Daily Digest (9/7)

US Appeals Court Rules NSA Program Exposed by Snowden Illegal; Amazon Workers Spied on By Company Via Social Media; Mich. Airport to Use Smart Helmets with Face Recognition to Measure Temperatures; Twitter Users Can Download Data Again After Bitcoin Hacking Spree. Click “Continue reading” below.

US Appeals Court Rules NSA Program Exposed by Snowden Illegal

The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled as unlawful the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program that was exposed seven years ago by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The court Wednesday found that intelligence leaders who publicly defended the program lied, BBC News reports.

Millions of Americans’ telephone records were surveilled in the program that first came to light in 2013.

Snowden, who lives in exile in Moscow, faces espionage charges in the U.S. over the NSA leak.

“I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA’s activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them,” Snowden said, BBC reports.

Top U.S. intelligence officials had insisted that the NSA never knowingly collected data from private cellphone records until the leak. Officials then argued that the agency’s metadata program had played a crucial role in fighting domestic terrorism,

But the Court of Appeals ruled that the claims were “inconsistent with the contents of the classified records” and that the program had violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The ruling will not affect those convicted in 2013 based on evidence obtained through the program.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for our privacy rights,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.

“It makes plain that the NSA’s bulk-collection of Americans’ phone records violated the Constitution.”

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Amazon Workers Spied on By Company Via Social Media 

Amazon has been tracking and monitoring Amazon Flex drivers in dozens of closed Facebook groups across the U.S., U.K. and Spain, according to documents exposed by the domain www.sharkandink.com.

The internal documents and reports, confirmed that Amazon corporate workers received regular reports, including the full names and the social media posts of its drivers, Vice.com reports.

Erick Sabando, an administrator of the private Facebook group “AMAZON-FLEX DRIVERS’ LOUNGE-Phoenix, AZ,” told Vice that he long suspected that Amazon had placed moles in his Facebook group to surveil workers.

“It’s always been speculation — and we haven’t really been able to prove anything despite context clues and weird coincidences,” Sabando said.

The news broke after Amazon said it was hiring an intelligence analyst to identify labor organizers.

Following the report, Amazon told Vice in a statement that it would discontinue the monitoring program.

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Mich. Airport to Use Smart Helmets with Face Recognition to Measure Temperatures

Bishop International Airport in Flint, Mich., said it would be the first U.S. airport to utilize “Smart Helmets,” which incorporate facial-recognition technology, designed by the Italian company KeyBiz.

The helmet, to be worn by the airport authorities, can also read license plates, scan QR codes and detect body temperatures of multiple people, Click on Detroit reports.

Airport officials said the helmets initially would be used as an additional safety precaution against COVID-19.

According to Bishop officials, if the helmet detects someone with a temperature above 100.4 Fahrenheit, the officer wearing the device would accompany them to the ticket counter of the airline where they had landed or were to depart from to advise staff of their finding to determine if the passenger could fly.

If the individual is not a passenger, officials said, they will be asked questions to determine whether they came in contact with others and, then, to leave the airport terminal.

In both situations, the information will be recorded for any potential contact-tracing, Click on Detroit reports.

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Twitter Users Can Download Data Again After Bitcoin Hacking Spree

Twitter users can now download archives using “Your Twitter Data,” nearly two months after hackers breached several high-profile accounts in a Bitcoin scam.

Hackers breached the verified accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, The Verge reports. They stole private messages and other personal data.

Three people have been charged in the July 15 hack: Graham Clark, 17, of Tampa, Fla.; Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando, Fla., and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard, of the U.K.

The hackers gained access to Twitter’s internal tools by using social engineering to convince a Twitter employee that he was a co-worker in the IT department, having the employee provide credentials to access the company’s customer-service portal, the Verge reports.

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By DPN Staff