Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How to win friends and influence Congress?
US intelligence chief: we might use the internet of things to spy on you
The US intelligence chief has acknowledged for the first time that agencies might use a new generation of smart household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities.
… In an appearance at a Washington thinktank last month, the director of the National Security Agency, Adm Michael Rogers, said that it was time to consider making the home devices “more defensible”, but did not address the opportunities that increased numbers and even categories of connected devices provide to his surveillance agency.
However, James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, was more direct in testimony submitted to the Senate on Tuesday as part of an assessment of threats facing the United States.
In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper said.

Intelligence chief warns of threats from AI
… “Implications of broader Al deployment include increased vulnerability to cyberattack, difficulty in ascertaining attribution, facilitation of advances in foreign weapon and intelligence systems, the risk of accidents and related liability issues, and unemployment,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will say at a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, according to prepared remarks.
Clapper will also say that “Al systems are susceptible to a range of disruptive and deceptive tactics that might be difficult to anticipate or quickly understand” and will cite instances in which the use of artificial intelligence has caused fluctuations in the stock market.

Joe Cadillic writes:
Coming to an apartment and home near you, “smart’ sensors that spy on everything we do.
According to the video, IOTAS’s CEO, Sce Pike claims their surveillance technology allows your home to know you and become your ALLY! If spying on us in our homes is considered our ally then I’ve got a ‘bridge‘ to sell you in Arizona. Fyi, IOTAS is also dba as
IOTAS partners with property developers and owners, to install apartments with smart outlets, light switches, and motion sensors before they’re rented. The typical IOTAS apartment has about 40 sensors in it!
Good luck trying to op-out of a “smart” apartment filled with over 40 surveillance devices. Sorry, I meant 40 “smart” sensors. Esource, reveals how truly invasive IOTAS’s “smart” sensors really are…
Read more on MassPrivateI.

This never happens in my Ethical hacking classes. (Wink, Wink) Makes a good hypothetical though.
WINK News reports:
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating after one man allegedly hacked in to the Lee County’s Supervisor of Elections website.
Dan Sinclair, who is running for Supervisor of Elections, says his friend, David Levin, accidentally hacked in to the website. Sinclair and Levin posted a video online showing the hack and say they presented the information to current Supervisor of elections Sharon Harrington. Sinclair said his friend, Dave Levin, was trying to show how a good website should be secure then accidentally hacked into the Supervisor of Elections site.
Levin works for a cyber security company and is the former campaign manager for April Freeman. He said he is bracing for possible criminal charges.
Read more on WINK.
[From the article:
No voter information was comprised, according to Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington. She said Levin hacked into an old server and is working with Sinclair to make her look bad before elections.
“Our system is safe,” Harrington said. “The server had no pertinent information, not anything of any value.”
But in a video posted online, Levin shows how he was able to obtain Harrington’s login information.

Camera angles are everything?
Cristian Farias reports:
A federal appeals court on Monday ruled it is not unconstitutional for law enforcement to set up a camera on a public utility pole and record a suspect’s moves for 10 weeks straight.
Such warrantless recording is permitted, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit said, because people have “no reasonable expectation of privacy in video footage recorded by a camera that was located on top of a public utility pole and that captured the same views enjoyed by passersby on public roads.”
Read more on Huffington Post.

...and they may learn which doors to knock on next fall. Behavioral advertising – grouping Hillary and Trump because of NASCAR?
Donovan Slack reports:
Who needs exit polls when you can track caucusgoers’ phones?
That’s what one company did. Dstillery, which has been called “Picasso in the dark art of digital advertising,” turned its intelligence-collection capabilities to the Iowa caucuses last week.
The company used location data to identify more than 16,000 devices at caucus locations across the state.
“We can take a population in a discrete location — in this case a polling, a caucus site — and sample that population and go and then look at characteristics of that population that no one’s been able to discern before, because we have this incredibly rich behavioral view of American consumers based on all the digital behaviors we observe,” Dstillery CEO Tom Phillips said in an interview.
Read more on USA Today.
[From the article:
The company could not tell how individual caucusgoers came down by candidate but could determine, in counties decisively won by certain candidates, the dominant online behaviors of attendees:
  • Caucusgoers who were expecting a child or had a young baby tended to be Republican, and they showed up in greater numbers where Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was victorious.
  • Other family behaviors – those associated with both working and stay-at-home parents, buyers of kids’ clothing and back-to-school supplies – were high at caucus sites that went to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. On the Democratic side, they were split between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
  • Caucusgoers in counties won decisively by Donald Trump tended to have stronger household interests – grillers, do-it-yourselfers, lawn and garden and hardware. He didn't do well with business leaders — those whose online behavior indicates they are business owners or executives. More of those folks showed up where Rubio support was decisive.
  • Sports fans (NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL, baseball and fantasy leagues) showed up in greater numbers at caucuses won by Rubio and Sanders. NASCAR fans, however, correlated with Trump and Clinton support.
  • Techies – information-technology decision-makers and technology buyers – correlated with Rubio and Sanders support.
In a harbinger of more (slightly spooky) technologies that could be ahead for political campaigning — if they aren't already in use — Dstillery also cross-referenced which devices had been used on university campuses during the previous two weeks to determine how many caucusgoers were students — roughly 5.4%, according to the analysis. And those voters showed up in greater numbers where Sanders and Rubio scored decisive wins.
Phillips said caucusgoers should not be concerned that their privacy was compromised.

