The D.C. Council on Thursday is prepared to consider whether to raise parking ticket fines by $5 and extend the hours for when meters in “premium zones,” which include the busiest commercial districts, will be in effect, from the current 10 p.m. until midnight. Parking ticket fines currently range from $25 to $250, depending on the violation.
The sheriff in San Bernardino County—east of Los Angeles County—has deployed a stingray hundreds of times without a warrant, and under questionable judicial authority.
In response to a public records request, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department (SBSD) sent Ars, among other outlets, a rare example of a template for a “pen register and trap and trace order” application. (In the letter, county lawyers claimed this was a warrant application template, when it clearly is not.) The SBSD is the law enforcement agency for the entire county, the 12th-most populous county in the United States, and the fifth-most populous in California.
This template application, surprisingly, cites no legal authority on which to base its activities. The SBSD did not respond to Ars’ request for comment.
“This is astonishing because it suggests the absence of legal authorization (because if there were clear legal authorization you can bet the government would be citing it),” Fred Cate, a law professor at Indiana University, told Ars by e-mail.
“Alternatively, it might suggest that the government just doesn’t care about legal authorization. Either interpretation is profoundly troubling,” he said.
The documents sent to Ars by the SBSD’s county attorneys also show that since acquiring a stingray in late 2012, the agency has used it 303 times between January 1, 2014 and May 7, 2015.
“The template is likely to mislead judges who receive applications based on it because it gives no indication that the Sheriff’s Department intends to use a stingray,” he wrote by e-mail.
“We have seen similarly misleading applications submitted to judges by police departments across the country,” he continued. “Judges have no hope of ensuring that use of stingrays complies with the Fourth Amendment if they are kept in the dark about law enforcement’s intent to use a stingray. When police hide the ball from judges, our justice system cannot ensure justice.”
A detective’s court testimony Monday revealed that Baltimore law enforcement is spying on residents at an incredible rate without a warrant — and doing their best to hide it.
Detective Michael Dressel testified that Baltimore law enforcement have used “sting rays”–devices that can track personal cell phone data and location–without court orders, The Baltimore Sun reports. Police said they have used sting rays 4,300 more than times since 2007.
“This is scandalous,” Tim Lynch, the Cato Institute’s Director for the Project on Criminal Justice, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Police agencies have misled the public about how the stingray devices have been used and how often. We need to find out what has been happening in other cities around the country. FBI officials and police chiefs need to come clean about this.”
The NYCLU says documents show the sheriff’s office has a confidentiality agreement with the FBI that allows it to maintain almost total secrecy over the records for this device, including that the FBI can request the sheriff’s office dismiss criminal prosecutions rather than risk compromising the secrecy of how the Stingray is used.]
“Stingrays are an advanced surveillance technology that can sweep up very private information, including information on innocent people,” said NYCLU Western Region Director John Curr III. “If the FBI can command the Sheriff’s Office to dismiss criminal cases to protect its secret stingrays, it is not clear how the $350,000 we are spending on stingray equipment is keeping the people of Buffalo safer.”
Update: NYT catches up on Stingray
A powerful new surveillance tool being adopted by police departments across the country comes with an unusual requirement: To buy it, law enforcement officials must sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from saying almost anything about the technology.
Any disclosure about the technology, which tracks cellphones and is often called StingRay, could allow criminals and terrorists to circumvent it, the F.B.I. has said in an affidavit. But the tool is adopted in such secrecy that communities are not always sure what they are buying or whether the technology could raise serious privacy concerns.
The confidentiality has elevated the stakes in a longstanding debate about the public disclosure of government practices versus law enforcement’s desire to keep its methods confidential. While companies routinely require nondisclosure agreements for technical products, legal experts say these agreements raise questions and are unusual given the privacy and even constitutional issues at stake.
Update: WaPost wakes up on Stingray
The Tallahassee police have used the StingRay or a similar device in 250 investigations over a six-year period from mid-2007 through early 2014, according to a list of cases compiled by the Tallahassee Police Department and provided to the American Civil Liberties Union.
