SCOTUS says coppers need warrants to track your cellphone — so, Trump just buys locations online


ICE arrest in Los Angeles

Companies that sell your cellphone location data to marketers are also selling that information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the government body known for detaining children in cages. According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, ICE and its affiliated organizations at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been using location information for “millions” of cellphones bought from marketers to track down and arrest undocumented immigrants at the US-Mexico border…

Experts told the Journal that these are the “largest known troves of bulk data being deployed by law enforcement in the US.” Venntel, a company that licenses location data and is affiliated with the mobile ad company Gravy Analytics, has received $250,000 in contracts in the past few years from DHS, which operates ICE. Public records show that Venntel has also received a contract from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

“This shows the overlap of immigrant rights and data privacy rights,” Adam Schwartz, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Recode. “Our society has failed to protect consumers from companies that harvest and monetize their personal information, including their sensitive location data. Now, reportedly, the federal government has purchased access to that data, and is using it to locate and deport immigrants.”

Not that the Fake President’s base of voters cares a rat’s ass about what happens to immigrants. Or, what should be important to everyone – he’s using taxpayer dollar$ to buy location info from the creepy online traders who profit from tracking data lifted from the Web. SCOTUS rulings be damned! Trump’s War on Brown People is much more important to the quasi-fascist tool this Republican administration has become.

No more AT&T throttling your data plan…Just buy their more/most expensive options and you’re OK

❝ AT&T…announced three new “unlimited” data plans. Keeping track of all the different limits on AT&T’s unlimited mobile plans is just as difficult as ever, but…Buying AT&T’s cheapest unlimited plan still comes with the risk of getting your data throttled to speeds slower than those provided to other customers when the network is congested. The possible throttling can be imposed at any time, even if a customer hasn’t used much data that month. But while upgrading to pricier plans currently only gives AT&T customers 22GB a month before possible throttling, the plans coming out soon have options for at least 50GB or 100GB of un-throttled use…

❝ Starting November 3, AT&T will offer a new “Unlimited Starter” plan as the entry-level edition at prices of $65 per month for a single line or $35 for each line when you buy four lines…

The new top-level plan is Unlimited Elite, and AT&T said it will launch “in the coming weeks” but did not reveal a specific release date. This one is $85 a month for a single line or $50 per line with four lines…blah, blah, blah!

I especially love their plan to keep you viewing even when throttled by “giving you” Standard Definition quality streams. I hope you love down-rezzed screens because US brands stopped making or importing SD TVs about 16 years ago…and the last few SD broadcasters gave up a couple years ago. AT&T will actually have to reduce the quality of whatever they’re letting you receive — when they’re screwing you out of bandwidth.

NYPD handcuffed by investment in Microsoft’s Windows Phone

The New York Police Department must replace some 36,000 smartphones running Microsoft’s defunct Windows Phone platform…plans to provide its officers with replacement iPhones by the end of the year.

The NYPD’s ill-advised investment in Windows Phone…lasted just two years. The switch to Apple’s iPhone was prompted by the announcement from Microsoft in July that it has terminated support for Windows Phone 8.1.

The 36,000 phones were purchased as part of a $160 million program intended to help modernize New York City’s police force with new technology. Officers were equipped with Nokia Lumia 830 and Lumia 640XL smartphones.

Smartphones have become a crucial tool in law enforcement, with the NYPD using them on the street to receive alerts, search databases, file reports, and even get real-time updates on 911 calls.

Wonder who got what in the NYPD or NYC purchasing department to make the original decision. There were plenty of naysayers for sound technical and economic reasons. No one listened.

Woman faces deportation for checking hubby’s cellphone


“My husband’s a creep!”

A woman was fined and ordered to be deported from the United Arab Emirates for breaching her husband’s privacy by checking his cell phone to see if he was cheating on her…

The unnamed Arab expatriate was fined $40,843 by the criminal court in the emirate of Ajman…

Her lawyer said she had accused her husband of having an affair. She admitted she had accessed his phone without his permission and transferred photos to her device, the lawyer added.

The husband lodged a complaint with the court which convicted her on Thursday last week under a cyber crime law which penalizes “the invasion of privacy of another person” using information technology…

Sounds like the kind of protection our elected Congresspunks expect for themselves – without extending reasonable concern to the unprivileged.

In the UAE, generally, the primary dividing line is gender.

Student yanked off flight for cellphone conversation about chicken dinner – in Arabic


The crime of Flying while Muslim

A college student who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in California earlier this month after another passenger became alarmed when she heard him speaking Arabic.

The student, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, was taken off a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Oakland on April 6 after he called an uncle in Baghdad to tell him about an event he attended that included a speech by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“I was very excited about the event so I called my uncle to tell him about it,” he said.

He told his uncle about the chicken dinner they were served and the moment when he got to stand up and ask the secretary general a question about the Islamic State, he said. But the conversation seemed troubling to a nearby passenger, who told the crew she overheard him making “potentially threatening comments,” the airline said in a statement.