How many games does this change? Transportation companies can eliminate all those union truckers? Car Rental agencies could rent to anyone, not just licensed drivers. Insurance premiums would be based on how smart (accident free?) your software is? Google might assume some liability for accidents?
Google Cars Just Got a Major Boost From U.S. Vehicle Regulators
… Google‘s self-driving car unit on Nov. 12 submitted a proposed design for a self-driving car that has “no need for a human driver,” the letter to Google from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Chief Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh said.
“NHTSA will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google‘s described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not to any of the vehicle occupants,” NHTSA’s letter said.

Well, that didn't take long.
Iran Violates UN Resolution with New Ballistic Missile Program
Despite the short span of time since Western (including US) economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted, the Islamic Republic has announced it will upgrade its Emad missile. Because it is capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the United States charged that the test firing of the Emad in October violates a United Nations Resolution. Accordingly, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran, but it appears to be a futile gesture as Tehran promises to fast-track development of the weapon starting in March. It is also receiving the Russian S-300 batteries that were delayed until the deal with the West could be completed. The American sanctions also appeared weak as they targeted some individuals and companies but avoided any direct confrontation with the government itself despite the numerous assertions by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry that violations of resolutions by the Iranian government would warrant swift and serious response. It’s also been reported that Iran is negotiating purchase of sophisticated Sukhoi-30 fighter jets from Russia.

Now that annoying song will be everywhere!
Warner to Pay $14 Million Settlement in 'Happy Birthday' Lawsuit
Finally bringing the fight to an end, Warner Music Group will officially give up its rights to the most recognized song in the English language -- “Happy Birthday to You.”
Ending the legal dispute that began in 2013, the company will pay a $14 million settlement to those who previously paid fees to use the song, reports The Los Angeles Times.
The payment comes as a result of U.S. District Judge George H. King’s ruling in September stating the company didn’t have a valid copyright since it never appropriately acquired the rights for the song. In an effort to avoid trial in December, lawyers from both sides agreed on a settlement and made “Happy Birthday to You” public domain, according to Hollywood Reporter.

Interesting. I didn't know it was popular in China. The first deal must have failed or maybe it's a misprint.
Qihoo 360-Led Chinese Consortium Makes $1.2 Billion Offer for Opera
A consortium of Chinese investors including security software firm Qihoo 360 Technology Co. has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to buy Norwegian browser maker Opera Software AS A.
The consortium offered 71 Norwegian krone per share for Oslo-based Opera Software, representing a premium of about 56%
… The deal comes as Qihoo 360 is in the process of delisting from New York after agreeing to a buyout by a consortium including its chairman for $9 billion in December.
Opera Software, known for its series of Opera Web browsers, said it expects revenues of $690 million to $740 million this year, compared with $616 million in 2015.
… The deal is the latest in a wave of outbound acquisitions by Chinese companies this year amid China’s slowing economy and falling currency. Chinese firms have made more than $60 billion worth of takeover offers in 2016, including China National Chemical Corp., known as ChemChina, which recently agreed to pay $43 billion to buy Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta AG.
Opera Software was set up in 1994 as a research project within Norway’s biggest telecom provider, Telenor ASA. Opera is the world’s sixth-biggest online browser with a market share of about 5.7% in the fourth quarter, according to Statfinder.

Purely for the amusement value…
Group restarts tool tracking deleted tweets of US politicians
The Sunlight Foundation's tool to catch and save the deleted tweets of lawmakers and political candidates is back online in the United States.
In late December, Twitter came to an agreement with a group of transparency groups to allow the tool, known as Politwoops, to restart — a reversal after the social media company last year essentially killed it off for violating its terms of service.
… The Open State Foundation, which runs the tool in dozens of other countries, restarted its tool back in early January. But the United States version, run by the Sunlight Foundation, had not been active until Tuesday.
… After years of allowing Politwoops to operate, Twitter last year unexpectedly revoked use of its application program interface (API), which gave access to Twitter's stream and allowed developers to build the deletion archive around it.
Twitter justified the move by saying the Politwoops tool violated its privacy terms of service, but the explanation received harsh blowback from those who said the tweets of public officials should warrant an exception. Twitter's new guidelines offers that exception.

Because it's predictive?
Which Presidential Candidates Have Spent The Most On Dunkin' Donuts? [Infographic]

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