All posts by Dan King

New York ‘Textalyzer’ bill threatens privacy under the guise of safety – OBSERVER

In an effort to crack down on distracted driving, lawmakers in several states are looking to pass legislation that would allow police to use a new device that can determine if a driver was using their cell phone behind the wheel. While the intentions are benevolent, the potential for abuse with the “Textalyzer” is startling.

The device, which resembles a tablet, has not been approved for use by law enforcement yet. But it would involve police plugging the device into a driver’s cell phone at an accident scene to scan phone data, which would give police exact times of phone use. It can tell police if a motorist opened any apps, sent any texts, and received or made phone calls. If police determine that the driver was doing any of these things, they would be able to go after them for distracted driving.

Read the rest at: The Observer

There is now proof the NSA overindulges in data collection – OBSERVER

National security officials are continually reassuring Americans that their communications aren’t getting caught in massive dragnets, and that when it does happen, the communications are handled responsibly. But recently-released opinions from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)—the seven-judge panel charged with oversight of National Security Agency (NSA) spying programs—show just the opposite is true.

Read more at: The NY Observer

Immigration crackdown unleashes military style cell phone surveillance – OBSERVER

There’s a lot to dislike about President Donald Trump’s immigration policies—the wall plan, the deportations and the staggering cost, to name a few. But as arrests rise, one aspect of immigration enforcement that is often overlooked is the the use of overreaching surveillance and tracking.

Under the Trump administration, the feds have used controversial tools to sniff out immigrants. Stingray cell site simulators are particularly concerning. The Stingray is the most popular variety of IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catchers created by Harris Corporation, a defense contractor, and it’s intended for use in overseas military investigations.

Read more at the Observer