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Tag: cell phone

FBI Warns about Intruders Hijacking Video Calls Through Zoom

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Many Americans who are working from home are resorting to video conferencing apps. Schools also are using the apps for online classes.

One of the most popular apps, Zoom, has become a target to intruders who are hijacking video calls and posting hate speech and graphic images such as pornography.

The FBI calls it “Zoombombing,” which has become so popular the bureau recently issued a warning to users.

The bureau said it has been fielding a lot of complaints. School officials in Massachusetts said someone hijacked an online class through the video conferencing app and displayed swastika tattoos.

The bureau is asking the public to report incidents to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.

FBI Admits It Overstated Number of Encrypted Cellphones Investigators Can’t Access

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Oops.

The FBI has long used the figure of 7,700 when talking about the number of encrypted cellphones that investigators are unable to access in 2017.

Now, USA Today reports that the number was inflated because of a flawed internal accounting system that relied on multiple databases.

The FBI issued a statement Tuesday saying it had recently became “aware of flaws with the methodology” used to gather statistics from three separate databases to measure the problem.

“The FBI’s initial assessment is that programming errors resulted in significant over-counting of mobile devices reported through (the FBI’s Operational Technology Division) databases,” according to the statement.

“The FBI is currently conducting an in-depth review of how this over-counting previously occurred, and how the methodology can be corrected to capture future data accurately.”

 

An Off-Duty FBI Agent Distracted by His Cell Phone Triggered a Deadly Chain of Events

FBI Agent Carlos Wolff.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

An off-duty FBI agent distracted by his cell phone crashed his car on a highway north of Washington D.C., triggering a series of tragic events that claimed his life and that of another off-duty law enforcement officer who stopped to help.

Agent Carlos Wolff, a 36-year-old husband and father of two young children, lost control of his Acura SUV in December when he began reaching for his cell phone, according to newly disclosed police reports obtained by the Washington Post.

The documents had been withheld pending the outcome of an accident investigation. 

According to police, Wolff’s SUV veered across at least three lanes and struck a median wall, coming to rest while still partially blocking the fast lane.

Arson investigator Sander Cohen, 33, who happened to be driving on the same stretch of highway, stopped to help.

Both men got out of their vehicles and were on the shoulder of the road when another car struck them, hurling their bodies over the median and into the opposing lane.

Lane was pronounced dead at the scene. Wolf died soon after being rushed to the hospital.

None of the drivers involved in the accident had been drinking, police said.

FBI Launches New Cell Phone App to Help Identify Fugitives, Missing People

FBI cell phone app, via FBI.

FBI cell phone app, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has launched a new cell phone app, called FBI Wanted, that allows the public to view and search for fugitives, missing people and crime suspects, Homeland Preparedness News reports.

“Since the earliest days of the Bureau, when wanted flyers were tacked to post office walls, the public has played a vital role in helping the FBI and its partners locate criminals on the run and solving cases of all kinds,” Christopher Allen, FBI’s head of Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit, said. “This app is designed to put another digital tool in the hands of concerned citizens so they can help protect their families and communities.”

The public also may use the app to report suspicious activity.

“Thousands of cases have been solved over the years thanks to the watchful eyes of concerned citizens, and that has made the country a safer place for all of us,” Allen said. “The FBI Wanted app will help carry on this tradition of partnership. We encourage everyone to download it and report any pertinent tips to the FBI.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Seeks Audio, Video App for Agents, Informants to Use for Evidence

cellphone-tower-photo2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is hoping to find a cell phone app that allows undercover agents and informants to secretly record audio and video that would be streamed back to government servers.

FedScoop.com reports the app will be used for “covert, evidentiary audio collection from smartphones” and will be streamed in courtroom-ready format.

“The basic capability will be audio, but GPS location information is also desired and eventually video capability,” reads a request for information’s draft technical requirements from the FBI.

The app would work on phones that run Android, iOS or Windows systems.

The FBI hopes to make the purchase by the end of next year.

Federal Agents Confiscate Cell Phones of Wall Street Journal Reporter

Maria Abi-Habib pictured on the left, via Facebook.

Maria Abi-Habib pictured on the left, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents detained a Wall Street Journal reporter and confiscated her two cell phones at a Los Angeles airport.

Maria Abi-Habib, who covers the Middle East, wrote in detail about the incident on Facebook.

“My rights as a journalist or US citizen do not apply at the border, as explained above, since legislation was quietly passed in 2013 giving DHS very broad powers (I researched this since the incident),” the reporter wrote on Facebook. “This legislation also circumvents the Fourth Amendment that protects Americans’ privacy and prevents searches and seizures without a proper warrant.”

She said the agents wanted her cell phone to “collect information.”

“That is where I drew the line,” Abi-Habib wrote. “I told her I had First Amendment rights as a journalist she couldn’t violate and I was protected under.”

A federal agent provided a document that shows the government has a right to confiscate phones within 100 miles of U.S. borders.

Other Stories of Interest

Judge: DEA May Not Track Cell Phones without a Warrant

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge delivered a major blow to the DEA’s use of Stingrays, which enable law enforcement to collect evidence by using fake phone masts.

U.S, District Court Judge William Pauley III said the use of Stingrays would violate the Fourth Amendment unless a warrant is granted, the Register reports. 

The decision comes after a Maryland judge made the same ruling in 2015.

“Absent a search warrant, the Government may not turn a citizen’s cell phone into a tracking device,” the judge said.

Stingrays enable authorities to listen to conversations and access information on phones.

Other Stories of Interest

 

Rev. Sharpton: FBI Director Was Wrong to Suggest Public Stop Recording Police

camera policeBy Rev. Al Sharpton
for Huffington Post

Last week a federal grand jury indicted officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in South Carolina, on several charges including violating civil rights laws. During that same week, FBI director James Comey came out with more shocking statements claiming videos are somehow stifling police officers from doing their job and may lead to homicide rates and crime increasing. If Walter Scott’s tragic death were not caught on videotape, officer Slager likely would have never been charged and his family may have never known the truth. Reducing crime and keeping communities safe is what we all want, but if we are to ever separate good cops from the bad ones and reform policing in this country, we must push for more videotaped evidence and transparency (as a start), and not blame videos. New technology should be embraced instead of scapegoated.

While homicide rates have increased in certain places, in cities like New York and many others, they have gone down. There is no conclusive evidence as to what is either causing or decreasing these rates, and definitely no evidence of a so-called ‘Ferguson effect’. For the director of the FBI to even insinuate that such a thing exists is irresponsible, dangerous and unacceptable. Secondly, videotaping police misconduct is adding to the enforcement of law, not taking away from it because police misconduct is in fact a crime. How can anyone say that citizens should not videotape crime and it be used against alleged criminals? When security and surveillance cameras are everywhere in order to catch the bad guys, we should utilize cell phone videos to do the same – even if those bad guys happen to be wearing a police uniform.

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