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Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Here's How an Attacker Can Bypass Your Two-Factor Authentication - 0 views

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    "Two-factor authentication systems aren't as foolproof as they seem. An attacker doesn't actually need your physical authentication token if they can trick your phone company or the secure service itself into letting them in."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine | TorrentFreak - 0 views

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    " Ernesto on October 31, 2014 C: 56 News Disney has just obtained a patent for a search engine that ranks sites based on various "authenticity" factors. One of the goals of the technology is to filter pirated material from search results while boosting the profile of copyright and trademark holders' websites." [# ! #Imagine... # ! ... this kind of '#artifacts' mandatory to the computer # ! manufacturers... [# Additional #WARNING: #Disney to #Decide the "#authenticity" of web #contents... what's next?]]
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    " Ernesto on October 31, 2014 C: 56 News Disney has just obtained a patent for a search engine that ranks sites based on various "authenticity" factors. One of the goals of the technology is to filter pirated material from search results while boosting the profile of copyright and trademark holders' websites."
Paul Merrell

Hackers Prove Fingerprints Are Not Secure, Now What? | nsnbc international - 0 views

  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently revealed that an estimated 5.6 million government employees were affected by the hack; and not 1.1 million as previously assumed.
  • Samuel Schumach, spokesman for the OPM, said: “As part of the government’s ongoing work to notify individuals affected by the theft of background investigation records, the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense have been analyzing impacted data to verify its quality and completeness. Of the 21.5 million individuals whose Social Security Numbers and other sensitive information were impacted by the breach, the subset of individuals whose fingerprints have been stolen has increased from a total of approximately 1.1 million to approximately 5.6 million.” This endeavor expended the use of the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Pentagon. Schumer added that “if, in the future, new means are developed to misuse the fingerprint data, the government will provide additional information to individuals whose fingerprints may have been stolen in this breach.” However, we do not need to wait for the future for fingerprint data to be misused and coveted by hackers.
  • Look no further than the security flaws in Samsung’s new Galaxy 5 smartphone as was demonstrated by researchers at Security Research Labs (SRL) showing how fingerprints, iris scans and other biometric identifiers could be fabricated and yet authenticated by the Apple Touch ID fingerprints scanner. The shocking part of this demonstration is that this hack was achieved less than 2 days after the technology was released to the public by Apple. Ben Schlabs, researcher for SRL explained: “We expected we’d be able to spoof the S5’s Finger Scanner, but I hoped it would at least be a challenge. The S5 Finger Scanner feature offers nothing new except—because of the way it is implemented in this Android device—slightly higher risk than that already posed by previous devices.” Schlabs and other researchers discovered that “the S5 has no mechanism requiring a password when encountering a large number of incorrect finger swipes.” By rebotting the smartphone, Schlabs could force “the handset to accept an unlimited number of incorrect swipes without requiring users to enter a password [and] the S5 fingerprint authenticator [could] be associated with sensitive banking or payment apps such as PayPal.”
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  • Schlab said: “Perhaps most concerning is that Samsung does not seem to have learned from what others have done less poorly. Not only is it possible to spoof the fingerprint authentication even after the device has been turned off, but the implementation also allows for seemingly unlimited authentication attempts without ever requiring a password. Incorporation of fingerprint authentication into highly sensitive apps such as PayPal gives a would-be attacker an even greater incentive to learn the simple skill of fingerprint spoofing.” Last year Hackers from the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) proved Apple wrong when the corporation insisted that their new iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor is “a convenient and highly secure way to access your phone.” CCC stated that it is as easy as stealing a fingerprint from a drinking glass – and anyone can do it.
Paul Merrell

