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 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.”
I can’t wait for the FBIPhone and FBIMessage apps.
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.
Bryan Chaffin and Andrew Orr join host Kelly Guimont to discuss Apple’s decision not to encrypt backups, and what data Apple can share.
Apple had plans to introduce end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups, but canceled it two years ago after the FBI complained.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are joining Apple in its encryption battle with the government.
Attorney General William Barr has asked Apple to unlock the iPhone used by the shooter in Pensacola, Florida.
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.
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.
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.
The ACLU is suing the FBI over its use of secret facial recognition technology. The agency as a database of roughly 640 million faces.
Charlotte Henry and Bryan Chaffin join host Kelly Guimont to discuss former FBI counsel Jim Baker’s stance on encryption and new AirPods Pro.
Jim Baker, former General Counsel for the FBI from 2012-2014, has seen the light on encryption, embracing the importance of keeping our data secure from bad actors, even though it makes law enforcement’s job harder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kwamaine Jerell Ford has pleaded guilty to hacking celebrity Apple accounts and using them to go on a ‘spending spree’.
The FBI really really dislikes end-to-end encryption, saying that it’s a problem that infects the law enforcement community (paywall).
The so-called going-dark issue…is a problem [that] infects law enforcement and the intelligence community more and more so every day,” said Amy Hess, executive assistant director with the FBI, in an interview. Ms. Hess, who previously oversaw the FBI’s science and technology branch, testified to Congress on the problem during Apple’s 2016 clash with the bureau.
Apple and others are worried about Australia’s encryption ban, and it could be a test case for the rest of the Five Eyes.
William H. Webster, a former director of both the FBI and CIA, foiled a phone scammer who threatened him and his wife.
Over a number of weeks, Thomas, calling himself David Morgan, made a series of calls to the Websters, and they soon turned threatening: he described their house, and he said that if they didn’t hand over $6,000, he’d shoot them in the head or burn their house down, boasting that the FBI and CIA would never find him.
Can you imagine the look on that guy’s face when he learned who he threatened?