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e-tresspass A-OK

By johnboy 10 September 2012 24

The Register is on top of a bit of legal pathfinding here in Canberra:

when a Canberra man’s iPad mysteriously disappeared he fired up the Find my iPad App. Doing so revealed, thanks to the fondleslab’s built-in GPS, that it was located in a nearby suburb.

The newly iPad-less man went to the location indicated by the app and heard his iPad making noises within a home.

At this point he called the Police, who happily entered the suspect home and found the iPad and other goods they suspected to be stolen. That find led Police to become rather interested in the occupant of the home where the fondleslab was found. So interested, in fact, that they sought an order to take his fingerprints as he was by now a suspect in other burglaries.

The fondleslab-filcher argued that order was not legal, as using Find My iPad constituted “e-trespassing”, while the fondleslab-owner’s prowl about the exterior of his home was the real thing.

We haven’t been following this too closely on the basis that we’re not fans of reporting arrant nonsense advanced by a party’s lawyer.

In any event Magistrate Walker has agreed it was arrant nonsense.

What’s Your opinion?


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e-tresspass A-OK
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minkshaman 4:23 pm 17 Oct 12

54-11 said :

I haven’t always been a fan of the local cops, but we were burgled a couple of months ago and the constabulary were very good. Within a couple of hours of reporting the break-in, two cops turned up, then forensics.

The lowlife is now in AMC awaiting trial on quite a few charges. So, I’m now a convert to their ability to get the job done.

Really? I find that a little hard to believe about forensics.
Couple of years ago when I was living in Page, we came home and surprised a burglar who made off with my PS3, my PSP and my fiancee’s laptop.
He’d had the Wii and a couple of other tech toys bundled up by the door ready to go…

Called the cops and while they were there in a few hours, they just came in, looked the place over and basically said “Too bad, so sad”.
They said without really having too much of a look, that the burglar didn’t leave any fingerprints and he’d obviously used a sock or something to cover his hands.

So glad that insurance covered it, but some of the games they’d taken were imports and hard to replace.

54-11 11:57 am 11 Sep 12

I haven’t always been a fan of the local cops, but we were burgled a couple of months ago and the constabulary were very good. Within a couple of hours of reporting the break-in, two cops turned up, then forensics.

The lowlife is now in AMC awaiting trial on quite a few charges. So, I’m now a convert to their ability to get the job done.

c_c 11:50 am 11 Sep 12

Tooks said :

sepi said :

The story above makes the police look good, but in the longer version the man first went to police and told them the location of his laptop, as per the app, and was ‘unable to elicit any action’, so then he went around and activated his laptop and heard beeping. This is what the lawyer was claiming was unlawful.

After that the police agreed to investigate and found the laptop + other stolen goods.

So if the police had been able to stir themselves to action in someway before the owner had to do all his own detective work, the court case need never have happened anyway.

In your eagerness to bash police, you miss a couple of important points. Firstly, these ‘find your ipad/iphone’ apps can be very inaccurate (as in 100s of metres off – several street away) – in fact, they’re actually designed for LOST ipads, as most crooks are smart enough to disable a stolen one. BTW, a man in the states was charged after tracking his stolen iphone to the wrong location and punching out who he thought was the thief.

Presumably the victim in this case initially went to police and said “this app says my stolen ipad is here. Go and find it.” When they didn’t go and search for it, he actually went and saw if the location was accurate (by walking around various townhouses in the area), which it was. He then went back to tell police it definitely was where the app said it was and then they acted. Now, you may think police should go on wild goose chases on the say so of a victim based on the information from an often inaccurate source (which has been known to be several street off in accuracy), and that’s fine. I don’t think they should.

Secondly, you couldn’t be more wrong in your last paragraph. Whether police ‘stirred’ themselves into action initially or not, the result would’ve been the same. I’m not sure why you would think a court case need never have happened. Are you advocating letting someone who has stolen property in his house off scot free (he is a suspect in two burglaries, as reported by the CT)?

As I said, the result would’ve been the same. They still had to get a search warrant, execute the search warrant, recover the property, apply for a forensic procedure order (to get his fingerprints to link him to those burglaries), wait til the forensic procedure was granted, take him over to the station to obtain his fingerprints, and then wait to see if the bloke can be linked to the theft, or whether he was just in possession of stolen property. Either way, he’ll be charged (if he hasn’t been already).

The fact you think a court case could’ve been avoided speakes volumes.

GPS in the iPhone is typically good to within a metre.

WiFi locationing on iPad and Macbooks is good down to 10m in my experience – that’s ten metres.

Dilandach 10:55 am 11 Sep 12

Tooks said :

sepi said :

The story above makes the police look good, but in the longer version the man first went to police and told them the location of his laptop, as per the app, and was ‘unable to elicit any action’, so then he went around and activated his laptop and heard beeping. This is what the lawyer was claiming was unlawful.

After that the police agreed to investigate and found the laptop + other stolen goods.

So if the police had been able to stir themselves to action in someway before the owner had to do all his own detective work, the court case need never have happened anyway.

In your eagerness to bash police, you miss a couple of important points. Firstly, these ‘find your ipad/iphone’ apps can be very inaccurate (as in 100s of metres off – several street away) – in fact, they’re actually designed for LOST ipads, as most crooks are smart enough to disable a stolen one. BTW, a man in the states was charged after tracking his stolen iphone to the wrong location and punching out who he thought was the thief.

Presumably the victim in this case initially went to police and said “this app says my stolen ipad is here. Go and find it.” When they didn’t go and search for it, he actually went and saw if the location was accurate (by walking around various townhouses in the area), which it was. He then went back to tell police it definitely was where the app said it was and then they acted. Now, you may think police should go on wild goose chases on the say so of a victim based on the information from an often inaccurate source (which has been known to be several street off in accuracy), and that’s fine. I don’t think they should.

Secondly, you couldn’t be more wrong in your last paragraph. Whether police ‘stirred’ themselves into action initially or not, the result would’ve been the same. I’m not sure why you would think a court case need never have happened. Are you advocating letting someone who has stolen property in his house off scot free (he is a suspect in two burglaries, as reported by the CT)?

As I said, the result would’ve been the same. They still had to get a search warrant, execute the search warrant, recover the property, apply for a forensic procedure order (to get his fingerprints to link him to those burglaries), wait til the forensic procedure was granted, take him over to the station to obtain his fingerprints, and then wait to see if the bloke can be linked to the theft, or whether he was just in possession of stolen property. Either way, he’ll be charged (if he hasn’t been already).

The fact you think a court case could’ve been avoided speakes volumes.

Yes, it can be inaccurate but having an idea to a range of within 100 metres is still more than not having anything at all. Yet that seems not enough. Seems the poor guy had to near solve his own crime before getting a police response, it shouldn’t have to be that way.

In short, cops. Do your effin job.

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