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Category: Privacy


DDoS Attacks Against Governments More Powerful And Popular Than Ever

 

 

 

” When the protesters hit the streets, expect DDoS attacks to hit the Web. 

  Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are being used against government targets more than ever before, according to new research from Internet infrastructure firm Verisign. The attacks are increasingly powerful, cheap, and easy to deploy.

  DDoS attacks work by flooding a target—a bank, for instance, or a popular website—with data in order to make it crash or unusable for users. It’s not only an easy-to-use, cheap, and effective weapon for hackers, it’s also a goldmine for security firms paid to defend against the attacks.

  DDoS attacks against public-sector targets grew to account for 15 percent of all attacks recorded by the company at the end of 2014. The average size of attacks grew in size by 245 percent, Verisign found.

  DDoS-for-hire services can cost as little as $2 per hour, delivering an easy-to-use but potentially powerful punch to any Internet-connected devices on earth. 

  The DDoS defense market—where Verisign is a major player—is projected to hit $1.6 billion within two years.”

 

Daily Dot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Russian Researchers Expose Breakthrough U.S. Spying Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

  That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyber-espionage operations.

  Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said. (http://reut.rs/1L5knm0)

  The firm declined to publicly name the country behind the spying campaign, but said it was closely linked to Stuxnet, the NSA-led cyber-weapon that was used to attack Iran’s uranium enrichment facility. The NSA is the agency responsible for gathering electronic intelligence on behalf of the United States.”

 

Lots more on the latest State spying revelations at Yahoo News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draft U.S. Rules On Commercial Drones Keep Some Limits On Use

 

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. aviation regulator proposed rules on Sunday for commercial drone flights that would lift some restrictions but would still bar activities such as the delivery of packages and inspection of pipelines that have been eyed by companies as a potentially breakthrough use of the technology.

  The long-awaited draft rules from the Federal Aviation Administration would require unmanned aircraft pilots to obtain special pilot certificates, stay away from bystanders and fly only during the day. They limit flying speed to 100 miles per hour (160 kph) and the altitude to 500 feet (152 meters) above ground level.

  The rules also say pilots must remain in the line of sight of its radio-control drone, which could limit inspection of pipelines, crops, and electrical towers that are one of the major uses envisioned by companies.

  Commercial drone operators would need to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration. But they would not need to undergo the medical tests or flight hours required of manned aircraft pilots.”

 

Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet Groups In Tricky Position Over US Net Neutrality

 

 

 

 

The problem comes with the form the rules will take. With heavy nudging from the White House, the FCC has opted to repurpose an authority it was given under an old telecoms law, known as Title II, to make it apply to the internet era.

  Like all deeply technical issues that become political footballs, it has not been hard for the rival camps to turn this into opposing talking points. Depending on where you stand, it is either bold action to protect an open internet or inappropriately sweeping, utility-style regulation.

  What is indisputable is that the legislation the FCC is relying on was designed for circuit-switched telephone networks in a different age. The only way to adapt it to modern times is to suppress certain parts of Title II and implement it piecemeal. The FCC promises a light touch: in particular, it says it will avoid price regulation or any requirements that might force operators to unbundle their networks.

  If history is any guide, a challenge in the courts will follow. There is simply too much at stake for the regulations not to be tested. And, as was the case with the last approach to net neutrality, it is not beyond the courts to reject the FCC’s compromise as unduly arbitrary.

  This is where things could become dicey for companies such as Google and Facebook. Who knows how some future FCC would interpret its new Title II powers, or whether a court would order a different implementation of the law. Price regulation of the internet’s interconnection agreements would always be a looming threat.

  It is not just the impact in the US itself that is at stake. There is also the question of what message US regulators are about to send to the rest of the world. The risk is that Washington will be seen to be giving a nod of approval to the idea of extending traditional telecoms rate regulations to the internet.”

