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back to article Fanboi beats 'e-trespassing' rap after using GPS to find stolen iPad

An Australian magistrate has ruled that an iPad owner acted lawfully when he used Apple's Find my iPad app to locate his stolen fondleslab in a private home. ABC News and the Canberra Times report that when a Canberra man's iPad mysteriously disappeared he fired up the Find my iPad App. Doing so revealed, thanks to the …

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Anonymous Coward

The law of unintended consequences?

Radio waves are in the public domain? I hope she was a little more precise!

Won't those providing entertainment by satellite link be pleased! Is Google now off the hook?

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Anonymous Coward

Foolish

Burglars will catch on to this, Maybe the ap needs to be hidden or protected Android or Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Coveted item

If it had been an Android tablet the would never have been caught, he'd have left it behind and taken the telly instead.

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Re: Coveted item

Cue slew of up and downvotes depending on whether people are "Fanbois", "Fandroids", or iHaters etc etc

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

It's all about saleability and there's a huge market for an iPad cheap.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

Shut up you fanboy troll. Have a downvote...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

"Coveted item

If it had been an Android tablet the would never have been caught, he'd have left it behind and taken the telly instead."

See evidence, if it was ever needed, that fannybois are just penises.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

"Re: Coveted item

Cue slew of up and downvotes depending on whether people are "Fanbois", "Fandroids", or iHaters etc etc"

W O W, your fcking clever! You must be because you own an iDevice like the rest of the fcking brain dead out there.

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Headmaster

@Obviously!

*you're

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Re: Coveted item

*fucking

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Mushroom

Re: Coveted item

Android tablets? Nobody wants them, so why steal them?

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Re: Coveted item

If it had been an Android tablet - or TV, or laptop, or any other make of device, it would simply have been referred to by the medias "tablet","TV", "laptop" etc. But when it's an Apple product, the media always advertise it by name: "Ipad", "Istale", "Iphone", "MacProBookMacPro" etc.

Seriously, just take a look next time the media refer to some products, in any context. The amount of unfair free product placement advertising Apple get is absurd. It's particularly painful when you read two items together, e.g., the media refer to "his Mac and phone" or "her laptop and Iphone", so you can be sure it's not just a coincidence, it really is Apple always getting a special advert. Yet despite all this free advertising, they fail - outsold by Windows on the desktop, Android (or even Samsung and Nokia) on mobile.

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Re: Coveted item

Hardly - seems like they can't even give them away, the number of "Win a free Ipad"s I've seen is ridiculous. Though I'm sure he can find some fanatic to pay full price for it.

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Re: Coveted item What are you talking 'about, Willis?

TrustGo is just ONE of several companies that will offer remote tracking and wiping of your devices, and it is prominently displayed in Android devices. I dunno whether they supporrt iPads. But, your claim about it being at risk if that iPad were an Android is not accurate. TrustGo is on my GTab.... That is how I know the product is offered. Whether or not it actually works is something I hope to never have to find out.

But, since burglarers will be on to this, the next stage of this game has to be that the owners have gyro/accel/EM information plus the mic all in on the alerts as soon as the device is moved and an immediate followup is not a proper countermand command. But, even so, a skilled thief need only shove the device into an evidence bag and then fiddle with the device in a Faraday-cage-like bunker or building to try to audibly silence or EM-silence it.

Maybe a new trick may be to install proximity sensors around the perimeter the owner demarcs as a protection zonee. Program the devices on different freqs (to increase the difficulty for the ordinary thief) to all listen to an inventory list, all the while with each noded device sharing inventory info every few seconds. As soon as a device doesn't "check in", all the prox devices remote-call the police, the lucky alarm company, and the device's contracted monitoring/anti-theft/theft-tracking service. Simultaneous to that, motion and video sensors would try to off-site off load their footage to prevent local wiping of the footage and correlated video prior to and after entry/departure of the residence and property limits.

Too bad non-lethal booby traps arre not always legal. One with a hand-smacker, knee-whacker and some EM/IR/Reontgin-emitting dye packs could make all but the most prepared thief catchable in about 1 hour or less unless the theif is an undercity dweller and can escape with fractured kneecaps....

