Monday, July 02, 2018
I’m (so easily and frequently) confused. Isn’t this how the government tried to stop Phil Zimmerman from selling the PGP encryption software? Claiming it was a product restricted from export or some such. Is anything being exported here?
US Homeland Security’s ICE demands Twitter release data on cryptic Flash Gordon account – HOTforSecurity
Flash Gordon (@s7nsins), a mysterious Twitter user based in New Zealand, announced in a tweet that the US Department of Homeland Security’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent Twitter an export enforcement subpoena in April to disclose the real identity of the person behind the account.
ICE demanded private information such as name, address, phone number, credit cards linked to the account, IP address history, complaints filed against the account and any other information that might lead to identifying Flash Gordon. Private messages and similar content were not requested, as a court order is necessary.
… The reasons behind the demand were not explained, but ICE could be interested in uncovering the person’s identity because the account has regularly released information about data breaches and leaked information found on unencrypted servers.
Homeland Security subpoenas Twitter for data breach finder's account
… But serving an export enforcement subpoena -- used in cases to investigate US export law violations – is almost unheard of in the case of a data breach involving private and personal information, according to one export controls attorney.
"As a general matter, the subpoena is likely to relate to the development or production of a controlled item, and not names, addresses, and contact information," said the attorney in a phone call, who asked not to be named to avoid any conflicts with his work.
The attorney said that if the subpoena related to the ALERRT breach that this would be "a misuse" of the subpoena power, as the exposed personal data wouldn't be an export control matter.
… The attorney said it's "not clear how a Twitter account could even be relevant in an export control investigation," calling the case a "head scratcher."
The data breach finder said he's been left without answers, and doesn't know which offending tweets – if any – led to the legal process. As we covered last year, several prominent security researchers and data breach hunters spoke of a "chilling effect" on their work.
Gosh, what a shock. Only 102 state and 57 federal taps were encrypted.
Federal and State Wiretaps Skyrocket in Trump’s First Year
DCReport.com: Law Enforcement Sought 3,800 Taps—Not One Request Rejected—And It’s Not All Drug Dealers, David Cay Johnston: “The number of court-approved federal wiretaps rose 30% during Donald Trump’s first year in office, the latest indicator sign of how his administration is shifting our government from facilitating a healthy society into something closer to a police state. Not a single wiretap request, federal or state, was rejected by any judge, an annual disclosure report from the federal courts released on Wednesday. Nearly all the taps were of mobile phones. The report does not include national security intercepts–where, according to a separate report, judges rejected more requests last year than they had, in total, over the 38 years before that. As for the new wiretapping report, while of 3,813 taps were sought and approved, that almost certainly understates the actual number by close to a thousand. That’s because each year many officials were slow complying with the annual disclosures that Congress requires. Based on reports in the previous decade, which had to be revised because officials were late reporting approved wiretaps, as Congress requires they do annually. When the late reports are counted and disclosed next year it is likely that the increase in wiretaps will be not 30% but well more than 40%…”
A bigger part of the business that Mark suggested to Congress?
Facebook gave 61 companies access to sensitive user data
WSJ (paywall) – “Facebook Inc. disclosed it gave dozens of companies special access to user data, detailing for the first time a spate of deals that contrasted with the social network’s previous public statements that it restricted personal information to outsiders in 2015. The deals with app developers, device and software makers, described in 747 pages of documents released to Congress late on Friday / govdoc no paywall [June 29, 2018] represent Facebook’s most granular explanation of exemptions that previously had been revealed by The Wall Street Journal and other news organizations. The revelations come as lawmakers have demanded accountability at Facebook for allowing companies access to data on its billions of users without their knowledge, and questioned how far the universe of firms extends. Facebook said in Friday’s document that the special deals were required to give app developers time to become compliant with changes in its policies, and to enable device and software makers to create versions of the social network for their products. The company revealed it was still sharing information of users’ friends, such as name, gender, birth date, current city or hometown, photos and page likes, with 61 app developers nearly six months after it said it stopped access to this data in 2015. Facebook said it gave these 61 firms—which ranged from the dating app Hinge to shipping giant United Parcel Service Inc.—a six-month extension for them to “come into compliance” with the 2015 policy. In addition, five other companies “theoretically could have accessed limited friends’ data” because of access they received as part of a Facebook experiment, the company said in the document…”
As more data is gathered, more laws must be complied with. Does the strictest regulation always rule?
… It’s unclear just how Amazon plans on integrating PillPack into the rest of its offerings, with rumors of a Prime Prescriptions service or something similarly ominous.
One catch for Amazon, though: Federal regulations stipulating that private medical data, such as prescription histories, can’t be used for marketing purposes like the behavioral tracking Amazon uses to pump up its retail model. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company only has a few limited ways to proceed with patient data: It could compartmentalize the PillPack business into its own unit with limited data-sharing with the rest of Amazon, or it could reorganize the entire Amazon business to become compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which would probably be more trouble than it’s worth.
(Related) Too simplistic?
Here's the reason why Amazon is diving into health care
… Amazon's intent for entering into the venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire was to squeeze waste out of the cost of care by dispensing with profit-sucking middlemen like pharmacies.
Perspective. I’ve been wondering why. Perhaps this is an opportunity for companies with employees who do not object to working with the military?
Why Tech Employees Are Rebelling Against Their Bosses
… The revolt is part of a growing political [not Ethical? Bob] awakening among some tech employees about the uses of the products they build. What began as concern inside Google about a Pentagon contract to tap the company’s artificial-intelligence smarts was catalyzed by outrage over Trump administration immigration policies. Now, it seems to be spreading quickly.
I admit, I did not see this coming.
Bitcoin ATMs Becoming the Norm in US Inner Cities
Of the numerous humanitarian applications of blockchain that are being tested, and in some cases already used around the world, implementing cryptocurrency in places where populations are under-served by financial institutes is considered a winner.
Poor countries or island nations with rural people living far from city centers, who have had no chance at getting loans to create a small business or to take payments from family members working abroad through the banking system, can now by using Bitcoin or any number of cryptocurrencies.
Normally it is countries in Africa, South East Asia, or South America that are presented as case studies for the use of digital money. But the number of Bitcoin ATMs popping up in poor inner-city neighborhoods in the US are being used for the same reasons. According to The Virginian-Pilot, there are 80 Bitcoin ATMs in the Detroit area and 2,032 across the country.
I thought this was common. Apparently, I was wrong.
OpenPhone lets you get a business phone number with an app
… OpenPhone is an app for iPhone, iPad and Android. After downloading the app, you can get a second phone number for $9.99 per month. It can be a local or a toll-free number in the U.S. or Canada. You can also port an existing phone number and get rid of your second phone.
… There are many advantages in having a second phone number. You can set up a different voicemail, you can also set your availability to control your business hours. You also get voicemail transcription through the OpenPhone app.
OpenPhone uses VoIP and routes all your calls and texts through your internet connection. You get unlimited calls and texts in the U.S. and Canada as part of your subscription.
“I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!”
The US Reportedly Has ‘Unequivocal Evidence’ That North Korea Is ‘Trying To Deceive’ Trump On Its Nuclear Program
… And though North Korea took several steps to indicate it was in the process of dismantling its weapons program, such as blowing up tunnels leading to a nuclear test site, critics who monitored the development say it may have all been for show.
“There’s no evidence that they are decreasing stockpiles, or that they have stopped their production,” a US official familiar with the intelligence report told NBC. “There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the US.”