The Four Tribes of Privacy Thieves

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American consumers fall prey to privacy thieves with little available to protect them from these modern brigands. Distinguished by status and motivation, there are four tribes of cyber thieves – money-seeking criminals, hacktivist autocrats, aggressive nation states (notably Russia, Iran, the Koreas and China), and US government employees. Ordinary privacy criminals go where the money […]

Leadership Needed at DOJ

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a search warrant to Microsoft requiring it to produce the emails of an alleged Irish drug dealer. The emails are stored in Ireland on a Microsoft server. Irish law generally prohibits release of a citizen’s private information without authorization by Ireland – which has not been forthcoming. Microsoft faces […]

The Hill’s Congress Blog: The DOJ’s 2 million Job Mistake

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a search warrant as part of a criminal drug investigation. While that may seem like a typical legal demand, the suspect lives in Ireland, and the email records that that the DOJ seek are being stored at a data center in Ireland belonging to an Irish subsidiary of […]

Daily Caller: Can the U.S. Seize Emails from Anywhere in the World?

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ACI’s writer, Zack Christenson, wrote a piece in Today’s Daily Caller that discusses the DOJ’s attempt to seize emails on foreign citizens that are stored on foreign data centers.  The blog discusses the huge economic consequences of such actions and how Congress is attempting to fix the problem.  To print and read the piece, visit […]

How DOJ Actions Could Harm U.S. Competitiveness Abroad

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a search (and seizure) warrant to Microsoft Communications to hand over the private email communications of a suspected drug trafficker. The only problems with the request, however, is that the drug suspect happens to reside in Ireland, the emails being sought are stored on an Internet server located in […]

High Expectations for Mobile Wallet

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Consumers have a love-hate relationship with credit cards. We love not having to walk around with a brick of dollars to cover purchases we often didn’t know we needed.  But we hate having to make a minimum payment or clear the balance on the credit card billing statement.  In the background there’s concern that the […]

Cable TV and the Collateral Damage from Local Choice

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Senators Thune and Rockefeller are suggesting a proposal to require local TV broadcasting channels, such ABC and CBS, be offered on an “à la carte” basis to cable TV viewers. The idea, referred to as Local Choice, would allow consumers the option to pick and pay only for the TV broadcast channels they want, instead of […]

ACI Letter to Senator Thune on STELA Reauthorization: Let’s First Have Comprehensive Reform

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On June 7, 2014, The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research submitted a letter to Senator Thune regarding the upcoming STELA reauthorization.  The text of the bill is as follows: ________________________________________________________   July 7, 2014 The Honorable John Thune United States Senate SD-511 Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Thune: As you consider STELA reauthorization, the American […]

The Death of Aereo?

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Yesterday, the Supreme Court wisely decided that popular New York startup media company Aereo is violating the law by providing users access to free over-the-air programming from local networks. The 6-3 decision could be the end for the Barry Diller backed startup, and has consumers all over New York City, Baltimore, Atlanta, and 9 other cities […]

Cyber Home Invasion and Email Heists Challenge Privacy

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Commercial cybercriminals sometimes spread “adware,” a software infection that seizes control of a computer limiting the user’s ability to operate software that used to work well.  Criminals are paid by advertisers for the deluge of involuntary “clicks” from adverts that are usually of no interest to the computer user.   A barely legal version of cyber […]