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Court Tosses Man's Child Porn Conviction Over Illegal Government Surveilance

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by System, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. System Member

  2. The Internet Member

    The judge did the right thing here. We do not want the US Navy searching everybody’s computers for illegal stuff, just because they can. Because someday a bad person will be working for the US Navy and that person will set up his enemies to go to the slammer.

    That whole, “get a warrant and be specific about who you are investigating” helps to keep law enforcement from going over to the dark side, where they decide someone is guilty and they plant evidence or cherry pick evidence out of context.

    I am all for locking up child pornographers. But I worry that government e-kiddieporn hunting could be a means to another end sometimes. Most likely, intellectual property hunting for big corporations. Or spying. Or setting up perceived trouble makers or political activists.
    • Like Like x 5
  3. Hugh Bris Member

    Huff Post is such waste of ink. That article was typical Huff Post idiocy. They left out the, ya know, actual reason the conviction was overturned. Namely, that the military man committed a series of felonies by searching every computer in Washington. Not just all military computers but every single computer in the state of Washington. (And consider that this relatively low level military officer could search every computer in Washington state--yikes!)

    read this instead: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-government-violated-the-posse-comitatus-act/
    IOW, the military man committed a series of felonies, committing major violations against the rights of each and every person in the State of Washington. Let me repeat that: He committed crimes against every person in the State of Washington who has a computer.

    So, maybe overturning a conviction due to lack of due process is a good thing. There are laws regarding the collection of evidence. He ignored them. This is the result of not following due process. Now, instead of one criminal, we have two, and no convictions.

    Our tax dollars at work.
  4. System Member

    LMAO like the Washington Post is better most DC people think that paper is total shit
  5. Hugh Bris Member

    And yet it gave a more complete account than the Huff Post puff piece. Imagine that. The Huff Post piece missed the ya know actual story, namely that some unaccountable military officer can access every fucking computer in Washington. Doesn't that just make your head spin?
  6. System Member

    not saying what the navy did was right BUT the guy should have still be taken to jail for CP, now those fucker will yell "oh they check my computer illegally" ever fucking time
  7. DeathHamster Member

    Not all the computers in Washington.
    It sounds like something anyone could do. (So why didn't law enforcement do it?)
  8. The Internet Member

    It is probably more accurate to say that the Navy were monitoring the content transferred to and from IP addresses located in the state of Washington. Just a guess on my part because I do not see how the Navy could search everything stored on every computer from a remote location.
  9. The Internet Member

    Not if law enforcement keep their surveillance within the limits set by law.
  10. Hugh Bris Member

    So let's send them both to jail. Both committed crimes.

    The problem is really simple: The military man violated due process. Due process is FAR more important than any one conviction.

    You really should be pissed at the idiot Navy man who couldn't follow rules that he knew. Everyone knows hacking computers is a crime, and every officer in the Navy is aware of Posse Comitatus. so I am quite pissed at a person who takes my money, commits felonies AND gets a CP off the hook. This military man fucked up by the numbers, and we all pay the price.

    Now that is really our tax dollars at work.
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  11. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    This is one reason why law enforcement should not use the kind of illegal search that NSA gets away with. The NSA routinely give non military law enfacement, or law enforcement uses illegal search and seizure and then they purposely leave that out of warrants and court filings.
  12. DeathHamster Member

    Gnutella is an old school file-sharing network. It publishes the files each computer is sharing and allows access to them.

    A program to sift the list of files and dump the computers sharing particular files doesn't sound like NSA science.
  13. The Internet Member

    Oh I see. That’s nothing. That is like using Google. So I don’t get why this is a big deal.
  14. DeathHamster Member

    Seems like they've been tinkering with the protocol, but unless there's some issue that's not obvious in the article (proxies?), it shouldn't be a big deal.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnutella#Design

    As I said, if there are people that exchange that crap on open networks, why doesn't a LEO just duplicate the setup and bag them?
  15. Anonymous Member

    USA braking international laws by monitoring Internet traffic all around the world. That's okay.
    Court withdraws a sentence on a pedophile because his computer was illegally searched.

    Okaaaaaay.

    I couldn't agree more. But if you were a political hacker and this illegal search was a proof you, for example, defaced NSA's website, NOONE would give a fuck that the search was illegal.

    I do acknowledge that this search was illegal and was a violation of human rights, guys responsible should be convicted and steps should be taken to avoid it in the future. But it (illegal computer survaillance) already happened. It's too late. So why not take advantage of it and convict a pedophile?
  16. The Internet Member

    Except according to Deathhamster, the Navy guy just searched for kiddie porn on Gnutella. I do not know how you search for that but probably there are known phrases.

    So I am scratching my head because Gnutella is a file sharing site, not something more private like an ISP.
  17. White Tara Global Moderator


    Because it sets legal precidents for exploitation.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Anonymous Member

    "Any reliable proof that someone abuses children/watches CP is good to convict son of a bitch" seem like a good precedent to me.

    Let's assume that you are in power and have an ability to scan people's computers. Just assume. So you scan everyone's computers and find CP. You and pedophile both are arrested, tried and convicted. That''s two precedents.
    1. "Scanning someone's computer without a warrant is a violation of person's right's and you'll be convicted for it".
    2. "No matter how the proof has been found, if you rape children, you'll be convicted for it".
  19. DeathHamster Member

    http://www.dfrws.org/2010/proceedings/2010-311.pdf
    Hmm. A busy tool even back in 2010. Reading...

