Most folks don’t get to say “no” to the FBI. But Apple did just that last week, when they very publicly took a stand and, in an open letter to consumers, refused to create new code that could allow the feds to hack into an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. The spat has only deepened over the last few days, and brought issues of consumer privacy and encryption straight into mainstream conversation.
One of the biggest stories in tech these days has its beginning in tragedy: the mass shooting in San Bernardino late last year. The FBI’s investigation includes the iPhone 5C one of the shooters used, but they can’t access all the data on it because of the phone’s built-in encryption. Two months in to the investigation, the feds have ordered Apple to alter the phone so that law enforcement can crack it with brute force password attacks. However, in an unusually bold move for business, Apple’s answer to the FBI is a big fat “no.”
Hundreds of thousands of Time Warner Cable customers received alerts this week telling them to change their email passwords after law enforcement officials notified TWC that hackers may have gotten their hands on this sensitive information.
Daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel operate under a “games of skill” exemption to a federal law that prohibits banks from transferring money to most online gambling operations. But the Department of Justice is reportedly taking a closer look at how these companies actually work to see if their business models cross a legal line. [More]
If you plan to go on a scamming spree, you probably shouldn’t use your actual email address when completing the transactions. That was ultimately the undoing for a Georgia man who federal authorities say duped more than 200 Macy’s stores in 31 states into issuing fraudulent refunds — and all without having to drive to the mall. [More]
There’s a bad problem hitting the internet out west: someone’s been deliberately slicing through the cables that carry data between providers. And after looking into it for months, the FBI still has basically no idea who’s doing the damage or why. While everyone worries about high-tech hack attacks taking down networks, the attacks highlight that all it really takes is one determined person with a couple of cheap tools.
Oscar-Winning Director Of Snowden Documentary Trying To Find Out Why She’s Been Detained At Airports So Much
Laura Poitras recently won the Academy Award for CITIZENFOUR, her documentary on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but the director claims that she’s long been hassled by U.S. federal authorities for years, resulting in multiple unmerited airport detentions. Now she’s suing the government to find out exactly why. [More]
If you live in the Sacramento area and experienced shoddy Internet service yesterday, there’s a chance it wasn’t your provider’s fault. Federal investigators say someone has been attacking high-capacity Internet cables for a least a year, with the most recent attack occurring on Tuesday.
Major League Baseball is a huge business and much of a team’s financial success depends on its ability to win on the field. So the idea of one team possibly breaching another team’s network to get information on player personnel isn’t very different from two rival manufacturers trying to steal trade secrets. That’s why the FBI is investigating claims that the St. Louis Cardinals might have hacked into the computer network for the Houston Astros’ front office. [More]
Last October, Twitter sued the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney General, the FBI, and FBI Director James Comey, because the social media platform believed it has a First Amendment right to be fully transparent with its users about the number and nature of national security requests it receives from the government. But with the recent passing of the USA FREEDOM Act, the judge in the case says there may be no need for the lawsuit to move forward. [More]
While U.S. lawmakers recently passed legislation that would end certain types of invasive snooping by federal agencies, the Justice Dept. continues to push electronics manufacturers for backdoors that would allow law enforcement to access encrypted devices. A pair of trade groups representing a wide variety of electronics and online businesses have written President Obama asking him to consider the “global implications” of these efforts. [More]
After the news yesterday that the Internal Revenue Service reportedly suspects Russian identity thieves were behind a breach that allowed thieves to access information for approximately 100,000 taxpayers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says it’s now investigating the incident.
A week after a government report identified security weaknesses within the airline industry including the possibility that newer airplanes with interconnected WiFi systems could be hacked, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Transportation Security Administration issued an alert warning airlines to be vigilant about monitoring for such threats. [More]
The foundation behind Wikipedia, along with several other high-profile non-profit organizations, has sued the National Security Agency challenging its “suspicionless seizure and searching of internet traffic” in the U.S., claiming that this mass data collection goes beyond what the law allows the NSA to collect and that it violates protections afforded by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. [More]
So much business is conducted over e-mail now that in some offices, it might be routine to receive an e-mail from your boss telling you where to wire a large amount of money. That’s why the Business E-mail Compromise scam, or CEO Scam, is so plausible and devastatingly effective. Since the last time we discussed this scam, scammers stole more than $17 million from one firm in a single transaction. [More]
Days after TurboTax resumed e-filing of all state tax returns following a third-party security expert’s finding that fraudulent activity reported by state tax officials did not result from a breach of Intuit’s own systems, federal regulators announced they would take a look for themselves. [More]
Last November, a Wall Street Journal report pulled back the covers on a U.S. Marshals Service program that uses small planes carrying devices that mimic cellphone towers, allowing them to track criminals but also scoop up information from countless other phones of citizens not involved in any crimes. After months of trying to get more details on the program, one consumer privacy advocacy group has sued the Dept. of Justice hoping to compel the release of this information. [More]
Last October, in response to efforts by the federal government to limit what websites can reveal about national security requests regarding its users, Twitter sued the Justice Dept., U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the FBI and its Director James Comey. The DOJ fired back with a recent filing asking the court to dismiss most of the complaint, saying that federal guidelines do not restrict Twitter’s First Amendment rights. [More]