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Re: Coveted item What are you talking 'about, Willis?

great idea until the battery runs out

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

I love your foam-flecked ranting, the way you insult the intelligence of others in some weird pidgin dialect. It really re-enforces your point.

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Re: Coveted item

I'm an iHater too, but that was uncalled for.

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Facepalm

Re: Coveted item

@Obviously! - you couldnt be anymore of a Bill Gates imposter if you tried. anyway, the brain dead always seem to ruin positive tech stories with anti-Apple gumpth (even though it isn't the main point of the article).

E-Trespassing? What next?...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

You'd have to steal them from the shop's warehouse in the first place. Again, they'd be untouched and still part of a growing list of fixed unsold assets.

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Is Google now off the hook?

Google would be off the hook if they had only collected SSIDs and no payload data. Had the victim acquired and published pictures of the thief in some compromising situation, he might have been in some trouble but all he did was receive data sent from his own device by a program which he ran.

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Thumb Up

Re: Coveted item

"If it had been an Android tablet the would never have been caught, he'd have left it behind and taken the telly instead."

I think several people above have had a serious sense of humour failure here.

It was a joke, and it made me smile, even though I own an Android table and really don't like anything to do with Apple.

(It was a joke, right?)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

It was!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

Somehow you missed that Apple has 65%+ of the tablet market, so in most people's minds, a tablet is an iPad, you clearly don't like Apple products but that doesn't change the fact that the general public does. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

"You must be because you own an iDevice"

Is that some kind of 21st century version of "cogito, ergo sum"?

Or is your spelling just rubbish?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

"It was a joke, and it made me smile"

Indeed. I also found the humour in it.

What puzzles me is the pathetic rivalry between people who buy product X or product Y... I thought we already had football teams to provide for that kind of primitive stupidity.

And besides, real men with real dicks use Psion Organisers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coveted item

Guys guys, can't all you Android & Apple users just get along for a minute or two so you can team up and take the piss out of Windows mobile phones?

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Trucks and GPS

Don't a lot of delivery trucks now have GPS in them, to track the load if its stolen. Surely that's already set a precedent over the use of GPS tracking like this?

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Re: Trucks and GPS

Possibly, but people don't stash stolen trucks in private houses... police have more excuses to visit commercial premises, in which you could store a truck. That, and the thieves might use a GPS / Cell jammer.

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I doubt a thief was that smart.

Anyone stupid enough to be a thief (there are far more financially rewarding ways to make money) is unlikely to have been smart enough to come up with that defence. I suspect a lawyer taking a punt on an idea.

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Re: I doubt a thief was that smart.

Depends on what you call a thief. The people that are really good at appropriating wealth they have not created are able to manipulate the legal system and use the power of the state to enforce their theft. E.g. patent trolls, robber barons (via enclosures etc.), and all those fat cats who kept their pensions, bonuses and "golden handshakes" as a reward for wrecking their victims lives.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I doubt a thief was that smart.

@vagabondo, Well Said! Thise scum are the real theives and cause far more damage for far greater number of people.

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Silver badge

Re: I doubt a thief was that smart.

+1 for Vagabondo. As they say, give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank; give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I doubt a thief was that smart.

I'd say it was still a thief who came up with the defense, just one who has a license to steal.

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Odd system

So in Australia, they can refuse fingerprints being taken and take it to court?!

Get arrested in the UK, they'll have your fingerprints and DNA on their systems in minutes. Even if it was a wrongful arrest, and then you have to fight for years to get them removed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Odd system

I think he is saying that if it had not been for the ipad the police would have had no reason to finger print him. Sounds like that american thing "fruit of a poison vine". Anything discovered due to an illegal search cannot be used.

Over here in the UK they uise it anyway :)

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Holmes

Re: Odd system

Personally if I was wrongfully arrested I'd be more than happy to hand over the prints and DNA to prove my innocence and knowing that I'm not a criminal I'd not give a toss that the police kept it on file afterwards... if on the other hand I was guilty as charged... refusing the samples makes you look guilty as hell, like you know you have something to hide.

So whilst the Aussies might get the right to refuse does it really help them in any way?

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Re: iamafish

Two words: False Positive

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Mushroom

Re: Odd system

@iamafish : Since you are so happy to do so, why don't you go to the police station right now and volunteer all your details, fingerprints, DNA etc., just for their records.

