Entries with tag pending legal cases.

Woman Sues US Government for Creating False Facebook Page

A woman is suing the US government for making a false Facebook page displaying photos of her and containing personal information federal agents took from her cellular phone to extract information from suspected drug dealers. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) says a Drug Enforcement Administration agent created the page as part of an ongoing drug investigation using images and information retrieved from Sondra Arquiett’s phone. The New York woman was arrested in July 2010 on cocaine distribution charges. In February 2011, court records show, Arquiett pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute the drug. In January 2012, she was sentenced to time served and given a period of home confinement. The records do not show whether Arquiett agreed to testify against any alleged co-conspirators. At the time of her arrest, she gave police access to her cell phone. A DEA agent subsequently took images—including one of her son—and information from her phone and used them to create a Facebook page using Arquiett’s alias of Sondra Prince in order to fool her friends and others into “revealing incriminating drug secrets,” according to The Associated Press. In her lawsuit, Arquiett said law enforcement officials didn’t say they would create a Facebook page using material from her phone. She alleges the incident breached her rights to privacy, equal protection under the law and due process, and is seeking $250,000 in damages. Her case is scheduled to go to trial this week in Albany, New York. The DoJ says it is reviewing the incident to determine whether creating the page “went too far.” Federal officials have said the consent was implicit and Arquiett “relinquished any expectation of privacy she may have had to photographs on her cell phone” by agreeing to having her phone searched. The government claims the page was not publicly available. However, reporters from Buzzfeed and the Associated Press were able to access it before it was taken down. Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights advocacy organization, told The Associated Press the government’s rationale for creating the page was “laughable.” He said, “If I’m cooperating with law enforcement, and law enforcement says, ‘Can I search your phone?' and I hand it over to them, my expectation is that they will search the phone for evidence of a crime, not that they will take things that are not evidence off my phone and use it in another context.” Facebook has declined comment. (BBC)(The Associated Press @ Newsday)

Canadian Man First Arrested for Using Heartbleed Exploit

A Canadian man arrested 15 April 2014 is the first person known to have been arrested for using Heartbleed – a vulnerability in Open SSL encryption – in a data breach. Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes, 19, of London, Ontario, is being charged with one count of Unauthorized Use of a Computer and one count of Mischief in Relation to Data after he allegedly stole 900 social insurance numbers and other data from the Canada Revenue Agency, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Computer equipment in the suspect’s home was seized. No other information was released. Those affected by the theft will be contacted by registered mail, according to the agency, which will also offer free credit protection services and additional security on their accounts. Solis-Reyes, a computer science student attending Western University, is scheduled to appear in an Ottawa court 17 July 2014. (Reuters)(The Associated Press)(PC Mag)

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