Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Crime Government Privacy Security United States IT

US Wants Upper Hand In Battling High-Tech Bad Guys 81

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-bag-of-tricks dept.
coondoggie writes "The US Department of Justice this week said it was looking to boost the research and development of technology that could significantly bolster new forensic tools for digital evidence gathering. The DoJ's research and development arm, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) said it was particularly interested in tools targeting forensics for mobile cellular devices; cloud computing environments; VoIP communication and vehicle computer systems."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Wants Upper Hand In Battling High-Tech Bad Guys

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @08:58AM (#34160500)

    I want a pony.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by CarpetShark (865376)

      Yeah, well, if you were a government, you could afford a pony. Maybe even quite a few destriers.

  • Translation. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Translation. The government wants to invade the privacy of every man, woman, and child. Gotta get those terrorists.

    • Obligitory (Score:3, Funny)

      by tuxgeek (872962)
      I'm from the government and I'm here to help ..
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Yes, it is good to live in a completely reversible world.
      Terrorist = Person <=> Person = Terrorist.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
        Not all people are terrorists, but all terrorists are people.

        Tautology is.
        • by KiloByte (825081)

          Not all people are terrorists, but all terrorists are people.

          Just wait for robots with strong AI, or some mad geneticist to uplift animals.

          But then, cats prove that you don't need sentience for terrorism. A naughty dog gets its bed peed upon -- this does require abstract thinking, and, while far lesser in scale than WTC, follows the same logic.

        • by slick7 (1703596)

          Not all people are terrorists, but all terrorists are people..

          Except when sanctioned by/for the government.

      • Re:Translation. (Score:4, Informative)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:24AM (#34161474) Journal

        After Ruby Ridge, Waco, and having a sitting president order the execution of an American citizen without even a trial? Your layout is pretty accurate looking to me. Being labeled a terrorist: it's not just for brown people anymore!

        As for TFA? They can get ALL they want, they've already lost, as the encryption cat is out of the bag. I have a friend that works at the state crime lab in charge of catching kiddie pron. He keeps trying to recruit me but....eeeew! Not enough brain bleach in the world for THAT job! Anyway he says that other than the social retards on Limewire or some other P2P trading the same crap that has been floating around since the 80s it is damned near impossible to catch them strictly by digital files anymore. Why? Because the bad guys have all discovered 2048 bit crypto, that's why.

        So I'd say with mobile devices getting more powerful every day it isn't "the bad guys" that have to worry about this, it is the average Joe. They are the ones that'll be running around with unlocked devices or still using the default password, whereas the bad guys will have everything locked up. Of course that brings me to my second worry, that the US Gov (or the Chinese, can't leave them out either) will simply have back doors installed in the chips. Then you think you are actually securing your data but in actuality they could input one master password and voila! all your security belong to us.

        Hell this discussion is probably moot anyway, as working with average folks all day I can say you want to know everything about them just ask FaceBook. Not only is everyone gladly spewing every detail of their lives to them, but using NoScript I've noticed lately FB is hooking into more and more and MORE sites, at a rate that makes Google look like a Mickey Mouse operation. Want to know everything about somebody? Just ask FB.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Because the bad guys have all discovered 2048 bit crypto, that's why.

          So I'd say with mobile devices getting more powerful every day it isn't "the bad guys" that have to worry about this, it is the average Joe. They are the ones that'll be running around with unlocked devices or still using the default password, whereas the bad guys will have everything locked up.

          Yes, that's exactly the problem. Only the bad guys will be savvy enough to actually lock down their shit so it becomes easy to spot the bad guys and the few not-bad guys who also happen to encrypt their shit get unfairly targeted.

          There's no default of encryption or privacy anymore. Countless times around the country do innocent people give up their rights when dealing with the cops and government just because it's a) easier or b) they've "got nothing to hide" and frankly, that scares me the most.

        • by Fnord666 (889225)

          at a rate that makes Google look like a Mickey Mouse operation.