That’s 40 or so instances a year in a city of 290,000, a surprisingly high rate given that the StingRay’s manufacturer, Harris Corp., has told the Federal Communications Commission that the device is used only in emergencies. At least 48 state and local law enforcement agencies in 20 states and the District of Columbia have bought the devices, according to the ACLU.
The secrecy surrounding the device’s use has begun to prompt a backlash in cities across the country. In Baltimore, a judge is pushing back against the refusal of police to answer questions while testifying. In Charlotte, N.C., following a newspaper investigation, the state’s attorney is reviewing whether prosecutors illegally withheld information about the device’s use from defendants.
In Tacoma, Wash., after a separate newspaper investigation found that judges in almost 200 cases had no idea they were issuing orders for the StingRay, the court set new rules requiring police to disclose the tool’s use. The state legislature is weighing a bill to regulate police use of the equipment.
The bureau’s position on Americans’ privacy isn’t surprising. The Obama Administration has repeatedly maintained that the public has no privacy in public places. It began making that argument as early as 2010, when it told a federal appeals court that the authorities should be allowed to affix GPS devices on vehicles and track a suspect’s every move without court authorization. The Supreme Court, however, eventually ruled that warrants are required. What’s more, the administration has argued that placing a webcam with pan-and-zoom capabilities on a utility pole to spy on a suspect at his or her residence was no different from a police officer’s observation from the public right-of-way. A federal judge last month disagreed with the government’s position, tossing evidence gathered by the webcam that was operated from afar.
In their letter, Leahy and Grassley complained that little is known about how stingrays, also known as ISMI catchers, are used by law enforcement agencies. The Harris Corp., a maker of the devices from Florida, includes non-disclosure clauses with buyers. Baltimore authorities cited a non-disclosure agreement to a judge in November as their grounds for refusing to say how they tracked a suspect’s mobile phone. They eventually dropped charges rather than disclose their techniques. Further, sometimes the authorities simply lie to judges about their use or undertake other underhanded methods to prevent the public from knowing that the cell-site simulators are being used.
Such programs have demonstrated very little success, but at least they don’t directly harm teens. Other responses are more dangerous. Teen girls can be prosecuted under child pornography laws for taking nude photos of themselves. As one judge said, incredulously, “It seems like the child here [is]…the victim, the perpetrator, and the accomplice. I mean, does that make any sense?”
If sexting is framed as dangerous in itself, girls who sext become perpetrators. And that means the state can target them for punishment. Among other consequences, this means sexting laws become a way parents can use law enforcement to squash relationships they don’t like. (Hasinoff points to instances in which parents used sexts to prosecute their children’s same-sex boyfriends or girlfriends.)
Parents, understandably, may not be eager to hear that their children are sexting, just as they may not be eager to have their kids date. But sexting isn’t innately harmful or pathological or evil, and the worst-case consequences are less dire than for many other forms of teen sexual expression. Criminalizing it doesn’t make sense.
I am uncertain of what, if any, legal solution there is for a morals issue. You cannot legislate morality (drugs, prostitution, gambling) and criminalizing teens, branding as a “Sex Criminal” for ill-thought actions will not ‘help’ them.
Way too much “…cannon on my hip” mentality.
Learn the lesson now and adapt or continue on and decrease your standing in public opinion. That is not good for the community or the Police.
What made Ada difficult also made it secure and reliable—in simplified programing terms, it was hard to get code past Ada’s exacting compiler, but once you did, it was extremely reliable and resistant to many types of attacks. Could that reliability and security be combined with an easier development path?
The part involved is the so-called taptic engine, designed by Apple AAPL, -1.47% to produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist. After mass production began in February, reliability testing revealed that some taptic engines supplied by AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., of Shenzhen, China, started to break down over time, the people familiar with the matter said. One of those people said Apple scrapped some completed watches as a result.
Angela Ahrendts has told Apple Store staff that the Apple Watch is unlikely to be available for in-store purchases before June – but they should expect the usual ‘blockbuster launches’ in retail stores for future products.
