Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Communications Government Your Rights Online

A History of Wiretapping 128

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-the-telegraph dept.
ChelleChelle writes "Wiretapping technology has grown increasingly sophisticated since the police first began to utilize it as a surveillance tool in the 1890s. What once entailed simply putting clips on wires has now evolved into building wiretapping capabilities directly into communications infrastructures (at the government's behest). In a modern society, where surveillance is often touted as a way of ensuring our safety, it is important to take into consideration the risks to our privacy and security that electronic eavesdropping presents. In this article, Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau examine these issues, attempting to answer the important question: does wiretapping actually make us more secure?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A History of Wiretapping

Comments Filter:
  • More importantly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @09:23AM (#29397595)
    Does warrantless wiretapping help anyone other than the statists who have wanted this power for a long time and now have a working excuse for it?
    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @09:37AM (#29397683) Journal

      We need to stand together. When you observe an officer wiretapping somebody's connection or entering a house, be bold, and ask what they are doing. Wait for a reply and then ask if they have a warrant. If they don't have a warrant, then ask them to leave, and if they refuse then back away from the scene. Next call 911 to report observing a crime in progress (breaking-and-entering).

      Don't be intimidated. These officers are your EMPLOYEES and you are the boss. You have every right to hold them to task for violating constitutional law. My brother ran into this recently where a cop demanded to be let into his mother-in-law's private apartment house. My brother refused even though the cop flashed his badge and claimed to be investigating a drug problem, but my brother told the cop to go get a warrant and refused to unlock the door to the house. Watch this video for some inspiration:

      NO WARRANT, No Search - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLpSY8d3gRc [youtube.com]

      • Re:More importantly (Score:5, Interesting)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @09:47AM (#29397749) Journal

        Another video that pisses me off - Warrantless Search - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2ZV_kQh048 [youtube.com]

      • Re:More importantly (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 12, 2009 @09:51AM (#29397773)

        Don't be intimidated. These officers are your EMPLOYEES and you are the boss.

        Ha ha, no. I know a guy who was woken up about 7 am on a Sunday by banging and crashing next to his apartment, he got up to investigate and found two cops trying to kick his neighbour's door open. He asked them what was going on and they said they wanted to talk to his neighbour about some stolen property. He told them he never heard him come home and they asked if he had a key, he told them he did and they asked him to unlock the door. He asked if they had a warrant, they said they didn't so he refused to open the door. They pepper sprayed him, arrested him and made up a story about how he tried to assault them. It was the word of one guy versus two cops, guess who the judge sided with? (no jury trial in NZ for "minor assault") Later on they even tried to implicate him in the robbery (the neighbour *had* been knowingly buying stolen TVs etc.) but he got off on that due to lack of evidence.

        Rule 1: DO NOT talk to police.

        • Then they next thing the people of New Zealand need to do is locate the judge, and the two officers, and tar-and-feather them. The People need to make examples of poor employees who would violate basic inalienable rights (i.e. arresting an innocent man and then making-up false charges).

          "When the people fear the government, then there is tyranny. When the government functionaries fear the people, then there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson. You should also get yourself a small camcorder - only ~$100 on eb

        • Rule 1: DO NOT talk to police.

          One top quality vid (well, content-wise if not visually) gives an entertaining, in-depth breakdown of the reasons why not, Here [youtube.com].

        • by shentino (1139071)

          No jury trial?

          The person you know is an idiot for not appealing.

      • You may see police trying to illegally search a house, but if you read TFA you would know that wiretapping goes on at the telco's facilities and not at anybody's house. You're never going to see wiretapping unless you are a telco employee.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by EsJay (879629)
        Do you observe officers wiretapping somebody's connection often?
      • You do realize... (Score:5, Informative)

        by ChePibe (882378) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @11:06AM (#29398299)

        Only at Slashdot would parent be marked "insightful".

        You do realize, of course, that there are a wide variety of situations wherein a LEO is allowed by the law to enter a home without a warrant, I assume.

