Category: Surveillance


Creepy Clown Sightings Go Nationwide

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The rash of creepy clown sightings in California appears to have spread nationwide, with reported en-clown-ters in Florida, Indiana and New Mexico.

  The Wasco Clown, a California photography project by a husband-and-wife team who said they wish to remain anonymous, appears to have inspired copycats that have been photographed and videotaped in Albuquerque, N.M.; Fishers, Ind.; and Jacksonville, Fla.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Jacksonville residents said people dressed in creepy clown costumes have been appearing in security camera footage. One recording shows a clown walking up to a resident’s porch, tearing apart a pumpkin and staring directly into the camera before walking away.”

 

UPI 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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With This Tiny Box, You Can Anonymize Everything You Do Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

” No tool in existence protects your anonymity on the Web better than the software Tor, which encrypts Internet traffic and bounces it through random computers around the world. But for guarding anything other than Web browsing, Tor has required a mixture of finicky technical setup and software tweaks. Now routing all your traffic through Tor may be as simple as putting a portable hardware condom on your ethernet cable.

  Today a group of privacy-focused developers plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign for Anonabox. The $45 open-source router automatically directs all data that connects to it by ethernet or Wifi through the Tor network, hiding the user’s IP address and skirting censorship. It’s also small enough to hide two in a pack of cigarettes. Anonabox’s tiny size means users can carry the device with them anywhere, plugging it into an office ethernet cable to do sensitive work or in a cybercafe in China to evade the Great Firewall. The result, if Anonabox fulfills its security promises, is that it could become significantly easier to anonymize all your traffic with Tor—not just Web browsing, but email, instant messaging, filesharing and all the other miscellaneous digital exhaust that your computer leaves behind online.

 

Wired has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is How The Feds Illegally Obtain Evidence Of A Crime And Lie About It In Court

 

 

 

” The president continues to dispatch his National Security Agency (NSA) spies as if he were a law unto himself, and Congress—which is also being spied upon—has done nothing to protect the right to privacy that the Fourth Amendment was written to ensure. Congress has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, yet it has failed miserably to do so. But the spying is now so entrenched in government that a sinister and largely unnoticed problem lurks beneath the surface.

  NSA documents released by Edward Snowden show that the feds seriously deceived Congress and the courts in an effort to spy upon all of us and to use the gathered materials in criminal prosecutions, even though they told federal judges they would not. Among the more nefarious procedures the feds have engaged in is something called “parallel reconstruction.” This procedure seeks to hide the true and original source of information about a criminal defendant when it was obtained unlawfully.

  Thus, in order to maintain the facade of spying only for domestic intelligence purposes, and to appear faithful to public and secret promises (the FISA court only sits in secret) that any evidence of criminal behavior inadvertently discovered by NSA spies will not be used in criminal prosecutions, and so as to keep the mechanisms of domestic spying hidden from non-FISA federal judges who are more likely to apply normative interpretations of the Fourth Amendment than their FISA court colleagues, the NSA and the DOJ began the process of parallel reconstruction.

  Parallel reconstruction consists largely of the creation of a false beginning—an untrue one—of the acquisition of evidence. This, of course, is criminal. Lawyers and agents for the NSA and DOJ may no more lawfully lie to federal judges and criminal defense attorneys about the true origins of evidence than may a bank robber who testifies in his own defense claiming to have been at Mass at the time of the robbery.

  While parallel reconstruction is deceptive, unlawful and unconstitutional, I suspect it is but the tip of a dangerous iceberg spawned by the unbridled NSA spying that Bush and Obama have given us. When you mix a lack of fidelity to the plain meaning of the Constitution with a legal fiction, and then add in a drumbeat of fear, enforced secrecy, and billions of unaccounted-for taxpayer dollars, you get a dangerous stew of unintended tyrannical consequences.”

 

Read the whole thing at Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Delete And Disable Your Google Location History

 

google map 1

 

 

” Google can track your location and show you on Google Maps and Google Earth where you have been recently, which you may find useful, interesting, or invasive. Here’s how to see if you have location history turned on and how to disable it.

  I had location history enabled for Google Maps and didn’t know it. I found it interesting to see which spots Google logged for me over the past week or month, and I don’t plan on disabling the service. It’s nice to know, however, that I can delete portions of my location history or all of it, as well as disable the feature from tracking me in the future.

