Sunday, December 08, 2013
Tools & Techniques for law enforcement.
FBI’s search for ‘Mo,’ suspect in bomb threats, highlights use of malware for surveillance
The man who called himself “Mo” had dark hair, a foreign accent and — if the pictures he e-mailed to federal investigators could be believed — an Iranian military uniform. When he made a series of threats to detonate bombs at universities and airports across a wide swath of the United States last year, police had to scramble every time.
Mo remained elusive for months, communicating via e-mail, video chat and an Internet-based phone service without revealing his true identity or location, court documents show. So with no house to search or telephone to tap, investigators turned to a new kind of surveillance tool delivered over the Internet.
The FBI’s elite hacker team designed a piece of malicious software that was to be delivered secretly when Mo signed on to his Yahoo e-mail account, from any computer anywhere in the world, according to the documents.
… A federal magistrate in Denver approved sending surveillance software to Mo’s computer last year. Not all such requests are welcomed by the courts: An FBI plan to send surveillance software to a suspect in a different case — one that involved activating a suspect’s built-in computer camera — was rejected by a federal magistrate in Houston, who ruled that it was “extremely intrusive” and could violate the Fourth Amendment.
Are many countries looking to “Snowden-proof” their data?
The Yomiuri Shimbun reports:
The House of Councillors has passed into law a divisive bill to protect specially designated state secrets with a majority of support from the ruling bloc, despite fierce resistance from the opposition camp.
Under the law, which will take effect a year after its promulgation, Cabinet members and others concerned will designate highly sensitive information in four areas, including defense and foreign affairs, as state secrets. Parties who leak such information will face a prison term of up to 10 years, far harsher than the maximum penalty set under the National Civil Service Law.
Read more on The Japan News. The Japan Times also covers the politically charged wrangling that went on.
I think “Free” will win. How would you change your business model if you were Elsevier?
Old school vs. new school as academic publishers brawl over Web
The competition for prominence in academic publishing heated up this week as a traditional company, Elsevier, tangled with a Digital Era rival, Academia.edu.
Academia.edu publishes research papers for free online after researchers upload them. On Friday, the company took down some papers after receiving Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices from Elsevier, which often charges for access to the articles.
"Academia.edu is committed to enabling the transition to a world where there is open access to academic literature. Elsevier takes a different view, and is currently upping the ante in its opposition to academics sharing their own papers online," Academia.edu told one researcher, Guy Leonard, whose paper came down and who wasn't alone in dealing with a takedown.
Elsevier responded in a statement that there are benefits to using its services as well as ways authors can share, even if not necessarily as liberally as Academia.edu and some of those paper authors would like:
Republicans repaired the Healthcare website! What nice guys. Give it a try!
They've finally completed repairs on the Obamacare website. If you would like to check it out, you can do that by first clicking here — and once you're at the website — simply click on the "Apply Now" button to get started.
Thanks to Dilbert, I now understand why my students only remember the cookies...