        Probable cause, for one. If the police follow a person fleeing a crime into a residence - or virtually anywhere else, for that matter - they're acting well within their rights and duties and no warrant is needed.

        An Arrest Warrant - No search warrant is needed if officers have an arrest warrant and the reasonable belief that the fugitive is inside. Even if they find evidence for crimes unrelated to the search warrant, the evidence is still admissible. See e.g. Gaskins v. U.S., 218 F.2d 47

        Consent is another. If the homeowner has provided their consent, then the Police are well within their rights and duties.

        The Open Fields Doctrine is another. If objects are left in plain view in an area not traditionally secured as private, the police are well within their rights to search these areas. See Oliver v. U.S.

        And the list goes on. And on. And on. Contrary to what you saw on TV or what your high school civics teacher improperly told you, a search warrant isn't always necessary. In fact, interfering with the police in the above situations can easily get you arrested, but you'll at least give the judge a good laugh as he hears you argue the 4th Amendment as a defense.

        And what if the search or wiretap is illegal? If you're truly a criminal, if you've truly done the things you are accused of doing, then you may have just hit the jackpot. Under the exclusionary rule (subject to its exceptions, of course), the evidence is tainted, the "fruit of a poisonous tree," and likely inadmissible as evidence against the target of the search in any case.

        IANAL - just a 3L (and I haven't taken Crim Pro yet, so don't be cruel, but if you have an actual understanding of the law, please correct me where I am wrong). But of course we have internet lawyers here like parent who just love to make these ridiculous arguments.

        Look, I'm not fond of cops. I can't think of anyone who has ever been to law school actually worked with attorneys and seen what the police often do could be fond of them. But following suggestions like parent's is foolishness indeed. Want to support your local public defenders in making illegal search arguments? Please do. chip in some cash, they could use the money. But don't run about harassing the police as parent suggests.

        • You do realize, of course, that there are a wide variety of situations wherein a LEO is allowed by the law to enter a home without a warrant, I assume.

          How would a Low Earth Orbit enter my home, with or without a warrant? Unless I tied balloons to my house.

        • >>>But don't run about harassing the police as parent suggests.

          Asking questions of strange people is not harassment. Lots of people wear uniforms (cop, electrician, fireman, et cetera) bought off the net and they SHOULD be questioned to find-out if they are genuine cops, or just people pretending to be cops. I'm tired of the "leave them alone" paradigm that has taken-over America.

          That's the kind of thinking that caused a New Yorker to get hit by a car, laying in the middle of the street crying fo

          • by mpe (36238)
            Asking questions of strange people is not harassment. Lots of people wear uniforms (cop, electrician, fireman, et cetera) bought off the net and they SHOULD be questioned to find-out if they are genuine cops, or just people pretending to be cops.

            It certainly isn't unknown for criminals (including terrorists, serial killers and hitmen) to impersontate police. It's also been the case that actual police officers have turned out to also be criminals. Most disturbingly many police forces appear to oppose "keep
      • You gettin' taser'd boy!
      • When you observe an officer wiretapping somebody's connection or entering a house, be bold, and ask what they are doing. Wait for a reply and then ask if they have a warrant. If they don't have a warrant, then ask them to leave, and if they refuse then back away from the scene. Next call 911 to report observing a crime in progress (breaking-and-entering).

        You're telling everyone else to do that because you'll be hiding behind the couch.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bconway (63464)

        When you observe an officer wiretapping somebody's connection or entering a house, be bold, and ask what they are doing.

        You won't. All wiretapping these days is done by a computer, or occasionally in a central office. The keystrokes used to execute a wiretap are the same as those surfing Facebook in the office next to you.

      • These officers are your EMPLOYEES and you are the boss.

        No they are not. They are employed by the government to do a job in your (the community's) behalf. There's a difference.

