Contrary to DHS Policy and Prior Statements, ICE Seeks NC State Voter Data

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has demanded that North Carolina provide over 18 million voter records from the past eight years. The subpoena is outside the Department of Homeland Security authority and goes against testimony by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who told Congress this year that…

EPIC Urges Suspension of Biometric Entry/Exit Program

In comments to Customs and Border Protection, EPIC urged the agency to suspend the Biometric Entry/Exit Program. EPIC argued that less privacy-invasive alternatives should be considered and that the program should not move forward until Congress has passed regulations implementing safeguards for the use of…

EPIC FOIA: EPIC Obtains CBP Drone Operations and Privacy Directive

Through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, EPIC obtained Customs and Border Protection’s directive on Unmanned Aircraft System Operations and Privacy. The directive allows the agency to disseminate information collected through drone operations with federal, state, local, tribal, and foreign law enforcement agencies. EPIC’s FOIA…

3.7.18 Darknet and Cybercrime Roundup

“Black Hand” Darknet Forum Seized by French Authorities French Customs brought down a darknet forum called the “Black Hand,” the Minister of Public Accounts announced in a press release. The forum functioned as a drug market and a fraud market, former users of the forum…

ICE Abandons “Extreme Vetting” Software to Screen Visa Applicants

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has dropped a plan to use machine learning software to determine if a visa applicant might commit a crime or terrorist act. Last year, EPIC joined over 50 privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights groups to oppose the plan, stating that…

Dunedin Father Sentenced for MDMA Distribution

New Zealand Customs intercepted a package of almost 400 grams of MDMA in October 27. The buyer—who described himself as a drug dealer—just received a four-year prison sentence at the Dunedin District Court for importing a Class B drug. Levi Jordan Wells Bertanees, 24, worked…

Darknet Gun Buyer Busted in Germany

Customs investigators in Frankfurt, Germany, have arrested a 38-year-old from Bremen for allegedly purchasing two weapons and more than 500 rounds of ammunition. A special unit with the Frankfurt Customs Office conducted the investigation during an extensive operation targeting the illegal weapons trade on the…

Berlin Customs Allegedly Identified Nearly 1,500 Darknet Drug Buyers

According to information obtained by Berliner Morgenpost, the Berlin-Brandenburg Customs Office may have identified as many as 1,500 darknet drug customers in a single operation. The investigation itself, the newspaper reported, has already been completed. By the time the paper had learned of the investigation,…

Gun Collector Arrested for Buying Pistols on the Darknet

A joint press release from the Central Office of Cybercrime in Bavaria and the Customs Investigation Office in Frankfurt revealed that German authorities caught a 54-year-old who had been buying firearms from vendors on the darknet. The operation that led to the man’s arrest was…

EPIC Sues ICE Over Technology Used to Conduct Warrantless Searches of Mobile Devices

EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement for details of the agency’s use of mobile forensic technology to conduct warrantless searches of mobile devices. ICE has contracts with a company called Cellebrite for techniques to unlock, decrypt, and…