Do you think the FBI action was intended to set a precedent? How could that precedent be used going forward?

The purpose of this action was to set precedent and there has to be some push back on it. The scope of what type of action should be taken under what conditions must be narrowed, otherwise it could have a sprawl effect. We have no idea what the effects could be 10 years from now, because once precedent is set it gets extended. That tells me that there'll be more actions like this to come, potentially of more consequence than the narrowness of this one. It makes me wonder if they approached this operation the way plaintiff attorneys approach class action lawsuits: They file many lawsuits in different areas, knowing they'll lose most of them. They just need to win one to get precedent and build from there. So in this case, the government probably did the calculus of where they'd get the approval—Houston—and then initiated the action through that court.

Anonymous Author
The purpose of this action was to set precedent and there has to be some push back on it. The scope of what type of action should be taken under what conditions must be narrowed, otherwise it could have a sprawl effect. We have no idea what the effects could be 10 years from now, because once precedent is set it gets extended. That tells me that there'll be more actions like this to come, potentially of more consequence than the narrowness of this one. It makes me wonder if they approached this operation the way plaintiff attorneys approach class action lawsuits: They file many lawsuits in different areas, knowing they'll lose most of them. They just need to win one to get precedent and build from there. So in this case, the government probably did the calculus of where they'd get the approval—Houston—and then initiated the action through that court.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
It's going to continue to evolve. It seems like it will follow most public law structures: Is there a public safety aspect? What's the economic impact of these particular risks? And then there will be feedback from the public through their lawmakers on what the appropriate level is for them to intercede or interject. It's going to be a long process, this is just the beginning.
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I think the action was done to set precedent. If this were truly an egregious act it would have gone through a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court. The PRISM surveillance program was a crazy amount of user telephone activity monitoring—that was approved and it's literally data collection on citizens. Once it was discovered the government just said, "Sorry, we won’t do that again." But it just got renamed. There's an act in front of the House which would force tech companies to build backdoors into encryption. That’s also about setting a precedent because the next step is for the government to say they need a backdoor to every company’s network. But if that happens, every hacker will also have access to all those backdoors to your networks. That's where it becomes really important for private industry to say that we're responsible for these things. Because throughout history, bad things have come from good intentions.
3 upvotes