  • When wiretapping is undertaken under the auspices of the ECPA and FISA, it does actually help protect citizens. When it is done outside of these Acts, then you have big problems. I was never a big fan of the lowering of the standard for electronic surveillance that the USA PATRIOT Act introduced, as I feel that it unbalanced the fine job that existing legislation was serving already.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Well that happens when Congress fails to read the bills placed in front of them. I found it amusing that representatives later said, "I didn't know that law was in the Patriot Act!" Well you would have known if you had bothered to read it.

      I expect to hear similar representative cries of "I didn't know that was in the Stimulus Bill" in a few more months. If I was in Congress I would automatically vote "nay" on any bill I have not read at least once.

      • Asking legislators to actually understand every nuance of every bill is naive. Laws refer to other laws, and constantly amend bits and pieces of legislation.

        Legislators have a choice on where to put their bills, on a spectrum between "spell everything out explicitly" and "let the bureaucrats work out the details." If I pass a law authorizing the FCC to determine its own procedures for allocating wireless spectrum, no amount of reading of the law will be able to predict who gets what frequency block. On
        • by mpe (36238)
          Asking legislators to actually understand every nuance of every bill is naive. Laws refer to other laws, and constantly amend bits and pieces of legislation.

          I disagree since this is their job. If they are not up to it then they shouldn't be doing it. If things are so complicated that it isn't possible to find enough people to do the job then it's past time to simplify statute law.
      • by mpe (36238)
        If I was in Congress I would automatically vote "nay" on any bill I have not read at least once.

        What is you chance of ever being a Congressman?
        • by shentino (1139071)

          Being an honest politician is flat out impossible in this country.

          One of the following will happen:

          1) Corporate influence will tempt you to take a bribe or otherwise make promises in exchange for corporate campaign support, thus putting you in office but with strings.

          2) Standing up for what you believe in will leave you out-cashed as all the campaign dollars go towards the guy who WILL take them, knocking you out of the race as the media focuses on the virtues of the bad guy.

          3) You do number 1 and break

  • A Necessary Evil? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nikomen (774068) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @09:26AM (#29397611)
    As much as I loathe the fact that the previous administration abused wiretapping, maybe it's a necessary evil? I don't know all of the history of wiretapping, but I imagine that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies used it to capture dangerous criminals in the past and are currently doing it in the present. As long as a warrant is obtained, I don't see why it would be illegal. Of course there will be abuse, but don't throw out a tool simply because it can be abused. Many things in life can be abused. Does that warrant their expulsion from society? Alcohol is abused, but should it be done away with? Probably a stretch of an analogy, but it works. Law enforcement, however, should not be allowed to wiretap without a warrant. Fighting terrorism, whether foreign against foreign or domestic, should not be an excuse for illegal wiretaps.
    • by causality (777677) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @09:36AM (#29397677)

      As much as I loathe the fact that the previous administration abused wiretapping, maybe it's a necessary evil? I don't know all of the history of wiretapping, but I imagine that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies used it to capture dangerous criminals in the past and are currently doing it in the present. As long as a warrant is obtained, I don't see why it would be illegal. Of course there will be abuse, but don't throw out a tool simply because it can be abused. Many things in life can be abused. Does that warrant their expulsion from society? Alcohol is abused, but should it be done away with? Probably a stretch of an analogy, but it works. Law enforcement, however, should not be allowed to wiretap without a warrant. Fighting terrorism, whether foreign against foreign or domestic, should not be an excuse for illegal wiretaps.

      I do think we made a mistake by making it so easy to wiretap a phone/data line. No matter what kind of central monitoring technology would allow, it should be strictly illegal and completely inadmissable in any court. The police should have to physically install wiretapping equipment on the premises to be monitored or at most, on the physical line between the premises to be monitored and the telephone company. That way, if they have a specific suspect for which a warrant is obtained, they can monitor that suspect, but they cannot go fishing and cannot perform datamining. This would greatly hinder the value of warrantless wiretapping and would help to ensure that if you are a regular citizen who has given the police no reason to suspect you of a crime, then you can be more confident that you are not being monitored because it would be impractical to do so. I greatly prefer that to trusting the goodwill of people who have proven that they will abuse this power.