Edward Snowden Explains How To Reclaim Your Privacy - 0 views

  • Micah Lee: What are some operational security practices you think everyone should adopt? Just useful stuff for average people. Edward Snowden: [Opsec] is important even if you’re not worried about the NSA. Because when you think about who the victims of surveillance are, on a day-to-day basis, you’re thinking about people who are in abusive spousal relationships, you’re thinking about people who are concerned about stalkers, you’re thinking about children who are concerned about their parents overhearing things. It’s to reclaim a level of privacy. The first step that anyone could take is to encrypt their phone calls and their text messages. You can do that through the smartphone app Signal, by Open Whisper Systems. It’s free, and you can just download it immediately. And anybody you’re talking to now, their communications, if it’s intercepted, can’t be read by adversaries. [Signal is available for iOS and Android, and, unlike a lot of security tools, is very easy to use.] You should encrypt your hard disk, so that if your computer is stolen the information isn’t obtainable to an adversary — pictures, where you live, where you work, where your kids are, where you go to school. [I’ve written a guide to encrypting your disk on Windows, Mac, and Linux.] Use a password manager. One of the main things that gets people’s private information exposed, not necessarily to the most powerful adversaries, but to the most common ones, are data dumps. Your credentials may be revealed because some service you stopped using in 2007 gets hacked, and your password that you were using for that one site also works for your Gmail account. A password manager allows you to create unique passwords for every site that are unbreakable, but you don’t have the burden of memorizing them. [The password manager KeePassX is free, open source, cross-platform, and never stores anything in the cloud.]
  • The other thing there is two-factor authentication. The value of this is if someone does steal your password, or it’s left or exposed somewhere … [two-factor authentication] allows the provider to send you a secondary means of authentication — a text message or something like that. [If you enable two-factor authentication, an attacker needs both your password as the first factor and a physical device, like your phone, as your second factor, to login to your account. Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, GitHub, Battle.net, and tons of other services all support two-factor authentication.]
  • We should armor ourselves using systems we can rely on every day. This doesn’t need to be an extraordinary lifestyle change. It doesn’t have to be something that is disruptive. It should be invisible, it should be atmospheric, it should be something that happens painlessly, effortlessly. This is why I like apps like Signal, because they’re low friction. It doesn’t require you to re-order your life. It doesn’t require you to change your method of communications. You can use it right now to talk to your friends.
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  • Lee: What do you think about Tor? Do you think that everyone should be familiar with it, or do you think that it’s only a use-it-if-you-need-it thing? Snowden: I think Tor is the most important privacy-enhancing technology project being used today. I use Tor personally all the time. We know it works from at least one anecdotal case that’s fairly familiar to most people at this point. That’s not to say that Tor is bulletproof. What Tor does is it provides a measure of security and allows you to disassociate your physical location. … But the basic idea, the concept of Tor that is so valuable, is that it’s run by volunteers. Anyone can create a new node on the network, whether it’s an entry node, a middle router, or an exit point, on the basis of their willingness to accept some risk. The voluntary nature of this network means that it is survivable, it’s resistant, it’s flexible. [Tor Browser is a great way to selectively use Tor to look something up and not leave a trace that you did it. It can also help bypass censorship when you’re on a network where certain sites are blocked. If you want to get more involved, you can volunteer to run your own Tor node, as I do, and support the diversity of the Tor network.]
  • Lee: So that is all stuff that everybody should be doing. What about people who have exceptional threat models, like future intelligence-community whistleblowers, and other people who have nation-state adversaries? Maybe journalists, in some cases, or activists, or people like that? Snowden: So the first answer is that you can’t learn this from a single article. The needs of every individual in a high-risk environment are different. And the capabilities of the adversary are constantly improving. The tooling changes as well. What really matters is to be conscious of the principles of compromise. How can the adversary, in general, gain access to information that is sensitive to you? What kinds of things do you need to protect? Because of course you don’t need to hide everything from the adversary. You don’t need to live a paranoid life, off the grid, in hiding, in the woods in Montana. What we do need to protect are the facts of our activities, our beliefs, and our lives that could be used against us in manners that are contrary to our interests. So when we think about this for whistleblowers, for example, if you witnessed some kind of wrongdoing and you need to reveal this information, and you believe there are people that want to interfere with that, you need to think about how to compartmentalize that.
  • Tell no one who doesn’t need to know. [Lindsay Mills, Snowden’s girlfriend of several years, didn’t know that he had been collecting documents to leak to journalists until she heard about it on the news, like everyone else.] When we talk about whistleblowers and what to do, you want to think about tools for protecting your identity, protecting the existence of the relationship from any type of conventional communication system. You want to use something like SecureDrop, over the Tor network, so there is no connection between the computer that you are using at the time — preferably with a non-persistent operating system like Tails, so you’ve left no forensic trace on the machine you’re using, which hopefully is a disposable machine that you can get rid of afterward, that can’t be found in a raid, that can’t be analyzed or anything like that — so that the only outcome of your operational activities are the stories reported by the journalists. [SecureDrop is a whistleblower submission system. Here is a guide to using The Intercept’s SecureDrop server as safely as possible.]
  • And this is to be sure that whoever has been engaging in this wrongdoing cannot distract from the controversy by pointing to your physical identity. Instead they have to deal with the facts of the controversy rather than the actors that are involved in it. Lee: What about for people who are, like, in a repressive regime and are trying to … Snowden: Use Tor. Lee: Use Tor? Snowden: If you’re not using Tor you’re doing it wrong. Now, there is a counterpoint here where the use of privacy-enhancing technologies in certain areas can actually single you out for additional surveillance through the exercise of repressive measures. This is why it’s so critical for developers who are working on security-enhancing tools to not make their protocols stand out.
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    Lots more in the interview that I didn't highlight. This is a must-read.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Hungry for Authentic Journalism? Picture This! | Jerry Ashton | LinkedIn - 0 views

