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Personal Use of Drones for Beginners

drone moniotring person

 

There has been an alarming increase in the  number of drone/aircraft near strike incidents as reported in the news recently. (Personal drones – not those that can take out an entire village.)

The direct correlation to these near-misses by drones and planes is to that of drone availability and usage by private corporate entities (from cargo trackers to commercial real estate developers), publication photographers, the private sector for personal pleasure use and certainly in our field, that of investigations.

Further increasing their popularity, the price of a decent drone is very attractive:  $1,368 for this Phantom (one of the top devices for personal/business use):

phnatom 2

So where are we with the regulation of personal/corporate drones re: permissible use according to the governing regulatory agency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).   Read for yourself :  From thenextweb.com (July 1, 2014):

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is in charge of overseeing airspace in the US and the guidance for non-commercial users. With the increasing realization for the potential of drones, it’s already looking closely at how – and when – they should be permitted for use by businesses (or individuals for commercial activity) in the US. All model aircraft use for business or commercial use in the US is already subject to FAA regulation.

However, if you’re hoping that Amazon’s delivery drones are just around the corner, you’ll be disappointed. The FAA ruled recently that drone use for business purposes will remain banned for the immediate future, but that hobbyist use is still OK for now, providing you follow a few rules.ParrotARDrone 730x567 How to use personal drones legally: A beginners guide

Specifically, the drone must be kept in your line of sight and clearly observable from your position on the ground, along with a few less-specifically definedpieces of guidance which are more applicable to model aircraft:

“Users are advised to avoid noise sensitive areas such as parks, schools, hospitals, and churches. Hobbyists are advised not to fly in the vicinity of spectators until they are confident that the model aircraft has been flight tested and proven airworthy.

Model aircraft should be flown below 400 feet above the surface to avoid other aircraft in flight. The FAA expects that hobbyists will operate these recreational model aircraft within visual line-of-sight.”

Obviously, there are a few differences between model aircraft and personal drones – the addition of a camera, in many cases, being just one - so make sure you look into any other applicable laws in your own State regarding the operation of drones or capturing of personal images.

It’s worth keeping in mind here that the classing of drones as business use still applies even if you’re using one over private land at less than 400 feet – even if that activity isn’t directly making you money. For example, a realtor using a drone to take aerial shots of a property is still in breach of the rules and cannot be operated under section 336 of Public Law 112-95 which covers hobbyists.

Two drones do in fact already have certification for commercial use – theScanEagle and Aeroenvironment’s Puma drone – but are only cleared for use in the Arctic. Neither of them are particularly like the sort of consumer drones available to purchase today anyway.

There also seems to be a general understanding that the FAA isn’t responsible for airspace under 400 feet, but this is incorrect, it says. According to the organization, it has broad provisions that cover from the ground up.

“Consistent with its authority, the FAA presently has regulations that apply to the operation of all aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, and irrespective of the altitude at which the aircraft is operating,” it states.

The FAA was planning to look at the use of drones for commercial purposes again and potentially put something more concrete in writing next year, but according to a recent review of the FAA’s progress, it’s falling massively behind its target delivery dates for any regulation covering UAS.

Again, we wouldn’t be surprised to ultimately see some provisions that cover personal drone use too.

Update: The section above has been edited to clarify that model aircraft in the US are currently subject to FAA ‘guidance’ rather than FAA regulations.

So, the bottom line regarding legality of drones for personal and business use is that we are still in the Wild West phase where anything goes – however, employ common sense.  There is no reason for a drone to be in an aircraft’s flight path.  And ignorance is not an excuse so be careful and ensure that your personal drone use won’t endanger others.

BNI Operatives: Street smart; info savvy.

As always, stay safe.

