During his initial appearance in a federal courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., the prosecutors indicated a willingness to reduce or drop the child pornography charges if he would tell them about the C-17, said Sara Naheedy, Gartenlaub’s attorney at the time.
So they believed that they had sufficient evidence to nail him to the wall on possession of child porn, but they were willing to drop that entirely so long as he was agreeable to turn government informant or confess to potential espionage.
Yeah, the warrant wasn't even close to the only screwed up thing in this case, though given the dodgy nature of the whole process I wouldn't be surprised if their willingness to drop the CP charges was because they were simply using the threat of them to pressure him to cave.
Well, that's certainly going to be handy the next time a foreign government wants to hack into US systems, they just need to get a warrant or the legal equivalent from their courts and off they go. USG can't complain, after all if the FBI or other US agencies can hack foreign systems without issue then clearly foreign agencies can hack US systems in return, and unless the USG wants to look like a gigantic hypocrite again they'll have no grounds to complain so long as the hacker in question claims to be operating under legal authority.
"Now I'm not an expert, or even have any knowledge in the field but..."
American technology companies have done some amazing things that are the envy of the world. We think that finding a way to achieve both goals simultaneously is not beyond their capabilities.
'Meanwhile Burr and Feinstien were heard insisting that mathematicians can make two plus two equal five if they just tried harder, doctors could make people immortal if they just put their backs into it, and architects could make gravity defying housing if they just cared enough to attempt to do so.
Experts in the fields listed were unavailable for comment, having face-palmed so hard as to knock themselves unconscious, with the mathematician suffering a broken nose.'
On the one hand, 'Politician harder, you could balance the country's budget if you actually wanted to and tried' would make for a fitting rebuttal, on the other hand I'm not sure if anyone could keep a straight face saying the other half, the 'American politicians have done some amazing things that are the envy of the world' bit.
And walls, curtains, locations which are not wired up for recording, speaking in code or even just in languages that the listener isn't familiar with...
The specific that they are throwing fits about at the moment is encryption, but the general idea that they are so opposed to seems to be privacy itself, the idea that someone may say or write or receive something and that information might not available for those in authority to listen to or read.
First they absolutely required Apple's forced assistance to unlock the phone, and insisted that it was vital that it be done because who knows what might be on it?
Cyber pathogens? The Ultimate Question? A bunch of sudoku puzzle answers? What appears to be a bunch of lurid poetry with innuendos that are almost, but not quite enough to make a nun blush, but which is actually perfectly tame and only masterfully written to seem questionable?
Then when it started to look like the case might not go their way, overnight and like magic they suddenly found out that they didn't in fact need Apple's forced assistance, and ran away from the case fast enough to set speed records. Yet despite managing to do what they claimed was impossible previously, they remained silent on how they did it, and the only thing known was the crazy price-tag on how much it took.
And now they claim that they handed over both phone and $1.4 million to a company or group that only unlocked the phone, and didn't tell them how they did it, not only making anything found on the phone absolutely worthless as far as evidence goes(which assumes that they cared about the contents in the first place of course), because if they don't know how it was done they have no assurance that the process didn't change anything, and oh would you look at that, they can't tell anyone how it was done so that anyone can check to see if the technique used actually exists.
It's not a question of if they lied, but when and how much, and the more I read the more I come to believe that the answer to that question is 'At every step of the process, and in every possible way'.
Amusingly, just a few days ago, Apple revealed that the FBI used the VEP to disclose a vulnerability for the very first time, on April 14th, just as everyone was arguing about this. Of course, the flaw it revealed was not about hacking into the iPhone, and was actually about a flaw that Apple had discovered and fixed... nine months ago.
Yeah, going to have to agree with the article here, I'm guessing the only reason they 'reported' the flaw was because it had been patched and was therefore useless to them. I really doubt they'd be willing to report an active flaw, given doing so would reduce their ability to access devices affected by it, and they care more about that than protecting the public from the repercussions of others using the flaw.
And can those be legally compelled? Even if so it's one thing to compel someone to produce a physical item like a key, another to compel them to provide self-incriminating knowledge from their mind.
Without digging through cases the wiki entry seems to imply that while the US SC hasn't taken up the issue directly, they indicated at the time that suspects cannot be compelled to provide information such as passwords as such information is located within the mind, rather than as a physical object. Lower courts have gone both ways, some claiming that forcing someone to provide a password or decrypt a device isn't self-incriminatory, others that it is, so it's hardly a settled matter.
If this is how the system is abused when there's actual penalties for sending clearly bogus DMCA claims, just think of how bad it would be if there were no penalty at all! Why, people might send out clearly fraudulent DMCA claims just to demand that something embarrassing to them be de-listed, think of the hassle sites would have to go through to fight back against claims like that on a regular basis!
Luckily though the very real and consistently applied penalties for abusing the DMCA system prevents such actions from occurring, much to everyone's benefit.
Re: I think I've finally figured out this administration
Less Ferengi, more Cardassian I'd say.