  To see if you have location history enabled, head to the Google Maps Location history page. Click the gear-icon button to access History settings. Here, you can choose to disable or enable the service.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Disabling location history, however, does not remove your past history. If you’d like to erase the locations Google has stored for the past 30 days, head back to the Location history page. The default time period shows location history for the current day, so you may not see any plots on the map.

  Use the pull-down menu below the calendar on the left to show your history, up to 30 days. If you choose a time period in which Google has tracked your location, you’ll see the points where you’ve been on the map. And below the calendar, you’ll see options to delete your history from the time period you have chosen or to delete all history.”

 

 

CNET has all the details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windows 10 Preview Has A Keylogger To Watch Your Every Move

 

 

 

” This week Microsoft announced the next version of its Operating system, dubbed WIndows 10, providing Windows 10 Technical Preview release under its “Insider Program” in order to collect feedback from users and help shape the final version of the operating system, but something really went WRONG!

Inside Microsoft’s Insider Program you’ll get all the latest Windows preview builds as soon as they’re available. In return, we want to know what you think. You’ll get an easy-to-use app to give us your feedback, which will help guide us along the way.” Microsoft website reads.

  Well, how many of you actually read the “Terms of Service” and “Privacy Policy” documents before downloading the Preview release of Windows 10? I guess none of you, because most computer users have habit of ignoring that lengthy paragraphs and simply click “I Agree” and then “next“, which is not at all a good practise.”
” Do you really know what permissions you have granted to Microsoft by installing Free Windows 10 Technical Preview edition? Of Course, YOU DON’T. Well, guess what, you’ve all but signed away your soul .
 
  If you are unaware of Microsoft’s privacy policy, so now you should pay attention to what the policy says. Microsoft is watching your every move on the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview, Thanks to portions of Microsoft’s privacy policy, which indicates that the technology giant is using keylogger to collect and use users’ data in a variety of astounding ways without the user being aware.”
Hacker News has all the details

“Party At The NSA” (Party In The U.S.A. By Miley Cyrus Parody) By Chocolate Ghost House

 

 

 

 

 

 

This video came out over a year ago but is no less relevant today … HT/LaughRight

New Jersey Man Accused Of Shooting Down Neighbor’s Remote Control Drone

 

 

 

” A New Jersey man was arrested after police say he shot down a neighbor’s remote control drone.

According to investigators, officers with the Lower Township Police Department were called to a home in the 1000 block of Seashore Road on September 26th to investigate the report by a resident that his remote control helicopter (drone) was shot down.

  Investigators say the resident was taking aerial photographs of his friend’s home, which is under construction.

  While doing so, the resident told police he heard several gunshots as he simultaneously lost control of the drone.

  After retrieving the drone, the resident observed multiple holes in it that were consistent with a shotgun blast.”

 

CBS Philly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FBI Not Happy With Apple & Google’s Encryption Policy

 

 

 

 

” Users might have praised the technology companies for efforts to encrypt their latest devices that would prevent law enforcement agencies’ hands on users’ private data, but the FBI is not at all happy with Apple and Google right now.
 
  The Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, said Thursday he was “very concerned” over Apple and Google using stronger or full encryption in their Smartphones and Tablets that makes it impossible for law enforcement to collar criminals.
  According to Comey, the Silicon Valley tech giants are “marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law.”

There will come a day – well it comes every day in this business – when it will matter a great, great deal to the lives of people of all kinds that we be able to with judicial authorization gain access to a kidnapper’s or a terrorist or a criminal’s device,” Comey told reporters.

I just want to make sure we have a good conversation in this country before that day comes. I’d hate to have people look at me and say, ‘Well how come you can’t save this kid,’ ‘How come you can’t do this thing.’” “

Hacker News

The Great Facebook Exodus Begins

 

 

Ello Home Page

 

 

 

 

” A little known independent social network might be having its big moment. As the debate around Facebook’s naming policy rages on, a growing swath of Facebook users appear to be jumping ship into a smaller, social lifeboat of sorts. It’s invite-only, anti-ads, and it’s called Ello.

  Short of Google+—distrusted by many thanks to a similar recently reversed “real name” policy—no single social network could withstand a mass influx of Facebook’s 1.32 billion monthly active users. But if this week’s rumblings are any indication, disenchanted Facebook users could look to smaller, independent social networks like Ello for their next move. 

