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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Court recorders on junk hardware? Yep.

This was posted to reddit's netsec community today: Man convicted of murder gets retrial after virus eats transcripts

Considering my own discoveries with how court reporters work, I am not surprised. There are probably many other crazy things which have happened but are off the radar.

In a way, this calls back to yesterday's talk about abstractions. These recorders are hired to deliver a service, and they do. As long as it works, it's fine. The exact implementation isn't too important.

The problem is what happens when this breaks down. Do you regulate the entire situation and bring them in as "real" government employees with strictly controlled hardware and software? That doesn't always guarantee results, either. Just look at any mismanaged government entity in any part of the world for proof.

Another approach would just be to make very scary penalties for losing this sort of stuff and let the market sort it out. People who care about it will take the steps needed to protect this data. Those who don't will eventually be caught and will be weeded out.