Massachusetts judge granted warrant to unlock suspects iPhone with Touch ID

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 58
    acejax805acejax805 Posts: 109member
    Once I read MA, I realized the Bill of Rights doesn't matter. Might as well be NY or CA too. Why do so many people live in these states that they hold such contempt and disdain for? I guess it's easier to yell and scream online than to do anything real to change it, like moving out of the state. 
  • Reply 22 of 58
    fahlmanfahlman Posts: 738member
    Johan42 said:
    And the best way to get off the hook for a crime you didn’t commit is to show them everything you got.
    Ah, I see, guilty until proven innocent.
    jbdragondesignrredgeminipabaconstangelijahgleftoverbacon
  • Reply 23 of 58
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    urahara said:
    jungmark said:
    A warrant is a warrant. However people should disable biometrics if they encounter authorities. 
    Give access to the Phone if there is a warrant.
    What if I have sensitive non-criminal business or personal information on my phone? I have a right to privacy. If they want to search, I shouldn't have to help them. Just because I'm charged with a crime doesn't mean I committed a crime or that I'm guilty.
    Yes, this needs to be settled once and for all by the Supreme Court right away. I can think of no justification to force a person to unlock their phone or device against their will.
    designrllama
  • Reply 24 of 58
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    acejax805 said:
    Once I read MA, I realized the Bill of Rights doesn't matter. Might as well be NY or CA too. Why do so many people live in these states that they hold such contempt and disdain for? I guess it's easier to yell and scream online than to do anything real to change it, like moving out of the state. 
    Unconstitutional laws should be challenged.
    jbdragondesignrbaconstang
  • Reply 25 of 58
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,179member
    This whole debate could be avoided if Apple allowed us to set certain fingers to unlock the iPhone and other fingers to wipe data from it. Neither the police nor courts are likely to use my fingers to unlock my iPhone if they knew that the wrong finger could wipe it out. The knowledge of which finger to use is essentially a password, wherein using the wrong password wipes the data from the device.
    designrbaconstang
  • Reply 26 of 58
    Johan42Johan42 Posts: 163member
    fahlman said:
    Johan42 said:
    And the best way to get off the hook for a crime you didn’t commit is to show them everything you got.
    Ah, I see, guilty until proven innocent.
    This is America. ;)
  • Reply 27 of 58
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 353member
    They’d better get their skates on. iPhone requires a passcode if it hasn’t been unlocked with Touch ID in the last eight hours. 
    designrbaconstangleftoverbacon
  • Reply 28 of 58
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    urahara said:
    jungmark said:
    A warrant is a warrant. However people should disable biometrics if they encounter authorities. 
    Give access to the Phone if there is a warrant.
    What if I have sensitive non-criminal business or personal information on my phone? I have a right to privacy. If they want to search, I shouldn't have to help them. Just because I'm charged with a crime doesn't mean I committed a crime or that I'm guilty.
    It doesn't matter.   A warrant is a warrant -- it doesn't matter what is being searched -- home, office, car, boat, plane or phone.
    christophb
  • Reply 29 of 58
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,707member
    Something people seem to forget is that we don’t have an absolute right to privacy. Read the constitution (specifically the 4th amendment.) We have rights against ‘unreasonable search and seizure.’ If a warrant is properly issued for probable cause then you have no right to privacy and the government has every right to search your home, file cabinet, computer or iPhone. If you don’t like that you can lobby to change the constitution, but I don’t think you’ll have much luck. The government’s right and ability to perform searches is as necessary to society as the the constitution. That is why the founding fathers specifically wrote it in. 

    The real question is whether biometrics fall under the 5th amendment or not. I would argue that they do not. You can be compelled to give a fingerprint that is then matched to one at a crime scene, or have your picture taken, so in my mind this is no different. It ultimately is something the courts will need to decide. As usual, the law and the courts lag behind technology, but it has to be that way. 

