12 votes

UPS employees allegedly ran massive drug shipment operation, evading authorities for a decade

8 comments

  1. daychilde
    Link
    So crazy. We really do need to legalize drugs that are no more dangerous than alcohol¹, to offer more help to those addicted to drugs, and figure out how to help people rather than lock them up....

    So crazy. We really do need to legalize drugs that are no more dangerous than alcohol¹, to offer more help to those addicted to drugs, and figure out how to help people rather than lock them up.

    Of course, the main problem is that the War on Drugs™ was primarily set up to be a War on Them Coloured People™ so there's just a lot of support from those that still want to keep minorities down².


    ¹ Note that alcohol is hardly harmless! Compared to marijuana, for example, it is FAR more dangerous in pretty much every possible way
    ² This has been discussed and documented in many places. If you're unfamiliar, look at the incarceration rates and sentence lengths for cocaine vs. crack.

    7 votes
  2. [5]
    envy
    Link
    Sounds like that backdoor was created into WhatsApp... I wonder how they "identified some of the UPS drivers who were allegedly involved in the scheme." It's possible law enforcement has a number...

    Police also tapped the phones of UPS employees and collected video footage of the group as they coordinated using the WhatsApp messaging app for the loading, handling, shipping and retrieval of cash and boxes from undercover agents, authorities said.

    Sounds like that backdoor was created into WhatsApp...

    I wonder how they "identified some of the UPS drivers who were allegedly involved in the scheme." It's possible law enforcement has a number of investigative tools (more intrusive than encryption busting backdoors) that they are still keeping secret. If they don't want to expose a secretive tool, they use a process called parallel construction to reconstruct the evidence they already have using methods they are willing to share in court filings.

    6 votes
    1. [4]
      Deimos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It sounds to me like they recorded surveillance videos, which included watching them using WhatsApp. Encryption can't protect you from someone watching over your shoulder.

      It sounds to me like they recorded surveillance videos, which included watching them using WhatsApp. Encryption can't protect you from someone watching over your shoulder.

      7 votes
      1. DanBC
        Link Parent
        Or they arrest one member of the group who then unlocks their phone giving access to Whatsapp messages. Maintaining opsec is hard, and maintaining it in an untrained large group is nearly impossible.

        Or they arrest one member of the group who then unlocks their phone giving access to Whatsapp messages.

        Maintaining opsec is hard, and maintaining it in an untrained large group is nearly impossible.

        8 votes
      2. [2]
        elcuello
        Link Parent
        I can't read the article (why link WP?) but that's some really good security cameras if they can read off the screen of a phone.

        I can't read the article (why link WP?) but that's some really good security cameras if they can read off the screen of a phone.

        1 vote
        1. Greg
          Link Parent
          The way I read it, there are a few possible interpretations: "tapped the phones" could mean spyware (so the WhatsApp messages were captured by compromising the phone, not the app), could mean a...

          The way I read it, there are a few possible interpretations: "tapped the phones" could mean spyware (so the WhatsApp messages were captured by compromising the phone, not the app), could mean a WhatsApp backdoor, could mean that there's no universal backdoor but they legally compelled FB to disable encryption for these users, or indeed could just be an old school voice call tap unrelated to WhatsApp.

          "[C]ollected video footage of the group" could mean they pulled it from security cameras, but could also be agents with high quality equipment and telephoto lenses specifically gathering evidence for this case.

          The footage showing them "as they coordinated using the WhatsApp messaging app" could mean that the messages were visible, it could mean that the app was visible, or it could just mean that the agents matched video and message timestamps to bolster the case - getting those messages either ahead of time by one of the methods above, or afterwards when they putting the pieces together in preparation for the court case, once they'd been arrested and their phones searched.

          4 votes