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Archive for March 8th, 2016

Economic Times: Apple Should Recognize Limits to Privacy in Age of Terrorism

Apple logoBy Editorial Board
Economic Times

Does individual privacy trump national security or vice versa is the question that lies at heart of the tussle between tech major Apple, and the US law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It puts the spotlight on the challenges of privacy in a digital era in a dangerous world. The FBI would like Apple to help break the encryption that protects the iPhone 5s used by Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Apple has, in the decade since the iPhone became available, helped US law enforcement agencies gain access to locked phones. Apple argues that complying will require it to create a software code that will override the passcode protection that is controlled solely by the user of the phone, a privacy safeguard adopted to address the loss of public faith, and the loss of revenue, following Edward Snowden’s revelations of how the US National Security Agency used backdoors for spying.

Apple has drawn a line in the sand, protesting what it terms as a dangerous precedent for government intrusion on the privacy and safety of citizens. Privacy and security are now at odds. This dichotomy must be resolved given that technology has become pervasive, and will continue to permeate all facets of our lives. Technology is agnostic, and has been used with dangerous effect by terrorists. It is ironical that the same privacy safeguards available to law-abiding citizens become a protective shield for terrorists, preventing law enforcement agencies to mine information that could be crucial to ensuring the security of all citizens.

To read more click here. 

Hillary Clinton Says FBI Hasn’t Told Her She Is Target of E-Mail Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton said during a Democratic town hall debate Monday that it was a “mistake” to “use a personal computer” when she was secretary of state, but emphasized that the FBI has not told her she is under investigation.

Fox News anchor Bret Baier told Clinton that “I’ve heard others say that neither you nor your lawyers have been apprised that you’re the target of the investigation.”

Clinton responded, “Absolutely not.”

She repeated the answer when asked, “Have your or your lawyers been apprised that your current or former staff are targets of the investigation?”

Clinton said she did nothing wrong by using the personal email account at the State Department.

“There’s much misinformation going on around here,” Clinton continued. “I have said it was not the best choice to use a personal email. It was a mistake.

“However, I am not alone in that. Many people in the government, past and current, on occasion or as a practice, done the same.”

Clinton added, “Nothing I sent was marked ‘classified.’”

Her comments come about a week after the Justice Department granted immunity in exchange for cooperation to former staffer Bryan Pagliano, who helped build Clinton’s server. 

Metallurgy Company in U.S. Accused of Illegally Exporting Cobalt-Nickel Powder to Iran

iran-mapBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CEO of a metallurgy company in New York is accused of illegally exporting to Iran a powder that could be used to produce nuclear-tipped rockets, the Daily Beast reports. 

The FBI arrested 44-year-old Erdal Kuyumcu of Woodside, New York, of Global Metallurgy, on charges of exporting a half-ton of the cobalt-nickel powder on

The charges come after Tehran agreed to suspend its nuclear program.

The Daily Beast points out that the powdered metal does have “perfectly legitimate applications in industries unrelated to nuclear weapons.”

Nevertheless, the U.S. is concerned about any material that could be used for an atomic-capable rocket.

The Justice Department alleges that Kuyumcu shipped the power to Iran twice without the necessary approval from the U.S.

“To conceal the true destination of the goods from the U.S. supplier, Kuyumcu and a co-conspirator arranged for the items to be shipped first to Turkey and subsequently to Iran,” the Justice Department stated in a release.

U.S. Government Appeals Judge’s Ruling That Apple Not Obligated to Help FBI

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government is appealing a recent ruling by a New York Judge who said the FBI and Justice Department cannot force Apple to unlock an iPhone that is part of a drug investigation, the Guardian reports. 

The Justice Department is arguing that Apple is able to gather the evidence and has assisted law enforcement in dozens of other similar cases. It’s only recently that Apple began fighting efforts to unlock phones.

The case is important because it could set a precedent on whether companies can sell “warrant-proof” technologies.

Apple and the FBI are in federal court on another case in which the company refuses to help investigators unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooter.

Inspector General Investigating Secret Service Agent Who Slammed Photographer to Ground

A Time photographer is slammed to the ground by a Secret Service agent at a Donald Trump rally.

A Time photographer is slammed to the ground by a Secret Service agent at a Donald Trump rally.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s inspector general is investigating a Secret Service agent who choke-slammed a Time magazine photographer during a Donald Trump rally in Virginia, Politico has confirmed.

Videos taken at the event show a tense exchange between the photographer and the Secret Service agent, who has not yet been identified. One video appears to show photographer Chris Morris chest-bumping the agent before he threw the photo-journalist to the ground.

“We do have an independent investigation regarding that incident,” Arlen Morales, spokesman for the inspector general, said.

Morales said the goal is to have a “short turnaround” on the investigtion.

The Secret Service declined to comment on the investigation, but referred to a previous statement about the episode.

“The matter involving an encounter between a member of the Secret Service and a member of the media is under review and we therefore cannot comment further,” the statement said.

Time has contacted the Secret Service to express concern about the “level and nature” of the agent’s response.

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