White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s Personal Cell Phone was Compromised

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s personal cell phone was compromised back in December. Details may be found at: http://politi.co/2xIbaTX.

Actually, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. I hope it didn’t surprise John Kelly although I suspect it may have. Everyone should be aware that EVERY unencrypted cell phone can be hacked. The higher your position in government, military, sports, the entertainment industry, or in the business world, the greater the odds that someone is monitoring your calls and the web sites you visit with your smartphone. Those listening might be foreign governments, our own NSA, the FBI, local police departments, business competitors, identity thieves, or (in the case of celebrities) various gossip magazines and newspapers.

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New Homeland Security Plan to Gather Social Media Information has Privacy Advocates up in Arms

Yes, Big Brother is watching you, me, and everyone else more than ever before. It has special interests in immigrants, even those who later became U.S. citizens.

Back in September, the Department of Homeland Security announced in the Federal Register that it had been collecting information from social media accounts of immigrants and foreign visitors. According to that notice, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is part of DHS, keeps the data it collects from immigrants in what’s known as their “A File.” According to DHS, data gathered includes “social media [accounts], aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results.”

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US Studying Ways to End Use of Social Security Numbers For ID

U.S. officials are studying ways to end the use of social security numbers for identification following a series of data breaches compromising the data for millions of Americans, Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator, said Tuesday. Joyce told a forum at the Washington Post that officials were studying ways to use “modern cryptographic identifiers” to replace social security numbers.

 

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Trump Administration Demands Data on over a Million Visitors to anti-Trump Site

I assume this is for the purpose of generating reprisals? In any case, this would set a huge precedent for invasion of privacy simply for visiting a web site.

The Trump administration is demanding web host provider Dreamhost turn over the logs of over 1.3 million visitors to an anti-Trump website it hosts, the company has revealed.

News of the Justice Department order landed Monday when the company took an unusual step of announcing that it had been in talks with the government to clarify and narrow the search warrant in an effort to comply, but had failed to reach an amicable resolution.

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Trump Voter-Fraud Panel’s Data Request is a Gold Mine for Hackers, Experts Warn

Cybersecurity specialists are warning that President Donald Trump’s voter-fraud commission may unintentionally expose voter data to even more hacking and digital manipulation.

Their concerns stem from a letter the commission sent to every state this week, asking for full voter rolls and vowing to make the information “available to the public.” The requested information includes full names, addresses, birth dates, political party and, most notably, the last four digits of Social Security numbers. The commission is also seeking data such as voter history, felony convictions and military service records.

Digital security experts say the commission’s request would centralize and lay bare a valuable cache of information that cyber criminals could use for identity theft scams — or that foreign spies could leverage for disinformation schemes.

“It is beyond stupid,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Australians Provide Fake Names Amid Census Privacy Fears

In the 2016 census, many Australians provided fake names and withheld their date of birth. A sharp drop in the number of respondents allowing authorities to keep their data archived for 99 years was also noted.

The first batch of data from last year’s bungled census was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday with authorities insisting the information collected is useful. Privacy concerns plagued the half-billion-dollar exercise in the lead up to Census night on August 9 with several politicians, including independent senator Nick Xenophon, vowing to risk a $180-a-day fine by refusing to provide their names and addresses.

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