 

Movin’ On Out! Security Checklist for Away College Students.

moving in

 

September is an Instagram away and hopefully, new (and returning) college students have their housing situations squared away. For those students – and their families – making their first foray into living away from home, we’ve established a preparedness checklist to enable a smooth a transition as possible. Getting right to it, let’s review how to make safer and smarter choices in such areas as:

Safety:

Conduct a premises background check: Apartment building/private residence/apartment in home:

1. Conduct an address history check.

This type search – readily available through a myriad of public databases – provides a residents’ history for at least 20 years for the location. Given that the new potential residence is in a college town, high turnover rate is anticipated. However, check with local PD for prior criminal incidents at the location.

2. Interview neighbors and other tenants. No further explanation necessary.

Quality of Life: 

Select an area of residence based on minimum living requirements:

Safety

Noise

Crime stats

Accessibility to school/work/shopping/laundry facilities (if a factor)

Public transportation -vehicle parking

Pets (if allowed, know the rules)

Cutting Costs:

Rent with at least 1 roommate. Benefits:
-rent share reduction

-shared utilities: phone, renters insurance, gas and electric

-lower food expenses

-share 1 vehicle for transportation, if possible

Possessions Security:

- Photograph the residence – 360 degree photos – before moving in. Particularly note any damage. •

- Maintain a pictorial inventory of your property.

Tenant Responsibilities:

-  Ensure financial preparedness for at least 3 (three) months of bills in case of an emergency and if you have a roommate, that they unexpectedly vacate the premises.

- Create a budget prior to move-in, incorporating such factors as single, self residency or with roommates.

- Ensure that rent and utilities are ready for payment at least a week before due date.

- Without employing a Sheldon-like 239-page roommate agreement, establish a clear understanding and respect with fellow roomies re: visitors and unexpected drop-in guests.

Clear understanding of premises use w/property owner:

Prior to lease signing, there must be a mutual understanding of property usage rules such as:

-use of washer/dryer (if on premises)

-backyard privileges of backyard

Your rights as a tenant:

Ensure that right to privacy and that of the warranty of habitability are respected by having the property owner acknowledge the following: That,

- There will be no unannounced visits or entering your apartment without your knowledge.

- S/he shall place your security deposit in an escrow account.

- Leaks/plumbing issues for which s/he will bear the  financial responsibility shall be repaired asap

- That you be given a responsible ( 30 – 90 day) notice should the rental property become un-livable and that your moving costs be provided for by the owner.

Move-in recording security privacy measures:

- Ascertain if there are hidden cameras hidden your apartment. Check:

- bedrooms

- closets

- bathrooms/under sinks

- toilets/showers

The above advice may appear somewhat overwhelming but especially when one moves out into the “real” world, the safety, liability and comfort parameters should be forcefully set.

Above all , ensure several emergency contacts – local and family and may the first-time renter enjoy his/her new home!

BNI Operatives: Street smart; info savvy.

As always, stay safe.

 

DNA-Collecting Pen, Text Message Retriever & Other Cool Stuff

Uzi Tactical Pen: Write, Collect DNA, Shatter Glass In An Emergency

The Uzi Tactical Pen, is a  unique writing instrument that can double up as a potentially life saving tool should the (admittedly, odd) situation arise.  The DNA Catcher, (located in the crown of the pen),  is very sharp, and designed for use as a jabbing weapon that causes extreme pain to your attacker (and an opportunity to flee), while giving you a sample of their DNA to deliver to police. The crown also functions as a glass breaker (i.e, for an emergency such as being stuck in your car – car accident, flooding…). Made out of high-grade aircraft aluminum, the Uzi Tac Pen can write upside down or under water.

Device Seziure V5:  Capture Texts, GPS Info, etc., from 4,000 mobiles, smartphones, and GPS devices

 

device seizure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Unless you are experienced in physical acquisition of mobile data, we suggest you coordinate with a digital forensics expert, depending on the purpose of the information recovery.)

