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Re: ACLU Cyber-Liberties Update: Nov. 8, 1995

On Sun, 12 Nov 1995, Bill Stewart wrote:

> >> > According to the government's own statistics, 1,800 innocent conversations
> >> > are intercepted each and every time a wiretap or other form of electronic
> >> > surveillance is placed.
> >> This seems curiously inefficient, even for government work.
> There was a discussion on the radio the other day that indicated that
> some drug dealers really _are_ encoding data on their phones - though
> Clipper won't help at all.  The author was talking about hanging out with
> undercover drug agents while doing research on a book about the Mob or drug
> dealers or whatever.  He and the cop were in a bar where a bunch of
> high-level dealers were hanging out; many of them were on their cellphones
> having conversations about "The 'patio furniture' you ordered is here.
> We can get you the 'three tables' on Tuesday; would you like a couple of
> 'chairs' with them also?"  :-)  The dealers weren't bothered by the cops
> being there; their lawyers were over at the next table in case they were needed.

This kind of "coded" talk is frequent in drug cases and is generally easy 
to break -- and to prove what the words meant to the jury.  It can even 
have an unintended probative effect if the defense doesn't put on some 
evidence to support the "patio furniture," or whatever, story.


> #--
> #				Thanks;  Bill
> # Bill Stewart, Freelance Information Architect, [email protected]
> # Phone +1-510-247-0663 Pager/Voicemail 1-408-787-1281

Not a lawyer on the Net, although I play one in real life.
Flame away! I get treated worse in person every day!!