Tag: 4th Amendment

I Don’t Like the Idea of This Textalyzer Software

Before I get into why I think this software leads to a host of problems, I want to first say that distracted driving is a serious problem and I am against texting and driving.  Personally I drive a car with a manual transmission and would find it almost impossible to do it myself, but I observe people doing it on an almost daily bases while out and about.

That said…

When Snowden leaked that the NSA was building a dossier of every American made up of all of their sent texts, phone calls, and emails people were shocked.  While these abilities have since been limited (or so they say),  the smallest non misdemeanor or felony traffic accident, a fender – bender would now lead to you surrendering your 4th amendment rights with this software fully implemented.

What I just stated at the end of the last paragraph represents a leap.  It’s already become clear we no longer have 4th amendment protection when sending and receiving data from any computer device.  In the event of a fender bender your device and all data on it would become subject to confiscation, even information that you’ve NOT transmitted.  Personal photos, bank information, passwords; those are things we do not transmit which would now be taken from us, in my opinion, in violation of the 4th amendment.

Let me ask, if every police officer had this software and could download a fully accessible disk image of your phone in 90 seconds, what would they do with the data?  Where would it then be stored?  For how long?  What about the actual text in all of your messages and emails there, would it be sent to the NSA?  Or would your local DA’s office hold it indefinitely in the event you ever committed a crime in the future so that they could hold it against you?

Let me ask, what if the phone was password protected?  We know that the government had to pay CellBrite almost $1,000,000 to crack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino attacker.  Would a phone that police couldn’t hack at the side of the road be seized and stored for later search once the technology became available to crack it?  There are already thousands upon thousands of phones sitting in evidence rooms that can’t be hacked.  In the event of a fender – bender, who would compensate you for the replacement device if the authorities seized yours?  Or would they say that if you never had the minor accident they wouldn’t be taking it in the first place?

One thing I know is the solution is not to force device manufacturers to make every device randomly hackable.  We all know that tools for these roadside hackings would hit the internet in short order, especially if provided to law enforcement all across the country.

Thank you for reading, and comment if you’d like.