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Links for 2016-06-27

  • Cops Use Stingray To Almost Track Down Suspected Fast Food Thief

    Law enforcement spokespeople will often point to the handful of homicide or kidnapping investigations successfully closed with the assistance of cell site simulators, but they’ll gloss over the hundreds of mundane deployments performed by officers who will use anything that makes their job easier — even if it’s a tool that’s Constitutionally dubious. Don’t forget, when a cell site simulator is deployed, it gathers cell phone info from everyone in the surrounding area, including those whose chicken wings have been lawfully purchased. And all of this data goes… somewhere and is held onto for as long as the agency feels like it, because most agencies don’t seem to have Stingray data retention policies in place until after they’ve been FOIA’ed/questioned by curious legislators. Regular policework — which seemed to function just fine without cell tracking devices — now apparently can’t be done without thousands of dollars of military equipment. And it’s not just about the chicken wing thieves law enforcement can’t locate. It’s about the murder suspects who are caught but who walk away when the surveillance device wipes its feet on the Fourth Amendment as it serves up questionable, post-facto search warrants and pen register orders.

    (tags: stingrays mobile surveillance imsi-catchers data-retention privacy chicken-wings fast-food)

  • A fast alternative to the modulo reduction

    (x * N) div 2^32 is an equally fair map reduction, but faster on modern 64-bit CPUs

    (tags: fairness modulo arithmetic algorithms fair-mapping reduce daniel-lemire)