  After seeing chatter about Ello in my own social circles, I reached out to Paul Budnitz, creator of this buzzy new anti-Facebook. Budnitz is the founder of designer toy maker Kidrobot and also owns and operates Budnitz Bicycles. I explained what I’d observed in my own social circles (my 1,000+ Facebook friends admittedly skew toward LGBTQ identities) to see if users from what some are calling Facebook’s “queer mass exodus” had started showing up on his own social experiment.

Why Ello? And why now? “

 

 

From Ello’s About page:

 

 

” What is Ello?

Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers.

  We originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use.

Ad Free

Ello doesn’t sell ads. Nor do we sell data about you to third parties.

  Virtually every other social network is run by advertisers. Behind the scenes they employ armies of ad salesmen and data miners to record every move you make. Data about you is then auctioned off to advertisers and data brokers. You’re the product that’s being bought and sold.

  Collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical. Under the guise of offering a “free” service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.

We also think ads are tacky, that they insult our intelligence and that we’re better without them.

Read more about our no-ad policy here.

Support Ello

Ello is completely free to use.

  We occasionally offer special features to our users. If we create a special feature that you really like, you may choose to support Ello by paying a very small amount of money to add that feature to your Ello account.

  You never have to pay anything, and you can keep using Ello forever, for free. By choosing to buy a feature now and then for a very small amount of money you support our work and help us make Ello better and better.

Privacy

  When you use Ello we collect some information related to your visit. This information helps us understand in a general way how people are using Ello, so we can make our social network better.

  Unlike virtually every other social network, on Ello you can opt out of information sharing. Read How Ello Uses Information to learn how.

Join Ello

  Ello is currently invitation-only. To join Ello, you need to know someone that is already on the network. Alternatively, you can request an invitation by visiting the Ello Home Page.”

 

 

 

Read more at The Daily Dot and visit Ello’s site here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New ‘Bash’ Software Bug May Pose Bigger Threat Than ‘Heartbleed’

 

 

 

 

” A newly discovered security bug in a widely used piece of Linux software, known as “Bash,” could pose a bigger threat to computer users than the “Heartbleed” bug that surfaced in April, cyber experts warned on Wednesday.

  Bash is the software used to control the command prompt on many Unix computers. Hackers can exploit a bug in Bash to take complete control of a targeted system, security experts said.

  The Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT, issued an alert saying the vulnerability affected Unix-based operating systems including Linux and Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) Mac OS X.

  The “Heartbleed” bug allowed hackers to spy on computers but not take control of them, according to Dan Guido, chief executive of a cybersecurity firm Trail of Bits.”

 

Reuters

 

For those who are interested here are some links to further stories about the newly discovered cyber-threat …

 

The Switchboard: Meet Shell Shock, the security bug experts say is worsethan Heartbleed

Bash Security Bug is Worse than Heartbleed

‘Worse than Heartbleed:’ Shellshock bash bug blasts OS X systems

‘Bigger than Heartbleed’ Shellshock flaw leaves OS X

Worse than Heartbleed? Today’s Bash bug could be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook’s Fine Print Includes Permission To Track

 

 

 

 

 

 

” In order to access Facebook, users must agree to a lengthy terms of service contract that outline everything Facebook has permission to do. That includes tracking users, even when they aren’t on Facebook, for advertising purposes.

  Facebook tracks users by placing a cookie, or a small text file, on the computers of its users. The cookie communicates with so-called pixel code installed on many popular websites.

  Pixel code is often included in Facebook services that allow companies to take advantage of Facebook in several ways. Online publishers can install “Like” and “Share” buttons on content. Those buttons increase sharing on Facebook, which increases traffic to publishers’ sites. Online retailers can use pixel code to purchase Facebook ads targeted to people who were just about to buy something, then got distracted and later ended up browsing Facebook.

  The pixel code also lets Facebook know what its users are looking at on the Web. That information is invaluable to Facebook, because it gives the company a better idea about the interests of users. That increases the effectiveness of Facebook’s targeted advertising, which means Facebook can charge companies more for ads.”