 

 

Read the whole piece at Financial Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Charges Iowa Widow Over How She Deposited Husband’s Cash

 

 

 

” An Iowa widow is charged with a crime and had nearly $19,000 seized from her bank after depositing her late husband’s legally earned money in a way that evaded federal reporting requirements.

  Janet Malone, 68, of Dubuque, is facing civil and criminal proceedings under a law intended to help investigators track large sums of cash tied to criminal activity such as drug trafficking and terrorism. But some members of Congress and libertarian groups have complained that the IRS and federal prosecutors are unfairly using it against ordinary people who deposit lawfully obtained money in increments below $10,000.

  At issue is a law requiring banks to report deposits of more than $10,000 cash to the federal government. Anyone who breaks deposits into increments below that level to avoid the requirement is committing a crime known as “structuring” — whether their money is legal or not.

  The IRS has increasingly used civil forfeiture proceedings to seize money from individuals and small businesses suspected of structuring violations, according to a review by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian group. The agency seized $242 million in 2,500 cases from 2005 to 2012 — a third of which arose from nothing more than cash transactions under $10,000. Nearly half was returned after owners challenged the action, often a year later.”

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Millionth View

Privacy And Our Millionth View

 

 

 

Coming Soon

 

 

 

 

  Greetings readers , it is with some measure of both pride and pleasure that we here at YouViewed announce that sometime within the next two weeks or so , assuming viewership rates remain somewhat stable , we will be receiving our one millionth view . 

   That being said , we have a question for our fellow WordPress bloggers . Do any of you know how we could identify who provides us with that notable milestone ? As time draws nearer the editors will be able to narrow the time of the event down to the individual day but is there a way to track individual readers and the timing of their visits ?

   As I write this it dawns on me that the whole concept of tracking individual readers , visiting times and their views is completely antithetical to what we here at YouViewed stand for and gives me pause . Forgive us for considering the notion of tracking our readers . It was an ill-conceived notion . 

   In light of the privacy conundrums that have only now become self-evident to us we would still very much like to be able to share our celebration of our millionth view with the reader responsible for that view , whether publicly or privately . If any readers have any ideas on how or if it is possible to identify the millionth viewer we would greatly appreciate the tip . Thank you , editor 

 

 

 

Update: We reached our millionth view on Wednesday night without a hint of who that viewer was so the privacy issue is moot . What isn’t moot though is this blogger’s desire to find a job so if any of you know of some work available for a blogger with some editing and social media skills please contact us at mail@youviewed.com . Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Massive Utah Cyberattacks — Up To 300 Million Per Day — May Be Aimed At NSA Facility

 

 

 

” Five years ago, Utah government computer systems faced 25,000 to 30,000 attempted cyberattacks every day.

  At the time, Utah Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires thought that was massive. “But this last year we have had spikes of over 300 million attacks against the state databases” each day: a 10,000-fold increase.

  Why? Squires says it is probably because Utah is home to the new, secretive National Security Agency computer center, and hackers believe they can somehow get to it through state computer systems.

” I really do believe it was all the attention drawn to the NSA facility. In the cyberworld, that’s a big deal,” Squires told a legislative budget committee Tuesday. “I watched as those increases jumped so much over the last few years. And talking to counterparts in other states, they weren’t seeing that amount of increase like we were.” “

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Why The US Government Is Terrified Of Hobbyist Drones

 

 

A Phantom 2 consumer drone is equipped with three pounds of mock explosive at a January 16 DHS conference.

Photo credit: Daniel Herbert

 

 

” If you want to understand why the government freaked out when a $400 remote-controlled quadcopter landed on the White House grounds last week, you need to look four miles away, to a small briefing room in Arlington, Virginia. There, just 10 days earlier, officials from the US military, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FAA gathered for a DHS “summit” on a danger that had been consuming them privately for years: the potential use of hobbyist drones as weapons of terror or assassination.

