Saturday, August 13, 2016

“We love talking to our fellow democrats, but not on our cell phones or via our private email.  (Except when we use it instead of the government issued one?)”
The Smoking Gun reports:
After disappearing for a couple of weeks, the hacker “Guccifer 2.0” returned late this afternoon to provide a new headache for Democrats.
In a post to his WordPress blog, the vandal–who previously provided nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee e-mails to Wikileaks–uploaded an Excel file that includes the cell phone numbers and private e-mail addresses of nearly every Democratic member of the House of Representatives.
The Excel file also includes similar contact information for hundreds of congressional staff members (chiefs of staff, press secretaries, legislative directors, schedulers) and campaign personnel.
Read more on TSG.
[From the article: 
Along with the Excel file, “Guccifer 2.0” also uploaded documents that included the account names and passwords for an assortment of subscription services used by the DCCC, from Lexis-Nexis to Glenn Beck’s web site (password: nutbag).  [See the other Glenn Beck article, below.  Bob] 

Data scraping, but who benefits? 
Ethan Baron reports:
Data thieves used a massive “botnet” against professional networking site LinkedIn and stole member’s personal information, a new lawsuit reveals.
The Mountain View firm filed the federal suit this week in an attempt to uncover the perpetrators.
“LinkedIn members populate their profiles with a wide range of information concerning their professional lives, including summaries (narratives about themselves), job histories, skills, interests, educational background, professional awards, photographs and other information,” said the company’s complaint, filed in Northern California U.S. District Court.
Read more on Silicon Beat.
[From the article:
“This was not an attack or data breach where confidential data was stolen,” LinkedIn’s legal team said in a statement.  This suit is about unknown entities using automated systems to scrape and copy data that members have made available on LinkedIn, violating the law and our Terms of Service.”

In November 2012 the Governor claimed they were in compliance with security standards but the hack could not have been prevented.  Looks like they are trying to prevent hacks but still don’t know much about what happened? 
Tim Smith reports:
Four years after South Carolina’s tax agency suffered the worst data breach in state history, 5 million attempts are made each week to gain unauthorized access to state government computers, which hold vast amounts of personal data belonging to taxpayers, employees and members of the public.
Four years later, the state has made a myriad of cyber security improvements but the culprits of the DOR breach have not been captured.
“It is still a very active and open investigation,” Thom Berry, a spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division, told The News.  “We recently discussed the matter with our federal partners and they assured us they too have a very open and active investigation on the matter.”
Read more on Greenville Online.
[From the article:
Before any employee has access to a DOR computer system, Reames said, they have to go through nationally-accredited security training, including testing on phishing, privacy issues and data classification.  Existing employees have to be re-certified each year . There also are mock security drills, penetration testing and phishing email tests.
The agency also hired a chief information security officer who reports directly to the agency’s director.  An internal auditor also now reports to the director.  [That’s rather strange.  Bob] 

A change of mind or something else?
PrivacySOS writes:
In June, the Government Accountability Office released a report criticizing the FBI’s facial recognition programs as privacy invasive, untested, and secretive.  The GAO report got a decent amount of coverage, particularly in the independent and tech press.  Included in the report was a map showing which states had agreements with the FBI’s FACE Unit to share mugshots and drivers license images for facial recognition scans, and which states were “under negotiations” with the FBI to establish such agreements. Massachusetts was listed among the latter states (see below).  That was the first I’d ever heard of the Massachusetts RMV engaging in negotiations to share drivers license images with the FBI.  Alarmed, I filed a public records request with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to learn more about these negotiations.
Then something bizarre happened. 
On August 3 2016, the GAO published a modified version of its report.  The only thing in the report that changed was Figure 4, the map revealing that states including Massachusetts were involved in negotiations with the FBI, presumably to allow the Bureau to begin performing facial recognition searches of state RMV records.  The map initially stated that 18 states, including Massachusetts, were involved in these negotiations.  The “corrected” map (see below) says there are “no negotiations underway” in these 18 states—a 180 degree reversal. 
Read more on PrivacySOS.

For my IT Architecture students.
McKinsey – Policy in the data age
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 12, 2016
“The tremendous impact that digital services have had on governments and society has been the subject of extensive research that has documented the rapid, extensive adoption of public-sector digital services around the globe.  We believe that the coming data revolution will be even more deeply transformational and that data enablement will produce a radical shift in the public sector’s quality of service, empowering governments to deliver better constituent service, better policy outcomes, and more-productive operations.”

This is what happens on the Internet in 60 seconds

Expect more of this in a world where prominent journalists are frequently caught making up part or all of their stories. 
Judge: Glenn Beck must disclose his marathon bombing sources
Glenn Beck must disclose the names of confidential sources he used while reporting that a Saudi Arabian student was involved in the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled in a case being closely watched by First Amendment activists and news organizations.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Patti Saris came Tuesday in a defamation lawsuit filed by Abdulrahman Alharbi, who was injured in the 2013 deadly bombing.
Saris said the conservative commentator must disclose the identities of at least two U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees who allegedly gave Beck’s associates information supporting Beck’s claim that Alharbi was the attack’s “money man.”
The judge acknowledged that her decision could raise First Amendment concerns, but she said documents she ordered did not show that Alharbi funded the attack.
   Saris agreed with Alharbi’s contention that “the only way to verify or confirm what the confidential sources told the defendants would be to speak with the sources themselves.”  She noted that the deposition testimony of Beck’s associates “is vague and often contradictory.”
Alharbi therefore “has a strong need for the sources’ identities to meet his burden of demonstrating that the defendants did not act with the proper standard of care in their reporting,” Saris wrote.

Does this mean on-demand rides have arrived? 
Lyft Rebuffs Acquisition Approach from GM
General Motors in recent weeks told Lyft it was interested in acquiring the company, according to a person briefed on the situation.  After soliciting other potential strategic acquirers, Lyft rebuffed GM’s approach and decided to raise a new funding round instead, according to two people.
GM mentioned a price it was willing to pay but that amount couldn’t be learned, and it’s unclear who initiated the conversation.  GM paid $500 million for a 9% stake in Lyft at the start of the year, valuing the company at $5.5 billion.  GM’s president sits on Lyft’s board of directors. The bid signals GM’s seriousness about increasing its investment in ride-sharing, as Lyft would likely require billions of dollars in further investment.  Lyft trails Uber by a wide margin overall in terms of market share in the U.S.

Saturday reading.
Hack Education Weekly News
   Ugandan parliament orders Bridge Academy schools closed,” according to Education International.  “In a sweeping move, the for-profit school chain has been told to lock its doors after parliament demanded it halt operations in response to its failure to meet educational and infrastructure standards.”  The company – funded by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Pearson, Learn Capital, and others – says it will remain open.
   Via The New York Times: “Ahmed Mohamed, Boy Handcuffed for Making Clock, Is Suing.”
   Via the Dallas Morning News: “Professors who ban guns in their classrooms will be punished, UT lawyer says.”
   Vermont schools have more computers than students, says the Burlington Free Press.
   “The University of Melbourne has moved to allay privacy concerns amid revelations it is tracking students through their wi-fi usage,” says The World Today.  “The university said the practice, which looked at where people were moving around campus, helped institutions improve retention rates and the experience of students.”

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