Big Problems with Big Data

A recent piece in FT Magazine questions the claims of big data hucksters.  From FT:
Cheerleaders for big data have made four exciting claims, each one reflected in the success of Google Flu Trends: that data analysis produces uncannily accurate results; that every single data point can be captured, making old statistical sampling techniques obsolete; that it is passé to fret about what causes what, because statistical correlation tells us what we need to know; and that scientific or statistical models aren’t needed because, to quote “The End of Theory”, a provocative essay published in Wired in 2008, “with enough data, the numbers speak for themselves”.

Unfortunately, these four articles of faith are at best optimistic oversimplifications. At worst, according to David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge university, they can be “complete bollocks. Absolute nonsense.”

MS Releases Office for IPad

From The Verge:
After years and years of rumors, Office for iPad is finally here. At a press event in San Francisco this morning, Microsoft Office general manager Julia White has unveiled the company’s latest mobile Office app. While Office for iPad was originally rumored for a release in 2012 and 2013, it's available as three separate applications (WordExcelPowerPoint) in Apple’s App Store today.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Project on Track in 2014

By L. Lawless 

With all of the earthly unpleasantry of the ever-encroaching surveillance state, it is nice to think that NASA is using its powers of sight to gaze upon the galaxy like never before. The James Webb Space Telescope, currently being completed at the Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland, is due to launch in 2018 and will use infrared capabilities to observe the universe from a gravitationally-stable location (known as the “L2” LaGrange point) 1.6 million kilometers away. However, fluctuating annual budget issues are putting the project (NASA’s most ambitious telescope launch since the Hubble) in possible jeopardy, with administrators worried that sequestration-induced budget cuts may further delay the launch (which at the time of the project’s conception had been slated for no later than 2011).

Currently at Goddard, several elements of the telescope are being prepared for testing in the facility’s cryogenic chamber, which simulates the environment of outer space by using liquid nitrogen to create a super-cooled sealed environment. The Fine Guidance Sensor, Mid-Infrared Instrument, Near Infrared Spectrograph and Near Infrared Camera will be subjected to Goddard’s thermal vacuum chamber this year in what may prove to be an expensive round of testing. Due to the necessity of continued testing for both the flight and engineering models of the telescope’s equipment, the Webb’s 2013 budget of $627.6 billion would not have been enough to continue to sustain the project as planned. However, thanks to sequestration negotiations and the White House’s interest in the telescope as a major space initiative, Congress recently granted the project $658.2 million for 2014. If further sequestration issues are not dealt with in the years to come, the volatility of the budget will force NASA to take money from other projects to assure the continued development of the Webb project.

The extremely sensitive thermal imaging cameras and optics must be extensively calibrated so that the telescope will have the capacity not just to identify planets, but to characterize their composition. The Webb’s primary optic (main mirror) is 6.5 meters across, and is comprised of 18 smaller hexagonal mirrors that will be folded into the nosecone of a rocket and then deployed once in space. Once in place, mirror calibration is made possible by small activators that can manipulate and hold the mirrors in place for weeks at a time (working as one unit, calibrated down to nanometers) in conditions that could reach -400C. The mirrors themselves are made of gold-coated beryllium substrate, which is optimum for maintaining stability in an unpredictable space environment. Concise testing of these elements is critical, as the mirrors and actuators must be calibrated down to billionths of a meter to achieve the project’s peak results. The Webb telescope will use its precise thermal imaging array not just to see and characterize planets, star formations, and various other phenomena through clouds of space dust, but also to examine remnants of light from the early universe that may lend clues as to the nature of space’s oldest galaxies.


Lee Lawless is a writer and musician living in New York City.

Social Media Censorship Leads to Tor Surge in Turkey

From The Daily Dot:
Turkey’s online censorship and banning of Twitter is fueling mass adoption of Tor, the most popular anonymity network online, as a tool to circumvent government obstruction.
Just days ago, the software had already hit a pace of 10,000 new users per week. Now the pace has picked up significantly; Turks are now moving to Tor at a rate of 10,000 new users per day for a total of over 50,000 users and growing.