In the manufacturer’s (Paraben) own words:

Depending on the Device and the Model, Device Seizure™ can Access the Following Data:
  • Current Text Messages
  • Deleted Text Messages
  • Phonebook (from the phone’s memory and the SIM card)
  • Call History including Received, Dialled and Missed Calls
  • Datebook, Scheduler, and Calendar
  • To-Do Lists
  • The Device’s Filesystem
  • System Files
  • Pictures and Videos
  • Java Files
  • Quicknotes
  • GPS Waypoints, Tracks, and Routes
  • RAM/ROM
  • PDA Databases
  • E-mail
  • Registry (Windows Mobile Devices)
  • Deleted Data

SenseAware really knows how to track a package

sensaware

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve over-nighted an important document and need to know if it has definitely been received.  You can monitor FedEx online every 5 minutes (be advised that their status update lag can range from a few hours to a day) or you can use SenseAware.

FedEx has stepped up their tracking game with Senseaware, a drop-in sensor for packages that monitors every situation and condition of delivery possible.

This device is about the size of a BlackBerry, and it tracks situations( in near real time) such as exact location, whether or not the package has been opened or exposed to light. It even has a built-in accelerometer so it will detect when it has been dropped.

BNI Operatives: Street smart: info savvy.

As always, stay safe.

How To: Restore Your Computer’s Operating Speed

man asleep

One of the most frustrating things in our digital lives is a slow computer.  We might not be fully conscious when logging on each morning but there’s no reason why our electronic devices should be sluggish.

We buy an expensive new pc and revel in its start up, load and run applications speed  Inevitably however, our revered electronic device starts to slow down, crawling at each use and eventually, churning at a glacial speed when  performing routine tasks.  Once we’ve removed our enabling/denial behavior from the human-machine co-dependent relationship, we realize, “Hey. I have important stuff on here! What do I do now??”   Good response but before you can attack the problem, it needs to be identified.

So why the loss of the electronic device processing speed mojo?  The answer is actually quite simple and one need not approach nerd status to understand the causes and solutions.

The good news is that it’s generally not the device’s hardware that is the problem.  In most cases, the hardware is perfectly capable of being restored to its original glory and kept in optimum running condition with minimal effort.

Rather, the problem lies with changes that occur to the computer’s run programs. The 2 most common causes of slowdown (along with easy solutions) are:

Registry errors  -  the most common problem

Each and every instance in which a program, a game or file is uploaded, your device’s registery is updated with new instructions needed to operate that item.  However, when the item is removed, these instructions usually remain on your PC.  Every time you run your computer it tries to execute these instructions but, because the related program can’t be found, it causes a registry error.  Your PC is doing a lot more work than it should and the result is a significantly slower computer.

One of the best ways to manage this electronic slowdown is with a neat little tool from a Seattle based company called the Advanced Registry Optimizer (ARO for short).  ARO scans, identifies and fixes registry errors.  On top of the amazing results it offers, it’s so easy to install and use that it was recently awarded a coveted 4.5 star rating (out of 5) by CNET’s editorial staff.

You can now download a free trial version of ARO which will quickly scan your entire PC and identify the registry errors that may be bogging it down.  The free version eliminates the first 100 errors and if you have more errors that you want to clean-up or want to set the program to run on a regular basis (recommended) you can easily upgrade to the full version for a nominal fee.

To obtain the free trial version simply click here.

Spyware and viruses

Spyware and viruses are malevolent programs that are loaded on your computer without your knowledge or permission.  They have various purposes, including:

  • Changing the default search engine in your browser
  • Tracking your web surfing habits and showing you targeted advertising
  • Using your email program to send out spam to other email addresses
  • Stealing your personal information

Most spyware and viruses gain entry to our computers through files that we download online or as email attachments.  These spies and guise digital demons occupy a large amount of space and require significant computing power.

The simple rule of thumb to follow is to not  download  programs from companies with which you are unfamiliar, especially games, screensavers, emoticons and the like.  In addition, do not open any attachment to an email unless you know – and trust – the sender.  Finally and perhaps obvious at this point of the technological cycle, ensure that an efficient anti-virus / spyware detection and removal app is running at all times.  Our suggestion (as a booster to your normal anti-malware app/service)  is  Spybot, from Download.

Enjoy your “new” pc.

