Can police bypass your lock on your Android phone?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by random190user44, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. random190user44

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    http://ebongeek.com/2011/04/20/the-cellebrite-ufed-allows-law-enforcement-to-download-all-your-smart-phone-data/

    I
    recently came across this article, which concerned me. I personally have nothing to hide, but I do feel that this could potentially be an invasion of privacy, should the cops ever need/want to access your smart phone.

    My question is, what good is the android password/lock if it can simply be bypassed with this simple machine?

    Can android encryption (available since gingerbread) prevent this machine from accessing your phone? Because I've hooked up my phone to my computer, while my droid 3 had encryption enabled for both my phone and SD card, and my computer read it with no problems. What's to stop law enforcement from simply plugging it into a computer at the PD?

    Whether police have a right to access the files on my phone or not isn't important to me, I'm just concerned with whether there's any way to prevent this machine from reading data on your android phone.

    I care deeply for my privacy and liberty.
     
  2. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    From what I've read, they can only do it if you authorize them to. Don't give up your phone and you won't have to worry.

    Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk
     
  3. JohnnytheK

    JohnnytheK Senior Member

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    All they have to do is get a court order and they can.
     
  4. robert70

    robert70 Member

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    Well,,,,,if they pull you over and your Bluetooth is on, technically speaking your are broadcasting to public air waves mind you I said technically,,but the break down of it all is, if you get pulled over and they have a reason to think they should search you or your vehicle they can, if you refuse, they more often than not hold you until they wake up a judge and get a warrent, but most times they don't even bother with the phone unless they think its nessecary,, my dad is a cop btw in the D,, well was rather he's retired now,, but that's the cut and dry of it,, it all falls under the homeland security act.


    Sent from sing sing!!! lol
     
  5. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Sure, but then there is nothing you can do anyway. I think the concern was whether the police could collect information from your phone at a routine traffic stop without probable cause and then use it against you to incriminate. I understand that it's similar to your Miranda rights. You doing have to turn over the phone unless ordered by the court, so you simply refuse.

    Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk
     
  6. robert70

    robert70 Member

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    Listen they can justify it under the homeland security act,, you were acting funny blah blah blah feel me? This land of the free we live In is no longer free boys and girls, like I said-- yes you most certainly can refuse, but they WILL get that information if they believe there is a need to.
     
  7. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Agreed, but if they do and there is nothing there, then what? If I am innocent of any crime and yet refuse to turn over my cell phone as I see it as an invasion of privacy as well as illegal search and seizure, do I need to be fearful of having information that is incriminating being planted?

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
     
  8. androidv1.0

    androidv1.0 New Member

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    That question actually brings up another question I've had.What if it's some kind of emergency or something? Let's say paramedics are hospital staff need to get a hold of your family members or something? How would they be able to bypass your password? I live in a college dorm, and we had a girl that was having a medical emergency. Thankfully, she's okay, but what if they needed to get a hold of her family members or something? (aside from emergency contact info)
     
  9. ambrown

    ambrown Member

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    Shouldn't this be protected under search and seizures? Police can't even get a cotton swab of your mouth to get DNA evidence without your permission or a warrant. It's considered an unlawful search and seizure of your personal property. If anything, police try to coerce you into giving up your property in hopes that either out of intimidation or unsurity about what your rights really are that you'll just give them what they want.

    Obviously the law is horribly outdated when technology is concerned in any case, but they have to get a warrant to search your home PC. They should also have to get a warrant to search your phone. The only exception would be if they found you texting while driving and have probable cause or something, that is if you live in a state where texting while driving is against there law.

    Yeah police can get away with a lot, but they can't circumvent the law. If in doubt about what the law is I would always ask what my rights are before submitting to any kind if search or seizure of my personal property. If anything you pressing back will plant doubt in the officer's mind and make him think twice about taking your phone.

    Yeah we may have nothing to hide but the law is in place so we can go through life without the state coming in and taking our property under unsubstantiated evidence.

    Sent from my Droid Incredible on 2.3.4 using the DroidForums app
     
  10. random190user44

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    You are correct in saying that police will attempt intimidation and other similar tactics to coerce you into giving up your rights, because most people don't know them anyways.

    I wouldn't ask an officer what my rights are, the courts have ruled that police can legally lie to you. Don't trust them. You are protected against unwarranted search and seizures, but that doesn't mean police are going to follow that. You have the right to not consent to them, and should police search you/your vehicle/your phone, it's possible that the evidence could be thrown out. But I'm no lawyer, so only a court knows the truth.

    Well, the concern wasn't necessarily at a traffic stop, but more or less any police encounter. I can't really think of a hypothetical situation where a cop would need/want to look at your phone, although I'm certain it's happened.

    Regarding the court order saying you must hand over your phone to authorities/give authorities your password so they can access it; they cannot do that unless you've explicitly stated somewhere that you have incriminating evidence on the phone. For example "Hey frank, all the banking information i stole the other day is on my phone", that would be a legitimate subpoena for you to give up your phone password, according to the courts at least. Now, if they just wanted to look into it because they thought you might have some incriminating information, they cannot do that.

    BUT, back to my original question, does anyone know how to beat this cellebrite machine?

    Disregarding the legality of whether police can or cannot access your phone, how can you prevent this machine from simply plugging into your phone and accessing all your information? Android encryption doesn't appear to work, because my phone is encrypted (both the SD card and phone itself) and my computer reads it just fine. What would I need to do to secure my information?
     
    #10 random190user44, Mar 9, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  11. nyteshayd

    nyteshayd New Member

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    Ok guys...try to set the tin hats down for a sec. I cant and won't speak for every cop ever but as far as the phoenix police department goes, we are only allowed to access the contents of a phone if it is during the course of a relevant investigation. That access can be obtained from permission of the owner or a search warrant. There are also exigencies such as kidnapping cases where information is time sensative and risk to life or property is likely. In these situations, "the totality of the circumstances" must be considered before accessing the information.

    In English, a patrol officer is more than likely not interested in the information on your phone. At a traffic stop or consentual contact, they do not have a legal reason to gain access to your phone unless given permission. If you have been arrested, the officer(in most cases) still does not have legal standing to your phone BUT, if he believes it could contain evidence pertaining to the crime HE IS INVESTIGATING, he could legally impound the phone as evidence and request a warrant to search for said evidence.

    To be honest, I am not quite sure what someone would even be concerned about on their phone. If you are dumb enough to discuss illegal activity or...even better...take pictures or videos of it on your phone, you aren't smart enough to avoid jail time anyways.

    Sincerely,
    Your friendly local patrol officer

    Sent from my rooted TBolt
     
  12. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Well said. The issue wasn't whether being used during the investigation of a crime for me, it was more a concern of the right to privacy during a routine encounter. It's a shame but when it comes to the police people are often very intimidated and may feel threatened. Someone may not have committed a crime but may still have private, sensitive information on their phones and feel that it's no different than an illegal search of their person.

    The real question in the minds of many is where does the right to privacy end and the police state begin.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
     
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