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Articles by Michael Thompson

The Potential Privacy Threat of Generative AI

by Michael Dean Thompson

Police are increasingly looking to corporations for help solving crimes. Google is accustomed to providing lists of users who happened to be physically near a crime. In addition, it has provided the identities of people who had misfortune to search for certain keywords to law enforcement. ...

Vendors Late to Recognize the Serious Threat of Cell-Site Simulators

by Michael Dean Thompson

Cell-site simulators (“CSS”), also known by the brand name Stingray and more generically as IMSI Catchers, have permitted governments to spy on each other, hackers to install zero-click malware, and stalkers to track the location of their targets. They work by taking advantage of some of ...

FBI Buys Software to Enslave Your Phone

by Michael Dean Thompson

NSO Group is an Israeli firm started by former Israeli intelligence officers that produced some remarkably infamous software. The company’s software has become notorious for its use by governments with little regard for human rights violations against their own citizens. One of its products, Landmark, has ...

CBP Promises Not to Buy Location Data – But Is It a Hollow Promise?

by Michael Dean Thompson

Global Positioning Satellite (“GPS”) systems began as a tool to help the American military prosecute wars. Among its many uses today is to help the American criminal justice system prosecute its citizens. Not too long ago, the government was forced to tag vehicles with GPS monitoring ...

Your Car Is Spying on You

by Michael Dean Thompson

While it is true that Americans tend to carry their cellphones as grafted appendages, it may be that their cars know even more about them than their cellphones. Consider the following scenario: Jane sees that her car is iced over, so she uses her remote key ...

Computing Fear in Black and Brown Communities

by Michael Dean Thompson

Over 50 years ago, fear of crime was even then associated in the minds of the governing bodies with Black and brown communities. An effort to combat crime based on that fear spurred the creation of software that has since grown to become the predictive ...

Geofencing January 6th

by Michael Dean Thompson

The breaching of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, shocked many Americans. Government filings uncovered since then suggest that even as the unrest raged, law enforcement had begun filing geofence warrants. We now understand that 1,535 names associated with phones using Google’s Location History technology ...

How the Backdoor Loophole Enables the FBI to Search Your Communications Without a Warrant

by Michael Dean Thompson

The 2008 Foreign Intelligence ­Surveillance Amendments Act (“FAA”) Section 702 (codified as 50 U.S.C. § 1881A) exists to facilitate the capture of the communications of foreign actors as they pass through American facilities and hardware. However, in the process, the communications of American citizens are being captured ...

Police Can Get More From Your Phone Than You May Believe

by Michael Dean Thompson

Most of us would feel violated to learn that our spouse or partner had been digging through our phone. Imagine if they were to use that access to determine where we have been and who we have been near and then to gain access to our ...

Surveilling AI’s Big Moment

by Michael Dean Thompson

AI is having its moment. And though 
 much of what has been slapped with the AI label is generally a far cry from the large language models you may have experienced at Bing and Google, it can still be terrifying. These new generations of tools are ...

 

 

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