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

Jake jake at spaz.org
Sat Apr 21 22:48:12 UTC 2012

On Sat, 21 Apr 2012, Taylor Alexander wrote:
> 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...

the government already walks a fine line of passing unenforceable laws and 
thus diluting its credibility.  There are probably already laws 
criminalizing the use of such encryption that we have forgotten about, and 
which the government wisely avoids mention of because they reveal quite 
starkly that the emperor wears no clothes.

Witness the story of Josh Wolf, a bay area anarchist who had shot video of 
a protest at which a police officer was hit on the head.  The court sought 
prosecution and persecution to a level they would have never mobilized for 
a mere citizen, because this was an affront to their authority.  They 
wanted Josh Wolf to provide all unreleased footage and testify to the 
grand jury answering any questions they had (although presumably stopping 
at the fifth amendment) and, being an anarchist, he simply refused.

they put him in jail for contempt of court, for nine months i think, 
hoping they would break him with their mighty authority.  But eventually 
it became clear that they had no power over him, and his lawyers showed 
that the imprisonment would not compel his cooperation and was purely 
punitive, and since he had been convicted of nothing he was released.

a perfect example of the state overreaching its authority, which 
ultimately flows only, in the words of Mao, from the barrel of a gun.

> 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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