  The conference was open to civilians, but explicitly closed to the press. One attendee described it as an eye-opener. The officials played videos of low-cost drones firing semi-automatic weapons, revealed that Syrian rebels are importing consumer-grade drones to launch attacks, and flashed photos from an exercise that pitted $5,000 worth of drones against a convoy of armored vehicles. (The drones won.) But the most striking visual aid was on an exhibit table outside the auditorium, where a buffet of low-cost drones had been converted into simulated flying bombs. One quadcopter, strapped to 3 pounds of inert explosive, was a DJI Phantom 2, a newer version of the very drone that would land at the White House the next week.

  Attendee Daniel Herbert snapped a photo and posted it to his website along with detailed notes from the conference. The day after the White House incident, he says, DHS phoned him and politely asked him to remove the entire post. He complied. “I’m not going to be the one to challenge Homeland Security and cause more contention,” says Herbert, who runs a small drone shop in Delaware called Skygear Solutions. “

 

Wired has the whole scoop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March Of The Mini-Drones

 

 

 

 

 

” They’re the ultimate in narcissism and they’re literally taking off. Meet the new drones that are in fact flying selfie sticks — loving, attentive toys programmed to snap photos and video of you from all directions.

  Some fit the palm of your hand and fly indoors and overhead, taking social snaps at a party or family get together.

  Bigger outdoor drones take overhead video of you skiing down a slope, surfing the waves and on a motorbike, trekking off-road.

  One takeout from this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is that consumer drones are going beyond flying machines that you pilot manually. New autonomous drones can be preprogrammed; they take off to follow a set flight path or follow you, maintain a certain distance, height or nominated angle for the best snaps and video.

  Meet Nixie, a tiny, wearable drone that attaches to your arm. To take a selfie, you detach and throw. Nixie will travel away from you, stop, turn around and take a snap before flying back to your arm.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The UK’s Torquing Group showed off another tiny device that it labelled an autonomous, intelligent swarming nano drone. It’s called ZANO and it’s big business, attracting $4.4 million in Kickstarter.com funding. The first deliveries are due in June.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” ZANO costs about $300 and has several flying modes. Fly it manually by tilting your phone and tell it to hold a set position while you remotely take snaps, or choose “follow me” mode and watch it follow you at a set distance taking photos and video.

  Torquing Group says ZANO has obstacle avoidance technology — it can sense if it’s strayed too far from your smart device. And if it runs low on battery it will return to you automatically.

  Obstacle avoidance technology itself is rapidly developing, so hopefully there will soon be fewer cases of drones crashing into trees. As more fly drones begin to populate what will become progressively crowded overhead space, this technology will be a necessity.

  Some drones have unusual applications. Germany’s railways has sought to use them to detect and identify graffiti vandals and taggers ruining its rail property. Mexico’s drug cartels have reportedly used drones to fly drugs across the US border for several years. They typically earn $2 million per flight in sales.

  It’s unsurprising that one would eventually crash. It happened just this week when a drone carrying 2.7kg of methamphetamine came down in a shopping centre car park at Tijuana.

  The increasingly diverse use of drones also is a problem for regulators. Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority requires they must be flown less than 400 feet above the ground, during daylight conditions, inside uncontrolled airspace, and away from airports and people.

  CASA this year however is rewriting these older rules to address the huge increase in drones in Australia. Retailers estimate that at least 100 new drones come online each week.

  It’s not just small drones that take flying selfies, larger outdoor drones such as AirDog and Hexo+ do it too. It’s early days in judging effectiveness, but the promise is for professional overhead filming previously only obtainable from a helicopter.