BNI Operatives: Street smart; info savvy.

As always, stay safe.

Tactical Trainer, Christian Swann, on NSA-resistant Communication Encryption.

(This week, we bring you an informative article on protecting sensitive client data from our friend and one-woman whirlwind of accomplishments, Christian Swann (featured below): Christian is a writer, mom, edged and blunt tool instructor for law enforcement and the military, and a risk mitigation security and vulnerability assessment specialist.

christianswann

Be vigilant about protecting sensitive  client data with these tools.

 I wrote an article not long ago about protecting our personal and sensitive important information. As some of you are well aware, once your data is out there, it’s out there. From the first click of the “check out now” button, you are being traced, watched and analyzed. From how much you spend, where you shop, to your favorite products to your prime shopping time – you’re being tracked. But that’s just one aspect of this passive monitoring.   Big Brother (e.g. and fact, as we now all know,  the NSA) has the capability and may not only watching but also listening, recording and even transcribing your confidential client conversations.

What about when it’s not only your information that is being tracked, but your clients’ confidential information is at risk of also being recorded? As a risk and security director of a multi-million dollar company, it is one of the toughest questions and concerns I have. I’m in constant contact with high-profile clients and sensitive data.

The good news for lawyers, corporations and medical professionals, concerned about maintaining their duty of confidentiality is that there are tools and safeguards now to help them.

Legal and risk management specialists, such as myself, need to be very aware of the possibility (or now, probability) of  their communications being intercepted by empowered governmental agencies.  Given the ever-changing, nebulous status of agency data collection laws, legal professionals have to deal with the ambiguity of this usage of collected data –  while contending with the secretive nature of intelligence agency operations, as well as the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that oversees surveillance warrants.

Lawyers –  and anyone for that matter – should assume all of their conversations are subject to covert surveillance an should  take steps to protect confidential information.

I can’t stress enough that all pertinent emails, electronic messages and communications should be encrypted. There is no shortage of available encryption hardware and software, and I highly recommend using an encryption service such as ZixCorp or the open-sourced TrueCrypt: (Warning: this is an open source method and may not be as stable as desired.) Platform-specific devices are also available, such as, Apple’s FileVault.

“One can also purchase self-encrypting hard drives such as the Seagate Secure and already-encrypted flash drives – e.g.,  IronKey from Imation Corp.  and encryption software such as Symantec Whole Disk Encryption and Sophos Ltd.’s Safeguard“, says Lina Maini of Beacon Network Investigations, LLC.

As for passwords, I recommend a more secure method of authentication, such as security tokens or USB tokens.

Perhaps apparently, I’m a big fan of firewalls, and encrypting everything networked – from email to any and all telecomm technology apps.   I’ve also become a huge fan of the company Silent Circle. One of my favorite features of Silent Circle’s service is the ability to program burn settings.  I.e., one I’ve  sent any type of message: email, text, audio, it is then encrypted and will burn itself at the pre-set time. I’ve chosen.

Many people forget that one a voice message, text or email  has bent sent, that data  has to go through a provider, e.g.,  Apple, and is then is transferred back to the end-user, therefore leaving data footprints that can be copied.

For professionals that mainly communicate via phone, relief from eavesdropping is on its way. This month: Spanish smartphone company GeeksPhone and software company Silent Circle launch Blackphone, an encrypted smartphone that protects phone calls, text messages, emails and Internet browsing. Using VPN technology, Blackphone promises to be an NSA-resistant phone.I’m looking forward to ours arriving soon.

Effective Ways to Trace Your Cell Phone (Apple and Android)

Tracking a lost iPhoneGPS Track a Cell Phone Step 4.jpg

  1. Track your lost iPhone. If you are using an iPhone and have an Apple ID, you can track your lost iPhone through any web browser or through your iPad. Location tracking needs to be turned on, but it is turned on by default for all devices with an Apple ID attached.

  2. Open the Find My iPhone app. This can be found from the iCloud website, or downloaded to your Apple devices from the App Store.

