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DHS: All your Gadgets are Belong to Us...

After careful consideration, the Department of Homeland Security has concluded that American citizens near national borders are subject to having their personal electronics (including smartphones, tablets, and laptops) seized, and their contents examined without DHS officialns needing to articulate reasonable suspicion— or any reason whatsoever. Basically, if you are within 100 miles of the Mexican or Canadian border, you have no Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Note that you are not obligated to disclose account or decryption passwords, so make sure your hard drives are encrypted and your computer is shut down when you’re near a border. Hopefully, this will be tested by a high court soon. Not only is the decision completely unreasonable, so...

DHS: All your Gadgets are Belong to Us
posted on: Feb 11, 2013 | author: privacycast

State of Email Privacy

Schneier has excellent meta-analysis of the state of email privacy. The conclusion: there isn’t much. While the details of this investigation that have leaked thus far provide us all a fascinating glimpse into the usually sensitive methods used by FBI agents, this should also serve as a warning, by demonstrating the extent to which the government can pierce the veil of communications anonymity without ever having to obtain a search warrant or other court order from a neutral judge. Definitely worth a read– if you want to know what law enforcement can access without a warrant, this is eye opening...

State of Email Privacy
posted on: Nov 19, 2012 | author: privacycast

Petraeus Reminder of Email Retention Policy Importance...

Little known fact: The 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act stipulates that any email message that has resided on a server for more than six months is “abandoned.” This esoteric legal definition became critical in the recent investigation and subsequent sex scandal involving General David Petraeus. Thanks to the Patriot Act, federal can access “abandoned messages” with a subpoena (which is approved only by a prosequtor) rather than needing a warrant (which would require the approval of a judge.) Might be time to start thinking about an email retention policy. PrivacyCast’s recommendation would be to keep only relatively new (3 months?) messages on your server, and either delete or locally archive older messages in an encrypted...

Petraeus Reminder of Email Retention Policy Importance
posted on: Nov 13, 2012 | author: privacycast

Federal Judge: Police can install cameras on private property without warrant...

A federal judge ruled Wisconsin police officers did not violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure when they covertly installed automated cameras on the defendant’s private property, despite their failure to secure a warrant first. The cameras were installed by the officers in an open field because they suspected that the defendants (Manuel Mendoza and Marco Magana) were growing marijuana there. To be clear, they did eventually obtain a search warrant… but only after (and possibly because of) incriminating pictures were taken by the cameras. Attorneys for the defendants asked Judge William Griesbach to suppress all images collected prior to the issuance of the search warrant, but in a Monday decision he approved the previous ruling...

Federal Judge: Police can install cameras on private property without warrant
posted on: Oct 31, 2012 | author: privacycast

Facebook and Law Enforcement – 25 People Dedicated to Information Requests...

It’s hard work to be the world’s most popular social network. Indeed, you need 25 full-time employees  just to handle information requests by law enforcement. Facebook receives thousands of calls and e-mails from authorities every week. It’s nice to hear that Facebook claims they require police to acquire a warrant before they will turn over non-public information other than a subscriber’s name, email and IP address. Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan said that at least one government agency tried to push Facebook to collect more information about users for authorities, but the social network refused to comply… “Recently a government agency wanted us to start logging information we don’t [currently] log. We told them we wouldn’t start logging...

Facebook and Law Enforcement – 25 People Dedicated to Information Requests
posted on: Feb 24, 2012 | author: privacycast

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