Tag Archives: fbi

Badbitcoin.org – Helping you stay Safe in the World of …

Posted: March 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Bitpyramid.ml “Don’t trust us?” Er, no we don’t actually. All ponzi’s are scams. 3/19/16

Organica.fund They do like a different theme for these hyips, here’s another one. 3/19/16

Bitcoinx10.yolasite.com Dirty deeds done cheap. Freehosted fraud. 3/19/16

Bitcloner.com A doubler fraud using this domain was inevitable. 3/19/16

Ultimabitcoin.com A very worn out style of hyip scam. 3/16/16

Instantgenuinepaying.com Instantgenuineloseyour.bitcoin 3/16/16

Double-btc.info What have we told you about btc multipliers? They are ALL scams and there are NO exceptions. 3/15/16

Envestrade.com Another hyip/fraud to add. 3/15/16

Bitmines.info Just another ponzi fraud. 3/15/16

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Topmine.io Yet another fake mining scheme. There are no special algorythms, just a ponzi. 3/15/16

Btcshares.org If you want btc shares, buy some btc, then you have a share. Simple. 3/15/16

Free-shares.com These may be the most expensive free shares you’ve ever (never) received. 3/15/16

Hyip.com But seriously, hyips are scams – pure and simple frauds, so this site takes the biscuit. 3/15/16

Mybtc.bid I’m starting to get double vision – probably the safest way to double my wealth. 3/12/16

Nelektronicy.pl Yet another attempt at a scam doubler. 3/12/16

Nexus-investments.com If these serial thieves had any sense, they’d stay away from bitcoin, then we wouldn’t bother them. 3/10/16

Btcsinon.com Don’t let this hyip/fraud fool you. Just lies and more lies. 3/10/16

Earntory.com What an odd site title, and that is the best part. 3/8/16

Investmega.com This scam looks like it was put together by an idiot, but we’d better list it in case a bigger idiot sees it. 3/7/16

X10multiplier.com Only in your dreams does bitcoin double. 3/7/16

Bitboom.info Boom, and your bits are gone. If Cillit did bitcoin scams…. 3/7/16

Btc-e.black The old worn out ‘flaw in the blockchain’ better known as the Bitatt scam. 3/7/16

Fxacc.com A hyip/scam from the usual offenders. 3/6/16

Rixosfinance.com Just another faker after your dosh. 3/6/16

Bitcoinside.com Don’t risk it. You don’t need to, there are plenty of legit exchanges 3/6/16

Bitcoin-ex.com Or Ex-bitcoin? 3/3/16

Mybitcoinmania.com Don’t download that malware from these crooks. You will sorely regret it, Gen:Variant.Strictor.101663 3/3/16

Hourlytim.com He’s a busy boy is young Tim, avoiding Jail. 3/3/16

Bitsdoubler.me.pn Seriously, does anybody still fall for these multiplier scams? 3/3/16

Fastcury.com If you want a fast curry, order one from your local takeaway. Dodgy doesn’t even begin to describe this amateur fraudster. 3/3/16

Crypto-investment-experts.biz & Swiss-cryptocurrency-experts.com A free Cuckoo Clock for every sucker. 3/3/16 & 2/18/16

Slushcoin.com Your bitcoin may as well be slush if you send it to this faker. 3/1/16

Profitown.com Another hyip/fraud 3/1/16

These are just the most recent badsites. Click below for these and more Cryptocurrency badsites In alphabetical order.

** Important Announcement** The wife of our admin has just undergone a double organ transplant, and so updates and personal responses to emails will be a little erratic for a few weeks. Please bear with us during this unusual but amazing time. Thanks.

The Badbitcoin project was launched in Feb 2014. “The Badbitcoin Team” is made up of volunteers worldwide, and we welcome new contributors and sponsors.

You may read negative comments about this project, but this is the scammers only route to fight back, and a great many of these scammers are the same people who are Senior, and Gold members of forums. Forums relating to bitcoin are the best source of conflicting information ever invented, which is why we keep it plain and simple, we tell you it’s a badsite, and thats all you need to know.

It’s really easy to misunderstand the bitcoin environment when it’s all new to you, and it will take you some time to grasp some of the rules and concepts. This leaves you vulnerable to the swathes of scams and ponzis that try to lure you into their promises of easy money, and doubling or even 100 times multiplying your new ‘Magic Internet Money’ It doesn’t work like that. It isn’t magic, it’s just very efficient, very secure, and much sought after by thieves the world over. If you have bitcoin, you need to learn to look after it, or these crooks will soon take it from you.

