Federal Court Holds “No Expectation of Privacy on Personal Computer”

In a stunning decision, a Federal court has held that a user has no expectation of privacy for their personal computer if they have connected that computer to the Internet. While the case and holding is fairly complex, this part of the holding boils down to this: in this day and age we know that computers that are connected to the Internet can be hacked, and knowing this, we are not entitled to an expectation of privacy on our personal computers.

Apple: It Seems Disagreeing with DOJ Means You Must be Evil and anti-American

In the latest round over the Feds’ effort to force Apple to help them break into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, and Apple’s refusal to do so, Apple has come out with both fists up. The Feds most recent court filing accuses that “Apple’s rhetoric is not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights.” In response, Apple’s general counsel, attorney Bruce Sewell, said during a press conference call that “…it seems like disagreeing with the Department of Justice means you must be evil and anti-American.” (Full text below.)

San Bernardino DA Suggests “lying dormant cyber pathogen” on Shooter’s iPhone

In a novel twist in the FBI versus Apple iPhone case, the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office has filed a motion (full text below) to submit an Amicus Curiae brief, stating that, among other things, the phone could harbor a “lying dormant cyber pathogen.” Of course, there’s no such thing as a lying dormant cyber pathogen, but why let a little thing like the facts get in the way of a good argument?

Latest in Apple FBI iPhone Wranglings: Just 1 Phone Turns Out to Already be at least 12 Phones (plus Full Text of FBI Motion)

As we recently reported, the FBI (and so the Federal government) is trying to force Apple to assist them in unlocking the iPhone that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. A Federal court ordered Apple to do so, and so far Apple has resisted. Part of the heart of the FBI’s argument is that this will affect only one phone, while Apple has insisted that it’s much larger than that – that an order to help unlock one phone will lead to a dangerous precedent of being ordered to help unlock any number of phones. The Feds have steadfastly insisted it is “just this one.” However, recent court filings have revealed that in fact there are as many as a dozen iPhones in other cases just waiting for Apple to be ordered to unlock them.

Feds Bury New Potentially Crucial Information in Footnote in Apple Terror iPhone Dispute

In Round 2 of the Apple iPhone FBI court dispute, in which the court ordered Apple to alter the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, the Feds have filed a Motion to Compel Apple to comply with the order, in which they mention, in passing in a footnote, that the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health (SBCDPH) actually changed the password to the iCloud account to which the phone was backing up, thwarting any further backups of the phone’s data, between the time it was recovered from Farook’s vehicle, and handing it over to the FBI.

Full Explanation of Court Order to Apple to Unlock San Bernardino Shooters’ iPhone and Apple Refusal (Full text of court order and Tim Cook’s letter included)

Late yesterday afternoon a Federal court ordered Apple to assist the FBI in their investigation into the San Bernardino shootings by unlocking the iPhone belonging to the shooters. In response, this morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook released a public statement in which Apple refuses to comply, explaining the reasons that even if Apple can comply with the order, they will refuse to do so.

Law Enforcement is Searching Ancestry.com and 23andMe DNA Databases

We’ve always said that submitting your DNA for DNA analysis at services like 23andMe, and AncestryDNA by Ancestry.com, is a bad idea, because regardless of what ‘good’ can come from it, the potential for bad is just too great. Having unknown actors have access to your DNA information is a violation of privacy of the most basic, and intimate, kind. Sadly, we were right. Law enforcement agencies are now using what is known as “familial DNA search” to go on DNA fishing expeditions, searching for near matches to DNA found at a crime scene.

NIFOC, BOGSAT, and 1000s More in FBI Glossary of Internet Slang Acronyms

The FBI glossary of Internet slang acronyms reads like a leet speak (l337 5p3@k) primer, albeit a massively over-inclusive one. Indeed, in the time it would take an FBI agent to skim through the Internet slang glossary looking for a particular term, one would hope they could have just inferred it from context. Put together by the FBI Intelligence Research Support Unit (IRSU) and starting with ADN (Any Day Now) and ending with ZOMG (“emphasized OMG”) and ZUP (“what’s up?”), and everything in between, the FBI primer on ‘net slang is a whopping 83 pages containing nearly 3000 terms, many of them, if not most of them, not even really a thing. Although we are fond of BOGSAT (bunch of guys sitting around talking) and are now using it every chance we get.

FBI Says Using Internet Cafe May Point to Your Being a Terrorist

The FBI, in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has released their list of “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Internet Cafe” (sic). It may surprise you that your own Internet cafe activities render you suspicious. For example, if you attempt to shield your screen (like when, you know, you are entering a password?) you may be a terrorist. Or, if you travel an “illogical distance” to use an Internet cafe, you may be a terrorist. (We can’t help but hear Jeff Foxworthy’s voice as we read this list.) The list also includes suspicious computer activities and uses, as well as advice on what to do if you suspect that the guy next to you sipping his double light-foam mochaccino latte is a terrorist.

Apple Sued for Colluding with Mafia in Bugging Man’s iPods

From our “Now I’ve heard it all” department, Gregory McKenna (misreported in many articles as “George McKenna”) is suing, among others, the St. Louis County Police Department, the FBI, and Apple Computers for allegedly allowing the Mafia to bug his iPods (along with his house, his cars, and more) and allowing them to play sinister songs with hidden messages to him on his iPods.