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Thread: Privacy Downunder

  1. #1
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    Privacy Downunder

    Thought some of you might find this interesting:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-101...g=2547-1_3-0-5

    Looks like the Australian Police want to know what's on your HDD!
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Typical knee-jerk politicians' bullcrap.

    Just look at your local law enforcement's record on KP and cybercrime. They only catch the small fry and precious few of those. The guys who make the money and are the major players are well able to keep themselves out of the spotlight.

    If you look at major busts they have come through informants and traditional police methods like following the money.

    Basically, this idea has to fall flat on its face as there is no identifiable difference between law enforcement and a cyber criminal doing it. Either you are protected or you are not.

    Another thing that puzzles me is how this method could possibly comply with the legal requirements for evidence gathering and discovery?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    Basically, this idea has to fall flat on its face as there is no identifiable difference between law enforcement and a cyber criminal doing it. Either you are protected or you are not.
    Reminds me of gun rights. You have to jump through hurdles to get basic protection; they want to take that away. Meanwhile criminals get to walk around as usual because the constitution means nothing in their world until they get caught. So you have cops and thugs carrying guns while you afraid to leave the house. Not going to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    The guys who make the money and are the major players are well able to keep themselves out of the spotlight.
    And the real players get easy probation or escorted out of a crowded prison. They would smack the shlt out of a probation officer quickly if they were told not to touch a computer.
    Last edited by t34b4g5; March 10th, 2009 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Merged a double post.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    And the real players get easy probation or escorted out of a crowded prison.
    Actually, they very rarely even get caught, and even more rarely from computer evidence.

    Prosecutors generally don't like computer based cases and tend to go for more traditional charges that they are more confident the jury will understand.

    Another thing is that the police generally don't have the resources. It is all very well for politicians to give the police more powers but pretty pointless if they don't have the wherewithal to do anything with them. The politicians just want to be seen to be doing something about crime, even if it is actually ineffectual.

    At best this is just another form of surveillance of people who have aroused suspicion via other sources.

  5. #5
    Senior Member t34b4g5's Avatar
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    It can only happen in NSW . They have some crazy crazy laws there, probably why i don't travel there much...

    Anyhow i doubt very very much that they will be able to squeeze this one through parliament.

    Simply because the reason's they are trying to use to get this thing approved are way to broad:

    "This could including cracking codes and searching computers for evidence of child porn, drug running, and money laundering."
    Offenses covered by the new laws include the supply, manufacture, or cultivation of drugs; possession, manufacture or sale of firearms; money laundering; car or boat re-birthing; and unauthorized access to or modification of computer data or electronic communications.
    Also included are theft (if carried out on an organized basis); violence causing grievous bodily harm or wounding; possession, manufacture or supply of false instruments; corruption; destruction of property; homicide; and kidnapping.
    "We have been fine-tuning this legislation to ensure that we can keep up with fast evolving technology," said Rees. "This places police on an equal footing with the criminals they are tracking."
    i doubt that they will get this approved, especially in it's current state, they will most likely have to ammend it and take things out before it could/would get approved.

    besides there' are just waay to many people whom will kick up a stink and complain until it's thrown out the window.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Well,

    they aim to give police the right to apply for covert search warrants from the Supreme Court to gather evidence in cases that could involve serious indictable offenses punishable by at least seven years' imprisonment.
    That clearly rules out any form of random, non-targeted surveillance, so it is not much different than a physical search warrant, wiretap, mail interception, internet monitoring or whatever.

    "We have been fine-tuning this legislation to ensure that we can keep up with fast evolving technology,"
    ............Really, so why does it look like you found it in a packet of breakfast cereal?

    "This places police on an equal footing with the criminals they are tracking."
    Only insofar as it empowers them to commit the same criminal acts................

    I can see something positive in this line of approach though. At present our police get a search warrant and tend to impound computer equipment whilst they "investigate" it. At least with this system there would be no excuse to deny the owner access to his equipment.

    It should also devalue anonymous tip-offs to their true worth: malicious until corroborated.

    I still cannot see it having any noticeable impact on crime detection rates though. The little guys are too small to appear on the radar, and the professionals can afford the darkside expertise so they just don't show up at all.

  7. #7
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    At least we can take comfort in knowing that no government/law enforcement agency has ever taken laws like these, and twisted them to fit their own agendas. That my friends, would be a scary world to live in.

    Oh wait.

    crap.
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  8. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Basically they don't have to. Either they operate outside the law or there is obscure legislation that empowers them.

    They certainly won't bother messing with anything that requires court permission..................mind you, when law enforcement and judicial appointments are political, things might be different?

    Anyway who would need to when you have:

    The Act states that emergency powers can only be used if an event or situation threatens: serious damage to human welfare in the UK, a devolved territory or region; serious damage to the environment of the UK, a devolved territory or region; or the security of the UK, from war or terrorism. They can be used if such a situation is occurring, has occurred or is about to occur.
    And that is purely a government decision. Just how do you prove that you were not about to commit a terrorist act?

    BTW that is the UK's Civil Contingencies Act 2004

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