USA PATRIOT Act Survives Amendment Attempt

Steve Schear s.schear at
Fri Jul 9 16:40:51 PDT 2004

At 01:44 PM 7/9/2004, you wrote:

>On Fri, 9 Jul 2004, Steve Schear wrote:
> > Quite a few book stores (including the local Half-Priced Books) now keep no
> > records not required and some do not even automate and encourage their 
> patron
> > to pay cash.  In California book sellers to such used/remaindered 
> stores must
> > identify themselves for tax purposes.
>The Patriot gag orders lead me to a thought.
>Is it possible to write a database access protocol, that would in some
>mathematically bulletproof way ensure that the fact a database record is
>accessed is made known to at least n people? A way that would ensure that
>either nobody can see the data, or at least n people reliably know the
>record was accessed and by whom?

This may best be accomplished by placing the data offshore and empowering 
the db operators with some non-repudiatable right of disclosure (especially 
under duress of a warrant).

Some months back I discussed a procedural methodology where patrons could 
find out if their records hand been accessed in a way that circumvented 
court orders.  I was told that it might work but that frustrated 
prosecutors might press charges of conspiracy before the fact to evade 
lawful orders that 'might' be issued, even if the defendant had no 
reasonable expectation that this might occur.


"The law is an ass."

-- Charles Dickens

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