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Bitten By A Stingray? You’ll Need A Criminal Defense Attorney.

stingray

 

(Did you really think this was going to be about a protected species along the seashore and that I’d gone all tree-huggy??)

In this week’s article, I am referring to the FBI’s new dance in getting around the now oft-litigated prohibitions against 4th Amendment warrantless searches vis-a-vis cell phones.  Their latest gig is called the “stingray”.

Obviously tracking cars is a strict no-no without a warrant for law enforcement professionals, but what about cell phone data? As it turns out the law is a bit murkier on how that applies when it comes to cell phone data and “stingrays,” as Ramsay C. McCullough notes in a post for The Corporate Compliance & White Collar Advisor:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the position that search warrants or other court orders are not required when deploying cell-site simulators, known as “stingrays,” in public places which imitate cell phone towers and capture the locations, identities, calls and texts of mobile phone users.  With the pervasive use of smart phones in business today and with those phones containing confidential personal and business information, this may present real concerns for employers.

McCullough continues by saying that nine states have passed laws banning practices by law enforcement.

The problem is, no one can get to the bottom of exactly how these things should be regulated or even how they’re working, since the FBI has multiple non-disclosure agreements with local law enforcement in regards to stingrays. It’s gotten so bad that prosecutors are dropping cases rather than disclose the details of the stingray operations. And despite how shadowy this whole thing may seem, these devices are largely unrestricted in the United States.

For a country making a big push behind the internet of things, we are shockingly unprepared for how this will change the scope of privacy in the state.   Let’s make sure that with all of this great responsibility in being a technology leader, we don’t forget such little things as oh say, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and related court decisions.

NEW NEWS: New bill would require husbands to get their wives permission for a Viagra Rx. in KY.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

 

Situations and Professions at High Risk for Covert Surveillance.

This week we explore the situations and people  most likely to be covertly surveilled.  At the end of this article, we list the FBI‘s top professions most likely to encounter bugging situations.

Given the proliferation and ease of use now of “bugging” devices, the probability of being secretly recorded is higher than ever.   So under what circumstances and which professions are most likely to get bugged?

In Business

– Companies that have publicly traded stock (even more at risk, those about to IPO)

– Corporate entities experiencing labor problems, union activities or are in negotiation situations.

– Companies involved in any type of litigation or lawsuit.

– Businesses anticipating layoffs

– Companies involved in the fashion, automotive, advertising or marketing industries.

While anyone can be the target of covert eavesdropping, some people are at a higher risk than others because of financial status, occupation, legal or domestic situation.  These targets may include:

– Spouses involved in a divorce, child custody case or other serious financial situation.

– Teen drivers and kids (by their parents/guardians)

– Professors (by their students)

– Business people among themselves (intra/extra-company)

– Claimants by insurance companies

– Clients by salespeople

This list goes on ad infinitum, so when should you be seriously concerned?

You (and or someone close to you) is or have been:

– Involved in any type of litigation or lawsuit

– Been questioned or arrested by the police

– In the process of getting married, divorced, separated or recently widowed

– Running for any type of elected public office

– Recently filed an insurance claim

– Are an executive or scientist at any large company

– Engaged in political demonstrations or activism

– Are in the upper income brackets

Extreme High Risk Businesses  (info provided by the FBI):

Materials:

  • Materials synthesis and processing
  • Electronic and photonic materials
  • Ceramics
  • Composites
  • High-performance metals and alloys

Manufacturing:

  • Flexible computer-integrated manufacturing
  • Intelligence processing equipment
  • Micro- and nano-fabrication
  • Systems management technologies

Information and Communications:

  • Software
  • Micro and optoelectronics
  • High-performance computing and networking
  • High-definition imaging and displays
  • Sensors and signal processing
  • Data storage and peripherals
  • Computer simulation and modeling

Biotechnology and Life Sciences:

  • Applied molecular biology
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Medical technology

Transportation:

  • Aeronautics
  • Surface transportation technologies

Energy and enviroment:

  • Energy technologies
  • Pollution minimization, remediation and waste management

Finally, we look at those professions that are particularly target for covert surveillance.