  In the case of AirDog, a quadcopter, its operator dons a waterproof tracker so it can detect where they are and follow them. You preprogram the distance and orientation of the drone, for the stills and video you want. Unfortunately, with our current weaker Aussie dollar exchange rate, the AirDog costs $1500. And you’ll need to attach your own GoPro camera.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The six-bladed Hexo+ costs a tad less, and uses a smartphone Wi-Fi signal to track you. Again, it’s BYO GoPro and if you’re near water you’ll need to put your phone in a waterproof case. Again you pre-program the angle of shots, but this time the Hexo+ promises to properly frame you in every shot.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” There are a myriad of other drones. For sheer smallness, there’s the Proto-X, a tiny quadcopter that’s just 45mm x 45mm and weighs 11g. You launch it from your fingertips and control it with a 2.4 Gigahertz radio transmitter that has bright LED lights. The Proto-X is so tiny it would be hard to see without lights.

  Proto-X claims to be the world’s smallest quadcopter and costs around $50. It doesn’t have a camera and you must fly it manually. You’d be wise to fly it indoors or you risk losing it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” There’s also the new Micro Drone 3.0, slightly larger than Proto-X, but one of the first tiny drones to market. The first model debuted in 2010. The drone ­includes a camera and is highly manoeuvrable.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Small drones have recently become popular, thanks to Parrot’s minidrone rolling spider released at last year’s CES. The 55g drone has large plastic wheels that lets it run along the ground, walls and ceilings as well as fly. It has a vertically-oriented camera that captures low resolution images.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Not all drones are built with equal features. Go online and you’ll see a myriad of mini drones on eBay and Amazon costing less than $60. Consumers need to be aware of the different feature sets.

  Drones can have a high or low resolution camera, or none. There’s varying battery life and recharge time. Some fly for less than six minutes, some such as the X6 quadcopter claim flight times of 20-40 minutes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Some drones are easily damaged, others can survive collisions with walls. Some drones have on-board memory for storing vision, others stream to your phone, some do both.

  There’s also the question of the controlling device. Some drones are operated by an RF controller, similar to a model aircraft controller. Others are controlled from a smartphone using Wi-Fi, and let you watch streamed vision from the drone on the smartphone screen.

  There’s also bigger consumer drones such as the upcoming Parrot Bebop and Chinese manufacturer DJI’s Inspire One. They are a story on their own.

  At the other end of the spectrum, there are mega drones built for industry and capable of carrying payloads of 9-10 kg. At CES, Shenzhen-based Harwar showed off drones designed for reconnaissance during bushfires, transporting emergency medicines, public security, monitoring road traffic, surveying and search and rescue.

  As drone traffic multiplies, regulators will need to step in. More and more drones are a headache for regulators. In Australia, CASA could be forced to specify not only where drones fly, but at what height. Should drones crisscross the city delivering pizzas, books and other commercial goods be granted exclusive use of a certain airspace height? Will police or emergency services drone be granted special fast sky laneways?

  These fast, affordable drones are with us now, so regulation will quickly become a legal imperative.”

 

Thanks to The Australian.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re Tracking You Everywhere You Drive

 

 

 

” Towing companies are a necessary evil when it comes to parking enforcement and property repossession. But in the Google Earth we now inhabit, tow trucks do more than just yank cars out of loading zones. They use license-plate readers (LPRs) to assemble a detailed profile of where your car will be and when. That’s an unnecessary evil.

  Plate readers have long been a tool of law enforcement, and police officers swear by them for tracking stolen cars and apprehending dangerous criminals. But private companies, such as repo crews, also photograph millions of plates a day, with scanners mounted on tow trucks and even on purpose-built camera cars whose sole mission is to drive around and collect plate scans. Each scan is GPS-tagged and stamped with the date and time, feeding a massive data trove to any law-enforcement agency—or government-approved private industry—willing to pay for it.

  You’ve probably been tagged at the office, at a mall, or even in your own driveway. And the companies that sell specialized monitoring software that assembles all these sightings into a reliable profile stand to profit hugely. Brian Hauss, a legal fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), says: “The whole point is so you can figure out somebody’s long-term location. Unless there are limits on how those transactions can be processed, I think it’s just a matter of time until there are significant privacy violations, if they haven’t already occurred.”

