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How does the Microsoft Authenticator application affect password use?

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Protecting passwords has always been a thorn in the side of security practitioners looking to secure their organizations. The call to kill passwords has been out there for years and, recently, Microsoft took a stab at it by limiting password use with n...
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christophersw
1 day ago
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Baltimore, MD
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“Alexa, Understand Me”

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Voice-based AI devices aren’t just jukeboxes with attitude. They could become the primary way we interact with our machines.
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christophersw
3 days ago
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North Carolina issues RFP to select vendor to build LTE network in a FirstNet ‘opt-out’ scenario

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​North Carolina yesterday released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking vendors willing to build and maintain a public-safety LTE network in the state, if the North Carolina governor decides to pursue the “opt-out” alternative to accepting FirstNet’s deployment plan for the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).

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christophersw
3 days ago
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EFF Urges Supreme Court to Take On Unconstitutional NSA Surveillance, Reverse Dangerous Ruling That Allows Massive Government Spying Program

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Nation’s Highest Court Being Asked for the First Time to Weigh In On Legality of NSA’s PRISM Spying

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked the Supreme Court to review and overturn an unprecedented ruling allowing the government to intercept, collect, and store—without a warrant—millions of Americans’ electronic  communications, including emails, texts, phone calls, and online chats.

This warrantless surveillance is conducted by U.S. intelligence agencies under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The law is exceedingly broad—Section 702 allows the government to conduct surveillance of any foreigner abroad­—and the law fails to protect the constitutional rights of Americans whose texts or emails are “incidentally” collected when communicating with those people.

This warrantless surveillance of Americans is unconstitutional and should be struck down.

Yet the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, ruling in U.S. v. Mohamud, decided that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to Americans whose communications were intercepted incidentally and searched without a warrant. The case centered on Mohammed Mohamud, an American citizen who in 2012 was charged with plotting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon. After he had already been convicted, Mohamud was told for the first time that information used in his prosecution was obtained using Section 702. Further disclosures clarified that the government used the surveillance program known as PRISM, which gives U.S. intelligence agencies access to communications in the possession of Internet service providers such as Google, Yahoo, or Facebook, to obtain the emails at issue in the case. Mohamud sought to suppress evidence gathered through the warrantless spying, arguing that Section 702 was unconstitutional.

In a dangerous and unprecedented ruling, the Ninth Circuit upheld the warrantless search and seizure of Mohamud’s emails. EFF, the Center for Democracy & Technology, and New America’s Open Technology Institute filed an amicus brief today asking the Supreme Court to review that decision.

“The ruling provides an end-run around the Fourth Amendment, converting sweeping warrantless surveillance directed at foreigners into a tool for spying on Americans,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Mark Rumold. “Section 702 is unlike any surveillance law in our country’s history, it is unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court should take this case to put a stop to this surveillance.”

Section 702, which is set to expire in December unless Congress reauthorizes it, provides the government with broad authority to collect, retain, and search Americans’ international communications, even if they don’t contain any foreign intelligence or evidence of a crime.

“We urge the Supreme Court to review this case and Section 702, which subjects Americans to warrantless surveillance on an unknown scale,” said EFF Staff Attorney Andrew Crocker. “We have long advocated for reining in NSA mass surveillance, and the ‘incidental’ collection of Americans’ private communications under Section 702 should be held unconstitutional once and for all.”

 For the amicus brief:
https://www.eff.org/document/mohamud-eff-cert-petition

For more on Section 702:
https://www.eff.org/document/702-one-pager-adv

For more on NSA spying:
https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying

 

Contact: 
Mark
Rumold
Senior Staff Attorney
Andrew
Crocker
Staff Attorney
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christophersw
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To Feed the World, Improve Photosynthesis

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By reworking the basic metabolism of crops, plant scientists hope to forestall devastating food shortages.
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christophersw
3 days ago
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Verizon exec to public safety: ‘We’re here to stay’

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Amid the considerable attention surrounding FirstNet and AT&T’s effort to build a nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN), Verizon is working ensure that first-responders agencies know that the telecom giant still plans to serve them, according to an executive with the telecom giant.

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christophersw
4 days ago
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