          I thought that was Disney(tm).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) *

      And #1 on the terrorist list: College kids who pirate movies and music.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Translation. The government wants to invade the privacy of every man, woman, and child. Gotta get those terrorists.

      For the patriotic sake of the children whales.

    • "The government wants to invade the privacy of every man, woman, and child."

      The good news is that they haven't a fucking clue as how do so, thus the article.

      To be honest, I already thought they HAD these capabilities. There is also the real possibility this is all a ploy to get us to THINK they don't know how (see sig).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:05AM (#34160538)

    Yeah, let's just keep giving the government more and more power.

    There's a fundamental reason why tax cuts are good: starve the beast.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by migla (1099771)

      >There's a fundamental reason why tax cuts are good: starve the beast.

      It would be likely, that starving the beast would first shed such excess fat as health care and social security and other things that would benefit the poor.

      This would lead to an even wider gap, which would lead to more crime, which in turn would justify an even stronger police state.

      So, even if one would agree with your anti-statism, tax cuts are not necessarily pragmatic.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anon-Admin (443764)

        Then why dont we outsource the National Institute of Justice to India. They have the people and technology to develop the software needed for much less than it would cost to do it here in the US. Saves Taxpayers money. :P

        • by jhoegl (638955)
          have you forgotten about WIndows Millennium and Vista? This is the limit of India's "abilities".
      • by kenh (9056) on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:26AM (#34160976) Homepage Journal

        You can't "starve the beast" if the beast can simply print more money (thus making your money worth less, in effect starving YOU)...

      • restated, we are on a course of instability and divergence, not convergence.

        engineers can see that.

        politicians, too; they just are sociopaths and don't CARE beyond their own local power circle.

        making the powerful even more powerful is NOT going to help us all. sadly, the ones in control won't change and the ones below refuse to rise up.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dpilot (134227)

        Since there's an island of relative sanity here, here I'll respond. As you have implied and others have stated, the surveillance would be kept funded in preference to many other things we may consider more valuable. But there's another thing...

        Imagine the aftermath of the next successful terrorist event. The first question to be asked will be, "Why didn't the government stop this?" The answer will carry the next question (demand), "Because we didn't have enough law enforcement capabilities, give us more

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Defining "acceptable risk" is very unpopular.

        • The real question no one asks:

          What did we do to piss these people off so much that they did this horrible thing in the first place?

          • by dpilot (134227)

            You have to step really far outside of our normal culture to even start to understand this. There was a recent move, "Why We Fight", not the WWII one, that starts to jog an explanation.

    • by JustOK (667959)

      uh, it's not like they really need our permission.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dcollins (135727)

      "There's a fundamental reason why tax cuts are good: starve the beast."

      Idiot. Budget cuts might possibly starve the beast. Or even a balanced budget amendment. Tax cuts alone just mean charging current expenses to a high-rate credit card. That you & I are on the hook for. This is exactly the same kind of reasoning that has personal debt in the USA at obscene levels. Buy now & pay later, yeah, right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gerzel (240421)

      Starving the beast is the line used once tax cuts fail to produce improved economic growth and the line used when people don't take any responsibility for being part of the government(aka the beast). It is easier to simply remove funding than to trouble oneself to argue and work for constructive change.

      What isn't said is that given the concentration of wealth in the United States it is starving one beast to feed another. The beast of democratic bureaucracy would make a fine meal for the beast of capitalis

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TarPitt (217247)

      Starving public universities and transportation will turn the US into a 3rd world country. We've been seeing this for the last 30 years of relative economic decline, export of skilled jobs and declining public health statistics (compared to all other industrialized countries).

