Sunday, September 13, 2015

I wonder what process failed. Would informant and surveillance data be generally available rather than tightly compartmentalized? Did no one review the data sent to the lawyers? (The fact that it was a “link” suggest anyone who saw it could grab a copy of the data, not just the lawyers it was intended for.)
Radio New Zealand reports:
Police say that sensitive, secret files have been mistakenly sent to a defence lawyer and have been widely circulated.
A criminal lawyer who has seen the files said they contained details about informants, criminal activity and police surveillance that could put people at risk.
The mistake occurred when a standard criminal disclosure sent to a lawyer contained a link to the sensitive information, which should not have been accessible.
Read more on RNZ.
Now why would the defense lawyer who received the material have circulated it? Wouldn’t they realize it was a mistake and be ethically bound not to disseminate it further?

Didn't the FBI used to have experts? Is this a mere “Oops!” or indication of real paranoia?
Feds drop espionage charges against physics professor
The Justice Department will drop economic espionage charges against a Temple University professor the government claimed was providing secret technology to China, according to multiple reports.
The misstep is a setback in the government’s attempts to stanch what they say is a massive Chinese economic espionage campaign to pilfer U.S. intellectual property.
… Xi’s lawyers said the FBI had misinterpreted the technology behind the professor’s efforts and overseas communications.
At a presentation given to investigators Aug. 21, Xi and his lawyer, Peter Zeidenberg, presented affidavits from the world’s top physicists who had analyzed Xi’s emails with his Chinese contacts and concluded the professor was conducting a scientific pursuit with little commercial application, the Associated Press reported.
… The FBI recently said economic espionage cases have shot up 53 percent over the last year, mostly due to China-based activity, according to the Journal.

This could be amusing...
EFF Provides Evidence to Courts on Telecoms Collection of Metadata
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Sep 12, 2015
“This week EFF presented evidence in two of its NSA cases confirming the participation of Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T in the NSA’s mass telephone records collection under the Patriot Act. This is important because, despite broad public acknowledgment, the government is still claiming that it can dismiss our cases because it has never confirmed that anyone other than Verizon Business participated and that disclosing which providers assist the agency is a state secret. This argument was successful recently in convincing the D.C. Circuit to reverse and remand the case of Klayman v. Obama. EFF filed requests with the courts in two lawsuits, Smith v. Obama and First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA, asking that they accept as evidence and take into account government filings in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that were recently made public. The filings confirm that AT&T, Verizon, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint participated in the NSA’s programs since they report on a “compliance incident” involving those companies. One of the documents was released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the New York Times. It is a letter sent from the Department of Justice to the FISC describing how the agency failed to comply with an order the court issued in 2010. The subject line of the letter references that the order was for records from AT&T, Verizon, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint. The other document is one that had previously been made public on the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that confirms that the spying program referred to in the letter is indeed the mass collection of telephone call detail records…”

The never-ending saga of a bad decision.
Tech company: No indication that Clinton’s e-mail server was ‘wiped’
The company that managed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail server said it has “no knowledge of the server being wiped,” the strongest indication to date that tens of thousands of e-mails that Clinton has said were deleted could be recovered.
… To make the information go away permanently, a server must be wiped — a process that includes overwriting the underlying data with gibberish, possibly several times.
That process, according to Platte River Networks, the Denver-based firm that has managed the system since 2013, apparently did not happen.
… Even if the e-mails could be restored, it’s unclear whether anyone would have the authority to do so.
Conservative groups have already been pressing in court for access to those e-mails, if they exist.
… Politically, even the possibility that the e-mails could be retrieved is likely to further inflame an issue that has already hampered the campaign of the Democratic presidential front-runner. Clinton has been trying to move past the issue for months and on Tuesday said she was “sorry” she had not used separate e-mail accounts for public and private matters.
… The conservative group Judicial Watch asked a federal judge on Sept. 4 to order the State Department to take steps to determine whether those personal e-mails still exist. The group has said that Clinton’s e-mails were essentially government property that she should not have been allowed to take upon her departure from the State Department.
Justice Department lawyers, on behalf of the State Department, have opposed the request, arguing that personal e-mails are not federal records and that the court lacks jurisdiction to demand their preservation. Government lawyers offered a robust defense of Clinton’s e-mail practices on Wednesday in a court filing, arguing that federal employees, including Clinton, are allowed to discard personal e-mails provided they preserve those that deal with public business.
… Republican lawmakers have questioned the credibility of Clinton’s process for dividing her public and personal e-mail correspondence.
Lawmakers have repeatedly noted that all or part of 15 e-mails to Clinton from longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal that appeared to be work-related were missing from the State Department’s file of official e-mails. Blumenthal had provided those e-mails to the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
The chairman of that panel, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), said at the time that the missing Blumenthal e-mails confirmed “doubts about the completeness of Clinton’s self-selected public record and raises questions about her decision to erase her personal server . . . before it could be analyzed by an independent, neutral third party.”

Keeping up.
Here's how China's aircraft carrier stacks up to other world powers'

For my students taking a late class.
Companion: Tens of thousands using safety app that lets friends digitally walk you home at night
Tens of thousands of people around the world are now using a free personal-safety mobile app that allows friends to virtually walk you home at night. The Companion app, created by five students from the University of Michigan, enables users to request a friend or family member to keep them company virtually and track their journey home via GPS on an online map.
Although they can do so, the friend or family member does not need to have the Companion app installed, which is available for both Android and iOS. The user can send out several requests to different phone contacts in case people are not available to be a companion or not with their phones at the time.
Those contacted then receive an SMS text message with a hyperlink in it that sends them to a web page with an interactive map showing the user walking to their destination. If the user strays off their path, falls, is pushed, starts running or has their headphones yanked out of their phone, the app detects these changes in movements and asks the user if they're OK.
If the user is fine, they press a button on the app to confirm within 15 seconds. If they do not press the button, or a real emergency is occurring, the Companion app transforms the user's phone into a personal alarm system that projects loud noises to scare criminals from the scene, and gives you the option to instantly call the police.

This reminds me of a student. (Okay, several students) Makes my lectures much more interesting.

No comments: