I Fought the Law
Privacy is Dead
Tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook have a surveillance problem on their hands: they have created some of the most ubiquitous surveillance networks in human history, and now the U.S. government is taking advantage of those systems by making them hand over their records. Now, Twitter is trying to tell the world exactly what’s been happening.
In a blog post called “Taking the fight for #transparency to court,” Twitters VP of Legal announced that they’re filing a lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of Justice:
It’s our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users’ concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance – including what types of legal process have not been received.
Crime and Punishment
Remember that Big Brother-esque facial recognition software the FBI has been developing for a few years? It’s finally ready to go.
The FBI announced yesterday that its Next Generation Identification (NGI) system is now fully operational, the Verge reports. Among other features detailed here, NGI features the oft-fear-inducing Interstate Photo System (IPS), which stores millions of citizens’ photographs, and is designed to help law enforcement pair names and faces associated with criminal activity.
Nearly a decade and a half after fleeing New Mexico, an accused kidnapper and child sex offender was tracked down in Nepal using facial recognition technology.
Juggler and magic shop owner Neil Stammer jumped bail fourteen years ago, after being accused in 1999 of criminal sexual penetration in the first degree, kidnapping, criminal sexual contact of a minor, bribery of a witness, and battery, the BBC reports.
For some users, Twitter looks different again for inexplicable reasons. [Fast Company]
Reported real company Lithium Technologies is spending $100 million to buy Klout. [CNN]
Get excited: Google’s $3.2 billion deal for fancy thermostat maker Nest has officially closed. [Recode]
Yahoo has plopped down $10 million for New York-based “social diary” app Wander. [TechCrunch]
FBI will pay you $10,000 “for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft.” [Ars Technica]
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is pointing fingers at those who point lasers at planes. Read More
As if you needed another reason not to wear your dumb Google Glass in public—or ever, actually—an Ohio man claims he was yanked out of a movie theater and interrogated by federal agents, who believed he was illegally filming the movie with his face computer.
The man’s full account is posted on The Gadgeteer, but we’ll summarize it here so you can get the gist of it before you’re engulfed forever in this ghastly winter storm.
Thirsty for $100,00 and ready to mutter “Let’s enhance” at your computer with your cyber-crime fighting partner? The FBI announced today it has a task for you: The bureau needs help tracking down several men wanted for alleged involvement in hacking millions of computers across the world and defrauding computer users and United States government entities. Read More
For the last time: Frustration with your workplace does not justify a campaign of retaliatory vandalism. You are not the IT Count of Monte Cristo.
Today ComputerWorld spins the sorry tale of Long Islander Michael Meneses. The FBI alleges that he quit in a huff after being passed over for a promotion and, rather than simply sending out a few resumes, began remotely sabotaging his former employer to the tune of $90,000 in damages.
Facebook Home has already passed 500,000 installations on Google Play a week after launch, which just goes to show people love to throw away their friends. [The Next Web]
A cadre of Silicon Valley companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, are quietly trying to kill a privacy bill in California that would give residents the right to know how tech companies are using their personal information. [insideBayArea]
Japan wants to stymie access to TOR by asking ISPs to flat out block it. [Wired]
Comedy Central is planning to host a comedy festival on Twitter because this is what the future is like now. [New York Times]
How technology helped the FBI track down the Boston Marathon bombers. [Washington Post]
It’s baaaaaaaack. [Valleywag]
Just in case Reddit’s sense of self-importance wasn’t inflated enough, the online community has taken to playing FBI dress-up, creating a subreddit called /r/findbostonbombers that’s “dedicated to helping find the bomber(s)” behind Monday’s tragedy. Since it started late last night, the subreddit has already become a repository for out-there conspiracy theories and Imgur-hosted “photo dumps” that scrupulously analyze every “clue” bored Redditors can find. (Look, this guy’s going through a bag!)