How one guy's exercise routine made him a burglary suspect, thanks to Google's Geofence Warrants

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I don’t exactly disagree, but it’s important to keep in focus that no one is asking to be oppressed just because they use a FitBit, and signing into Google Maps doesn’t mean you deserve punishment. This is 100% about the state doing wrong.

The reason I mention it is that there’s a well-established pattern here. When a technology is new, no one takes it as seriously as more established parts of life (like having a private home or getting physical mail), so when the police start weaponizing it, we tend to take their side and blame the victims (“if you don’t want them to read your fancy ‘e-mail’ just use the good old US mail”). By the time that technology is an established part of life, police abuse of it is also well-established, and now giving people back their rights can be framed as taking away the police’s power to protect us.

People shouldn’t have to refrain from using GPS or cloud services or email or mobile phones in order to keep their existing rights. Whenever we blame users for this kind of overreach, we are saying “I have no rights except what the state finds it convenient to allow me”.


Ah, I see you’ve you’ve read the Republican manifesto on law enforcement…

Good. That’ll save time.


It’s been something like 3 or 4 years now that I have to “Disagree” every single time I turn on GPS on my phone.


Agree entirely. Leaving your house with the door wide open might not be smart, and burglary might be a predictable outcome, but making the burglary easy doesn’t make it legal or anyone’s moral responsibility except the burglar’s.

That said, we close and lock our doors because there are burglars, and in the same vein we do live in a society where the state does wrong and private businesses help them to do it. It’s an imposition on us that we need to take steps to protect ourselves, and we’re not wrong to bristle at having to bear it, but as a practical matter we won’t be solving the real problems, either burglars or law enforcement overreach, anytime soon.


This is my problem with our police system: they are completely and utterly stupid.

Two seconds. It would take a reasonable person two seconds to look at that data and say “Obviously not our guy.” It would take someone who isn’t a half-wit two seconds to realize that the data shows that this guy was riding his bike around the neighborhood passing in front of the house which means that HE OBVIOUSLY WAS NOT ROBBING THE HOUSE.

Now, since a casual glance at the data rules out that he was the thief (because he was busy riding his bike) but he was in the area perhaps asking him nicely if he noticed anything odd around the neighborhood that day.

This basically shows everything wrong with our current police structure, and why we need to do better. Investigations should document the facts and the evidence then use that to find the guilty party, not find a party who you can blame then find evidence and “evidence” to support that “guilt”.


That’s also GPD for you. Thinking the criminal would not only return to the scene of the crime, but also a third time. Not to mention that Gainesville is a college town where a significant portion of the population ride bikes and a significant portion of the population pass through certain neighborhoods because of a limited number of ingress/egress points in the city.


Unfortunately, my Fitbit won’t synch without “Agree.” Sucks, but there you have it.

I believe you are referencing the “Rule of Common Sense”. Very much in short supply as I seem to remember Mark Twain saying…

Sadly, it’s been a long time since the primary function of American law enforcement was to solve crimes. Their primary function now is to help corrupt prosecutors put people who aren’t independently wealthy in for-profit plantations prison or in the Kafkaesque probation system.

To go to prison in the US as a rich person, you have to have committed a raft of brazen crimes and even then be unlucky enough to be one of the few made an example of to maintain the veneer or equality under the law. To go to prison in the US as a working class person, you just have to be unable to afford a costly legal battle against spurious charges brought by duplicitous prosecutors.

The cops stopped caring about actual guilt a long time ago, especially in their own ranks. Cops are now wolves preying on the vulnerable members of the herd.


Hmm, I don’t know about egress, but…


Never talk to the police, even if they’re asking nicely.

True, if “a long time” == “never.”

The first state police forces came into being when the mine bosses got tired of paying their own strikebreaking thugs and figured out a way to make the taxpayers pay for it. The FBI came out of the Palmer raids, and was initially almost entirely about going after labor activists to protect the US from communism.

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I’m aware of the history of staties and the FBI.

The only thing you should ever provide to cops is your name and if stopped in a vehicle your drivers license and registration. ALL other communication with law enforcement should be through your lawyer.


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