Obama Admin Proposes Overhaul of Illegal NSA Surveillance Programs

From the NYT:
The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that — if approved by Congress — would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials.
Under the proposal, they said, the N.S.A. would end its systematic collection of data about Americans’ calling habits. The bulk records would stay in the hands of phone companies, which would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would. And the N.S.A. could obtain specific records only with permission from a judge, using a new kind of court order.
Of course, these assertions by anonymous administration officials are less than worthless until we see the actual details of the proposal.  Anyone who's been paying attention should be quite amused by this trial balloon.  Remember, just a few months ago, the Democrats and Republicans were running around telling us that all this illegal surveillance was necessary to "protect" us from the "terrorists".  It is time to repeal the Patriot Act, which continues to provide the legal excuse for these unconstitutional encroachments on the rights and liberties of the people, and to remove the Democrats and Republicans from all public offices. 

Tech Industry Begs Senate Leader to Oppse Ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership Framework

An open letter to Senator Wyden from Fight for the Future:
Dear Senator Ron Wyden,
Congratulations on your recent appointment as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. As technology companies with business models inextricably linked to the Internet, we admire your work as a staunch defender of users and online rights—most prominently when you led the fight against SOPA and PIPA in Congress.

Today we write about another emerging front in the battle to defend the free Internet—massive trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These highly secretive, supranational agreements are reported to include provisions that vastly expand on any reasonable definition of "trade,” including provisions that impact patents, copyright, and privacy in ways that constrain legitimate online activity and innovation. We applaud your prior efforts as Senator to bring transparency and public participation to trade negotiations. We strongly urge you to uphold and expand this dedication into your new role.

None of the usual justifications for trade negotiation exclusivity apply to recent agreements like the TPP. Even assuming that it is legitimate to shield the discussions of certain trade barriers—like import tariffs—from political interference, the provisions in these new trade agreements go far beyond such traditional trade issues.

Based on what we’ve seen in leaked copies of the proposed text, we are particularly concerned about the U.S. Trade Representative's proposals around copyright enforcement. Dozens of digital rights organizations and tens of thousands of individuals have raised alarm over provisions that would bind treaty signatories to inflexible digital regulations that undermine free speech. Based on the fate of recent similar measures, it is virtually certain that such proposals would face serious scrutiny if proposed at the domestic level or via a more transparent process. Anticipated elements such as harsher criminal penalties for minor, non-commercial copyright infringements, a 'take-down and ask questions later' approach to pages and content alleged to breach copyright, and the possibility of Internet providers having to disclose personal information to authorities without safeguards for privacy will chill innovation and significantly restrict users' freedoms online.

Some aspects of U.S. copyright law, such as the DMCA's safe harbor provisions, have helped foster the vibrant tech industry in this country. But in other areas, we are due for major reforms—a fact made clear by Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante's call for the "Next Great Copyright Act" and the House Judiciary Committee's efforts to implement that reform. In light of these needed revisions, the U.S. system cannot be crystallized as the international norm and should not be imposed on other nations. It is crucial that we maintain the flexibility to re-evaluate and reform our legal framework in response to new technological realities. Ceding national sovereignty over critical issues like copyright is not in the best interest of any of the potential signatories of this treaty.

We can only build a successful innovation policy framework—one that supports new ideas, products, and markets—if the process to design it is open and participatory. Unfortunately, the trade negotiation process has been anything but transparent. Our industry, and the users that we serve, need to be at the table from the beginning to design policies that serve more than the narrow commercial interests of the few large corporations who have been invited to participate.

We urge you not to pass any version of Fast Track or trade promotion authority, or approve any mechanism that would facilitate the passage of trade agreements containing digital copyright enforcement provisions designed in an opaque, closed-door process. 
As the new Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, you are in a position to shape U.S. policy to keep this country a place where innovation thrives. We look forward to your continued dedication to the interests of technology and its users.

Why We Need Decentralized DNS . . .

