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Police Want Fast Track To Get At Your Private Data 301

Posted by timothy
from the if-you-have-nothing-to-hide dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to this story on CNET, police again are pushing for new laws requiring ISPs and webmail providers to store users' private data for five years and also want a new electronic way of speeding up subpoenas and search warrants via police-only encrypted portals at all ISPs and webmail providers."
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Police Want Fast Track To Get At Your Private Data

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  • by Jorl17 (1716772) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @05:59PM (#31027592)
    As well as criminality. Can we see a pattern here? These measures don't seem to help at all. They are ethically wrong and have been empirically proven useless.
    • Bore them to death (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mollog (841386)
      Hey, they can look at my data. It will bore them to death.

      Seriously, the internet has enabled a range of new criminal activity. This move to preserve data and mine it is to be expected. As time goes on, it will get worse.

      I'm reminded of how people used to live in small towns and everybody knew everybody else's business. The only difference is that, now, police agencies and other spying organizations can conceal their activities. I vote that ISP's must reveal who asked for what.
      • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:10PM (#31027722) Journal

        Hey, they can look at my data. It will bore them to death.

        They'll find my four trillion digits of pi boring until they realize that every trillionth digit is the start of a datetime stamp followed by geographic coordinates indicating when and where I'm going to kill next. How many people have to die before they realize that it's GMT with no adjustments for daylight savings!?

        Sincerely,

        - Pi Killer

        • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:20PM (#31027880)

          e! That's irrational!

          • Gamma(e+1) That's irrational!

            FTFY [wikipedia.org]. "!" only works on whole numbers. Unfortunately /.'s UTF-8 support sucks or else I would have put up a real Gamma. </rant>

        • by vux984 (928602)

          They'll find my four trillion digits of pi boring until they realize that every trillionth digit is the start of a datetime stamp followed by geographic coordinates indicating when and where I'm going to kill next.

          (T = trillion)
          Lets see, its four trillion digits, and an attack is coded starting at digit 1T, then again at 2T, ...
          However there isn't any data following the 4Tth digit.

          How many people have to die before they realize that it's GMT with no adjustments for daylight savings!?

          Based on the above: at m

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by camperdave (969942)
            Unless his split-personality counterpart is an old world evil mathematician, counting the digits of pi in long scale trillions, while the psychotic killer split-personality counterpart uses short scale trillions.
      • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:10PM (#31027738) Journal

        It's not just that they can look at your data now, but in future too. World and politics can change really fast, especially now that US is having economical problems.

        And what about other governments? Would it be good for example Google and Microsoft have a police-backdoor in China?

        And the fact is, they can already subpoena data from companies and companies already have to maintain data for long time. This is just expending it ever longer, which is really worrying, coupled with the police-backdoors (imagine the fun when one of those gets hacked).

        • by Jorl17 (1716772) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:13PM (#31027774)
          We need a revolution, that's all. Democracy isn't ruling the world -- politicians are. And politicians are nowhere near what we need.
          Once again, we need a revolution. We need to take control. We must take control and save the world.
          • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:16PM (#31027818)

            Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by TheWizardTim (599546)

              I can't wait to meet the new boss, as long as we don't get fooled again.

          • by sopssa (1498795) *

            We need a revolution, that's all. Democracy isn't ruling the US -- politicians are. And politicians are nowhere near what we need.

            Once again, we need a revolution. We need to take control. We must take control and save the US.

            Fixed that for you.

            However, while we here have fairly good democratic system, most people are idiots.

          • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:43PM (#31028126) Journal

            We're a Democratic Republic here in the US. Politicians aren't running the country, special interests are. Except you're probably all for special interests when the are in your favor, but not for them when they aren't.

            We can solve this problem simply and easily. A person can donate as much money to any candidate they can vote for, otherwise it is strictly forbidden.

            I'd also increase the number of House members to 1000, each state getting at least two, but they only serve six months (by lottery) at a time. And cut their pay in 1/2.

            I'd also make sure that EVERYONE over 18 had to write a check out to the IRS, for some amount, say $25 (or so) "person" tax. The reason for this is because people who don't pay ANY taxes (now about 50% of the population) don't care about how government spends other people's money.

