Archive for the “Political” Category

Well another Appeals Court has ruled that once you place your data into a third party’s possession you no longer have any expectation of privacy thus you have no 4th amendment protections if the government wants access to that data. While this case was about cell phone tracking information the ruling goes into detail of what they consider protected or not protected information.

From this ruling it is clear the courts feel any information gleamed from the user account in the course of offering their service is not protected information, user has no expectation of privacy, no 4th amendment protections. They specifically state the email addresses a user sends/receives email from is not protected. With most Cloud services providing at least basic SPAM and AV scanning my take is that the email in general would no longer fall under protected data either using their same argument, the user knows the third party has to have access to the email in order to scan that email.

“ United States v. Forrester, 512 F.3d 500, 510 (9th Cir. 2008). The Forrester court also held that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in either the to/from addresses of a user’s emails or the “total amount of data transmitted to or from [a user’s] account.” Id. at 510-11.”

Using that same logic and the courts statements in the ruling it seems to me the use of any Cloud provider for files and data also falls under these same guidelines. Clearly a third party file sharing service has to have access to the names of the files being uploaded thus at the very least the names of those files is not protected by the 4th. While the data in those files may be protected it is very common for users to use file names which are very descriptive of what the file actually contains. That being the case if the Government asked for the listing of all files held by a user the Cloud provider would have to provide that list without a warrant. Now with that list if there was a file called “my tax return cheats.doc” it’s again clear to me the Government could now use that info as probable cause to get a warrant for the data itself.

The ruling goes on to cite the SCA which is of critical importance to those that provide some sort of Cloud data storage. The court reminds us that “communications” have a specified time limit in which a warrant is or is not required to access stored communications. What will be interesting is to see if the Government or the courts start to expand what is considered “communications”. Is a file placed on a Cloud file sharing service which is opened by another person considered “communications”? Again, clearly information was communicated from one person to another so is that enough to meet the definition of communications? If so then all those files stored on Cloud services that have a date older than 180 days are free to Governmental snooping with nothing more than a subpoena presented to the Cloud provider, not the user/owner of that data.

“At the heart of the SCA lies § 2703. That provision establishes a calibrated set of procedural safeguards based on the type and amount of information sought and the length of time the records are stored. For instance, “only pursuant to a warrant,” 18 U.S.C. § 2703(a), can the government obtain the contents of a communication that is in electronic storage with a service provider for 180 days or less. Alternatively, the government has a number of options for compelling the disclosure of non-content customer records, or the contents of communications in electronic storage for more than 180 days: Appeal: 12-4659 Doc: 227 Filed: 05/31/2016 Pg: 39 of 66 40 “obtain[] a warrant,” id. §§ 2703(b)(1)(A), (c)(1)(A), “use[] an administrative subpoena . . . or trial subpoena,” id. § 2703(b)(1)(B)(i), or “obtain[] a court order.””

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Starting January 1st anyone buying gas in North Carolina will pay 37.5 cents per gallon in North Carolina Fuel Tax. This makes North Caroline the 8th highest gas tax state in the US and the highest in the southern US by far. Our southern cousin South Carolina comes in at half our tax rate while even Virginia is just over half our rate. Think about it folks. That means when we are paying $2.50 a gallon which we think is really cheap compared to the three something we were paying not long ago our neighbors in South Carolina will be paying under $2.30. On the average tank that’s going to be about $4 a tankful each of us pays that South Carolinians don’t!

So when your filling up that next tank of gas then driving down roads full of pot holes maybe you just might think about calling your Representatives in Raleigh and asking where all that money goes. Then again they know exactly where it goes. Just drive around Raleigh on their eight lane super highways with exit ramps that start a mile before the exist and you will too.


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Boy saw this coming from a mile away. Make your own opinion as I won’t bother repeating the reporting from The Journal

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I cannot even believe this story but it appears the Planning Board is about to approve a new Walmart Grocery Store on Country Club near the intersection of Country Club and Meadowlark. Anyone with half a brain knows that Country Club cannot support any more traffic than it already has especially during peak travel times. With the numerous wreaks on 421 between Peace Haven and Lewisville-Clemmons Road Country Club becomes the backup for many of those living in the Lewisville area. On top of this you have a blind curve, a hill which has an abundance of accidents on it during bad weather and an Elementary School less than half a mile away.

