[Noisebridge-discuss] FBI, stumped by pimp's Android pattern lock, serves warrant on Google

Taylor Alexander tlalexander at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 21:41:20 UTC 2012

Well, its an interesting article about Android's security. I would agree
that the ideal security situation would be if Google was unable to provide
access to that information. But then the government would probably
introduce and pass a bill that simply made doing that illegal. That would
be interesting...

As far as whether or not it was right for the government to request that
information, there are a few facts in the article that made me worry less
about this particular incident.

The guy was a convicted felon on parole when this happened; he had been
practicing as a pimp and according to her testimony had on at least one
occasion convinced a 15 year old homeless girl to work for him, taking all
of her profits and eventually beating the crap out of her when she started
speaking to someone that promised to help her from that situation. After
beating her up he forced her into his trunk and drove her somewhere else in
the area, then left her outside "bleeding and bruised".

He was sentenced to prison for several years, and once out violated his
parole several times and was sent to jail for a year and a half. Once out
he signed away his 4th amendment rights (and interesting part of how we do
things here, but as long as he gets them back after parole is over I feel
like I'm ok with that for certain convictions like violent crimes), and was
under surveillance when they noticed he appeared to be pimping again using
the Android phone in question.

So basically - in this particular case it looks like our laws were doing a
good job protecting us from scumbags, which they are meant to do. However,
it would be more reassuring if Google was unable to help the police, simply
because we could rest assured that their job would be harder when they
*were* trying to abuse innocent people's rights.

On Sat, Apr 21, 2012 at 2:03 PM, Ben Kochie <superq at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think there have been other law enforcement requests for this and
> Google did say basically that.
> On Sat, Apr 21, 2012 at 13:52, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
> > i think it would be ideal if Google could honestly answer, "we do not
> have
> > the ability to unlock a phone which has been locked that way, sorry."
> >
> >
> > On Sat, 21 Apr 2012, Jonathan Lassoff wrote:
> >
> >> On Sat, Apr 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM, Ben Kochie <superq at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> The funny part is, the feds are still not going to get the password to
> >>> unlock the device.  Have fun with that hashed password.  Google's not
> >>> stupid enough to store user passwords in plain text.
> >>
> >>
> >> Sure, but I would presume someone there can grant a session token or
> >> somehow respond affirmatively to an authentication request from this
> >> phone, so as to get it to unlock without the password.
> >>
> >> Still -- what a weird situation.
> >>
> >> --j
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