No Warrant, No Problem: The Government Can Still Get Your Data

from the privacy?-what's-that? dept

Pro Publica has done it again. They've put together a great report on how the government can usually get your digital data without bothering to get a warrant. On top of that, they line it up with what the law actually says about the subject. Here are just a couple examples, but check out the whole thing:
Beyond phone records and location data, they explain how law enforcement can get IP addresses, emails, email drafts (treated differently than emails), text messages, general cloud data and social media information. And... the shorthand version is that the government can pretty much look at an awful lot of your data with very little judicial oversight.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:37am

    Your country seems to be infected with trojans. Look how they bypass system policies for malicious purposes with total impunity, while stealing resources from you.

    I'd suggest that you run a virus scan to clean the mess up, but I'm afraid that they've completely overtaken the system by now. The only safe way to fix it is to format the disk and install a new (perhaps, different?) Government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:39am

    And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    Corporations collect data that it's theoretically illegal for gov't to do. So I wuz right about all dat: you kids are just now catching up and becoming alarmed as purpose of "the net" becomes more obvious. But don't wait for MIke to worry about corporations merging with gov't: seems to never mention giant corporations as a problem, let alone the merger.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:51am

    Re:

    "install a new (perhaps, different?) Government"

    A democracy would be nice this time.

     

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  4.  
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    in_to_the_blue, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:52am

    Re: And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    you just had to put Mike in it, didn't you

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:52am

    This is exactly why I do encrypt everything.
    At the very least you will know when your government is spying on you because they probably knock on your door asking for you to decrypt the data LoL

     

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  6.  
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    Michael, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 5:52am

    Re: And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    I'm sure you have heard something like this before.

    It's not the size of your corporation, it's how you use it.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:08am

    which basically means there is no such thing any more as freedom or privacy. that being the case why dont we all just travel around with criminal-type ankle tags attached to us? like that, the government would know exactly where we were every minute of every day. it would save court time and money which could go towards the various police depts being able to behave in even more outlandish ways with no accountability and perhaps allow for greater spying to be implemented without having to beg for more in tax payers money

     

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  8.  
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    Cory of PC (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:11am

    Re: And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    Can we please ignore this idiot? Don't add any more comments, just let him be and vote down his comments...

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:13am

    Re: And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    OOTB Google doesn't have my browsing history, so impossible!

     

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  10.  
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    Shadow Dragon (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    Already did

     

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  11.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:41am

    The difference between Google and the government getting my data...

    I can choose to not give Google any data.

    I can't choose to not give the government my data.

    It's why I don't *gasp*, this might be a hard concept for you to understand, but...

    I don't use Facebook because of that.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 6:58am

    NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored

    Published on2 Dec 2012 [ 528,233 views 3days]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuET0kpHoyM

    "The FBI records the emails of nearly all US citizens, including members of congress, according to NSA whistleblower William Binney. In an interview with RT, he warned that the government can use this information against anyone.Binney, one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in the history of the National Security Agency, resigned in 2001. He claimed he no longer wanted to be associated with alleged violations of the Constitution, such as how the FBI engages in widespread and pervasive surveillance through powerful devices called 'Naris.' The FBI records the emails of nearly all US citizens, including members of congress, according to NSA whistleblower William Binney. In an interview with RT, he warned that the government can use this information against anyone.Binney, one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in the history of the National Security Agency, resigned in 2001. He claimed he no longer wanted to be associated with alleged violations of the Constitution, such as how the FBI engages in widespread and pervasive surveillance through powerful devices called 'Naris.'

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    Only if all members of government show us how its done for a year or 10

     

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  14.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re:

    A democracy would be nice this time.
    Sadly that's pure vapourware, the alpha version crashed on boot and they never solved the issue. The compatible options for your hardware are:
    Corporatocracy v2.3 or PoliceState v5.2
    Have a Nice Day friend citizen

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:26am

    So what else is new?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:45am

    What ever happened to?

    All I have heard my entire life from Americans regarding their guns is the BS about how they will need them if their government ever becomes out of control... well? nothing?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Re: What ever happened to?

    First they came for the communication, and I did nothing for they did not come after me...

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    There are many ways to ignore people, one of them is engaging them to have fun.

    He flipped out already, everybody can see he lost it, so who cares what he says or writes is just funny at this point.

    Find some humor in the situation, he has a right to his opinion no matter how obnoxious, crazy or sane it is, but what he can't do is to force others to respect that opinion, and sincerely I don't see anyone respecting that at the moment, so this is not a problem.

