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Daily Archives: November 23, 2023

Unclassified Documents Contain Troubling Information About Dragnet Phone Surveillance Program

“Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called on Attorney General Merrick Garland [Read the full letter to Attorney General Garland here] to make public documents related to the Hemisphere phone surveillance program, which allows federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement agencies to request searches of trillions of U.S. phone records, usually without warrants. Although the documents are not classified, the Justice Department has marked them as “Law Enforcement Sensitive,” which is meant to prevent them from being publicly released. In a letter to Garland sent today, Wyden urged the department to remove those restrictions.

I have serious concerns about the legality of this surveillance program, and the materials provided by the DOJ contain troubling information that would justifiably outrage many Americans and other members of Congress,” Wyden wrote. “While I have long defended the government’s need to protect classified sources and methods, this surveillance program is not classified and its existence has already been acknowledged by the DOJ in federal court. The public interest in an informed debate about government surveillance far outweighs the need to keep this information secret.” Under the Hemisphere program, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) indirectly pays AT&T to allow any federal, state, local or Tribal law enforcement agency to search AT&T customers’ phone records as far back as 1987, according to public records about the program…”

A free, public database of virtual power plants in the United States

Jim Moran – VPP Data: “The public database of U.S. VPPs is available here. Background – The goal of this database is to track all Virtual Power Plant (VPP) activity in the United States – all planned, active and ended pilots and programs and their VPP software platforms, trade allies, and incentives offered. The key… Continue Reading

Criminals Can Steal Your Phone Number

How To Geek: Here’s How to Stop Them: “Key Takeaways Criminals are stealing phone numbers through “port out scams” by pretending to be the owner and transferring the number to another phone, gaining access to security codes and sensitive accounts. Port-out scams pose a major threat as phone numbers are often used for two-factor authentication,… Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Never Share on Social Media

MakeUseOf: “Key Takeaways Don’t share your travel plans or photos while on a trip to avoid advertising that you’re away from home and potentially inviting theft. Disable location data and delete photo metadata before posting to protect your physical address and sensitive information. Avoid sharing personally-identifying information, such as your full date of birth or… Continue Reading

The Captagon Threat A Profile of Illicit Trade, Consumption, and Regional Realities

The Captagon Threat A Profile of Illicit Trade, Consumption, and Regional Realities By Caroline Rose and Alexander Söderholm Opinion – Assad’s drug empire is funding Iranian-backed militias and fueling Hamas By Josh Rogin: “After the Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel, several Hamas militants were reportedly found to be high on the illegal drug Captagon,… Continue Reading

NewsGuard Misinformation Monitor November 2023

“Brand Danger: X and Misinformation Super-spreaders Share Ad Money from False or Egregiously Misleading Claims About the Israel-Hamas War. “NewsGuard identified ads for 86 major advertisers — including top brands, educational institutions, governments, and nonprofits — on viral posts seen by a cumulative 92 million X users advancing false or egregiously misleading claims about the… Continue Reading

USDA Food Access Research Atlas

“The Food Access Research Atlas: Presents an overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility; Provides food access data for populations within census tracts; and Offers census-tract-level data on food access that can be downloaded for community planning or research purposes. What can you do with… Continue Reading