A federal court in the District of Columbia has blocked EPIC’s efforts to obtain a secret “Predictive Analytics Report” in a FOIA case against the Department of Justice. The court sided with the agency which had withheld the report and claimed the “Presidential communications privilege.” Neither the Supreme Court nor the D.C. Circuit has never permitted a federal agency to invoke that privilege. EPIC sued the agency in 2017 to obtain records about “risk assessment” tools in the criminal justice system. These techniques are used to set bail, determine criminal sentences, and even contribute to determinations about guilt or innocence. Many criminal justice experts oppose their use. EPIC has pursued several FOIA cases to promote “algorithmic transparency,” passenger risk assessment, “future crime” prediction, and proprietary forensic analysis. The case is EPIC v. DOJ (Aug. 14, 2018 D.D.C.). EPIC is considering an appeal.
Friday, August 17, 2018
This does not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling about Apple security.
Melbourne teen hacked into Apple's secure computer network, court told
A Melbourne private schoolboy who repeatedly broke into Apple’s secure computer systems is facing criminal charges after the technology giant called in the FBI.
The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, broke into Apple’s mainframe from his suburban home on multiple occasions over a year because he was such a fan of the company, according to his lawyer.
The Children’s Court heard on Thursday that he had downloaded 90gb of secure files and accessed customer accounts.
His offending from the age of 16 saw him develop computerised tunnels and online bypassing systems to hide his identity until a raid on his family home uncovered a litany of hacking files and instructions all saved in a folder titled “hacky hack hack”.
The teen’s defence lawyer said his client had become so well known in the international hacking community that even mentioning the case in detail could expose him to risk.
… “Two Apple laptops were seized and the serial numbers matched the serial numbers of the devices which accessed the internal systems,” a prosecutor said.
“A mobile phone and hard drive were also seized and the IP address ... matched the intrusions into the organisation.
… Further analysis found that the schoolboy successfully accessed “authorised keys” as part of his offending.
Authorised keys grant log-in access to users and are said to be extremely secure.
He then used Whatsapp to communicate his offending to others.
The ongoing access continued until Apple eventually detected his presence and he was blocked.
Good that they have taken measures to identify risk, have they trained anyone to deal with what they find?
More U.S. states deploy technology to track election hacking attempts
A majority of U.S. states has adopted technology that allows the federal government to see inside state computer systems managing voter data or voting devices in order to root out hackers.
… The rapid adoption of the so-called Albert sensors, a $5,000 piece of hardware developed by the Center for Internet Security www.cisecurity.org, illustrates the broad concern shared by state government officials ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, government cybersecurity experts told Reuters.
… The 14 states that do not have a sensor installed ahead of the 2018 midterm elections have either opted for another solution, are planning to do so shortly or have refused the offer because of concerns about federal government overreach. Those 14 states were not identified by officials.
“No means yes, that should be obvious.”
APNewsBreak: Google clarifies location-tracking policy
Google has revised an erroneous description on its website of how its “Location History” setting works, clarifying that it continues to track users even if they’ve disabled the setting.
The change came three days after an Associated Press investigation revealed that several Google apps and websites store user location even if users have turned off Location History. Google has not changed its location-tracking practice in that regard.
But its help page for the Location History setting now states: “This setting does not affect other location services on your device.” It also acknowledges that “some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.”
Previously, the page stated: “With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”
Summarized in a cute little infographic.
The average smartphone user these days has between 60 and 90 apps on their device. Most of these apps request some sort of information about you and the device you are using. They may want to know your name, your email address, or your real-world address. But because smartphones are so powerful, they can also get quite a bit more than that, such as your exact location. Some apps will even request access to the device’s camera or microphone.
While all of this is done with the user’s consent, you may be surprised at the level of access some apps have to personal data. Did you know that 45 percent of the most popular Android apps and 25 percent of the most popular iOS apps request location tracking, for example? Or that 46 percent of popular Android apps and 25 percent of popular iOS apps request permission to access your device’s camera? Some Android apps even ask you to give them access to your SMS messages and phone call logs.
Do you think they knew the request was coming?
