[Linux-aus] Seeking feedback - EFA Citizens Not Suspects campaign

Russell Coker russell at coker.com.au
Fri Jun 14 18:11:48 EST 2013

On Fri, 14 Jun 2013, David Lyon <david.lyon at hackerpads.com> wrote:
> On 13.06.2013 23:47, Russell Coker wrote:
> >> Metadata tagging won't catch criminals. They already know not to use
> >> mobile phones.
> > 
> > I think it's best to stick to realistic claims when opposing such
> > things.
> > 
> > It's well documented that people who want to buy drugs would like to
> > use their
> > phone to do so, apparently drug orders by SMS aren't that uncommon.
> Illegal drugs dealing is just one type of organised crime. There are
> many others, and none of my examples were unrealistic.

It is just one type of crime, but one example is sufficient to disprove your 
claim that metadata won't catch criminals.

> For example, white-collar crime now well exceeds bank robberies by
> volume.

This isn't relevant to the issue of data collection.  But I think that white 
collar crime isn't such a problem for society.  Do you know anyone who's 
unable to work because of the trauma of white-collar crime?  I've met two 
people on disability pensions from being the victims of armed robbery.

> Overseas indicators show that installing security camera's in
> one place only moves the crime along to where the camera's aren't.

True to some extent.  But it does mean that people who want to avoid certain 
potentially dangerous situations can remain in front of a security camera.

> My understanding of metadata-retention, is that if you record where
> people are all the time (by logging their gps in their android (linux)
> phones) police can put them at the location of crimes if they ever
> want to look.
> However, I've seen this used in reverse. In that even when the evidence
> completely clears a person, police still continue to build a case
> against
> the person and the misery only stops when the case is thrown out by the
> judge as being totally preposterous.


There are however many people in the US who've been in jail for decades after 
lousy police work and bogus trials.  The Innocence Project is one place to 
start reading about this.

Metadata collection isn't going to change bad police work or bad courts.  But 
initially narrowing the list of suspects to people who were in the area should 
be an improvement.

> The bigger picture is that violent crimes are generally on the decrease
> and they are the ones that tend to hurt people the most.

Yes, 25 years after unleaded petrol...

My Main Blog         http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog    http://doc.coker.com.au/

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