Re: Brain dead feds... & Supprised AdamT
LOL! I thought the story would be about a dirty pimp or spy posing as a PhD at a Uni...
Exactly my thoughts... even if they don't win the court order, they can still keep tabs, and hence label people as "persons of interest"...
Plus, if they couldn't crack it, they'd be incompetent.
When I locked my android phone, after 3 or 4 failed attempts, a screen popped up offering me an unlock if I properly entered my registered gmail e-mail address and my password.
Now, if the FBI had had proper warrants still standing to tap his communications, it is possible that they only needed to enter an email and password. Now, if the offender was paranoid or "efficient", he probably had other tougher-to-monitor ways of changing his password. Then, maybe (if this part is real/factual) the Agent entering the password (alone or under observation of a partner to reduce entry messups) the Agent handling the entry simply persisted in using the wrong password, which they thought was current.
But, "locking the phone", does that also connote "bricking"? Not sure given the story's writing.
But, I've ALWAYS been of the mind that warrants are just "a going-through-the-motions" thing so that the public doesn't collectively get hip and slyly thwarts investigations or that the public doesn't open, virulently, violently lashes back.
In that case -- ESPECIALLY if MI4 and MI5 have the same skills/powers -- then, imprisoning someone for refusal to provide one's password is just specious retaliation to "show who's the boss". OTOH, purportedly, we here in the USA have the right to not self-incriminate. A mighty fine right if you're innocent, or truly/factually guilty. Especially it can be might fine in the case one is clean, but was abused by law enforcement, and a judge actually sides with the accused. Doesn't *always* work out, but when it does, some judges actually have the balls (or counterpart parts) to jam Enforcement up against a wall when it is blatant abuse of a subject of investigation.
Personally, I'd rather the sleight of hand and gamesmanship be dispensed with and they just make a copy, step around any logic bombs as best as they can, and leave people (at least those who have businesses or schooling that would collapse in the face of a confiscated/stolen hard drive) with their systems so they can work or study. After all, FBI/CIA/MI4/MI5 supposedly have various and very capable monitoring powers. But, some would argue that it isn't the FBI you have to fear trashing your data only to find out you're not in possession of what they were after, it's the local police who wreck your media. Fortunately, I don't do things that would subject me to having to find out the hard way, hehehe....
Besides, I suspect that only the WORST of the worst get a physical visit and physical confiscation in addition to the remote observation.