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Personal Black Box?



On Mon, Oct 01, 2018 at 06:15:14AM +0000, jim bell wrote:
> A few weeks ago, I got done binge-watching every episode of NCIS,
> and am now up to Season 4 of Criminal Minds.  Naturally, this
> induces a bit of what I'll call cinematic paranoia.   In what seems
> to be a majority of episodes, a victim gets attacked, usually ends
> up dead, and the plucky investigators are stuck trying to figure
> out what happened.  Naturally, they usually do, but only after
> about 45 minutes of high-tension showtime.  It occurs to me that
> what people may need, for physical security, would be what might be
> called a "personal black box", analogous to an airplane flight
> recorder.  Or, a civilian version of a cop's body-cam.
>
>   Any modern smartphone would have the basics of such a device:  A
> high-resolution camera, microphone, and a huge amount of storage. 
> And a quick 911-call if necessary.  The mere possession and use of
> such a device would probably deter the large majority of potential
> attackers.  And even if it does not completely protect a given
> user, it would allow far more easy identification of the
> perpetrator.    Parts of this, of course, are not a new idea.
>  https://www.sparkfun.com/news/702 ;    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/gadgets-and-gear/gadgets/your-own-personal-black-box/article4300839/ ;   https://www.zdnet.com/article/fitbit-activity-data-as-evidence-in-court-wearables-serve-as-personal-black-boxes/ ;      https://www.medgadget.com/2005/08/cpod_a_personal.html ;   https://newatlas.com/australia-black-box-flight-recorder-soldiers/51267/
> 
> 
> However, storage is not enough:  In use, in some instances, an
> attacker would presumably be aware enough to take or break the
> device, so some sort of continuous or discontinuous upload of the
> data could be done, to be available no matter what else happens. 
> Say, a frame per second when nothing seems to be happening, and a
> greater rate when triggered somehow.  Could a heart-rate monitor be
> employed, sensed one axis of the phone's accelerometers?  Or if the
> wearer falls down?  Or if a sufficiently-loud noise is heard, etc. 
> Or if a trigger-word is spoken a la Siri?  
> 
> Can the data transfer be made economical?  Even an average of 1
> megabit/second would be over one gigabyte during a 3 hour usage per
> day.  That's substantially greater than most people currently use. 
> One possibility is that the phone could upload the data to the cell
> phone company, where it could be "parked" for a few seconds or
> minutes.  If nothing happens to the phone to cause a trigger (some
> sort of attack) the phone could instruct the cell phone company to
> abandon the data.  Conversely, if a trigger occurs, the cell phone
> company would move 100% of the data to a backup system for later
> retrieval.  Presumably, the cell phone company would offer
> discounted rates for such transfers, and only offer that service if
> the local service is sufficiently unloaded at that moment.
>             Jim Bell


I think ultimately the hope for "perfect individual security" systems
is doomed to failure.

We will never live in isolated boxen.

So, we need a network of actual, physical trust - in the case of this
idea Jim, I'd say to simply stream (encrypted) your log (audio, GPS,
video, whatever you choose), to a trusted family member or friend.

That friend has contractual bind to you to offer up, or delete, or
etc, your data stream, per your will and only your will.

For that, you need someone you can trust, who is also willing to
support you personally in this way, and perhaps vice versa (although
each person must choose who they trust, of course).

Could we ever get around the fundamental "network requirement" for
meatspace trust network, for properly effective (personally
protective) systems?