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Linux.Slashdot.org - 1 hour 33 min ago
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Intelligence Analysts Use US Smartphone Location Data Without Warrants, Memo Says

Slashdot.org - 2 hours 6 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: A military arm of the intelligence community buys commercially available databases containing location data from smartphone apps and searches it for Americans' past movements without a warrant, according to an unclassified memo obtained by The New York Times. Defense Intelligence Agency analysts have searched for the movements of Americans within a commercial database in five investigations over the past two and a half years, agency officials disclosed in a memo they wrote for Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon. The disclosure sheds light on an emerging loophole in privacy law during the digital age: In a landmark 2018 ruling known as the Carpenter decision, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution requires the government to obtain a warrant to compel phone companies to turn over location data about their customers. But the government can instead buy similar data from a broker -- and does not believe it needs a warrant to do so. "D.I.A. does not construe the Carpenter decision to require a judicial warrant endorsing purchase or use of commercially available data for intelligence purposes," the agency memo said. Mr. Wyden has made clear that he intends to propose legislation to add safeguards for Americans' privacy in connection with commercially available location data. In a Senate speech this week, he denounced circumstances "in which the government, instead of getting an order, just goes out and purchases the private records of Americans from these sleazy and unregulated commercial data brokers who are simply above the law." He called the practice unacceptable and an intrusion on constitutional privacy rights. "The Fourth Amendment is not for sale," he said.

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FTC Fines Three Ticket Scalping Companies For Illegally Using Bots

Slashdot.org - 2 hours 48 min ago
The Federal Trade Commission issued multimillion-dollar fines against three bot-powered ticket scalping operations. The Verge reports: The FTC says these organizations bought over 150,000 event tickets over the past four years, nabbing them with automated tools that evaded online purchasing limits. After reselling these tickets for an estimated $26.1 million, they've been accused of breaking a 2016 anti-bot law -- the first time this law has been applied. Regulators reached a proposed settlement with the ticket selling groups, including $31.6 million in fines. However, most of these fines were suspended because of an inability to pay. The three groups will pay a total of $3.7 million instead, and they'll have to maintain records demonstrating their future compliance with the law. The settlement must still be approved by a judge. [...] While the complaints don't specify which shows the scalpers were targeting, they note that the list includes many sporting events and other performances, including Elton John concerts.

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Apple Plans Thinner MacBook Air With Magnetic Charger In Mac Lineup Reboot

Slashdot.org - 3 hours 28 min ago
According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a thinner and lighter version of the MacBook Air, the company's mass-market laptop. From the report: The new computer is planned to be released during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed making the laptop smaller by shrinking the border around the screen, which will remain 13-inches. The current model weighs 2.8 pounds and is just over half an inch at its thickest point. The company considered building a larger version of the MacBook Air with a 15-inch screen, but Apple isn't moving forward with this for the next generation, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. The new model will have a pair of USB 4 ports for connecting external devices. The new laptop is destined to be a higher-end version of the current MacBook Air, which is expected to remain in the company's lineup as an entry-level offering. Apple last updated the product in November with its own M1 Mac chip, replacing a processor from Intel Corp. Last Friday, Bloomberg reported on Apple's upgraded MacBook Pro laptops that are expected to be released later this year. They too will feature MagSafe charging, but unlike the MacBook Air, Apple's planning to bring back an SD card slot so users can insert memory cards from digital cameras. The Touch Bar is also going.

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A Home Security Worker Hacked Into Surveillance Systems To Watch People Have Sex

Slashdot.org - 4 hours 6 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: A former employee of prominent home security company ADT has admitted that he hacked into the surveillance feeds of dozens of customer homes, doing so primarily to spy on naked women or to leer at unsuspecting couples while they had sex. Telesforo Aviles, 35, pleaded guilty to a count of computer fraud in federal court this week, confessing that he inappropriately accessed the accounts of customers some 9,600 times over the course of several years. He is alleged to have done this to over 200 customers. Authorities say that the IT technician "took note of which homes had attractive women, then repeatedly logged into these customers' accounts in order to view their footage for sexual gratification." He did this by adding his personal email address to customer accounts, which ultimately hooked him into "real-time access to the video feeds from their homes." Aviles, who now faces up to five years in prison, sometimes "claimed he needed to add himself temporarily in order to 'test' the system; in other instances, he added himself without their knowledge," officials said. "This defendant, entrusted with safeguarding customers' homes, instead intruded on their most intimate moments," acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a statement. "We are glad to hold him accountable for this disgusting betrayal of trust." The scandal has inspired multiple lawsuits -- three of which are ongoing. ADT tried using confidentiality agreements to keep some customers silent. The company told BuzzFeed that it is "continuing to respond to the lawsuits and has resolved the concerns of most of the 220 impacted customers, including those who have retained attorneys to address the issue."

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Boston Globe Will Consider People's Requests To Have Articles About Them Anonymized

Slashdot.org - 4 hours 47 min ago
The Boston Globe is starting a new program by which people who feel an article at the newspaper is harmful to their reputation can ask that it be updated or anonymized. From a report: It's reminiscent of the E.U.'s "right to be forgotten," though potentially less controversial, since it concerns only one editorial outlet and not a content-agnostic search engine. The "Fresh Start" initiative isn't for removing bad restaurant reviews or coverage of serious crimes, but rather for more commonplace crime desk reporting: a hundred words saying so-and-so was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, perhaps with a mugshot. Such stories do serve a purpose, of course, in informing readers of crime in their area. But as the Globe's editor, Brian McGrory points out: "It was never our intent to have a short and relatively inconsequential Globe story affect the futures of the ordinary people who might be the subjects. Our sense, given the criminal justice system, is that this has had a disproportionate impact on people of color. The idea behind the program is to start addressing it."

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