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Security Awareness Discussion of all things related to the security of Apple devices.

Can Police Confiscate Your Smartphone


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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lclev View Post
And just wait...with the wearables on the horizons that too will raise questions.
They're already here, not on the horizon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
What does surprise/bother me is the number of people who seem to have the attitude something like if you've done nothing wrong what are you worrying about if they track your movements/data.
Oh yes, the extraordinarily faulty logic that is the "if you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide" thinking.

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Originally Posted by GrannySueSnaps View Post
I believe (maybe not in our lifetime) but in the future there will be no "assumption" of privacy.
There's one now? Despite the fact that things like the Privacy Act (thankfully, quasi-constitutional) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act exist, one can't assume that everything they do is guarded by secrecy.

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lclev

 
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Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
I think you have swerved into an important point here. As technology improves/changes I think few people are really thinking about the privacy implications. In fact, as I said the prevailing attitude seems to be if you've done nothing wrong what do you care if someone accesses your data.

This is one issue where we better start paying attention to what views future appointees have about the Constitution in general and privacy specifically. It might be hard too get people excited about this though.
The amount of information people are willing to share is amazing. Most younger people are willing to share far more information on Facebook/Twitter for example than most of us would think of doing. Their definition of privacy is far different from the definition many of us have of privacy.
I agree. I tended to have the "I don't care 'cause I've done nothing wrong" attitude. I also realize that not all have a pure attitude and when they troll through your data they can interpret what is said very differently than what you intended.

I also agree that their are too many people who post too much "stuff" on the internet through twitter or facebook that just should not be shared for a whole list of reasons. They do not see the implications which is why some of them are amazed when an employer fires them or does not hire them because of facebook or twitter posts.

Our phone, computer, ipad etc, all give us a sense of privacy that just doesn't exist in the electronic world today. Even destroying the phone will not destroy the information once it hits the internet or your carrier's servers. Unfortunately, our justice system is just in the infant stages of dealing with all the ramifications. These debates will continue and become more complex as the level of technology increases and improves.

Imagine....a subpoena for the right to access the information on you computer implant in your brain....someday that will be a possible reality.

Lisa
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GrannySueSnaps

 
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Unfortunately, I think the key is to use your electronics with the mindset there is no assumption of privacy. It isn't just law enforcement or government we need to be concerned with but the general public as well as those who get rich off of stolen information. Be wise and don't make it easy for them. Also be aware of protecting the devices from viruses and malware that can wipe everything you have. Backup frequently!

What if our rights should we be compromised? It isn't so much our rights that is a problem but the ability to determine who did this and be able to prove what they did. I worked in the Attorney General's Office in my State and sometimes had calls routed to me from an elderly person's phone. Telemarketers can be relentless and even bully the elderly to get information. I would answer the calls as if I was elderly and stall them getting as much information as possible while recording. Even with that we were only able to get a couple of convictions a year.

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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannySueSnaps View Post
Unfortunately, I think the key is to use your electronics with the mindset there is no assumption of privacy.
Well said. If you've gleaned nothing else from the Snowden leaks, you should at least understand that the US government has absolutely no qualms about violating your electronic privacy if they feel that it's justified, even in an arbitrary way. There are no checks or balances - and this continues unfettered, even today.

The Orwellian nightmare is here, it was just a little late - and unfortunately, with the rise in popularity of GPS and camera equipped smartphones, it is being exploited in ways that even George Orwell didn't foresee.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Slydude

 
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Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Well said. If you've gleaned nothing else from the Snowden leaks, you should at least understand that the US government has absolutely no qualms about violating your electronic privacy if they feel that it's justified, even in an arbitrary way. There are no checks or balances - and this continues unfettered, even today.

The Orwellian nightmare is here, it was just a little late - and unfortunately, with the rise in popularity of GPS and camera equipped smartphones, it is being exploited in ways that even George Orwell didn't foresee.
I agree but that is partly the result of the way we as users have handled things. We should be demanding better answers than we are getting.

The other huge problem that I see is that there seems to be little concern for whether existing law is being applied consistently. Look, for example, at Clippers owner Donald Sterling. His comments were vile, repugnant, and several other adjectives I can't think of at the moment. Unfortunately, that dominated the conversation and most people spent little time on the issue of whether the conversations were recorded illegally. The answer to that depends upon some facts that, in my mind, have not been well established. Clearly the California law was intended to protect a certain degree of privacy and that may well have been violated.

The Sterling case is simply the most recent but it's nhot the first where a violation of privacy was not met with an appropriate response by the general public. Remember when Sarah Palin's e-mail account was hacked. Many people, including many political pundits, suggested that this was no big deal and she should have chosen better passwords. I doubt the reaction would have been the same if their e-mail had been compromised and presented for the world to see.

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GrannySueSnaps

 
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@SlyDude So in reality we really have no control over our personal information that is stored electronically. Even setting strong passwords doesn't always protect us. Basically we go backwards to keeping everything on paper which is what we are trying to get away from. Other than my financial information I wouldn't have anything that would concern me if someone hacked my network and gained access.