  3. Enter your Apple ID and password. In order to use the service, you will need to enter your Apple ID and Password in order to access the Find My iPhone service.

  4. Click on the Devices button. Once the Find My iPhone app opens, a map will be displayed. Click the Devices button to open a list of all the devices you have attached to that Apple ID.

  5. Select your missing device. From the list of devices, select your missing phone. The map will attempt to center on its location.

  6. If your phone has been turned off or the battery is dead, the map will display the last known location of the phone.

Tracking a lost Android phoneGPS Track a Cell Phone Step 5.jpg

  1. Track your lost Android phone. If you are using an Android phone and have a Google account attached to it, you can track the phone using the Android Device Manager. You can access the Device Manager through any web browser.

  2. If you are not already logged in with your Google account, you will be asked to enter your login information.
  3. A map will open, and it will center on the location of your phone. The information box in the top-left corner will tell you the last time that it was able to be located, as well as information on the general area.

BNI Operatives: Street smart, info savvy.

As always, stay safe.

You’re On Vacation: The Burglars Aren’t. Security Tips

how they break in

Latest stats released on home burglaries from the FBI: (Mid-Year 2013 report, last year available.)

- A burglary occurs every 8 seconds.

- Burglars spend an average of 8 to 12 minutes in the targeted homes.

- There are over 5,400 burglaries, per day. 

- 73.9% of all burglaries were on residential property.

- Of residential burglaries where a time was known, 65% were during the day.  (Data analysis yields a pattern by  burglars to target homes during the day and offices and commercial buildings at night.)

- 60.5% of burglaries are forcible entry.   (Burglaries are more often than not by forcible entries  - breaking windows, picking locks, kicking in doors, etc. – and are not crimes of opportunity.)

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The school year is coming to a close (or may already have ended) and the hostage situation at the gas pumps aside, most families have planned vacations  this summer.   (The etymology of the word vacation itself : from the Latin root vac, is to render something/someone “empty” (vacuum, vacate, vacuous, etc. Somewhat ironic in the case of a home burglary during a family’s away time.)

In today’s Bulletin we are going to give you the standard “what to do to make your home look occupied while you are away” tips and a few more up-to-date security pointers.  (We suggest you copy, paste and print this list as you effect the helpful suggestions.)

Traditional Tips:

• Stop mail and newspapers, and ask a trusted neighbor to pick up any deliveries that might be made while you are gone.

• Place several lamps and radio/TV in various parts of your home to automatic timers, so they turn on and off at appropriate times. (Also vary the timers by the unit so that the living room light does not come on at exactly 7 p.m. every night…).

• Arrange to have the lawn maintenance performed while you are away.

• Don’t leave keys in obvious exterior places like in the mail box or under a flower pot or door mat. Leave your house key with a trusted neighbor/relative.

• Instruct your neighbors to report unusual activity to the police – and not to wait until they can contact you first. You may be holed up in a Carlsbad cavern for several nights or in a clinic following a run-in with the bulls in Pamplona.

• Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway overnight (and move it around from day-to-day).

• Don’t leave notes indicating your absence.

• Many security experts advise unplugging the electric garage door opener while you are away. We don’t. A burglar’s scanner can easily detect whether the device is activated. Simply place it too on a variable timer.

• Make sure all your door and window locks are working and in use.

• Turn off or turn down your telephone ringer. A phone ringing endlessly is a clue to a would-be burglar that no one is home. This is especially important if you are living in an apartment building where burglars may be more likely to hear your phone ringing. Call forward your incoming calls in your absence.

• Unless you have reason to believe your piping system is in bad shape and may burst in inclement weather, do not turn off your main water valve before you leave. Fortunately, technological advances in utility services now offer scanning options that don’t require exterior meters on houses – an inactive one a sure clue to a burglar that the home residents may be away.