      I think that's how one would correctly handle something that is rightly recognized as a necessary evil.

    • >>>As long as a warrant is obtained, I don't see why it would be illegal.

      That's the problem. Many times NO warrant is obtained, which is a violation not just of the U.S. Constitution but also all 50 State Constitutions. And when the FBI or CIA officer gets caught, they just say "oops" and that's the end of it. IMHO they should receive double-counts of violating both national and state law, with time in prison.

      Perhaps that's the great flaw of our constitution(s). They define the crime but not th

    • by MRe_nl (306212) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @11:34AM (#29398503)

      "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
      William Pitt, 1783

      • If Pitt was alive today, he'd move to Somalia.
      • by westlake (615356)

        "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."

        oratory is not law.

        and the argument of necessity may still hold up in court.

    • The government can do basically anything to you with a warrant, so wiretapping is to be expected. I don't know how necessary it is, however, since it's probably mostly used for drug cases nowadays, and the only high-profile uses seem to have been against people like MLK Jr. Since crime happens in the physical world, monitoring words is not essential to law-enforcement; and anyone who is actually a threat will take countermeasures, excepting idiots like Blago.
      • Are you kidding?

        Many crimes can be stopped in the conspiracy phase rather than the "real world". Would you rather have bombers or armed robbers stopped before or after they commit the crime?

        • The answer is obviously "yes" but you ignore the corollary question:

          Would you rather have liberty, or would you rather have government officials harassing you at every turn? I'd rather have liberty even if that means a few crooks sometimes succeed in holding-up banks. Being harassed would make me feel like I was a child again, rather than a freeman.

          • We should allow terrorists to fly planes into buildings so that you can feel like you're in the wild west?

            You're not the only one who can make a non sequitur.

            • Yes I'd rather have one of those RARE once-in-200-years events, than to have cameras in my house, or wiretaps on my PC, constantly spying on everything I do. And it's not non-sequitor... it's already happening in the UK where it's justified as crime prevention.

              Sorry but I'd rather have the right to privacy even if that meant another WTC was attacked in the year 2200. The former is more important to me than the latter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by radtea (464814)

      As much as I loathe the fact that the previous administration abused wiretapping, maybe it's a necessary evil?

      Not necessary for fighting the War on Drugs, because the War on Drugs is not necessary: anyone interested in actually reducing the harm drugs do both socially and to individuals knows that legalization and harm-reduction programs are the way to go. Look what's happening today in Portugal if you disagree. Empiricism: not just for scientists any more!

      Wiretapping--with warrants--IS useful for fighti

      • by mpe (36238)
        Wiretapping--with warrants--IS useful for fighting terrorism,

        But only in combination with other things such as infiltration to distinguish groups which are actually dangerous from "wannabes" who make a lot of noise.

        but remember that the number of people killed by terrorists in the US in the past five years is zero,

        It's definitly more that zero, e.g. Dr. George Tiller was recently killed by a terrorist and had previously been subject to many attacks.
        • It's definitly more that zero, e.g. Dr. George Tiller was recently killed by a terrorist and had previously been subject to many attacks.

          Someone who shoots and kills a single guy isn't a terrorist.
          A terrorist plants bombs to take out large swaths of innocent civilians.

          Mass casualties is the difference, here.

          Besides, Dr. Tiller himself could be argued to be a mass murderer, since he was doing late term abortions.
          (I know....all the pro-choicers are going to be up in arms over that comment, but you're all smoked. The "It's my body" argument doesn't fly, because your baby's body isn't yours. It's your baby's.)

    • by TheCarp (96830) *

      Actually, I doubt that it is. Generally the number of good people doing nothing wrong is soo much greater than the number of "bad guys" that really, I doubt the police can be said to make a real difference in many ways except symbolically.

