Google 'Pressure Cookers' and 'Backpacks,' Get a Visit from the Cops

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by EncryptedBytes, Aug 1, 2013.

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  1. EncryptedBytes

    EncryptedBytes Registered Member

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    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/nati...knocking-doors-because-google-searches/67864/

     
  2. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    There's more to it than that, I guarantee it. One of them is linked somehow, even if it's remotely, to an ongoing investigation or to someone on a list somewhere. Otherwise myself and I'm sure many, many of my colleagues would have been visited long ago. As bad as things are and as much attention as this NSA stuff is getting, you don't get visits unless something really throws up a red flag. A Google search isn't going to do that. Our fears have been heightened, but some logic needs to be kept applied as well. Her husband was an idiot to be confrontational about it, the dudes at the door didn't make the call to show up and, yeah, I'm pretty sure the guys in the JTTF know how to make a pressure cooker bomb. You aren't going to disarm a bomb you don't know how to make or how it works. Maybe it is a case of overreaction, nobody knows except the investigators or the family.
     
  3. ZeroDay

    ZeroDay Registered Member

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    Yeah I'd agree one of, or both are linked in some way however remote to someone on some kinda list.
     
  4. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    If they aren't, then one of them did something else that seemed "off" in that time frame. Not even our paranoid government is going to send armed units out every time someone searches for a "flagged term". If they were going to be that bad about it, they might as well just knock Wikipedia off of the web permanently.
     
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    FYI. Article Updated.
     
  6. Snoop3

    Snoop3 Registered Member

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    they should have had someone in the Russian gov't tip off the FBI that they were likely extremists. then they could search on pressure cookers and backpacks (and box cutters) to their heart's content.
     
  7. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    That's a huge difference from just searching for "pressure cooker", and frankly there's almost no reason to look up something like that when all you'd need is a generalized search for explosives. And doing this on a company computer..they were asking for this. It makes a hell of a lot more sense now, the company was doing what they thought was right. For all they knew they had an angry ex-employee plotting on them.
     
  8. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    It seems that nobody sees the absurdity of using "pressure cooker" and "backpack" as key terms in an attempt to detect suspicious behaviour... Just because a certain violent incident happened to be linked with the two objects, that doesn't mean that every search for those terms should put you on a suspects list.
     
  9. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    Did you read the update? No one said the search terms were key terms.That's how the story was portrayed at first because hey, it's real easy to pick on the NSA and FBI right now. The truth is that the company the guy previously worked for called the authorities because he was searching the terms "pressure cooker bomb" and "backpack"..on company computers. Call them paranoid or whatever you will, but they were worried and did what they thought best at the time. If someone is looking up something as specific as "pressure cooker bomb" on your business network, you don't generally haul them into HR and question them yourself. Let LEA decide if the person is a whackjob or has terrible timing and a lot of innocent curiosity .
     
  10. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    I wasn't blaming the government on this one. When I said "key terms" I wasn't talking about NSA/FBI/etc., but about the fact that in people's minds (and that means the company the guy worked at as well) "pressure cooker" and "backpack" carry a special meaning because of Boston.
    Normally, if that employer was calling the cops because someone searched for "bomb" on his network, it would be kind of justified to investigate it. But I still believe that "pressure cooker" and "backpack" should have nothing to do with it.
     
  11. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    Ugh, so just because the guy added pressure cooker with bomb (are we forgetting that the justified word was still used in the search?), it should be taken less seriously? So, if I search for "toaster bomb" on a company network, I'm just a kooky fellow with humor and not a snowball's chance in hell quite the creative nutjob preparing for Operation Bang Bang Explodey Pow?

    I think you're meandering your way around the heart of the matter because you don't like the idea that the "big boys" instead of the local cops showed up and, again, it's way too easy to go on an anti-Fed trip right now. Had this NSA stuff never been brought to light, this scenario still would have played out exactly as it did. You talk about the mindset of people..do you not think that mindset would kick in if someone saw a little dinky Cessna flying a wee bit too close to tall buildings?
     
  12. ElectronWar

    ElectronWar Registered Member

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    But is does put you on lists.

    My wife was telling me a friend has 5 pressure cookers and all her school kids have backpacks. :eek:
     
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