High Threat Occupations (again, according to the FBI):

– Attorney

– Doctor

– Chiropractor

– Dentist

– Architect

– Police Officer

– Court Clerk

– Judge

– Elected official

– Mayor

– Selectman

– School Principal

– Professor

– Product Engineer

– Software Developer

– Executive/Scientist at a large development company

– Employees at defense contracting companies

– Ministers and other religious leaders

– Corporate Buyer or Purchasing Agent

– Labor or Union Official

– Fashion employees

– Advertising personnel

– Personnel managers

Paranoia is unnecessary; vigilance required.

BNI Operatives; Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Ripped Off Online? 10 Steps That’ll Get You Results.

scammed

(This is an evergreen article that we update and post during the holiday season, especially with the internet now the predominant purchasing venue.)

Let me preface this week’s Bulletin by stating that the majority of online businesses are honest and strive hard to provide the goods and services that the digital public demands, requests and pays for. This self-regulation occurs for two reasons: a) most people/businesses are honest to begin with and b) word of mouth online occurs at lightning speed. Unfortunately, there is always someone out there with a scam and sooner or later, most people purchasing online will run into one of these shady businesses.

Our experience in investigating online fraud has led us to prepare the below checklist of 10 step to take if you are a victim of an online scam:

1. Gather as much information (name, address, phone numbers, domain names..) about the dishonest party as you can.

2. Put your complaint to them in writing rather than phoning it in. Be accurate and concise. Also, think of possible excuses the offending business may try to counter with and be prepared to argue these truth revisions.

3. Put the dishonest party on notice that you intend to take action against them if they do not resolve the problem fairly and to your satisfaction. It may take several rounds of talks before they come around to understanding that it might be better to simply resolve the issue with you and avoid more intense scrutiny. If that fails, we go to the next very nasty steps.

4. File an online compliant with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): www.ic3.gov. and click on the “File a Complaint” link to fill out an online form. IC3 was formed, in partnership with the FBI, specifically to combat internet fraud.

5. File a complaint with the Internet Fraud Watch on their website www.fraud.org. The Internet Fraud Watch was created by the National Consumers League, the oldest nonprofit consumer organization in the United States.

6. File you next complaint with the Better Business Bureau OnLine website: www.bbbonline.org . BBBOnLine specifically deals with web commerce complaints. The BBB contacts the business involved in the dispute to determine if the dispute can be amicably resolved. A huge file of complaints with the BBB will cut into the business’ profits.

7. Google the Attorney General’s Office of the state in which the dishonest party operates. File a complaint. Criminal charges may be brought against the business if fraud is involved.

8. On the Whois website: Go to  www.whois.net and look up the dishonest party’s domain name and web host. Inform the web host of your issue with this business and advise them that if they continue to provide hosting services to this party, they themselves can potentially be named in any legal action arising from this business’ activities, now that they have been put on notice.  Don’t take an accusatory tone, rather, try to co-opt the web host as they probably do not want to become entangled in any questionable practices.

9. If the shady company has their own servers and do not use a web hosting service, contact the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) website: www.icann.org. ICANN is the organization that has responsibility for Internet address space allocation.  ICANN generally is reluctant to become involved in online business practice disputes but they will if your case is presented with strong evidence and they have received prior complaints about this same unscrupulous company.

10. If the disreputable business continues to operate despite your best reporting efforts, and they have advertisements n their site, contact their advertisers. Advertisers are not given to spending their marketing budget to receive complaints from disgruntled, ripped-off customers.

The above steps are tough measures, but they should get your internet fraud situation resolved and hopefully, it’ll be a one-time occurrence.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware..

As always, stay safe.

 

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