Loading an app required the watch to pull tremendous amounts of data from iPhones, Patel said, adding that Apple had told him upcoming software updates would address performance issues.
“The maps app, surely the answer to wandering pedestrians’ dreams, is so slow it makes me want to pull out my paper Rand McNally,” the Journal’s Fowler said.
Re/Code’s Lauren Goode said the watch’s battery life was not nearly as long-lasting as some other wearable devices. CNET’s Scott Stein said the battery’s recharge time was slow.
“…If you can tolerate single-day battery life, half-baked apps and inevitable obsolescence, you can now wear the future on your wrist,” Fowler said.
“Hey, what time is it?”
“Ummmm I dunno. I didn’t charge my watch today.”
Apple Watch is attempting to be the technology jack-of-all-trades of smartwatches — making big trade-offs in exchange, namely battery life. And the Apple Watch is closed and proprietary — working only with Apple’s smartphones.
The Apple Watch is expected to last only 18 hours between charges, yet the Band can go roughly two days on a single charge.
Idiots. This turns a small, clever, device of convenience (no more sun dials) into an albatross on the wrist.
It was what kept coming to mind as she stood before the cameras once again, under fire once again, aggrieved once again by Americans’ refusal to see and simply trust how well intentioned and virtuous and good for the country she is:
At 11:35 p.m. eastern time last night, Hillary Clinton offered her first response to the email scandal that has made front-page news over the last several days, in which it was revealed that Hillary Clinton relied exclusively on a personal, privately controlled email account to conduct business while Secretary of State, contrary to federal records rules.
“I want the public to see my email, ” she wrote in the Tweet. “I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”
‘Sure! AB-SO-LUT-LEY! Every single email that I provide. Take ’em, go ahead, read ’em and weep.’
In 2012, congressional investigators asked the State Department for a wide range of documents related to the attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The department eventually responded, furnishing House committees with thousands of documents.
But it turns out that that was not everything.
The State Department had not searched the email account of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because she had maintained a private account, which shielded it from such searches, department officials acknowledged on Tuesday.
It was only last month that the House committee appointed to investigate Benghazi was provided with about 300 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails related to the attacks. That was shortly after Mrs. Clinton turned over, at the State Department’s request, some 50,000 pages of government-related emails that she had kept on her private account.
The White House, in its first response to the news, said it frowned on the practice of officials using their personal email accounts.
“What I can tell you is that very specific guidance has been given to agencies all across the government, which is specifically that employees of the Obama administration should use their official email accounts when they’re conducting official government business,” the White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said.
Pres. Jarret does not care. [And probably prefers it this way. Likely an unofficial policy.] The word “should” used by the WH Talk Face, shows that it is optional.
“However, when there are situations where personal email accounts are used, it is important for those records to be preserved consistent with the Federal Records Act.”
Update: (but, of course) Top Clinton Aides Used Secret Email Accounts at State Dept.
“Her top staffers used those Clinton email addresses” at the agency, said the source, who has worked with Clinton in the past. The source named two staffers in particular, Philippe Reines and Huma Abedin, who are said to have used private email addresses in the course of their agency duties. Reines served as deputy assistant secretary of state, and Abedin as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Both rank among Clinton’s most loyal confidantes, in and out of the State Department.
We were able to independently verify that Abedin used a ClintonEmail.com address at some point in time. There are several email addresses associated with Abedin’s name in records maintained by Lexis-Nexis; one of them is firstname.lastname@example.org. An email sent to that address today went through without bouncing.
However, Clinton’s team pointed to former State Department officials who defended her use of a personal email address and dismissed potential concerns.
Shortly after the Time story was published, Business Insider reached out to Clinton’s spokespeople. They put us in touch with two former State Department officials who argued Clinton was careful to utilize the address in a manner that went above and beyond regulatory requirements and ensured her communications were preserved.
