Apple Gave FBI Access to Rioter’s iCloud Account

· Andrew Orr · Link

According to court documents, Apple gave the FBI access to a rioter’s iCloud account who was accused of setting police cars on fire in Seattle this summer.

As FBI officers were investigating a Seattle man suspected of setting police cars on fire, they turned to Apple for help […] Apple disclosed the name, email, phone number, and residential address associated with Jackson’s account, then subsequently granted the FBI access to the contents of Jackson’s account in response to a court-ordered search warrant.

Apple was served a lawful subpoena in regards to a lawful investigation, as it does frequently. But the main point is that it contrasts with claims from President Trump and A.G. Barr that Apple hinders investigations because they can’t unlock iPhones. Apple can’t do that, but if a person backs content up to iCloud, then it can be accessed.

FBI Worries That Doorbell Cameras Could Give Early Warning of Police Searches

· Andrew Orr · Link

A leaked FBI bulletin reveals that doorbell cameras like Ring are being used to alert people when police show up for searches. It’s a funny turn of events since law enforcement agencies actively encourage people to install these cameras.

Subjects likely use IoT devices to hinder LE [law enforcement] investigations and possibly monitor LE activity. If used during the execution of a search, potential subjects could learn of LE’s presence nearby, and LE personnel could have their images captured, thereby presenting a risk to their present and future safety.

Senate Vote Lets FBI View Your Browsing History Without Warrant

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of U.S. senate

As part of a reauthorization of the Patriot Act, the Senate voted to let the FBI access Americans’ web browsing history without a warrant. I could say a lot of bad things about this, but this is the part that disappoints me the most:

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT) attempted to remove the expanded powers from the bill with a bipartisan amendment.

But in a shock upset, the privacy-preserving amendment fell short by a single vote after several senators who would have voted “Yes” failed to show up to the session, including Bernie Sanders. 9 Democratic senators also voted “No,” causing the amendment to fall short of the 60-vote threshold it needed to pass.

Just one vote.

The FBI is Collecting Your Data Through its ‘FitTest’ App

· Andrew Orr · Link

The FBI has been promoting its fitness app called FitTest to help people exercise at home. It’s also collecting your data.

…an FBI spokesperson reiterated the app’s privacy statement, adding that “the app does not gather or save any personal information other than what you select for your profile.”

But the app’s privacy statement makes room for some tracking: When FitTest accesses pages from the official FBI website, it says, “fbi.gov’s privacy policy applies.” The fbi.gov privacy policy states that “individuals using this computer system are subject to having all of their activities monitored and recorded.”

I can’t wait for the FBIPhone and FBIMessage apps.

FBI Investigates Over 1,000 Cases of Chinese IP Theft

· Andrew Orr · Link

At the China Initiative Conference, government officials from the FBI and DoJ spent four hours talking about theft of U.S. intellectual property by China.

“The threat from China is real, it’s persistent, it’s well-orchestrated, it’s well-resourced, and it’s not going away anytime soon,” John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, opened the conference.

“This one to me really stands out as the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Apple and the FBI – TMO Daily Observations 2020-01-21

· Kelly Guimont · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Bryan Chaffin and Andrew Orr join host Kelly Guimont to discuss Apple’s decision not to encrypt backups, and what data Apple can share.

FBI Wants Apple’s Help to Unlock iPhones Again

· Andrew Orr · News

The FBI is again asking Apple’s help to unlock iPhones. This time it’s part of an investigation into the shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

FBI Shares 7 Tech Tips to Keep You Safe

· Andrew Orr · Link

The FBI’s Oregon office shared seven tech tips to keep people safe over the holidays, like not letting devices auto-connect to free Wi-Fi. It’s well worth the read.

The kids are getting out of school this week and you are packing your bags for the big trip to the in-laws. Now is not the time you want to talk about cyber security, but we do have a few travel tips to keep you safe while you are on the go.

FBI Draft Resolution Calls for End-to-End Encryption Ban

· Andrew Orr · Link

An FBI draft resolution for Interpol calls for a ban on end-to-end encryption. It’s for Interpol’s 37th Meeting of the INTERPOL Specialists Group on Crimes Against Children.

A draft of the resolution viewed by Ars Technica stated that INTERPOL would “strongly urge providers of technology services to allow for lawful access to encrypted data enabled or facilitated by their systems” in the interest of fighting child sexual exploitation. Currently, it is not clear whether Interpol will ultimately issue a statement.

Remember when I mentioned the Four Horses of the Infocalypse? Terrorists, drug dealers, pedophiles, and organized crime. Four fears to use as a way to push their agenda. I know it’s a delicate issue. These groups are definitely ones that the majority of society would want to stop. But removing end-to-end encryption for everyone isn’t the way to do that.

ACLU Sues FBI Over Facial Recognition

· Andrew Orr · News

The ACLU is suing the FBI over its use of secret facial recognition technology. The agency as a database of roughly 640 million faces.

Encryption Hasn't Stopped the FBI From Fighting Child Porn

· Andrew Orr · Link

Despite arguments from governments that encryption would hinder their ability to fight criminals, this clearly isn’t the case. In a recent example one of the biggest child porn sites on the dark web was recently taken down.

No backdoors were needed to track down the owner of the server or hundreds of the site’s visitors. For that matter, the FBI didn’t even need a warrant. The FBI did not deploy its infamous NIT (Network Investigative Technique) to track down site users. The flaw was the payment system linked to the site. Users may have thought their Bitcoin transactions couldn’t be traced back to them, but they were wrong.

The Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse: Terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, organized crime.

FBI to Monitor Social Media for Domestic Terrorism Threats

· Andrew Orr · Link

The FBI wants to monitor Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for domestic terrorism threats in real time.

The FBI ultimately wants an interactive tool that can be accessed by all headquarters division and field office personnel via web browsers and through multiple devices. Interested vendors should have the capabilities to offer the agency the ability to set filters around the specific content they see, send immediate and custom alerts and notifications around “mission-relevant” incidents, have broad international reach and a strong language translation capability and allow for real-time geolocation-based monitoring that can be refined as events develop.

Just ask the NSA.

Chuck Schumer Calls For Investigation into FaceApp

· Andrew Orr · Link

U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called on the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate FaceApp over privacy and national security concerns.

The viral smartphone application, which has seen a new surge of popularity due to a filter that ages photos of users’ faces, requires “full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data,” which could pose “national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens,” Schumer said in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and FTC Chairman Joe Simons.

A misconception around the app is that is transmits all of your photos. It doesn’t; it only uses photos that you willingly upload.

Governments Are Terrible at Securing Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of locks to suggest security and encryption

It absolutely infuriates me when agencies like the FBI, and governments like Australia, the U.S., Germany, and more want us to break encryption or circumvent it with a back door. As Mathew Gault writes, they are completely inept at securing data. Even the NSA, which likes to think it’s the “world leader in cryptology” got hacked.

Regular phone and internet users remain vulnerable, forced to take individual protective measures, like a poor wage-worker without health insurance who’s told to secure her nest egg by cutting out morning lattes.