Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

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San Jose International Airport is surrounded by fences. Some sections are not barbed and can be scaled. The boy also managed to slip past massive video surveillance, German shepherds and Segway-riding police officers.

Employees who monitor security video feeds never saw the boy enter the airport or walk up to Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45.

The boy, who lives in Santa Clara, Calif., hopped out of the left rear wheel well of a Boeing 767 on the Maui airport tarmac Sunday, according to the FBI. Authorities found the high school student wandering the airport grounds with no identification. He was questioned by the FBI and taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was found to be unharmed.

FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu said the teen climbed into the left rear wheel well of the first plane he saw in San Jose.

He passed out in the air and didn’t regain consciousness until an hour after the plane landed in Hawaii, Simon said. When he came to, he climbed out of the wheel well and was immediately seen by airport personnel who escorted him inside where he was interviewed by the FBI, Simon said.

Authorities are now looking at their security system and why he was never seen.

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The United States Transportation Security Administration has reached a tentative settlement in the highly publicized lawsuit filed by a mother who was allegedly harassed by TSA officers when she requested her breast milk not be x-rayed, authorities announced Tuesday.

The TSA again apologizes to Stacey Armato for the incident that took place at the Phoenix Airport on Jan. 25, 2010 and also agreed to clarify its internal procedures for screening breast milk in the tentative deal.

“We brought this lawsuit for one reason — to bring clarity and policy change for breastfeeding mothers traveling with breast milk,” Armato said. “Hopefully what I experienced at the Phoenix Airport in 2010 will never happen to another mother traveling with her breast milk.”

TSA is expected to update its public website to better guide breastfeeding mothers traveling with breast milk and train its screening officers on the new policies if the agreement is finalized.

Armato says she’ll see very little of the money, which will go towards attorney fees. She also plans to donate a portion to BreastfeedLA, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to improving the health and well being of infants and families through education, outreach, and advocacy to promote and support breastfeeding.


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Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange joins Alex Wagner to discuss society “heading towards surveillance totalitarianism,” his exile, censorship and why Edward Snowden “has become a symbol.”


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Although the video is three hours long, you can skip around to any bit and find informative and interesting things about privacy.

The Next HOPE took place on July 16-18, 2010 at Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City.

This will be a wide-ranging lecture covering databases, privacy, and “computer-aided investigation.” This talk will include numerous examples of investigative online resources and databases, and will include an in-depth demonstration of an actual online investigation done on a volunteer subject.

Emphasis will be placed on discussing the “digital footprints” that we all leave in our daily lives, and how it is now possible for an investigator (or government agent) to determine a person’s likes and dislikes, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, habits, hobbies, friends, family, finances, health, and even the person’s actual physical whereabouts, solely by the use of online data and related activity. The final half hour of the talk will be devoted to Q&A.

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A prosecutor with the state Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals said former Anchorage Police Department officer Mark Moeller had a lot going for him before “he acted incredibly stupid.”

During his year and half as an APD officer Moeller used the Alaska Public Safety Information Network, or APSIN, to access information about an arrest warrant for his sister-in-law, and search her former boyfriend. Moeller also looked up DUI charges against a woman he had entered a relationship with after arresting her; his actions came to light when Moeller called a prosecutor to ask that the DUI be dropped, prompting a call from the prosecutor to APD.

Moeller initially faced eight felony charges and five misdemeanors for his actions, before making his plea agreement. He has been given a suspension in sentence for the felony criminal computer-use charge, meaning if he doesn’t violate terms of probation for two years the charge will be expunged from his record.

It sure must be nice to be charged with felonies and misdemeanors and have them whittled down to two years probation.

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