Don’t make it easy for them. Contribute by reporting suspect sites when you find them, and we’ll do the rest. You can also help by donating bitcoin or litecoin to the project, and If you run a website or blog, you could add a link to this project and help spread the message. We have banners and logos to suit.

That’s it – nothing to add, nada.

To report Internet Fraud to IC3 – Click Here To report Internet Fraud to the FBI anonymously – Click Here To report Internet Fraud to the UK Police – Click Here

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You can help us to help others by making a donation to this project. However modest, it will help us to continue. We spend nearly all of the donations on advertising in the same space as the scamsites, so we can reach and warn the most users. We also use some expensive investigation tools, but we all give our time for free.

A Ponzi is any scheme which pays interest to “Investors” from Bitcoin coming in from new Investors. A HYIP (high yield investment program) is just a Ponzi. All Ponzi/Hyips will fail The later Investors will lose everything when the scheme folds and leaves with the Bitcoin. Most HYIPS just steal it immediately – Due diligence is your own responsibility. There are plenty of good sites out there where your Bitcoin and your work are safe. You just need to do your homework, including checking here. If it isn’t in our Badlist, email us, and we’ll check it and get back to you.

Heres the psychology behind the typical ponzis & HYIP’s run by the professional scammers. They know most people will do this.

You deposit a small amount, you want to be cautious, you cant quite figure out how they do this but they double it (or pay promised interest) and pay you. You think Ah thats great, so you either redeposit the entire amount, or just your profit. You get that back and think wow, it works, so you deposit a much larger amount and in the worst case, even get your friends involved in this wonderful money making scheme.

Then one day it doesnt get returned there is some issue with your account, or your withdrawal is stuck or something similar, so you keep emailing the site and gradually it dawns on you that youve been scammed.

Even if you just put your initial profit back in, the conman hasnt lost anything and the depositors who think they are playing the ponzi do try that, and most of them dont get it back either.

Some people empty their savings into these scams, and they are the ones the scammers are really after. Once they get that big depositor, they move on and create a new ponzi, just leaving the old one alive for a while to mop up any new mugs Some even return after a 3 or 6 month absence to catch a fresh load of hits, they will never run out of victims. Its what they do, and they are expert at it.

Declaration of Interests. We c
urrently have personal and project investments in VIP and Mining shares at Miningsweden.se, and mining shares at Hashnest We would not invest in anything we considered to be a Ponzi or Scam. As a project, we are not directly funded by any organisation and depend on ad revenue, our own, and other donations, and our external investments. We also provide links including referral links to trusted 3rd party sites, not including advertisements beyond our control. Updated August 2015 PS – As a friendly tip, we probably aren’t the people to generally ask about good bitcoin investments. We are pretty good at what we do, but so far, like yourselves no doubt, we aren’t really that succesful when it comes to our own investments. Mintsy being our latest fail.

The high costs of running this site are helped by adverts. We also have to advertise in the same places as the scamsites. We have little control over the content, and consequently we do not directly endorse any advert. Some adverts will even appear in our Badlist. But at least the Bitcoin they spend on ads is coming back into the Bitcoin Industry.

Footnote. The evolution of society beyond the demise of the failed capitalist neo-liberal experiment, first needs the evolution of it’s means of trade and exchange. The current financial system, and system of fiat currency, is not fit for present or future purpose, and for all intents and purposes is already obsolete. Bitcoin is our first financial step towards a fairer, more benefecial society for all. Bitcoin is incorruptible, decentralised, concensus led, and above the influence of conventional politics and economics. A parallel currency with which you can begin to trade, and no middleman to take their slice or to gamble with your asset. When you deposit money to a Bank, it becomes the Banks property to do with what they choose, bitcoin is different, and you are your own Bank. It is up to you to take care of your bitcoin, and also to use it, not hoard it, and to be an important part of helping to build this fair and open global society. Bitcoin is worth what somebody is prepared to exchange it for, be that USD, Yuan, PC-hardware, Webhosting or anything that ‘money’ might buy. You can even get a bitcoin Debit Card. However, the bitcoin Blockchain, and it’s potential is a much much bigger subject.

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Second Amendment | Fox News

Posted: October 20, 2015 at 10:44 am

Luby’s massacre survivor speaks out on gun control debate

Suzanna Hupp slams Hillary Clinton’s gun control plan on ‘The Kelly File’

Gun control advocates are launching a new regulatory push in California to impose first-in-the-nation instant background checks for ammunition sales, a move that comes as gun viole…

Alan Colmes vs: Larry Pratt on why he believes gun registration is the first step towards total confiscation of all guns

Texas professor is worried about students bringing guns to campus under new law; Daniel Hamermesh sounds off on ‘The Kelly File’

Pres. Obama’s visit to Oregon a week after shooting massacre not welcome by some Roseburg residents and the publisher of the Roseburg Beacon. ‘On the Record’ takes a closer look

Judge Napolitano’s Chambers: The Judge reminds the people what the 2nd Amendment means in 2015 and why Hillary Clinton should not convince anyone to not have guns

While the FBI continued to analyze the emails Hillary Clinton thought she deleted and her advisers pressed her to hire a Republican criminal defense attorney in Washington, a madma…

Starnes Exclusive: Franklin Graham condemns Obama’s reaction to the Oregon school shooting, defends Dr. Ben Carson’s controversial comments about the tragedy and discusses his fath…

Viewer tired of talking heads

Donald Trump goes ‘On the Record’ on his biggest disappointment with Pres. Obama, says Putin clearly has a ‘lack of respect for the president. Trump also sounds off on latest 2016 …

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Reviewing the Fourth Amendment cases of OT2011 : SCOTUSblog

Posted: September 5, 2015 at 3:44 am

Posted Fri, August 10th, 2012 2:05 pm by Orin Kerr

The Fourth Amendment docket from the recently completed Supreme Court Term included four cases. Heres a run-down of the cases, with my thoughts on their significance to the development of Fourth Amendment law.

The most important Fourth Amendment case of the Term was United States v. Jones, widely known as the GPS case. The FBI installed a GPS device on the suspects car and tracked it for twenty-eight days. Most lower courts had ruled such conduct was not a Fourth Amendment search under United States v. Knotts, a 1983 case involving a radio beeper. To most lower courts, a passage from Knotts had a clear answer to GPS surveillance: A person traveling in an automobile on public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one place to another.

The Courts decision was a surprise on several levels. First, the Court was unanimous as to the result; and second, the Justices split almost evenly along two equally underdeveloped rationales. Justice Scalias majority opinion for five Justices decided the case by purporting to rediscover a lost trespass test in Fourth Amendment law. Because installing a GPS device on the car would have been a trespass under eighteenth-century property law, Scalia asserted, the installation was a search. Followers of Justice Scalias Fourth Amendment opinions werent surprised that Scalia would want to move the Court in that direction: Justice Scalia has long wanted to find ways to move Fourth Amendment law towards what he sees as an originalist standard and away from the 1960s-era Katz framework. But as I explain in a forthcoming article for the Supreme Court Review, Justice Scalias claim that Fourth Amendment law adopted a trespass standard before Katz is itself a myth of the Katz Court. Although pre-Katz cases sometimes focused on physical entry, they did not adopt a trespass test. Given the protean nature of trespass concepts, the introduction of a trespass test in Fourth Amendment law under the guise of originalism is likely to raise many more questions than it answers.

The two concurring opinions in Jones suggested even more dramatic and far-reaching changes. Joined by a total of five Justices, the two concurring opinions offer a reconceptualization of the basic building block of Fourth Amendment analysis: Instead of asking whether individual government intrusions are searches, they suggest, the Court should look to whether aggregated acts of evidence collection and evidence are searches. Ill refer the reader to another forthcoming article for the details, if any are interested. Combining the three opinions together, all nine Justices wrote or joined opinions in Jones suggesting a considerable reworking of traditional Fourth Amendment doctrine. All in a decision ruling nine to zero in favor of a criminal defendant who ran a massive narcotics conspiracy.

The second most prominent Fourth Amendment case last Term was Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, sometimes known as the prison strip search case. This case considered whether the Fourth Amendment allows detention facilities such as jails and prisons to force every person admitted to the facility to strip naked and be observed at close distance before entering the facility. In a five-to-four opinion by Justice Kennedy, the Court ruled that such observation was generally allowed. Jails are dangerous places, and the authorities need general rules to keep them safe without judicial micromanagement; as long as the person was to be admitted to the general prison population, such a search was permissible. Importantly, however, both Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito authored concurring opinions emphasizing that the Courts general rule might have exceptions. Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, and argued that the Court could better balance the interests with a rule that such searches are unreasonable absent reasonable suspicion that the individual possesses contraband if the arrest was for a minor offense that does not involve drugs or violence.

If Jones stands out for how surprising the opinions were, Florence is the opposite. Its a classic balancing case in which the Justices tried to weigh the different interests and look for plausible lines to draw. The five Justices nominated by Republican Presidents weighed the interests more in favor of the jail administrators; the four Justices nominated by Democratic Presidents weighed the interests more in favor of the inmates. Although a lot of people have strong views about the case, I dont see much novel ground covered here as a matter of Fourth Amendment law.