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    "One of the most significant outcomes so far in this election cycle has been the exposure of Main Stream Media (MSM) as a sham and the noisy emergence of its antidote - Alternative Media (Alt.M)."
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    "One of the most significant outcomes so far in this election cycle has been the exposure of Main Stream Media (MSM) as a sham and the noisy emergence of its antidote - Alternative Media (Alt.M)."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Easy, Linux-compatible password management with KeePassX | Opensource.com - 0 views

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    "According to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, "Passwords are a common form of authentication and are often the only barrier between a user and your personal information. There are several programs attackers can use to help guess or 'crack' passwords, but by choosing good passwords and keeping them confidential, you can make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access your information.""
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    "According to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, "Passwords are a common form of authentication and are often the only barrier between a user and your personal information. There are several programs attackers can use to help guess or 'crack' passwords, but by choosing good passwords and keeping them confidential, you can make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access your information.""
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

How to manage your passwords from the Linux command line - 0 views

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    "Posted by Administrator | Mar 18, 2015 | Linux | 0 comments The authentication with passwords has been quite wide spread these days. This safety measure might be quite good for the security matter, but, eventually, consumers appear in a big need of password management method - a tool, a program or a clever technique - in order to save the used passwords during all of the processes. "
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    "Posted by Administrator | Mar 18, 2015 | Linux | 0 comments The authentication with passwords has been quite wide spread these days. This safety measure might be quite good for the security matter, but, eventually, consumers appear in a big need of password management method - a tool, a program or a clever technique - in order to save the used passwords during all of the processes. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Licensing under Creative Commons to reach more people | Opensource.com - 0 views

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    "There was a time not long ago when publishing was difficult and expensive. Thanks to services like Lulu.com and Lulujr.com, that's changing. Open source and Creative Commons licensing has also opened the door for teachers and students to inexpensively and easily find a new and authentic audience for their work."
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    "There was a time not long ago when publishing was difficult and expensive. Thanks to services like Lulu.com and Lulujr.com, that's changing. Open source and Creative Commons licensing has also opened the door for teachers and students to inexpensively and easily find a new and authentic audience for their work."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Trusted Computing Group - Benefits - 1 views

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    "Benefits Trusted Computing makes computing more secure. Systems based on Trusted Computing: Protect critical data and systems agains a variety of attacks Enable secure authentication and strong protection of unlimited certificates, keys, and passwords that otherwise are accessible Establish strong machine identity and integrity Help satisfy regulatory compliance with hardware-based security Cost less to manage, removing need for expensive tokens and peripherals"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

The Halloween Documents - 0 views

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    "Where will Microsoft try to drag you today? Do you really want to go there? In the last week of October 1998, a confidential Microsoft memorandum on Redmond's strategy against Linux and Open Source software was leaked to me by a source who shall remain nameless. I annotated this memorandum with explanation and commentary over Halloween Weekend and released it to the national press. Microsoft was forced to acknowledge its authenticity. The press rightly treated it as a major story and covered it (with varying degrees of cluefulness). "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Using Tcpdump To Capture And Analyze Network Traffic | Unixmen - 0 views

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    "Introduction Tcpdump is one of the finest tools available for network analysis. It is a must have tool for all of the Network Administrators and users who wants to understand TCP/IP.It enable users to capture packets transmitted or received over the network/Internet. It is important to know that super user authentication is required to run tcpdump, it is absolutely free tool available under BSD License."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Project Maelstrom - 0 views

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    "Project Maelstrom aims on resolving this by attempting to create an open network of data sources, authentication methods, and applications. Unlike many other competing services, Maelstrom aims to create a comprehensive network of anything required for an individual web application to integrate with the internet as a whole. Just the connections, nothing more. We'll create the network; it'll be up to you to use it. We don't want to get in your way by attempting to compete. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Cipher Security: How to harden TLS and SSH | Linux Journal - 0 views

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    "Nov 23, 2015 By Charles Fisher in HOW-TOs Security Encryption and secure communications are critical to our life on the Internet. Without the ability to authenticate and preserve secrecy, we cannot engage in commerce, nor can we trust the words of our friends and colleagues. "
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

AllSeen Alliance Adds Security Updates to Open Source IoT Platform | Open Source Application Software Companies content from The VAR Guy - 0 views

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    "The AllSeen Alliance open source IoT framework, AllJoyn, offers better authentication, authorization and encryption features through the new Security 2.0 feature."
Paul Merrell