Mr. Makhzoomi, 26, knew something was wrong as soon as he finished his phone call and saw that a woman sitting in front of him had turned around in her seat to stare at him, he said. She headed for the airplane door soon after he told his uncle that he would call again when he landed, and qualified it with a common phrase in Arabic, “inshallah,” meaning “god willing.”

“That is when I thought, ‘Oh, I hope she is not reporting me,’ because it was so weird,” Mr. Makhzoomi said.

That is exactly what happened

An Arabic-speaking Southwest Airlines employee of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent came to his seat and escorted him off the plane a few minutes after his call ended, he said. The man introduced himself in Arabic and then switched to English to ask, “Why were you speaking Arabic in the plane?”

The employee spoke to him “like I was an animal.”…“I said to him, ‘This is what Islamophobia got this country into,’ and that made him so angry. That is when he told me I could not go back on the plane.”

Law enforcement officials arrived shortly after Mr. Makhzoomi accused the airline employee of anti-Muslim bias, he said. He was brought into the terminal and searched in front of a crowd of onlookers while half a dozen police officers, including one with a dog, stood watch.

Three agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived and brought him into a private room where they questioned him, he said…A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. in Los Angeles, Ari Dekofsky, confirmed that agents responded to the airport that day but had found there to be no threat. “We determined that no further action was necessary,”…

Mr. Makhzoomi was able to book a new flight on Delta Air Lines and arrived in Oakland eight hours after he originally planned. He said he has no plans to pursue legal action against Southwest Airlines but he does want the company to apologize for the way its employees treated him.

Politically correct speech and behavior is a practice that originated with our Right-wingers and is institutionalized throughout our culture. Republican candidates lie about PC and try to lay it off as a Liberal phenomenon – mostly because they don’t wish to deal with the racism and bigotry of American linguistics.

Chickenshit politicians blather with false pride about everything from menstruation to racism, rejecting criticism as political correctness. At the same time, they consider discriminatory behavior like this event justified as better safe than sorry. A funny way to describe ignorance and cowardice.

BTW, I date American PC from the time I witnessed “In God We Trust” put on our currency and “Under God” stuffed into the Pledge of Allegiance. By the craven politicians who knelt before the very politically-correct Joseph McCarthy.

One “data intelligence” firm tracked Iowa caucusgoers through their cellphones

cellphone watching you

…In an interview with the CEO of “a big data intelligence company” called Dstillery…The CEO told public radio program Marketplace something astounding: his company had sucked up the mobile device ID’s from the phones of Iowa caucus-goers to match them with their online profiles.

“We watched each of the caucus locations for each party and we collected mobile device ID’s,” Dstillery CEO Tom Phillips said. “It’s a combination of data from the phone and data from other digital devices…”

What really happened is that Dstillery gets information from people’s phones via ad networks. When you open an app or look at a browser page, there’s a very fast auction that happens where different advertisers bid to get to show you an ad. Their bid is based on how valuable they think you are, and to decide that, your phone sends them information about you, including, in many cases, an identifying code (that they’ve built a profile around) and your location information, down to your latitude and longitude.

Yes, for the vast majority of people, ad networks are doing far more information collection about them than the NSA – but they don’t explicitly link it to their names…

So on the night of the Iowa caucus, Dstillery flagged all the auctions that took place on phones in latitudes and longitudes near caucus locations. It wound up spotting 16,000 devices on caucus night, as those people had granted location privileges to the apps or devices that served them ads. It captured those mobile ID’s and then looked up the characteristics associated with those IDs in order to make observations about the kind of people that went to Republican caucus locations (young parents) versus Democrat caucus locations. It drilled down farther (e.g., ‘people who like NASCAR voted for Trump and Clinton’) by looking at which candidate won at a particular caucus location…

❝One thing that isn’t in the data is personal identifiable information. The data and system are completely anonymous. We have no idea, for example, what your name is. All we see are behaviors and everything we do is based on analyzing those behaviors writ-large…

I guess that makes me feel a little better. Erm.

❝Dstillery: This application is an extension of what we do every day in our core business. Our entire mission as a company is to find the right consumer at the right time with the right message. We had to do some special setup and analysis due to the caucus dynamics, but this sort of experiment – seeing things in the data that no one else has before – is our bread and butter.

Warms the cockles of your heart, right? American entrepreneurs showing the way for the NSA.

If you’re using an iPad or iPhone, iOS operating system, go to SETTINGS > PRIVACY > ADVERTISING > turn on LIMIT AD TRACKING if it’s off.

Every little bit helps. We dump all cookies every day to start the day. We have location tracking turned off for just about everything – and specify that it’s on only when the app is in use. Only apps like MAPS, WEATHER.

Coppers shoot man in his driveway – recording them with his smartphone


Sanchez’ father pointing out bullet holes in his garage

An innocent bystander who was holding a cell phone on his own property was shot last week, with officers saying they perceived an “imminent threat” because they mistook his phone for a gun, according to several news reports.

