Archive for the “Technology” 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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Here’s a big news item, ok not really. Recent testing of wireless services in major US cities has Winston-Salem at the bottom of the list. Anyone who has travelled outside of Winston-Salem and especially to other major cities outside of North Carolina will quickly attest to this fact. I myself was recently in an area dominated by major technology players and I found my Verizon access was screaming along. When I got back to the Winston-Salem area I called Verizon to complain about how fast that area was yet how slow the local area is and was finally told that in fact Winston-Salem isn’t really 4G but 3G Enhanced, whatever that means. It clearly means it’s not a full 4G rollout which as I said was so obvious when I was in a true 4G area.


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Due to the high level of attempted SPAM messages, bogus account creations as well as direct hacking against the site I have had to change the comment and new user access pages. If you have trouble adding a comment or are trying to create a new login and get redirected to the FBI then sorry but your actions looked suspicious to the server.

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Hundreds, maybe thousands of medical records have been found at the home of a Baptist employee. Rather than repeating the limited info already posted on several sites I will just give you the links. This seems to be at least the second time that Baptist has had issues with missing records.

But, police now say a Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center employee, Linda Turner, stole hundreds, possibly thousands, of people’s medical records.

They say she kept the files in the basement of a home she owned. The hospital fired her just last night— this is going beyond a job situation…

Baptist Hospital Employee Charged After Medical Files Found

Wake Forest Baptist medical records found in rental home owned by employee

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Friday is Data Privacy Day, don’t ask me who made it so I just know it is. Anyway as such Microsoft has put up a nice PDF on using location based services safely and being aware of how these services work.

If your not up on this new trend you may be using Location Based Services without even knowing it. If your using one of these nice new smartphones with built-in GPS are you aware your images may be tagged with the GPS location of the photo. Imagine those pictures of your kids playing in the backyard and you posted those images to Flickr or other sites and in doing so you just posted your home’s location down to the foot. Even with Geo Tagging (the tagging of GPS data to an image) turned off your phone still places a ton of information in the photo such as the phone model, date, time and more, all of which could pass more information than you thought.

Of course other services such as FourSquare are all about posting your current location to the web, I hope I don’t have to say how dangerous this could be. The objective was to allow for meet-ups with your friends or like minded folks that might be in your general area which in the early days worked pretty well but now with millions using the service can you see the downside? I will give you an example of a post I saw a few weeks back:

Just arrived in Winston-Salem, bored and alone. Thank goodness the Hilton has a whirlpool, going down for a good long soak.

I think it’s pretty obvious just how stupid that post was especially since her profile also includes a picture. Unfortunately many people are just to trusting and just don’t give a post like that second thoughts until it’s to late.

So anyway check out the attached PDF put together by Microsoft on this subject.

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Location Services and Privacy Location Privacy

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This is called a QR Code, a matrix bar code, that users can create, share, scan to link to just about anything. To create your own QR code for say your business website or even business card just check out


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Antimicrobial Technologies Group recently visited Winston-Salem having meetings with Meridian Reality and Grande Peak Technologies. CEO Simon Johnston and the management team from ATG reviewed the area for potential sites and appears to have expressed a serious interesting in the RJR Whitaker site.

Antimicrobial Technologies Group makes anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-odor fabrics, fibers, plastics and paints. They are looking for a facility in the 100,000 square foot range however commented that they could easily outgrow such a site within a few years. ATG is a relatively new company derived from the research of a professor at the University of South Dakota.  They had a ribbon cutting of their South Dakota facility just last year at which time they employed just a handful of people. Dr. YuYu Sun discovered a N-Halamine molecule which is claimed to fight germs, fungus, mold and viruses, a very bold claim I would think. ATG holds the rights to that molecule and looks to deploy it in everything from paint to textiles, textiles being where Winston-Salem comes in. Read the rest of this entry �

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Nathan Jones, founder of the Winston-Salem Tea Party announced his candidacy for the NC Senate seat currently help by Linda Garrou.  Nathan has been active politically for the last several years and was struck by what he saw as a need for the people to be represented fairly, honestly, and with a vision toward developing a better future. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University for both his Bachelors degree and his MBA. As the President and small Business owner of a local company, Nathan has direct experience at not just managing finances, but he has direct experience in guiding a business in tough times with a view toward overcoming problems proactively.

Ms. Garrou has held the current seat in District 32 for the last 12 years and is seen as one of the major architects of the fiscal problems that plague North Carolina. Over the last ten years increases in spending have been four times greater than increases in population. This shows the clear willingness to spend without regard for fiscal responsibility. As a result taxes on every front across the state have been increased.  In the current session North Carolina was able to close much of their budget deficits only because of billions of dollars that were provided by the Federal government as part of their ill conceived stimulus package. Those funds however, will not be forthcoming next year and North Carolinians will be put in a difficult position as the State Legislature is forced to cut benefits and services to close a multi billion dollar budget gap. Once a resort state that provided a haven for businesses and tourists alike, North Carolina now has one of the highest sales taxes, unfriendly business taxes, and is losing people to neighboring states which have a much more friendly environment.

Nathan enters the race committed to bringing down the rate of unemployment in North Carolina and avoiding any repetition of the mistakes that have led to the current state of affairs. He wants to make sure that the state fosters an environment which attracts investment and promote job growth. Nathan has been clear that his goals if elected are to work diligently to reduce wasteful government spending. He is committed to reducing taxes so that business and industry will once again see North Carolina as a good place to locate their businesses. It is also important that government be limited to its constitutional size and responsibilities to ensure long term economic growth. As a member of the state Senate Nathan Jones will make the people of North Carolina and the proper conduct of their business and representation the business of his Senatorial Office.

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