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US Govt: We can ask for fingerprints to unlock phones of everyone in a building

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  • US Govt: We can ask for fingerprints to unlock phones of everyone in a building

    The government claimed that it is legal to enter a building and demand everyone's fingerprints, passwords, encryption keys to unlock all phones.

    Whether you were in your house, or visiting someone in another house or even an apartment, you would surely not believe that cops could bust in and demand the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person there that they suspected might own a smartphone with a fingerprint sensor. That’s right, not accused of having committed any crime, but of simply owning a smartphone which can be unlocked with fingerprint biometrics. Nevertheless, in what is believed to be a first, that is exactly what a court filing in California asked for.
    Rest of article: http://www.computerworld.com/article...-building.html

    Sigh. I especially like this bit:

    Compelling a person to provide his or her fingerprint does not implicate, let alone violate, the Fifth Amendment. The prosecutors then cite cases to support that as well as noting that the Fifth Amendment protects the accused, and as of this point, no person is being accused.

  • #2
    the Fifth Amendment protects the accused, and as of this point, no person is being accused.

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    • #3
      Ah, Commiefornia, what will they think of next.

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      • #4
        The USA federal government DID take fingerprints of every single draftee back when the draft was in effect (prior to 1973) and sent the prints to the FBI.

        Reference....June 1966 newspaper
        I remember getting fingerprinted after reporting for duty

        https://news.google.com/newspapers?i...7237%2C4041206

        Obviously all concealed carry folks that are state licensed in Texas are voluntarily fingerprinted and forward to FBI also.
        Last edited by commanding; 17-10-2016, 10:02 PM.

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        • #5
          Did you guys even read the article? Beyond the emotive language and clear fear that someone might see their tentacle porn collection for what it is- a sad and lonely cry for help.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Te Zorro View Post
            Did you guys even read the article? Beyond the emotive language and clear fear that someone might see their tentacle porn collection for what it is- a sad and lonely cry for help.
            yeah I read it. my point is that the Fed govt has LONG been in the business of collecting fingerprints of citizens not accused of crimes. To me there are several issues:

            1. collecting fingerprints of citizens who are not suspected of crimes (good or bad, allowed, or not allowed under the law)

            2. requiring citizens to surrender their passwords etc to their cellphones, computers etc (legal or not, yes or no?)

            my point was the govt has had my fingerprints since 1971 and multiple times along with literally millions of other veterans ( 8,744,000 drafted between 1964-1975). what I think about if they should or not do, I will keep to myself as to me it is technically irrelevant what I personally think. Not a hill I want to die on.

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            • #7
              Sorry that wasn't directed at you.

              The fact is, they have a search warrant. That in itself would make the search of any electronics legal I'd imagine, depending on the nature of the search and what your connection to that property or those persons on the property is.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Te Zorro View Post
                Sorry that wasn't directed at you.

                The fact is, they have a search warrant. That in itself would make the search of any electronics legal I'd imagine, depending on the nature of the search and what your connection to that property or those persons on the property is.
                That would depend on the contents of the search warrant, but in general search warrants are the proper tool to access somebody's phone since the most recent SCOTUS ruling on the matter. In the past, I've needed a warrant to get into a cell phone in order to obtain text messages necessary for later use at trial, despite the fact that I had the contents of the text messages from the phones of both the victim and a witness. This was months after an arrest had been made, and well after the defendant's phone had been seized as part of their arrest.

                The catch is that a warrant must specifically designate the things and places to be searched. In my case, I used the serial number of the phone in the application. If, for example, I got a warrant for some house I suspected of being a drug house, I don't necessarily get to search everybody on the premises unless the warrant calls for that.

                Originally posted by the article
                “They want the ability to get a warrant on the assumption that they will learn more after they have a warrant,” criminal defense attorney Marina Medvin told Forbes.
                No shit. That's kind of why law enforcement applies for them.

                Originally posted by the article
                Compelling a person to provide his or her fingerprint does not implicate, let alone violate, the Fifth Amendment. The prosecutors then cite cases to support that as well as noting that the Fifth Amendment protects the accused, and as of this point, no person is being accused.
                This is a basically correct summary (though not a complete or particularly nuanced summary -- probably why several people noted the quote in this thread). I think the stronger argument is the Fourth Amendment argument raised in the paragraphs below. The Fourth Amendment only protects from unreasonable searches and seizures (i.e. searches in the absence of a warrant or one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement). While there's no requirement that the persons to be searched be suspects or the places to be searched be used in some sort of illegal activity, there is a requirement that the things to be seized have some sort of nexus with the reason for the warrant (i.e. drug search yields money and guns).

                The fingerprinting summary (requiring reasonable suspicion of a criminal act) is also basically correct, but I'm not sure that it's the proper route to take here. That's more of a fingerprinting for evidentiary value kind of thing (i.e. LE wants to compare your prints to those found at the scene of a burglary). I'm thinking it's more akin to seizing the key to a safe deposit box that LE has a warrant for. However, if LE doesn't have a clue what's on the phones and -- per the complaints of the article -- seems to not have been sure whether some (or all) of the phones were even connected to criminal activity, that can pose a problem. There's the memo in support of the search warrant which claims there's PC to search the phones, but no other supporting information (or even the full document) to base that on.

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                • #9
                  Hunting for evidence, Secret Service unlocks phone data with force or finesse

                  "A cheaper phone that might be less popular, it seems like it'd be easier for the vendors to get into it," says Darnell of the Secret Service phone lab. "But it's actually quite the opposite."
                  http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Passcode/2017/0202/Hunting-for-evidence-Secret-Service-unlocks-phone-data-with-force-or-finesse


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                  • #10
                    But cheapo phones reception suck, that's why no-one buys them. Unless they've improved in the last few years, then I take it back.

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