A Week in Review - July 24th, 2015

California's legislature is seeking to ban the warrantless use of Harris Corporation's "Stingray" devices.  "The legislation would also require law enforcement to obtain a warrant, wiretap order or or an order for electronic reader records before compelling any person other than the owner of the device to produce electronic information."


According to the New York Post, the Obama administration is "prying into our most personal information at the most local levels" and "furiously mining data on [Americans'] health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document 'inequalities' between minorities and whites."


The Federal Bureau of Investigation is pushing technology companies to let law enforcement authorities have access to encrypted communications, claiming that barring law enforcement authorities' access to encrypted communications would make it easier for terrorists to attack America.


An increase of internet-connected, "always-on" devices raises serious questions about who has access to private conversations picked up by the technology that is "always listening."  It also raises the question of what constitutes unlawful surveillance under federal wiretap law.


Nearly every new car on the market today includes wireless technologies, leaving them open to being hacked, disabled, or infected with ransomware that had previously only been a threat to computers.  Further, "at least 50% of car manufacturers admitted to transmitting and storing your car driving history wirelessly to themselves and/or 3rd parties."


A federal grand jury has indicted Habersham County sheriff’s deputy Nikki Autry for blatantly lying to secure search and arrest warrants. These warrants, falsely obtained after claims of drug purchases and armed guards on the premises, led to the horrific disfigurement of 19-month-old baby, courtesy of a no-knock raid's flash-bang grenade.


The Senate is considering a new cybersecurity bill that would lead to government agencies collecting and storing even more sensitive information on still more Americans.  "The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)... authorizes Internet service providers to share virtually unlimited personal identifying information (PII) on huge numbers of individuals based upon undefined 'cyberthreat indicators,' all without judicial review or any indication of actual wrong-doing."