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Submission + - Careful What You Post, the FBI has More of These (

jamie writes: "A comment posted to a website got its author's *friend's* car an unwanted aftermarket addon. The Orion Guardian ST820, a GPS tracking device, was attached to the underside of the car by the FBI. No warrant required. The bugged friend, a college student studying marketing, was apparently under suspicion because he's half-Egyptian. As Bruce Schneier says, 'If they're doing this to someone so tangentially connected to a vaguely bothersome post on an obscure blog, just how many of us have tracking devices on our cars right now...' The ACLU is investigating."

Submission + - Facebook Founder's Pictures Go Public ( 2

jamie writes: "In a not-uncommon development for the social-networking leader, Facebook's recently released privacy controls are leaving the company a bit red-faced. As a result of a new policy that by default makes users' profiles, photos and friends lists available on the web, almost 300 personal photos of founder Mark Zuckerberg became publicly available, a development that had gossip sites like Gawker yukking it up.

related story"


Homeland Security Changes Laptop Search Policy 273

IronicToo writes "The US Government has updated its policy on the search and seizure of laptops at border crossing. 'The long-criticized practice of searching travelers' electronic devices will continue, but a supervisor now would need to approve holding a device for more than five days. Any copies of information taken from travelers' machines would be destroyed within days if there were no legal reason to hold the information.'"

Are There Any Smart E-mail Retention Policies? 367

An anonymous reader writes "In an age of litigation and costly discovery obligations, many organizations are embracing policies which call for the forced purging of e-mail in an attempt to limit the organization's exposure to legal risk. I work for a large organization which is about to begin destroying all e-mail older than 180 days. Normally, I would just duck the house-cleaning by archiving my own e-mail to hard-drive or a network folder, but we are a Microsoft shop and the Exchange e-mail server is configured to deny all attempts to copy data to an off-line personal folder (.PST file). The organization's policy unhelpfully recommends that 'really important' e-mails be saved as Word documents. Is anybody doing this right? What do Slashdot readers suggest for a large company that needs to balance legal risks against the daily information and communication needs of its staff?"

Germany Seeks Expansion of Computer Spying 177

gooman writes "The LA Times reports on a proposal to secretly scan suspects' hard drives which is causing unease in a nation with a history of official surveillance. Along with several other European countries, Germany is seeking authority to plant secret Trojan viruses into the computers of suspects that could scan files, photos, diagrams and voice recordings, record every keystroke typed and possibly even turn on webcams and microphones in an attempt to gain knowledge of attacks before they happen."

HP Pays $14.5M to Make Civil Charges Disappear 107

theodp writes "The California Attorney General's Office negotiated a $14.5 million payoff from HP as part of a settlement that calls for the state not to pursue civil charges related to the now infamous spy scandal against the company and its current or former officers or directors (felony criminal charges against five individuals still remain). HP also agreed to maintain the watchdog positions of chief ethics officer and chief privacy officer for five years."

DHS Passenger Scoring Almost Certainly Illegal 181

Vicissidude writes "At the National Targeting Center, the Automated Targeting System program harvests up to 50 fields of passenger data from international flights, including names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers, and uses watchlists, criminal databases and other government systems to assign risk scores to every passenger. When passengers deplane, Customs and Border Protection personnel then target the high scorers for extra screening. Data and the scores can be kept for 40 years, shared widely, and be used in hiring decisions. Travelers may neither see nor contest their scores. The ATS program appears to fly in the face of legal requirements Congress has placed in the Homeland Security appropriations bills for the last three years." From the article: "Marc Rotenberg, the director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said he was unaware of the language but that it clearly applies to the Automated Targeting System, not just Secure Flight, the delayed successor to CAPPS II. 'Bingo, that's it -- the program is unlawful,' Rotenberg said. 'I think 514(e) stands apart logically (from the other provisions) and 514 says the restrictions apply to any 'other follow-on or successor passenger prescreening program'. It would be very hard to argue that ATS as applied to travelers is not of the kind contemplated (by the lawmakers).'"
United States

Justice Department To Review Domestic Spying 222

orgelspieler writes, "According to the New York Times, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine has opened a review of his department's role in the domestic spying program. Democrats (and some Republicans) have been requesting an all-out investigation into the legality of the so-called 'Terrorist Surveillance Program' since it was made public. But this new inquiry stops short of evaluating the constitutional legitimacy of the program." From the article: "The review, Mr. Fine said in his letter, will examine the controls in place at the Justice Department for the eavesdropping, the way information developed from it was used, and the department's 'compliance with legal requirements governing the program'... Several Democrats suggested that the timing of his review might be tied to their takeover of Congress in this month's midterm elections as a way to preempt expected Democratic investigations of the N.S.A. program."

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.