32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for July 7, 2014
====== 32 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 06:31:40 +0000 (UTC) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Garrett Wollman) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Nest's Smarter Home Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <20130228045306.GA16122@telecom.csail.mit.edu>, Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> wrote: >I once saw an article in a local paper about how the police had >acquired infra-red detectors to locate "grow" lamps so that they could >arrest marijuana home-grow operations. Which, thanks to the fourth-amendment hawks on the Supreme Court, they have not been able to use for the past dozen years, at least for the purpose of gathering evidence about activities taking place in private homes. Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001). However, the rationale used in the opinion of the court by Justice Scalia (joined by Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ.) seems rather strained to me. You can read the Wikipedia article about the case, which includes references to the full text and background information, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyllo_v._United_States . -GAWollman -- Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft email@example.com| repeated, than the story of a large research program Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 12:42:02 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Nest's Smarter Home Message-ID: <20130228174201.GA17407@telecom.csail.mit.edu> On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 06:31:40AM +0000, Garrett Wollman wrote: > In article <20130228045306.GA16122@telecom.csail.mit.edu>, > Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> wrote: > > >I once saw an article in a local paper about how the police had > >acquired infra-red detectors to locate "grow" lamps so that they could > >arrest marijuana home-grow operations. > > Which, thanks to the fourth-amendment hawks on the Supreme Court, they > have not been able to use for the past dozen years, at least for the > purpose of gathering evidence about activities taking place in private > homes. Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27 (2001). However, the > rationale used in the opinion of the court by Justice Scalia (joined > by Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ.) seems rather strained to > me. The real question isn't about grow lamps (which are easily confused with space heaters on an IR scan), but about how it is becoming harder and harder to maintain any sort of privcay in an interconnected world. In the case of Smith v. Maryland, [442 U.S. 735 (1979)], SCOTUS held that police could obtain "pen register" data, A.K.A. "Local Usage Details", without a search warrant. That kind of data is used for "traffic" research, an investigative and military intelligence technique which is able to divine the locations of key players in an organization based on the number and destination of each call. In the United States, although police are expected to obtain a warrant to actually "tap" a line, i.e., to record people speaking on phone calls for use as evidence in prosecutions, they are not required to do so before requisitioning the "LUDs" from a phone company. I was a Systems Analyst in the department which produced such records, and I can attest from personal knowlege that the procedure was both efficient and commonly used. The problem, to my mind, is that when bureaucrats get their hands on a fragment of a picture, they tend to make up the missing pieces instead just accepting that they are missing. While it might be interesting to a prosecutor to know that my phone was used to call the home of a child who was arrested for dealing illegal drugs, I doubt the forces of justice would be willing to accept that I am friends with the child's parents. Moreover, their left-leaning politics are a matter of public record, and the fact that I had any contact with them could be used against me during investigations for security clearances, or as "background" information sent to hiring managers for even mundane civil-service jobs. In short, be it "hot spots" in homes or "questionable" calling patterns on my phone records, data can be misued, and it's important to keep not only our houses secure from unreasonable searches, but also our public lives. I wonder if Justice Scalia will draw another "firm but also bright" line around the databases which have been assembled over the past twenty years: those files, many located on servers in foreign countries, contain the social maps that reveal the political and commercial terrain of my son's friends and family. FWIW. YMMV. Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) I've been up and down this highway, far as my eyes can see No matter how fast I run, I can never seem to get away from me - Jackson Browne
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