'Cardassian society had the most rigid and, to the Federation, incomprehensible of all legal systems. Every suspect was irrefutably deemed guilty before even appearing in court, their sentence already spelled out – almost always either death or imprisonment in a harsh labor camp. The criminal was given a Conservator, equivalent to a public defender, except that the Conservator was not supposed to win but to prepare the criminal for a moving confession of guilt on the floor of the court. The accused was also permitted an advocate, the Nestor, to advise them during the trial. The Chief Archon, or judge, of the court played to a televised audience, their duty not to judge the prisoner's innocence or guilt, but rather to give an emphatic display of the futility of crime on Cardassia and reinforce the public's trust in the judicial system. Charges against the accused were announced at the commencement of the trial itself, the execution date was set in advance, and only the offender's spouse as well as the court-assigned nestor and counsel could attend the trial.'
Being able to provide the password is itself evidence though, and can both be used against the accused and used to link the contents of the device/account to them.
Before the password is provided the prosecution/investigators have a device/account that even if they're pretty sure belongs to the accused they may or may not be able to demonstrate that the accused has access to the contents(and can therefor be held responsible for), and they don't have the contents of the device/account to use as evidence against the accused. After the password is provided though they have both.
As such compelling someone to hand over a password should be seen and treated as forcing someone to provide self-incriminating evidence against themself, and barred on those grounds.
Finally a story about someone gaming the ContentID system where the creator isn't the one being screwed by it. Let the big companies duke it out and try to be the first to claim and monetize a video, meanwhile the video itself sneaks through unscathed.
Wow. Never thought I'd see the techdirt community defending someone who traffics in child porn.
Yeah, go figure, people are willing to defend even accused scum if that's what it takes to defend the rights of everyone, including said accused scum. The test of whether or not someone actually values something is whether or not they're willing to defend it's use by someone they disagree with or are even disgusted by.
Someone who claims to value free speech except when it's used by someone they don't agree with, or to say something they don't like doesn't actually value free speech.
Likewise someone who believes that everyone deserves fair and equal treatment under the law except when the defendant is being accused of a heinous crime doesn't actually believe that everyone deserves fair and equal treatment under the law.
First, this wasn't some overzealous cop or prosecutor demanding this, the judge ordered the defendant to hand over the passcodes. When a judge tells you to do something, you either follow his order or you get thrown in jail until you follow the court order handed down by the judge.
Doesn't matter if it's a cop, prosecutor, or the freakin' US President, if the order isn't one that people see as just, and the punishment isn't seen as just, then people are going to object to it. 'It's the law' isn't an excuse either, some pretty nasty stuff has been legal over the years, never made any of it right.
In this case, assuming the material that the prosecution thinks might be on the devices is the judge is basically telling the defendant 'Give the prosecution the evidence they need to convict you', which flies right in the face of the protection against self-incrimination provided by the fifth.
Handing over a password or decrypting a device is not 'allowing an investigation', it's handing over potentially self-incriminating evidence(if nothing else it's solid, court-admissible evidence that the accused has access to the device/account in question, linking them to the contents of said device/account) to the investigators/prosecutors, and as such is not something that should be seen as acceptable by judges or prosecutors. Punishing someone for refusing to hand over self-incriminating evidence to the prosecution/investigators makes the protection against self-incrimination completely hollow, utterly useless as an actual protection.
Well that'll certainly streamline the court system.
"Give us the evidence we need to convict you or rot in a cell until you do!"
The desire of the prosecution to secure a conviction does not trump the protections against self-incrimination held by the accused, and if you want to claim that forcing someone to hand over a password or otherwise decrypt a device/account isn't self incrimination, then the prosecution need only provide a legally binding offer of immunity regarding anything found on the devices, or the fact that the accused could unlock it to the defendant to make it clear that they have no interest in using the above against the accused, which means compelling them to hand over the password/decrypt the device isn't an act of self-incrimination.
Now then, do you think any of the prosecutors would offer such a deal in cases like these?
If you only have the evidence once the accused gives it to you then at the point of requesting it you don't have squat beyond 'a pretty good idea of what we might find' at best, so the idea that it's a 'forgone conclusion' that you have it shouldn't hold up under legal scrutiny or challenge.
If you already had it you wouldn't need to 'ask' someone else to give it to you, and if their doing so provides you with evidence you don't already have, evidence that's then used against them the Fifth should absolutely apply, as you're 'asking' them to provide incriminating evidence against themself.
Ironically, given his virtuosity and lasting impact on pop music, limiting his digital distribution, and the ability of his fans to find new creative uses for his work, makes it orders of magnitude more difficult for fans to bring his music to new generations of listeners, who may never know what all the fuss about Prince was about. And that’s a shame.
Fitting yes, a shame no. If a creator deliberately makes it as difficult as possible to access or find their work as they can, if they go after fans that are simply trying to show support or enthusiasm for the creator's works, and as a result potential fans never even hear about them that's not a shame, that's an obvious consequence of their actions.
If Prince's actions while alive drove away fans and kept others from becoming fans by making it so that they never even ran across his music I'd say that's a good thing, as it allows other musicians a chance to scoop up those fans and have their music become more widely known and potentially even longer lasting as a result.
I imagine possession of child porn has no statute of limitations, so long as you have it(or might have in this case) you're breaking the law, so there's nothing to 'wait out', meaning they could conceivably keep him locked up until he died of old age on contempt charges.