  (How Is This Even Legal? License-plate-reader companies don’t have access to DMV registrations, so while they can track your car, they don’t know it’s yours. That information is guarded by the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994, which keeps your name, address, and driving history from public view. Mostly. There are plenty of exceptions, including for insurance companies and private investigators. LPR companies say only two groups can use its software to find the person behind the plate: law-enforcement agencies and repossession companies. In addition, the encrypted databases keep a log of each plate search and allow the ability to restrict access.)

  The companies that push plate readers enjoy unregulated autonomy in most states. Vigilant Solutions of California and its partner, Texas-based Digital Recognition Network, boast at least 2 billion license-plate scans since starting the country’s largest private license-plate database, the National Vehicle Location Service, in 2009.

  In total, there are at least 3 billion license-plate photos in private databases. Since many are duplicates and never deleted, analytics can paint a vivid picture of any motorist. Predicting where and when someone will drive is relatively easy; software can sort how many times a car is spotted in a certain area and, when fed enough data, can generate a person’s driving history over time.”

 

Read the rest at Popular Mechanics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Malware Can Hijack A Drone In Seconds

 

 

 

 

 

” If the White House wants to keep drones off the lawn, they might want to give Rahul Sasi a call. He’s developing malware that can hijack a drone in just a few short seconds.

  He calls his malware (fittingly enough) Maldrone, and it doesn’t gain control over its victims the way that previously-demonstrated attacks do. Most others have leveraged the APIs — like the one provided by Parrot for developers who want to tinker with their AR Drones — to do the hijacking.

  But a “Parrot drone is a toy,” Rahul says, and he went to work on an attack that was a bit more generic, able to wreak havoc on multitudes of drones regardless of whether or not the manufacturer exposes anything via an API. Maldrone is the result, and it’s impressive even though it’s very much a work in progress.”

 

    Read more about Maldrone here . In other drone news , DJI has upgraded their firmware creating a 15.5 mile radius no-fly zone around Washington DC .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… Clean Your Camera Lens!

 

 

 

 

 

” The NSA has issued a Public Announcement today saying that everyone who owns a laptop, cell phone, smart TV, and any other modern social device with video recording, is advised to clean their camera lens regularly.

  An unnamed member of the NSA has released the statement through their Twitter account adding that “It’s really not good for morale when you see a chick in her bedroom through the laptop, and the camera lens blurs the image because of a smudge or something, especially when she’s pretty hot.” The NSA Twitter account later stated that “if you are under a 5 out of 10 on the hotness scale then you can disregard the advisory.”

  This is not the first very open statement the NSA has made in recent months when they released a tweet saying, “You know what? Everyone knows we’re watching, so we might as well save billions on secrecy and be blatant about it. I mean, the cat’s out of the bag and we, as a tax-powered institution, should just admit it.”

  There have also been hundreds of complaints recently from all collective genders about receiving random and untraceable phone texts while at home, asking the recipients things like, “Turn around a few times” and “It’s a little warm for that sweater, don’t you think?”

  When asked about the recent unprofessional attitude they officially state that “it’s 2015, so get with the times, this is the new standard of government professionalism.”

 

Thanks to Chedoh at The People’s Cube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Your State Protect Your Privacy In The Digital Age?

 

Privacy Rights In The Digital Age

 

 

 

” New technologies make it possible for state and local law enforcement agencies to engage in surveillance that used to be prohibitively expensive and/or effectively impossible. The ACLU has been working with legislators across the country to put in place rules to ensure that we can take advantage of these new technologies without becoming a surveillance society in which our every movements are tracked, monitored, and scrutinized by the authorities. Much of our work to that end focuses on: law enforcement access to electronic communications content, location tracking,automatic license plate readers, and domestic surveillance drones.

