Ok, so the points about the technology are spot on. But no one has commented on the other problem:
Assuming the system worked as advertised (which, lets face it, you may as well assume the assistance of a perfectly spherical purple cow):
Good luck finding 9 people globally who are both smart and ethical enough to make a legitimate "Good/Evil" decision _and_ stupid enough to attract the attention of every intelligence organization on the planet to themselves and their families.
I am saying that the high success rate could be because prosecutors choose defendants that are most certainly guilty instead of choosing ones that may not be.
Or, it could be that many of the people being prosecuted can't afford the legal fees (attourneys, expert witnesses, etc) associated with taking a court case all the way through the appeals process. Particularly when the assets they might be able to leverage to pay those fees have been frozen.
It would be very interesting to see figures on what it would cost a "typical" defendant to litigate a case through, say, a second appeal.
Looking at the redactions in this case, I have to wonder if whoever was doing the job purposefully botched it in order to intentionally weaken the governments arguments in court.
While it's tempting to dismiss actions like this as "government stupidity", you don't get to a position of responsibility where you're entrusted with redacting documents if you're not at least a little intelligent. You're looking at someone who's at least a little bit smart in terms of legal requirements and who probably has some operational experience in the area as well.
Where do the laws on GPS tracking stand right now? Could LA require that all drivers mount GPS tracking units on their cars, and then send them threatening letters saying "We know where you've been. You'd better watch it."?
No need to tag vehicles with GPS. It's expensive and obvious. Mobile phones are much easier, given that they're nearly ubiquitous and generally speaking are carried voluntarily. You also get far better granularity at the mobile-device level than you do the vehicle level.
I don't know about LA but in my travels I've found no such thing as "an area known for prostitution." None of them loiter in any place; they're always wandering all over, and they don't dress provocatively so you can't tell one from a legit lady walking around.
dunno how much you travel, but there are informally identified "no-go" areas in every major city I've ever been in. They're easy to spot (and hence avoid) if you know what to look for, and the locals always know where they are, but you won't find them on maps.
Once upon a time I worked for an ISP in a large US City.
Our main facility was in the middle of the downtown area red zone, and you couldn't get food delivered after dark. Prostitution, drug houses, doc shops, and all kinds of illicit businesses literally surrounded our building. It was not uncommon for our night-shift operators to be pulled over on the suspicion that they were looking to buy any number of illegal items.
I'd have gotten a minimum of 2 letters a day in the mail under this program. More if I needed to travel to any of our secondary/overflow facilities during a given shift.
She's also targeting a particular audience which is, according to Jake:
Minor correction: The [i]Telegraph[/i] is not a tabloid in the original sense of the word; they still sell physical copies in broadsheet format, and would regard doing anything else as decidedly improper. (They and their target demographic probably think any idea thought up after about 1965 is highly improper, come to that.)
Subtle reminder: You can tear her twitter account apart all you want. Make every valid point in the book. Hell, win the argument on the internet even.
And her target demographic will never even hear that there was a discussion.
"We should take the concerns of law enforcement..."
We should take them seriously, though. Because at this point in time, those concerns tell us the direction we probably shouldn't go as a country if we don't want to end up as a cautionary tale in the history books that will be written in the next 25-100 years.
"Teens are teens. They are out having sex, having fun, preparing for college and life, and taking advantage of all their technological resources to help the above."
You're forgetting: the de-facto "On The Internet/Made use of technology" modifier takes the behavior out of the realm of adolescence and pushes it straight into the "Unambiguously Evil" section of law.