      The elites will always find the money to finance surveillance systems - it helps protect them against the mobs. They may privatize portions of the surveillance state to avoid accountability, but you better believe it will be the last

    • This falls under the Military-Industrial Complex umbrella, so your fellow Conservatives would never cut one thin dime.
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel,hedblom&gmail,com> on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:15AM (#34160568) Homepage Journal

    As more and more surveillence becomes adapted online less and less recources are put IRL. The smart criminals can even use this survaillence to their advantage. Some stuff you can do:

    Let a friend take your phone somewhere while you bust in or do some other crime.
    Plaster all kinds of activities on social sites that would make it impossible to do something illegal, while you are doing those crimes.
    Send messages where you arrange a fake meeting.

    Most important of all, never mention anything illegal while online, ever, anywhere. No matter what encryption you have its more or less useless if someone has access to your cell/comp/accounts. The sad in all this is that its crappy criminals that gets busted while the smart ones have the time of their life. Im also worried about it being misused for personal gain. If history is anything to go by, countless of innocent lives have already been ruined because someone with access to these informations used them for personal gain.

    • by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:48AM (#34160746)

      You say that it is the "crappy criminals" that get busted. The vast majority of criminals (not terrorists) are stupid. The clever ones have worked out that crime doesn't pay. If you are clever enough to do all the things you say, which avoid you getting caught, you are also clever enough to make as much money legally as you would illegally, and you don't have the risk of prison. I am sure a lot of big business leaders would make great criminals. But why bother. Some criminals of course do succeed in avoiding the law for a long time - every bell curve has its tails. But overwhelmingly, criminals get caught because they are not clever enough.

      And this is not coincidental. We buy enough law enforcement to make it not worth while clever people being criminals, while accepting that the stupid will be with us always.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by miffo.swe (547642)

        Crime does pay, handsomely. Both white collar crimes and your normal kinds like theft etc. To just brush the enormous amounts of people doing crimes off as idiots is to vastly oversimplify for oneself and shift the blame away from society.

        One of the times crimes pays best is when you dont have anything to lose and not any viable options to get something you even can lose. Those are the people who mostly get cought. For many of them a life in prison isnt much worse than life on the streets.

        Educated and smart

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:05AM (#34161270)

        The vast majority of criminals (not terrorists) are stupid. The clever ones have worked out that crime doesn't pay. If you are clever enough to do all the things you say, which avoid you getting caught, you are also clever enough to make as much money legally as you would illegally, and you don't have the risk of prison

        two kinds of sociopaths: those the end up on one side of law enforcement and those that end up on the other.

        at times, it even may be hard to tell them apart, as their personalities and what makes them 'tick' are very similar, if not exactly the same.

        we somehow accept this personality type as a leadership type and we ELECT them to office, too.

        when was the last time a smart brainy nerdy guy was elected to a high ranking public office? we don't elect thinkers or builders. we elect NUTJOBS, primarily.

        crime does pay. the code of justice is a maze and those who can navigate it well make out well. that's on BOTH sides, law enforcement and criminal. prison system continues to drain our otherwise useful funds (very profitable to lock people up in the US) and smart criminals avoid it all and find the loopholes that don't require 'murdering people' and such. they are still horribly evil people, but they know how to survive.

        so again, crime does pay. need more proof? spend time with wallstreet guys and tell me otherwise.

        • by AlecC (512609)

          But the Wall Street guys manage (usually) to keep out of crime. They are immoral, not illegal. That is exactly my point: they have worked out how to become rich without breaking the letter of the law. Wherever we set the boundaries of the law, clever people will dance about just on the dry side, while the stupid will be washed away.

      • The clever ones have worked out that crime doesn't pay as well as corporate fraud.
      • by Sean (422)

        Many big business and government leaders are criminals.

  • And I want a tropical island, that i can retire to when I am older. Wishing something doesn't not materializes it. And in this specific field, they can only wish for it. There is always some genius (someone with a lot of time) to wreak havoc on whatever they have up their sleeves.
  • by Mattskimo (1452429) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:17AM (#34160586)
    That my 35 pass Gutmann wipe I perform every month is now justified? I'm paranoid *and* they are after me?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      >35 pass Gutmann

      If you're still relying on 35 pass Gutmann you're vulnerable anyway. Might as well print your data out and paper your walls with it.