    But there are things you can do, you can program a custom CSS to hide all of his comments and probably hide the ones answering it or you could ask Techdirt webmaster to put that option as a "ignore list", so those who want to engage can do so and you can read in peace and he can keep ranting about everything.

    Also this could be extended as a commentary filter to exclude profanity where people chose which words they don't want to see written.

    Both would also give some statistics on how well something is being received and pointers on how to behave or not.

    Personally I like to see everything, it helps me measure the tendencies and patterns.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:02am

    "Internet service providers can also provide location data that tracks users via their computer's IP address a unique number assigned to each computer."

    Sorry, but that's not accurate. An IP address is a LOGICAL number. ISPs have a block of numbers that they can give out to their customers.
    Regarding most HOME accounts, they may choose to give out the same address to each customer, or they may choose to let the customer's routers grab an address from a pool. So, the point being:
    1. Your IP address for your home broadband can change, depending on your ISP and how often you reboot your equipment. (Leave it off for a day and see if you get a new address with www.whatismyip.com)
    2. Your IP address only applies to your edge device (your router.) All computers behind a standard home router are hidden behind that IP address. There is no way for the ISP to know based on IP address what computer/tablet/cell phone on your network did what. Legally, it doesn't matter, because if you're caught on your IP and are served a warrant, they're taking every device behind that IP.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Re:

    "which basically means there is no such thing any more as freedom or privacy. that being the case why dont we all just travel around with criminal-type ankle tags attached to us?"

    Believe it or not, the TSA is planning just what you said. They have these bracelets which contain all your personal info, tracking and the ability to taser you. Matter of fact, Jesse Ventura did an episode of Conspiracy Theory which focused on this subject but TruTV is censoring it by not airing it. Obviously they don't want people to know what the TSA/government is planning. All that's needed is to stage another "terrorist attack" and the people will submit to being tagged and tracked like so much cattle ...or at least that's probably what the TSA is hoping will happen. I for one will NEVER submit to being tagged.

     

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  21.  
    icon
    McCrea (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:21am

    OT: I tell you error!

    Man, I happened to nice that their implied link to "Facebook says 'warrent'" links to Twitter, and not Facebook.

    I went to e-mail them, but found no point of contact. I didn't look too hard tho, because I've been exasperated by such futility many times.

    Maybe Mikey here or someone can do a story about how it is not in a ... "community" website's best intrest to make it difficult to provide feed back. The point of futility most often is that I type up a technically detailed account including sources, hit enter, and *only then* am notified "you need to create an account to comment."

    Yes, registering there will not be the last thing I do. (Is

     

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  22.  
    icon
    Cory of PC (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    Well I do agree with you on your thoughts, but there are times where I can't seem to find a good response to his shenanigans and when it's time to say "you know, you're really getting annoying."

    True that is his nature (much like the others that come here) to get the attention of others and have them comment, basically throwing the whole discussion off. And I do enjoy reading the responses to the original comment due to that the responses are insightful and funny.

    I guess I wasn't in the mood to riff on Blue's comment. It's early (at least where I am) and he's busy away hogging for attention. If anything if I find something useful to work with I'll be happy to comment on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: And then they get your browsing history from Google.

    If I reply to one of these fools, it's either because I'm bored or because they make some kind of point which - while a blatant lie or distortion to regular readers - is written in such a way that a new reader might believe them.

    If anyone else is getting annoyed by this (and there does seem to be a few of them, my advice is to look at the message that generates replies. If ootb, bob or one of our other regular village idiots is the top comment in a thread, scroll to the next one, ditto if the top comment has been reported. Pretend that thread didn't happen, and continue intelligent debate below. At some point, people will tired of idiot-bashing and move on to the new discussion below.

    A little annoying perhaps, but it's far better than implementing actual censorship here, and these people have already proven that they're obsessed and dishonest beyond any normal behaviour pattern.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Ed C., Dec 5th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    1. Your IP address for your home broadband can change, depending on your ISP and how often you reboot your equipment. (Leave it off for a day and see if you get a new address with www.whatismyip.com)

    In those cases, they have to go to the ISP and get the account the IP address was allocated to at the time in question. But that, of course, is assuming those records are accurate.

     

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  25.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 1:58am

    Re: Re:

    Indeed, and that's a dangerous assumption to make. Not only do you have to assume that the ISP is giving the correct information (I remember at least one case where the wrong person was sued because the person at the ISP forgot to account for timezones), but you also have to assume that the IP address being asked about is the correct one in the first place.

    Remember the case where researchers managed to get a letter sent because a laser printer was supposedly downloading torrents? That was a proof-of-concept to show how easy it is to spoof addresses and get innocent people prosecuted - a lesson still not heeded by those who insist on this kind of process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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