Microsoft debuts early test version of Oxite open source blogging engine | Open Source | ZDNet.com - 0 views

  • WordPress has more competition to be. Microsoft’s Codeplex team has developed an open source blogging engine that can support simple blogs and large web sites such as its own MIX Online.
  • “Oxite was developed carefully and painstakingly to be a great blogging platform, or a starting point for your own web site project with CMS needs,” according to Microsoft.com.
  • Oxite offers support for multiple blogs per site.  ”Oxite includes the ability to create and edit an arbitrary set of pages on your site. Want an ‘about’ page? You got it. Need a special page about your dogs, with sub-pages for each of those special animals? Yep, no worries,” Microsoft continues. “The ability to add pages as a child of another page is all built in. The web-based editing and creation interface lets you put whatever HTML you want onto your pages, and the built-in authentication system means that only you will be able to edit them.
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    The ability to create child pages of a parent page is something I haven't seen before in a blogging app. There are a ton of CMS that offer such features, but blogs have been an exception.
Paul Merrell

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Not Turtles, AtomPub All the Way Down - 0 views

  • I don't think the Atom publishing protocol can be considered the universal protocol for talking to remote databases given that cloud storage vendors like Amazon and database vendors like Oracle don't support it yet. That said, this is definitely a positive trend. Back in the RSS vs. Atom days I used to get frustrated that people were spending so much time reinventing the wheel with an RSS clone when the real gaping hole in the infrastructure was a standard editing protocol. It took a little longer than I expected (Sam Ruby started talking about in 2003) but the effort has succeeded way beyond my wildest dreams. All I wanted was a standard editing protocol for blogs and content management systems and we've gotten so much more.
  • Microsoft is using AtomPub as the interface to a wide breadth of services and products as George Moore points out in his post A Unified Standards-Based Protocols and Tooling Platform for Storage from Microsoft 
  • And a few weeks after George's post even more was revealed in posts such as this one about  FeedSync and Live Mesh where we find out Congratulations to the Live Mesh team, who announced their Live Mesh Technology Preview release earlier this evening! Amit Mital gives a detailed overview in this post on http://dev.live.com. You can read all about it in the usual places...so why do I mention it here? FeedSync is one of the core parts of the Live Mesh platform. One of the key values of Live Mesh is that your data flows to all of your devices. And rather than being hidden away in a single service, any properly authenticated user has full bidirectional sync capability. As I discussed in the Introduction to FeedSync, this really makes "your stuff yours". Okay, FeedSync isn't really AtomPub but it does use the Atom syndication format so I count that as a win for Atom+APP as well. As time goes on, I hope we'll see even more products and services that support Atom and AtomPub from Microsoft. Standardization at the protocol layer means we can move innovation up the stack.
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Paul Merrell

Common Crawl Founder Gil Elbaz Speaks About New Relationship With Amazon, Semantic Web Projects Using Its Corpus, And Why Open Web Crawls Matter To Developing Big Data Expertise - semanticweb.com - 0 views

  • The Common Crawl Foundation’s repository of openly and freely accessible web crawl data is about to go live as a Public Data Set on Amazon Web Services.
  • Elbaz’ goal in developing the repository: “You can’t access, let alone download, the Google or the Bing crawl data. So certainly we’re differentiated in being very open and transparent about what we’re crawling and actually making it available to developers,” he says. “You might ask why is it going to be revolutionary to allow many more engineers and researchers and developers and students access to this data, whereas historically you have to work for one of the big search engines…. The question is, the world has the largest-ever corpus of knowledge out there on the web, and is there more that one can do with it than Google and Microsoft and a handful of other search engines are already doing? And the answer is unquestionably yes. ”
  • Common Crawl’s data already is stored on Amazon’s S3 service, but now Amazon will be providing the storage space for free through the Public Data Set program. Not only does that remove from Common Crawl the storage burden and costs for hosting its crawl of 5 billion web pages – some 50 or 60 terabytes large – but it should make it easier for users to access the data, and remove the bandwidth-related costs they might incur for downloads. Users won’t have to deal with setting up accounts, being responsible for bandwidth bills incurred, and more complex authentication processes.
Paul Merrell