The former officials, who requested anonymity in order to freely discuss Clinton’s emails and State Department policy echoed the notion the former secretary’s personalized email address was not kept secret. They said she used it to communicate with over 100 department staffers, other officials, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Granny must have fallen out of favor with The Illuminati.
The only Supreme Court case in which the Third Amendment did any heavy lifting is Griswold v. Connecticut, a case that’s not about troop-quartering, but about birth control. The Supreme Court held that the Third Amendment’s “penumbra” (a legal term that predates the Griswold case) extended to protecting the privacy of the home from government intrusions. “Would we,” asked the court, “allow the police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives?” The very idea, said the court, was “repulsive.”
Likewise, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in Engblom v. Carey that the Third Amendment protects a “fundamental right to privacy” in the home. Since then, courts haven’t done much to flesh these holdings out, but I wonder if they should. In the 18th century, when the Third Amendment was drafted, “troop quartering” meant literally having troops move into your house to live at your expense and sleep in your beds. It destroyed any semblance of domestic privacy, opening up conversations, affection, even spats to the observation and participation of outsiders. It converted a home into an arena.
Didn’t Segway get the same kind of “It’s Going To Replace____” articles
The big event on 9 March will showcase the Apple Watch; and it will be launched to consumers in April. Cook, needless to say, is already wearing his new Apple Watch. He couldn’t even contemplate living without it anymore, he says.
Increasingly, judges and lawmakers recognize that criminalizing every case, especially those involving common teenage behavior, might not be the best response.
Some states have passed sexting-specific statutes to lessen the penalties against minors engaged in sexting. For example, Texas has passed a law that will impose a misdemeanor on a minor’s first sexting offense. Under the statute, a minor may be sentenced to community supervision if he or she completes a state-sponsored sexting education course.
The State has to figure out a better way to deal with the issue. The adult statutes applied to horny teenager kids (do you remember when you were 16?) is not working. And; Parents, do a better job.
Security firm Avast said that one of the apps involved – a free version of the card game Durak – had been downloaded up to 10 million times, according to Google Play’s own counter.
Google has now blocked access.
But one expert noted that the problem might be less widespread than feared.
A few days ago, the Justice Department agreed to settle the case, paying her $134,000 for her troubles. As with many settlements, this one includes the government insisting that the settlement is not an admission of any guilt for its actions — though it also leaves open that Arquiett could seek to get some attorneys’ fees as well. Both Facebook and Senator Leahy had criticized the government for this action, and the DOJ promised to review this kind of practice — though that review is still “ongoing.” Either way, in this case, the DOJ realized that it was best to just pay up rather than let the case go much further.
According to Judge Steven C. Fucci, while a criminal defendant can’t be compelled to hand over a passcode to police officers for the purpose of unlocking a cellular device, law enforcement officials can compel a defendant to give up a fingerprint.
The Fifth Amendment states that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” which protects memorized information like passwords and passcodes, but it does not extend to fingerprints in the eyes of the law, as speculated by Wired last year.
A team of CHP officers is now under investigation for a years-long “game” in which they stole and traded private photos from the phones of women they arrested.
It was created surreptitiously by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, who seized Prince’s phone in July 2010 after arresting her, mined it for photographs, then used those pictures to forge a fraudulent profile which allowed authorities to impersonate Prince in an investigation into an alleged New York drug ring. Until, of course, Prince found out — and sued.
The result is an ongoing New York federal civil suit that Prince, who also goes by Sandra Arquiett, has filed against the United States and DEA Agent Timothy Sinnigen. The case, which Buzzfeed’s Chris Hamby first reported, has been sent for mediation by the judge in the case. It hints at the murky boundaries of social media privacy and raises questions as to how far law enforcement can go when using new technology to investigate cases.
To all the Chicken Little government prosecutors and agents:
We don’t need protection from straw-men pedophiles or kidnappers, we need protection from The Government.
The government stored the numbers, the time and date of the call and the length, but the database did not include names or other personal identifying information or the content of the conversation. The government said it collected calls between Americans and people in countries that had connections to international drug trafficking and related criminal activities. Depending on how broadly the government interpreted that definition, it could have collected information on calls to many countries around the world.
