"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Flawed Defense Logic in the Apple-FBI Phone Unlock Case Using the Analogy of Safe Deposit Boxes

A locked phone is directly comparable to a bank safe deposit box in a vault, except that in the former case the "key" is electronic and in the latter case the "key" is physical.

In the case of a safe deposit box, entry to the locked inner vault as well as to the user's safe deposit box is protected by pairs of keys -- the bank has one key and the depositor has the other key. Neither the inner vault nor the safe deposit box can be opened unless both pairs of keys are turned at the same time.

In the case of a locked phone, entry to various phone levels can be protected by encryption and passwords, which function as electronic keys, i.e. they are "keys" just as in the case of bank safe deposit boxes in vaults.

The phone has one key -- i.e. it contains stored the key required to unlock the phone -- and the user has the other key, i.e. the password to be entered to match the one recorded on the phone. When there is a match of keys, the phone can be unlocked, just as the vault and safe deposit box can be opened.

In law, there is absolutely no question -- and it is a settled legal matter -- that bank safe deposit boxes can be forced to be opened via a search warrant, even if it involves the use of "brute force", i.e. "boring" the box. Failure of a bank to abide by a court order or informing the depositor of the search prior to its making could result in the banker being put in jail for obstruction of justice. See, for example, Search Warrants - American Safe Deposit Services.

The argument is therefore flawed that there is or should be a legal difference between a physical bank safe deposit box and a physical locked phone that one has probable cause to believe contains evidence of a crime. The only real difference between the two is that the key in one case is a physical key and in the other case the key is an electronic key consisting of "characters" (which nevertheless must be "physically" received by the phone to be operational).

Modern bank vaults, safe deposit boxes or digital vaults that operate on the basis of electronic passwords rather than old-fashioned physical keys do not therefore somehow become less searchable by law enforcement agencies than they were under preceding non-digital technology.

Quite the contrary, most banks have a policy not to issue safe deposit boxes to known criminals. That is an added screening protection of the public.

In the case of smartphones, the phones are sold to anyone, and there is no prior screening protection of the public at all.

In other words, the case for legally permitting the unimpeded search of smartphones via a search warrant is greater than in the case of bank safe deposit boxes, where an initial screening is conducted, not so with phones.

Forcing a bank via a search warrant to open its vaults and to permit "brute force" opening of safe deposit boxes is no different legally than forcing the unlocking a smartphone. In both cases, more may be found in either the safe deposit box or on the phone than is covered by the search warrant, because vaults and phones are ubiquitous in their facility for containing things, and can and do contain many things. This is not the fault of law enforcement.

The argument that forcing a phone-maker to unlock a phone is a violation of free speech is equally flawed. The settled law is that a banker can not implement "NO" if the search warrant to open a safe deposit box says he must implement "YES". That is not an issue of free speech. The banker can SAY what he wants. The banker, however, must DO what is required to open the vaults and safe deposit boxes of his bank if the court-ordered search warrant requires it.

The same is true for digital vaults in whatever shape or form, including encrypted materials protected by passwords on phones. Company executives are free to SAY whatever their opinion may be about the law -- that is free speech, but they must DO what the court order tells them to unlock phones that have been locked by technology they have devised and which otherwise commit the crime of the obstruction of justice by intentionally hiding and/or destroying evidence according to the so-intended design of the phone-maker.

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Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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