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Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

Submission + - Why gay men are worth 2.5x as much to Facebook ( 2

Barence writes: "PC Pro has a feature on how social networks sold your privacy, which includes some interesting comparisons on the value of different demographics to Facebook.

For example, an advert that targets everyone within a 10-mile radius of a medium-sized British town (Dorking) is valued at 28p per click by Facebook's advertising tool. However, targeting single gay men in the area with a preference for nightclubbing raises the price to 71p per click — 2.5x the price of targeting the general public.

Such precise targeting also raises other issues. Whittling down ads to target such precise demographics can result in ads targeting as few as 20 people, making it theoretically possible to identify those targeted. "I think the worst scenario might be where someone who hates gays uses Facebook’s targeting to identify gay users and later attack them,”scientific director of the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems."

Submission + - Software Piracy at the Workplace 3

An anonymous reader writes: What does one do when a good portion of the application software at your workplace is pirated? Bringing this up did not endear me at all to the president of the company. I was given a flat, "We don't pirate software software," and, "We must have paid for it at some point." Given that I was only able to find one burnt copy of Office Pro with a Google-able CD-Key and that version of Office was on at least 20 computers, I'm not convinced. Some of the legit software in the company has been installed on more than one computer, such as Adobe Acrobat. Nevertheless I have been called on to install dubious software on multiple occasions.

As for shareware, what strategies do you use to convince management to allow the purchase of commonly used utilities? If an installation of WinZip reports thousands of uses, I think the software developer deserves a bit o' coin for it. When I told management that WinZip has a one-second per file previously opened timeout counter, they tried to implement a policy of wait for it, do something else, and come back later, rather than spend the money.

Also, some software is free for home and educational use only, like AVG Free. What do you when management ignores this?

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. -- Cartoon caption