            • I'd also make sure that EVERYONE over 18 had to write a check out to the IRS, for some amount, say $25 (or so) "person" tax. The reason for this is because people who don't pay ANY taxes (now about 50% of the population) don't care about how government spends other people's money.

              Devil's advocate: what percentage of that 50% are dependents (children or elderly) or unemployed?

            • Ah, yes, a poll tax. Nice idea. It certainly went well for Mrs. Thatcher.

            • Of everything in your post it's the expanding of the House of Representatives that I most agree with.

              This web article, http://www.gmu.edu/depts/economics/wew/articles/08/PoliticalMonopolyPower.htm [gmu.edu] , explains more clearly than I could WHY we should do this.

            • The reason for this is because people who don't pay ANY taxes (now about 50% of the population)

              Baloney. Almost all states have sales tax - at least on non-food items.
              The group of people who only buy food, or who live in a non-sales-tax state and don't pay income tax is probably a lot closer to 5% than 50%.

            • by jwhitener (198343) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @09:08PM (#31029628)

              We can solve this problem simply and easily. A person can donate as much money to any candidate they can vote for, otherwise it is strictly forbidden.

              I'd also increase the number of House members to 1000, each state getting at least two, but they only serve six months (by lottery) at a time. And cut their pay in 1/2.

              I'd also make sure that EVERYONE over 18 had to write a check out to the IRS, for some amount, say $25 (or so) "person" tax. The reason for this is because people who don't pay ANY taxes (now about 50% of the population) don't care about how government spends other people's money.

              That wouldn't do squat. The problem is that it takes an incredible amount of money to win national campaigns, so the only voices that matter to politicians are very wealthy individuals or very big business. And the supreme court ruling allowing corporations (considered a person) to pay for as many advertisements about politicians or issues as they want (money to this court = speech and people have free speech), has effectively drowned out an averages citizen's ability to be heard.

              Here is what commoncause.org says is important to reform:
              1. Create a modern campaign finance system that enables federal candidates who swear off special interest money to run vigorous campaigns on a blend of small donor and public funds.

              2. Ban lobbyists contributions, bundling and fundraising for federal candidates.

              3. End internal fundraising quotas on Capitol Hill that essentially require members of Congress to buy their way into key committee posts and foster a corrosive dependence on K Street for cash.

              4. Close loopholes that allow candidates to evade contribution limits by soliciting amounts up to 3,000 percent of those limits for “joint fundraising committees” and unlimited amounts for national party conventions.

              5. Increase transparency by requiring electronic filing of campaign finance reports for the U.S. Senate (already in place for the House), and full disclosure of bundlers who raise, or help raise, $50,000 or more for congressional and presidential candidates.

              6. Replace the moribund Federal Elections Commissions with a new nonpartisan enforcement agency.

              I personally think it needs to go further.
              1. Declare corporations as property, not persons. Re-enable rights needed for them to function as a secure business by expressly declaring them, not granting them personhood.
              2. Expressly deny corporations from spending on any campaign issue or promoting any candidates. If the employees or members of the corporation want to ban together in their off time and combine their (small) individually allowed donations, or fund a commercial, go for it.
              3. Limit the amount any citizen can donate to any candidate, and limit the amount any citizen can contribute to ads of a political nature. It must be small enough so that the average american has some weight.
              4. Set up term limits for all members of congress. Maybe 12 or 16 years as a senator. I don't know the ideal length, but forever as it is now.
              5. Expand libel and slander laws to include political bills/legislation and scientific ideas/theories. For instance, if Fox or MSNBC, or anyone for that matter, says something blatantly untrue, over and over, about a bill or theory, any group, or any person, can sue that organization or person for libel or slander. If a jury of their peers agree that what was said was damaging to society, malicious in intent, and easily proven false, then Fox or MSNBC are found guilty and have to pay damages to whatever group was affected. (I don't know if this is the best way to restore some level of truth in news and our society, but biased crappy reporting, made up scandals, and misinformation is at an all time high and getting progressively worse).
              6. Open the doors to 3rd parties. Allow anyone who gains enough signatures to put themselves on the ballot for a race. Want to run for the senate as the flying spaghetti monster candidate?

              • by FiloEleven (602040) on Friday February 05, 2010 @01:13AM (#31031400)

                I must admit I only scanned the list rather than read it in full, but there is an easier way to reform Washington involving just two bills, both proposed by DownsizeDC: the Read The Bills Act and the One Subject at a Time Act.

