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Florida man jailed for failing to unlock his phone (gizmodo.com)
42 points by tehwebguy on July 17, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 26 comments




You do not have the right to privacy on your phone. If you would like to make a difference, please visit http://www.decidethefuture.org/ and see what your local representative is doing.

> The police got a search warrant for the devices, claiming that they contain evidence of “Possession of Cannabis Less Than 20 grams” and “Possession of Drug Paraphernalia”—both of which Montanez already admitted to, which makes it unclear why the cops still want to search the phone to prove the charges.

This really doesn’t pass the smell test. I’m glad to this case moving forward.

Has anyone tried a screen lock data wipe app? Put in the special pin or pattern on the lock screen and it deletes sensitive files. You can easily restore from the cloud later.

A better solution, maybe doable on jailbroken/rooted phones, would be to have one pin unlock into normal mode and one pin to unlock into a mode with all sensitive information hidden but looks like the normal mode.

Again, I wouldn't advise actually doing this, but I like theorising.

Japanese handis had that feature. Guys, especially, used them for their secret affairs and other things they wanted to keep under wraps.

What's 'Japanese handis'? Googled it but couldn't find anything on it.

To get to the point, I think it was the systems that had a "2 in 1" with two PINs and you could unlock your "second phone" with the second pin and then make and receive calls from this hidden second number. Burner numbers I guess have replaced that need though.

Sorry short for personal handy phone system or PHS, also known locally as keitai[1]


In Germany, a mobile phone is called a "handy" (or, Handy, as it's a noun).

I'm extrapolating that that term (beyond a German context, or maybe the commenter is German) is being used, here.

Congratulations. You just willfully destroyed evidence pertaining to an investigation. Enjoy your obstruction of justice charges. Also enjoy the spoliation inference the prosecutor can now use against you.

In all the cases I've seen so far, people are being targeted for searches even before the investigation has begun. Traffic stop...let me search your phone. There would be an easy defense for wiping your phone if you are not even under investigation yet. In fact it is so easy to restore your phone why not just wipe it before the cop approaches.

How could they prove intent? Fudge the code twice then the third time wipe it and play dumb.

The court need only point to the fact you downloaded an app specifically meant to wipe your phone via an "oh crap" code.

I mean, I get LE and the justice system is given a lot of crap for being behind the times, but cmon now. This is slam dunk tier legal argumentation here.

I'm not even a lawyer and I'm pretty sure I could convince a judge on that point. If they issue a warrant for something, and you do something to what the warrant was issued for, you tampered with evidence. This is heavily frowned upon. Especially in the middle of a court room, right in front of a judge.

If you want to send a message via civil disobedience, all power to you.Just understand, you're still going to have to deal with the consequences.

I don't like it any more hand anyone else here, bit until you can sell a legislature on changing a bunch of this, in court is the absolute LAST place you want to make a stand on it. Judges are going to go with the least amount of reinterpretation to keep the system and Law Enforcement trucking.

Law is made by legislatures. It's just the way it is.

> the fact you downloaded an app specifically meant to wipe your phone via an "oh crap" code.

Are we now assuming PKI is fundamentally broken or that one were dumb enough to download an apk from a plain http site?

I'm not going to address the rest of the comment as I don't feel like it, but they'd have to know in the first place.

Standard procedure often involves imaging the phone/drive to mitigate stunts like this, so all you would be doing is proving your intent to destroy evidence.

You'll be really fucked if they catch on and have their copy decrypted independently because the results will differ.

The Android vs iPhone security debates always amuse me. Phone security altogether is a joke. Even podunk LE departments have contracts with Cellebrite...

It depends on the sequence of events. If you are already arrested and charged with a crime, and a warrant is issued, it's too late to wipe. But if the cops have you pulled over on the roadside and demand you unlock your phone, you should be able to wipe with impunity.

How about don't put evidence on your phone in the first place?

OpSec protip: properly destroy burner phones - don't just toss them under the car seat.

Evidence can be constructed from lots of other metadata. Your phone doesn't need to have a saved message "I did it"

That certainly doesn't invalidate anything I said.

If he says he doesn't remember his passcode, won't six months in jail pretty much guarantee that he will never remember it?

I forget my passwords all the time if I don't use them frequently. It's like muscle memory, so even after two weeks of vacation I struggle to remember them. Six months of not using it in a high stress environment would definitely cause me to forget it.

At least phones do not enforce a password with special requirements

"Florida man"... Has Gizmodo changed into the Onion or Reddit now?

Florida's Sunshine Law gives us a lot of insight into its criminal justice proceedings that most other states do not share, so we see a disproportionate amount of news attributable to nondescript "Florida Man."

Does anyone remember Fark? :-)

I still check it daily!

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