[IP] more on more on E-mail intercept ruling - good grief!! (fwd from dave at farber.net)

Roy M. Silvernail roy at rant-central.com
Fri Jul 2 12:41:07 PDT 2004

Sunder wrote:

>On Fri, 2 Jul 2004, Roy M. Silvernail wrote:
>>Call me cynical (no... go ahead), but if VOIP is found to have no 4th 
>>Amendment protection, Congress would first have to agree that this *is* 
>>a problem before thay could "fix" it.  Given the recent track record of 
>>legislators vs. privacy, I'm not at all confident Congress would 
>>recognize the flaw, much less legislate to extend 4th Amendment 
>>protection.  After all, arent more and more POTS long-distance calls 
>>being routed over IP?  The only difference, really, is the point at 
>>which audio is fed to the codec.  If the codec is in the central office, 
>>it's a "voice" call.  If it's in the handset or local computer, it's 
>>VOIP.  I think we can count on the Ashcroftians to eventually notice 
>>this and pounce upon the opportunity.  And as for the SCOTUS, all they 
>>have to do is sit back on a strict interpretation and such intercepts 
>>aren't "wiretaps" at all.
>If VOIP gets no protection, then you'll see a lot of "digital" bugs in
>various spy shops again - and they'll all of a sudden be legal.  I thought
>the Feds busted lots of people for selling bugging equipment, etc. because
>they're an invasion of privacy, etc.
Interesting counterpoint.  Those busts were predicated on the violation 
of existing laws, where of course the feds get to break those laws with 
a good story and a judge's rubber sta.. er, I mean permission.  So the 
question becomes "how does the fed keep their ability to intercept 
legally unprotected commo and at the same time, keep Joe Beets from 
doing the same thing".

>Ditto for devices that intercept digital cellular phone conversations, 
>spyware software that turns on the microphone in your computer and sends 
>the bits out over the internet, ditto for tempest'ing equipment ("But 
>your honor, it's stored for 1/60th of a second in the phosphor! It's a 
>storage medium!"), etc.
The Tempest argument is a stretch, only because you're not actually 
recovering the information from the phosphor itself.  But the Pandora 
argument is well taken.

>Hey, they can't have their cake and eat it too.  It's either protected or
>it isn't.
Not that they won't try, though.  Or that they wouldn't opt toward 
unprotecting everything if the opportunity presented itself.

Roy M. Silvernail is roy at rant-central.com, and you're not
"It's just this little chromium switch, here." - TFS

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