by on January 2, 2018
Voice-activated smart devices can be used for alerts, alarms and web searches – but what about reporting crime? It may seem far-fetched, but one police force believes it's possible. Popular products such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home – now a fixture in households around the world – will soon be used to access real-time crime warnings and breaking news alerts, according to Rob Flanagan, an innovation chief at Lancashire Police. In a speech at a College of Policing conference, first...
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by on March 20, 2018
Facebook is having to face the music both in the United States and the United Kingdom after The New York Times and The Observer of London revealed Cambridge Analytica received and employed data harvested from 50 million of the social network's users without their permission. The Federal Trade Commission is launching an investigation.  NYT:  The F.T.C. investigation is connected to a settlement the agency reached with Facebook in 2011. The agency had accused the company of deceivin...
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by on June 16, 2018
The judge in Stormy Daniels‘ case against Michael Cohen and President Donald Trump responded Friday to Cohen’s application for a restraining order prohibiting Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti from talking about the case publicly. Cohen didn’t get his wish–at least not yet–but he did get a strong message from the court. Cohen had filed an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order against Avenatti. This means that instead of notifying and serving Avenatti, Cohen filed his appli...
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by on January 10, 2018
An Ohio man faces a 16-count indictment for allegedly creating a piece of malware that spied on victims in order to commit a litany of crimes, including the production of child pornography, according to federal prosecutors. The government claims, Phillip R. Durachinsky, 28, ran a 13-year scheme from 2003 to Jan. 20, 2017 that infected thousands of computers with malware dubbed “Fruitfly.” Victims include unknowing individuals, police departments, schools, companies and the federal gove...
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by on March 22, 2018
Robert Mueller’s team has taken over the investigation of Guccifer 2.0, who communicated with (and was defended by) longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU), The Daily Beast has learned. It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft. That foren...
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by on June 22, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police need a warrant to obtain cellphone location information routinely collected by wireless providers. In a major win for privacy rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that police must obtain a search warrant in order to get access to cellphone location information. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 5-4 decision, joining the court's four liberals. The majority declared that the Fourth Amendment guarantees an expectation of privacy and that ...
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by on January 11, 2018
President Trump posted his tweet shortly after a Fox News legal analyst appealed directly to him during a Thursday morning segment about the upcoming House vote. A yearslong effort by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to impose significant new privacy limits on the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program fell short on Thursday, as the House of Representatives voted to extend the legal basis for that program by six years with only minimal changes. The vote, 256 to 164,...
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by on April 6, 2018
  In today’s installment of "I’m Not Terrified, You Are," Bloomberg Law reports on a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject “Media Monitoring Services.” The details of the attached Request for Information, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press i...
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by on July 4, 2018
A federal probe into Facebook’s sharing of user data with Cambridge Analytica now involves the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department, the Washington Post reported. Representatives from these agencies have joined the Federal Trade Commission in the inquiry, the newspaper reported, citing five unnamed people familiar with the matter. Those people spoke on condition of anonymity because the probes are not complete. The probe reportedly centers on what Face...
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by on January 27, 2018
  The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians. The source of the data is not named in the contract, but an ICE representative said the data came from Vigilant Sol...
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by on May 3, 2018
Samples and a swab containing DNA sample on genetic testing results. The state Attorney General’s Office recently asked a Manhattan judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to nullify New York’s familial DNA testing policy, saying the plaintiffs in the case lack standing to bring the complaint and the concerns outlined in it are “fully speculative and hypothetical,” according to court documents. Plaintiffs Terrence Stevens and Benjamin Joseph, Bronx and Westchester residents, respectively, f...
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by on July 19, 2018
Hide and seek could take on new meaning if schools take RealNetworks up on this offer. The company is offering K-12 learning institutions free facial recognition software that can be downloaded via its website, Technology Review reports. The software is called SAFR, and according to a press release, it uses IP-based cameras and other hardware to “recognize staff, students, and visitors in real time to help improve school safety.” It also promises to “streamlin[e] entry, record keeping, ca...
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