Simon Asquith

Government Asks Wireless Manufacturers & Carriers About Device Security Updates

At the same time as their counterparts at the Justice Department are trying to circumvent smartphone security, the folks at the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission are talking to manufacturers about how to make these devices more secure. [More]

Court: Facebook Must Face Facial-Recognition Privacy Lawsuit

Court: Facebook Must Face Facial-Recognition Privacy Lawsuit

Six years after Facebook launched a feature that scans uploaded photos to see if it can recognize faces and suggest people to tag, a lawsuit about the social media site’s facial-recognition tech has been given the go-ahead by a federal court. [More]

Is The “Sharing Economy” Sharing Your Data With Law Enforcement?

Is The “Sharing Economy” Sharing Your Data With Law Enforcement?

Airbnb and VRBO are shaking up the hospitality industry by letting anyone with a spare room become an innkeeper. Uber and Lyft are disrupting the for-hire car market by letting you turn your car into a taxi. While these new platforms might be opening up the so-called “sharing” economy, some of them may also be a bit too willing to share user data with law enforcement. [More]

Tell Us All About The Strange Things Facebook Mistakenly Thinks You’re Interested In

Tell Us All About The Strange Things Facebook Mistakenly Thinks You’re Interested In

As you’re probably well aware, Facebook tracks its users all over the internet, building up a profile of their behavior so that advertisers can target them with a higher degree of precision. While sometimes the assumptions Facebook makes about your profile are accurate, other times it results in some very bizarre conclusions about what you are interested in. [More]

Should Caller ID Spoofer Be Held Liable For Users Who Make Harassing Calls?

Should Caller ID Spoofer Be Held Liable For Users Who Make Harassing Calls?

Spoofing phone numbers — the practice of making it appear to the caller ID system that you’re calling from a different number — is not illegal, so long as the spoofing is not done to commit fraud or otherwise perpetrate a crime. But even when the intent of the spoofing crosses the legal line, does the company providing the spoofing service bear any culpability? [More]

Richard Phillips

Can Law Enforcement Force You To Unlock Your Phone With A Fingerprint?

If you’re arrested or a suspect in a crime, the police can’t force you to remember the combination to your safe, or the passcode for your iPhone. But what if that phone can be unlocked with biometric data like a fingerprint? Does the ready access to this information give law enforcement an easy way to open secure devices, or would that be a violation of your constitutional rights? [More]

Tom Raftery

Court Rejects Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit Against Justice Dept.

Twitter has hit a substantial roadblock in its nearly two-year legal battle against restrictions on what it can reveal to users about requests for data from federal law enforcement agencies. Yesterday, a U.S. District Court dismissed a substantial chunk of Twitter’s case, though the social media platform will be given an opportunity to try again. [More]

photographybynatalia

Secretive U.S. Spy Court Approved All 1,457 Surveillance Requests In 2015

The federal court set up to review government requests for surveillance involving issues of national security is either rubber-stamping everything that it sees, or the FBI and the National Security Agency are incredibly good at filing these requests. A new report claims that the court approved every single one of the 1,457 requests it received last year. [More]

Vincent Lee

Why Won’t The FBI Tell Apple How It Unlocked iPhone?

A month ago, the FBI dropped its legal effort to compel Apple to unlock a dead terrorist’s iPhone after a third party provided the agency with a way to bypass the device’s encryption. While the federal law enforcer is okay with using what it learned to aid other criminal investigations, it doesn’t look like the FBI is jumping at the chance to let Apple in on the secret. [More]

William Hook

The End Is Just The Beginning In The Apple Vs. DOJ Legal Battle Over Encryption

As you may have heard, on Friday afternoon the U.S. Department of Justice backed off its efforts to compel Apple to aid in unlocking a criminal suspect’s iPhone — for the second time in only a few weeks. While some have heralded this as a significant victory for Apple (or at least as a loss for the government), it’s really just a tiny, unresolved spat in what looks to become a protracted legal battle for both sides. [More]

Judge: Ashley Madison Customers Can’t Be Anonymous If They Want To Sue Cheating Site

Judge: Ashley Madison Customers Can’t Be Anonymous If They Want To Sue Cheating Site

It’s understandable why someone who uses a website to cheat on their significant would want anonymity — mostly, they don’t want to get caught. But the former Ashley Madison customers seeking to sue over the massive data hack last year that exposed personal information for 30 million users or so will have to attach their names to the lawsuit, a federal judge ruled recently. [More]

Did U.S. Use Secret Court To Force Tech Companies To Weaken Encryption?

ash

Legislators in D.C. are currently considering a law that would compel tech companies to have weak device and software encryption so that law enforcement can snoop when necessary, while federal prosecutors have repeatedly used a 227-year-old law to try to force Apple and Google to work around existing security on their products. A new lawsuit seeks to find out if the government has also been using a highly secretive court to force tech companies to assist in breaking their own encryption. [More]

Oculus Executive: We’ll Answer Questions About Rift’s Privacy Policy “In Due Time”

Oculus Executive: We’ll Answer Questions About Rift’s Privacy Policy “In Due Time”

Virtual reality company Oculus doesn’t seem to be too concerned about questions some people have had about the privacy policy for its new Rift headset, with a company executive downplaying those concerns and saying that they’ll be answered “in due time.” [More]

Prime Number

Apple: Why Should We Help Unlock iPhone Of Someone Who Has Already Pled Guilty?

With the U.S. Department of Justice still attempting to compel Apple to unlock the iPhone of a drug suspect, the tech giant is asking the court why this is so important when the former owner of that iPhone has already pled guilty. [More]

Even Anonymous Users Can Be Identified With Only Two Pieces Of Data From Social Media Apps

photographybynatalia

If you think you’re evading the constantly tracking eye of the Internet by using throw-away email addresses and obscure screen names to register your social media accounts and other apps, you’re probably wrong. A new study demonstrates how simple it can be to correctly identify someone using otherwise anonymous data. [More]

JeepersMedia

Microsoft Sues Justice Dept.; Wants To Be Able To Tell Users When Govt. Reads Their Files

Before the advent of cloud computing, law enforcement would often have to physically go into an office or home and seize computers and servers of criminal suspects and their cohorts — an obvious tip-off that an investigation is taking place. But now, with so much data living far from the devices used to access it, the government can seize that information without having to load up a van full of hardware, leaving the target of the investigation none the wiser. What’s more, the government can try to block cloud-computing companies from telling affected customers about these seizures, which Microsoft believes is a violation of the Constitution. [More]

(713 Avenue)

Petition Against Encryption-Weakening Bill Crosses 40,000 Signatures In Two Days

Usually, D.C. moves slowly. There’s a kind of plodding, methodical rhythm to Congress and the federal agencies, and very little turns on a dime. So it stands out that less than 48 hours after introducing a bill into the Senate, over 42,000 people have already objected to basically everything about it. [More]

photographybynatalia

4 Things You Need To Know About New Bill Requiring Weak Encryption On Devices

A week after it was first reported that Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Richard Burr (NC) were prepping a bipartisan bill that would compel tech companies to build their devices and software with weakened encryption or built-in backdoors for law enforcement, the actual bill has been introduced. Here’s what you need to know about why consumer and privacy advocates are concerned.
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