• European bodies give Google mixed signals on data retention

    The European Commission wants Google to erase personally identifiable information from its logs after six months — but members of the European Parliament are calling for laws to require Google to retain more data for longer; these MEPs argue the data will help catch pedophiles

  • Suspicionless customs search constitutional: federal appeals court

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that an April 2008 search of the cabin of a crew member of a cargo ship docked in Miami was constitutional; the search of the ship was looking for prohibited agricultural materials, but the searchers found child pornography in the cabin; the court found that the ship was docked at the equivalent of a border, making the act a border search; the court ruled that an individual has a lesser expectation of privacy at a border and the government has a greater interest in searching thus the balance tips more favorably to the government

  • Personal cell phone data of millions of Mexicans for sale at Mexico flea market

    The Mexican government decreed that all Mexicans must register their cell phones; Mexicans, familiar with the thorough corruption and ineffectiveness of the Mexican state, were worried that the personal information would be stolen or misused; they were right: weeks after millions of Mexicans registered their phones, their personal data became available for sale for a few thousand dollars at Mexico City’s wild Tepito flea market; the treasure trove of data also included lists of police officers with their photographs; in a country seized by the fear of kidnapping and held hostage by violent crime bosses, having this personal information on open display seemed tantamount to a death sentence, or, at the minimum, a magnet for trouble

  • DHS IG identifies weaknesses in airport passenger screening

    DHS IG inspects the operation of advanced passenger scanning technologies in sixteen unnamed U.S. airport, and reports: “We identified vulnerabilities in the screening process at the passenger screening checkpoint at the eight domestic airports we conducted testing”

  • Australia's Biometrics Institute launches privacy awareness checklist

    Australia’s Biometric Institute will release its Biometrics Institute Privacy Awareness Checklist (PAC) to its member organizations to promote good privacy practices; the Biometrics Institute Privacy Code already is at a higher level than the Australian Privacy Act 1988

  • The Philadelphia Story, cont.

    Hidden Webcam attached to laptops given to Lower Merion School District high school students as loaners caught pictures of these students sleeping, half naked, and in other intimate moments; viewing the images was like watching “a little LMSD soap opera,” one of the school district employees who administered the laptops said, referring to the initials of the school district; “I know, I love it!” technology coordinator Carol Cafiero replied

  • Son files harassment charges against mother for Facebook posts

    A 16-year old sues his mother for tampering with his Facebook account; he filed charges against her last month and requested a no contact order after he claims she posted slanderous entries about him on the social networking site; he alleges she hacked his account, changed his password, and posted things that involve slander about his personal life

  • Former FBI, Secret Service agents protect Tiger Woods at Augusta National

    Tiger Woods has hired 90 former FBI and Secret Service agents to protect him from his former sex partners as prepares for his first tournament since his sex scandal broke; photos of the women were distributed to the bodyguards to ensure they are on the lookout; “None of these girls are allowed anywhere near him,” one bodyguard said

  • Coalition of tech heavy-weights wants U.S. privacy law revamped for Internet age

    A coalition of technology giants wants the U.S. government to revamp Internet privacy laws and make more suitable for the new age in communication; the traditional standard for the government to search one’s home or office and read one’s mail or seize one’s personal papers is a judicial warrant, the coalition says that the law needs to be clear that the same standard applies to e-mail and documents stored with a service provider; the need to update Internet privacy strictures is especially urgent now because of three trends: the popularity of smart phones with global satellite positioning features has led to a hot trend of companies offering services that play off of where people are at any given moment; and the recent economic meltdown added momentum to a shift toward people using software programs hosted as services in the Internet “cloud” instead of buying and installing applications on machines; people are also increasingly storing personal information, pictures, and videos at online social- networking or data storage Web sites

  • Children must go through full body scanners at U.K. airports

    U.K. transport minister says that to exclude children from going through full body scanners risked undermining the security measures at U.K. airports; the government’s code of practice on the scanners said airport security staff had all been vetted, including a check of criminal and security service records

  • U.K. police targets Internet cafés in anti-terror effort

    The U.K. police are testing a new tool in the fight against terrorism: surveillance of Internet cafés; owners and patrons are asked to watch for — and report to the authorities — suspicious behavior; owners are asked to scan the hard drives in their shop on a regular basis to look for suspicious browsing and communication patterns; monitoring of Internet cafés’ computer use has been tried in several
    countries, including India and the United States; civil libertarians worry that without a clear definition of suspicious behavior or suspicious Web
    browsing, individuals with outside-the-mainstream political or religious views may be targeted

  • DHS to work with ISP to test Einstein 3 cyber security system

    DHS will work with a commercial ISP to test the partially classified Einstein 3 system; Einstein 3 is designed to do real-time, deep packet inspection and threat-based decision making on data traffic entering or leaving federal agency networks

  • Smartphones, PDAs may be used to avoid long security lines at airports

    TSA is looking at installing devices in airports that home in and detect personal electronic equipment; the goal is to track how long people are stuck in security lines; information about wait times could then be posted on Web sites and in airports across the United States; civil libertarians worry

  • Bluetooth signals monitor airport security-line waiting times

    Purdue University researchers use Bluetooth signals from cell phones and other wireless devices to track how long it takes travelers to get through security lines at the Indianapolis International Airport; the data can be used to help airports make more accurate staffing decisions and aid security officials comparing wait times at airports across the country

  • New Hampshire legislature overwhelmingly defeats biometrics restrictions bill

    The New Hampshire legislation considered a bill which would have banned the use of biometrics in identification cards issued by the state and private entities, except in the case of employee identification cards; the bill also would have barred a state or private group from requiring individuals to submit biometric information as a condition for doing business; the bill was overwhelmingly defeated in a vote last Thursday