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No expectation of privacy in content on devices connected to the Internet?

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  • No expectation of privacy in content on devices connected to the Internet?


    Originally posted by URL1
    A federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled that the user of any computer that connects to the Internet should not have an expectation of privacy because computer security is ineffectual at stopping hackers.
    On its own, this seems like a pretty big deal.

    Outside of the issues of bypassing warrants to get evidence from computers, if this becomes the accepted view, what would it mean for cases that attempt to invoke the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

    What kind of leap exists between no expectation of privacy and a user of a computer exceeding their authorized access if there is no expectation on the data being accessed having any privacy?

    How would an argument work if if "no expectation of privacy" for network computers is accepted as a norm, and then someone illegally gains access to government or corporate secrets and then passes these on to other people like journalists? Would the journalists be able to publish all such secrets since those secrets included no expectation of privacy, anyway? Would this open the door for more people like Snowden to leak secrets to the press with immunity, because the government also has no expectation of privacy with any data they have on computers connected to the Internet?

    Could this also be applied to keys for things like BlueRay encoding, or DRM, if the secrets for these are stored on computers connected to the Internet, there is no expectation of privacy for that data either.

    What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    With that kind of logic, it would mean that he doesn't expect his own privacy. Of course they usually have a double standard on these issues, think Hillary. If we can't expect privacy, then many other government institutions should not expect it.
    In the end, I do expect privacy, because of practices. If I share everything of my life on social media, then I expect to get stalked on the internet. I may still be vulnerable, but I am less vulnerable than the judge that made this ruling though, except for my records of birth, the military probably owns them.


    • #3
      All for privacy, and security for all! I guess my question would be: does this solely pertain to the individual seen as a person in the eyes of the law or are public and private institutions subject to this as well? This is the problem with setting precedence. If it's not well defined, it's safe to assume (which we know is a dangerous habit indeed) that interpretations will be made as it suits the court.


      • #4
        The reality is that there is no expectation of privacy. On paper there allegedly is. If you assume that whatever you do on the internet is not going to see the light of day then you are not being realistic. There are laws, policies etc that say there is privacy, but in practice one should assume none unless you take steps yourself to make your communications private.
        Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results ... except Microsoft software.