That brings us to our two remedies cases, Messerschmidt v. Millender and Ryburn v. Huff, both civil cases brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983. In both cases, the Court reversed Ninth Circuit rulings that had denied qualified immunity. Ryburn was the easier case. The Court reversed summarily and unanimously a divided Ninth Circuit ruling authored by a district judge sitting by designation that was also joined by Chief Judge Kozinski (who reveals his libertarian streak in Fourth Amendment cases).

Messerschmidt is the more interesting remedies case, in part because it involved the all-too-common practice among investigators of being sloppy with the particularity of warrants. The Fourth Amendment requires warrants to particularly describe the property to be seized, and the warrants must develop probable cause for each of those items to be seized. In the suppression context, which is by far the more common context in which warrant particularity is litigated, courts tend to be quite generous with defects in particularity. If the police add in a catch all clause in the warrant that is obviously overly broad, courts usually just sever the obviously unconstitutional part of the warrant and allow the evidence if it was obtained by reliance on other parts of the warrant. (See, for example, the Sixth Circuits 2001 decision in United States v. Greene.) As a result, officers often arent as careful with particularity as they should be. By arising in a civil setting, Messerschmidt didnt allow the easy path of severability often seen in criminal cases.

A divided Court in Messerschmidt ruled that qualified immunity applied by taking a rather generous view of what kind of evidence might be present and relevant to a domestic dispute involving a gun fired by a gang member. As a practical matter, the most important aspect of the majority opinion is its conclusion that seeking and obtaining the approval of higher-ups bolstered the case of qualified immunity by indicating that the officer was not at personal fault. This ruling is in in significant tension with United States v. Leon, which generally requires only a facial review of the warrant to see if a defect is so significant that suppression is warranted. (The Court has generally equated the good-faith exception in the criminal setting and qualified immunity standard in the civil setting, so precedents from one context should be applicable to the other.) At the same time, the ruling is consistent with the recent trend of Roberts Court cases on Fourth Amendment remedies in emphasizing the personal culpability of individual officers as a prerequisite to liability. In my view, focusing on personal culpability is problematic: Bad faith is hard for defendants to uncover and the appearance of good faith is relatively easy for the police to game. Under Messerschmidt, even if the warrant has a serious defect, review by higher-ups may provide an extra defense against not only personal liability but suppression of evidence. Its too early to tell whether lower courts will connect those dots and use Messerschmidt in this way, but it seems quite plausible that they will.

Posted in U.S. v. Jones, Messerschmidt v. Millender, Florence v. Board of Freeholders, Analysis, Featured

Recommended Citation: Orin Kerr, Reviewing the Fourth Amendment cases of OT2011, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 10, 2012, 2:05 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/08/reviewing-the-fourth-amendment-cases-of-ot2011/

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Fourth Amendment | Signal 108

Posted: August 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm

The below article was reproduced from The Federal Law Enforcement Informer, August 2015 issue. The Informer is a product published by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Office of Chief Counsel, Legal Training Division. The entire document, which contains case notes on notable federal cases, can be found here.


Robert Duncan, Esq.

Attorney Advisor and Senior Instructor

Office of Chief Counsel

Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers

Artesia, New Mexico

Reasonableness as Touchstone

The Fourth Amendment protects [t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures1 and in so doing, put the courts of the United States and Federal officials, in the exercise of their power and authority, under limitations and restraints [and] forever secure[d] the people, their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against all unreasonable searches and seizures under the guise of law.2 With the remainder of the Fourth Amendment prohibiting the issuance of warrants without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized,3 officers may view the law governing search and seizure as largely evidentiary or procedural but the underlying command of the Fourth Amendment is always that searches and seizures be reasonable.4

The Supreme Court has clearly defined searches and seizures. A search occurs when

an expectation of privacy that society is prepared to consider reasonable is infringed[while] seizure of property occurs when there is some meaningful interference with an individuals possessory interests in that property.5 The Supreme Court has held that the touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is reasonableness6 but there is no talisman that determines in all cases those privacy expectations that society is prepared to accept as reasonable.7

Determining Reasonableness

Determining whether a search is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment usually involves looking to the traditional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures afforded by the common law at the time of the [Fourth Amendments] framing8 or by assessing, on the one hand, the degree to which it intrudes upon an individuals privacy and, on the other, the degree to which it is needed for the promotion of legitimate governmental interests.9

As neither a warrant nor probable cause is an indispensable component of reasonableness,10 the Supreme Court has determined that [w]here a search is undertaken by law enforcement officials to discover evidence of criminal wrongdoing[]reasonableness generally requires the obtaining of a judicial warrant.11 In the absence of a warrant, drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime,12 a search is reasonable only if it falls within a specific exception to the warrant requirement,13 even if the warrantless search violates a persons reasonable expectation of privacy.14

