Warrant Used To Track Users Through Tor Invalidated

When it was revealed that an NIT (network investigative technique) had been used to track people across Tor, people were worried about just how they had got permission to deploy such a far sweeping piece of computer malware. It would now seem that the warrant issued didn’t give as much power as they wanted as a federal judge has now stated that the warrant should be invalidated because of its reach.

The federal judge in question sits in Massachusetts and stated that a magistrate issuing a warrant in Virginia cannot “authorize the search of a defendant’s computer located in Massachusetts”. This was noted in a 39-page opinion in which William Young stated that while it cannot be done, the Department of Justice and Congress could change the law in future. The end result of the opinion is the conclusion stating:

Based on the foregoing analysis, the Court concludes that the NIT Warrant was issued without jurisdiction and thus was void ab initio. It follows that the resulting search was conducted as though there were no warrant at all. Since warrantless searches are presumptively unreasonable, and the good-faith exception is inapplicable, the evidence must be excluded.

So ultimately the warrant for the NIT over stretched the bounds, something that has now led to a bunch of evidence being made null and void in a case where even Ahmed Ghappour, a law professor at the University of California, realized that the ” DOJ knew full well that the magistrate lacked authority to issue an out-of-district warrant”.

Drone Crashed Smuggling 6lbs of Meth on US-Mexico Border

Drones are becoming a pretty big subject of debate at the moment. Law makers are hastily trying to figure out how to regulate them, thanks to issues with privacy, aviation, commercial use and the safety of those walking beneath them. But one thing we don’t see in the press all too often, is when drones try to smuggle illegal drugs across borders.

One such drone tried, but failed. In a big way. The drone you see in the image above was found in a Mexican car park, not too far from the US border. It was carrying 2.7kg of methamphetamine – clearly a load too heavy for this dji Spreading Wings 900.

According to Mashable, the border authorities estimate that 150 drones have been involved with smuggling drugs into the US since 2012 – something that will no doubt be of concern to US lawmakers. It wouldn’t be surprising to see stories like this used as arguments against more liberal drone regulations, with the FAA and the FCC already looking at much more stringent rules for RC pilots.

Source: Mashable Via: Gizmodo

YO App Used for Notifying People About Missile Strikes in Israel

Increasingly popular social media application, Yo, the application which lets you say ‘YO’ to another friend may seem ridiculous to some smartphone users, but in fact it is apparently used for more complicated things than just ‘yo-ing’ around.

The Times of Israel apparently has stated that some developers are now using Yo as a means of notifying people when terrorist attacks are happening in the country. It is said that the notification will be triggered on all devices using the Yo app and are subscribed to the Red Alert: Israel group.

For those who use Red Alert to stay notifying of such activities probably know that the group even has their own standalone application which sends more detailed push notification about the same type of terrorism activities happening in the country.

Though this may seem useless given that a standalone app for Red Alert exists, it might not be for some users if other countries. The Red Alert standalone application is said to work only when you are in Israel, having a limited audience. With its partnership with the Yo application, users can now receive push notifications outside the Israeli borders, having friends and family abroad notified immediately as on the Red Alert app.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Korean Border Guarded By Kinect-powered Surveillance System

The Kinect has been used in a lot of different ways, but its main purpose is and always was Gaming. Although, the Kinect sensor has been used in other non-game related experiments as well, which include turning a bath tub into a giant touch-screen gadget as well as aiding the well-known VR headset gear, the Oculus Rift.

But South Korea apparently found a more interesting and practical method of using the Kinect sensor. Programmer Jae Kwan Ko explains to The Verge that he found a way to ‘harness’ its features and turn it into an ultimate border patrol gadget. Since South Korea and North Korea don’t see eye to eye and tensions at the border run high most of the time, Ko apparently developed an easier way to keep an eye on what’s going on near the border perimeter.

He reportedly developed a hardware as well as software system which uses the Kinect to detect moving objects. It was delivered to the US Army in August and since the, instilled in the Demilitarized Zones on the border perimeter, watching and analysing each and every moving object. It is said that the system can even detect whether a moving object is human or an animal, as well as having the capacity to trigger alerts at the army base if it detects human movement.

One can ask why Kinect and not something more high-tech. Well, there might be two reasons here. First and most important is that Ko has been creating and even specializes in windows application for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Kinect. This is the most important key factor. Another good reason, in my opinion, might be the price. High-tech non mass-produced gadgets will always cost a whole lot more than something which is already available on the market. Combining brains with creativity results in great things being achieved, and this one could be one of them.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The Verge