FBI to Monitor Social Media for Domestic Terrorism Threats

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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

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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

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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.

FBI: Encryption Infects Law Enforcement Community

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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.

Former Director of FBI, CIA Foiled a Phone Scammer

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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?

Twitter Insanity, Apple's AI Showdown, FBI Exaggeration, Apple's HQ Hunt - ACM 463

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

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Twitter has lost its corporate mind, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet argue in this episode of ACM. They also weigh the importance of WWDC 2018 in terms of Siri, and discuss whether or not Apple has to announce significant improvements to remain competitive in AI. Then there’s the revelation that the FBI exaggerated the number of locked iPhones it couldn’t get into, and they squeeze in a fourth topic, too: Apple’s hunt for a new campus, and how it contrasts with Amazon.

Encryption Debate, Apple's Paradise Papers, iPhone X - ACM 436

· · Apple Context Machine Podcast

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The false dichotomy that we must choose between privacy and safety when it comes to encryption has once again reared its ugly head, and Bryan and Jeff discuss why that’s so dangerous. They also look at how Apple was affected by the so-called Paradise Papers, and discuss Jeff’s initial impressions of the iPhone X. For added fun, Jeff mocks Bryan for not having his iPhone X yet.