Sunday, May 11, 2014

It has always been so – think about it.
I have a New York Review of Books blog up today on Congress’s efforts to rein in NSA spying — or at least that part of it that directly targets Americans. It starts with a remarkable admission former director of NSA and CIA Michael Hayden made in a debate I had with him last month at Johns Hopkins, in which he asserted, in response to my argument that metadata is very revealing – “We kill people based on metadata.”
But the focus of the piece is Congress’s effort to rein in NSA metadata collection. To many peoples’ surprise, the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees this week unanimously approved an amended version of the USA Freedom Act, the bill originally introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative James Sensenbrenner. In my blog, I address whether this unprecedented bipartisan agreement should be grounds for suspicion.

(Related) ...and we can find metadata anywhere! (Serve your subpoena/warrant locally, grab data globally.)
I’ve mentioned this ruling on Pogo before, but thought some readers might appreciate this write-up by Bennett B. Borden, Andrea L. D’Ambra and Edward James Beale of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP:
On April 25, 2014 in the Southern District of New York, U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV compelled extensive production of the contents of an unnamed user’s email account stored on a Microsoft server located in Dublin, Ireland.1 Memorandum and Order, In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E-Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corp., 13 Mag. 2814 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 25, 2014). This startling ruling could have a significant impact on not only the use of free email services like Hotmail and Gmail, but also all cloud-based services like Office 365, Google Apps, and even cloud providers like Amazon. If this ruling stands and is widely adopted, U.S. service providers may be compelled to produce customer’s data regardless of the jurisdiction in which it physically resides.
Read more on Mondaq.

What if the phrase the government translated as “deliver a bomb” really meant “deliver a pizza?”
Hanni Fakhoury writes:
In the 36-year existence of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the government has never disclosed classified FISA materials—the specific applications for surveillance and the factual affidavits that support the surveillance request—to a criminal defendant. That all changed in January 2014 when a federal judge in Chicago ordered the government to turn over surveillance applications and affidavits to the attorneys representing Adel Daoud, a 19 year-old accused of attempting to blow up a bar in Chicago. As the government appeals that decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, we’ve signed onto an amicus brief written by the ACLU and the ACLU of Illinois filed today that explains why Judge Sharon Coleman was right to order disclosure.
Read more on EFF.

Ready, Fire, Aim” This judge gets it!
Julia Love reports:
A Bay Area federal judge refused to let the government search a Google email account Friday and chided the Mountain View company for not living up to its pledge to push back against sweeping requests for user data.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal of the Northern District of California denied federal prosecutors’ application for a warrant for the Gmail account, finding the request overbroad and perhaps unconstitutional. The San Jose judge agreed in a six-page order that there was probable cause that the Gmail account contained evidence of theft of government funds. But he found the government had put few limits on its request, not even narrowing down a time frame for the search. “The court is … unpersuaded that the particular seize first, search second proposed here is reasonable in the Fourth Amendment sense of the word,” he wrote.
Read more on The Recorder.
This is the same government request that was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola in D.C., and Grewal noted that it appeared the government was just court-shopping to get a better result. But it was his slap on the wrist to Google that is likely to be somewhat embarrassing for the firm:
While Google has publicly declared that it challenges overbroad warrants, in three-plus years on the bench in the federal courthouse serving its headquarters, the undersigned has yet to see any such motion,” he wrote.
Update: As I kept reading online, I found this great post by Scott Greenfield.

Dilbert illustrates the “Joy” of workplace monitoring.

Must be a British thing. Another deal this non-lawyer is having trouble understanding. You get one of these letters if the ISP “believes” you are pirating content. You have no way to respond and tell them you are gathering evidence of copyright infringement. Where did this database of “known” infringers come from? Clearly not public court records, or they would already have the data.
Deal to combat piracy in UK with 'alerts' is imminent
BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media will send "educational" letters to customers believed to be downloading illegally.
… The bodies had originally suggested the letters should tell repeat infringers about possible punitive measures.
They also wanted access to a database of known illegal downloaders, opening the possibility of further legal action against individuals.
… Steve Kuncewicz, a lawyer specialising in online and internet law, said the agreement had been "watered down beyond all recognition".
… Instead, letters sent to suspected infringers must be "educational" in tone, "promoting an increase in awareness" of legal downloading services.
The rights holders have agreed to pay £750,000 towards each internet service provider (ISP) to set up the system, or 75% of the total costs, whichever is smaller.
… A record of which accounts had received alerts, and how many, will be kept on file by the ISPs for up to a year.
The rights holders will receive a monthly break down of how many alerts have been sent out, but only the ISPs will know the identities of the customers involved.
A cap for the total number of alerts that can be sent out per year has also been set.
Between the four ISPS, no more than 2.5 million alerts can be sent out.
… A maximum of four alerts - by either email or physical letter - can be sent to an individual customer account. Language will "escalate in severity" - but will not contain threats or talk of consequences for the accused users.
After four alerts, no further action will be taken by the ISPs.

What's better than a $100 computer? A cheap way to “recycle” obsolete computers.
Keepod: Can a $7 stick provide billions computer access?
… Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi aim to combat the lack of access to computers by providing what amounts to an operating-system-on-a-stick.
In six weeks, their idea managed to raise more than $40,000 (£23,750) on fundraising site Indiegogo, providing the cash to begin a campaign to offer low-cost computing to the two-thirds of the globe's population that currently has little or no access.
It will allow old, discarded and potentially non-functional PCs to be revived, while allowing each user to have ownership of their own "personal computer" experience - with their chosen desktop layout, programs and data - at a fraction of the cost of providing a unique laptop, tablet or other machine to each person.
… The pair also brought five old laptops with their hard disks removed to the school.
As they gave each child one of the Keepod USB sticks to keep, they explained the second-hand computers would boot up directly from the flash drives.

For my students (with iPads)
– Encyclopedias have always showcased culture and style. Das Referenz strives to build on this heritage. With an eye for detail, Das Referenz puts Wikipedia’s vast amount of knowledge into a sleek package of clear layouts, world-class typography, and playful interactions. Quench your thirst for important facts and for trivia, too. Wikipedia research has never been more efficient.

I find my students do have two or three old phones or computers.
– Turn your smartphone into a portable IP camera. Instantly turn your used smartphone (iPhone or Android phone) into a full-featured video surveillance system with AtHome Video Streamer. Easily connect and watch your home anywhere anytime. With the AtHome Camera app, you can access your security camera from your mobile phone.

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