• Police Want to 3D Print a Dead Man’s Fingers to Unlock His Phone

    October 22, 2016

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Post-Constitution America


    I’ll unpack the Constitutional issues in a bit, but first, the technology.

    Michigan State University professor who holds six U.S. patents for fingerprint recognition technology was asked by police to help catch a murderer. The cops scans of the victim’s fingerprints and thought that unlocking his phone might provide clues as to who killed him.

    The professor converted the fingerprint scans and 3D printed versions of all 10 digits. He then coated them with a micro-layer of metallic particles to mimic skin’s conductivity. The final 3D-printed fingers aren’t finished, but they’ll be ready for police to try out soon.

    The potential Constitutional issues here are an amazing challenge to the Fourth Amendment’s assurances against unwarranted search, and the Fifth’s protections against self-incrimination. They don’t apply to this current case, as the prints in question comes from a dead man, but…

    In in 2014 a judge controversially ruled that (living) suspects can be required to unlock a phone with a fingerprint. While the Fifth Amendment protects the right to avoid self-incrimination and makes it illegal to force someone to give out a passcode, biometric indicators like fingerprints are not covered by the Fifth Amendment, according to the ruling. So, if your phone or other device is protected with a fingerprint, the current law says cops can compel you to open it. If the phone is protected by a PIN number, the cops cannot compel you to open it.

    The judge’s logic is interesting. He wrote giving police a fingerprint is akin to providing a DNA or handwriting sample, or presumably an iris scan or facial recognition, which the law permits. A pass code, though, requires the defendant to divulge knowledge, which the law protects against.

    It is not hard to imagine a future court ruling that all a bunch of nonsense and (hopefully) declaring the police cannot compel you to unlock your phone for them. But of course the cops can fingerprint you, and can have those prints 3D reproduced, and might be able to open your phone that way. So is or is that not Constitutional?

    And cool: if the police already have your iris scan, facial data or prints on file, they don’t even need to bother to talk to you about any of this at some point.

    In the age of Snowden’s revelations, big data and all sorts of electronic spy gear we have yet to learn about or invent, has technology finally outrun the otherwise pretty good record of the Bill of Rights for keeping up with the times?

    BONUS: Protect your phone with a strong PIN at the minimum.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Mitch said...



      You, of course, realize your describing the death of this “democracy”?


      10/22/16 5:39 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Peter said:
      “BONUS: Protect your phone with a strong PIN at the minimum.”
      At least this is one thing I don’t have to worry about. I’ll NEVER own a “smartphone”. I’ll keep my dumb one thank you. As far as the cops forcing one to give their fingerprints to access your iphone data… ha. if you’re that far into an investigation, you got more to worry about than your iphone.

      Speaking of bonus’s….

      Government:”We’ll give you a “bonus” to re-enlist and risk your life in Iraq…(with fingers crossed behind their back.)
      Now we want it back. OR ELSE. ”


      The USG… redefines the word con artist. Fuck these scumsucking bastards. They dangle some money in front of poor stupid morons, and then demand it back, even though they risked life and limb to fight wars for the 1%.

      bartender.. a double shot of 100prf FUCKTHEUSG.. and two bottles of KISSMYASS cult beer.

      10/22/16 5:44 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      I want the fingerprints of any MIC contractor who was overpaid.

      10/22/16 6:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Save me a stool….

      Preferred at the end of the bar…. With my back to a wall.


      10/22/16 6:51 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Pitch, I don’t do smartphones also. My computer keeps asking me to sign in with my face. Oh, that will make someones life easier! Better take the tape off the camera.

      10/22/16 6:56 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Gavin Macfadyen RIP

      10/23/16 8:06 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      H O L Y S H I T.

      Damn. Orwell would faint. Here is the future of “social”….


      Even though this is in China..you just wait. It’s only a matter of time till our own society starts social media “scoring” you with a number. Just like this..


      At that point it won’t matter if the police want your fingerprint to open you iphone. And it IS coming. Mark my words.

      10/24/16 7:57 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      I hope it gets to the point where… We the Sheeple send in stool samples for DNA and Colon screening, etc.. Single Payer!

      10/24/16 2:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Where have you been?

      Facebook access is what a lot of employers Require for employment now.
      I don’t, but many do.

      Couple of years… Government will require it.

      Tried using Paypal lately? Same thing, just to set up an account.


      10/24/16 4:11 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Well thank god I never have to apply for a fucking job anymore. Fuck these scumsucking bastards. If this is what you have to do to make a living, working for bastards who require you to not only give up your privacy, but grovel at the pit of begging for meager subsistence wages to boot… then you are a moron.

