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Judge issues warrant for specific Google search data from everyone in Edina, Minnesota

Good morning Edina, Minnesota! You fine folks are the lucky winners of a warrant seeking your Google search data. A Minnesota judge has signed off on a warrant seeking specific Google search data from pretty much everyone in the city of Edina. Don’t worry though, there are very specific search terms that the police would like to investigate. The series of events that birthed such a warrant started when the Spire Credit Union was contacted by a man seeking to wire transfer $28,500USD from a line of credit to another bank. Of course, the bank needed to verify the man’s identity so he faxed in a copy of his passport which turns out, was fake.

The Edina Police Department figured out that while searching Google Images for the victim’s name, they found the photo used on the fake passport, and investigators couldn’t find it on Yahoo or Bing. So, they theorized the suspect must have searched Google for the victim’s name while making the fake passport.

This has led the Edina Police to draft the warrant which the judge has signed and approved. The warrant is seeking the names, email addresses, account information, and IP addresses of anyone who searched for the victim’s name in any variety of ways. The victim’s first name is Douglas with the last name redacted in the scanned warrant available on Tony Webster’s blog and Webster poses an interesting question in his post. Read More

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How Fed hike will affect mortgages, car loans, credit cards

How Fed hike will affect mortgages, car loans, credit cards

WASHINGTON — Are mortgage rates going up? How about car loans? Credit cards?

How about those nearly invisible rates on bank CDs — any chance of getting a few dollars more?

With the Federal Reserve having raised its benchmark interest rate Wednesday and signaled the likelihood of additional rate hikes later this year, consumers and businesses will feel it — if not immediately, then over time.

The Fed’s thinking is that the economy is a lot stronger now than it was in the first few years after the Great Recession ended in 2009, when ultra-low rates were needed to sustain growth. With the job market in particular looking robust, the economy is seen as sturdy enough to handle modestly higher loan rates in the coming months and perhaps years.

“We are in a rising interest rate environment,” noted Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit.

Here are some question and answers on what this could mean for consumers, businesses, investors and the economy:

Q. I’m thinking about buying a house. Are mortgage rates going to march steadily higher?

A. Hard to say. Mortgage rates don’t usually rise in tandem with the Fed’s increases. Sometimes they even move in the opposite direction. Long-term mortgages tend to track the rate on the 10-year Treasury, which, in turn, is influenced by a variety of factors. These include investors’ expectations for future inflation and global demand for U.S. Treasurys.  Read More

Google, Microsoft Still Waiting On Wikileaks To Deliver CIA Hacking Tools

It’s been two days since Julian Assange promised Wikileaks would hand over more information on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hacker tools to tech giants. That pledge followed a leak of nearly 9,000 documents that Wikileaks claimed belonged to CIA hacking units.

But while that altruistic move should help protect every one of their users from cyberattack, neither Google nor Microsoft had received details from Wikileaks on vulnerabilities in their software by Saturday morning, according to sources familiar with the companies’ security teams.

Google did not offer official comment, but two sources close to the company’s security staff said there had been no contact. One said there was now concern Wikileaks had duped the public with a PR move of little to no substance, though on Thursday one external Android security expert who’d reviewed the CIA files said it appeared there were multiple vulnerabilities Google would need to address.  Read More

Syria executes, tortures thousands at military prison: Amnesty

The Syrian government executed up to 13,000 prisoners in mass hangings and carried out systematic torture at a military jail near Damascus, rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Amnesty said the executions took place between 2011 and 2015, but were probably still being carried out and amounted to war crimes. It called for a further investigation by the United Nations, which produced a report last year with similar accusations also based on extensive witness testimonies.

Syria’s government and President Bashar al-Assad have rejected similar reports in the past of torture and extrajudicial killings in a civil war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

The Amnesty report said an average of 20-50 people were hanged each week at the Sednaya military prison north of Damascus. Between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Sednaya in the four years after a popular uprising descended into civil war, it said.

“The victims are overwhelmingly civilians who are thought to oppose the government,” the report said.  Read More

Trump travel ban oral arguments: what you need to know

Three federal judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are set to hear oral arguments at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday in the challenge to President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

The lawsuit, brought by attorneys general of Washington and Minnesota, has captivated the nation since last Friday when a federal district court judge put a stop to Trump’s executive order restricting travel for foreign nationals, and as a result, temporarily opened US borders to immigrants once again.
The hearing will be by telephone and livestreamed; here’s what to listen for:

What’s the hearing about?

US District Court Judge James Robart upended Trump’s executive order nationwide Friday by temporarily halting the key provisions restricting travel for foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen) and refugee admissions.
The central question for the appellate court is whether Robart abused his discretion by putting a temporary hold on the travel ban. No court has addressed the constitutionality of the executive order thus far.

The players

The attorney general of Washington state, Bob Ferguson, filed the case and was later joined by the attorney general of Minnesota, Lori Swanson.
The suit is being defended by lawyers at the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
The randomly assigned three-judge panel includes Judge William C. Canby Jr, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter; Judge Michelle T. Friedland; who was appointed by President Barack Obama; and Judge Richard R. Clifton, an appointee of President George W. Bush.

When is this hearing?

The appellate court has set an hour-long telephonic oral argument in the case for Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET. It will be available for live streaming through the court’s website.
Each side will get 30 minutes to make their case.

What are the states saying?