What about something such as certain Members Forum which is only open to select people. Could someone illegally gain access to it and use information from there to sue you over something you said? Which goes back to "nothing we say or do can be presumed to be held private". There are both State and Local Law Enforcement who troll websites for "chatter" relating to terrorist and child pornography which I have no problem with. But in the process of doing so they may also monitor someone not involved in either of those. Are they violating our privacy? There really is no expectation that anything in electronic format can be held private.

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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
I doubt the reaction would have been the same if their e-mail had been compromised and presented for the world to see.
It's always easier to over/underreact when it's not you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannySueSnaps View Post
Other than my financial information I wouldn't have anything that would concern me if someone hacked my network and gained access.
This might just be me but I've never quite understood this thinking. All too often, I see people defend really important information that can be used to damage or malign someone (such as financial records, social insurance numbers, etc) but don't take the same precautions or have the same concerns with their other data. For example, what about personal family photos, letters you've got stored that you wrote to someone in confidence or emails with potentially embarrassing information? Or, at the very least, what about the violation of one's personal space? I find that these things are quite often glossed over, which returns me to my critique of the "I don't do anything wrong so I don't have anything to hide thinking" - just because something isn't damaging doesn't mean it isn't private and shouldn't be treated as such.

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British Policeman: You have a smart phone. Would it be all right if you let me hold it, please?

Unnamed Person: I'm a bit worried because I got into this country today, via France.

BP: So you're an illegal immigrant?

UP: Yes

BP: Whoops, sorry I troubled you, sir. Here's the address for the local social security office - in fact, I'll drop you off there on my way back to the police station. You should be able to get a sum of money immediately to tide you over for a few weeks and somewhere to live. You have a nice day, now.

Last edited by teedee208; 07-11-2014 at 11:19 AM. Reason: mistake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannySueSnaps View Post
@SlyDude There really is no expectation that anything in electronic format can be held private.
I see the point that you are making about the expectation of privacy. I think that is my problem with the whole mess. Here's where I think we are at the moment:

Some users don't see any privacy concerns in the sense that they will post anything without realizing how it might be used against them. Some semi tech savvy users clearly have at least some expectation of privacy in the sense that they at least bothered to set up a password. In their minds, there must be some privacy because the password keeps others out of your information. A bit naive perhaps but that seems to be the logic.

Those of us who are a bit more tech savvy understand to some extent how little privacy there is on the Internet. Some may even have different expectations based on the technology: They don't expect much privacy on the internet but do on their phones. There has to be some way to get people to pay attention to what you are talking about. So many of our constitutional rights are based in whole or in part on an expectation pf privacy and are being violated regularly.

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I'm not much of a political guy, so I'll stay out of this one.

However, how about our security?
Our iPhones have a tough system to beat, and I'm sure Android is just as comparable.

I wouldn't doubt it that the top tier necessary government agencies have bypasses or some sort of decryption that they could run in mere minutes and unlock your entire phone- but is this actually happening?

In the event of a warrant, they have the authorization to search your phone- what if your phone is locked and they're locked out?
Can they push this to Apple to "de-secure" the device?

Or does the warrant require you to reveal your password?

To what extents can they use the warrant until they start going nuts?
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I believe it would be your carrier, not Apple and yes, with the warrant for phone and data access they would be able to request that the phone be unlocked. SHOULD this be an employer issued device you would not even be told your employer was taking it much less given any information. In fact we copied all data from any device when that employee was leaving. If they were escorted out the door, I was advised to be standing by just to preserve the data.

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I am not sure if the search warrant requires you to reveal the passcode since I suppose some lawyer could claim this is a violation of the fifth amendment protections against self-incrimination. In reality though that is not necessary. Nor is a call to the NSA. I suspect, though I'm not 100% sure, that most departments either have or have access to the tools needed to break the password.

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Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
I am not sure if the search warrant requires you to reveal the passcode since I suppose some lawyer could claim this is a violation of the fifth amendment protections against self-incrimination.
That would depend on what constitutes "self-incrimination." Section 11.c. and 13 of the Charter provide protections against self-incrimination but, from what I can glean (I don't have a lawyer's mindset), this only cover testifying against someone (s 11.c) and incriminating oneself when testifying (s. 13). I have no idea what the law says or means in the United States but I get the feeling that the self-incrimination argument (or at least its success) is dependent on where you live.

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It wouldn't require you to give your passcode but it would allow them to use any means necessary to obtain the information on it. Including downloading the information. They can also print and/or use that information to obtain other records. In other words should an email or document reference a bank account they could use that info to obtain a warrant for bank records.

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As with anything else, they will require a warrant. But that won't stop them from using scare tactics on people. If you didn't do anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. Just say "not without a warrant". And always make sure you have a passcode lock on your phone. So if they decide to come up with some trump up charge to detain/arrest you, they won't be able to access your phone when they take it from you.
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