 

   It’s looking more and more like Facebook needs to be abandoned by those desiring privacy … read more at the Wall Street Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch This Crazy Drone With Arms Fly and Turn A Wheel In Mid-Air

 

 

 

 

” Sure, drones can take videos of Martha Stewart’s farm and maybe even save the environment. But… can they unscrew a bottle cap? Play Twister? Spin a dreidel? Do anything that involves having arms? Well, now we have a drone with arms—that can fly and turn a valve wheel mid-air.

  Above is the video, and here’s the paper’s title and abstract (flip to 1:00 in the video to see the really cool stuff):

“Towards Valve Turning using a Dual-Arm Aerial Manipulator,” by Christopher Korpela, Matko Orsag, and Paul Oh, from Drexel University. “

Time has more 

Facebook Poses A Threat To Every American

 

 

 

 

 

” Participation on Facebook could prove very dangerous to your future well-being. There is a reason that Facebook is aligned with both the CIA and the NSA. I have several credible sources tell me that all data posted on Facebook goes into series of cataloged files which culminates with each person being assigned a “Threat Matrix Score”. The mere existence of a Threat Matrix Score should send chills up and the collective spines of every American.

  When, not if, martial law comes to America, this Threat Matrix Score, of which Facebook data is used to help compile an “enemies of the state” list, your future longevity could be seriously imperiled. It is too late for people like Steve Quayle, Doug and Joe Hagmann, John B. Wells and myself to avoid being placed on this list. However, it is not too late for the average American to limit their exposure by NOT posting and participating on Facebook. Facebook participation should come with a black box warning:

“ WARNING: The views expressed on Facebook can and will be used against you. Participation in Facebook could prove detrimental to the length of your life. All political dissident views are immediately reported to the CIA and the NSA. Risk of repeated exposure on Facebook could result in you and your family being hauled out of their homes at 3AM, separated from your family and sent to a re-education camp”. “

 

 

 

Read the rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police, Even With Search Warrants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

  The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

  The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails and recordings. Apple once maintained the ability to unlock some content on devices for legally binding police requests but will no longer do so for iOS 8, it said in the new privacy policy.

“ Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.” “

 

Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tech Chiefs In Plea Over Privacy Damage

 

 

 

 

 

” The US tech industry has failed to appreciate the mounting global concern over its record on online privacy and security and must act fast to prevent deeper damage to its image, Silicon Valley’s top executives and investors have conceded.

  The self-criticism, much of it aimed at consumer internet companies such as Google and Facebook, comes as some of the tech sector’s best-known names have been battered by a backlash over revelations of widespread US internet surveillance and concerns about their growing business and cultural dominance.

  Peter Thiel, a prominent start-up investor and Facebook director, said: “Silicon Valley is quite oblivious to the degree to which this crescendo of concern is building up in Europe. It’s an extremely important thing and Silicon Valley is underestimating it badly.

  Jim Breyer, an early investor and former board member of Facebook, said: “The US government and [tech] companies will have to step up significantly if they want to regain the world’s trust.”

 

Financial Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phone Firewall Identifies Rogue Cell Towers Trying To Intercept Your Calls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Rogue cell phone towers can track your phone and intercept your calls, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re as ubiquitous as GPS trackers. But at least now there’s a way to spot them.

  A firewall developed by the German firm GSMK for its secure CryptoPhone lets people know when a rogue cell tower is connecting to their phone. It’s the first system available that can do this, though it’s currently only available for enterprise customers using Android phones.

  GSMK’s CryptoPhone 500, a high-end phone that costs more than $3,000 and combines a Samsung Galaxy S3 handset with the CryptoPhone operating system, offers strong end-to-end encryption along with a specially hardened Android operating system that offers more security than other Android phones and the patented baseband firewall that can alert customers when a rogue tower has connected to their phone or turned off the mobile network’s standard encryption.

  The problem with rogue cell towers is widespread. The FCC is assembling a task force to address the illicit use of so-called IMSI catchers—the devices that pose as rogue cell towers. But the task force will only examine the use of the devices by hackers and criminals—and possibly foreign intelligence agencies—not their warrantless use by law enforcement agencies bent on deceiving judges about their deployment of the powerful surveillance technology.

