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Thread: Court Ruling Allows Government to Snoop Without Warrant

  1. #1
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
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    A controversial court ruling has attorneys and groups like the EFF up in arms

    The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently issued a ruling that effectively allows the federal government to monitor a suspect's phone activity and Internet activity without receiving a search warrant. The court's decision allows the use of "pen registers" -- an electronic device able to record all telephone numbers dialed from a landline -- without a warrant.

    The three-judge panel agreed computer users should be aware they could potentially lose privacy when using the Internet.

    Ars Technica used an interesting analogy for the government's stance on the issue. It's the same as the "U.S. Postal Service, where anyone can read information on the outside of an envelope but can't look at the contents."

    In a controversial case in 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that since phone users dialed phone numbers which are handled by phone companies -- considered a third party -- and because authorities only used a pen dialer to gather the phone calls made, not what was said in the conversations.

    The judge's decision has received mixed reactions from attorneys and citizens.

    The American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believe the Court of Appeals gave U.S. law enforcement a surveillance tool which can be used with little regard to check or balances.

    Michael Crowley, defense attorney for Dennis Alba, who was convicted of operating a drug lab responsible for making ecstasy, disagreed with the court's ruling. Police and federal investigators began monitoring Alba's Internet and e-mails in May in 2001 and then later received a search warrant.

    "The great political marketplace of ideas is the Internet, and the government has unbridled access to it," Crowley said. The court's decision "further erodes our privacy," he added.

    Alba is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence.

    Today's version of the 1979 case is U.S. v. Forrester -- Mark Forrester was Alba's partner in the ecstasy drug ring. While Alba is waiting in the appeals process, Forrester's sentence was reversed because of errors made during the trial.

    Shaun Martin, professor at the University Of San Diego School Of Law, agrees the decision imposes on privacy issues. "Getting a list of IP addresses reveals far, far more information than a pen register ever would. And if it didn't, the government wouldn't be looking to get this information in the first place."

    George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr disagrees, claiming if the surveillance in the case took place at the Internet Service Provider's office "the result in Forrester is clearly correct."

    Even though the government has another tool to help conduct investigations, the ruling "does not imply that more intrusive techniques or techniques that reveal more content information" can be used, Judge Raymond Fisher said.

    Source: DailyTech

    Taking away one freedom at a time, over time.
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    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
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    ohmboys's Avatar fst <3 BT Rep: +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100
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    this is bye bye to privacy in the us
    big brother is watching

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    mbucari1's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +35BT Rep +35BT Rep +35BT Rep +35BT Rep +35BT Rep +35BT Rep +35
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    I gotta get the hell outa here

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    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbucari1 View Post
    I gotta get the hell outa here
    Let's move to Canada. I'll tell Rossco we're movin' in. (Temporarily, of course)
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    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
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  5. News (Archive)   -   #5
    Skiz's Avatar (_8(I)
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    I also heard on the news just yesterday that the gov't can also now listen in on any cell phone, any time. Even if the phone is turned off, they can electronically power on the phone microphone and listen to their conversations.

    The only way avoid this is taking out the battery.

    http://news.com.com/2100-1029_3-6140191.html

    What ever happened to the right to privacy?



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  6. News (Archive)   -   #6
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skizo View Post
    I also heard on the news just yesterday that the gov't can also now listen in on any cell phone, any time. Even if the phone is turned off, they can electronically power on the phone microphone and listen to their conversations.

    The only way avoid this is taking out the battery.

    http://news.com.com/2100-1029_3-6140191.html

    What ever happened to the right to privacy?
    How about this though, if they cause the phone to power on and transmit a signal, it must use some of the battery's charge. That's theft of electricity, and must surely render any evidence gathered inadmissible.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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    Fibo's Avatar - Keep Walking - BT Rep: +20BT Rep +20BT Rep +20BT Rep +20
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    The US and there Fk'n laws wow.

    Seems like the the whole thing the states were built on is goin to Hell.

    Land of the free, and home of the brave. YEA! RIGHT!

    Smile.
    Its been awhile but I'm back... well sort of.

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    WHRST's Avatar immortalis BT Rep: +13BT Rep +13BT Rep +13
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    this sux

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    Gestapo pigs

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    Wonder when that tinfoil hat i ordered on ebay is coming...............

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