                RTBA would make it mandatory for both houses of Congress to post complete bills in their final form online fully 7 days prior to a vote for the public to review. This means that no matter who pays for a congressman, anything shady he tries to slip into a bill will see the light of day before it's made law, and every congressman can be pressured to vote based on the public's informed opinion. You may recall Candidate Obama's campaign promise to put bills online for 5 days for public review, one of his most practical and meaningful promises and one that remains unfulfilled.

                Another provision in it calls for a full floor reading before the vote, a measure that certainly fits the agenda of shrinking Washington but one I see as unduly burdensome. A third section calls for any congressman voting for (but not against) a bill to certify that he has read it in full, so we would no longer hear "I was unaware of Unpopular Provision X when I voted for the Ponies For Everyone! Act of 2009" as an excuse.

                OSTA is just what it sounds like: each bill must stand or fall on its own merit, and its name must reflect its contents. That means bills can't be weighed down with tons of riders, attached usually either for pet projects to gain a rep's vote or to pass unpopular legislation by hiding it in otherwise innocuous, possibly PATRIOTically named bills.

                I have spoken about these acts to many people and only one person disliked OSTA, while RTBA has been universally supported (save my own concerns about the floor reading). If enough of the public were to hear about these bills and call their congressmen in support of them, Congress would be forced to pass them and bring about the real reformation we need: making our so-called representatives actually represent us.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Jason Levine (196982)

              We can solve this problem simply and easily. A person can donate as much money to any candidate they can vote for, otherwise it is strictly forbidden.

              I'm guessing by this you mean companies are forbidden from contributing but people can. No problem, my very wealthy Company Inc will just fund a Interested Persons group which will write checks to top members. They get to cash the checks and keep 10% if they write another check giving the remaining 90% of the amount to Candidate Joe Smith.

              I'd also make sure

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Once again, we need a revolution. We need to take control. We must take control and save the world.

            Great idea! I'll be the leader. You all just do exactly what I say and we'll topple the bourgeoisie elites and bring about... whatever it is you wanted exactly. The important part is that you have to pick me to be the leader. Every revolution needs a good dic^H^H^Hleader after all.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Grishnakh (216268)

          What if the USA, faced with insurmountable debt, decides to sell your state to Saudi Arabia? Then their police decide to look over all this data and see who's guilty of violating their morality laws.

          Sounds wacky, but stranger things have happened.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:19PM (#31027870)

          It's not just that they can look at your data now, but in future too. World and politics can change really fast, especially now that US is having economical problems.

          Exactly! Are you sure that any data that is available now will not violate any law they introduce in the future?

          Like http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/04/extreme_images_net_suspension/ [theregister.co.uk] where a man is being charged for
          something he did in Aug/Sept 08 but the law he broke came into being in Jan 2009.

        • by shentino (1139071)

          If you're in China, the police don't NEED a back door.

      • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:12PM (#31027770) Homepage

        Nobody knows how totalitarian their country will be in 5 years.
        Best to assume the worst extrapolating from today's trajectory.

        • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:31PM (#31027986)

          Heil Palin.

      • by zippthorne (748122) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:21PM (#31027882) Journal

        "If you don't have anything to hide, you don't have anything to fear" is exactly backwards. If you've actually committed a crime, I don't care about your privacy. I only care about the privacy of people who haven't committed crimes. I think we should care about it so much that we protect the criminals, too.

        Protected rights aren't supposed to be loopholes with which to "get away with stuff." That's just a side effect of the real purpose of protecting your rights.

        Just because your data is boring to a law enforcement agent, does not mean that your data will be boring to everyone that subsequently has access to it, including people who are in addition to being LEOs also people who have an interest in you, personally.

        • by mollog (841386) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:31PM (#31027996)
          I agree that until they have a very specific reason to be looking at my data, they have no business with my data. But I also acknowledge that, starting soon after 9/11, they started looking at my data despite laws that were supposed to prevent that.

          And I also acknowledge that they will construe my information in ways that will put me at a disadvantage because I supported such-and-so politician, or because I looked into the side-effects of medication X. This manner of data-mining is already happening. Outlawing it is fruitless, but we can make laws that disclose who has looked at my data.

