Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Civil liberties? What civil liberties?

1.  The government now contends that it can read any email it wants, without a warrant, as long as it is six months old.

2.  The government is now demanding back documents it released to the Electronic Frontier Foundation months ago.  The whole Kafka-like quotation is worth reading:
Please return any original copies of these documents to the ICE FOIA Office at the address below. If these records were provided to you on a disc, please return the original disc. You should also destroy any electronic or paper copies of these documents.
3.  The new FBI "Going Dark" initiative is meant to create the capability to electronically snoop into digital records with or without the cooperation of internet service providers.  Here is how the FBI describes this fascinating program on its own website: 
In order to enforce the law and protect our citizens from threats to public safety, it is critically important that we have the ability to intercept electronic communications with court approval. In the ever-changing world of modern communications technologies, however, the FBI and other government agencies are facing a potentially widening gap between our legal authority to intercept electronic communications pursuant to court order and our practical ability to actually intercept those communications. We confront, with increasing frequency, service providers who do not fully comply with court orders in a timely and efficient manner. Some providers cannot comply with court orders right away but are able to do so after considerable effort and expense by the provider and the government. Other providers are never able to comply with the orders fully.
The problem has multiple layers. As discussed below, some providers are currently obligated by law to have technical solutions in place prior to receiving a court order to intercept electronic communications, but do not maintain those solutions in a manner consistent with their legal mandate. Other providers have no such existing mandate and simply develop capabilities upon receipt of a court order. In our experience, some providers actively work with the government to develop intercept solutions, while others do not have the technical expertise or resources to do so. As a result, on a regular basis, the government is unable to obtain communications and related data, even when authorized by a court to do so.
We call this capabilities gap the “Going Dark” problem. As the gap between authority and capability widens, the government is increasingly unable to collect valuable evidence in cases ranging from child exploitation and pornography to organized crime and drug trafficking to terrorism and espionage—evidence that a court has authorized the government to collect. This gap poses a growing threat to public safety.
Read that sentence in bold carefully.  It means that the government has in fact eroded your privacy in terms of statute law FASTER than the FBI can peek into your files.  Great.


Hube said...

If this was during George W. Bush's term as president ...

delacrat said...

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

delacrat said...

The Fourth Amendment was great while it lasted.