Almost as standard an excuse as “the dog ate my homework”.

Danny Sanchez of Rancho Cordova, California, the unarmed man who was shot by police, reportedly underwent surgery Friday to remove bullet fragments from his leg. The officers who shot at him are reportedly on paid leave while the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department investigates the shooting.

The incident happened Thursday when Sanchez’s next-door neighbor, Ben Ledford, was allegedly “firing up to 100 machine gun rounds at a home across the street, killing a dog inside the house,” CBS Sacramento reported. Ledford surrendered to police, but officers fired at Sanchez after they saw him stand at the edge of his open garage and extend his hand out with an object—which turned out to be his cell phone…

“He was yelling, ‘Dad I’m shot, I’m shot,’ so I grabbed him inside and closed the garage door,” said the man’s father, John Sanchez…”I put a tourniquet around his leg and a clean towel.” Danny Sanchez was apparently either taking pictures or video of police.

Police “told him they were sorry that he got shot and everything, that they made a mistake,” John Sanchez told CBS Sacramento. There were bullet holes in Sanchez’s garage and car.

Officers thought there “was an imminent threat to themselves and blah, blah, blah,” and “discharged their weapons based on what they perceived at the time,” Sgt. Jason Ramos told KCRA. Sanchez’s home was searched and he was “detained briefly” for questioning, but he is not facing charges, the report said.

The point was made, eh? Try to photograph your local copper in action – justified or not – you may get shot.

Copper pulls gun on man recording him

Raw, uncut recording

A Northern California police officer has been placed on leave after a video surfaced showing him pulling a gun on a man who was recording him on his cellphone.

Rohnert Park officials announced their decision Thursday to place the officer on administrative leave…

Don McComas said he was in front of his home and hooking his boat to a trailer when he saw the officer drive into his neighborhood. The officer, he said, made a few turns and stopped to face McComas. The officer did nothing but point at McComas and his home, McComas said.

McComas became concerned, so he pulled out his cellphone camera and started filming.

The video shows the officer stopping his police SUV and appearing to film McComas with a camera or cellphone.

On the video, McComas moves in closer to record the license plate number on the officer’s vehicle. The officer gets out of the SUV and tells McComas to take his hand out of his pocket.

McComas replies: “No sir, I’ve done nothing. I have done absolutely nothing. No.”…

The video shows McComas backing away as the officer moves the gun toward him.

McComas repeats he did nothing wrong and tells the officer not to touch him.

When McComas asks why the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the officer responds, “You’re taking a picture of me. I am taking a picture of you.” The officer then asked whether McComas was “some kind of a constitutionalist or crazy guy or something like that.”

“Why are you doing this?” the officer asks McComas, who responds, “Why are you sitting here with your gun on me? This is why I am doing this. To protect myself from you….”

As the officer walks away, he tells McComas, “Go ahead, have a nice day and put it on YouTube. I don’t really care.”

Another good reason why you need to have some kind of device with you to record interaction with officialdom of just about any kind IMHO. Cops are the most dangerous, of course, They’re usually carrying a gun – if you’re in the GOUSA.

The uncut quality of the video speaks for itself. This wasn’t a civilian trying to produce the sort of gotcha film beloved of Tea Party agitprop. Just a guy in his neighborhood wondering why a cop wanders up to the front of his driveway and stops.

I would recommend a little more discretion. Putting your cellphone in a shirt pocket might be less likely to set off a creep who already thinks he’s superior to all other mortals.

“Are you a constitutionalist or crazy guy or something like that” pretty much sums it up. That’s what too many coppers think of civilians and our rights.

U.S. and British government spies invaded billions of cellphones

drone watching
“Programming drones to zero in on SIM cards was a great idea!”

U.S. and British spies hacked into the world’s biggest maker of phone SIM cards, allowing them to potentially monitor the calls, texts and emails of billions of mobile users around the world…

The alleged hack on Gemalto…would expand the scope of known mass surveillance methods available to U.S. and British spy agencies to include not just email and web traffic, as previously revealed, but also mobile communications…

All the while, claiming they aren’t snooping without warrants on everyone. Liars.

The report by The Intercept site, which cites documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, could prove an embarrassment for the U.S. and British governments. It opens a fresh front in the dispute between civil liberties campaigners and intelligence services which say their citizens face a grave threat of attack from militant groups like Islamic State…

The Intercept report said the hack was detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document and allowed the NSA and GCHQ to monitor a large portion of voice and data mobile communications around the world without permission from governments, telecom companies or users…

The new allegations could boost efforts by major technology firms such as Apple and Google to make strong encryption methods standard in communications devices they sell, moves attacked by some politicians and security officials.

Leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have expressed concern that turning such encryption into a mass-market feature could prevent governments from tracking militants planning attacks.

You can take that whine and stick it where the sun don’t shine!