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:41AM (#34160710) Homepage Journal

    It depends on who has control over access to the devices / clouds. Just make sure the evidence can only be collected with a subpoena related to a criminal investigation. No crime, no access.

    For me, it'd be great if my device logs were admissible as evidence supporting my innocence. But in politics and law, it seems to depend more on the lawyer's ability to cast doubt on data and bring it down to who can make the more effective delivery of "truthiness". Which is why I avoid both of those fields like the plague.

  • Domestic Spying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday November 08, 2010 @09:55AM (#34160794) Homepage Journal

    If the "Justice" departments really wanted to battle "bad guys" in high tech crime, they would be targeting the highest crime rate domains with the biggest losses already. That is phishing and spam/virus networks that already take over $BILLIONS in IT personal property, using it to rob its owners and amass it into bot networks to attack others. Those crimes are committed largely by a relatively small group of crime gangs, largely concentrated in Asia (including Russia) which are also connected to large non-virtual crime in smuggling dangerous drugs, stealing property, counterfeiting brands, slavery, weapons trading (including WMD components), kidnapping, blackmail. The phishing/spam/botnet networks are probably the least bad of their crimes, and the greatest exposure to the public where they could be caught, with most of their traffic passing through the US even if the endpoints are all foreign. They're the obvious place for US law enforcement. Existing law allows US law enforcement to spy on them and catch them, while only small technology innovations might be necessary to do so - even without the PATRIOT Acts and other violations of the US Constitution.

    What is required is that US law enforcement actually want to catch "bad guys". Then they'd have the means and opportunity to do everything they say they want.

    But evidently they lack the motive. Their motive is to gain ever more power to spy on everyone, regardless of evidence or crimes. They've already been spying on telephone and email comms of every American they can fit on a hard drive, for years. What they want now is just bigger budgets for hard drives, for more secret police, and more laws that violate the Constitution and our rights so they can do so with impunity.

    These secret police are the "bad guys".

    • by omnibit (1737004)

      The spam kings (and queens) that you mention are largely in countries that do not want to cooperate with U.S. authorities and their hunt to prosecute foreign nationals.

      So spying is about all they have.

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)

        US authorities have all the technology, laws and budgets they need to "spy" on foreign spammers. All it takes to start spying is an email address, especially if it's published in a web page. US authorities also have lots of leverage in prosecuting foreign nationals, including crime treaties, international law, and the usual diplomatic carrots and sticks.

        But the authorities don't use them. Instead they want more. It's obvious that they want more power to spy on people in the US, not really foreign criminals.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      These secret police are the "bad guys".

      this is not a new idea but its an interesting one. who do you have more to fear from: the government who can ruin your life or 'organized crime' who might ruin your 'day' but then leave you alone (and certainly not keep records on you) ?

      I don't worry about regular criminals. I do worry more about the criminal (and secret) behavior of my own government. THEY come back to fark with you again and again if they so please. their power is totally unchecked.

      americans shou

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)

        You have presented a false dilemma. The reason you don't worry about regular criminals is because the government protects you from them enough that you don't have to worry. That doesn't mean you don't have to worry about the government committing crimes. These are not exclusive categories in some Sim City world. They are descriptions of groups of people and their behavior, which has substantial overlap and fuzzy boundaries.

        Terrorists do affect Americans, including people not in their direct line of fire. Th

  • Is it just me or is anyone else disturbed by this trend to call people "bad guys". It kind of implies that there is no reason to try to understand their motives or what they are trying to accomplish. They are simply "bad" and must be thwarted. Clearly on the other side are the "good guys". These are defined to be the people attempting to thwart the "bad guys" and nothing more. Obviously the opposite of "bad" is "good" and if they are good, we need to question their motives even less. Heck, they're the

  • Teach cops what an IP address is and some foreign languages at police academies.

