DHS, DoJ methods worse than illegal; THEY'RE A WASTE OF TIME!

Searching for an edge on terrorists, investigators keep insisting on better light to look in the wrong places

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All three persons of interest asked a U.S. Magistrate to throw the orders out. She didn't. They appealed, but it hasn't come to court yet.

The order to Sonic was dated April 15, demanding the same types of information as the DoJ asked of Twitter. The only reason the request became public was because the judge ordered the DoJ to lift the cone of silence so Applebaum could see the order demanding detailed information on much of his private life.

Sonic couldn't get the seal lifted on the papers it filed to protest the order, either. The request was almost entirely turned down, without explanation. So Sonic can't show it's part of the discussion even if it wanted to.

DoJ! You Are Wasting Your Time! Work Smarter, Not More Unconstitutionally

When you combine the wish to surveil every citizen every moment of the day and predict what he or she might do in the future with what looks like a disturbingly lax attitude toward the right of their subjects not to be watched or analyzed when there's no reason at all to suspect them of anything and you have a common thread of paranoia, self-justification and self delusion woven throughout the agencies responsible for upholding the constitution.

Not only do the methods they're trying to depend on more and more not work, many of them can't work (FAST). The ones that do require so much effort they're a bigger waste of time and money than simply not doing them at all.

If you can compel the ISP serving whoever is head of Al Queda right now (Predators are flying) to give you a list of everyone he talked to while using the words "Jihad" "explode" and "yes, you can," maybe you'd have a list worth the enormous effort of checking out every name on it.

Otherwise the odds are very, very long that you'll get a lead that was worth violating the privacy rights of a major privacy advocate, beat up Google, Twitter and Sonic to do it, and embarrassing your agency, yourself and your government with your unbelievably wasteful, slow, inefficient investigative methods.

What the DoJ is going after with ECPA court orders is pure brute-force code cracking. It'll do the job, and in the right amount of time, if you have the right code, the right victim and time to work on it.

If you're digging that hard sifting for leads...you're not a professional investigator, you're a five-year-old digging in the backyard with a trowel, hoping to hit oil.

It's childish, it's wastes your time, your application development and staff budgets and It Gets You NooooWhere.

Looking for love (of Jihad) in all the wrong places

Everyone wants you to catch the terrorists. Go ahead and do it. No one will begrudge you.

But don't waste our time looking through random phone lists or developing super truth-telling future Magic 8-ball machines hoping to do it.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters illustration

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