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There are now 12 comments... what are your thoughts?
  1. pingo1387 says

    Getting a wiretap looks a lot more complicated than I thought it was…

  2. Bart says

    How would CISPA enter into this conversation?

    • It wouldn’t, really. CISPA isn’t about the government intercepting the content of real-time communications.

      There are definitely privacy problems with the bill, but they’re not wiretap issues. And they seem easy to fix.

      CISPA would allow internet service providers to give the government data about your online behavior, and the content of some emails. The idea is to let companies and the feds pool real-time data to better spot & deal with botnets, viruses, and other cyberattacks.

      There’s nothing wrong with that idea. But as written, there’s too much risk that the government could get private information which it could then use against you. Shared data could include stuff that identifies who was doing what. The data would be retained forever, so it could be mined later to connect dots to ID you. Et cetera.

      It could easily be rewritten to address these legitimate privacy concerns. Require identifying info to be stripped from data before it’s shared. Require a court order (on a showing that there’s a good reason for it) to maintain data longer than 30 days. Only share aggregate data, or better yet summary analyses of the data (especially for things like email activity). Et cetera.

      It’s fascinating stuff, involving the intersection of legitimate security concerns and legitimate civil rights concerns. To the extent companies are acting as agents of the government (likely), and to the extent any of this could wind up as evidence in a criminal case (debatable), and to the extent the evidence involved that defendant’s legitimate expectation of privacy (TBD), there might even be a Fourth Amendment issue.

      But it’s not a wiretap issue. Good question, though!

      • Just found this site tonight, and I have to thank you for explaining all this legal mumbo jumbo with actual pictures and (slightly unlikely, but still possible) scenarios. Makes everything a lot easier to understand.

        Looking forward to that FISA explanation (whether it is in a later comment section or just in the future).

  3. Chris Katko says

    What’s to stop police from recording/listening to everything, chopping it back to pieces, and then just faking notes after the fact?

    • Well if you can get any evidence that they’ve done this, you can probably get the whole contents of the wiretap suppressed as both unreliable *and* illegal.

  4. Ann Onymous says

    Wait, she was wearing pants last time, and now it’s a skirt…

      • Why fix? The warrant prep work started no sooner than 3pm, and took “several hours”. The briefing details imply that they don’t have a permanent wiretap team. So, there could have been time for Pi to sleep after getting the approval, or at least rush out to eat dinner (perhaps with her telco friend whom she was embarrassed to mention) and change into something else but similar.

        • In fact, on the very next page, we see it’s 1:25, meaning at least 10 hours have passed.

          Correction, I said 3pm above, but it’s a 12-hour clock, so it could be 3am.

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