But, of course.
Looks like police in Chicago have a tricked out surveillance truck equipped with cell site simulators, a.k.a. Stingrays, that force nearby phones to send data to cops instead of to phone company cell towers. Did those cops get a warrant for that?
— Page May (@may20p) December 5, 2014
UPDATE: Anonymous has released a video featuring what appear to be Chicago police radio transmissions revealing police wiretapping of organizers’ phones at the protests last night the day after Thanksgiving, perhaps using a stingray. The transmissions pointing to real-time wiretapping involve the local DHS-funded spy ‘fusion’ center.
In Raqqa, a vendor who asks to be identified as Qasim says a can of Red Bull costs around 250 Syrian lira (about $1.50), while in Deir Ezzor, a tube of Pringles cost about $5.50. Both are well above the average $3 per day that most Syrians in the area now live on.
Local businessmen buy the crisps and non-alcoholic beer from regime-held areas, and add an extra 10 per cent to the price to cover the bribes at army checkpoints. Energy drinks and chocolates are brought over the border from Turkey.
Locals say Isis foreign fighters have a basic salary of at least $215 dollars a month – twice the average income civilians can hope to earn. On top of that are shares of war loot, a $3 daily food stipend, and frequent bonuses.
FLOTUS would never approve of this diet. Shame on them.
Security researcher GironSec has pulled Uber’s Android app apart and discovered that it’s sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you’ve got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn’t have permission to do. It’s the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well.
Taxi-busting ride share app Uber might have an operating model that suits customers better than traditional, regulated taxi services – but the company’s aggressively disruptive (and frequently illegal) business practices don’t seem to stop at harming the taxi industry.
The controversy stemmed from remarks by Uber Senior Vice President Emil Michael on Friday night as he spoke of his desire to spend $1 million to dig up information on “your personal lives, your families,” referring to journalists who write critically about the company, according to a report published Monday night by Buzzfeed. The same story said a different Uber executive once had examined the private travel records of a Buzzfeed reporter during an e-mail exchange about an article without seeking permission to access the data.
What was ol’ Elron Hubbards mode of operation for critics:
Noisy investigations are used by the Church of Scientology to intimidate, harass, and attack their enemies. The Church used to openly label such people as Fair Game. The goal of a noisy investigation may not be to find out anything, but to harass the person being investigated. The procedure is to contact friends, neighbours, co-workers, etc. and inform them that they are investigating crimes by the target person.
On Friday, shortly after arriving to work at the Drury Plaza Hotel, Mark stated that he was called to the office of Jeff Baker, the General Manager. Upon arriving Mr. Baker advised Mark that he needed to remove the photos and video from Facebook. Mark immediately complied and removed the post. Mark then continued and finished his shift.
A private company decides to insert itself into a situation where no one — not even the DHS — needed to step in. Having achieved its goal of suppression, one would think the story ends here. But it doesn’t.
Saturday, Mark stated after being at work no more than 30 minutes, he was again called to the General Manager’s office. Waiting for him was Jim Bohnert, Director of Security for Drury Hotels Company, LLC. Mark told ASN that Mr. Bohnert advised him that his Facebook posts almost cost the company a $150,000 contract with the Department of Homeland Security and because of this he was being terminated.
Jim Bohnert — formerly of the Secret Service and the St. Louis Police Department — had more to say on the matter. He called the former military member a “terrorist” and told him he had “dishonorably served his country” by posting pictures of vehicles parked in a garage where any guest or employee of the hotel could have seen them.
Where was this? Drury Plaza Hotel Chesterfield, MO very near….wait for it…..Ferguson.
Don’t worry citizens, DHS has their ass covered.
The 58-42 vote was two short of the 60 needed to proceed with debate. Voting was largely along party lines, with most Democrats supporting the bill and most Republicans voting against it. The Republican-controlled House had previously passed its own NSA bill.