Contemporary Tips:
• Be careful as to how specific your automatic email “away” responses from your email – business and personal – are set up. You might as well pay the ad rates in the NYT.   Forward your email to an assistant or whomever is covering while you are away or simply to yourself. (Yes, it’s annoying while on vacation.  No one said you had to read/respond to them.) – or -

• Have your email/snail mail forwarded to a virtual post office. They can hold, forward, scan or even read your email/mail to you. Big advantage: the forwarding is discreet and undetectable.

Generally, we tend to believe and trust in the good of the vast majority of people; being smart and proactive with your home and valuables while you are away helps many to  maintain to that standard.

BNI Operatives: Street Smart, info savvy.

As always, be safe.

Asset Searches – How Far is Far Enough?

Generally, an asset search investigation is requested to determine a subject’s tangible assets (or, quite often, to satisfy the court that there are no other recoverable assets beyond policy limits, albeit the injuries sustained may be valued at a much higher award).

Balancing the public’s privacy with informational needs is challenging but ultimately, very doable.

A basic checklist for the legal professional is to:

1. Relay the need-to-know reason to your investigative specialist. A business partnership dissolution v. a medmal case requires a very different focus.

2. Obtain as much lead information from your client as possible. The more information the investigative specialist is given, quite often, the more she can return and in a more cost-effective manner.

3. Local is often more reliable than generalized information. The first step in recording any asset begins at a local level. Many information companies provide “nationwide” information, which can widen the asset search scope. The drawbacks to commencing an asset search on a nationwide basis first, however, are

a) record update lag (delays up to 18 months),

b) incorrect data collection errors (many nationwide databases can return results only with exact names – misspellings will often register “no hit” status) and

c) incomplete information.

So now you, the attorney,  have the subject’s tangible assets information. The subject owns a Chelsea duplex, a home in Hyde Park and a boat docked at the Bayside Marina. The next step, from an investigative standpoint, can range from determining if the subject has any liens, judgments, bankruptcies and other pending litigation to a full criminal background check.

In answer to our premise question then: Asset Searches: How Far is Far Enough? Assess the potential settlement/judgment and the likelihood of the subject having seizable assets. For a large settlement/judgment, request a full background and asset search (certain convictions can prohibit a person from holding officer position in a business); medium settlement/judgment: basic background and asset search and for a small judgment: a basic asset search.

BNI Operatives: One step ahead.

As always, be safe.

Non-invasive Dermal Alcohol Testing: No Blood, No Saliva, No Urine, No Breath.

trutouch-solution-touch-pad

UPDATE:  A short while back we brought your attention to a start-up New Mexico company, Tru Touch Technologies,  busily developing a non-invasive blood alcohol testing device  currently for use in public testing (police) and private  (airlines, construction, rehab facilities… ) sectors .  The TruTouch sensor operates by using near- infrared technology through the skin’s layers in testing for alcohol and drugs in one’s system.

“TruTouch Technologies is commercializing a novel, optical based, non-invasive sensor that quickly and accurately measures alcohol intoxication while simultaneously verifying user identity using light through the skin. The sensor is fast (less than 20 seconds), easy to use, self-administered, and cost-effective.”

How it works: Press finger to tab, results output.  Watch the video:

TruTouch

TruTouch’s impact:

“As it becomes clear to every employee that a Target Zero Alcohol-Free Workplace is being actively tested by using TruTouch, on-duty impairment by alcohol will soon be a thing of the past. Employees will fundamentally change their alcohol drinking habits and alcohol usage will rapidly dwindle and ultimately disappear from the workplace.

  • Productivity will rise.

  • Healthcare and Workman’s Compensation costs will go down.

  • Liability caused by alcohol related incidents will all but disappear.”

TruTouch is now operational in many US and European companies/agencies.

Rarely do we endorse a product or service but TruTouch is a device whose time has come.

BNI Operatives: Street smart: info savvy.

As always,  stay safe.

Sterling, Silver and By, George!, a Wynn!

complaint department

Is every private conversation going to become fodder for public scrutiny? 

