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  • Editorial: Department of Justice Says "Location Tracking Not So Bad"



    Today at the same hearing where Senator Al Franken and others blasted Apple and Google about the storing of location data and the subsequent violations of user privacy, a Department of Justice representative had this to say:

    "When this information is not stored, it may be impossible for law enforcement to collect essential evidence,"

    - Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein

    Really DOJ? This of course isn't a shock. The DOJ in January told congress that wireless and internet service providers should be required to store user data for two years. Weinstein provided congress with another gem during a hearing on mandatory data retention:

    "In many cases, these records are the only available evidence that allows us to investigate who committed crimes on the Internet. They may be the only way to learn, for example, that a certain Internet address was used by a particular human being to engage in or facilitate a criminal offense."

    I briefly comment on the DOJ and the industry surrounding the extracting of personal information for investigators last month when the Locationgate candal broke. Companies and individuals make their livings by creating programs that extract data you don't want others to see. It is a legitimate business, but a scary one. We live under the illusion that the right to privacy is laid out in the constitution. It is not.

    The Supreme Court has laid out an implied right to privacy in a number of its rulings over the last fifty years (Roe vs Wade, Stanley vs Georgia), and many will argue that it is inherent in a number of amendments in the Bill of Rights (3rd, 4th, and 5th). But, it is important to know there is know specific right to privacy laid out in the constitutions. This is the argument thrown around by originalists (people who believe in the sole word of the constitution. Think religious fundamentalists, what is in the Bible is what goes).

    It is encouraging that Congress is keen on maintaining and upholding these assumed rights to privacy laid out in previous rulings by the Supreme Court and the Bill of Rights. What is disconcerting is there are arms of our government and private sector that are actively engaged in circumventing these assumed rights and its legal. When Locationgate broke it was a shock to a number of us, and to others they could care less. To others though, it was old hat, common knowledge, something they had known about for months. But, these same people that knew about it for months, like Alex Levinson, said nothing about it. Why? Because he works for Katana Forensics and helped develop their iOS forensic software Lantern 2.0. Easy access to location data means a better product for their customers.

    For $700 you can purchase Lantern 2.0 from Katana Forensics and get a program capable of the following:
    • Supports the iPhone 4 and the new iPad 2
    • Supports all generations of the iPhone including the AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4
    • Supports all generations of the iPod Touch
    • Support for iOS 2.2 to 4.3.1
    • Passcode bypass with certificate file from syncing computer
    • Bypass Encryption on 3.0 devices and with known password
    • Recover Deleted SMS
    • Read Gmail & Yahoo Email
    • Parse SKYPE Calls & Messages
    • Parse Facebook Data
    • Cellular Sites & Wi-Fi Location Geo Data
    • Wi-Fi Connections History
    • Improved Internet History
    • Geo Locate Videos & Photos
    • Application Usage Data
    • Analysis from .dd Images & Backups
    • Data Carving Images & Videos
    • Timeline Analysis
    • Bookmarking
    • View Data while Processing Acquisition
    • Physical Image Email Analysis
    • Document Analysis

    I'm not condemning Levinson and their business, they provide a service to law enforcement officials, corporate investigative teams, and others but, the fact this data is so easily available is condemnable. If someone can write a program, useable by you and me, to procure our most intimate information, then something is wrong.

    If the recent digital attacks on Sony didn't convince you (it has been two weeks and PSN is still down), hopefully this will open your eyes to how truly vulnerable our private information is. If the largest corporations in the world can have their secure servers compromised and have information stolen from them, the reality is nothing is really secure. Your location data, your genius playlists, your Facebook stalking habits are available to those who care enough to look. We trust these corporations keep our information private, but if they can't protect themselves, who can protects us?

