Today, the ACLU published thousands of pages of previously unreleased records about how Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and other parts of the Department of Homeland Security are sidestepping our Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable government searches and seizures by buying access to, and using, huge volumes of people’s cell phone location information quietly extracted from smartphone apps. The records, which the ACLU obtained over the course of the last year through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, shed new light on the government’s ability to obtain our most private information by simply opening the federal wallet. These documents are further proof that Congress needs to pass the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act, which would end law enforcement agencies’ practice of buying their way around the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.
Cyprus has launched an awareness campaign to educate the public on how to reduce wireless radiation exposures. The campaign includes large scale signs on pubic buses with the slogan “Don’t Irradiate Me: Learn How to Protect Me” along with posters, brochures, and videos translated into both Greek and English. The Campaign of the Cyprus Committee on Environment and Children’s Health is under the auspices of the Minister of Health Mr. C. Ioannou and in cooperation with the Cyprus Office of the Commissioner of Environment and the Press and Information Office, and with the participation of the Archbıshop Makarıos III Hospital.
A landmark 9th U.S. Circuit Court panel has upheld the City of Berkeley’s cell phone right to know ordinance. That ordinance requires retailers to inform consumers that cell phones emit radiation that can exceed federal cell phone radiation limits when close to the body. In upholding this decision, the panel concluded that the public health issues at hand were “substantial” and that the “text of the Berkeley notice was literally true,” and “uncontroversial.” The panel held that Berkeley’s required disclosure simply alerted consumers to the safety disclosures that the Federal Communications Commission required, and directed consumers to federally compelled instructions in their user manuals providing specific information about how to avoid excessive exposure.
New Documents Reveal DHS Asserting Broad, Unconstitutional Authority To Search Travelers’ Phones And Laptops
BOSTON — The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU today asked a federal court to rule without trial that the Department of Homeland Security violates the First and Fourth Amendments by searching travelers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry without a warrant. The request for summary judgment comes after the groups obtained documents and deposition testimony revealing that U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorize border officials to search travelers’ phones and laptops for general law enforcement purposes...
(CD) — In a decision that digital rights advocates called “a groundbreaking victory for Americans’ privacy rights,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that police generally must obtain a warrant before collecting cellphone records that can be used to track a person’s movements. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represented the petitioner, predicted the “historic” win “will have a ripple effect for privacy,” particularly as it applies to data held by third parties. As the group explained in a series of tweets, “It will help protect all sorts of digital information stored online, from emails to data from smart home appliances.”
At the height of the Cold War, during the winter of 1980, FBI agents recorded a phone call in which a man arranged a secret meeting with the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. On the day of his appointment, however, agents were unable to catch sight of the man entering the embassy. At the time, they had no way to put a name to the caller from just the sound of his voice, so the spy remained anonymous. Over the next five years, he sold details about several secret U.S. programs to the USSR. It wasn’t until 1985 that the FBI, thanks to intelligence provided by a Russian defector, was able to establish the caller as Ronald Pelton, a former analyst at the National Security Agency.
YOUR DIGITAL SECURITY, any sufficiently paranoid person will remind you, is only as good as your physical security. The world's most sensitive users of technology, like dissidents, activists, or journalists in repressive regimes, have to fear not just hacking and online surveillance, but the reality that police, intelligence agents, or other intruders can simply break into your home, office, or hotel room. They can tamper with your computers, steal them, or bodily detain you until you cough up passwords or other secrets. To help combat that threat, one of the world's most well-known activists against digital surveillance has released what's intended to be a cheap, mobile, and flexible version of a physical security system.
By Derrick Broze for Activist Post - On Friday, a Ninth Circuit panel of judges ruled in favor of a Berkeley, California law which requires retailers to display warnings about the possibility of health risks from cellphones. The 2 to 1 decision rejects a legal challenge from the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA), a wireless industry trade group who challenged Berkeley’s so-called “Right To Know” ordinance in June 2015. The group claimed the law violates the First Amendment by forcing retailers to spread a message that they say is misleading. Circuit Judge William Fletcher disagreed, writing that because Berkeley’s cellphone warning is “purely factual” and is offering protection of public safety, it does not violate the First Amendment. “Berkeley’s compelled disclosure does no more than to alert consumers to the safety disclosures that the FCC requires, and to direct consumers to federally compelled instructions in their user manuals providing specific information about how to avoid excessive exposure,” Fletcher wrote. “Far from conflicting with federal law and policy, the Berkeley ordinance complements and reinforces it.”
By Tim Johnson for McClatchy DC - It’s no secret that state and local law enforcement agencies have grown more militarized in the past decade, with armored personnel carriers, drones and robots. But one item in their arsenal has been kept largely out of public view, to the dismay of civil liberties advocates who say its use is virtually unregulated – and largely untracked. The device is a suitcase-size surveillance tool commonly called a StingRay that mimics a cellphone tower, allowing authorities to track individual cellphones in real time.
Your phone can be easily hacked by government or non-state actors. Probably no one at your cell phone company has warned you about this, but it's true. Popular Science reports that US military bases throughout the country appear to be equipped with IMSI catcher cell phone sniffers. The devices, which are also sold to state, local, and federal law enforcement in the United States, trick mobile phones into thinking they are cell phone towers. It's then relatively easy for the person manipulating such a tool to hack into and steal information from any nearby device. Some models can even manipulate mobiles, sending spoofed text messages and making ghost calls from them from a distance. Security conscious technology users have been aware of this threat for some time, but that awareness hasn't made the threat easy to combat. Like with so many things, money changes that. If you have $3,500 you can pay for an encrypted phone that will alert you that someone nearby is sniffing your data. And rich people should seriously consider it; the spy gear appears to be everywhere. Les Goldsmith, who runs a company selling crypto phones, told Popular Science that the number of cell phone sniffing devices "in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated. One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found 8 different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas," he said.