    As an aside, the courts have ruled in the past that police do not need a warrant if they can reasonably conclude that there is a risk of evidence being lost or destroyed during the delay needed to get a warrant. (There have been cases where such evidence was disallowed later when the courts determined that it was feasible to get a warrant.) If forced biometric unlocking is not covered under the 5th amendment then it would seem to apply that police could force you to unlock your device before the biometric unlock expires. 
  • Reply 30 of 58
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    MplsP said:
    Something people seem to forget is that we don’t have an absolute right to privacy. Read the constitution (specifically the 4th amendment.) We have rights against ‘unreasonable search and seizure.’ If a warrant is properly issued for probable cause then you have no right to privacy and the government has every right to search your home, file cabinet, computer or iPhone. If you don’t like that you can lobby to change the constitution, but I don’t think you’ll have much luck. The government’s right and ability to perform searches is as necessary to society as the the constitution. That is why the founding fathers specifically wrote it in. 

    The real question is whether biometrics fall under the 5th amendment or not. I would argue that they do not. You can be compelled to give a fingerprint that is then matched to one at a crime scene, or have your picture taken, so in my mind this is no different. It ultimately is something the courts will need to decide. As usual, the law and the courts lag behind technology, but it has to be that way. 

    As an aside, the courts have ruled in the past that police do not need a warrant if they can reasonably conclude that there is a risk of evidence being lost or destroyed during the delay needed to get a warrant. (There have been cases where such evidence was disallowed later when the courts determined that it was feasible to get a warrant.) If forced biometric unlocking is not covered under the 5th amendment then it would seem to apply that police could force you to unlock your device before the biometric unlock expires. 
    Something people seem to forget is that we don’t have an absolute right to privacy.”

    Oh, boy. Here we go again. The Federal government exists because of the agreement (our Constitution) between the People in the separate States. The People don’t exist because of the Federal government.
    designr
  • Reply 31 of 58
    designrdesignr Posts: 764member
    MplsP said:
    We have rights against ‘unreasonable search and seizure.’
    This is true but it is also true that "unreasonable" is hardly a clear and objective definition and that the line between reasonable and unreasonable is constantly being debated, challenged and sorted out.

    Furthermore, when you read the overall intent of the constitution and, particularly, the bill of rights, it seems clear that the founders were intending to erect limits for the government and trying to clearly enumerate (not grant) rights that people have because they seemed concerned (rightly I'd say) that absent spelling out some limits tyranny would likely happen sooner rather than later.

    Sadly too many people seem to think that people exist for the benefit (and at the pleasure of the government) and that things like the bill of rights grants rights rather than illuminating and enumerating (some) them. It's also interesting (and sad, to me) how many people are so quick to grant the government (including the police) the benefit of the doubt so often and so quickly. The government is made up of ordinary people just like you and me just as likely to be corrupt, biased, have failings of logic and reason and just as susceptible to abusing the power available to them. Arguably more so since I would not be surprised that people with higher levels of these tendencies are actually drawn to positions (like in the government) that enable them to exercise them.
    baconstangbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 32 of 58
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,259member
    lkrupp said:

    jungmark said:
    A warrant is a warrant. However people should disable biometrics if they encounter authorities. 

    On iPhone 5s to iPhones 7:

    • Click the Sleep/Wake (On/Off) button five times in succession. 

    On iPhones 8 and iPhone X:

    • Squeeze the Side button and either Volume Up or Volume Down
    So you are in the business of advising criminals how to avoid a warrant?
    Ooh, bootlicker doctrine. Sorry but no, the cops aren’t always lawful and suspects aren’t always criminals. I’ve been pulled over and immediately disable biometrics. Cops have and will snoop on personal devices. Don’t be naive. 
    designrbaconstangllama
  • Reply 33 of 58
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,577member
    I’m much less uncomfortable with a search backed up by a warrant authorized by a judge. It’s unauthorized searches at gunpoint or under threat from cops, TSA, and ICE terrorists that don’t bother with due process that needs to be stopped cold. Broadly speaking I believe that biometrics should be protected as passcodes are.
    baconstangMplsPllama
  • Reply 34 of 58
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    mr lizard said:
    They’d better get their skates on. iPhone requires a passcode if it hasn’t been unlocked with Touch ID in the last eight hours. 
    48 hours. https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/iphone/set-a-passcode-iph14a867ae/ios
  • Reply 35 of 58
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,707member
    Who said anything about the people existing for the good of the government? “For the people, by the people.” Yet that does not mean the people have unlimited rights and no responsibilities. Without rules and government, society devolves into anarchy. The point of the constitution is to lay a fundamental groundwork. Whether you view the constitution as granting rights or illuminating and enumerating rights, it also very clearly gives the government the right to reasonable search and seizure. (If you don’t think this should be the case, I’d love to hear your argument.) the question then becomes what is ‘reasonable.’ This has been the subject of innumerable court cases and is fairly clear in most cases. There are also not a small number of cases that have been thrown out because evidence was deemed inadmissible. 

    I am am not so naive as to believe the government is without fault or that it’s motives are always pure, but I also know that to function as a society there need to be certain rules and limits. If crime didn’t exist this discussion would be moot, but until we all achieve nirvana there will be rules we all need to play by. 
  • Reply 36 of 58
    evn616evn616 Posts: 28member
    This whole debate could be avoided if Apple allowed us to set certain fingers to unlock the iPhone and other fingers to wipe data from it. Neither the police nor courts are likely to use my fingers to unlock my iPhone if they knew that the wrong finger could wipe it out. The knowledge of which finger to use is essentially a password, wherein using the wrong password wipes the data from the device.
    You are a very intelligent human. Submit as a feature request.
  • Reply 37 of 58
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    designr said:
    As I understand it though, current legal doctrine and precedent in the US at least, is they cannot compel you to enter or otherwise give your passcode. Is that correct?
    correct. and by the time they get a warrant the device might actually power off, time out etc and require the passcode. heck someone could be shown a warrant and say they use their left thumb fully knowing they use their right and lock up the system that way. as long as they can pull off sounding innocent when it doesn't work. "geez i don't know why it's not working. my hands must be dry. it messes up the finger print. anyone got some lotion?"
    designr
  • Reply 38 of 58
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    With new phones just close your eyes.

    Edit: @Charlituna  good to see you back onboard  :)


    edited May 2019
  • Reply 39 of 58
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,913member
    georgie01 said:
    The depressing thing about this is not whether law enforcement can insist someone unlock their phone with biometrics, but rather that the spirit of the 5th amendment is not on the mind of anyone who supports forced unlocking with biometrics. If a passcode is protected then biometrics, just another version of a passcode, should be protected. It’s taking advantage of a ‘loophole’ that exists simply because those responsible for the 5th amendment had no way to anticipate biometrics.

    This kind of approach to law, however well meaning the supporters may be, is what is eroding our country—the arrogance that we know better than our founders while we’re standing on the success they built... not realising that things are different now only because we’ve been slowly abandoning what they built in the name of ‘progress’.
    I don’t know.  The question is whether the fact that phone is secured with biometrics presents enough of a 5th Amendment challenge to overcome a duly-issued warrant.  This obviously hasn’t been adjudicated finally yet but I suspect the answer is no. I assume you would concede that merely having a passcode would not be enough to overcome a warrant?  The question is, why is a biometric locking device any different?  The phone contains information...presumably just like a desktop computer, filing cabinet, or home does.  All of these items and locations can be searched for specific information pursuant to a warrant. Here, the biometric lock is merely a mechanism.   I think it would be difficult to have it considered any sort of testimony subject to non-self incrimination principles.  
  • Reply 40 of 58
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,913member
    designr said:
    As I understand it though, current legal doctrine and precedent in the US at least, is they cannot compel you to enter or otherwise give your passcode. Is that correct?
    I don’t think it’s been formally adjudicated at the highest level. I suspect  it will end up that they can.   Duly-issued warrants carry a lot of weight.  Other court orders due as well. They can access your bank accounts. They could put you under electronics surveillance. They can search your home and workplace. Once there is a court order, I think it’s pretty difficult to make the argument but this falls under the fifth amendment.
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