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Sprint Revealed Customer GPS Data 8 Million Times 315

An anonymous reader sends along Chris Soghoian's blog entry revealing that Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' GPS location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. The data point comes from a closed industry conference that Soghoian attended, at which Paul Taylor, Electronic Surveillance Manager at Sprint Nextel, said: "[M]y major concern is the volume of requests. We have a lot of things that are automated but that's just scratching the surface. One of the things, like with our GPS tool. We turned it on the web interface for law enforcement about one year ago last month, and we just passed 8 million requests. So there is no way on earth my team could have handled 8 million requests from law enforcement, just for GPS alone. So the tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement. They also love that it is extremely inexpensive to operate and easy, so, just the sheer volume of requests they anticipate us automating other features, and I just don't know how we'll handle the millions and millions of requests that are going to come in." Soghoian's post details the laws around disclosure of wiretap and other interception data — one of which the Department of Justice has been violating since 2004 — and calls for more disclosure of the levels of all forms of surveillance.

Comment Re:Good (2) (Score 1) 172

Yeah, cause it worked so well the last time a few Chinese peasants tried to revolt by gumming up the army's tanks' treads with their corpses.

Sort of brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Chinks in the armor" doesn't it?
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Disclaimer: The word "chink" is in the summary tags - nobody complained/mentioned it yet. If you find it racist then feel free to type some vitriol or mod this down. Thank you.

Comment Re:"Just about" ? (Score 3, Interesting) 592

Oh, and I forgot one:

4) Lead character crashes into a planet and just happens to land within walking distance of wise old elder who can reveal everything to him......

Actually with regards to 4) - I was thinking some vague targeting protocol had Kirk land within a few kilometres of a Federation outpost. This as opposed to something totally random.

It would be akin to a death sentance throwing someone into the midst of a frozen waste with little prospect of survival - something tells me young Spock did not intend for Kirk to die on that planet.

It goes the same for Nero with old Spock; the Federation outpost happened to be the point where both could safely approach, and that which both Nero and young Spock pinpointed for this purpose.

So...Yoda/Dagobah this is not. Though I do agree with your other three points.

Comment Plan unsuccessful... (Score 1) 637

Many posters here seem to be unaware of the actual history behind this fellow's arrest and trial. The guy was eventually tried in Germany during 2006.

From Wikipedia's Half Life 2 article:

"He was to be offered a flight to the USA and was to be arrested on arrival by the FBI. When the German government became aware of the plan, Gembe was arrested in Germany instead, and put on trial for the leak as well as other computer crimes in November 2006, such as the creation of Agobot, a highly successful trojan which harvested users' data.

"At the trial in November 2006 in Germany, Gembe was sentenced to two years' probation. In imposing the sentence, the judge took into account such factors as Gembe's difficult childhood and the fact that he was taking steps to improve his situation."

Considering he walked, that's pretty light as he was involved in authoring a hard hitting trojan and intruded on networks amongst other things. But still there we are, and I guess we enter the argument that punishments don't often fit crimes.

A Wikipedia WIthout Graffiti 290

Frequent Slashdot Contributor Bennett Haselton writes "I'm a Wikipedia junkie. There's nothing more fun than switching back and forth between reading about the history of human evolution, and following the latest speculation about the identity of the mysterious R.A.B. in the Harry Potter books, and Wikipedia is the best site to find it all in one place. But as a fan, it's always been frustrating for me knowing that Wikipedia could never improve beyond a certain point -- as it becomes more popular, it becomes more tempting to vandalize, and in turn becomes less reliable, a point that many have made already. That's why I'm excited that sites like Citizendium are approaching the same problem with a different model, one that could enable them to become what Wikipedia almost was, but which its intrinsic nature kept it from being: a central, reliable source of freely redistributable information about almost anything. The main difference is that Citizendium articles, after initially being built up through the same collaborative process that Wikipedia uses, will go into an editor-approved stage, at which point an editor (publicly identifiable on the article's history page) signs off on the accuracy of the article, and further edits also have to be approved by an editor."
Portables

Dell Laptops Have Shocking New Problem 475

dapsychous writes "A friend of one of my coworkers has noticed a problem in Dell notebook computers (also covered in this engadget article about a problem that has been popping up lately in Dell 17" notebook computers). It seems that these computers are putting out between 19 and 139 (65 according to article, 139 according to him) volts of AC power as measured from any chassis screw vs. earth ground. This has led to several problems including fried ram, blown video circuits, and a stout zap on his left hand. According to him, Dell has tried to keep him quiet about the problem and has even gone so far as to have him banned from a few websites, and threatened him with legal action if he tells people about the problem."

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