US state legal supremos show lots of love for proposed CLOUD Act (a law to snoop on citizens’ info stored abroad) • The Register


The attorneys general of 35 US states on Wednesday signed an open letter calling for the quick passage of the Clarify Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act – with some qualifications.The proposed legislation, if passed by Congress, will allow the Feds to demand people’s emails and other personal communications from overseas computers with a simple subpoena issued by a US judge.In effect, it means the FBI can ask, say, a California court for a subpoena to obtain files from a San Francisco upstart’s servers hosted in France, sidestepping French privacy laws and legal system. The act’s wording also does not limit the Feds to serving orders for communications on US companies and entities – agents would be able to demand information from whomever they wished, if a US judge approved.

Source: US state legal supremos show lots of love for proposed CLOUD Act (a law to snoop on citizens’ info stored abroad) • The Register

Flight Sim Company Embeds Malware to Steal Pirates’ Passwords – TorrentFreak


Flight sim company FlightSimLabs has found itself in trouble after installing malware onto users’ machines as an anti-piracy measure. Code embedded in its A320-X module contained a mechanism for detecting ‘pirate’ serial numbers distributed on The Pirate Bay, which then triggered a process through which the company stole usernames and passwords from users’ web browsers.

Source: Flight Sim Company Embeds Malware to Steal Pirates’ Passwords – TorrentFreak

The Government Is Trying to Make It Impossible For Reality Winner to Defend Herself in Court


The restrictions imposed by the government for operating under the law impose a huge burden on the defense team. And the stringent rules, along with other arguments the prosecution is making to the judge, could leave Winner little room to make her case.The efforts on the part of the prosecutors represent a broad push by the government to hamper Winner’s attempt to defend herself. They are seeking to prevent Winner’s lawyers from citing public news articles in open court, restricting their ability to research those public articles even in private, hiding several aspects of the case completely from public view, and arguing that someone charged under the Espionage Act is not even allowed to bring up the fact that her actions never harmed national security.

Source: The Government Is Trying to Make It Impossible For Reality Winner to Defend Herself in Court

White House Press Secretary Issues Bizarre Non-Denial of Private Spy Network Plans, While White House Official Confirms It


THE WHITE HOUSE press secretary did not directly dispute the revelation that Blackwater founder Erik Prince and former Iran-Contra figure Oliver North pitched a plan to develop a private spy network to members of the Trump administration.The plan, detailed in a story broken by The Intercept on Monday, is to develop a private intelligence network to counter perceived “deep state” enemies within the ranks of government. Prince denied the report, and North did not respond to The Intercept’s request for comment.“I’m not aware of any plans for something of that definition or anything similar to that at this time,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, in response to a question from CBS News’s Major Garrett about the story.

Source: White House Press Secretary Issues Bizarre Non-Denial of Private Spy Network Plans, While White House Official Confirms It

Entire Kim Dotcom Spying Operation Was Illegal, High Court Rules – TorrentFreak


The whole New Zealand-based spying operation against Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload co-defendants was illegal, the High Court has ruled. The revelation appears in a newly released decision, which shows the GCSB spy agency refusing to respond to questions about its activities on the basis that could jeopardize national security.

Source: Entire Kim Dotcom Spying Operation Was Illegal, High Court Rules – TorrentFreak

US border cops must get warrants to search citizens’ gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges • The Register

Right now, anyone – citizen or not – entering the Land of the FreeTM can be subject to warrantless probing of their electronics, which can be seized for further study in the lab for months if necessary. It’s just that citizens can’t be prevented from entering their home country: you can have your equipment taken and scanned, you can be questioned for hours, but you’re still ultimately allowed in. Foreigners, on the other hand, have no such protections: they can be searched, grilled, and sent back the way they came, if immigration officials deem you to be a problem.
The draft legislation – which is still in its early stages – is essentially designed to make it a lot tougher to stop and search citizens on the spot when they return to the US of A. However, the bill is weighed down with one major caveat. If officers have serious concerns about a traveller but have no time to get a warrant, they can seize the electronics and later apply for a warrant retroactively. If the warrant application fails, all the information harvested must be destroyed and may not be used in further prosecutions.

Source: US border cops must get warrants to search citizens’ gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges • The Register

The FBI Is Building A National Watchlist That Gives Companies Real Time Updates on Employees


Will the FBI’s Rap Back service notify your boss that you got arrested protesting the inauguration?

Source: The FBI Is Building A National Watchlist That Gives Companies Real Time Updates on Employees

Malcolm Gladwell’s Ridiculous Attack On Ed Snowden Based On Weird Prejudice About How A Whistleblower Should Look | Techdirt

So, suffice it to say I was already skeptical of Gladwell’s recent piece attacking Ed Snowden as not being a “real” whistleblower. But the piece is much, much worse than even I expected. The short, Gladwellian-style summary of it might be: real whistleblowers have to look the part, and they need to be part of an Ivy League elite, with clear, noble reasons behind what they did. Here’s how Gladwell describes Daniel Ellsberg, the guy who leaked the Pentagon Papers, and to whom Gladwell has given his stamp of approval as a “Real Whistleblower™”

Source: Malcolm Gladwell’s Ridiculous Attack On Ed Snowden Based On Weird Prejudice About How A Whistleblower Should Look | Techdirt

City Passes Ordinance Mandating CCTV Surveillance By Businesses, Including Doctors And Lawyers Offices | Techdirt

All commercial businesses located here will now be required to install and maintain security cameras or face a fine or jail following passage of a new citywide ordinance by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen Tuesday night.“A matter that has been of increasing concern to the board lately is keeping the citizens of Madison safe, as well as the people who come here to visit our stores, through the use of security cameras,” City Attorney John Hedglin said. “It’s very important to have a record of what happens in as many places as possible.”The ordinance has 30 days before it takes effect.

Source: City Passes Ordinance Mandating CCTV Surveillance By Businesses, Including Doctors And Lawyers Offices | Techdirt

UK’s new Snoopers’ Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor • The Register


How far will it go? You’ll have to ask the Home Secretary

Source: UK’s new Snoopers’ Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor • The Register