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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    MSP Should Have NO Friends On This

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:07:28 AM EST
    Tags: MSP, Michigan, State Police, Data Extraction, Cell Phones, Texting, Sir that is an ugly cat picture, Cellebrite, Forensic tools, Transparency (all tags)

    Left or Right, on this issue we should agree.

    The troubling revelation that Michigan State Police have the tools to so completely violate a person's 4th amendment rights, has both the ACLU and conservatives concerned, and rightly so.  The hand held machine available to officers can scan and retrieve a complete inventory of cell phones information, including pictures, text, email, and phone records.  From the manufacturer's site:

    The Cellebrite UFED Physical Pro is a high-end, all-in-one solution for logical and physical extraction. The UFED Physical Pro expands your current device capabilities to extract deleted mobile device data, user passwords, file system dumps, and physical extraction from GPS devices.

    With expanded coverage that now includes more than 3000 phones and a growing list of GPS devices, UFED Physical Pro provides the most complete mobile forensics solution available on the market.

    Utilizing UFED's simple and field-proven user interface, a complete high-speed hex dump of the phone memory is delivered without the need of cumbersome PC drivers. Critical data such as user lock codes, and deleted information such as text messages, call history, pictures, and video are sorted and retrieved by Cellebrite's Physical Pro engine. The UFED Physical Pro also includes robust search tools for manual hex dump analysis, as well as an expert mode, which allows advanced capabilities for researchers.

    UFED Physical Pro provides access to data inaccessible by logical methods:

    • Phone user lock code
    • Deleted data including: deleted call history, text messages, images, phonebook entries and videos
    • Access to internal application data
    • Phone internal data including: IMSI history, past SIM cards used, past user lock code history

    Under no circumstance would these be appropriate tools patrol officers should be carrying.  It seems imprudent that a patrol officer should need to carry such technology for common stops, traffic enforcement, or assisting motorists.

    Further troubling, is the reticence of the MSP to provide a modicum of transparency sans a very high fee.  Likely violating the intent of law.  

    ~ More Below ~

    The ACLU has reported it would be charged $544,000 by the MSP for retrieval of information regarding the data collection efforts.  This is not however the first time an extraordinary amount has been used by the MSP in an attempt top defer or dissuade sunshine.  The Mackinac center was told it would have to spend nearly $7 million in 2009 when Kathy Hoekstra requested for her homeland security transparency investigation.
    $6,876,303.90, to be exact. That's what the Michigan Department of State Police is charging for documents that I requested via the Freedom of Information Act regarding the state's handling of federal homeland security grant money from 2002 to ... definitely a record for Mackinac Center FOIA requests. In fact, this may be a record for any FOIA request. Even the $3,438,151.95 down payment seems likely to be a speck above the average FOIA asking price.

    It was named the highest in the nation by the Sunshine review.

    In response Hoekstra FOIA'd the need to charge so much.

    So, I followed up with another FOIA request asking for all documents that explain how the State Police and its FOIA office "reached the conclusion that filling the Mackinac Center's FOIA request of September 29, 2009 would result in a processing fee of $6,876,303.90."  

    Michigan law reads:
    15.234 Fee; waiver or reduction; affidavit; deposit; calculation of costs; limitation; provisions inapplicable to certain public records.

    Sec. 4.

    (1) A public body may charge a fee for a public record search, the necessary copying of a public record for inspection, or for providing a copy of a public record. Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the fee shall be limited to actual mailing costs, and to the actual incremental cost of duplication or publication including labor, the cost of search, examination, review, and the deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information as provided in section 14. A search for a public record may be conducted or copies of public records may be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge if the public body determines that a waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest because searching for or furnishing copies of the public record can be considered as primarily benefiting the general public. A public record search shall be made and a copy of a public record shall be furnished without charge for the first $20.00 of the fee for each request to an individual who is entitled to information under this act and who submits an affidavit stating that the individual is then receiving public assistance or, if not receiving public assistance, stating facts showing inability to pay the cost because of indigency.

    (2) A public body may require at the time a request is made a good faith deposit from the person requesting the public record or series of public records, if the fee authorized under this section exceeds $50.00. The deposit shall not exceed 1/2 of the total fee.

