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Author Topic: Knock, Knock, It's the FBI  (Read 10632 times)
app103
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« on: April 27, 2008, 05:38:49 PM »

This is a pretty scary scenerio and one that would be having me thinking about pulling the plug on the internet for all employees, if I owned a business that had any employees.

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Just imagine if one day in the near future the FBI comes to your enterprise with warrants that allow them to seize and remove any computer-related equipment, utility bills, telephone bills, any addressed correspondence sent through the U.S. mail, video gear, camera equipment, checkbooks, bank statements and credit card statements. The first question you'd ask is, "Who has done what?"

You're going to be presume your CEO has been involved in some outrageous stock manipulation, or maybe your CFO has been cooking the books. But no, the agent in charge says: "Someone here clicked on a Web link and we're going to find out who did it."

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Renegade
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 08:54:43 PM »

Or you can just frame someone by finding out what the links are then spoofing their IP address and making fake requests...  ohmy

It a very dangerous road that they're going down. Perhaps it could be grounds for a warrant to sniff someone's Internet traffic, but immediate arrest? That's a bit overboard.

Yet again more BS legislation from people that have no clue about technology.
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zridling
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 01:30:06 AM »

You'd think that law enforcement would use their time and resources to fight crime rather than lure citizens to commit them!

"Hey buddy, want some free crack?"
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 01:34:02 AM »

I think the worst FBI scam I've seen in the US is where the FBI or SEC deposits a large sum into your bank account — say, more than $20,000 — and then if you don't report the discrepancy within 10 days, you're charged with grand theft larceny among other crimes. Even if you didn't spend a dime of it, you're charged with intent or attempted or whatever. Insanity.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 02:20:39 AM »

Well a security agency needs to justify its existence and increasing budgets, and for that they need to show more and more threats/crimes

There is a very murky side when you have entrapment/honeypots, especially if they are very wide open and someone could innocently wander in. In IT Honeypots were actually invented as a security mechanism (distraction) not as a way to catch anyone and pursue...

Anyway, I think I made the point once that everyone should use stuff like TOR - not because they have anything to hide but because you never know when something innocuous will suddenly become somthing to hide, and because the mass of users adds to the anonymity of the system
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Deozaan
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 02:56:50 AM »

Anyway, I think I made the point once that everyone should use stuff like TOR - not because they have anything to hide but because you never know when something innocuous will suddenly become somthing to hide, and because the mass of users adds to the anonymity of the system

What is TOR?
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Renegade
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 04:00:08 AM »

I think the worst FBI scam I've seen in the US is where the FBI or SEC deposits a large sum into your bank account — say, more than $20,000 — and then if you don't report the discrepancy within 10 days, you're charged with grand theft larceny among other crimes. Even if you didn't spend a dime of it, you're charged with intent or attempted or whatever. Insanity.

I would be totally hosed. I don't check my bank account that often. Pathetic. No! Not me being pathetic. I mean the FBI/SEC of course! Wink

TOR is 1 method to anonymize yourself on the Internet. Basically, it runs you through proxies in different political jurisdictions so actually pursuing records would be almost impossible. Well, theoretically possible, but 20 countries and 40 servers? I don't think so...

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 06:14:12 AM »

Terrifying story - I don't know why anyone wants to live in the 'land of the free' any more.

Am I imagining it or does the US have laws on entrapment ? Surely the FBI should be in the next cell ?
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 08:53:21 AM »

I don't know why anyone wants to live in the 'land of the free' any more.
Or the U.K.
Aren't you under visual scrutiny 24/7 these days?
I especially admire the plan whereby the same cameras are used to collect fees and spy on the guilty (until proven innocent).
And doesn't the government keep handing out 'secure' information on its citizens in a sort of monthly 'hunt-the-lost-cd' contest?

And, while we're at it, is this your suitcase that somebody just delivered to me? It bears a sticker that says 'T5'.

More later, I hear a knock at the door...


 ohmy
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Chris
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 09:21:46 AM »

Aren't you under visual scrutiny 24/7 these days?

True - but only if you are stupid enough to live in a city (esp. London).

Where I live the 'wireless' is still new technology ...  now to tune in to the Home Service Thmbsup
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 09:43:25 AM »

Terrifying story - I don't know why anyone wants to live in the 'land of the free' any more.

Am I imagining it or does the US have laws on entrapment ? Surely the FBI should be in the next cell ?

We are definitely on a downward spiral, but I am hoping that will change with the next election.  I think I am going to commit a personal sin and vote Democrat if Obama is the nominee.  There is NO way I could bring myself to vote for Hillary, unless I was planning to kill myself afterward.  As distasteful as it is for me to vote Democrat, the Republicans need to be sent a message.  The folks responsible for the vile "patriot act", an un-American piece trash if ever there was one, need to be punished.  Of all the mistakes Bush has made, the crimes he has commited against the American public are the unforgivable ones. 