    Source: PC World
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Editorial: Department of Justice Says "Location Tracking Not So Bad" started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. aidanski's Avatar
      aidanski -
      I'ts so scary thinking about the information we provide for near to anyone to see, and that we are so susceptable for people to 'obtain' and use that information against us.
    1. bigdaddyjohn91's Avatar
      bigdaddyjohn91 -
      if someone can write a program to get all this data, cant someone write a program to retrieve and delete it?
    1. rioswag's Avatar
      rioswag -
      new world order
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      I totally agree that basically stalking someones every move is unnerving and shouldn't be done, but many people blow this out of proportion. I mean who the hell cares if you went by a Wal-Mart to pick up some snacks, or if you were in the mall on Saturday. Why the hell would someone use this against you...
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      "When this information is not stored, it may be impossible for law enforcement to collect essential evidence,"

      - Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein
      lazy *** bureaucrat, that's stalking which is a criminal offence

      Edit: if their allowed my location information, I want to know there location from their iDevice or Android device, and we should be allowed to have it under the freedom of Information act
    1. tangus999's Avatar
      tangus999 -
      privacy is dead and long gone get used to it, someone somewhere is watching.
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddyjohn91 View Post
      if someone can write a program to get all this data, cant someone write a program to retrieve and delete it?
      ur gonna delete password files? most of the time its the users fault there saved
      thats y apps like chase dont give u that option

      also most of these files are also system files so if u delete it ud probly have a corrupt file system
    1. rockxz3's Avatar
      rockxz3 -
      i love political cartoons they are hilarious
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by tangus999 View Post
      privacy is dead and long gone get used to it, someone somewhere is watching.
      This is the problem that the digital age ushered in. Laws that most countries live by were formed before digital ages came to rise. And at current time people in political positions were raised just shy of the technological boost.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Fraken is a moron. He's going after a subject that isn't up for debate, telecoms and their handset makers are required by law to at least track the handset. It's been a law for years. He's just another stupid politician 'sticking up for the people'. I feel very sorry for anyone that actually likes that man, he's proven himself to be both technologically inept and ignorant of federal law. This is nothing new, this has been around for years. Hell, AT&T willingly hands over records to the NSA illegally all the time. If anyone thinks Apple is to blame in all this you've bought the lie hook, line and sinker. The fact that our own government tracks every single thing you do is never brought up, and never will be in a public forum. If a politician is fighting for the people's rights you can be sure he's blowing smoke, with very rare exception. Classic misdirection. Your representatives should be the ones being grilled here, not the telecoms or hardware makers. They are merely complying with a very dangerous piece of legislation that requires you to be tracked or your handset have the ability to be located without your consent. Light a fire under your Congressmans ***, not Apple.
    1. rockxz3's Avatar
      rockxz3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      Fraken is a moron. He's going after a subject that isn't up for debate, telecoms and their handset makers are required by law to at least track the handset. It's been a law for years. He's just another stupid politician 'sticking up for the people'. I feel very sorry for anyone that actually likes that man, he's proven himself to be both technologically inept and ignorant of federal law. This is nothing new, this has been around for years. Hell, AT&T willingly hands over records to the NSA illegally all the time. If anyone thinks Apple is to blame in all this you've bought the lie hook, line and sinker. The fact that our own government tracks every single thing you do is never brought up, and never will be in a public forum. If a politician is fighting for the people's rights you can be sure he's blowing smoke, with very rare exception. Classic misdirection. Your representatives should be the ones being grilled here, not the telecoms or hardware makers. They are merely complying with a very dangerous piece of legislation that requires you to be tracked or your handset have the ability to be located without your consent. Light a fire under your Congressmans ***, not Apple.
      hey zeus AMEN
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by tangus999 View Post
      privacy is dead and long gone get used to it, someone somewhere is watching.
      Not true, if we give up fighting for it then it's dead
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      We live under the illusion that the right to privacy is laid out in the constitution. It is not.
      Yes it is. It's called the 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution. I suggest you go read it, brush up on your reading comprehension, and them have an epiphany that your are completely and utterly wrong.

      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      The Supreme Court has laid out an implied right to privacy in a number of its rulings over the last fifty years (Roe vs Wade, Stanley vs Georgia), and many will argue that it is inherent in a number of amendments in the Bill of Rights (3rd, 4th, and 5th). But, it is important to know there is no specific right to privacy laid out in the constitutions. This is the argument thrown around by originalists (people who believe in the sole word of the constitution. Think religious fundamentalists, what is in the Bible is what goes).
      Again, no only are you completely wrong, you insult those that actually understand what the Amendments you are referring to. The 3rd Amendment has to do with quartering of troops during wartime. This has no bearing on the discussion at hand and I don't understand why you would mention it otter than you don't know what's in it. The 4th Amendment has everything to do with privacy. No one has the legal right, nor the moral obligation or duty to decide they have a reason to root through your stuff. Be it on your person, in your house, or in your car. You fail yet again to comprehend the text and meaning of te Amendment. The 5th Amendment is used to prevent someone from getting you to admit to something that might not be true. Be it they threaten you with jail time, ruination of your life, or pressure you into admitting guilt to take a lesser sentence. See GeoHot's case here recently. Had Sony been given the opportunity to try and use him as a witness against himself they could have easily threatened him with a many number of this, mainly repeated court time that would have ruined him financially since they could have bought a number of sympathetic judges to try him in many states for different charges. This is what that is specifically written to protect a person from.