  IMSI catchers, stingrays or GSM interceptors as they’re also called, force a phone to connect to them by emitting a stronger signal than the legitimate towers around them. Once connected, pings from the phone can help the rogue tower identify a phone in the vicinity and track the phone’s location and movement while passing the phone signals on to a legitimate tower so the user still receives service. Some of the IMSI software and devices also intercept and decrypt calls and can be used to push malware to vulnerable phones, and they can also be used to locate air cards used with computers. The systems are designed to be portable so they can be operated from a van or on foot to track a phone as it moves. But some can be stationary and operate from, say, a military base or an embassy. The reach of a rogue tower can be up to a mile away, forcing thousands of phones in a region to connect to it without anyone knowing.”

 

 

Read more on how to protect yourself from “rogue cell towers” and Stingray spy technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: DHS Lost Track Of Thousands Of Foreign Students Of

“Heightened Concern”

 

 

 

” ABC News reports that the Department of Homeland Security lost track of, and is now pursuing, over 6,000 foreign students who are deemed to be of “heightened concern.” DHS told ABC that about 58,000 foreign students had overstayed their visa but the vast majority are not being sought.

  The student visa program has been plagued with problems for years. Congress targeted the program for reform after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The hijacker who flew a plane into the Pentagon had entered the country on a student visa but did not attend school.

  Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., told ABC, “They just disappear…They get the visas and they disappear.” He said 26 student visa holders were arrested on terror-related charges since Sept. 11, 2001.

  ABC reports that more than 9,000 schools are on the government-approved list for hosting foreign students. Schools are supposed to track the whereabouts of visa holders, and report to DHS if they repeatedly miss class, but not all do. “We know we have a lot of non-accredited universities that are using this system to bring people in, collect money, and not educate them at all,” said Sen. Coburn. “To me, it’s a mess.”

  ABC notes one school — MicroPower Career Institute – that has four campuses on the approved list, even though five of the school’s top officials were indicted on visa fraud charges.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would-Be Robbers Get Their A**es Handed To Them

 

 

 

Left To Obama: Check Spy Agencies

 

 

 

” Activists on the left are demanding President Obama flex his muscle over the country’s spy agencies.

  The CIA’s admission that a handful of officials spied on Senate staffers is proof that the White House has lost control of the intelligence agencies, critics say. They are also discomforted by the continued support Obama has offered for agency Director John Brennan. 

“ This is not an isolated incident,” said Becky Bond, political director with the progressive group Credo.

“ The fact that these intelligence officials are able to keep their job when major breaches or major assaults on the Constitution are made public — let alone all the things that are happening that we don’t know about — it sets a very dangerous precedent,” she added.

  In recent days, more than 42,000 people have signed Credo’s petition calling for Obama to “fire” Brennan, along with agency officials who knew about the snooping on Congress. The petition also calls for the Justice Department to file criminal charges against people involved in the congressional snooping.

  The spying is just “the latest evidence that America’s shadowy intelligence agencies are out of control,” the group said in its petition. “Yet disturbingly, President Obama is still defending Brennan.”

  The administration’s positions have inflamed civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle. But for liberals who supported Obama based in part on his opposition to the powerful security apparatus of the administration of President George W. Bush, the shift is especially painful. 

“ It looks incredibly hypocritical relative to the promises he made over the campaign, and that’s completely been made transparent,” said Demand Progress executive director David Segal. “

 

The Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Satellite To Capture High-Res Public Images Is Ready For Launch

 

 

 

 

 

 

” In mid-June, the U.S. government relaxed its previously strict rules on high-definition satellite imaging, allowing mapping services like Google Maps to scale up to a higher resolution. DigitalGlobe led the charge in changing the U.S. ruling in part because of its upcoming Worldview-3 satellite, which will provide the first public high-resolution photos of our planet.

  Google and Microsoft will be likely beneficiaries of this advanced space imaging since both are DigitalGlobe customers, and the detail this satellite provides is pretty stunning. The company says Worldview-3 will capture sub-50cm resolution, allowing clear views of “manholes and mailboxes,” according to the BBC.