On the laws thing, the only people subject to laws are the population.  He or she who makes the rules, are not.  The government can do anything it wishes.  The days when our opinion matters is just about, if not already, over.  People can fool themselves if they like.  The bit above about me voting Democrat is just me satisfying myself, I am under no illusion that it will actual mean a damn thing.
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mouser
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 10:06:37 AM »

Tekzel, no politics here, it will open up a big can of worms if everyone starts talking about who they are voting for and why, etc.  it's one of the few subjects we've collectively agreed is better handled someplace other than this forum.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2008, 11:31:06 AM »

Sorry mea culpa ....  embarassed
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Renegade
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2008, 11:51:09 AM »

Mouser, I hope you'll forgive me here. I'm only meaning to speak in abstract terms as technology relates to politics and hence, us in our real lives. Nothing about specific candidates...

I believe that technology can't be isolated from politics and that at times we need to address it if we're going to be responsible (in the capacity that we seem to be endeavoring here).

We are definitely on a downward spiral, but I am hoping that will change with the next election.
...
The folks responsible for the vile "patriot act", an un-American piece trash if ever there was one, need to be punished.
...

"Downward spiral" is being kind. Forget the militaristic and aggressive past/present/future of the USA, laws like those app103 brought up are very, very far beyond what the USA is supposed to represent. They are barbaric and border on tyranical.

They open up a can of worms... No. They don't open up a can of worms... Let me take that back. They open up Pandora's box. They lead to a very, very, seriously sinister place that we should never go.

The "Patriot Act" is similarly barbaric. It's far too open to "interpretation" and is dangerous in the hands of a government.

This kind of legislation in the hands of a bad government can only lead to bloodshed in the end. Whether that bloodshed is a twisted government shedding the blood of its citizenry, or a twisted government's citizenry shedding the blood of the government and the establishment, either way it's a bad thing. Angry

There is nothing wrong with killing tyrants or with violent opposition to evil (coming back to Godwin's law, "Would you kill Hitler?") The laws proposed go down a path that is far too open for evil to creep in.

Perhaps some may call me an alarmist, but a study of history should show that I have good reason for it.

Those that are skeptics should first do their readings. "The Prince" is a good primer for this topic.

Tekzel, I cannot agree more when you condemn those laws that are fundamentally "un-American". While I'm not a US citizen, I certainly have a lot of respect for that country. And certainly more respect for its people than its government, for obvious reasons.

I hope that I haven't crossed any unforgiveable boundry there mouser. If I'm right, I think you'll agree that 'in the abstract', we here as people in the technology sector need to be aware of these kinds of issues and need to make our voices heard when possible.

I'll shut up now. Wink

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zridling
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2008, 01:36:07 PM »

Renegade makes a good point. Laws surrounding computer forensics in the US are also terrifying. For example, when the FBI comes to search your house and you erase/wipe your HD, that act is considered a guilty plea, similar to running from the cops. So that suspects who wipe their HD when they are suspected of downloading or sharing child porn are often convicted without any other evidence than they erasing their HD in a secure manner so that law enforcement can't recover the data.

This stuff truly freaks me out — and I have nothing to hide! (I just don't like snoops, period.)
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2008, 01:50:20 PM »

Renegade makes a good point.

Thank-you Zaine!

I don't want to sound like a paranoid nutbar, but these things have proven themselves through history. It's very scary.

I have nothing to hide, but if I per chance happened to be infected by some virus??? WTF? I don't view kiddie porn!

Actually, about 10 years ago I pursued some kiddie porn that I discovered by accident and emailed it to my dad. (He was a cop at the time -- retired now.)

I thought that perhaps the bastards could get caught. Fat chance!

My dad sent the stuff to the guys handling kiddie porn in the police department.

They almost laughed. They had so much on their plates already that there was nothing that they could do. Sad

Kiddie porn is a seriously sick issue, and the cops are over-burdened. It's a sad state of affairs. I can understand where the legislation comes from, but it's still misguided.

It's a very sad issue. Sad
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Tekzel
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2008, 02:30:35 PM »

Tekzel, no politics here, it will open up a big can of worms if everyone starts talking about who they are voting for and why, etc.  it's one of the few subjects we've collectively agreed is better handled someplace other than this forum.

Sorry Mouser, I didn't realize people couldn't be adults about the subject here.  I will remember that next time the urge strikes me to respond to such a post.

Edit: Adding my response to Renegades last here to avoid multiple posts. 


Kiddie porn is a seriously sick issue, and the cops are over-burdened. It's a sad state of affairs. I can understand where the legislation comes from, but it's still misguided.

It's a very sad issue. Sad

Its called throwing the baby out with the bath water, basically.  Child porn is bad.  Purveyors of such are sick and should be helped if possible.  PROVIDERS of it are criminals deserving of long loving jail sentences with a big bald guy named Bubba as a cell mate.  I understand the concept of remove the demand and choke off the supply, the only problem is it does NOT work.  Look at all the folks in jail for possession, has that stemmed the demand for drugs?  Not even a little.  The same is applicable here, the people in charge are all either incompetent or just plain stupid.  Maybe a little of both.  But what can be done?  Certainly not work within the <insert banned discussion topic here> system.  It is as corrupt as it appears.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 02:44:08 PM by Tekzel » Logged
iphigenie
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2008, 02:50:13 PM »

and you pursuing it yourself like you did would get you into serious trouble nowadays!
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Renegade
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2008, 08:59:24 AM »

and you pursuing it yourself like you did would get you into serious trouble nowadays!

