While a number of the largest websites and telecom companies have recently published transparency data detailing the number of data requests made about consumers, these companies have been very limited with regard to what they could say about federal requests that fall under the header of national security. In response to a call for more transparency from several major Internet businesses, the government is changing its restrictions. [More]
The state police in Massachusetts are scolding the people of that state for getting their priorities wrong. Lots of people took and posted pictures of two teens riding on the back of a tractor-trailer outside of Boston. What they failed to do was use the phones that we presume they took those photos with and actually call the police. [More]
Somewhere between “no non-customers in the bathroom, no exception” and operating a mini-homeless shelter in the middle of your restaurant is a happy medium. We don’t think that compromise is the approach that a Tennessee restaurant took, which was to track down a non-customer using her license plate information and send her a bill for the restroom fee. $5. [More]
Back in December, a U.S. Appeals court gave the thumbs-up to telecommunications companies working with the National Security Agency to monitor phones and email. Phone companies are also apparently totally cool with selling access to your phone activities to other law enforcement agencies willing to fork over pre-set prices. [More]
Police have told a North Carolina town that they could stop responding to 911 calls and investigating misdemeanors unless it provides more money to cover gas costs. The reduction in services could be the next cuts in Smithfield, after the force halved the number of patrol cars on duty during certain times. [More]
Law enforcement officers put themselves at great risk, perform a vital public service and give society the peace of mind to be able to function with confidence. Even so, it has been said that some cops have been known to do things that could be classified as annoying or abusive. [More]
A federal appeals court ruled that the people have the right to record police officers when they’re on the job in public. A U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals judge found that a Massachusetts law used to ban such actions is unconstitutional. [More]
If a law enforcement trade association gets its way, a federal law will require internet service providers to maintain logs of all web addresses customers visit for 18 months. The information would be used to prosecute crimes. [More]
Someday kids in Lakewood, Colo. will become crotchety old men who complain about how kids have it easy, saying “Why, in my day, police used to come and pepper spray second graders if they got out of line.” [More]
After a damning Star Ledger investigation exposed how a local doctor was the steroid dealer for “hundreds” of New Jersey cops and firefighters, lawmakers there have put forth a bill to crack down on the practice. The law would add steroids to the list of drugs law enforcement is randomly tested for and personnel would need to get a health checkup before they could be prescribed anabolic steroids and growth hormones. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the problem is not limited to the Garden State. [More]
Derrick Humbert, 38, became the 55th Floridian to die from a Taser. He was riding his bicycle and officers asked him to stop. Instead, he rode around the corner and fled through a yard. The officers in pursuit tased him as he tried to scramble over a fence, shooting 50,000 volts of electricity into his body. 28 minutes later, he was in a coma in the ambulance, and was pronounced dead at the hospital. [More]
An Indiana University grad student has made public an audio recording of a Sprint employee who describes how the company has given away customer GPS location data to cops over 8 million times in less than a year. Ars technica reports that “law enforcement [officers] could log into a special Sprint Web portal and, without ever having to demonstrate probable cause to a judge, gain access to geolocation logs detailing where they’ve been and where they are.” Update: Sprint says the 8 million figure refers to individual pings of GPS data, and that the number of individuals involved is in the thousands. [More]
Sure, there’s probably a perfectly innocuous explanation why a woman called the Home Depot in Jacksonville, Illinois and asked how to remove a large quantity of blood from her carpets. But that doesn’t stop people’s imaginations from running wild, and didn’t stop the employee who took the call from alerting the police.
A man in Connecticut brought his computer to his local Apple Store for repair due to a software issue (likely a—gasp!—virus) but when he returned to pick it up, learned that the Mac Genius had reported him to the police after finding child pornography on the hard drive.
Christopher Soghoian over at Cnet is reporting that Turkish police may have used violence to get the encryption keys of one of primary ringleaders in the TJ Maxx credit card theft investigation. The suspect, Maksym Yastremskiy, is apparently a “major figure in the international sale of stolen credit card information.”
The reader who sent Go Daddy an email asking why they shut down RateMyCop.com received a response in which they emphatically denied any censorship—this was all about a customer exceeding his contracted server usage limits and nothing else, they say. Read their full response after the jump.
Yesterday, Go Daddy pulled the plug on RateMyCop.com, which has been criticized by law enforcement officials for allegedly putting police officers in danger by listing their names and in some cases badge numbers. Visitors can then add comments and post critiques or praise about specific cops in their area. The website collected its officer data via public information requests, and no personal information is used, nor are undercover agents revealed. Still, law enforcement officials are upset at the exposure. When the site’s owner, Gino Sesto, called Go Daddy, he was first told it was removed due to “suspicious activity,” but then the reason was changed by a supervisor to an exceeded bandwidth cap, which Sesto disputes. Update: Go Daddy responded to our reader’s email and said taking the site offline had nothing to do with censorship.