Locking Out Law Enforcement Is an 'Unintended Side Effect' of New Android Security

AlphaAtlas

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Apple has received both praise and criticism for their efforts to secure iDevices from everyone and everything, including law enforcement. Now, Motherboard reports that Rene Mayrhofer, Google's Director of Android Platform Security, is saying that Google is following in Apple's footsteps with Android. At a recent security conference, he said "We want to make it impossible for insiders to get this kind of access for whatever reasons, whatever motivation," and that "the inability to react to legal requests here is an unintended side effect of this mitigation." According to Mayrhofer, with Android's recently announced security measures, not even a Google insider could push out malicious updates to Pixel 3 devices.

Even if the government did force Google to push a malicious update in order to access a phone, the user's personal data-and the keys that encrypt their data-will be wiped or made inaccessible, according to Mayrhofer. After Mayrhofer's talk, Ashkan Soltani, an independent researcher and former FTC chief technology officer, asked him whether Google was going "the Apple route" and making it harder for the feds and Google itself to write custom software to access user's data. "The risk for insider attack in the long chain, in the whole ecosystem is-I think-currently bigger than the few cases where legitimate law enforcement access would happen to have to break the chain," Mayrhofer said.
 

kirbyrj

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Rather, a pleasant surprise?

It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.
 

lcpiper

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It's only a matter of time and someone's going to whip out the biggest dick and put an end to this foolishness.

But no one is going to remember that the government was begging industry to work with them and come up with the best solution possible.

Just like no one will remember that I have been telling you guys that a jointly developed solution is going to be much better than one developed by the government alone and enforced upon industry, and ourselves as a consequence.
 

Jagger100

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It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.
If you wanted a crime solved, why would you not share the info. I'm going to say the number of instances that someone died and the phone information is absolutely necessary and the family isn't available to help give access is on par more or less with the number of times it's the accused's phone.
 

kirbyrj

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If you wanted a crime solved, why would you not share the info. I'm going to say the number of instances that someone died and the phone information is absolutely necessary and the family isn't available to help give access is on par more or less with the number of times it's the accused's phone.

I'm not talking about the victim's cell data. I'm talking about the data that might be obtained by a suspect in the hypothetical crime.

But to your point, this thread could just as easily be titled, Locking Out the Family of a Deceased Loved One Is an 'Unintended Side Effect' of New Android Security
 
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You can't have it both ways, insecure devices have probably cost the nation billions due to identity theft and insecure networks and information.

They need to make a choice here, either protect the citizens by enforcing security and punish those who don't follow laws concerning such.

Or allow unsecured devices but lock down banking and government identity securities.

It doesn't matter which, the government needs to pull it's head out of it's ass and make a choice, you can't have back door access and expect that 14 year old hacker to not be smarter than your underfunded agencies. The few that are caught arnt who we should be worring about, it's the many that get away and knowbody ever knows about till it's way to late.
 

Nobu

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It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.
I don't, and don't really care whether they can get it or not. If I did care, I would do my own encryption.
 

Mega6

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It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.
My grocery list is private, won’t help solve a case. I’d prefer the world doesn’t know I buy depends diapers because I’m peeing right now on your parade.
 

Dekoth-E-

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It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.
This isn't even remotely true.. Not one word.
 

lcpiper

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You can't have it both ways, insecure devices have probably cost the nation billions due to identity theft and insecure networks and information.

They need to make a choice here, either protect the citizens by enforcing security and punish those who don't follow laws concerning such.

Or allow unsecured devices but lock down banking and government identity securities.

It doesn't matter which, the government needs to pull it's head out of it's ass and make a choice, you can't have back door access and expect that 14 year old hacker to not be smarter than your underfunded agencies. The few that are caught arnt who we should be worring about, it's the many that get away and knowbody ever knows about till it's way to late.


I am right there with you that the law isn't up to the task. Writing laws is congress and so it is congress that needs to get off their ass and rewrite several laws that impact privacy and such.

It's either that, or it's the wild wild west, and it's up to us to be smart about who we do business with and who we don't trust to do business with.
 

raz-0

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It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.

Actually the most likely scenario is that you get busted for some citeable offense or low level misdemeanor, and the cops feel it is their privilege to steal your personal shit off your phone. Especially if they think you are hot. It's probably in pretty close running for you get busted for a similar low level offense and the cops use a cell phone search to dig up more shit to charge you with without having any probable cause prior to searching your device.

If your phone was going to clear you, guess what? You don't need the cops breaking into it. You will unlock for your lawyer willingly.
 

Uvaman2

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It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.

I don't, and don't really care whether they can get it or not. If I did care, I would do my own encryption.

That is an immature view and a response you have been conditioned to and obviously don't even know it.
 

lcpiper

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That is an immature view and a response you have been conditioned to and obviously don't even know it.

Can't have a different opinion, or an opinion you don't agree with, without him being deficient in maturity and co-opted by the system huh?
 

kirbyrj

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I don't see how helping people protect their 4th Amendment rights could be "unintended."