  The satellite will launch at 2:30pm ET on August 13, which you can watch live, because who doesn’t love a good rocket show. “

Gizmodo

Undocumented iOS Features Left Hidden Backdoors Open In 600 Million Apple Devices

 

 

 

 

 

” A well known iPhone hacker and forensic scientist has unearthed a range of undocumented and hidden functions in Apple iOS mobile operating system that make it possible for a hacker to completely bypass the backup encryption on iOS devices and can steal large amounts of users’ personal data without entering passwords or personal identification numbers.
  Data forensics expert named Jonathan Zdziarski has posted the slides (PDF) titled “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices” showing his findings, from his talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE X) conference held in New York on Friday.
  Jonathan Zdziarski, better identified as the hacker “NerveGas” in the iPhone development community, worked as dev-team member on many of the early iOS jailbreaks and is also the author of five iOS-related O’Reilly books including “Hacking and Securing iOS Applications.”
  The results of his overall research on the iOS devices indicate a backdoor into iOS device’ operating system, although it is not at all that much widely open as a number of reports have suggested.
  You can protect your iOS device settings, Messages, Camera Roll, documents, saved games, email account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, and passwords that you enter into websites using iTunes Backup feature. iTunes also allows users to protect their backup data with an encryption.”

Excerpts Of Navy Yard Report: 160 Cameras And No One Watching; Facing Down Shooter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Cameras showed the Navy Yard gunman’s every move, but arriving police didn’t know the control room existed. Employees who had cellphones locked away to protect military secrets had no way to dial 911. Arriving police were stuck outside security gates as the base went on lockdown. Aaron Alexis came face-to-face with several Navy Yard employees who survived, including one who threw a megaphone at the gunman and ran as a shotgun blast sailed by. These are among the dozens of details in a new report obtained by The Washington Post under a Freedom of Information Act request. The report was written by D.C. police to better understand how the shooting unfolded and what lessons they could take away.

   A private security guard was in an office with monitors showing the feeds from 160 security cameras while the shootings occurred. Those cameras, police now know, covered almost every inch of Building 197 and were documenting in real time every move by gunman Aaron Alexis. But the guard locked the door, hid and notified no one that he was there with access to the information. “

 

   The report is a damning indictment of security at the Navy Yard as well as the performance of the Metro DC police and various Federal law enforcement agencies with allegations of many DC officers “self-dispatching” themselves to the scene and thus leaving large swathes of the city unprotected along with mentions of numerous “private photographers” on the scene representing different law enforcement entities .

    The whole episode calls to mind a free-for-all of law enforcement , more interested in covering themselves in glory , securing larger operating budgets and documenting it all for the media than in protecting public safety a la the Dorner affair , Ruby Ridge and Waco . 

Read the whole thing at the Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court Bans Warrantless Cell Phone Searches, Updates Privacy Laws

 

 

 

 

” The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police must obtain warrants before snooping through people’s cellphones, delivering a unanimous decision that begins to update legal understanding of privacy rules to accommodate 21st-century technology.

  Police agencies argued that searching through data on cellphones was no different from asking someone to turn out his pockets, but the justices rejected that, saying a cellphone holds the most personal and intimate details of someone’s life and falls squarely within the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections.

“ The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in the unanimous opinion. “Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.”

  The justices even said police cannot check a cellphone’s call log because it could contain more information than phone numbers, and perusing the call log is a violation of privacy that can be justified only with a court-issued warrant.

  Privacy advocates, meanwhile, said the ruling should ignite a broader rethinking of protections at a time when Americans are putting more personal information online.”

 

 

 

Washington Times continues the story of a small step on the road to victory in the war for privacy rights .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Sensors Will Scoop Up ‘Big Data’ On Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The curled metal fixtures set to go up on a handful of Michigan Avenue light poles later this summer may look like delicate pieces of sculpture, but researchers say they’ll provide a big step forward in the way Chicago understands itself by observing the city’s people and surroundings.

  The smooth, perforated sheaths of metal are decorative, but their job is to protect and conceal a system of data-collection sensors that will measure air quality, light intensity, sound volume, heat, precipitation and wind. The sensors will also count people by measuring wireless signals on mobile devices.”

 

 

 

 

” Some experts caution that efforts like the one launching here to collect data from people and their surroundings pose concerns of a Big Brother intrusion into personal privacy.

  In particular, sensors collecting cellphone data make privacy proponents nervous. But computer scientist Charlie Catlett said the planners have taken precautions to design their sensors to observe mobile devices and count contact with the signal rather than record the digital address of each device.”

 

 

Chicago Tribune has more on the latest intrusions into personal privacy 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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