  If we can address these four issue areas, we will go a long way toward protecting privacy in the digital age. This map provides a snapshot of the states that have already provided privacy protections for some or all of them. Of course, the devil is in the details of these laws, and we encourage you to review the bill text or to check out the ACLU’s blog for more information on just how much protection there is in your state.”

 

Thanks to the ACLU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Spies On Millions Of Cars

 

 

 

 

” The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

  The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document. But the database’s use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects, say people familiar with the matter.

  Officials have publicly said that they track vehicles near the border with Mexico to help fight drug cartels. What hasn’t been previously disclosed is that the DEA has spent years working to expand the database “throughout the United States,’’ according to one email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Many state and local law-enforcement agencies are accessing the database for a variety of investigations, according to people familiar with the program, putting a wealth of information in the hands of local officials who can track vehicles in real time on major roadways.

  The database raises new questions about privacy and the scope of government surveillance. The existence of the program and its expansion were described in interviews with current and former government officials, and in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through a Freedom of Information Act request and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It is unclear if any court oversees or approves the intelligence-gathering.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Surrendered Private Data Of WikiLeaks Journalists To US Government

 

 

 

 

Google handed over confidential data of WikiLeaks’ staff to the U.S. government, prompting the whistleblower organization to send a letter to both the search engine giant and the U.S. Department of Justice seeking an explanation.

  WikiLeaks announced on its website on Monday that its investigations editor Sarah Harrison, section editor Joseph Farrell, and senior journalist and spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson have received a notice that Google had handed over all their emails and metadata to the U.S. government, which has issued warrants alleging “conspiracy” and “espionage” against the journalists. The charges carry a prison sentence of up to 45 years.

“ The US government is claiming universal jurisdiction to apply the Espionage Act, general Conspiracy statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to journalists and publishers – a horrifying precedent for press freedoms around the world,” WikiLeaks said on its website.”

 

Read more at IBT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illinois Says Rule-Breaking Students Must Give Teachers Their Facebook Passwords

 

 

 

 

 

” School districts in Illinois are telling parents that a new law may require school officials to demand the social media passwords of students if they are suspected in cyberbullying cases or are otherwise suspected of breaking school rules.

  The law, which went into effect on January 1, defines cyberbullying and makes harassment on Facebook, Twitter, or via other digital means a violation of the state’s school code, even if the bullying happens outside of school hours.

  A letter sent out to parents in the Triad Community Unit School District #2, a district located just over the Missouri-Illinois line near St. Louis, that was obtained by Motherboard says that school officials can demand students give them their passwords. The full letter is embedded below.

” If your child has an account on a social networking website, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, ask.fm, etc., please be aware that State law requires school authorities to notify you that your child may be asked to provide his or her password for these accounts to school officials in certain circumstances,” the letter says.”

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Police Radars Can ‘See’ Inside Homes

 

 

 

 

” At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

  Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.

  The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.

  Current and former federal officials say the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages. But privacy advocates and judges have nonetheless expressed concern about the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies may be using the radars — and the fact that they have so far done so without public scrutiny.

” The idea that the government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what’s inside is problematic,” said Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist. “Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have.”

  Agents’ use of the radars was largely unknown until December, when a federal appeals court in Denver said officers had used one before they entered a house to arrest a man wanted for violating his parole. The judges expressed alarm that agents had used the new technology without a search warrant, warning that “the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.”

By then, however, the technology was hardly new. Federal contract records show the Marshals Service began buying the radars in 2012, and has so far spent at least $180,000 on them.

  Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said officials are reviewing the court’s decision. He said the Marshals Service “routinely pursues and arrests violent offenders based on pre-established probable cause in arrest warrants” for serious crimes.

  The device the Marshals Service and others are using, known as the Range-R, looks like a sophisticated stud-finder. Its display shows whether it has detected movement on the other side of a wall and, if so, how far away it is — but it does not show a picture of what’s happening inside. The Range-R’s maker, L-3 Communications, estimates it has sold about 200 devices to 50 law enforcement agencies at a cost of about $6,000 each.”