    (3) In calculating the cost of labor incurred in duplication and mailing and the cost of examination, review, separation, and deletion under subsection (1), a public body may not charge more than the hourly wage of the lowest paid public body employee capable of retrieving the information necessary to comply with a request under this act. Fees shall be uniform and not dependent upon the identity of the requesting person. A public body shall utilize the most economical means available for making copies of public records. A fee shall not be charged for the cost of search, examination, review, and the deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information as provided in section 14 unless failure to charge a fee would result in unreasonably high costs to the public body because of the nature of the request in the particular instance, and the public body specifically identifies the nature of these unreasonably high costs. A public body shall establish and publish procedures and guidelines to implement this subsection.

    The rules are actually pretty clear.  Emphasis mine on a couple of key points.

    Actually, maybe the request could be made to start the clock, and "get me $100 worth please."

    While the debate over information regarding the implementation of these devices is going on. It should be noted that 'permission' to use the device on your is needed according to State Police:

    "The MSP only uses the DEDs if a search warrant is obtained or if the person possessing the mobile device gives consent," it said in a statement. "The DEDs are not being used to extract citizens' personal information during routine traffic stops."


    MSP officer: Drivers License and Registration please.
    Driver : Um sorry, I thought I was doing the spee ...

    MSP officer: Actually I pulled you over because you drifted over the line and I just wanted to see if you were ok
    Driver : Oh ok, no, just a little distracted with a phone call and ...

    MSP officer: May I see it?
    Driver :  The?

    MSP officer: The Cell phone, you said you got a call
    Driver :  Well I uh

    MSP officer: Are you refusing to show me your cell phone?
    Driver :  No, here you go

    MSP officer:  I'll be right back (taking phone with)
    Driver : Wait, what

    MSP officer: (as he is walking away) I'll be right back, stay in your car please
    Driver : But..

    Just like that.

    It might well be a way they can enforce the unenforceable texting rule passed last year.  It might well be a way to determine if someone is a pervert.  It might also be a way to breach the privacy of law abiding citizens who prefer to have their communications and associations kept under their own control.  What if the driver is a reporter with protected contacts?  What about political figures?

    What about the 4th amendment?

    If you want to look at MY cell phone, get a warrant.

    The Michigan State Police has had a reputation as a quality law enforcement agency, but in the face of this, it appears it is adopting the tactics and operandi of jack booted thugs using cover of technicality to obscure its true intention with regard to the use of such devices.  They should leave forensics in the lab or for special purposes designated with warrant and proper criminal procedure.  Further, the attempts in recent years to resist transparency is abhorrent and unacceptable.

    It is a poor path to take, and a breach of trust with the people of Michigan

    < Wednesday In The Sphere | God's Little Acre >

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    Glad to see RightMichigan... (none / 0) (#1)
    by rdww on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:41:40 AM EST
    ... finally caught up with this scary story.  At first I thought this had to be an urban legend, but the happily amoral boasting from the manufaturer's website seems to confirm it.  Rather than obsessing over the state cops' hefty FOIA fees, we need to see some state lawmakers calling for criminal investigations on how the MSP got into this evil business, and is using it in illegal ways.
    Remember, nothing get the attention of LEOs as well as seeing one of their own bunked down in prison with a few of the folks they themselves put there.

    And this was "fringe" only 13 yrs ago. (none / 0) (#2)
    by KG One on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:46:10 AM EST

    This deserves a comment (none / 0) (#3)
    by Rougman on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 01:06:42 PM EST
    Sadly, I'm almost speechless.

    There should never be an excuse for the MSP to gather information in this manner.  Good grief, if I was an al-Qaeda terrorist the DHS would need a FISA court's permission to see who I was calling.  

    Maybe if we were texting Afghanistan we could beat the rap.  

    I'm not defending MSP, but (none / 0) (#4)
    by goppartyreptile on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 01:57:54 PM EST
    "(I)f racially disproportionate incarceration rates in this state are the result of racially disproportionate contact with law enforcement officers, then there is reason to be concerned that Michigan residents of color are more likely to have their cell phones searched by Michigan State Police,"

    Is what the ACLU letter stated. And they admitted they have no evidence that these devices have been used in any illegal or improper manner.

     I have no idea why MSP is stonewalling on the FOIA, I haven't seen the letter for what the ACLU is asking for.  

    But I do know that the ACLU survives by fundraising on rights issues-- legitimate and not so much-- so I wouldn't give them 100% benefit of the doubt on this.

    Let's get some more info first.