Last week, the US government announced that the Commerce Department would relinquish control over internet root servers and open the process to the so-called multi-stakeholder model.  Many are not holding their breath. From Wired UK:
The battle over the future of the internet has begun in earnest. Bear with us: it's immensely technical, but it's also immensely important.
Because the internet first emerged, grew, and prospered in the United States, the US government has a special relationship and disproportionate influence over what is now regarded as a global public good. While the US is unwilling to relinquish its role as chief internet steward, this is becoming an increasingly untenable position, particularly as the NSA/Snowden revelations continue to shake global confidence.
In this context, and perhaps accelerated by last week's damning critiques in the European Parliament and the UN Human Rights Council, the US government announced late on Friday, in a smart front-footed move, that it intends to release oversight of its long-treasured IANA contract under which the US Commerce Department contracts ICANN, a private US company, to perform key internet administration tasks. The government has proposed a transition plan for these tasks to be administered directly by the "global multistakeholder community" (read: ICANN), via a process to be determined by ICANN and approved by the US government in September 2015. This prescriptive, carefully-limited announcement is the long-awaited fulfilment of a promise made 16 years ago when ICANN first came into being, and it would be the first time since the net's inception that the US government would abandon formal oversight. Of course, US vested interests in ICANN as a US-based company, subject to US law, and partial to US industry, remain, as does the almighty US technical and economic leverage over the digital ecosystem.
You might think (and you'd be right), that it is rather odd that one country, and indeed one company, even holds this net administration contract. But such are the breaks of history and the clutch of commerce.

Torrent Freak's Updated VPN Privacy Profiles

From Torrent Freak:
Millions of people use a VPN service to protect their privacy, but not all VPNs are as anonymous as one might hope. In fact, some VPN services log users' IP-addresses for weeks. To find out how secure VPNs really are TorrentFreak asked the leading providers about their logging policies, and more. . . .

Unfortunately, not all VPN services are as anonymous as they claim. Following a high-profile case of an individual using an ‘anonymous’ VPN service that turned out to be not so private, TorrentFreak decided to ask a selection of VPN services some tough questions.

By popular demand we now present the third iteration of our VPN services “logging” review. In addition to questions about logging policies we also asked VPN providers about their stance towards file-sharing traffic, and what they believe the most secure VPN is . . . 

21 Notable Data Sets from NYC Open Data

Over the last few years, more and more states and cities have begun bringing open data sites online and making vast troves of information freely available to the public in both machine and human readable formats.  The federal government launched back in 2009 and since then, numerous states have done the same.  New York State launched its open data site last year, and New York City's Open Data Portal has been up and running for at least a couple years now. With thousands of massive data sets at your fingertips, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available.  And if you're looking for a specific piece of information, it sometimes feels like you're looking for a piece of hay in a haystack.  Today, we'll try to narrow things down a bit and take a look at a number of notable data sets available at NYC's Open Data Portal.


Wifi Hotspot Locations
"Location of wifi hotspots in the city with basic descriptive information."

City Government Social Media
"Twitter, Facebook, Youtube statistics from various NYC agencies and organizations."


NYC Jobs
"This data set contains current job postings available on the City of New York’s official jobs site . . . Internal postings available to city employees and external postings available to the general public are included."

NYC After School Programs, Jobs and Internships
"Facilities in New York City, by agency and site, that offer the following after-school job and internship programs: Summer Youth Employment, In-School Youth Employment (ISY), Out-of-School Youth Employment (OSY), Youth Employment, and Adult Employment Programs for children in age groups 14 to 24, 16 to 21, children in all grades, and adults"

Complaints and Grievances

311 Service Requests from 2010 to Present
"All 311 Service Requests from 2010 to present. This information is automatically updated daily."

NYC Public Drinking
311 service requests filtered for public drinking complaints.  

NYC Graffiti
Take a tour of reported graffiti locations across the city.


Ratio of Single Men to Single Women, by Neighborhood
Can't find a date? Maybe you're looking in the wrong neighborhood.

Population by Census Block
"Population Numbers in New York City by Census Tracts."

NYC Top Baby Names, 2009-2010
There sure are a lot of 4 and 5 year old Isabellas and Jaydens out there.

Food and Drink

Sidewalk Cafes 
With spring around the corner, you may find this data set helpful to locate a sidewalk cafe anywhere in the city if you're looking to sit and relax and watch the world go by.

Farmer's Markets
This data set contains a list of 137 farmer's markets in all five boroughs. The information is somewhat dated (it's from 2012), but it is highly likely that many if not the vast majority of these markets are still going strong.


Subway Entrances
"Map of NYC Subway Entrances."

Parking Facilities
They seem to be everywhere, but you can never find one if and when you really need one.

Politics and Government

City Expense Budgets by Agency
"Data set contains expense budgets by agency for actual fiscal years and five financial plan fiscal years in All funds."

City Council Discretionary Funding, 2009-2013
Wonder where all that tax money goes?  "This dataset reflects applications for discretionary funding to be allocated by the New York City Council between the years 2009 and 2013."