What fool thinks it’s a good idea to increase traffic density by building another grocery store in an area that has three grocery stores within two miles and four more in under three miles?!

Apparently the Planning Board Staff does so if you want to voice your opinions I suggest you make sure they are heard quickly.


Journal article on rezoning .

Planning Board Staff and Numbers.

Gary Roberts, Project Planner, Winston-Salem Planning Board [email protected]

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In what could only be presented as a “I told you so” Winston-Salem approved a 3.9 cent per $100 property value rate increase. The city also decided to provide for pay raises for city employees up to 3%, this for employees that make in the $35,000 range for answering phones. And don’t think you are going to get away from paying these tax increases as they also increased the tax on your cemetery plot!

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In what could only be presented as a “I told you so” Winston-Salem approved a 3.9 cent per $100 property value rate increase. The city also decided to provide for pay raises for city employees up to 3%, this for employees that make in the $35,000 range for answering phones. And don’t think you are going to get away from paying these tax increases as they also increased the tax on your cemetery plot!

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U.S. Counterterrorism Agency Can See All Your Files | Dec 14th 2012 1:15 AM

At a secret White House meeting last March, the Department of Homeland Security argued against a sweeping change in rules covering the way the government collects information on American citizens. The DHS lost.

That’s the gist of a cracker of a story from the Wall Street Journal‘s Julia Angwin today.

Angwin pieced together heavily redacted documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, plus information gleaned from unnamed sources, to establish that the National Counterterrorism Center now has clearance to examine any federal government file on any U.S. resident or citizen and to retain that information for up to five years.

The NCTC will also allow foreign governments to look at the information it collects on U.S. citizens.

Previously, the NCTC could retain information only about people it could prove were connected to a terrorism investigation.

It wasn’t an easy battle. The NCTC faced strong opposition to the rule change, partly from the Department of Justice, but mostly from DHS, which, according to Angwin’s story, has 100 people devoted to civil-rights and civil-liberties issues.

Despite the objections to the new rules, which one DHS officer called “a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public,” the DOJ overruled the DHS’ objections and approved the changes.

The DOJ and DHS staffers who opposed the rule change have since left government service.

Now, the NCTC can request information from any other federal agency — be it Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services or the Internal Revenue Service — on any “U.S. person,” which in this context means a citizen, permanent resident, corporation or association.

That means, for example, that the National Counterterrorism Center right now could be looking over your mortgage information, health records, tax returns, grant applications or any other document produced when you interacted with the federal government in any way.

Because every federal agency has its own rules for handling sensitive personal data, each one will negotiate, or already has negotiated, a separate agreement with the NCTC about how its information will be handled and retained.

Information collected by state and local governments does not appear to be subject to the new rules.

This article originally published at TechNewsDaily here

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I will not pass judgment but as a quick note a Wake County Grand Jury indicted three former Perdue campaign workers for filing false campaign reports and obstruction of justice. You can read the story elsewhere but the basics are Juleigh Sitton of Morganton, former the director of the governor’s Western Office in Asheville; and Trawick H. "Buzzy" Stubbs Jr. of New Bern, a former law partner with Perdue’s late first husband were each charged with one count each of filing false campaign reports and obstruction of justice. Former Perdue campaign finance director Peter Reichard of Greensboro was charged with one count of obstruction of justice.

Charges stem from misreporting of campaign flights, hmm where did we hear that one before, as well as not disclosing Sitton was being paid an additional $32,000 — $2,000 a month for 16 months — to work full-time for Perdue’s campaign with money funneled through a banking firm operated by Reichard called Tryon Capital Partners.

Perdue did not comment directly but referred to her statement on the investigation:

"I will, however, reiterate what I made clear at the beginning of the investigation, and what the investigation has confirmed: as a citizen, a candidate for public office, and an elected official, I have strived to follow the rules and laws,"


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