    (BTW, RoundUp might be a hacked eMule p2p client program. Open source FTW!)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. DeathHamster Member

    ^^ Good paper that covers the technical and legal issues.

    Let's see...
    US Navy thinks that it has a problem with Child Porn on navy computers. Assigns someone to look for it in the state of Washington.

    Navy Person uses RoundUp to connect to Gnutella P2P network.

    Through keyword searches of published file lists, and actual downloading of published content, creates a damned big list of computers with CP.

    Filters that list down to IPs in the state of Washington. (Might do this before checking content, if possible.)

    Filters that list down to navy computer IPs, turns it over to navy JAG or whomever, military justice happens. Job done.

    Except... Navy person still has a list of non-navy Washington state IPs, probably needs eye-bleach from seeing the child porn images and videos, wants to do the right thing and nail those pervs too, turns RoundUp files over to civil law enforcement.

    And that's where it hit the fan.

    Rather than treating the evidence gathered by navy person as tainted evidence, they used it like just another RoundUp data file to get search warrants for physical raids and searches. Ooops! If the police had used their own copy of RoundUp to gather the same evidence, there wouldn't have been a problem, as gathering evidence from stuff published on a P2P network probably doesn't need a warrant.

    The whole "OMG! Navy did black-ops haxor search of all computers in Washington!" reaction seems misplaced. If you don't want the government to track your files, don't publish them on an open network that broadcasts what you're sharing.

    (Still wondering how many people they caught using actual navy computers for sharing child porn, eugh!)
    • Like Like x 2
  21. The Internet Member

    I think the part you are missing is the potential for framing innocent people. You can target someone, get them to click links to malicious pages that download child porn images onto their hard drives. Then without a warrant you bust them.

    It is much harder to frame people if you have to get a warrant first before you search their computers. So warrants are good. We have to stick up for warrants.

    That being said, this particular case did not involve searching private computers but publicly available content on a file sharing service. The cops could have done that on their own and the guy would be in jail. The mistake they made was using evidence gathered by the Navy. So this case is not about warrants really, more about the line between military and domestic policing.
    • Like Like x 2
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    9th Circuit tosses child-porn evidence, cites Navy snooping | The Seattle Times

    Here's the last third of the article:

    Senior 9th Circuit Judge Andrew Kleinfeld found that the case “amounts to the military acting as a national police force to investigate civilian law violations by civilians.”

    “There could be no bona fide military purpose to this indiscriminate peeking into civilian computers,” Kleinfeld wrote. “Letting a criminal go free to deter national military investigation of civilians is worth it.”

    The judges also excoriated the government for defending the role of the NCIS and its investigation and said the court has warned the Justice Department about it before. This time, the court said, the violation comes with a price to get the government’s attention — Dreyer’s release from prison.

    “Such an expansive reading of the military role in the enforcement of civilian laws demonstrates a profound lack of regard for the important limitations on the role of the military in our civilian society,” wrote Judge Marsha Berzon.

    Logan, the NCIS agent, had argued he had chosen to scan computers in Washington partly because of the state’s many military bases.

    While he initially was only able to identify the suspect’s whereabouts within a 30-mile radius of the IP address he identified, he wrote in a search warrant that the “large [U.S. Navy/Department of Defense] saturation” indicated a “likelihood” the suspect was in the military.

    By that logic, Berzon said, Posse Comitatus would be “rendered meaningless.”

    “To accept that position would mean that NCIS agents could, for example, routinely stop suspected drunk drivers in downtown Seattle on the off-chance that a driver is a member of the military, and then turn over all information collected about civilians to the Seattle Police Department for prosecution.”

    The opinion comes as the reach of government and law enforcement has come under fire after a series of disclosures of domestic surveillance by former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden.
    Levin, who now practices law in Berkeley, Calif., also noted the controversy over the so-called “militarization of police” in the aftermath of the riots in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting death by police of a black teenager. Exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act allow the military to provide some equipment to police.

    “This,” Levin said, “is the real militarization of police — when the military becomes the police.”

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024565988_navyporn1xml.html
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  23. tinfoilhatter Member

    It wasn't an officer, not in the military sense. It was an NCIS agent. I am not sure if you meant navy officer, or police officer. The NCIS exists to ensure sailors do not break the law, and that illegal actions taken against them do not occur.This is not just a violation of the constitution, but a waste of tax dollars.Especially with the apocalyptic retention survey that was just released that indicates we are not combat ready because sailors are getting out due to lack of accountability when superiors break the law.

    This does point out an issue that i have with the CP laws. We fail to identify the victims. Did the parents know about this? Where they involved? We know there where victims, so who were they? This is a huge problem i have with law enforcement. Sure the perv walks away from this, but there still is a legal opportunity to rescue those kids.

    Why the fuck is law enforcement not rescuing them?
  24. Hugh Bris Member

    Uh oh. Gibbs is gonna come bitchslap me for that mistake.

    I misread it. You are right. NCIS is not the Navy. But as you noted, the point remains, NCIS has a mandate to investigate the Navy, not civilians.

    We are seeing this more and more. Cops of all stripes are pushing their authority, and because of qualified immunity, cannot be punished for what are clear violations of the law. The incentives are screwy. (I think I've said that before). The LEO know they will be granted absolution for their sins, and they will go and sin some more, and get absolution again, and again and again.
    • Like Like x 2

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