EFF to Court: Forcing Someone to Unlock and Decrypt Their Phone Violates the Constitution

Linked by Paul Ciano


First, the compelled entry of a memorized passcode forces a person to reveal the contents of their mind to investigators—contents that are absolutely privileged by the Fifth Amendment. As far as the Fifth Amendment is concerned, there’s no difference between forcing a person to type their passcode directly into their phone and forcing them to say it out loud to an investigator. The trial judge in this case understood that and found that typing in a passcode was a “testimonial act.” So just by forcing the defendant to unlock his phone, the investigators violated his Fifth Amendment right.

Second, the process of decryption itself is testimonial because it involves translating unintelligible, encrypted evidence into a form that can be used and understood by investigators—again relying on the contents of the suspect’s mind.

How to Use the Trump Archive to Find TV News Appearances, Fact Checks, and Share Clips

Linked by Paul Ciano

The Internet Archive:

The experimental Trump Archive, which we launched in January, is a collection of President Donald Trump’s appearances on TV news shows, including interviews, speeches, and press conferences dating back to 2009. Now largely hand-curated, the Trump Archive is a prototype of the type of collection on a public figure or topic possible to make with material from our library of TV news. We are starting to reach out to machine learning collaborators to develop tools to make it more efficient to create such collections, and we have plans to publish similar collections on the Congressional leadership on both sides of the party aisle.

The growing Trump Archive contains a lot of content–928 clips and counting–so we’ve put together some pointers and ideas for how to use the collection.

Injustice at the Border: How to Protect Your Data (Part 3)

Last time, I covered the first part of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border guide. Now, I am going to cover the second part of their series, which focuses on the legal framework around searches and seizures at the border.

Keep in mind, this is only meant to be a primer. If you have deep concerns about these issues and need a greater level of detail, it might be best to consult a lawyer.

Continue reading Injustice at the Border: How to Protect Your Data (Part 3)

Want to Improve Data Quality, Reduce Liability, and Gain Consumer Trust? Try Deleting.

Linked by Paul Ciano


Uber’s situation illustrates the disconnect between what data deletion means to companies and how users understand the concept. To users, deletion is an act of finality that ends their relationship with a company and destroys their information. To most companies, a deletion command is more likely to send a copy of the user’s information to cloud storage for potential retrieval.

In CDT’s newest white paper, “Should it stay or should it go? The legal, policy, and technical landscape around data deletion,” we explore this disconnect and the reasons why commercial data stores have grown. We make the case that it is neither in a company’s nor a customer’s best interest to hold onto large amounts of data.

Consumer Reports Rates Privacy and Security

Linked by Paul Ciano

Jason Snell:

There are only two reasons why the makers of Internet-connected devices would change their ways and take customer privacy and security seriously. One would be government regulations, and at least in the United States that seems unlikely in the near future. The other is the realization that security and privacy are features that customers care about, and that if they don’t take them seriously, their sales will suffer. Consumer Reports taking this seriously—and publicizing when companies fail these tests—could be an important step along the way.

Consumer Reports to Begin Evaluating Products, Services for Privacy and Data Security

Hello Again: Mac Thoughts (Part 4)

In regard to software, there are several kinds of applications that I need, and I have been happy to see increasingly good Linux counterparts available. In the next parts of this series, I am going to briefly cover some of the best ones I have found.

Continue reading Hello Again: Mac Thoughts (Part 4)