You do know that the 4th amendment isn't a protection against all searches, just those that are "unreasonable" right? If you're committing crimes using your phone(s), you have moved from the point of an unreasonable search to a reasonable one.
 

Uvaman2

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Can't have a different opinion, or an opinion you don't agree with, without him being deficient in maturity and co-opted by the system huh?
Privacy or other rights shouldn't be something to sell down the river, just because unsavory characters might get away with it, or similar situations.
Yes inmature, and conditioned.. it took some effort to see and extricate said thought process in myself.
 

kirbyrj

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Actually the most likely scenario is that you get busted for some citeable offense or low level misdemeanor, and the cops feel it is their privilege to steal your personal shit off your phone. Especially if they think you are hot. It's probably in pretty close running for you get busted for a similar low level offense and the cops use a cell phone search to dig up more shit to charge you with without having any probable cause prior to searching your device.

If your phone was going to clear you, guess what? You don't need the cops breaking into it. You will unlock for your lawyer willingly.

This isn't even remotely true.. Not one word.

And the [H] crowd proves my point once again...
 

kirbyrj

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Privacy or other rights shouldn't be something to sell down the river, just because unsavory characters might get away with it, or similar situations.
Yes inmature, and conditioned.. it took some effort to see and extricate said thought process in myself.

So, evidently, I'm immature in thinking because I don't think that a persons expectation of privacy is somehow greater than a lawfully executed search warrant?
 

Madoc

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I just assume that the Feds have a backdoor into all retail items. And if they don't, I'm not going to incriminate myself.
 

clockdogg

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Google? Android? Personal Data Protection?

One of those is incompatible with the other two.
 

Uvaman2

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So, evidently, I'm immature in thinking because I don't think that a persons expectation of privacy is somehow greater than a lawfully executed search warrant?
I wouldn't disagree to the ' search warrant' argument.. however authorities are routinely seeking easy access to citizens data, they would prefer warrantless, just ask Australia.. you posted a veiled version of " got nothing to hide" which is apretty terrible thought.
If what google needed to do technically blocks things, so be it, I will take it, and be glad rights expanded even if 'unintended'.
 

tului

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You do know that the 4th amendment isn't a protection against all searches, just those that are "unreasonable" right? If you're committing crimes using your phone(s), you have moved from the point of an unreasonable search to a reasonable one.

I tend to view passwords as protected by the fifth amendment. The data therein is the fourth but a court can't compel you to testify against yourself. Good luck cracking my device that has no criminal activity and wasting tkme and money.
 

kirbyrj

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I wouldn't disagree to the ' search warrant' argument.. however authorities are routinely seeking easy access to citizens data, they would prefer warrantless, just ask Australia.. you posted a veiled version of " got nothing to hide" which is apretty terrible thought.
If what google needed to do technically blocks things, so be it, I will take it, and be glad rights expanded even if 'unintended'.

Whether or not you have anything to hide is irrelevant. I have no idea what kind of "citizen data" police actually want outside of the scope of some sort of "official investigation." And if that's the case, why would the police risk getting a case tossed out by not getting a search warrant?

And I did say "search warrant" in my first post :p.
 
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SomeoneElse

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I am right there with you that the law isn't up to the task. Writing laws is congress and so it is congress that needs to get off their ass and rewrite several laws that impact privacy and such.

It's either that, or it's the wild wild west, and it's up to us to be smart about who we do business with and who we don't trust to do business with.
Problem is that congress believe it or not don't care about your privacy. They actually want to take it and make sure we aren't "a danger" to anyone else regardless if we gave them a reason to suspect that or not. They are in the spy game, even on the citizens of the US.
 

kirbyrj

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The only thing proven is that people like you have no concept of the value of the freedom that people like me fought to preserve and people better than me died protecting. A cakev you wish to casually throw away.

Yeah, ok. So military personnel put their lives on the line, but cops don't? You're entitled to your opinion. I've personally known good cops who were killed in the line of duty...so I guess we're even.
 

Nobu

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That is an immature view and a response you have been conditioned to and obviously don't even know it.
I don't think it's immature of me to take privacy into my own hands if I am able, or to not care when there is nothing to hide on my phone. I think it's a reasonable concern in general, but I am not personally concerned.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Yeah, ok. So military personnel put their lives on the line, but cops don't? You're entitled to your opinion. I've personally known good cops who were killed in the line of duty...so I guess we're even.
Your point has nothing to do with what is being discussed here. Cops put their lives on the line for very different reasons. Given my brother in law was a cop and died in the line of duty I'm more than aware of what their job entails. Either way it doesn't justify giving up our right to privacy on any level, nor does it make your original statement true on any level. My original statement stands, nothing you said was remotely true.
 

kirbyrj

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Your point has nothing to do with what is being discussed here. Cops put their lives on the line for very different reasons. Given my brother in law was a cop and died in the line of duty I'm more than aware of what their job entails. Either way it doesn't justify giving up our right to privacy on any level, nor does it make your original statement true on any level. My original statement stands, nothing you said was remotely true.

First, I am sorry for your loss.