 

 

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAA Grants Permits For Drones To Monitor Crops, Photograph Real Estate

 

 

 

 

 

” The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday issued permits to use drones to monitor crops and photograph properties for sale, marking the first time permission has been granted to companies involved in agriculture and real estate.

  The exemptions to the current ban on commercial drone flights were granted to Advanced Aviation Solutions in Star, Idaho, for “crop scouting,” and to Douglas Trudeau of Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Arizona.

  Advanced Aviation Solutions plans to use its 1.5-pound, fixed-wing eBee drone to make photographic measurements of farm fields, determine the health of crops and look for pests. The aim is to save farmers time walking through fields. The drone also can carry sensors that pick up information invisible to the naked eye, which can help determine which fields need watering.”

 

 

    Will this latest licensing effort by the Feds morph into yet another example of cronyism and reward towards favored , connected corporations ? Of course . Notice that the film industry was one of the first to gain their exemption from the State .

 

CNS News has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook Copyright Hoax Goes Viral Again

 

 

 

 

 

” A fake Facebook copyright message claiming to protect users’ media has once again been making the rounds on the social network.

  The message claims to put copyright protections on a user’s posts after they share the status update.

  It typically reads:

” In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!”

  Here’s the thing: Facebook doesn’t own your posts. Under the social network’s privacy policy, they have the right to distribute and share the things a user posts, subject to their privacy and application settings. (Check out Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities here.)

  The hoax doesn’t even have its facts right. A quick Google search will also show that there’s is no such thing as the Berner Convention. (Whoever originated it probably meant to write the Berne convention, which is an international agreement protecting literary and artistic works).

  So breathe a big sigh of relief. Your Facebook profile is fine. If anything, use this as an opportunity to double check your privacy settings by clicking on the lock icon in the upper-right corner of your profile.”

 

Thanks to ABC News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Aware Of The Ziplock Method For DUI Checkpoints? Watch, Learn, And Be Amazed

 

 

 

 

” In a video posted to youtube this week, a novel and simply astonishing example of how to deal with DUI checkpoints, was illustrated by the guys from FairDUI.org.

  Sobriety checkpoints — also known as DUI checkpoints — are the most common roadblocks you might encounter. They function as a general purpose investigatory tactic where police can get a close look at passing motorists by detaining them briefly. A roadblock stop is quick, but it gives police a chance to check tags and licenses, while also giving officers a quick whiff of the driver’s breath and a chance to peer into the vehicle for a moment.

  Remember that your constitutional rights still apply in a roadblock situation. Though police are permitted to stop you briefly, they may not search you or your car unless they have probable cause that you’re under the influence or you agree to the search. As such, you are not required to answer their questions or admit to breaking the law.

  In the video, a man hangs his registration, insurance, and driver’s license from his rolled up window inside a ziplock freezer bag, in order to proceed through a DUI checkpoint.”

 

The Free Thought Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

License Plate Reader Technology Looks At Faces

 

 

 

 

” The leading suppler of automated license plate reader technology in the US (ALPR, also known as ANPR in Europe) is expanding its offerings to law enforcement. Vehicle owners have already had their movements tracked by the company Vigilant Solutions, which boasts 2 billion entries in its nationwide database, with 70 million additional license plate photographs being added each month. Now passengers can also be tracked if they hitch a ride with a friend and are photographed by a camera aimed at the front of the car. The Livermore, California-based firm recently announced expanded integration of facial recognition technology into its offerings.”

 

 

 

 

 

” ” The new Vigilant Mobile Companion app expands the benefits of license plate recognition and facial recognition technologies to all areas of the agency,” a Vigilant Solutions press release claimed. “Using many of the new analytic tools that Vigilant has released in its Learn product over the last couple of years, the app makes these tools even more easy to use and accessible on a mobile device. The app also features Vigilant’s FaceSearch facial recognition which analyzes over 350 different vectors of the human face.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cop’s Obama Rant Embarrasses Officials, Spurs 2014 Nanny of the Year Win

 

 

 

” Our nation’s control freaks got even freakier in 2014–from jetpacks to parking apps, eco-ATMs and powdered alcohol, they were determined to kill anything cutting edge.