City Council Discretionary Funding for Upcoming Year 
"The dataset reflects applications for discretionary funding to be allocated by the New York City Council in the upcoming fiscal year (July 1 - June 30)."

Campaign Contributions, 2013
"A listing of campaign contributions for candidates for City office during the 2013 election cycle."

Campaign Expenditures, 2013
"A listing of campaign expenditures for candidates for City office dating back from the 2013 election cycle."


NYPD Complaints Per Uniformed Officer 2009-2011
"This table represents complaints per uniformed officer."

NYPD Disciplinary Penalties 2009-2011
"This data set represents police department disciplinary penalties imposed by NYPD."

Type and Number of NYPD Allegation Complaints 2009-2011 
"This table represents the type of allegation and total number of allegations received for a particular type of complaint. Types of allegations and complaints are Force, Abuse of Authority, Discourtesy, Offensive Language."

Missing Plane Belies Claims of Mass Surveillance Advocates

At Computer World, Ron Miller points out how the missing Malaysian airliner undercuts all the primary claims of those who argue for unqualified support of the national security police state and surveillance society.  Excerpt:
That a jumbo jet could simply disappear without a trace is mind-boggling. We are told that the NSA is collecting every bit of data on us. We are told that we can be easily tracked through our smartphones and other electronic devices. We are told that this data collection is done in the name of making us safer, by stopping a terrorist attack in real time.
We are led to believe that if we collect enough information -- indeed, if we collect all of the information -- we can see the connections and make the leaps and stop attacks before they happen.
That's what we're told. That's the justification for all this surveillance. And yet if we can't find a jumbo jet after nine days in a world covered by satellite cameras and radar facilities, are we supposed to believe that collecting every one of our emails and listening to every one of our phone calls and following every one of us around as we move through our lives will make us safer?
That, of course, is a rhetorical question. But folks should be careful of this line of argument.  There is no doubt that the national security fetishists and the totalitarian surveillance advocates will counter with their usual claim: this only shows that we need MORE surveillance.  

Congress Continues Its Crusade Against a Free and Open Internet

In case you thought SOPA was defeated, here's a reminder that it has merely been turned into a zombie bill that cannot be killed via traditional means.  From Geek:
Two years ago, major websites such as Wikipedia and Reddit blacked out their services as a form of digital protest against SOPA, the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act . . . Eventually, the widespread outrage over the bill was acknowledged and Congress knocked it off. Various forms of SOPA attempted to make a comeback since the original proposal back in 2011, but none have made it through. Now, though, SOPA might be making a comeback, but in a much sneakier fashion.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee met to discuss copyright reform, but rather than redesign SOPA, it is instead taking the more sinister route of voluntary commitments from individual entities to comply with a ruleset similarly sinister to SOPA.  
In other words, the old SOPA policies would be administered on a voluntary basis, meaning the rule of law on the issue would be outsourced to the arbitrary policies of copyright fundamentalists. 

Facebook to Government: Back Off! Spying on Facebook Users is OUR Job!

From the NYT:
Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, has complained directly to President Obama about the continuing revelations that the United States government has secretly spied on the activities of some of his company’s 1.2 billion users.
Mr. Zuckerberg spoke with the president on Wednesday following the most recent news report on the National Security Agency’s surveillance tactics. The account, published in The Intercept from documents leaked by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, described how government computers sometimes masqueraded as Facebook servers in order to send malicious software to infect the machines of Facebook users. The documents say the process was automated so the N.S.A. could target millions of people for the attacks.

What Does Your Metadata Reveal About You?

Last year, when the Snowden leaks started dripping into the mainstream media, the apologists of the National Security Police State and Surveillance Society went to great lengths to downplay the fact of the illegal surveillance, arguing that "It's just metadata! Nothing to see here!"  An article in the Guardian reports on a study that reveals just how much about a person can be inferred from their metadata:
Identities of cannabis grower, woman seeking an abortion and MS sufferer inferred in study that confirms danger of widespread access to metadata . . .
Warnings that phone call “metadata” can betray detailed information about your life has been confirmed by research at Stanford University. Researchers there successfully identified a cannabis cultivator, multiple sclerosis sufferer and a visitor to an abortion clinic using nothing more than the timing and destination of their phone calls.
Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler, the researchers behind the finding, used data gleaned from 546 volunteers to assess the extent to which information about who they had called and when revealed personally sensitive information.

