The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the use of stolen identities in public comments on the government’s repeal of net neutrality rules, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday.

The investigation focuses on “whether crimes were committed when potentially millions of people’s identities were posted to the FCC’s website without their permission, falsely attributing to them opinions about net neutrality rules,” the report said

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the use of stolen identities in public comments on the government’s repeal of net neutrality rules, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday. The investigation focuses on “whether crimes were committed when potentially millions of people’s identities were posted to the FCC’s website without their permission, falsely attributing to them opinions about net neutrality rules,” the report said. “Two organizations told BuzzFeed News, each on condition that they not be named, that the FBI delivered subpoenas to them related to the comments,” BuzzFeed wrote.

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Sex, Crime, Monkeys, and the Justice System

I recently read about an experiment conducted with Capuchin monkeys in captivity at Yale-New Haven Hospital that offers some intriguing lessons about the relationship between sex and crime. Under the experiment, monkeys who performed specific tasks at researchers’ behest received silver chips that could be exchanged for a favorite fruit or toy. The experiment was designed to see if monkeys could be taught the value of money, but in the process they received a lesson in crime control. 

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For the first time, prosecutors have tied President Trump to a federal crime. But can a sitting president be indicted?

For the first time, prosecutors have tied President Donald Trump to a federal crime, accusing him of directing illegal hush-money payments to women during his presidential campaign in 2016. The Justice Department stopped short of accusing Trump of directly committing a crime. Instead, they said…

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High Court Likely to Allow Dual State, Federal Charges

A majority of Supreme Court justices sounded unlikely Thursday to overturn more than a century of doctrine that allows states and the federal government to prosecute someone for the same criminal conduct, reports the Washington Post. While it went unmentioned during oral arguments, the case has implications for any pardons that President Trump might issue for those prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller and convicted in federal court. Under the status quo, states might still be able to prosecute under their own laws those who receive a presidential pardon, which applies only to federal charges. 

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ACLU fights government secrecy over thwarted wiretap of Facebook Messenger

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

Earlier this year, a federal judge in Fresno, California, denied prosecutors’ efforts to compel Facebook to help it wiretap Messenger voice calls. But the precise legal arguments that the government made, and that the judge ultimately rejected, are still sealed. On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union formally asked the judge to unseal court dockets and related rulings associated with this ongoing case involving alleged MS-13 gang members. ACLU lawyers argue that such a little-charted area of the law must be made public so that tech companies and the public can fully know what’s going on.

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Congress: Amazon didn’t give “sufficient answers” about facial recognition

Enlarge / Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com, in May 2018. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images) 

Seven members of the House of Representatives and one United States senator have now sent a second letter to Amazon’s CEO, asking for more clarification about the company’s use of facial-recognition technology. Although two House members in the group sent a similar letter to CEO Jeff Bezos back in July, the larger group now says that Amazon “failed to provide sufficient answers” about its commercial facial-recognition program, known as Rekognition. Prior to the July letter, the American Civil Liberties Union used the service in a demonstration of its inadequacy—the service falsely matched 28 members of Congress with mugshots. The new letter, issued on Thursday, was signed by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), among others. The document states that the legislators have “serious concerns that this type of product has significant accuracy issues, places disproportionate burdens on communities of color, and could stifle Americans’ willingness to exercise their First Amendment rights in public.” Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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“Can Police Retaliate Against Loudmouths? 

Arctic Man is Alaska’s answer to Nevada’s more famous Burning Man. The writer Matt White once described it as “a weeklong booze and fossil-fueled Sledneck Revival bookended around the world’s craziest ski race,” during which “something like 10,000 partiers and their snowmachines disgorge onto Camp Isabel’s 300-acre pad to drink, grill, fight, drink and, at least while the sun is out, blast their sleds through the ear-deep powder in the surrounding hills one last time before it all melts away.”

As one can imagine, Arctic Man revelers sometimes attract the attention of law enforcement. One such meeting led to a casecalled Nieves v. Bartlett that will be argued before the Supreme Court on Monday, and that may finally resolve the question of whether a citizen can ignore or even talk back to police officers without fear of consequences.
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The Snowden Legacy, part one: What’s changed, really?

Enlarge / Remember this guy? (credit: Pardon Snowden) 

Digital privacy has come a long way since June 2013. In the five years since documents provided by Edward Snowden became the basis for a series of revelations that tore away a veil of secrecy around broad surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, there have been shifts in both technology and policy that have changed the center of gravity for personal electronic privacy in the United States and around the world. Sadly, not all of the changes have been positive. And Snowden’s true legacy is a lot more complicated than his admirers (or his critics) will admit. Starting with that first article published by the Guardian that revealed a National Security Agency program gathering millions of phone records from Verizon—which gave the agency access to metadata about phone calls placed by or received by everyone in America—the Snowden leaks exposed the inner workings of the NSA’s biggest signals intelligence programs. Coming to light next was the PRISM program, which allowed the NSA, via the FBI, to gain access directly to customer data from nine Internet companies without notifying the customers. And then came Boundless Informant, a tool for visualizing the amount of signals intelligence being collected from each country in the world. By the time the Snowden cache had been largely mined out, hundreds of files—ranging from PowerPoint presentations to dumps of Internal Wikis and Web discussion boards—had been reviewed and revealed by journalists. “Thanks to Snowden’s disclosures, people worldwide were able to engage in an extraordinary and unprecedented debate about government surveillance,” the American Civil Liberties Union declared on the fifth anniversary of the Guardian article. 
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Silk Road’s alleged hitman, “redandwhite,” arrested in Vancouver

Enlarge (credit: Diego Torres Silvestre / Flickr)

Nearly a month ago, Canadian authorities arrested a man they believe to be “redandwhite,” a hitman allegedly hired by Ross Ulbricht. Also known as Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR), Ulbricht created the infamous and now-defunct underground drug website, Silk Road. Ulbricht is now serving a double life sentence. Earlier this year, after a federal judge ended Ulbricht’s chances for a new trial, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in his case. The new suspect, James Ellingson, age 42, was released on bail earlier this month by a judge in British Columbia despite American efforts to keep him detained. Separately, Ellingson allegedly made $2 million in profits from selling drugs directly on Silk Road.
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