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Tag Archives for " FBI "

FBI Practices for Intercepted Emails Violated 4th Amendment, Judge Ruled

A federal judge secretly ruled last year that the F.B.I.’s procedures for searching for Americans’ emails within a repository of intercepted messages that were gathered without a warrant violated Fourth Amendment privacy rights, newly declassified files showed.

The F.B.I. improperly searched the repository for information involving large numbers of Americans who fit within general categories but against whom there was no individualized basis for suspicion. In a twist, one March 2017 search used more than 70,000 identifiers, like email addresses, linked to the F.B.I.’s own work force.

Source: F.B.I. Practices for Intercepted Emails Violated 4th Amendment, Judge Ruled – The New York Times

Secret FBI Subpoenas Scoop Up Personal Data From Scores of Companies

The F.B.I. has used secret subpoenas to obtain personal data from far more companies than previously disclosed.

The requests, which the F.B.I. says are critical to its counterterrorism efforts, have raised privacy concerns for years but have been associated mainly with tech companies. Now, records show how far beyond Silicon Valley the practice extends — encompassing scores of banks, credit agencies, cellphone carriers and even universities.

Source: Secret F.B.I. Subpoenas Scoop Up Personal Data From Scores of Companies – The New York Times

Government watchdog says the FBI has access to about 640 million photographs

A government watchdog says the FBI has access to about 640 million photographs — including from driver’s licenses, passports and mug shots — that can be searched using facial recognition technology.

The fact was reported by the Government Accountability Office at a congressional hearing in which both Democrats and Republicans raised questions about the use of the technology.

The figure reflects how the technology is becoming an increasingly powerful law enforcement tool, but is also stirring fears about the potential for authorities to intrude on the lives of Americans.

Source: Government watchdog says the FBI has access to about 640 million photographs [Video]

DNA Testing Company Will Allow Customers to Opt Out of sharing data with FBI

FamilyTreeDNA drew heat from privacy advocates after it was revealed that the company let the FBI access its database.

The decision exposes the ethical and legal conundrums surrounding at-home DNA testing and illustrates the tension between protecting users’ privacy and aiding law enforcement in catching violent criminals. Law enforcement has increasingly been using genealogy to solve crimes.

Source: DNA Testing Company Will Allow Customers to Opt Out of Helping FBI Amid Privacy Concerns

New documents reveal FBI paid Geek Squad repair staff as informants

The relationship between the FBI and employees of Best Buy’s computer and device repair unit Geek Squad is more complex than first thought, according to newly released documents.

Records posted Tuesday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation following a freedom of information lawsuit filed last year reveal that federal agents would pay Geek Squad managers who pass on information about illegal materials on devices sent in by customers for repairs.

Source: New documents reveal FBI paid Geek Squad repair staff as informants | ZDNet

The Risks of “Responsible Encryption”

Federal law enforcement officials in the United States have recently renewed their periodic demands for legislation to regulate encryption. While they offer few technical specifics, their general proposal—that vendors must retain the ability to decrypt for law enforcement the devices they manufacture or communications their services transmit—presents intractable problems that would-be regulators must not ignore.

Source: The Risks of “Responsible Encryption” | Center for Internet and Society

Stop Calling It “Incidental” Collection of Americans’ Emails

We have been told that the acquisition of Americans’ private communications through Section 702 program is “incidental” and that the law does not allow the government to “target” Americans’ communications—but it’s through the use of such language where the confusion begins. If anything, what the recent Section 702 debates reveal is that the FBI considers it vital to access Americans’ communications that have been collected under Section 702 program at various stages of an investigation.

Source: Stop Calling It “Incidental” Collection of Americans’ Emails: The Gov’t’s Renewed Surveillance Powers | Just Security

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