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Category Archives: E-Mail

2015 Wiretap Report: Intercept Orders Rise 17 Percent

United States Courts, June 30, 2016: “The number of federal and state wiretaps terminated in 2015 increased nearly 17 percent over 2014, according to an annual report submitted to Congress by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. As in previous years, drug investigations and telephone wiretaps accounted for the large majority of cases. The 2015 Wiretap Report covers intercepts—of wire, oral or electronic communications—that  were concluded between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. The report does not include data on interceptions regulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.  A total of 4,148 wiretaps were reported in 2015, compared with 3,554 the previous year. Of those, 1,403 were authorized by federal judges, 10 percent more than in 2014, and 2,745 were authorized by state judges, an increase of 21 percent. No wiretap applications were reported as denied in 2015.”

IG – Audit Finds Inactive Accounts Within the Department of State’s Active Directory

OIG, U.S. Department of State, Management Assistance Report: Inactive Accounts Within the Department of State’s Active Directory, AUD-IT-16-37, Office of Audits. June 2016. “According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, inactive accounts should be automatically disabled after a defined period of time. The Foreign Affairs Handbook states that Department officials must disable inactive… Continue Reading

UK company proposes extensive data mining on renters for landlords benefit

Washington Post – Creepy startup will help landlords, employers and online dates strip-mine intimate data from your Facebook page “…Tenant Assured, is already live: After your would-be landlord sends you a request through the service, you’re required to grant it full access to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Instagram profiles. From there, Tenant Assured scrapes… Continue Reading

NYT – A Russian Cybersleuth Battles the ‘Dark Ages’ of the Internet

Neil MacFarquar – Moscow – “A sense of menace stirs right off the elevator on the fifth floor of Kaspersky Lab’s Moscow headquarters, where a small television screen displays cyberthreats occurring in real time around the world — a blinking, spinning, color-coded globe brimming with suspicious emails, malware and evil botnets that could be infecting a… Continue Reading

Sunlight Foundation is using IFTTT to make the government more open

“Want to know when the president signs a bill into law? When congress votes on a bill? When a new legislator is representing you? Since 2014, The Sunlight Foundation has been connecting its massive trove of government data to IFTTT, the popular web service that connects things on the internet to other things…For those unfamiliar… Continue Reading

MailChimp Content Style Guide

MailChimp Content Style Guide – MailChimp 2016. This work is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. [Note – I am a MailChimp customer and am pleased this guide is available.] Continue Reading

Study identifies metadata mining of telephone data by NSA

“Privacy protections against government surveillance are often scoped to communications content and exclude communications metadata. In the United States, the National Security Agency operated a particularly controversial program, collecting bulk telephone metadata nationwide. We investigate the privacy properties of telephone metadata to assess the impact of policies that distinguish between content and metadata. We find… Continue Reading

FCW – OPM’s sensitive data on feds still not encrypted

Federal Computer Week, Adam Mazmania, May 13, 2016 – “More than a year after a hack of Office of Personnel Management systems compromised more than 22 million records, the agency has not been able to encrypt all the sensitive data on 4 million federal employees, including Social Security numbers. “There are still elements of OPM… Continue Reading

Lack of Trust in Internet Privacy and Security May Deter Economic and Other Online Activities

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): “Every day, billions of people around the world use the Internet to share ideas, conduct financial transactions, and keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Users send and store personal medical data, business communications, and even intimate conversations over this global network. But for the Internet to grow… Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings on Mass Surveillance Statute

Via EFF: “The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act Tuesday May 10. The Act, passed in 2008, created what is now known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  Section 702 is used for mass spying, and government surveillance conducted under the law… Continue Reading

UK Gov – Password Guidance Simplifying Your Approach

UK Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure – Password Guidance Simplifying Your Approach – By simplifying your organisation’s approach to passwords, you can reduce the workload on users, lessen the support burden on IT departments, and combat the false sense of security that unnecessarily complex passwords can encourage. “Passwords are an essential part of… Continue Reading

EFF – House Advances Email Privacy Act, Setting the Stage for Vital Privacy Reform

Sophia Cope – EFF: “The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699) today, which would require the government to get a probable cause warrant from a judge before obtaining private communications and documents stored online with companies such as Google, Facebook, and Dropbox. The bill provides a long-overdue update to the… Continue Reading