The Supreme Court recognizes few specifically established and well-delineated exceptions15 to the warrant requirement. Those exceptions include the plain view doctrine,16 which allows an officer to seize evidence and contraband found in plain view during a lawful observation without a warrant;17 the Terry stop and Terry frisk, which grants authority to permit a reasonable search for weapons for the protection of the police officer, where he has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and dangerous individual;18 certain limited searches incident to lawful arrest;19 and searches involving exigent circumstances.20

A party alleging an unconstitutional search must establish both a subjective and an objective expectation of privacy.21 The Supreme Court has held the subjective component requires that a person exhibit an actual expectation of privacy, while the objective component requires that the privacy expectation be one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable.22

A smartphone users expectation of privacy is viewed objectively and must be justifiable under the circumstances.23 With the advent of social media and smartphones, people can post a photo or video from their phones, allowing them to share their lives instantly.24 Until 2014, one could make a colorable argument that it is unreasonable to have an expectation of privacy when one records and instantly shares life events on a smartphone; if there is no violation of a persons reasonable expectation of privacy by police or government agents, then there is no Fourth Amendment search.25 Despite the prevalence of sharing, users also routinely use passwords, thumbprint scans, or other mechanisms to prevent unwanted viewing of the devices contents. Using these features demonstrates an intention to keep a devices contents private; the remaining question is whether the privacy expectation created by using a password is one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable.

In early 2014, the Pew Research Center conducted a study that found more than 90 percent of Americans now own or regularly use a cellphone, and 58 percent have a more sophisticated smartphone.26 Even though society may share some data to others, society accepts that privacy expectations are reasonable on data stored on a smartphone itself and protected by passwords. In a digital age all of our papers and effects [are no longer] stored solely in satchels, briefcases, cabinets, and folders [but] ratherstored digitally on hard drives, flash drives, memory cards, and discs.27 Even the Supreme Courtan institution that does not enjoy a tech-savvy reputationhas agreed that papers and effects have given way to smartphones and selfies.28

Riley v. California

The Supreme Court extended reasonable expectations of privacy to smartphone data in Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2485, 189 L. Ed. 2d 430 (2014). Riley involved two separate arrests and searches of smartphones by police officers, demonstrates the inverse relationship between smartphone technology and reasonableness of smartphone searches. Officers attempted to search a phone as part of a Terry frisk.

As to the Terry frisk exception, the Court held that digital data stored on a cell phone cannot itself be used as a weapon to harm an arresting officer or to effectuate the arrestees escape, thus significantly limiting the use of this exception for reasonable searches of smartphones.29 The Court also noted that smartphones place vast quantities of personal information literally in the hands of individuals [and a] search of the information on a cell phone bears little resemblance to the type of brief physical search considered in previous cases involving searches incident to lawful arrest.30

As to one of the remaining exceptions, exigent circumstances encompass a broad array of factors considered by the courts: the gravity or violent nature of the offense with which the suspect is to be charged; a reasonable belief that the suspect is armed; probable cause to believe the suspect committed the crime; strong reason to believe the suspect is in the premises being entered; the likelihood that a delay could cause the escape of the suspect or the destruction of essential Fourth Amendment evidence; and the safety of the officers or the public jeopardized by delay.31

The destruction of evidence factor was often cited in court cases through the mid-1990s through the late 2000s:

On a cell phone, the telephone numbers stored in the memory can be erased as a result of incoming phone calls and the deletion of text messages could be as soon as midnight the next day[O]nce the cell phone powers down evidence can be lost. [A popular cell phone, the Motorola Razer] has an option called message clean up that wipes away text messages between 1 and 99 days. There is no way to determine by

looking at the Razer cell phones screen, if the message clean-up option has been activated. If the one-day message clean up is chosen, any messages stored on the Razer cell phone will be deleted at midnight on the following day it is received.

Accordingly, this Court finds that exigent circumstances existed and the text messages retrieved from the Razer cell phones are admissible.32

As smartphone technology has developed, however, the Supreme Court views exigent circumstances with increasing skepticism. In 2014, the technology used in the most basic of phones was unheard of ten years ago33 and the current top-selling smart phone has a standard capacity of 16 gigabytes (and is available with up to 64 gigabytes). Sixteen gigabytes translates to millions of pages of text, thousands of pictures, or hundreds of videos.34

Advances in technology also mean that officers can prevent destruction of data by disconnecting a phone from the networkFirst, law enforcement officers can turn the phone off or remove its battery. Second, if they are concerned about encryption or other potential problems, they can leave a phone powered on and place it in an [Faraday] enclosure that isolates the phone from radio waves.35 With these precautions in place, there is no longer any risk that the arrestee himself will be able to delete incriminating data from the phone.36

Seek Warrant, Avoid Suppression of Evidence

With the Supreme Courts holding in Riley, trial courts will likely suppress smartphone evidence without a search warrant or factual information that an exception to the warrant requirement existed at the time of the search. Fortunately, officers can find model search warrant templates at the nearest Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories (RCFL) site and seek assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While other avenues exist for cell phone investigations, the RCFL and FBI are especially good resources because almost every FBI Field Office or Resident Agency has a Cell Phone Investigative Kiosk (CPIK) available for use.

