Thursday, June 08, 2017

The article is unclear but it looks like the IRS “data retrieval tool” was used to gather personal information.  It is now unavailable on the FAFSA site. 
CBS reports:
Two people were indicted on federal charges related to a $12 million scam in which they stole identities in order to file fake tax returns and profit from the refunds.
Taiwo K. Onamuti, 29, Doraville, Ga., and Muideen A. Adebule, 49, Indianapolis, face 23 federal charges including aggravated identity theft, identity theft, false claims and conspiracy.
The indictment alleges that Onamuti and Adebule acquired personal information by buying it online or getting the information through the “data retrieval tool” on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.  The two—and others who worked with them—then used the names, birthdates and Social Security numbers to file false tax returns with the IRS, prosecutors said.
Read more on CBS4.
[From the article:  
They filed thousands of fake tax returns electronically and directed the IRS to deposit the refunds on prepaid debit cards that were then used to buy money orders in Indiana and Georgia.

Isn’t this another major security breach?  How does anyone take information out of a secure environment and not get arrested?  Is this a hoax? 
Brad Hunter reports:
A former intelligence contractor is suing controversial ex-FBI chief James Comey, claiming the bureau is covering up widespread surveillance on Americans.
Dennis Montgomery told news website Circa that the spying violated the civil liberties of prominent American politicians, business people – and even U.S. President Donald Trump.
Montgomery says he walked away with a staggering 600 million classified documents on 47 hard drives from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the CIA.
Read more on Toronto Sun.
[Is he this Dennis Montgomery?

But don’t worry, Mark Zuckerberg is not running for office.
Facebook inserts itself into politics with new tools that help elected officials reach constituents
Facebook this year has launched a number of features that make it easier for people to reach their government representatives on its social network, including “Town Hall,” and related integrations with News Feed, as well as ways to share reps’ contact info in your own posts.  Today, the company is expanding on these initiatives with those designed for elected officials themselves.  The new tools will help officials connect with their constituents, as well as better understand which issues their constituents care about most.

Sharing data when users are most vulnerable?  Watch this one closely.
Facebook to share data with aid groups after natural disasters
Facebook released a new set of tools on Tuesday to aid relief efforts in the wake of natural disasters.
The company unveiled maps that used anonymized Facebook user data to help organizations respond to natural disasters.
Facebook had previously helped users in dangerous areas by allowing them to check-in as “safe” and share that with friends and family.
“One of the consistent pieces of feedback we were receiving is that while a tool like safety check is useful for individuals in a disaster, what organizations actually need is a bird’s eye view,” said Molly Jackman public policy research manager at Facebook.
   Disaster relief organizations will now have access to maps based on three different types of datasets: location density maps to show where people are before, during and after a natural disaster; movement maps that show how people move around cities during natural disasters; and safety check maps to show where people are checking in as safe in relation to the location of a natural disaster.
The company noted that data for location density and movement maps would draw on de-identified data obtained through location sharing that users opt into when they download Facebook’s mobile application.

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