NSA Spreads Malware By the Millions

From the Intercept:
Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.
The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.
The covert infrastructure that supports the hacking efforts operates from the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, and from eavesdropping bases in the United Kingdom and Japan. GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, appears to have played an integral role in helping to develop the implants tactic.
In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

Top Senate Witch Spooked by CIA

Senator Diane Feinstein of California is one of the most outspoken supporters of turning the United States into a totalitarian surveillance society.  Apparently, however, she only supports these policies when it is everyday folks whose rights are being trampled upon by the lawless spy agencies that are eroding our rights and liberties.  When it is her and the rest of the degenerate parasites in the Congress who are under the microscope, she appears to have a different view.  From CNN:
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee suggested Tuesday the CIA violated federal law by secretly pulling classified documents from her panel's computers during a staff probe of the spy agency's controversial detention and interrogation program.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said CIA Director John Brennan told her in January that agency personnel searched the computers because they believed the panel's investigators might have gained access to materials on an internal review they were not authorized to see.
"The CIA did not ask the committee or its staff if the committee had access to the internal review or how we obtained it," Feinstein said in blistering remarks on the Senate floor. "Instead, the CIA just went and searched the committee's computer."
Feinstein said that she had "grave concerns" the search may have violated federal law regarding domestic spying as well as congressional oversight responsibilities under the Constitution.
Note that Feinstein engaged in no such concern trolling to defend the people's rights against unlawful search and seizure when they are routinely violated by the federal government.  Throw this witch to the curb. 

Policy Makers Likely Even More Ignorant Than the Public on Tech Security Matters

The other day, we poked some fun at the US public for ignorance of basic tech-related terminology.  Much more serious, however, is the depth of ignorance and incompetence common among public officials who hold sway over cyber-policy decisions.  Whether it is a "cybersecurity" official who doesn't know what an ISP is, a judge who doesn't understand  email or a technophobic luddite who controls the Department of Homeland Security . . .  these people's ignorance actually puts the public at large in danger, and represent real threats to our security not to mention our civil liberties.  Of course, one would not expect anything less from the Democrats and Republicans.  From the Guardian:
One of the world’s leading cyberwarfare experts has warned of the damaging lack of government literacy in cybersecurity issues, pointing out that some senior officials don’t know how to use email, and that one US representative about to negotiate cybersecurity with China asked him what an “ISP” was. . . .

Yet former head of US homeland security Janet Napolitano once told Singer. “Don’t laugh, but I just don’t use email at all,” Singer recalled. “It wasn’t a fear of privacy or security - it’s because she just didn’t think it was useful. A supreme court justice also told me ‘I haven’t got round to email yet’ - and this is someone who will get to vote on everything from net neutrality to the NSA negotiations.”

Obama himself, Singer said, had expressed concern that the complexity of the issue was overwhelming policy makers.
Ignorance hiding behind complexity.  I'm sure they'll find a way to simply it for themselves while making the rest of us less secure and less free at the same time.  Win/win from their end, I suppose.  

Critical Linux Vulnerability Discovered

From Ars Technica:
Hundreds of open source packages, including the Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Debian
distributions of Linux, are susceptible to attacks that circumvent the most widely used technology to prevent eavesdropping on the Internet, thanks to an extremely critical vulnerability in a widely used cryptographic code library.
The bug in the GnuTLS library makes it trivial for attackers to bypass secure sockets layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protections available on websites that depend on the open source package. Initial estimates included in Internet discussions such as this one indicate that more than 200 different operating systems or applications rely on GnuTLS to implement crucial SSL and TLS operations, but it wouldn't be surprising if the actual number is much higher. Web applications, e-mail programs, and other code that use the library are vulnerable to exploits that allow attackers monitoring connections to silently decode encrypted traffic passing between end users and servers.
The bug is the result of commands in a section of the GnuTLS code that verify the authenticity of TLS certificates, which are often known simply as X509 certificates.

How Many Americans Think They Can Catch an STD from their Computer?