Perspective. Higher than I thought. I was convinced that users went to social groups they already agreed with and ignored any evidence to the contrary.
14% of Americans have changed their mind about an issue because of something they saw on social media
“For most Americans, exposure to different content and ideas on social media has not caused them to change their opinions. But a small share of the public – 14% – say they have changed their views about a political or social issue in the past year because of something they saw on social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted May 29-June 11. Although it’s unclear what issues people changed their views about, within the past year a variety of social and political issues – from the #MeToo movement to #BlackLivesMatter and #MAGA – have been discussed on social media. Certain groups, particularly young men, are more likely than others to say they’ve modified their views because of social media. Around three-in-ten men ages 18 to 29 (29%) say their views on a political or social issue changed in the past year due to social media. This is roughly twice the share saying this among all Americans and more than double the shares among men and women ages 30 and older (12% and 11%, respectively). There are also differences by race and ethnicity, according to the new survey. Around one-in-five black (19%) and Hispanic (22%) Americans say their views changed due to social media, compared with 11% of whites. Social media prompted views to change more among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (17%) than among Republicans and Republican leaners (9%). Within these party groups, there are also some differences by gender, at least among Democrats. Men who are Democrats or lean Democratic (21%) are more likely than their female counterparts (14%) to say they’ve changed their minds. However, equal shares of Republican and Republican-leaning men and women say the same (9% each)…”
Perspective. What would change their minds? Will this delay self-driving trucks?
Nearly half of Americans don't want a self-driving car: survey
Fewer Americans are embracing self-driving car technology following high-profile incidents involving Uber and Tesla vehicles, according to a new study from Cox Automotive.
Consumers’ interest in automatic braking and other autonomous features is high, but drivers view self-driving cars as less safe compared to a similar survey conducted two years ago. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they would never own a fully-autonomous car, known in the industry as a Level 5 vehicle. Two years ago, 30 percent said they would never buy one.
Meanwhile, a majority of people (63 percent) believed in 2016 that roadways would be safer if all vehicles were fully autonomous. That number has dropped to 45 percent.
(Related) Would better (any) laws help?
3 Practical Tools To Help Regulators Develop Better Laws And Policies
Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University. 3 Practical Tools To Help Regulators Develop Better Laws And Policies a Policy Paper on Autonomous Vehicles, July 2018.
“Regulators and policymakers are driving efforts to deliver the benefits of automated vehicles (AVs) to the public as soon as possible, while minimizing their potential challenges. However, there are still many open questions regarding the best approach to achieving this objective. Key stakeholders—including regulators, policymakers, industry, citizens, and academia—have not yet reached a consensus on the approaches regulators should take in developing robust public policies for the governance of AVs. Understanding the types of regulatory challenges for AVs and using new practical tools or using traditional tools in a different way, would help with this problem of developing better AV policies and regulations. This policy paper analyzes several categories of regulatory challenges surrounding AVs and introduces three practical tools (Legal Interfaces, Law Labs, and Structured Dialogues) that can be utilized by policymakers and regulators in developing effective AV policies.”
An interesting question.
Why Didn’t Those F-15s Shoot Down That Stolen Commercial Airliner In Seattle?
When a rogue civilian airliner took off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport last Friday, the military responded with a multifaceted, coordinated effort between two F-15 Eagle pilots, said officials at North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Defense Department.
But days after the incident, it remains unclear why military officials and the F-15 pilots agreed not to shoot down the aircraft, given concerns the pilot might deliberately crash it into a populated area.
Dilbert’s creator finds humor in Trump. Perhaps more of us should have? After all, there was a lot that was not funny.
Joke's on Brennan for failing to find humor in Trump's remark, 'Dilbert' cartoonist says
Imagine a scenario in which a top intelligence officer places the U.S. at risk all because he couldn't discern when the president was joking. It almost sounds like the plot for a comic strip.
Well, that's exactly what happened in the case of former CIA Director John Brennan, according to Scott Adams, creator of the popular “Dilbert” strip.
In a Twitter message Thursday, Adams slammed Brennan, asserting that the former CIA chief in 2016 didn't realize that President Trump was joking when the then-candidate urged Russia to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails.