[Freedombox-discuss] 4th Amendment Troubles

Bob Girard bgirard at esedona.net
Fri Jun 24 16:44:35 UTC 2016

On 06/24/2016 02:17 AM, Bob Mottram wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 12:30:51AM +0000, Nick Daly wrote:
>>   Hi Bill, thanks for writing in, it's always good to hear from our
>>   insightful lurkers. :)
>>   On Thu, Jun 23, 2016, 16:26 Bill K. wrote:
>>   > The federal government (in the US, anyways) is trying very hard to
>> make
>>   > it legal to break in to home computers (of domestic citizens) without
>>   > warrants... how does this effect the future of the project?
>>   This isn't a change: freedomboxen have been used overseas, and the
>>   packages are the same worldwide. So, some boxes have been facing the
>> same
>>   adversaries that all boxes now face: anyone who decides that attacking
>>   boxes is worth the investment.
> I don't think that result changes things significantly, and it's
> possible that it might be later overturned as unconstitutional. They
> will probably try to play around with the idea of where the border
> between your home ends and "cyberspace" begins.

Perhaps unconstitutional for the time being.  But what exactly is 
"unconstitutional"?  It's simply what five technologically-clueless 
ideologues on the Supreme Court bench say it is, and the U.S. judiciary 
itself has been the principal actor in the gradual gutting of the 4th 
Amendment.  This particular ruling effectively denies the existence of 
the "border" you speak of: the defendant apparently had no reasonable 
expectation of privacy on his home computer because "it appears to be a 
virtual certainty that computers accessing the Internet can -- and 
eventually will -- be hacked."[1]

This ruling, even if it doesn't stand, is still just another 
illustration of the Overton Window[2] in action on the topic of internet 
privacy.  Secure encryption without backdoors will continue to be legal 
only until a sufficient number of people is comfortable with the notion 
that it shouldn't be.

[1] https://www.eff.org/files/2016/06/23/matish_suppression_edva.pdf 
(page 50)
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

More information about the Freedombox-discuss mailing list