Posts Tagged 'search'

Police Cell Phone searches still require a warrant

Criminals can all breathe a collective sigh of relief with the court ruling. The close decision I think reveals a technology gap with what judges believe phones do and what they think they do. Which obviously is a problem when you are dealing with supreme court judges, most of whom think Motorola flip phones are “da bomb”.

One simple analogy is obtaining a search warrant for phone records. If the cops need to go to a judge to get the phone records for a home phone, why shouldn’t the same apply to a cell phone? Especially if the cops want to see what phone numbers were recently dialed? What if the phone is locked and requires the ‘*#’ combo? Does that count as being openly available for anyone to see? In the end if this keeps a criminal out of jail, of course that’s bad news. But I don’t think anyone is willing to sacrifice their rights to put a few more people behind bars.

So a quick recap, you get arrested, the cops cannot search your phone without a warrant, which requires reasonably cause. So stop talking about the crimes you’ve committed and start using code words. Get hip to the lingo my homie.

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Criminals using iPhone during illegal activities?

Recently information became available that the iPhone takes screenshots of user actions. Whether or not this is a Apple support feature or a measure for forensic analysts to recover sensitive data still remains to be seen. Seems like an odd feature to include, taking screenshots, only to be deleted a short time later. While the iPhone is the phone of choice for the well off, I think it’s safe to assume that more and more criminals are sporting the Apple device next to their 9mm. Having data from the user’s phone could prove detrimental to criminals pleading not guilty.

However a new court decision protects data on cell phone from illegal searches. So “no officer you may not search my phone” and “I do not consent to search” should still hold up for traffic stops. Thank you EFF and ACLU. Let the upskirt videos continue!

Music industry urges boycott of Baidu

Music industry representatives have warned advertisers to stop supporting Baidu, China’s largest search engine, because they believe it is encouraging music piracy.

Baidu is the largest source of pirated music in China, according to the representatives, who describe the company as “incorrigible”.

The Chinese firm’s music search engine is accessed through what is described as a prominent link on the company’s home page.

Baidu provides links only to music files stored on third-party servers. No music is stored on computers owned or controlled by Baidu. (link)

isoHunt is just another search engine … honest!

While the RIAA has waged a full-on legal assault against individual file-sharers, the MPAA has instead chosen to go after individual web sites. In 2006, the motion picture industry trade group filed copyright infringement lawsuits against a number of BitTorrent sites, including TorrentSpy and isoHunt. TorrentSpy lost, thanks to its admins’ willful destruction of evidence, but isoHunt is fighting back. A recent filing in the case opposes the MPAA’s motion for summary judgment, arguing that isoHunt is just another search engine.

“There are hundreds of public torrent sites, some limited to a specific subject matter, others general aggregators like isoHunt, who like Google, try to cover as much of the Internet as possible,” reads isoHunt’s filing. “The essential functions performed at a torrent site are also performed at a comprehensive search site like Google or Yahoo!.” (link)

Yahoo to copy everyone else

Yahoo Inc. plans to make its website a social hub by hosting applications from other online services, part of the Internet pioneer’s effort to spawn more advertising opportunities.

“We are going to rewire the entire experience at Yahoo to make it social in every dimension,” Ari Balogh, Yahoo’s chief technology officer, said Thursday at a “Web 2.0” conference that drew a crowd of more than 1,000.

The more open platform copies a concept that already has been embraced by Internet search leader Google Inc. and a variety of online social hangouts, including Facebook Inc. and News Corp.’s MySpace.com. (link)

Yahoo turns to Google for advertising partnership

Yahoo Inc. is surrendering some of its advertising space to Internet search leader Google Inc. in an unusual test that appears designed to frustrate Yahoo’s unsolicited suitor, Microsoft Corp.

The two-week experiment announced Wednesday will allow Google to show ads tied to about three per cent of the queries made in the United States through Yahoo’s search engine – the Internet’s second largest after Google’s.

Yahoo will still use its own technology – acquired and developed at a cost of more than $2 billion – to place ads next to the other search results on its website. The Sunnyvale-based company also will continue to distribute search ads to its own partners. (link)

Ask.com gives up, Google is still king

In a dramatic about-face, Ask.com is abandoning its effort to outshine Internet search leader Google Inc. and will instead focus on a narrower market consisting of married women looking for help managing their lives. As part of the new direction outlined Tuesday, Ask will lay off about 40 employees, or eight per cent of its workforce.

With the shift, the Oakland, Calif.-based company will return to its roots by concentrating on finding answers to basic questions about recipes, hobbies and children’s homework.

The decision to cater to married women primarily living in the southern and midwestern United States comes after Ask spent years trying to build a better all-purpose search engine than Google. (link)


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