If only there were a place where people had access to vast troves of information, and could seek it out to inform themselves about things they do not understand . . . From the LA Times:
A recent study found that many Americans are lost when it comes to tech-related terms, with 11% saying that they thought HTML — a language that is used to create websites — was a sexually transmitted disease.  The study was conducted by, a coupons website, as a way to determine how knowledgeable users are when it comes to tech terms . . . Besides HTML, there were some other amusing findings:
  • 77% of respondents could not identify what SEO means. SEO stands for "Search-Engine Optimization"
  • 27% identified "gigabyte" as an insect commonly found in South America. A gigabyte is a measurement unit for the storage capacity of an electronic device.
  • 42% said they believed a "motherboard" was "the deck of a cruise ship." A motherboard is usually a circuit board that holds many of the key components of a computer.
  • 23% thought an "MP3" was a "Star Wars" robot. It is actually an audio file.
  • 18% identified "Blu-ray" as a marine animal. It is a disc format typically used to store high-definition videos.
  • 15% said they believed "software" is comfortable clothing. Software is a general term for computer programs.
  • 12% said "USB" is the acronym for a European country. In fact, USB is a type of connector.
Despite the incorrect answers, 61% of the respondents said it is important to have a good knowledge of technology in this day and age.
Yes, the majority think it is important to have a good understanding of technology, but many apparently do not think it is important enough to, you know, actually go and inform themselves about it.  These are, of course, the same people who continue to vote for Democrats and Republicans year after year.  One wonders how many people think they can catch a virus from their computer. 

Florida: Big Business and Big Government Collude to Further Undermine the Constitution of the United States

The government of the United States honors its illegal commitments to corporations over its supposed commitment to upholding the Constitution of the United States.  If this doesn't make your blood boil, you are probably a fascist.  From Ars Technica:
A police department in Florida failed to tell judges about its use of a cell phone tracking tool "because the department got the device on loan and promised the manufacturer to keep it all under wraps," the American Civil Liberties Union said in a blog post today.
The device was likely a "Stingray," which is made by the Florida-based Harris Corporation. Stingrays impersonate cell phone towers in order to compel phones to "reveal their precise locations and information about all of the calls and text messages they send and receive," the ACLU noted. "When in use, stingrays sweep up information about innocent people and criminal suspects alike."

The tracking technology was used by the Tallahassee Police Department in September 2008 to locate a man accused of rape and the theft of a purse, which contained the alleged victim's cell phone. The man, James L. Thomas, was convicted of sexual battery and theft, but he filed an appeal "contending that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and article I, section 12 of the Florida Constitution, was introduced against him at trial," according to a court ruling in November 2013 that reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial.

Police "did not want to obtain a search warrant because they did not want to reveal information about the technology they used to track the cell phone signal," the District Court of Appeal ruling said. "The prosecutor told the court that a law enforcement officer 'would tell you that there is a nondisclosure agreement that they’ve agreed with the company.'"
All government employees who participated in these despicable acts should be tried for treason.  

Predictable: UK Internet Censorship Official Arrested for Child Pornography

It appears one of the higher up UK officials in charge of crafting that government's internet censorship policy and "pornography filter" is himself a pedophile and likely child pornographer.  You can't make this stuff up folks.  These people are degenerate scum.  One wonders how many other pedos there are wandering the halls of Downing Street.  From the Guardian:
A senior aide to David Cameron resigned from Downing Street last month the day before being arrested on allegations relating to child abuse images.  Patrick Rock, who was involved in drawing up the government's policy for the large internet firms on online pornography filters, resigned after No 10 was alerted to the allegations.
Rock was arrested at his west London flat the next morning. Officers from the National Crime Agency subsequently examined computers and offices used in Downing Street by Rock, the deputy director of No 10's policy unit, according to the Daily Mail, which disclosed news of his arrest.  No 10 confirmed on Monday evening that Rock had been arrested. A spokesman: "On the evening of 12 February, Downing Street was first made aware of a potential offence relating to child abuse imagery. It was immediately referred to the National Crime Agency (CEOP).

Tennessee: Safety Hysterics Implement University Movement Tracking System

From Tennessee State University:
Tennessee State University (TSU) is implementing a new policy to keep students and staff safe. The changes come after a rash of vandalism and a shooting this school year on campus.
It's already difficult for students to get around campus without identification.
"I use it going to the cafeteria, going in and out of my dorm and driving on campus," freshman Xavier Johnson explained about the importance of his identification.

A new policy has students and staff lining the halls at the campus police department. Each one is required to get a new photo identification. Starting on March 1st  it must be prominently displayed while on campus.
The current policy requires everyone to be able to present identification only when asked.