According to the FBI, the CPIK allow users to extract data from a cell phone, put it into a report, and burn the report to a CD or DVD in as little as 30 minutes.37 Full-size kiosks are physically located in nearly all FBI Field Offices and RCFLs; portable kiosks are available at many FBI Resident Agencies. Drafting a search warrant and using the CPIK may help ensure that valuable information obtained from a smartphone may be admissible and help win convictions in a criminal case post-Riley.

1. U.S. CONST. AMEND. IV. 2. Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 647, 81 S. Ct. 1684, 1687, 6 L. Ed. 2d 1081 (1961) citing Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383, 391, 34 S. Ct. 341, 344, 58 L. Ed. 652 (1914). 3. U.S. CONST. AMEND. IV. 4. New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325, 337, 105 S.Ct. 733, 740, 83 L.Ed.2d 720 (1985). 5. United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 113, 104 S. Ct. 1652, 1656, 80 L. Ed. 2d 85 (1984). 6. See United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112, 112-13, 122 S. Ct. 587, 588, 151 L. Ed. 2d 497 (2001). 7. OConnor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709, 715, 107 S. Ct. 1492, 1496, 94 L. Ed. 2d 714 (1987). 8. California v. Hodari D., 499 U.S. 621, 624, 111 S.Ct. 1547, 1549-50, 113 L.Ed.2d 690 (1991); See e.g. United States v. Watson, 423 U.S. 411, 418-420, 96 S.Ct. 820, 825-26, 46 L.Ed.2d 598 (1976); Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 149, 45 S.Ct. 280, 283-84, 69 L.Ed. 543 (1925). 9. Wyoming v. Houghton, 526 U.S. 295, 300, 119 S. Ct. 1297, 1300, 143 L. Ed. 2d 408 (1999).

10. Natl Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 489 U.S. 656, 665, 109 S. Ct. 1384, 1390, 103 L. Ed. 2d 685 11. Vernonia School Dist. 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646, 653, 115 S.Ct. 2386, 132 L.Ed.2d 564 (1995). 12. Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 14, 68 S.Ct. 367, 92 L.Ed. 436 (1948). 13. See Kentucky v. King, 563 U.S. , , 131 S.Ct. 1849, 18561857, 179 L.Ed.2d 865 (2011). 14. See Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 U.S. 177, 185, 110 S. Ct. 2793, 2799, 111 L. Ed. 2d 148 (1990). 15. Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 357, 88 S.Ct. 507, 514, 19 L.Ed.2d 576 (1967). 16. Smartphones usually have an automatic lock or passcode which prevents casual observation by law enforcement officers, making this exception of limited use in the field.

17. See Horton v. California, 496 U.S. 128, 128, 110 S. Ct. 2301, 2303, 110 L. Ed. 2d 112 (1990). 18. See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 1883, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889 (1968).

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Fourth Amendment | Signal 108

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NSA bulk phone records collection to end despite USA …

Posted: May 24, 2015 at 7:43 pm

A huge slogan board stands in front of the US Capitol building during a protest against government surveillance. Photograph: Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media

Related: USA Freedom Act fails as senators reject bill to scrap NSA bulk collection

Even as the Senate remains at an impasse over the future of US domestic surveillance powers, the National Security Agency will be legally unable to collect US phone records in bulk by the time Congress returns from its Memorial Day vacation.

The administration, as suggested in a memo it sent Congress on Wednesday, declined to ask a secret surveillance court for another 90-day extension of the order necessary to collect US phone metadata in bulk. The filing deadline was Friday, hours before the Senate failed to come to terms on a bill that would have formally repealed the NSA domestic surveillance program.

We did not file an application for reauthorization, an administration official confirmed to the Guardian on Saturday.

The administration decision ensures that beginning at 5pm ET on 1 June, for the first time since October 2001 the NSA will no longer collect en masse Americans phone records.

It represents a quiet, unceremonious end to the most domestically acrimonious NSA program revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, in a June 2013 expos in the Guardian effectively preempting a bid by GOP leader Mitch McConnell to retain it. But McConnell and other Senate Republicans intend to continue their fight to preserve both that program and other broad surveillance powers under the Patriot Act.

