Sunday, May 12, 2013
FBI Pushing Hard for Realtime Email, Gchat, Skype, and Dropbox Spying Powers
The FBI wants more power. That's not any particular kind of surprising, since the FBI always wants more power, but this push is notable for what's it's after: real time spy privileges for your online communication.
Right now, government agencies can force ISPs and phone companies to install surveillance gear in their networks thanks to a law passsed in 1994 called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act. But that doesn't include access to email, cloud services, or chat programs, and because of how some services like Google Talk are set up, many can't be accessed network-side anyway. FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann said in a talk to the American Bar Association last week that the intelligence community has made getting the power to monitor those types of services in real time a "top priority this year."
For now, the FBI can only access archives of your email and transcripts, per the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. But as Slate points out, that's not the only empowerment the FBI already has here:
Authorities can use a "Title III" order under the "Wiretap Act" to ask email and online chat providers furnish the government with "technical assistance necessary to accomplish the interception." However, the FBI claims this is not sufficient because mandating that providers help with "technical assistance" is not the same thing as forcing them to "effectuate" a wiretap.
You can see both sides of this thing. On one hand, yes, our authorities absolutely need the tools and lateral ability to work with the way people communicate now. Other hand, man, that's a lot of power to cede, especially if it ends up being regulated more loosely than traditional wiretaps, which are already questionable. [Slate]
Image by Tischenko Irina/Shutterstock
Thursday, April 18, 2013
|The head of the Israel Police,|
Major General Yohanan Danino
(AFP Photo / Jack Guez)
Israeli police head to US to aid in Boston Marathon bombing investigation
Published: Apr 17, 2013, 08:11 PM
The investigation into Mondays deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon has officially gone international: [why? what's wrong with our FBI?] law enforcement officials from Israel have been sent to the United States to assist in the probe.
Israel Police Chief Yohanan Danino says he has dispatched officials to Boston, Massachusetts, where they will meet with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and other authorities, the Times of Israel Reports.
Citing an earlier report published by the newspaper Maariv, Times of Israel writes that Danino has dispatched police officers to participate in discussions that will center on the Boston Marathon bombings and deepening professional cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of both countries.
The paper reports that Israeli law enforcement planned the trip before the deadly pair of bombings on Monday that has so far claimed three lives, but the discussions will now shift focus in order to see how help from abroad can expand the investigation.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Federal Judge finds unconstitutional the National Security Letter non-disclosure provisions of the Patriot Act
Posted By: MrFusion
Date: Friday, 15-Mar-2013 19:19:49
I suppose a higher court will reverse this, but even an occasional glimmer of judicial sanity is welcome...
Gagging recipients of National Security Letters found unconstitutional
Ruling against key Patriot Act provision a setback for the FBI.
by Timothy B. Lee - Mar 15 2013
A California federal judge has struck down a key provision of the law governing National Security Letters (NSLs), controversial government subpoenas whose use was expanded by the Patriot Act. Under current law, the recipient of an NSL can be legally prohibited from disclosing not only the contents of the request but the fact that he received a request at all. That, ruled Judge Susan Illston on Thursday, was inconsistent with the First Amendment.
The ruling is a setback for the FBI, which issues tens of thousands of NSLs every year. Judge Illston has given the government 90 days to appeal before it takes effect.
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Sunday, January 13, 2013
Spy agency ASIO wants powers to hack into personal computers
New powers allowing Australian spies to hack into personal computers would target suspected terrorists, says a spokesman for the Attorney-General’s Department.
SPY agency ASIO wants to hack into Australians’ personal computers and commandeer their smartphones to transmit viruses to terrorists.
The Attorney-General’s Department is pushing for new powers for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to hijack the computers of suspected terrorists.
But privacy groups are attacking the ”police state” plan as ”extraordinarily broad and intrusive”.
A spokesman for the Attorney-General’s Department said it was proposing that ASIO be authorised to ”use a third party computer for the specific purpose of gaining access to a target computer”.
”The purpose of this power is to allow ASIO to access the computer of suspected terrorists and other security interests,” he told News Limited.
”(It would be used) in extremely limited circumstances and only when explicitly approved by the Attorney-General through a warrant. More at news.com.au
Friday, December 7, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center has developed a new piece of spyware to map your own house from an infected smartphone via its camera. It utilizes the GPS, accelerometers and other phone hardware to visually map out and spatially piece together the inside layout of your own home says The Washington Times:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/2/new-software-uses-smartphone-camera-spyingThe malware, dubbed “PlaceRaider,” “allows remote hackers to reconstruct rich, three-dimensional models of the smartphone owner’s personal indoor spaces through completely opportunistic use of the camera,” the researchers said in a study published last week.
Ahhh....the new iPhone 5 panoramic camera should be most useful to the Navy! -AK