I know! At the time I figured that if I could get it to the police, they could do something. Now I'd be arrested for it!

Legislation like that is very dangerous.

Does anyone recall that thread here a few months ago (September 2007) on encryption in the UK? Very, very scary!

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zridling
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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2008, 10:43:52 AM »

One name illustrates this fear: Pete Townshend.

There's a guy who spent his life with children's charities, researched one book about the subject, and among a lifetime of public service around the globe, he still got clobbered. The press never prints those retractions and follow-up stories in the same above-the-fold screaming headlines as the first go-round.
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2008, 08:21:57 AM »

One name illustrates this fear: Pete Townshend.

There's a guy who spent his life with children's charities, researched one book about the subject, and among a lifetime of public service around the globe, he still got clobbered. The press never prints those retractions and follow-up stories in the same above-the-fold screaming headlines as the first go-round.

That kind of overreaction happens all the time, and most people seem perfectly ok with some innocent people's lives being utterly ruined by false accusations and such.  Well, until it is THEY that are the victim.  My point is, there are a few areas in the law where we totally throw out the system.  You ARE guilty even if proven innocent.  This is very, very dangerous. 
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zridling
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2008, 08:51:28 AM »

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Tekzel: You ARE guilty even if proven innocent.

That's the reality. On TV, they try to make it seem otherwise, but most juries are predisposed to find you guilty, thinking, "You wouldn't have been arrested and charged and incarcerated if you were innocent!" For some reason, false imprisonment is perhaps my worst fear in life. Almost feel like the Sean Veil character in the movie Freeze Frame.
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mouser
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2008, 08:55:01 AM »

This reminds me of: http://www.associatedcont...ch_seize_your_laptop.html

Quote
Can US Customs Search & Seize Your Laptop Computer Without Cause? YES They Can!
Ninth Circuit Court Decides that US Customs and Border Patrol Agents Can Search & Seize Electronic Equipment Without Cause

On July 24, 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided that US Customs and Border Patrol Officers had the right to search and seize a person’s laptop computer, computer discs and other electronic media. Nowhere has this information been broadcast. Millions of travelers know nothing about this ruling.


I actually found this quite shocking when i first heard about it.  And don't be mistaken into thinking that this means that if they really are convinced you are a criminal they will call in someone special team to examine your laptop but it will never happen to you.  It appears from anecdotal evidence (ask DC member Veign) that normal customs agents may just casually select people laptops, open them up and start looking around at your files, etc.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 08:57:55 AM by mouser » Logged
cranioscopical
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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2008, 10:55:17 AM »

I actually found this quite shocking when i first heard about it.

I don't like it, but I can't see a lot of difference between this and their long-standing ability to peruse physical documents at will.

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Chris
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« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2008, 06:53:44 AM »

This could mean a very good chance at government funding and contracts for those who might wish to develop similar projects that could help America fight the war on terror by rooting out individuals who visit websites whose content might be interpreted as critical of US policies!


Conversely, anyone who might want to work on a "link pre-cacher" that would defy detection would probably want to do so - and distribute it, anonymously to avoid being suspected of having suspected links to links that might be suspected of being with the terrorists, aiding not only pedophilia, but also the incitement of anti-American sentiment, as well as contributory violation  of the Patriot Act, in the form of a willful attempt to prevent authorities from obtaining information needed to enforce the Patriot Act, protect American children, defend freedom, and win the war on terror.


And of course, Americans, or others who are subject to American laws, which would mean anyone who lives in a country other than the US, would want to avoid those link pre-cachers, because even if they don't mind being considered pro-pedophile, they would not want to be suspected of being anti-American!


Or anti-business, because to oppose this important strategy is to oppose the terrific possibilities for those whose portfolios include Halliburton subsidiary, CCA (if it's not a subsidiary of Halliburton, at least officially, yet) - it's impossible to predict how many additional facilities - both in and outside US borders - will be needed as link-caching perps are smoked out of their caves and brought to the justice of indefinite detention!


More government funding opportunities - training programs for America's educators - even schoolchildren will be able to do their part in the fight against pedophiles and terror by rooting out link-pre-cachers  installed on home computers!


And as those rogue parents are rendered, that will mean more funding for additional facilities to house The Littlest Patriots themselves!


OK, so it might be a year, even more, before we can all be sure that every single link we - or our software - clicks is being carefully reviewed by a real live regime operative, but it's a step toward some really empowering changes for all the millions of internet users,  who can all rest a little easier tonight knowing that somewhere in Washington, at least one Task Force has got their back!

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One man's conspiracy is another man's business plan
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