If people who are happy to give away their right to privacy actually did so, there would be no need for new laws to take mine away.

Fucking mumpit.

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Thumb Down

Re: Odd system

Some branches of my extended family tree are extinct.

When the state of Germany was founded under Bismarck, my distant ancestors happily trotted off to register themselves as citizens. One of the things they volunteered was their religion: "Jewish".

The rest, as they say, is history. Never assume that government will remain even slightly benevolent for the duration of your lifetime, and for that of several generations of your descendants. In case you don't realize it, your DNA could be used to identify your children or even great-grandchildren, many years after your death.

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Anonymous Coward

Probable Cause

The owners call to police stating he had tracked HIS OWN property via a GPS app installed on HIS computer by HIM would likely be considered "Probable Cause"

Although in the US the call might just take the form of, "I just shot the guy who stole my iPad!"

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Stop

Re: Odd system

You're taking a huge gamble there: you're betting your liberty that nothing that you currently enjoy doing will ever become a criminal offence at some unspecified future date.

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Re: Odd system ....

Well, if he stole enough shit and ends up a long stay in prison he'll be pooting from a poisoned hind for eating fruit from a poisoned vine....

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Re: Odd system

"Anything discovered due to an illegal search cannot be used."

wow that rules out all those fishing trips like we have in the uk

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Odd system

It wasn't an illegal search and would not have been even in the US; the rightful owner didn't enter the premises, just got close enough to hear the noise and then alerted police. At the point where the police came into it, they had reason to search.

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Stop

Re: Odd system

Thomas 18 - Really, false positives? I rather think that is many orders of magnitude more unlikely that the coppers assuming I'm guilty because I refused a sample and then tearing my life apart looking for other evidence when I could have easily proved there isn't any. Why create more fuss and bother?

Sir Runcible Spoon - Doing what I suggest isn't giving away my right to privacy, it is choosing not to exercise it because I don't see the point if in fact I've done nothing. I'm also not suggesting everyone has to do it, did you notice that my post started with "Personally...". I also pointed out that the Aussie thief in this example doesn't help his case by refusing the samples, it makes him appear to be hiding something - exercising your right to privacy (which you should have and it seems the Aussies do have) isn't always the most constructive thing to do.

I'm not going to wander down the copshop and ask them to sample me, I haven't committed any crimes so doing so would be wasting there time... which is a bit silly isn't it, they are busy enough already.

The words I would like to use to describe your frothy mouthed privacy paranoia is not the sort of thing I like to write in public - unlike your coarse comment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Odd system

A J Stiles: If something I enjoy became a criminal offence then I'd have to stop... and since you can't be prosecuted for something you did before it was illegal... If of course the government turned nasty and became sinister and V-Vendetta-ish then I'd either be joining the resistance or emigrating... so again... am I bothered?

Complacency isn't for everyone (hey your choice, knock yourselves out, it's a free-ish country). but it's definitely for me - quite enough to worry about without this kind of paranoia thanks - i.e. problems which actually exist now.

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Headmaster

Re: Odd system

It's the 'fruit of the poisonous tree'; an extension of the exclusionary rule established in Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385 (1920).

The fruit of the poison vine is urushiol resin, and the evidence of contact includes itchy skin, rash and blisters.

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Re: Odd system

'and since you can't be prosecuted for something you did before it was illegal...'

Yes you can. The UK has created a number of so-called ex post facto laws including the 1991 War Crimes Act and various bits of taxation law to crack down on tax avoidance schemes. Technically the European Convention on Human Rights forbids ex post facto *criminal* laws, but some of Britain's brightest legal brains (notably Lord Denning) have said the Convention is overridden by Parliamentary Supremacy.

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FAIL

Re: Odd system

"Thomas 18 - Really, false positives?"

Well yes, actually.

The sensitivity of the current schemes of DNA identification only really work if you keep a very small set of samples from the hardened criminal fraternity. As the pot grows larger to encompass anyone who has had a brush with the law, it becomes steadily less and less useful.

The markers used in traditional DNA identification do not give a "fingerprint-style" human-race unique marker like CSI would lead us to believe.

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Re: Odd system

Many people think that until it happens to them.

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