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Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

FBI pressures Internet providers to install surveillance software

August 5, 2013 Comments off

cnet.com

CNET has learned the FBI has developed custom “port reader” software to intercept Internet metadata in real time. And, in some cases, it wants to force Internet providers to use the software.

FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.

(Credit: Getty Images)

The U.S. government is quietly pressuring telecommunications providers to install eavesdropping technology deep inside companies’ internal networks to facilitate surveillance efforts.

FBI officials have been sparring with carriers, a process that has on occasion included threats of contempt of court, in a bid to deploy government-provided software capable of intercepting and analyzing entire communications streams. The FBI’s legal position during these discussions is that the software’s real-time interception of metadata is authorized under the Patriot Act.

Attempts by the FBI to install what it internally refers to as “port reader” software, which have not been previously disclosed, were Read more…

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FBI can remotely activate microphones in Android smartphones, source says

August 3, 2013 Comments off

foxnews.com

The Wall Street Journal

FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

J. Edgar Hoover Building.jpgLaw-enforcement officials in the U.S. are expanding the use of tools routinely used by computer hackers to gather information on suspects, bringing the criminal wiretap into the cyber age.

Federal agencies have largely kept quiet about these capabilities, but court documents and interviews with people involved in the programs provide new details about the hacking tools, including spyware delivered to computers and phones through email or Web links—techniques more commonly associated with attacks by criminals.

‘[The FBI] hires people who have hacking skill, and they purchase tools that are capable of doing these things.’

– a former official in the agency’s cyber division

People familiar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s programs say that the use of hacking tools under court orders has grown as agents seek to keep up with Read more…

Categories: Big Brother Tags: , , , ,

Google: FBI watching you on internet

March 8, 2013 Comments off

indiatimes.com

(Google says the FBI is monitoring…)

WASHINGTON: Google says the FBI is monitoring the Web for potential terrorist activity. But it can’t say how extensive the surveillance is.

As part of the Google Transparency Report, the Internet giant this week released data on so-called National Security Letters — official requests for data under the Patriot Act passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

But Google said it was only allowed to provide broad ranges of numbers: in the years from 2009 to 2012, for example, it received between zero and 999 requests. The requests affected between 1,000 and 1,999 accounts, except in 2010 when the range was 2,000 to 2,999 accounts, Google said.

“You’ll notice that we’re reporting numerical ranges rather than exact numbers. This is to address concerns raised Read more…

How secretly developed software became capable of tracking people’s movements online

February 12, 2013 Comments off

The U.S. government can track where you are, who you’re with, what you look like, and where you’ll likely be next thanks to a tool created by defense contractor Raytheon.

The tool, called Riot, or rapid information overlay technology, looks at your Twitter, Facebook, Gowalla, and Foursquare to determine Read more…

LAPD Uses Anti-Terrorism Devise to Track Cellphone Users

January 29, 2013 1 comment

allgov.com

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is using an anti-terrorism device that indiscriminately sweeps up cellphone communications of innocent bystanders during burglary, drug and murder investigations.

LA Weekly wrote back in September that the police agency purchased Stingray technology in 2006 using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds, and is deploying the portable equipment for routine police operations. DHS grant documents said the device was intended for “regional terrorism investigations.”

Stingray pretends that it is a cell tower and fools wireless phones into establishing a connection. Once connected, it can establish cell location and download information of people who are not suspects in an investigation, raising all sorts of privacy issues.

Information obtained by the First Amendment Coalition under the California Public Records Act indicates that LAPD used Stingray 21 times in a four-month period last year. While carriers like AT&T and Sprint typically require a court order before granting law enforcement access to cellphone data, it is not clear that LAPD is asking the courts for a warrant.

Privacy advocates argue that accessing phones with Stingray constitutes a “search and seizure” under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, and requires a warrant. The FBI has argued it doesn’t need a warrant because cellphone users have no reasonable expectation of privacy. The U.S.Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the issue.

The records viewed by LA Weekly seemed to indicate that judges were not fully apprised of Stingray’s scope; that it was sweeping a range of cellphones rather than a specific suspect’s phone.

LAPD refuses to comment on Stingray, which is reportedly also being used by local law enforcement in Fort Worth, Texas, Gilbert, Arizona, and Miami.

–Ken Broder

FBI launches $1 billion nationwide facial recognition system

September 7, 2012 1 comment

extremetech

Facial recognition

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun rolling out its new $1 billion biometric Next Generation Identification (NGI) system. In essence, NGI is a nationwide database of mugshots, iris scans, DNA records, voice samples, and other biometrics, that will help the FBI identify and catch criminals — but it is how this biometric data is captured, through a nationwide network of cameras and photo databases, that is raising the eyebrows of privacy advocates.

Until now, the FBI relied on IAFIS, a national fingerprint database that has long been due an overhaul. Over the last few months, the FBI has been pilot testing a facial recognition system — and soon, detectives will also be able to search the system for other biometrics such as DNA records and iris scans. In theory, this should result in much faster positive identifications of criminals and fewer unsolved cases.

According to New Scientist, facial recognition systems have reached the point where they can Read more…

‘Internet Doomsday’: FBI Gives New Deadline to Disinfect Computer of Malicious Malware by July 9 or Else

April 24, 2012 Comments off

theblaze.com

Earlier this year, we reported that any computer infected with a nasty piece of malware could be shunned from using the Internet by the feds. The deadline for that was March 8 but an extension was ordered to provide users with more time to clean up computers. Now, Federal Bureau of Investigation has said all must be virus free by July 9 or be subject to was PC World calls “Internet doomsday.”

The malware is a piece called DNS Changer Trojan that was the work of six men from Estonia who were arrested and charged in 2011. The malware infected more than 4 million computers in 100 countries and is relatively easy to spread, hence why the government is ready to stop those with the virus from accessing the Internet.

(Related: Seven charged for infecting 4 million computers with ‘false advertising’ malware)

Individuals and companies have been working to scrub the malware from their systems but as of March at least one computer in half of all Fortune 500 companies was infected and more than two dozen government agencies had a carrier as well. PC world reports that estimates are more than 350,000 computers are still infected. Read more…

Categories: Computers Tags: , ,