  • "White collar" criminals steal peoples' entire life savings; but don't get life in prison; and those eventually convicted usually don't live a life of destitution afterward. Until such time as the prosecution, conviction, and restitution phases for large scale white collar crime is equal to the crime, extra tools are pointless.The new tools may prove beyond a doubt the essentials of the crime. But these research requests should also include legislation which includes suitable punishment.
  • Wow! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kenh (9056) on Monday November 08, 2010 @10:25AM (#34160964) Homepage Journal

    The DoJ wants better evidence-gathering tools?! THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

    Seriously, why must every attempt to increase security be viewed as the the end of all democracy & privacy?

    I'm not advocating for complaceny, but not every proposal is evil...

    • I'm not advocating for complaceny, but not every proposal is evil...

      given the MO of how things are these days, I'd have to take the position of assume its bad unless proven otherwise. defend each new increase in powers *vigorously* or you don't get new powers.

      we give them away too often and easily. we should assume they are all bad unless proven useful. think about it.

    • Re:Wow! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by maztuhblastah (745586) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:31AM (#34161542) Journal

      Seriously, why must every attempt to increase security be viewed as the the end of all democracy & privacy?

      Because, at least in the model of how the US is supposed to work, the response to a government calling for more power should not be "why not?" but rather "why?"

      In this case, that's a very good question to ask. See they [the various three-letter organizations] already have vast powers of surveillance. They have all sorts of legal privileges allowing them to intercept foreign and criminal communications with ease, all contingent on the provision of a warrant (and thus probable cause). Hell, thanks to the last regime, they don't even need that much of the time, especially not to spy on a common citizen like you or I.

      So in light of that, the response to a call for even better tools and even more leeway to spy on US citizens should be "Why?" Why do we need these tools? Why are the existing ones inadequate? Can you demonstrate that? What crimes do propose new tools will help you solve -- cite specific examples please, not just "it may us catch some bad guys".

      And if the government can't come up with a damn good answer to "Why?", then our answer should be "No."

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday November 08, 2010 @11:07AM (#34161294) Homepage

    Then it needs to stop treating IT, CompSci, and It security like the plumber and building manager and PAY FOR IT.

    Sorry but it's fact. You want to have a crack IT team that keeps all the bad guys out and the company's data secure? Then you have to pay 6 figures each for Highly skilled and experienced IT staff instead of low 5 figures for the Freshly tested MCSE churnouts from University OF Pheonix. You have to have IT managers that have at LEAST 10 years experience in the IT field and IT security field, not some moron with a BSA degree that knows the CEO's daughter.

    The US will forever lag behind the world in IT and IT security if you don't start paying for highly skilled and experienced professionals, and TREAT THEM AS SUCH!

    • But, but, Joe Uberhacker has no degree, no MCXX and no CISSP! All he's done is bum around these open source projects like a dirty hippie! Sure he's got job experience, but we need someone young and hungry, who also has this experience somehow! All these industry awards and recommendations are just silly trinkets from geek conventions! We'll keep him as an option but let's not decide too hastily.

      Now, John Paperskills, he's a real winner. Degree from UoP, an MCSE and a CEH, and an internship at IBM! I-B-fucki

  • The problem with this is that now they can quite easily snoop into even more of peoples business.I am all for watching out for the bad guys but not at the expense and loss of privacy of the good guys.
  • To state the obvious, the US wants the upper hand in everything. That's the nature of power... doubly so for a world "super power." When you're king of the hill, you perceive everyone as a threat to your supremacy. As such, you want a defense to anything the "enemy" can throw at you. You want to always be 15 steps ahead. The government bureaucracy has always been slow on the uptake when it comes to technology. In years past when the Internet was mostly the domain of nerds and researchers, there wasn't a who

Swap read error. You lose your mind.

Working...