  They targeted everything from dogs in parks to births at home, and they’ll sic cops on you for hoarding or smelling bad. You might even get busted for doing things that are legal–like vaping while driving, warning motorists about speed traps, or putting up Christmas lights.

  And whether it’s yanking chocolate milk, boogie boards, homemade libraries or sunscreen(?!), the control freaks are (all together now!): Doing it for the children.

  It’s fitting, then, that 2014’s Nanny of the Year recipients justified their power grab on the same grounds (although the real reason may have more to do with protecting city officials from future caught-on-tape embarrassments). “

 

Reason.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Christmas Eve, NSA Quietly Releases 12 Years Worth Of Internal Reports

 

 

 

” This holiday season, the NSA participated in a longstanding media tradition—dumping a large bit of news during a busy period of time when many likely weren’t paying attention.

  The US spy agency responded to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union by quietly releasing 12 years worth of internal reports on Christmas Eve. Several included reports were previously withheld illegally, and they became the subject of the FOIA lawsuit in 2009.

  The new trove of information has inspired a different breed of headlines, such as “Highlights From Newly Released NSA Oversight Reports Reveal Bumbling Ineptitude But No Evidence Of Systematic Abuse” from Forbes. The newly discovered errors ran the gamut, including American data being e-mailed to unauthorized recipients, data being kept on unsecured computers, and sensitive information being sent to the wrong printer.”

 

 

 

 

 

Ars Technica has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hackers Released An Enormous Cache Of 13,000 Passwords And Credit Cards

 

 

 

 

 

” On Friday, a group claiming affiliation with the loose hacker collective Anonymous released a document containing approximately 13,000 username-and-password combinations along with credit card numbers and expiration dates.

  The stolen personal information was released in a massive text file posted the document sharing site Ghostbin. The compromised sites run the gamut from pornography to gaming to online shopping. 

  Some of the most significant leaks came from online video gaming networks like Xbox Live, the Sony PlayStation Network, and Twitch.tv. There was information from accounts at Walmart, Amazon, and Hulu Plus, as well as keys to computer games like The Sims 3 and Dragon Age: Origins, and a whole lot of porn sites.

  Some Anonymous members have pushed back on the assertion that this leak had anything to do with the hacktivist group. Anonymous has no official leadership or centralized organizational structure; instead, it functions as a loose affiliation of computer hackers that join together in support of various causes, ranging from battles with the Church of Scientology to doxing members of the KKK. If hackers branding themselves as Anonymous carry out a particular action, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any of the same people who have carried out any other Anonymous-branded action.

  Judging from the document, the following sites were compromised or, at the very least, had some of their user data stolen—possibly through malware installed onto users’ personal devices or other nefarious methods.

 

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • PlayStation Network
  • Xbox Live
  • Twitch.tv
  • Origin.com
  • Hulu Plus
  • Dell
  • Brazzers
  • lKnowThatGirl
  • Mofos
  • DigitalPlayground
  • Wicked
  • Twistys
  • Fantyasyhd
  • Puremature
  • Tiny4k
  • MotherFuckerXxx
  • Playboy
  • CastingCouchX
  • BangBros
  • POVD
  • BabesNetwork
  • ArtisticAddiction
  • X-art
  • Shutterstock
  • Platinumclub.com
  • AprilJordan.com
  • DareDorm
  • PrettyPetites
  • NaughtyAmerica
  • PornAccess
  • RookieBabe
  • GFMembersPass
  • HungarianHoneys
  • PleaseBangMyWife “

 

Daily Dot has more