      Beyond that, even allowing wiretapping is a problem. You see, a backdoor that lets one guy in, can let someone else in. Just putting the ability to wiretap in the phone system, and not putting in technology (like end to end handset encryption, which is more than feasible)

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @09:26AM (#29397613) Journal

    "Anyone who would give-up ESSENTIAL liberty for *temporary* security, deserve neither." - Benjamin Franklin. Also while we may be able to trust a President Bush or President Obama with the ability to monitor our internet transactions, eventually there will arise a man like Julius Caesar or Nero or Napoleon who will use the ability of spying for his own enrichment and/or to eliminate enemies. Like Nixon did.

    IMHO people who trust government are either fools, or they don't know history,

    • by causality (777677)

      Also while we may be able to trust a President Bush or President Obama with the ability to monitor our internet transactions, eventually there will arise a man like Julius Caesar or Nero or Napoleon who will use the ability of spying for his own enrichment and/or to eliminate enemies. Like Nixon did.

      Only one such example is needed to prove both the possibility and the undesirability of the concept. Yes, it certainly can happen here. We know that because it's already been proven.

      IMHO people who trust gove

      • >>>The vast majority of the population learns history FROM the government. The public schools are government-sponsored, staffed by government employees, with a curriculum that is created and approved by the government. As I've heard it said, if you send a child to a Catholic school they will be taught that Catholicism is great. If you send a child to a Baptist school they will be taught that Baptism is great. If you send a child to a government school...
        >>>

        Which is why we need freedom to c

        • by Chelloveck (14643)

          IMHO any person who sends a child to a private school, or even a neighboring government school, should be exempt from the School Tax for that year (with the tuition receipt used as proof). They should be allowed to keep the money they labored to earn for themselves, and direct it to whatever school they choose, rather than have to pay TWO tuitions. That's called liberty.

          Yeah, and people without kids shouldn't have to pay to educate someone else's brats. Why should they be forced to pay school tax? Ditto

          • >>>(Snip strawman arguments)

            Non-relevant. My proposal was intended to help black and hispanic children who are stuck in shitty inner-city schools that are falling apart. That is a situation just as unfair as the segregated schools that once existed in this country (whites had shiny schools; blacks had crumbling schools). Segregation was ruled a violation of rights, and likewise forcing innercity kids to stay in crumbling schools is a violation of rights (imho).

            By making these students School

        • by causality (777677)

          Monopolies should not be allowed to stand. IMHO any person who sends a child to a private school, or even a neighboring government school, should be exempt from the School Tax for that year (with the tuition receipt used as proof). They should be allowed to keep the money they labored to earn for themselves, and direct it to whatever school they choose, rather than have to pay TWO tuitions.

          There has been some "grassroots" demand for the implementation of vouchers [wikipedia.org], which are similar to what you describe. T

          • >>> vouchers [wikipedia.org], which are similar to what you describe

            I'm not talking about vouchers, which are government dollars. I'm talking about a School tax exemption, which means letting the parent keep the money he earned. There's a HUGE difference philosophically. If it's government money, then the government can attach strings like "don't spend the voucher on catholic school".

            But if it's your money then there are no strings. It's YOUR money and you can spend it on any school you desire

        • I've heard it said, if you send a child to a Catholic school they will be taught that Catholicism is great. If you send a child to a Baptist school they will be taught that Baptism is great.

          And if you send them to a Texan school, they'll think the Earth is 6000 years old and that dinosaurs were wiped out by cavemen.

      • by mpe (36238)
        The blame of which they are worthy is definitely non-zero, however. At some point the individual needs to understand that everyone who would teach him anything has some sort of bias or agenda no matter how good their intentions may be.

        The phrase "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" carries a degree of truth.

        It's normal and healthy to question what you are taught and what was omitted from your education and why. Any individual who fails to do so is correctly regarded as one of the sheeple or
    • So what exactly do you oppose? All wire tapping? What about other forms of information gathering, such as bugging your house? What about searching your property? Should these things be removed as tools for law enforcement altogether, or should they just require a warrant, as they currently do?
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Also while we may be able to trust a President Bush or President Obama with the ability to monitor our internet transactions

      Why the heck would we do a stupid thing like that?

  • from TFA:

    in the Katz decision, it finally recognized that "the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places."

    Don't worry sir, we are perfectly within our right to search and seize your house, but we won't go through your pockets or perform a cavity search.

  • Wiretapping makes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WillRobinson (159226) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @09:40AM (#29397711) Journal

    Wiretapping makes the government more secure, not individuals.

  • Wiretapping constitutional? This absolutely makes our country less free and not a bit safer. Everything we do is monitored. Even the printer we use has a signature on it so it can be tracked to you. Can anyone be anonymous anymore in America? can we fly "under the radar?"
    • Well to quote the other side:

      - "But if you're doing nothing wrong, why would you want to be anonymous? I don't understand your fear."

      - "But if you're doing nothing wrong, why would you refuse the yellow star? I don't understand your fear."

      - "But if you're doing nothing wrong, why would you refuse the police entering your house? I don't understand your fear."

      • by jklovanc (1603149)

        The yellow star has the issue of marking someone for discrimination.

        The police search is an invasion of privacy in that someone else gets to look at my stuff and how I live.

        The only time my printer being tagged will be useful is if I do something wrong.

        There are big differences.

        • The yellow star has the issue of marking someone for discrimination.

          The police search is an invasion of privacy in that someone else gets to look at my stuff and how I live.

          The only time my printer being tagged will be useful is if I do something wrong.

          There are big differences.

          And if your "wrongdoing" is printing something that is perfectly legal, but that the government (or someone else who figures out how to trace those patterns) dislikes?

          Anonymity is a major component to privacy. That was true well before the computer age-look at the anonymous publications during the Revolutionary War era, for example. One should have the right to speak without being monitored, unless a court has specifically granted a warrant allowing the monitoring because there is probable cause to believe

          • >>>>>The only time my printer being tagged will be useful is if I do something wrong.

            >>And if your "wrongdoing" is printing something that is perfectly legal, but that the government (or someone else who figures out how to trace those patterns) dislikes?
            >>

            Yeah like those guys who printed-out the Joker Obama posters. I've heard some of them disappeared. Okay not really because Obama's a decent guy, but if we had someone else in power, like Nero or Napoleon or Nixon, I could easil

        • >>>The yellow star has the issue of marking someone for discrimination. The only time my printer being tagged will be useful is if I do something wrong.
          >>>

          Or if your Jewish. If the government can tag you with a yellow jewish star on your sleeve, don't you think they could also tag your printer with microprint jewish symbols on your printout?

  • VOIP users can obtain a public-key private-key pair. In my home I could have my voip phone encrypt my voice output with your public key when I am speaking with you. Only you can decrypt it because you control the your private key. There is not any wiretapping scheme that can defeat this system unless the government coerces your private key from you. If the government asked for my private key then I would simply exercise my right to remain silent.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Software schemes exist to act as an intermediary layer for audio input/output for VoIP software, for actual telephone terminals and computer hardware ordinary listening devices can be attached. I'm trained in installing and configuring said solution whether it be Cisco or run-of-the-mill SIP software on Windows, most consumer and commercial VoIP solutions have no defence against these sorts of basic attacks.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      A lot of the time, peer to peer encryption is like using an armored car to transfer stuff between two homeless bums.

      How secure is your call if the other guy is on speakerphone?

      How secure is your call if a satellite is using advanced signal processing techniques to pick up the sounds you hear from your headphones? You might say, "Well, nobody would bother to do that," but what do you really know about the capabilities of satellite surveillance platforms? Just how easy is it, in the year 2009, to zero in on
    • by jc42 (318812)

      If the government asked for my private key then I would simply exercise my right to remain silent.

      That's probably best answered by a link to the appropriate xkcd comic [xkcd.com].

      Yes, you have the right to remain silent. But if there are no witnesses, they have the ability to do whatever they like to convince you to cooperate.

      • In the UK they don't need to beat you.

        In the UK you don't have a right to remain silent and MUST reveal your encryption key, or else spend years in jail. Silence is a crime in the state.

  • by curmudgeon99 (1040054) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @10:15AM (#29397907)
    I always find it amazing when Mafiosas are caught saying provocative stuff on the phone. They had to have known they were being wiretapped. If you know you're going to do something illegal, you don't do it any way that can be traced. No emails, no cell phones, nothing. Just voices in ears. Take the UNABOMBER. He wrote on a manual typewriter, made his bombs out of wood he himself took out of the forest. Every metal component in his bombs was made from scratch, not derived from some other source. So, every single one of those things were utterly untraceable. (He was only caught because his own brother recognized his writing style.)
  • by grumling (94709) on Saturday September 12, 2009 @10:39AM (#29398075) Homepage

    From TFA: "Wiretapping was the perfect tool for investigating crimes such as these that lack victims who complain and give evidence to the police"

    Yet another reason to rethink our war on drugs policy.

    (and no, I don't want pot to be legal so I can use it, I just want them to stop wasting so much money on a faulty premise, as seen in prohibition)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556)

      Yet another reason to rethink our war on drugs policy.

      The other problem with the war on drugs is that it creates actual victims who still aren't willing to give evidence to the police. In my hometown we've had no less than six shootings in the last two months wherein the victims refused to cooperate with the police. That tells you it's almost certainly drug related as I can't really think of any other reason why I wouldn't help the police if someone shot me.

      Six months ago a buddy of mine was outside walking his dog when he saw someone take a baseball bat an

      • Now the scumbag has made some not-so-subtle threats against my friend for calling the police on him

        How did they know who he was?

      • by moortak (1273582)
        That tells you it's almost certainly drug related as I can't really think of any other reason why I wouldn't help the police if someone shot me. As sad as it may seem many people have a deep distrust of police, not only for drug related reasons. In some neighborhoods the police have behaved in a manner that does not lead to much trust. That being said, it probably was drugs or at least the thug mentality that is far too prevalent.
  • Considering what Mark Klein http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrBapXsLcro [youtube.com] and others have already told us, it's a little late for a wiretapping with warrant debate, as that case is already lost. The sooner everyone realizes that everything they type and say online and over the phone today is public to anyone with the technology to tap, the sooner groups could organize and take back the right to privacy through better technology and government policy. But honestly, isn't it already a lost cause? Seems like we

    • >>>take back the right to privacy through better technology and government policy.

      Well first-off government law already states, "No search without warrant" so the policy should be to enforce that law. That's the point of the debate - to pressure politicians to observe their own laws.

      Second, escalating technology means nothing because the politicians will simply make it illegal to have an encryption key. And if you refuse to provide the key, then they will jail you, as is already the case in the U

  • Yes, unless you get caught.

    Richard M. Nixon
  • Wiretapping is against the law and should not be allowed on your line without a warrant. I quote from the fourth amendment "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."
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      "hahahaha! Just words on a page." - President Bush

      "That's right George. Constitutional law means nothing to us. Heck there's not even any punishment for violating it!" - President Obama

      "Heh heh heh. Boy you guys are a laugh riot." - President Clinton

  • You think it's fun listening to some euro jackass telling his bitches to get work because he needs a new gold tooth?

  • mindset. STALKEDLONGTIME is saying things that completely fit with what I've been hearing and reading about. Never on the MSM of course. But buried in regular news sources youll find stories (wimpily redacted, essentially) about it. A PODCAST THAT KICKS BUTT on this subject matter, which used to be an Air America show but for whatever buttheaded reasons got axed, deserves your support and you'll thank yourself for subscribing to the RSS feed (check the archive of episodes.. mindblowers.) He HAS INTERVIEW
  • do people seriously believe that only Governments do 'wiretaps' ? that commercial and criminal elements of the community do not?

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

Working...