    Beckman (none / 0) (#6)
    by grannynanny on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:29:12 PM EST
    had a rep from the MSP on this morning.  None of these devices are used by patrol officers.  The devices are being used to obtain information (with an owners permission or via search warrant) as an investigative tool.  I believe he said once a person is in custody.  If that is ONLY what it is used for I really don't see a problem.

    However, like the old saying goes - give em inch and they take a mile.  Don't like that slippery slope.  

    And thank goodness I have not gone over the edge with the techie stuff - still have my old flip phone.  

    Absolutely unacceptable (none / 0) (#9)
    by Corinthian Scales on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 03:58:28 PM EST
    A MSP PR rep on Beckman and all better now?  That does not explain nor justify now two counts of stonewalling transparency.

    I am not (none / 0) (#11)
    by grannynanny on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:09:57 AM EST
    defending what the MSP told Beckman.  I was just letting everyone know what was discussed about the devices.  I do not like the stone walling but I get a little quesy anytime I hear ACLU who seems to only take sides with perverts and whack jobs.  Their "idea" of civil liberties and mine don't jive.  I am sure they will jump on the band wagon with the UN in the declaration of "civil rights" for mother earth.

    Scenario:  Cops have perp in custody, accused of kidnapping, raping and killing a six yr. old girl.  They want to run his cell phone records on this device, he says no, they get search warrant, run info and find the bastard even took pictures of his "deed".  What is wrong with using this as evidence against him?

    I agree (none / 0) (#15)
    by grannynanny on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 09:07:35 AM EST
    with all of you on the stone walling and transparency.  And like I said before give em an inch and they take a mile - that is always what seems to happen in circumstances like this.

    That said, I have three family members who are in law enforcement and anything that helps get scum off the streets I am all for.  

    If these devices are ONLY being used for investigative purposes for someone already in custody - OK.  Using it to bring someone in under another guise - not okay.  Slippery slope??? And I would like to know how they have been used to date - it would clear up that slippery slope.

    MSP Official Statement (none / 0) (#17)
    by Corinthian Scales on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:27:48 AM EST
    April 20, 2011 - Official Statement: Use of Cell Phone Data Extraction Devices

    Contact:  Tiffany Brown, Public Affairs Section, (517) 241-0970
    Agency: State Police   

    LANSING. Recent news coverage prompted by a press release issued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has brought speculation and caused inaccurate information to be reported about data extraction devices (DEDs) owned by the Michigan State Police (MSP).

    To be clear, there have not been any allegations of wrongdoing by the MSP in the use of DEDs.

    The MSP only uses the DEDs if a search warrant is obtained or if the person possessing the mobile device gives consent. The department*s internal directive is that the DEDs only be used by MSP specialty teams on criminal cases, such as crimes against children.

    The DEDs are not being used to extract citizens' personal information during routine traffic stops.

    The MSP does not possess DEDs that can extract data without the officer actually possessing the owner's mobile device. The DEDs utilized by the MSP cannot obtain information from mobile devices without the mobile device owner knowing.

    Data extraction devices are commercially available and are routinely utilized by mobile communication device vendors nationwide to transmit data from one device to another when customers upgrade their mobile devices.

    These DEDs have been adapted for law enforcement use due to the ever-increasing use of mobile communication devices by criminals to further their criminal activity and have become a powerful investigative tool used to obtain critical information from criminals.

    Since 2008, the MSP has worked with the ACLU to narrow the focus, and thus reducing the cost, of its initial Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. To date, the MSP has fulfilled at least one ACLU FOIA request on this issue and has several far-lower cost requests awaiting payment to begin processing. The MSP provides information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. As with any request, there may be a processing fee to search for, retrieve, review, examine, and separate exempt material, if any.

    The implication by the ACLU that the MSP uses these devices "quietly to bypass Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches" is untrue, and this divisive tactic unjustly harms police and community relations.


    If stated procedure and internal directive is in fact being followed explicitly I have no objections with the use of technology for criminal prosecution.

    Hearing on Tuesday re: this (none / 0) (#23)
    by Tom McMillin on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 03:04:02 PM EST
    I'm holding a hearing with MSP representative on Tuesday:

    Committee Oversight, Reform, and Ethics
    Location 326 House Office Building, Lansing, MI
    Date Tuesday, 4/26/2011
    Time 12:00 PM
    Michigan State Police: Testimony on the department's use of Data Extraction Devices (DEDs)

    HB 4156 (McMillin) Retirement; investments; posting of certain pension board expenditures; require.
    Chair Representative Tom McMillin

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