          Until we have a sort of reciprocity wrt searching data, until we know who has been doing it, we will be at a disadvantage. The searching is already happening. But who is watching the watch-birds? That's what I want to know.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by IdleTime (561841)
          What the US need is an equivalent to the Norwegian Data Inspectorate, see English webpage at http://www.datatilsynet.no/templates/Page____194.aspx [datatilsynet.no]
        • Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If you've actually committed a crime, I don't care about your privacy. I only care about the privacy of people who haven't committed crimes.

          Define "crime".

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You have already committed a crime, guaranteed. The sheer number of laws already in place in the US neatly assures that you have committed at least some sort of crime. It is merely a question of whether or not you are charged with something.

      • Yeah mine too. Have at it, guys. Perhaps my criminal record, which consists being caught out after curfew after 10 pm riding my bike when I was 13 plus *several* failures to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and one failure to signal my intention to turn right will be of huge interest. Clearly I have subversive tendencies, at least while driving.

        I'm a wild man. Grr.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Large_Hippo (881120)
      Your argument may be true, but your facts are wrong: criminality has been steadily decreasing since 1993. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]
  • Because they can?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:00PM (#31027604)
    They think just because they can it's a good idea? Doesn't sabotage the principles of free and open societies at all?! Imagine if they did in real life half the things they already do online. I'd have already picked up a gun just because others already would have too.
    • by _merlin (160982) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:18PM (#31027844) Homepage Journal

      That sounds like the kind of thing an enemy of Freedom(TM) would say. I think we need to fast-track the retrieval of headkase's personal information, so we can find something that could be construed as evidence of support for terrorism and put him away before he robs us of our lifesytle.

      You see, it's the Freedom(TM) to agree with whoever is currently top dog - not freedom to make your own decisions. (Kind of like RMS GNU/Freedom, really.)

      • by headkase (533448)
        You Sir, are delicious. Exactly the kind of thought in small adjustments that prevent the bloodshed of large.
  • Probable Cause (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have no problem with police getting this kind of private information, as long as it is fully disclosed that they have requested it, and they can only request it with probable cause. I doubt either of these conditions will be satisfied.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:01PM (#31027628) Journal
    Aside from internal 1984 style abuse of this proposed system, the fundamental concept (and all existing implementations of it) introduces a new level of security risk [technologyreview.com] and it is this exact interface that is said to be the weakness that was exploited in the Google China attack [computerworld.com]. From a computer security perspective, this is wrong on many different levels.
  • No problem (Score:3, Funny)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:02PM (#31027632)
    As long as the guy with the files is using Internet Explorer, they can have all the access they want [slashdot.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by LifesABeach (234436)
      If one is a Bad Guy, and I'm not saying I am, then the best Law Enforcement are those that investigate from their chairs. Care for another Donut?
  • by twidarkling (1537077) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:02PM (#31027634)

    The police have to pay for the storage. Since the amount of online data is constantly increasing, I figure having to lay out funds for that many terrabytes of storage should bankrupt them, and then they can focus on doing the job they *should* be doing (picking up garbage), instead of the one they *want* to be doing (invading privacy without probable cause).

    • by Terrasque (796014) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:14PM (#31027782) Homepage Journal

      oooh, good idea. I vote for using SSD's to store the data, so we can access it quickly if the need ever arise.

    • by RiffRafff (234408)

      Pay for storage AND maintenance of said storage. The ISPs shouldn't be forced to spend a dime on this, even if it does pass.

      • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:26PM (#31027932)

        Pay for storage AND maintenance of said storage. The ISPs shouldn't be forced to spend a dime on this, even if it does pass.

        ISPs pay, increase rates to make up shortfall. Result: The average joe pays to lose his privacy.

        Government pays, increase taxes to make up shortfall. Result: The average joe pays to lose his privacy.

        I'd like a third option, please. How about "we don't do it and no one pays"?

    • Okay, but on one condition: The police have to pay for the storage. Since the amount of online data is constantly increasing, I figure having to lay out funds for that many terrabytes of storage should bankrupt us

      There, fixed that for you (except your subject line; I recommend something like "Sure, if they pay", because it actually summarizes your message, rather than leave us in suspense).

  • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:06PM (#31027662)
    Just where is it taking us?
    • by Xelios (822510) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:30PM (#31027984)
      I wouldn't even call this good intention, it's nothing but an attempt to bypass some paper work at the expense of privacy.

