. In that case, you might be surprised to learn how much of your data is in the hands of third parties, how much access law enforcement has to it, how it might be used against you, or what your rights are " if any " to prevent it.

Many of the Capitol insurrectionists might be discovering this now, as cases against them are built with evidence taken from internet services like Facebook and Google. While they left a trail of digital evidence for investigators (and internet detectives) to follow, not all of that data was publicly available. If you read through cases of people charged with crimes relating to the events in Washington on January 6, you'll find the FBI also obtained internal records from various social media platforms and mobile phone carriers.

But you don't have to be an alleged insurrectionist for law enforcement to get data about you from another company. In fact, you don't have to be suspected of a crime at all. The police are increasingly using tactics like reverse search warrants to grab the data of many people in the hope of finding their suspect among them. You might get swept up in one just because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time or looked up the wrong search term. And you might never know that you got caught in the dragnet.

"Investigators are going to these providers without a suspect and asking for a broad set of information that is not targeted in order to basically identify suspects that they didn't already have in mind," Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel for the ACLU's speech, privacy, and technology project, told Recode. "These more mass surveillance techniques are increasingly common."

Basically, if a company collects and stores your data, then the police can probably get their hands on it. ...


Search requests involving geo-fences (~give the police a list of all smart-phones that were in this area over the past day...~) are too broad and too common.


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-07-31 12:37 PM | Reply

I have nothing to hide.

#2 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2021-07-31 09:03 PM | Reply

@#2 ... I have nothing to hide. ...

That's not the way the Constitution works.

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-07-31 09:20 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I've written several geo-fence and location service data warrants on burglary and vehicle theft cases with excellent results. The only people who have something to fear are the criminals. The geo-fence warrants require service of two search warrants to get the suspect's data. The first warrant requests all devices entering and leaving the fenced area during a certain time period. Google responds with masked results. Then you have to determine which of the masked results is most likely your suspect and write a second search warrant to have that device unmasked. The location service search warrants mean that you are already on our radar as a suspect, and we have probable cause to get your location data to show that you were either at the scene of the crime or not.

At least in our state, the prosecutors restrict us to the least amount of data possible because that's what the judges have deemed permissible. I'm sorry, if you're outraged about this, you don't want the police to solve serious felony crimes like murder, rape, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, insurrection, etc. We're not running around writing search warrants to get your precious data willy nilly because they would never be granted, we have to have a crime, and we have to show how the data we are requesting will assist with the investigation/solution of that crime. Unless you are a criminal, we really don't care about your data.

#4 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2021-07-31 09:33 PM | Reply

#1

Yup I have known about this for years and since my job has me driving all over town I pretty much assume that I have been caught in a geofence at least once.

I vote locally and look for people who say they want to curb this practice but usually even if they all won they wouldn't hold enough power to make a difference, and they pretty much never win.

#2

I try and keep it that way but in this day and age pretty much anything that isn't forbidden is compulsory so I have no doubt I've done something wrong at least once or twice that a prosecutor could make hay with.

On the plus side I'm a middle class white guy so I'm probably safe from police trolling.

#5 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2021-07-31 09:41 PM | Reply

@#4 ... I've written several geo-fence and location service data warrants on burglary and vehicle theft cases with excellent results. The only people who have something to fear are the criminals. ...

That is not the way the Constitution works.


#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-07-31 09:55 PM | Reply

"The only people who have something to fear are the criminals."

Tell it to Breanna Taylor.

#7 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-07-31 10:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

I hope they like gay porn.

I just watch for the articles...

Yeah - the articles.

#8 | Posted by LostAngeles at 2021-07-31 10:42 PM | Reply

@#8 ... I hope they like gay porn. ...

And the problem with gay porn is..... ?

Please state it outright. Don't be bashful.

thx.

#9 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-07-31 10:50 PM | Reply

"The only people who have something to fear are the criminals."
Tell it to Breanna Taylor.

#7 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2021-07-31 10:00 PM | REPLY

What happened to Breonna Taylor was criminal, but that's not the topic of the thread. Breonna Taylor's location data was not the reason the police were at her apartment. Yeesh, let go of the hate, all cops are not bad or corrupt, some of us are trying really hard to make things better for average folks by solving crimes against them and putting the perpetrators in prison. A lot of us support reform, and trying alternatives to police response to certain types of calls. But if you'd prefer that I don't pursue the last two murderers that I've put away, please tell me why.

#10 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2021-07-31 11:26 PM | Reply

Sure.
You talked about getting a warrant.
That's how Breanna Taylor was killed.

#11 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-07-31 11:28 PM | Reply

That is not the way the Constitution works.

#6 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER AT 2021-07-31 09:55 PM | FLAG:
(CHOOSE)

No, but that's the way the contracts you agree to work when you use phone applications that provide your GPS location. The constitution has nothing to do with that.

#12 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2021-07-31 11:28 PM | Reply

@#12 ... that's the way the contracts you agree to work when you use phone applications ...

And that is the whole point of what I've posted.

The contracts seem to supersede the Constitution.

Why do obtuse and dense business contracts apparently seem to supersede the Constitution?

Why do intentionally densely worded and intentionally confusing privacy "agreements" seem to abrogate the Constitution that governs us?


Why?

#13 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-07-31 11:56 PM | Reply

"some of us are trying really hard to make things better for average folks by solving crimes against them and putting the perpetrators in prison."

That's how Breonna Taylor was killed.

"What happened to Breonna Taylor was criminal"

Not according to the police department that killed her, or the courts with jurisdiction over them.

Why lie?

#14 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-08-01 12:34 AM | Reply

"A lot of us support reform"

How many police want to end qualified immunity?
Give me a ballpark figure.

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-08-01 12:39 AM | Reply

#13

The constitution only governs the government. It only applies to a business in the sense that they have to follow the law. As such they can do things that would be unconstitutional for the government to do.

The only analog analogue I could come up with is safe deposit boxes and sure enough if the police suspect you in a crime and have reason to believe evidence might be in a safe deposit box they can indeed force it open.

So while the density of our data held by private companies has increased the ability for law enforcement to get to it remains the same.

#16 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2021-08-01 08:52 AM | Reply

"As such they can do things that would be unconstitutional for the government to do."

Right, but it's also unconstitutional for the government to solicit a company to do something it would be illegal for the government to do.

But, it's not illegal for the government to solicit a company that then hires a subcontractor to do something the government can't do.

Et_Al would be able to provide more details.

The use of a contractor to shield government wrongdoing is a problem. That's how Kathleen Harris scrubbed the Florida voter rolls in 2000. She hired a Georgia company to do it, so the action occurred outside of Florida and outside the reach of Florida oversight.

#17 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-08-01 10:07 AM | Reply

1984 was already 37 years ago.

#18 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2021-08-01 01:49 PM | Reply

If it's so easy to get this kind data on people why is it so hard to pin down Trumpy and his minions for their obvious crimes? Surely even if he is a moron that only knows how to use Twitter on the toilet he or his minions must have a lot of digital data floating around, too. But his lawyers have managed to obstruct justice quite handily.

It's taken years just to get the courts finally to say Congress can have his tax returns and to determine what the word "shall" means.

And as far as I can see Congress still does not have them in their possession yet.

#19 | Posted by donnerboy at 2021-08-01 02:27 PM | Reply

I remember when I realized Dominos Pizza had better data than the police had.

#20 | Posted by Miranda7 at 2021-08-02 02:45 AM | Reply

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