      In Stanley vs Georgia the Supreme Court overturned the ruling against Stanley on other grounds, but they also violated his 4th Amendment rights by seizing property that wasn't pertinent to the search being conducted. That's illegal. Justice Marshall ruled that private property, that they illegally seized, could not be considered obscene and wiped all state laws against it off the books citing 1st and 14th Amendment rights. Three other Justices agreed on those grounds and another ruling violation of 4th Amendment rights violations.

      You need to do your research better.

      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      We trust these corporations keep our information private, but if they can't protect themselves, who can protects us?
      Why, the United States Constitution of course. But since you obviously don't know what it written in it, nor why it was written and the protections it holds, you would ask such a question. I think you need to actually research a topic before you make such bold and factually incorrect statements and then insult those that do know what you are talking about. Everything you've written above is factually incorrect.
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      Fraken is a moron. He's going after a subject that isn't up for debate, telecoms and their handset makers are required by law to at least track the handset. It's been a law for years. He's just another stupid politician 'sticking up for the people'. I feel very sorry for anyone that actually likes that man, he's proven himself to be both technologically inept and ignorant of federal law. This is nothing new, this has been around for years. Hell, AT&T willingly hands over records to the NSA illegally all the time. If anyone thinks Apple is to blame in all this you've bought the lie hook, line and sinker. The fact that our own government tracks every single thing you do is never brought up, and never will be in a public forum. If a politician is fighting for the people's rights you can be sure he's blowing smoke, with very rare exception. Classic misdirection. Your representatives should be the ones being grilled here, not the telecoms or hardware makers. They are merely complying with a very dangerous piece of legislation that requires you to be tracked or your handset have the ability to be located without your consent. Light a fire under your Congressmans ***, not Apple.
      I agree, what all that corporations like apple are doing is testing the fence for holes. They do what they want, they try to be sneaky, and there seeing what will be punished as "illegal" so that they know what to do to "legally" make money.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Man of Sand View Post
      I agree, what all that corporations like apple are doing is testing the fence for holes. They do what they want, they try to be sneaky, and there seeing what will be punished as "illegal" so that they know what to do to "legally" make money.
      They are required by federal law to include teaming abilities in the handsets they sell. As much as I hate some of the things Apple does, this is not them being evil. The US Government requires them to do this, maybe not in this manner because what Apple tracks in addition to what's required is their choice. Idiots like Fraken and everyone else fail to see, or are deliberately ignoring (which I think is the case), is the fact that this is peanuts compared to what the telecoms are required to keep on hand. They are required to keep complete records of every customer for two years. Why are none of those morons bringing that up? Because they don't want that widely known, this is a smokescreen and useless debate by key morons in Congress.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Stupid iPhone and it's autocorrect! I'm blaming my spelling errors on my phone and it's too difficult to correct them inside the MMi app.
    1. rockxz3's Avatar
      rockxz3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      Stupid iPhone and it's autocorrect! I'm blaming my spelling errors on my phone and it's too difficult to correct them inside the MMi app.
      well im so smart i can do the english all on my own.

      sent from i4 using mmyi
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      Well..... Guess it's time for me to get a go-phone from 7-11. I'll use it when I'm on the go, and keep my iPhone at home. I'll forward all my incoming calls to the go-phone.

      PHUCK tha police!!!!

      I guess robocop isn't too far away from reality these days ;(
    1. ShredNasty's Avatar
      ShredNasty -
      Dev community......where you at? Pwn these a**holes into infinity.
    1. Paco's Avatar
      Paco -
      God is watching you, santa knows if u been naughty or nice, and Elmo knows where you live