On Monday attorneys for the states that filed the lawsuit submitted their brief urging the appellate court to keep the travel ban suspension in place.
The states say that the temporary restraining order should remain in place because the President had “unleashed chaos” by signing the order.
They also argue that the government’s claim — that it would be “irreparably harmed” by keeping Robart’s temporary suspension order in place while the case proceeds to the merits — doesn’t make any sense.
To accept DOJ’s position, they argue, “would mean that until the (Executive) Order was issued, Defendants were suffering some, unspecified, ongoing irreparable harm. That makes no sense. …Preserving the status quo against sudden disruption is often in the interest of all parties.”

What is the Trump administration’s argument?

The government submitted its own brief in response Monday evening.
DOJ continues to emphasize that the states do not have the ability to sue in this case and a district court judge does not have the right to second-guess the President’s national security judgment in the immigration context.
But the government also raised a fallback argument in its latest court filing — suggesting if the appellate court is inclined to uphold the Seattle district court’s decision, then it must at least limit it to the class of people who have been previously admitted to the US — like someone traveling on a student visa. In the government’s view, aliens outside of the US who have never stepped foot on US soil have no constitutional right to enter the US.

What happens next?

The judges have a number of different options at their disposal to resolve this case, but it is unlikely that they would rule on whether the ban is constitutional (since that is not the question before them) — the central issue is whether the executive order should remain suspended for now.  Read More

Dow and Nasdaq reach record highs, but energy pressures S&P 500

U.S. equities rose on Tuesday, but traded off session highs, as energy weighed while investors focused on a slew of corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones industrial average briefly rose more than 100 points, hitting a new record high, before holding about 40 points higher with Boeing contributing the most gains. The S&P 500 chopped around the flatline, with energy falling more than 1 percent.

Traders work on the main trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the Dow Jones industrial average passes the 20,000 mark shortly after the opening of the trading session on Jan. 25, 2017.

The S&P 500 chopped around the flatline, with energy falling more than 1 percent. U.S. crude futures for March delivery fell 2 percent to $52.01 per barrel amid concerns of higher U.S. shale production.

“Today, as opposed to two years ago, we’re looking at a commodity that’s not in short supply. That makes it a lot less of a long-term investment,” said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. “This is really like a growth company that fesses up that it can’t grow anymore.”  Read More

Twitter says it’s cracking down on abuse (again)

Fairly or not, Twitter is known the Internet over as the place the trolls are.

Stung by criticism that Twitter has allowed harassment and abuse to spread unchecked and under growing pressure from Wall Street to deliver growth, CEO Jack Dorsey has pledged “a completely new approach to abuse.” Twitter’s vice president of engineering Ed Ho said last week the company will keep working on combating abuse “until we’ve made a significant impact that people can feel.”

The pledges have been met with skepticism from critics. Twitter is out to prove that it’s taking safety on the platform seriously with a new set of updates that begin rolling out Tuesday. The changes will give users more control over what they see on the social media service, Twitter says.

Chief among them: preventing people who have been permanently suspended from Twitter from creating new accounts, focusing in particular on accounts that are created “only to abuse and harass others,” Ho said in a blog post.  Read More

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An Israeli Firm Is Reportedly Helping the FBI Unlock the San Bernardino Killer’s Phone

Apple has refused to help investigators, citing privacy concerns

The FBI being apparently assisted by an Israeli tech firm in its efforts to unlock the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook — a perpetrator of December’s attacks in San Bernardino, Calif.

Apple has been steadfast in its refusal to aid the FBI in accessing the phone’s information, saying that doing so would breach privacy rights, but U.S. prosecutors said on Monday that a “nongovernmental third party” had provided them with a solution. On Wednesday, the English-language version of Israeli news website Ynet.co.il, in an article that featured reporting from Reuters, ventured that the “third party” in question is Cellebrite, an Israeli “mobile forensics” firm that has been under contract with the FBI since 2013.

The firm, which has worked with law-enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world, prides itself on its ability to unlock locked Apple devices. A page on its website dedicated to subject claims that “Cellebrite’s Advanced Investigative Services (CAIS) offers global law enforcement agencies a breakthrough service to unlock Apple devices running iOS 8.x.”

It adds: “This unique capability is the first of its kind — unlock of Apple devices running iOS 8.x in a forensically sound manner and without any hardware intervention or risk of device wipe.”  Read More

Protesters block the road to Donald Trump rally near Phoenix

Donald Trump’s rally in the Phoenix suburbs on Saturday was briefly delayed as dozens of protesters carrying signs that denounced racism blocked an Arizona highway leading to the rally site.

The route was first blocked by a pair of pickup trucks decorated with banners reading “Comb Over Racism: Dump Trump” and “Shut Down Trump.” Dozens of protesters then filled in the roadway, carrying signs reading “Love Trumps Hate” and “Stand Against Racism.” One homemade sign said, “Combat White Supremacy.”

As the trucks were towed away, protesters formed a human wall. Traffic finally resumed after officers began arresting

Later Saturday afternoon, scores of protesters temporarily blocked the entrance to the Tucson Convention Center, chanting “Shut it down!” and preventing supporters from entering a Trump rally there.

And in New York City, protesters from a wide range of left-leaning organizations organized a roaming protest Saturday targeting two of Trump’s most prominent properties in midtown Manhattan. There were reports that the police used tear gas to prevent a group of protesters from moving past barriers near Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.  Read More

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