Thursday Highlights

Thor’s Day?

  1. Why those of us with less talent drift to the slow twitch sports where discipline and good training can put us at least in the pack.
  2. A foreign view.
  3. A biting remark (hint: what threat … or else we will taunt you a second time?)
  4. Beauty in the eye of beauty specialists from other countries.
  5. There’s an explanation for the IRS email problem.
  6. Nanny state curtailed.
  7. A cop not honoring his responsibilities.
  8. A point which the green movement finds somewhat perplexing.
  9. Apparently by making a “extreme” (ridiculous? incompetent?) argument Obama and his admin intentionally worked for a 9-0 ruling against themselves. Believe that and you’re one of the few who believe the IRS accidentally lost those emails.
  10. Now there’s a dumb idea. Here’s a better one, to disambiguate “hot” (use spicy, thermy and hot for the three common meanings. As in habanero peppers are spicy. Coffee out of the machine is thermy, and that girl over there is hot).
  11. But, you know, she’s not running … hah!

5 Responses to Thursday Highlights

  1. Re #9 I’m not sure how you can call an argument that is basically following the case law set down since 1973 either extreme, ridiculous or incompetent. Since 1973 it has been the law that if you were arrested, anything you have on you at the time (backpack, bag, pockets, etc.) can be searched and if evidence was found it could be used against you. Now a new rule is cell phones, esp. smart phones need a warrant. Which I’m fine with but it’s not obvious to me that a smartphone is exactly analgous to a folder filled with papers or that it is anywhere near as passive. On top of that assuming the initial arrest was made with good cause that to me would seem to also be probable cause for a search of a smartphone…at least when it comes to arrests for ‘transaction based crimes’ like selling drugs.

  2. Boonton,
    Say you had a sheaf of papers in your possession prior 1973. These are searched. The police suspect chemical treatment to hide text. Revealing the text is destructive, by treating the paper to reveal text this is not reversible and will damage the paper. Did the law allow damaging property as part of the search? Recently the Boston Supreme court offered they can ask you to decrypt data by court order. Presumably that means they can ask you to do so and you can refuse (with consequences … probably those same consequences that should be hitting the IRS/White House regarding “lost” emails. That is to say, if the accusation is that you have, say, kiddie or snuff porn on your drive failure or refusal by you to decrypt means that they can treat you as having admitted and proven that you do in fact have the same).

    But more to the point, Mr Kerr on Volokh has often pointed that privacy/search laws have not kept up with technology.

  3. Unlike the paper analogy, you can copy a hard drive and transfer it to a new phone if it turns out there was no evidence of wrongdoing. The person can then be ‘reimbursed’ with a replacement phone and data.

    But property can always be damaged in a search. If a clumsy cop breaks your trunk lock accidently while conducting a search that’s a a civil issue for reimbursement, not an issue with the validity of the search itself.

  4. Boonton,
    My point is that a stop and search (as I would expect) would not be expected allow you (without warrant) to spend days holding and reading documents or intentionally damaging that which is seen in the search.

    You do make an argument for me for following the generic practice of encrypting your personal phone and computer data as a general practice.

  5. What intrigued me was the story of the gang that had it’s own ‘it department’ which could remotely erase phones of members who were arrested or the app that worked with gps to erase the hard drive if a phone was ever taken to a police department. It strikes me that the 18th century analogy to a bunch of papers in your desk is not quite on the mark as smartphones are not necessary passive devices.

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