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Archive for March 21st, 2016

Justice Department Says It May Have Found Way to Unlock iPhone Without Apple’s Help

Apple logo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department on Monday asked for a delay of a court hearing in its battle with Apple over the encryption of an iPhone from San Bernardino shooting, saying it may have found a way to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.

In a motion filed Monday in federal court in Central California, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles wrote:

Since the attacks in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) has continued to pursue all avenues available to discover all relevant evidence related to the attacks.

Specifically, since recovering Farook’s iPhone on December 3, 2015, the FBI has
continued to research methods to gain access to the data stored on it. The FBI did not cease its efforts after this litigation began. As the FBI continued to conduct its own research, and as a result of the worldwide publicity and attention on this case, others outside the U.S. government have continued to contact the U.S. government offering avenues of possible research.

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible
method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is
viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.

Read Justice Motion

How Apple Set Off a Behind-the-Scenes Battle with FBI Over Encryption

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Soon after Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone’s latest mobile-operating system, iOS 8, in Jun 2014, the company gave the FBI early access to the technology.

The new system involved encryption that would make it impossible for the FBI and even Apple to gather information from a phone without a password.

The new encryption “set off a behind-the-scenes battle that ultimately spilled into the open last month” after a judge approved a Justice Department order to force Apple to help the FBI open a phone by one of the San Bernardino shooters, Bloomberg wrote in a lengthy piece about the long-simmering battle between law enforcement and the tech giant.

 “The reason the relationship went south is the government was expecting some degree of accommodation on the part of the technology companies,” said Timothy Edgar, the former director of privacy and civil liberties for the White House National Security Staff from 2009 to 2010. “They were expecting the companies to essentially back down and not go forward with new security measures that would make it impossible for you to access devices or communications. They were caught off guard by basically being told to get lost.”

Privacy advocates are worried that the Supreme Court or Congress could set a legal precedent that would require tech companies to unlock security features.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher,” said Alex Abdo, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s speech privacy and technology project, which has filed a brief supporting Apple. “This is an unprecedented legal question with extremely significant policy and technological implications.”

FBI Helps Bangladesh Investigate Massive $81M Cyberheist, Kidnapping of Crime Expert

BangladeshBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping Bangladesh investigate a massive heist by hackers who stole $81 million from the country’s central bank last month.

The stolen money was funneled to casino in the Philippines by hackers from six different countries, Time reports. 

“This is the biggest transnational organized crime ever seen in Bangladesh and so we sought both technical and human assistance [from the FBI],” Mirza Abdullahel Baqui, a senior police official, told Reuters.

The theft escalated after one of the country’s leading cybercrime experts, Tanvir Hassan Zoha, was kidnapped while helping investigating the case.

“This is a wake-up call,” former central bank governor Mohammad Farashuddin said.

Before Zoha was kidnapped, he had told the media he identified three of the user IDs involved in the heist – one of the world’s largest.

Secret Service Investigates ‘Anonymous’ Claims of Releasing Personal Information about Donald Trump

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 8.04.25 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigating hacker activist movement Anonymous after it claimed to uncover personal information about Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, Time reports.

“The U.S. Secret Service is aware of the Internet postings of Candidate Donald Trump’s personal information,” a spokesperson for the Secret Service confirmed to Time. “We are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this matter.”

An Anonymous member posted a YouTube video that compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and then said the movement released Trump’s Social Security number, cell phone number and other personal information.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the information was correct.

Border Patrol Union Says Donald Trump ‘Only Candidate’ to Support Agents’ Mission

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The largest union local representing Border Patrol declared that Donald Trump was the “only candidate” to support agents’ mission.

Mr. Trump is the only candidate that has publicly expressed his support of our mission and our agents,” said a statement from Art Del Cueto, president of Local 2544 of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents 18,000 agents. 

“He has been an outspoken candidate on the need for a Secure Border and for this we are grateful,” the statement said, the Washington Examiner reported

The union stopped short of endorsing Trump, who is the Republican frontrunner.

“The American public has continually called for a secure border and Donald Trump has promised to make this desire a reality. His campaign has expressed an interest in a Border Patrol’s Agent’s perspective and a tour of our border, that we will gladly provide,” Del Cueto wrote. 

Trump has talked tough about the border and insists that he’s going to build a wall with money from Mexico.

USA Today Writer: How Invasive TSA Aggressively Handled Me at Airport

body images airportJames Bovard
USA Today

The Transportation Security Administration finally obeyed a 2011 federal court order March 3 and issued a 157 page Federal Register notice justifying its controversial full-body scanners and other checkpoint procedures. TSA’s notice ignored the fact that the “nudie” scanners are utterly unreliable; TSAfailed to detect 95% of weapons and mock bombs that Inspector General testers smuggled past them last year while the agency continues to mislead the public about its heavy-handed treatment of travelers.

The Federal Register notice is full of soothing pablum about how travelers have no reason to fear the TSA, declaring that “passengers can obtain information before they leave for the airport on what items are prohibited.” But it neglects to mention that TSA can invoke ludicrous pretexts to treat innocent travelers as suspicious terrorist suspects.

Flying home from Portland, Ore., on Thanksgiving morning, I had a too-close encounter with TSA agents that spurred me to file a Freedom of Information Act request. On March 5, I finally received a bevy of TSA documents and video footage with a grope-by-grope timeline.

As a silent assertion of my rights, I opted out that morning from passing through the “nudie” full-body scanners. A TSA agent instead did a vigorous pat-down and then, after running his glove through an explosive trace detector (ETD), announced that I showed a positive alert for explosives. He did not know what type of explosive was detected and refused to disclose how often that machine spewed false alarms. Regardless, I was told I would have to undergo a an additional special pat-down to resolve the explosive alert. I was marched off by three TSA agents to a closed room. TSA states that “a companion of his or her choosing may accompany the passenger” but I was never notified of that right.

TSA disclosed exhaustive video coverage of my every movement in the Portland airport, even detailing which chair I chose after getting a Starbucks coffee. But there is a tell-tale gap. The video timeline notes “7:50:29 group arrives at Private Security room. 7:50:55. Door Closes. 7:57:28 Door Opens.” The seven-minute gap in the recording is where travelers’ rights vanish.

TSA’s power is effectively unlimited behind closed doors. The lead TransportationSecurity officer (LTSO) proceeded to carry out a far more aggressive patdown, tugging on my shirt as if he thought it was a tear-away football jersey. The procedure was only mildly aggravating until he jammed his palm into my groin three times. Perhaps that pointless procedure was retribution for opting-out or my scoffing at their security theater.

To read more click here. 

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