Phone Scammer Gets 6 Years in Prison After He Made the Mistake of Calling William Webster

Found on Slashdot on Tuesday, 12 February 2019
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The Washington Post has an amusing story about phone scammer Keniel A. Thomas, who made the mistake of calling William H. Webster. Thomas told 90-year-old Webster that he had won $72 million and a new Mercedes Benz in the Mega Millions lottery, but that he needed to send $50,000 in taxes and fees to get his money.

He didn't learn that the man he was calling was the former director of the FBI and the CIA, the only person ever to hold both jobs. And he didn't know that Webster would call him back the next day with the FBI listening in. Thomas was arrested in late 2017, after he landed in New York on a flight from Jamaica.

Always do your research first.

After No-Knock Raid Goes Horribly Wrong, Police Union Boss Steps Up To Threaten PD's Critics

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 09 February 2019
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The no-knock warrant was supposed to make everything safer for the officers, giving them a chance to get a jump on the suspects and prevent the destruction of evidence/officers. But as anyone other than cops seems to comprehend, startling people in their own homes with explosives and kicked-in doors tends to make everything more dangerous for everyone.

According to cops, the 59-year-old Tuttle opened fire on officers and his wife tried to take a shotgun from a downed officer, resulting in her being killed as well. The married couple are now dead, having amassed a combined 21 years of marriage and a single criminal charge -- a misdemeanor bad check charge -- between them before this raid ended their lives.

It started with a CI tip about an illegal substance that wasn't found during the search and ended with four cops wounded and two people with no criminal history shot dead in the home they had lived in for twenty years.

No-knock might work in many other countries, but seriously, in the land of the guns with "Stand Your Ground" laws?

Google must pay €50 million for GDPR violations, France says

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 21 January 2019
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CNIL explained that Google had violated two provisions of the law: first by not making its data-collection policies easily accessible enough and second by not obtaining sufficient and specific user consent for ad personalization across each of Google’s numerous services, including YouTube, Google Maps, and more.

Noyb, an English acronym for "None of your business," has also filed related complaints against Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook, which remain pending.

Good to see that courts are taking privacy serious and fine the big companies too.

German police ask router owners for help in identifying a bomber's MAC address

Found on ZD Net on Sunday, 13 January 2019
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In a press release published yesterday, police from the German state of Brandenburg, where the city of Berlin is located, is now asking router owners to comb through their logs for a specific MAC address.

The suspect demanded large sums of money from DHL and threatened to detonate bombs across Germany, at DHL courier stations, private companies, and in public spaces.

Unfortunately, the MAC address is considered as personally identifiable information so it would be covered by the DSGVO/GDPR. So router owners are legally not allowed to store this information, especially not for more than a year.

Amazon Dash Buttons Ruled Illegal in Germany

Found on Gizmodo on Saturday, 12 January 2019
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The watchdog organization complained that Amazon’s terms enable the company to switch out an ordered product with something else, and the buttons break laws protecting shoppers from buying things they are not fully informed about, according to Reuters.

“The decision is not only against innovation, it also prevents customers from making an informed choice for themselves about whether a service like Dash Button is a convenient way for them to shop,” the spokesperson said.

Of course Amazon thinks the ruling is bad. On the other hand, ordering a specific product and instead getting some replacement without notification isn't what the majority of consumers would like. Same for price changes. Generally, shopping everyday products via Amazon is pretty retarded anyway; and even if you have to order them, looking at the seller's own, non-Amazon shop can be a really good idea because more often than not, the identical product is sold for less there.

The Feds Cracked El Chapo's Encrypted Comms Network by Flipping His System Admin

Found on Gizmodo on Thursday, 10 January 2019
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On Tuesday it was revealed that the FBI had lured Rodriguez into a meeting with an agent posing as a potential customer much earlier, in February 2010, according to a report in the New York Times. Later, they flipped Rodriguez, having him transfer servers from Canada to the Netherlands in a move masked as an upgrade. During that process, Rodriguez slipped investigators the network’s encryption keys.

Rodriguez won't have much chance to turn into an old man. Cartels are not very nice to people who play tricks on them.

A Grindr harassment suit could change the legal landscape for tech — and free speech

Found on NBC News on Sunday, 06 January 2019
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Matthew Herrick, a restaurant worker and aspiring actor in New York, claimed that for months an ex-boyfriend used the dating app Grindr to harass him.

Herrick is pursuing an unusual legal theory as he continues to push back against Grindr, arguing that tech companies should face greater accountability for what happens on their platforms. His lawsuit alleges that the software developers who write code for Grindr have been negligent, producing an app that’s defective in its design and that is “fundamentally unsafe” and “unreasonably dangerous” — echoing language that’s more typically used in lawsuits about, say, a faulty kitchen appliance or a defective car part.

So, Herrick knew who created the fake profiles to harrass him and instead of pushing with all legal options against his ex, he also pulls a platform into the boat? As long as Grindr deactivated the fake profiles as soon as they were pointed out, there's no reason to sue them.

Domain Registrar Can be Held Liable for Pirate Site, Court Rules

Found on Torrentfreak on Monday, 24 December 2018
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The Higher Regional Court of Saarbrücken has confirmed that domain registrars can be held liable for the infringements of pirate sites. Even a single link can require a registrar to take a domain offline.

Lawyer Mirko Brüß notes that, in this case, the court clarified that registrars not only have to take a domain offline, they should also prevent it from being transferred to another company.

Please, everybody, post links to copyrighted material at Facebook.

Apple yanks iPhone from sale in Germany – and maybe China soon, too – amid Qualcomm spat

Found on The Register on Thursday, 20 December 2018
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The iGiant acknowledged that its flagship product had been taken off the shelves in all its stores in Germany, although it will still be available through third parties.

Qualcomm claims that as soon as it posts bonds "which will be completed within a few days" the injunction in Germany will be effective and "immediately enforceable."

Sometimes, lawsuits can be pretty good.

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

Found on The Register on Monday, 26 November 2018
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The cache allegedly shows internal messages – including from Mark Zuckerberg – that demonstrate the social network actively exploited a loophole in its policies on access to users' friends' data that allowed Cambridge Analytica to walk away with info on 87 million people.

The decision to seize the documents marks a major escalation in what was, until now, mostly a war of words between the parties. Zuck has flatly refused MPs' requests that he give evidence in their inquiry.

"Zuckerberg weaponised the data of one-third of the planet's population in order to cover up his failure to transition Facebook's business from desktop computers to mobile ads," The Guardian reported the document as saying.

Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.