The NSA Leak Is Real, Snowden Documents Confirm - 0 views

  • On Monday, a hacking group calling itself the “ShadowBrokers” announced an auction for what it claimed were “cyber weapons” made by the NSA. Based on never-before-published documents provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Intercept can confirm that the arsenal contains authentic NSA software, part of a powerful constellation of tools used to covertly infect computers worldwide. The provenance of the code has been a matter of heated debate this week among cybersecurity experts, and while it remains unclear how the software leaked, one thing is now beyond speculation: The malware is covered with the NSA’s virtual fingerprints and clearly originates from the agency. The evidence that ties the ShadowBrokers dump to the NSA comes in an agency manual for implanting malware, classified top secret, provided by Snowden, and not previously available to the public. The draft manual instructs NSA operators to track their use of one malware program using a specific 16-character string, “ace02468bdf13579.” That exact same string appears throughout the ShadowBrokers leak in code associated with the same program, SECONDDATE.
Paul Merrell

Marriott fined $600,000 for jamming guest hotspots - SlashGear - 0 views

  • Marriott will cough up $600,000 in penalties after being caught blocking mobile hotspots so that guests would have to pay for its own WiFi services, the FCC has confirmed today. The fine comes after staff at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee were found to be jamming individual hotspots and then charging people up to $1,000 per device to get online. Marriott has been operating the center since 2012, and is believed to have been running its interruption scheme since then. The first complaint to the FCC, however, wasn't until March 2013, when one guest warned the Commission that they suspected their hardware had been jammed. An investigation by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau revealed that was, in fact, the case. A WiFi monitoring system installed at the Gaylord Opryland would target access points with de-authentication packets, disconnecting users so that their browsing was interrupted.
  • The FCC deemed Marriott's behaviors as contravening Section 333 of the Communications Act, which states that "no person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this chapter or operated by the United States Government." In addition to the $600,000 civil penalty, Marriott will have to cease blocking guests, hand over details of any access point containment features to the FCC across its entire portfolio of owned or managed properties, and finally file compliance and usage reports each quarter for the next three years.
  • Update: Marriott has issued the following statement on the FCC ruling: "Marriott has a strong interest in ensuring that when our guests use our Wi-Fi service, they will be protected from rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber-attacks and identity theft. Like many other institutions and companies in a wide variety of industries, including hospitals and universities, the Gaylord Opryland protected its Wi-Fi network by using FCC-authorized equipment provided by well-known, reputable manufacturers. We believe that the Gaylord Opryland's actions were lawful. We will continue to encourage the FCC to pursue a rulemaking in order to eliminate the ongoing confusion resulting from today's action and to assess the merits of its underlying policy."
Paul Merrell

Tell Congress: My Phone Calls are My Business. Reform the NSA. | EFF Action Center - 3 views

  • The USA PATRIOT Act granted the government powerful new spying capabilities that have grown out of control—but the provision that the FBI and NSA have been using to collect the phone records of millions of innocent people expires on June 1. Tell Congress: it’s time to rethink out-of-control spying. A vote to reauthorize Section 215 is a vote against the Constitution.
  • On June 5, 2013, the Guardian published a secret court order showing that the NSA has interpreted Section 215 to mean that, with the help of the FBI, it can collect the private calling records of millions of innocent people. The government could even try to use Section 215 for bulk collection of financial records. The NSA’s defenders argue that invading our privacy is the only way to keep us safe. But the White House itself, along with the President’s Review Board has said that the government can accomplish its goals without bulk telephone records collection. And the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board said, “We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which [bulk collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act] made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation.” Since June of 2013, we’ve continued to learn more about how out of control the NSA is. But what has not happened since June is legislative reform of the NSA. There have been myriad bipartisan proposals in Congress—some authentic and some not—but lawmakers didn’t pass anything. We need comprehensive reform that addresses all the ways the NSA has overstepped its authority and provides the NSA with appropriate and constitutional tools to keep America safe. In the meantime, tell Congress to take a stand. A vote against reauthorization of Section 215 is a vote for the Constitution.
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    EFF has launched an email campagin to press members of Congress not to renew sectiion 215 of the Patriot Act when it expires on June 1, 2015.   Sectjon 215 authorizes FBI officials to "make an application for an order requiring the production of *any tangible things* (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution." http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/1861 The section has been abused to obtain bulk collecdtion of all telephone records for the NSA's storage and processing.But the section goes farther and lists as specific examples of records that can be obtained under section 215's authority, "library circulation records, library patron lists, book sales records, book customer lists, firearms sales records, tax return records, educational records, or medical records."  Think of the NSA's voracious appetite for new "haystacks" it can store  and search in its gigantic new data center in Utah. Then ask yourself, "do I want the NSA to obtain all of my personal data, store it, and search it at will?" If your anser is "no," you might consider visiting this page to send your Congress critters an email urging them to vote against renewal of section 215 and to vote for other NSA reforms listed in the EFF sample email text. Please do not procrastinate. Do it now, before you forget. Every voice counts. 
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