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Tag Archives for " FBI "

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

FBI chief calls unbreakable encryption ‘urgent public safety issue’

The inability of law enforcement authorities to access data from electronic devices due to powerful encryption is an “urgent public safety issue,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday as he sought to renew a contentious debate over privacy and security.

Source: FBI chief calls unbreakable encryption ‘urgent public safety issue’

The CIA Uses Bogus Software Upgrade to Steal Data from the FBI, DHS and NSA

Cynical as I am, I was still astonished to read the August 25 th report from ZDNet recounting the latest Vault 7 release from WikiLeaks. Apparently, the CIA didn’t trust its security service partners to share biometric information with it, so it created a bogus software upgrade to steal the data.

Source: The CIA Uses Bogus Software Upgrade to Steal Data from the FBI, DHS and NSA

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