      They argue that e-mailing a court order is too slow. Well no, e-mailing it is nearly instantaneous, it's the response that's slow. That's a problem that shouldn't require unfettered access to private data to fix. A simple piece of legislation stating ISP's must respond to legal requests by law enforcement within x days should do it.

      As for data not being retained long enough, 20 years ago police departments didn't have any web data at all, and they still managed to do their jobs. I'm sure they'd like to have 5 years of retained data to mine, but considering the implications for privacy and security I don't think this convenience is worth it.
    • by RichM (754883)

      Just where is it taking us?

      City 17.
      The UK with their surveillance society is almost there already.

  • by e2d2 (115622) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:06PM (#31027676)

    Where is Kevin Mitnick when you need him?

    Yo dawg we heard you like wire taps so we put a wire tap in your wire tap so we can hear while you hear.

    A million internets to the first person to crack this system.

  • NO! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:07PM (#31027682) Journal

    It's no great surprise the cops want this. But can you imagine the response of banks (and customers) if the police were to demand a special door in every bank so they could waltz in and search the safety deposit boxes at their convenience? Of homeowners if the cops were to demand a master key to every house to make search warrants easier to execute?

    Unfortunately, when it comes to electronic records, lawmakers seem to think expanding the AT&T NSA rooms to access portals for every cop in the country is a great idea.

  • by Manip (656104) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:07PM (#31027686)

    These "police portals" are logistical nightmares. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of police forces in the US then take into account security services and other interested parties are we might be talking about the population of a city who need completely secure access to a great deal of private information.

    Then we need to talk about audit trail and legality of these searches. Who monitors the police/security services to make sure they're acting within the law? How do we know someone isn't spying on their ex' or getting stock tips?

    I think the best system for all involved is a dedicated department at large ISPs/hosts who responds to requests, reads the warrant and grants/denies it. If they grant it then they're given a portal for JUST that request which disables when the warrant expires.

  • Tyrants... (Score:2, Insightful)

    need to put to death.

    There are going to be a lot of jackasses that comment with "so what you should have nothing to hide" or "that's what you get when you don't run your own email server" etc.

    My question is, how many people would it acceptable if the USPO opened all your mail and made photocopies of it to store for their own use? What about UPS, or FedEx?

    The solution everyone is too afraid to talk about is simple: kill the tyrants.

    That will send a message to the other tyrants that we are no longer in the

  • by RiffRafff (234408) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:10PM (#31027736) Homepage

    Police-only encrypted portals?

    Hmmmm... sounds like a challenge.

  • Bad bad Idea. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Anything that gives too much centralized and easy access to thousands of users' data is a terrible thing to even consider, be it for Police or whatever.

    Law enforcement agencies are not filled with angles who will just stick to a line if they have access like this.

  • Police want... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pluther (647209) <pluther@@@usa...net> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:20PM (#31027876) Homepage

    And criminals want to be given everything they want without having to work for it first.

    They both need to grow the fuck up, and leave the rest of us alone.

  • The bad guys are way better at getting this sort of data out of the ISPs
    than the ISPs are at protecting it. The scammers are going to love
    this new data, nicely collecting valid IP addresses, email addresses,
    and more in convenient form to steal.

  • for cell traces and wiretaps....
    0
    it's OBSCENE-- why wouldn't this law automatically include payment for such service/record keeping?

    (yes, I realize that shifts the cost to taxpayers (everyone) instead of consumers (local customers) only)

    but seriously- when LEOs ask for information they pay the major carriers for the taps....

    why isn't this requirement reimbursable-- what is the different theory?

  • Why is it that these intelligence gathering entities always seem to think that the problem is not enough information? They already have way too much info, and collecting even more isn't going to help. Sifting through the info they have to weed out the useless stuff is what they really should be concentrating on. And hasn't law enforcemnt ever heard of the Wayback Machine?
  • We can't afford all the police. Time to just decriminalize some stuff, have speedy death sentences for other stuff, and just have a cheaper justice system. And, if someone shoots a burglar or a would be home invader, don't give them a bunch of crap.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Why not just put people to work instead of simply locking them in a box? Let them all do something useful, and I don't mean breaking rocks into smaller rocks. If they're later found to be innocent, pay them for their time.

