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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by on January 14, 2018
Early-morning tweets revealed Trump’s complicated relationship with various spying rules. Former NSA Michael Flynn Thursday brought President Trump two things he sought: new restrictions on how and when the U.S. government can reveal the names of Americans who come to the attention of intelligence agencies, and a House vote to reauthorize the law that permits those agencies to eavesdrop on foreigners and virtually any American they speak to. This means, among other things, that the ...
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by on May 5, 2018
Cell tower interceptors, often called "stingrays" or "dirtboxes," mimic traditional cell towers. A coalition of civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups has penned a letter in support of a state bill that would force California police and sheriff agencies to disclose all of their surveillance gear, as Oakland this week approved similar requirements through what may be the strongest city surveillance ordinance in the country. Supporters say they believe the legislation will propel oth...
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by on September 6, 2018
Strong encryption can be a threat to law enforcement and national security, the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand said in a statement issued Sunday. "The increasing use and sophistication of certain encryption designs present challenges for nations in combating serious crimes and threats to national and global security," maintained the countries, which are known as the "Five Eyes" based on an agreement they entered to cooperate on signal i...
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by on February 5, 2018
Ten unsolved homicide and rape cases are among the first being considered in New York State for use of the innovative familial DNA searching techniques in the hunt for possible suspects, law enforcement officials said. By using family members' DNA, police may be able to track down a potential suspect or evidence, law enforcement officials said. Eight of the 10 cases came from the NYPD and are the first in which police and local prosecutors are attempting to use the DNA process since it...
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