TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Internet and Civil Liberties?

Re: Internet and Civil Liberties?
24 Mar 2006 07:58:24 -0800

Henry wrote:

> There are two kinds of people: those who believe that the police would
> never _dream_ of 'planting' evidence, lying on the witness stand or
> otherwise 'framing' a suspect, and those who believe that it happens all
> the time.

I don't think the simple division of people you describe is accurate.

The original post didn't discuss the issues you raise above. Rather,
it raised the issue of potential _mistakes_ in accusation and arrest
as a result of new technologies, their use, and their misuse.

For example: Someone arranges for a meeting via the Internet. At some
point (before, during, or after the meeting) one person is assaulted by
the other person. The police trace the Internet logs back to someone
else who was not at all involved, but his identity was stolen. If the
victim doesn't have a clear description or the person looks similar,
that outside person is in big trouble.

[public replies, please]

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: There is at least one third type of
division which Henry did not mention: There are those folks who not
only deny that it happens but 'go into denial' about it when there is
some instance (for example, in the newspapers) they cannot avoid. One
example I recall from the newspapers was that lady, Joyce (what was
her last name?) in Oklahoma who was employed for however many years as
a 'forensic technician' for the police in Oklahoma. Her job, was to
'investigate crime' and sort out the 'criminals' from the 'good guys'
and accordingly, advise police on matters such as DNA, blood types,
fingerprints, etc. Things which could easily _make or break_ anyone
where police were concerened on a high profile crime. As Danny
Burstein explained it here one day, a 'high profile' crime is any
crime in which a white person is the victim, and usually a well-to-do
white person at that. So this Joyce lady, _head forensic technologist_
for the state of Oklahoma was just going along with whatever police
told her to say/do. Police would say 'thus and so is the perp' and
Joyce would jerry-rig the 'evidence' to make things turn out as the
plice told her they should.

When the shit finally hit the fan -- as you knew would happen -- the
police did not hesitate to sacrifice Joyce; they claimed it was all
her fault; she said police had 'twisted her arm' many times to get the
desired results. She was unable to document or prove otherwise, and as
for the police, well, they did not have to prove anything; they are
the police, after all. Despite Joyce's several loud protests, she was
sent packing; how many death sentences did (Oklahoma) Governor Brad
Henry have to write off ? ... it was almost as much of a stench as in
Illinois where the former governor cleaned out death row _entirely_ in
one fell swoop (over a hundred inmates) because (as he [former
Illinois governor] put it) "there are just too many unanswered
questions in all these cases." The people who are in denial about
these things like to pretend that we have a very good 'system' in the
United States and 'only occassionally' are there errors and we sure
hope "there are no hard feelings in the 'rare instance' when a mistake
is made." What utter nonesense! PAT]

Date: 24 Mar 2006 08:14:27 -0800
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Re: Online Dating Brings Trouble
Message-ID: <>
X-Telecom-Digest: Volume 25, Issue 116, Message 8 of 10
Lines: 42

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: [in response to Henry]

> ... malfeasance involving your computer is a much more real,
> more common occurrance. Not necessarily a stalker, perhaps, but some
> jerk wanting to play games none the less. PAT]

This is all very true. Something happens to many people when they get
behind a computer*. Some people get addicted to some part of the
Internet, spending hours and hours and hours on it to the detriment of
the rest of their life. Many people have lost their job and family as
a result.

Unfortunately, sometimes otherwise good people turn bad at the
computer. These are people who would never think of stealing a candy
bar or stepping on an ant or hurting anyone in person. But at a
computer -- probably because of the anonymity and their high technical
skills -- their personality changes; and not for good.

This is nothing new -- even back in time-sharing days using clunky
teletypes there were those who would steal accounts, attempt to hack
where they weren't allowed, etc.

_Someone_ is writing all those virus programs, writing sophisticated
code to generate spam and bypass filters, and send out all sorts of
very nasty material.

Then of course traditional criminals use the Internet as a new tool,
using it as an electronic crowbar or lockpick set to break into

Law enforcement is after these people, of course, as they should be.
But there is concern, with the anonymity of the Internet, that the
identity of the criminal may be masked and given to an innocent
person. I cannot change my DNA or fingerprint. But a human created
every and all password and ecryption schemes and that means another
human has the means to bypass or modify it.

*It's like automobiles, something happens to people when they get
behind the wheel. The most sweet gentle people can turn into monsters
when they drive (and vice versa).

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