A chaotic early morning on Saturday in the Senate ended with the procedural defeat of the USA Freedom Act, which would have banned the NSA bulk collection program while renewing an expiring Patriot Act provision allowing FBI access to business records and a vast amount of US communications metadata.

But McConnell, who is seeking to retain all current domestic surveillance powers, also failed to convince the Senate to pass a temporary extension of the provision, known as Section 215, which shuts down at midnight on 31 May. McConnells alternative would retain all existing FBI under Section 215 as well as the NSA bulk phone records collection.

McConnell will reconvene the Senate on 31 May to attempt to settle the issue. Even if he can pass his temporary extension, all of Section 215 will still expire, since the House left on Thursday having overwhelmingly approved the Freedom Act and will not return until 1 June.

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NSA bulk phone records collection to end despite USA …

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Maine Police Pay Ransomware Demand in Bitcoin

Posted: April 14, 2015 at 9:47 pm

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and four town police departments were infected with the “megacode” virus.

In an effort to keep their computer files from being destroyed, a group of cooperative police departments in Maine paid a $300 ransom demandin bitcoin.

According to local news station WCSH-TV, the shared computer system of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and four town police departments was infected with the “megacode” virus.

When someone using the communal network accidentally downloaded the virus, an encryption code locked all the computer data, holding it for ransom. After the $300 fee was paid via a bitcoin transfer, the police received a code to unlock the encryption and restore their files.

“We needed our programs to get back online,” Damariscotta Police Chief Ron Young told WCSH-TV. “And that was a choice we all discussed and took to get back on line to get our information.”

There is no official word on who carried out the attack; the FBI could only track the bitcoin payment to a Swiss bank account.

The hackcommonly known as ransomwareis a virus that blackmails users by encrypting their hard drives or locking them out of their computer. The only way to gain access again: pay the monetary demand. There is no guarantee, however, that the machine will be restored.

A similar struggle was depicted in a fall episode of CBS drama The Good Wife. The hackers demanded $50,000 on the show, but real-life ransoms are typically a much less pricey $200 to $400.

A common currency for paying off hackers, bitcoin was named the world’s worst legal tender for 2014 by Bloomberg, which said bitcoin peaked at around $1,130 in 2013, landing at $320 by the end of last year.

For more, see Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin.

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Is encryption the Second Amendment for the Internet?

Posted: April 11, 2015 at 7:49 am

Last week, FBI Director James Comey once again campaigned for backdoors into the encryption programs of tech companies, writes Sunday Yokubaitis at the Daily Dot.

Tech execs say privacy should be the paramount virtue, he told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. When I hear that, I close my eyes and try to imagine what the world looks like where pedophiles cant be seen, kidnappers cant be seen, [and] drug dealers cant be seen.

The United States government is playing to fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The reality is the government already collects a tremendous amount of personal data about its citizens through the location data our phones give away, National Security Agency metadata programs and online shopping habits without our consent.

Encryption is how privacy-conscious Internet users fight back against the unblinking eye of government mass surveillance and protect themselves online. Even if the NSA can break some encryption technologies, were at least making it harder and more expensive for them to track law-abiding citizens en masse. When Comey asks for backdoors, he is really just asking to make his job easierwith dubious benefits and very serious risks.

We must protect encryption because backdoors are inherently insecure.

Todays Question: Is encryption the Second Amendment for the Internet?

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The DEA collected call metadata way before the NSA did

Posted: April 8, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Provided by Engadget

Apparently, the NSA’s massive surveillance program wasn’t a first: it was modeled after a precursor that ran from 1992 until 2013. According to USA Today, that program was called USTO, because it monitored almost every American’s calls from the US to other countries. It was a joint initiative by the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which began as a way to keep tabs on Colombian drug cartels and their supply routes. Since then, it grew in scope (thanks in part to a powerful computer provided by the Pentagon) to cover all international calls made to around 116 countries worldwide, including Canada, Mexico, parts of Asia and Europe, and most of Central and Southern America. The group was only dissolved after Edward Snowden came public with the NSA’s secrets in 2013.

USA Today says this is the US government’s first known effort to gather intelligence on its citizens en masse. USTO didn’t exactly listen or record phone calls, though — instead, it asked carriers for phone call metadata, which contains numbers contacted, the time they were called and the duration of those conversations. Agents then used those to link data they got from other means, allowing them to piece together various information, such as drug distribution networks. The logs also didn’t include names, but the team could easily link numbers to particular people by cross-referencing data.