      • by Spykk (823586)
        Making it so that states benefit from having more prisoners is a good way to get a lot of otherwise innocent people arrested...
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I don't know where you live but the number of police to citizens is somewhere between 1:400-900 people, if you're lucky. There's some cities where I live that have a 1:2000 officer:citizen ratio. That's pretty common everywhere.

  • And of course (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @06:31PM (#31027990) Homepage

    They want provisions to pay for all the extra storage and have provided a mechanism to verify a judge's sign-off and create a public record of the judicial process, right?

    What are all those crickets doing in here?

  • Starting with emails at the White House, and working down from there?

  • I guess it's time to bring back the cypherpunks.. Somebody light up the Phil Zimmerman beacon! ;-)

    Only upside I can see is more willingness to use GPG or S/MIME if a law like this gets passed..

  • by DeanFox (729620) *

    tl;dr: Stumbled upon or unsolicited - fine. Active investigation targeted request - search warrant.

    What I'm told (IANAL) is they don't need a search warrant if they walk into a hardware store and ask to see all the receipts for January 12th - so long as the business owner says "sure - here you go..." So, 99% of officers responded that they would like to login and search a site's entire database from their desk. Duh, oh course they want it. Who wouldn't?

    In other news 99% of the employees I polled
  • by haruchai (17472) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:00PM (#31028314)

    You want the keys to the kingdom? Prove you can be trusted

    1.) All police officers, all employees of all police forces that may have any kind access to confidential data and any contractors or consultants
              must submit to annual interviews including polygraphs regarding their activities, private and professional, past and present.
              The Canadian Mounties have a process like this for applicants but I don't think it's done once you become a constable.
      2.) No question is off-limits; all questions must be answered.
      3.) Failure to submit or answer a question will result in dismissal.
      4.) All interviews are to be observed by a panel of witnesses of which several are private citizens
      5.) All (unedited) interviews will be available to the public upon request.

    If those conditions are met, then I'll gladly comply with your requests for private data.

  • Let the administration know what you think. He has some control over policy and direction. He should know what this community thinks.

  • by davidwr (791652) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:18PM (#31028488) Homepage Journal

    I see 3 major issues:

    * the desire for electronic-speed/non-paper efficiency from the police point of view

    * the desire not to have records be routinely destroyed between the receipt of a police request and the time the record is scheduled for destruction, i.e. "almost immediate" data-freezing

    * (not stated, but probably desired) the desire to have historical information available for years.

    Traditional phone companies already keep records of what phone called what phone for 2 years, which IMHO is about 22 months too long. I'm sure the police would love similar transaction records of who emailed whom and who chatted with whom going back that far, and they would salivate over having the actual content of the communications for that long.

    As a taxpayer, I'm all for increased efficiency as long as it doesn't increase the "efficiency" of illegal or barely-legal-but-inappropriate records requests. It also makes sense that data-retention requests should be honored as soon as practical, not "oops, we just now got around to processing your request from yesterday, the data you want was purged last night, sorry."

    However, transaction records and other records should not be kept any longer than necessary for billing and other internal processes. For most services which aren't billed a la carte or per-bit or per-transaction, we are talking days, max, for individual records. For billed services, they need to be kept until the billing=dispute deadline has passed or until all billing disputes are finalized, or the normal "few days," whichever is later.

  • for snail mail as well. You never know when you'll need that year old coupon.
  • What's really sad about this kind of thing, CALEA, etc is that even if the cops had all the powers they ask for, it would only catch the people who don't worry about being caught. If you're a Serious Criminal (TM) such that you actually know you're breaking laws and you're paranoid enough to think that the cops are out to get you (e.g. Tony Soprano), then you can defeat all these intercept systems by using end-to-end encryption. Access my mailbox, but you still need to break PGP.

    Given that, and given the

  • by ls671 (1122017) * on Friday February 05, 2010 @12:57AM (#31031250) Homepage

    The only real private data you have is the one you keep in your head or write on a piece of paper as long as nobody has access to the said piece of paper.

    Don't get me wrong here, I still encourage privacy online defenders to continue their efforts but the above statement will always remain a fact when you think about it carefully. Electronic data goes with inherent risks for privacy in my humble opinion ;-))

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