      10/24/16 8:28 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      wait…wait… I must be a fucking dimwit..

      No , if what I said above, is what you have to go through to sustain your life and limb, and you’re family.. god be with you. Fuk me.

      10/24/16 8:32 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      ps.. and fuck the coming apocalypse. Teach your children well.

      10/24/16 8:34 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Oh.. I might mention…



      So, now we know the real shit. I wish every Congressional cocksucking asswipe motherfucker, had to clean the wounds of every soldier they sent into battle for the rest of their scumsucking life.

      10/24/16 8:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      So…… You see why I own my own company?
      Its just bullshit the things that are gojng on.

      I WISH I could give you an example that occurred over last week. It is exactly what is wrong with peoples thinking.
      To give enough information to be completely understandable, would violate a bunch of laws.

      I SO wish I could tell you. You would be screaming for the bartender to get us both wasted.

      Ok, so, according to the LA times…..and everywhere else…. The congress, senate …. And everyone one the fuck else Knew what was being done to soldiers and Vets.
      And did not give a shit til the press got wind.

      Kind of like the outrage they had when they found out what the NSA was doing, via Snowden.
      Even though they knew 10 years before.??????

      But…… Here is an alternative thought for you….

      From a business perspective……

      How bad the books must look…..if they are trying something as fucked up as that, to raise money…..

      Just a thought.


      10/24/16 10:34 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Mitch said…

      I SO wish I could tell you. ”

      So do I. Then I might have an idea WTF you’re talking about.

      “You would be screaming for the bartender to get us both wasted. ”

      Yeah, well get a load of this and tell me who’ll be screaming at the bartender first…


      Now that mankind has opened Pandora’s box of AI powered autonomous killing machines I’d say being forced to open your iphone is the LAST thing you have to worry about.

      Meanwhile, I can see it now. An autonomous AI drone having sexual daydreams while trying to use it’s facial recognition to focus on a target in a stadium full of football fans wearing team color makeup and regalia.


      This brings new meaning to the term Terminator.

      sheezus.. bartender..I’ll have whatever Mitch is drinking. Make it a triple.

      10/25/16 7:19 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      “Police Want to 3D Print a Dead Man’s Fingers to Unlock His Phone”

      Wait till the police get a hold of autonomous weaponized drones. It’s coming and nothing you or I will stop it.

      Orwell never fathomed that ONES and ZEROS would one day rule this planet.

      hey, speaking of police and drones…. look who’s trying to shoot one out of the sky…


      10/25/16 7:53 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      That might be closer than you think.

      Google’s A.I. Recently stated, ‘it didn’t “FEEL” like continuing the conversation’.


      10/25/16 7:56 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      btw, isn’t there a law against shooting drones out of the sky? Of course, we all know police are law abiding, upstanding, here to protect us, officers of the law, right?


      Meanwhile, An epidemic of insanity prevails on the Federal bench…

      Next thing you know looking like a human being is probable cause.

      fuck. Mitch, the next round is on me.

      10/25/16 8:05 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Mitch said…
      “Google’s A.I. Recently stated, ‘it didn’t “FEEL” like continuing the conversation’. ”

      hmmm, when asked to continue a conversation, I heard it said…”Fuck you. Make me, asshole.”


      10/25/16 8:09 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Pitch, thanks for link to Water Protectors.

      10/25/16 9:28 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      You are welcome. Here’s a better one….


      hmmm. I smell a Custer’s Last Stand moment coming.

      10/25/16 9:33 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      What was that “saying” a Japanese general said when he realized the P’sTB in Japan wanted to attack the US? Something about “poking a sleeping wolverine with a stick”? Oh yeah.. it’ll “rip your balls off”. I think that might apply to the sleeping Standing Rock protesters.

      10/25/16 9:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Yep… Federal law against shooting down drones. Although…. I understand Texas has a bounty on them.

      And the saying your looking for …

      It was from Admiral Yamamoto, architect of Pearl Harbor…

      ” I would never attack the US mainland, for I would find a rifle behind every blade of grass ”


      As we come down to the wire….and things get more extreme…. More insane….more just what the fuck is wrong with people….
      Giving rise to more extreme responses from “government”…..

      Leading to??????????

      Next case is on me…..


      10/25/16 11:58 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      How did you know my responses were programed into the A.I. ??????
      That would be something I would respond with….


      10/25/16 12:02 PM | Comment Link

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