Two  news stories currently in rotation are those of  LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling’s public airing of what appear to be racist comments and, separately, actor George Clooney’s spat with Vegas casino king, Steve Wynn, wherein the latter is alleged to have used a descriptive expletive in reference to President Obama.

Seemingly unrelated yet, they are —  both conversations involved were conducted in private.

1. Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano.

As we are all too well aware, in the first matter,  V. Stiviano (aka Maria Perez, aka Maria Vanessa Perez, aka Vanessa Stiviano, aka Victim S.) recorded a private conversation between herself and her half-century older boyfriend/”host” , Donald Sterling (without his knowledge or consent) in which she relentlessly pursued an apparent interest in his profound thoughts on “the Instagram” (was he thinking” telegraph”??) and her posing with Magic Johnson.   Granted, Sterling’s racially biased responses during the interrogation are horribly offensive comments but at which point did his 1st Amendment freedom of speech during that private exchange end? And, when did secret recordings become legal again in California?

The law is quite clear on audio recordings in California: (Source: Reporter’s Recording Guide)

Summary of statute(s): In California, all parties to any confidential conversation must give their consent to be recorded. This applies whether the recording is done face-to-face or intercepted through some electronic communication such as a cell phone call or series of e-mail or text messages. Both civil and criminal penalties are available to victims of illegal recordings. 

Criminal penalties: A first offense of eavesdropping or wiretapping is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 or imprisonment for no more than one year. Cal. Penal Code §§ 631, 632. Subsequent offenses carry a maximum fine of $10,000 and jail sentence of up to one year. Disclosing the contents of intercepted telephone conversations could lead to fines of up to $5,000 and one year in jail. Cal. Penal Code § 637. Violation of the state’s hidden camera statute is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. 

The state’s civil code provides for fines of up to $50,000, three times the amount of actual or special damages, and punitive damages for committing an assault or trespassing to capture a visual image or sound recording. Cal. Civil Code § 1708.8(d).

As no official charges of unauthorized audio recordings have been filed, is V. receiving special treatment from Cali prosecutors?

The next real legal issue with this situation concerns NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s demand that Sterling relinquish his ownership of the basketball team.  Leaving all else aside (the NAACP’s second lifetime award to alleged racist Sterling, wife Rochelle Sterling’s lawsuit v. V. [!], etc.), it appears a crime may been committed in this matter, the right of freedom of speech suspended and the forfeiture of property (the franchise, not the players – no need for get huffiness, please) is being forced.  How are these actions not unconstitutional and  illegal?

I’m not justifying the man’s outrageously abhorrent comments but neither do I endorse the trashing of basic rights and breaking the law.

The Sterling/Stiviano matter requires an authoritative, objective review.

 

2.  George Clooney and Steve Wynn.

According to George Clooney, he voluntarily attended a private dinner at which Steve Wynn was also a guest.  Clooney alleges that at some point during said dinner, Wynn offered up a statement,  to the effect, “I voted for him and he’s an a-hole!”.   It appears that the two were engaged in a heated conversation regarding healthcare.

George is a 52 y.o. man with a career in  perhaps one of the most contentious working environments in creation – Hollywood.  I’m relatively certain he has heard much worse than the expletive alleged voiced by Wynn.  How the dinner dishing debacle become public:

According the The Hollywood Reporter:

The incident was first reported by Las Vegas gossip writer Norm Clarke in his Las Vegas Review-Journal column. The argument occurred at the luxurious Botero restaurant at the mogul’s Wynn Hotel two weeks ago, according to Clarke. (A publicist for Clooney confirmed the details of the column to THR.)

Wait. Wynn allegedly made these statement at a dinner in his own hotel?  So, private dinner, personal conversation and in the restaurant owner’s own venue and he was till “outed” for voicing his opinions? And the media and the public believe they have the moral authority to judge Wynn?  Next.

The Sterling/Stiviano and Clooney/Wynn matters clearly make the point that grown-ups need to return to adulthood.

BNI Operatives: Street smart; info savvy, (highly opinionated this week).

As always, stay safe.

 

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