These documents were transferred over a private network and came in like clockwork, that details were usually just a few days old when they reached the agents. USA Today’s report didn’t specify all the carriers involved, but mentioned that Sprint “expressed reservations” about participating in 1998 (the company was basically told it had no choice) and that AT&T was likely one of them, as well.

The DEA didn’t allow anyone else, not even the FBI or the NSA to access its logs in the beginning. But over time, it gave other law enforcement agencies access to its database, especially after 9/11. Eventually, in an effort to keep this program hidden, the DEA’s Special Operations Division started passing on intel to prosecutors and feds as “tips” that they could act on. When Reutersblew the lid off that practice in 2013, it gave this scenario as an example: A field agent would get a call from an informant, telling him to intercept a particular van at a certain time and location. However, that agent wouldn’t be allowed to tell the court about the tip. Instead, he would have to reconstruct the case and find a way to arrive to the result without mentioning the DEA’s participation.

After USTO was put to a stop post-Snowden revelation — all records were reportedly purged — DEA agents had to start getting call records via more difficult means. Now, they have to send carriers subpoenas daily to get those logs, and only for numbers already linked to drug trade or other crimes.

Reuters, USA Today

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A fatal wrong turn suspected at NSA

Posted: April 5, 2015 at 9:48 am

Local television showed two damaged vehicles near a gate and emergency workers loading an injured uniformed man into an ambulance. (AP)

(Updated: FBI identifies man involved in deadly incident at NSA security gate)

The overnight tryst began in Baltimore, with three men, two dressed as women. It continued at a motel on U.S. 1, and when one of the men woke up Monday morning, his two cross-dressing companions, and his Ford Escape, were gone.

The dark-colored Escape was headed south on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Its driver, in what authorities believe could have been a mistake, took a restricted exit leading to a security post at the sprawling campus of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md.

An NSA statement said the driver ignored police commands to stop and instead accelerated toward a police vehicle as at least one officer opened fire. The stolen SUV crashed into the cruiser. One man died at the scene, and the other was taken to a hospital for treatment. An NSA officer also was injured, though officials did not say how.

What had first appeared to be an attempt to breach security at the listening post that eavesdrops on communications throughout the world now appears to be a wrong turn by two men who police believe had robbed their companion of his vehicle and perhaps didnt stop because there were drugs inside.

A spokeswoman for the Baltimore office of the FBI, Amy J. Thoreson, said early in the investigation that authorities do not believe [the incident] is related to terrorism. A law enforcement official said: This was not a deliberate attempt to breach the security of NSA. This was not a planned attack.

Police have not released the identities of the people involved, or the conditions of the man who survived the incident and the injured NSA officer. The NSA statement did not say whether either person in the car was struck by gunfire or was injured as a result of the crash.

Details about how the incident began were pieced together with information from several law enforcement officials and others familiar with the case, who spoke on the condition they not be named in order to discuss a pending case.

A Howard County police spokeswoman confirmed that the men involved stayed at a Jessup motel and that the owner of the SUV called police Monday morning to report it stolen.

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Justice Department Won't Charge IRS' Lois Lerner With Criminal Contempt

Posted: April 2, 2015 at 5:49 am

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET

The Justice Department will not pursue criminal contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was at the center of a political storm over the agency’s alleged targeting of conservative groups. The announcement came from Ronald Machen, the outgoing U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, to House Speaker John Boehner. (The letter is embedded at the bottom of this story.)

Here’s the background: Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights and refused to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in March 2014. But Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who headed that panel, said at the time that Lerner had waived that right by making an opening statement at a May 2013 hearing in which she proclaimed her innocence in short opening remarks.

The House voted later in 2014 to hold Lerner in criminal contempt. Machen’s office was examining the case and, in the letter dated March 31, he disagreed with Issa’s interpretation.

“Ms. Lerner did not waive her Fifth Amendment privilege by making general claims of innocence,” his office said in a statement. “The Constitution would provide Ms. Lerner with an absolute defense if she were prosecuted for contempt.”

Wednesday’s announcement grants a reprieve to the former IRS official, who at the time of the controversy led the agency’s division that oversees tax-exempt groups. William Taylor, her attorney, said in a statement: “We are gratified but not surprised by today’s news.”

But as Politico notes, she and other officials from the Internal Revenue Service are still under investigation by the FBI for the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

As NPR’s Mark Memmott reported at the time: “[A] report … concluded some conservative groups had been ‘deliberately targeted.’ (Democrats have released IRS documents showing liberal groups also came in for extra scrutiny.) A political furor erupted, eventually leading to the resignation of the agency’s acting director. Lerner retired from the agency later in the year.”

You can read the letter in full here:

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