But there is virtually no reason for law enforcement to be interested in your data, I don't think that's a false statement. If they are, then don't be surprised when they reach out to 3rd party tools to decrypt phones in the face of increased encryption (e.g. San Bernardino shooter iPhone, etc.). Nor is it a false statement to point out that every time a "cops are decrypting phones" story appears here the majority rants with a "Fuck the Police" mentality.
 

obs

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The issue is that devices are either secure or not secure. If Google is going to create a back door for accessing devices that same back door can be used by hackers. Also, do you really want corporations putting in back doors for the government? Personally, I want my device to be as secure as possible.
 

viper1152012

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The second they build a backdoor into mobile devices is the moment I go back to flip phones.

The last thing anyone needs is mobile banking, social media and personal files exposed to anyone with leaked access (2 weeks after max).

I wouldn't go so far as to wrap my hdds in thermite and det cord but I certainly don't want my hord gone through. Lots of personal stuff and all my taxes, medial records etc
 

Zion Halcyon

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I am of two minds on this. On the one hand, I do believe in the protection of 4th amendment rights. On the other hand, these very companies that are locking out law enforcement from accessing mobile devices, are also violating the fourth amendment in perhaps are intentionally locking out law enforcement in order to not be discovered.

The stuff coming out about Facebook alone is cringe-worthy. Both Apple and Google also have similar data harvesting and collection going on, and have been caught lying about it.

So really the whole thing seems like a moot point to me. Who would I rather have access to my phone? Law enforcement or Google? Law enforcement or Apple?

I choose law enforcement every time...
 

lcpiper

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Privacy or other rights shouldn't be something to sell down the river, just because unsavory characters might get away with it, or similar situations.
Yes inmature, and conditioned.. it took some effort to see and extricate said thought process in myself.


By now, you probably get that I'm not anti-privacy. But I am also a realist and know that there are huge differences between law enforcement and intelligence work. I recognize the differences and how each is both effected and has an effect on privacy. An Android or Apple phone made for sale in the US often winds up outside of the country or is sold to foreign nationals. If our phone manufacturers make phones invulnerable, then they may become invulnerable in other countries as a result, and that may not work in our long term best interest.

It's my opinion that first and foremost, Congress needs to rewrite several laws, the Federal Trade Act, The Federal Communications Act, and probably a couple more as well. Then, with these laws rewritten, we can address the practical privacy implications, policies, procedures, etc for Law Enforcement, Intelligence Services, other Federal and State government agencies, and Businesses foreign and domestic.

Then after changing the laws and working out how they will be applied, companies producing devices, software, services, and offering services will have an entirely new framework to try and work around.

This is why I think trying to fix it in the reverse is foolish. Companies will do what Apple and Google are doing, locking out everyone but themselves. The Government Agencies will give up waiting on Congress to fix the laws and the businesses to join them in a joint effort and instead they will get Congress to pass some new draconian shit that will create much flatulence in the courts for a decade or so depending on how well or poorly or over-reaching it turns out to be.

Fix things the right way, insist on it. Anything else is a half-assed band-aid.

"We applied the cortical-electrodes but failed to get a neural response" (y)
 

lcpiper

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The issue is that devices are either secure or not secure. If Google is going to create a back door for accessing devices that same back door can be used by hackers. Also, do you really want corporations putting in back doors for the government? Personally, I want my device to be as secure as possible.

This is a fallacy.

Access is access, it's either authorized or unauthorized, and it can be secure or insecure.

There is no reason a secure method of gaining access to data, on a mobile device, can not be engineered and available, when properly authorized by law. No reason at all.

We all access our devices as authorized in a secure manner every day. You can't tell me that there is no way to pull it off.
 

Dekoth-E-

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First, I am sorry for your loss.

But there is virtually no reason for law enforcement to be interested in your data, I don't think that's a false statement. If they are, then don't be surprised when they reach out to 3rd party tools to decrypt phones in the face of increased encryption (e.g. San Bernardino shooter iPhone, etc.). Nor is it a false statement to point out that every time a "cops are decrypting phones" story appears here the majority rants with a "Fuck the Police" mentality.

The constant news about unlawful searches of phones begs to differ with your first point. While you are correct that they "Shouldn't" be, there are far too many examples where they are. It isn't a "fuck the police" mentality at all. However even lawyers will tell you to never ever volunteer information to the police unless you are strictly in a witness situation and even then not without legal council. The right to privacy and the right to not have anyone including cops invading that privacy is a fundamental right of the citizens of this country and a right that you shouldn't be willing to just "give up" because you don't believe you have anything to hide.
 

TordanGow

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It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.

If you are trying to solve a case where one of my phones data would be useful such as say... A kidnapping of my child, I'm going to be volunteering the phone password to you. In other words I'm not sure anything is truly lost by this change.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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It's amusing that the majority of people here think that they are some El Chapo type of character that law enforcement actually wants their data. It's far more likely that they would be the victim of a crime where cell phone data might help solve the case as opposed to committing a crime where their personal cell phone data obtained by a legal search warrant would be used.

Doesn't matter. Privacy is paramount to justice.
 
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