Daily Digest (11/6)

Miss. Police to Live-Stream Amazon Ring Doorbell Cameras; Voters Ban Facial Recognition in Portland, Me.; US Seizes $1B in Bitcoin, Tied to ‘Silk Road’ Drug Website; Survey: 51% of Companies Still Lack a BYOD Policy Amid Pandemic.

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Miss. Police to Live-Stream Amazon Ring Doorbell Cameras

The Jackson Police Department in Mississippi has begun a 45-day pilot program though its surveillance center to live-stream Amazon Ring doorbell cameras at participating residences.

Privacy experts fear that, with Ring’s 1,000-plus partnerships with local police agencies, footage may be taken from users without a warrant, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports.

Police departments use the Ring cameras to build comprehensive CCTV camera networks, blanketing entire neighborhoods.

Jackson officials banned the use of facial-recognition technology in August, arguing that they did not want police overstepping or invading privacy, according to EFF.

However, by using the Ring device to create a real-time crime center, police can live-stream from any camera at any time, the foundation said.

Even if a Ring owner opted out of releasing their camera to police, a neighbor in the program could have their camera accessed to see other houses, according to the report.

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Voters Ban Facial Recognition in Portland, Me.

Maine voters on Tuesday banned the use of facial-recognition tech by police and government agencies in Portland, the state’s largest city, but private-sector usage was excluded from the ballot initiative.

The initiative follows a city council vote in August, putting a preliminary ban in place that cannot be revoked for five years, The Verge reports.

Stronger measures also were enacted, and penalties for using facial recognition against private citizens will cost a minimum of $1,000.

Additionally, violating the ban establishes grounds for termination or suspension for a city employee, according to the Verge. 

Portland is one of the latest cities to suspend the use of facial-recognition technology, joining Boston, San Francisco and Portland, Ore. 

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US Seizes $1B in Bitcoin, Tied to ‘Silk Road’ Drug Website

The Justice Department said Thursday that it had seized more than $1 billion in bitcoin, making it the largest cryptocurrency seizure ever made by the federal government.

The seizure was associated with Silk Road, a large underground drug website on the dark web that the feds busted in 2013, TechCrunch reports.

The Justice Department was seeking the forfeiture of cryptocurrency that had been stolen by a hacker.

The government is working to prove in court that the bitcoin is subject to forfeiture, Reuters reports.

Ross Ulbricht, the website’s alleged creator, was convicted in 2015 for several counts of enabling illegal drug sales via bitcoin.

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Survey: 51% of Companies Still Lack a BYOD Policy Amid Pandemic

Fifty-one percent of global organizations do not have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy despite more employees using their own devices to work from home because of COVID-19, according to a STX Next survey released Thursday.

The survey also found that 13% of the organizations neglected multi-factorial authentication (MFA), Infosecurity reports.

The research showed many organizations lacking a sense of urgency in adapting procedures in the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, it seems many still see security as a cost rather than an investment,” Maciej Dziergwa, STX Next’s chairman, told Infosecurity.

“With remote working becoming one of the most-tangible impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, most businesses do not have sufficient visibility of the devices used by employees — and whether these devices are secure enough for accessing company data.”

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— By DPN Staff