journalist covering hackers/crime/privacy for @motherboard. Signal: +44 20 8133 5190. Wickr: josephcox. XMPP: jfcox@jabber.ccc.de. Email: joseph.cox@vice.com

Joined March 2011
North Korean backed hackers who targeted security researchers recently setup a new fake company website, according to Google blog.google/threat-analysis-…
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New: internal emails show Minneapolis staff were worried about city's plans to hire 'influencers' during the trial of alleged George Floyd murderer Derek Chauvin. "'Influencer' is probably not the best way to refer to them. Sort of feels like propaganda." vice.com/en/article/pkd73n/m…
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Reasons why the Secret Service does not want to release information on what hacking tools it assessed for use
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Twitter suspended one of the Amazon FC Ambassador accounts for spam and platform manipulation (an actual account with an Amazon email address; not one of those fake-person-generator ones)
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New: Utah gave a $20 million contract to an AI surveillance firm that didn't actually have AI. Finding comes from a state audit of the company called Banjo. Audit triggered by investigations into Banjo by Motherboard and OneZero vice.com/en/article/pkd7pk/b…
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One of Banjo's big selling points was that its AI helped track down a child kidnapper. But the audit found this wasn't verified, and just based on claims. Could have just been an operator doing a demo and not even AI at all vice.com/en/article/pkd7pk/b…
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The audit also found serious security issues with giving a surveillance contractor direct access to state databases vice.com/en/article/pkd7pk/b…
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The audit also found that Banjo's system did not pose the significant privacy risk as initially thought. But not because of safeguards; instead the system simply wasn't sophisticated enough vice.com/en/article/pkd7pk/b…
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New: U.S. Special Operations Command paid $500,000 to a secretive location data firm called Anomaly 6. Company can track hundreds of millions of phones around the world. This is the first reported contract of Anomaly 6's with the U.S. government vice.com/en/article/z3vjxj/a…
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Anomaly 6 keeps a low profile. This is the company's website in its entirety vice.com/en/article/z3vjxj/a…
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What the company does is pull location data for clients, visualize it, pair it with other intelligence, etc. Obtains data from 500 apps vice.com/en/article/z3vjxj/a…
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The original WSJ article said government contractor Anomaly 6 plants its own SDK into apps to collect location data on phones. It turns out that's probably not true: Anomaly 6 has contracts with a provider so it can just *claim* the SDK is theirs vice.com/en/article/z3vjxj/a…
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This again shows how the location data industry works, with even government contractors that are competitors sourcing data from each other or other sources vice.com/en/article/z3vjxj/a…
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Update: The initial Amazon vote count is officially underway on Zoom and the NLRB offices in Birmingham with observers from Amazon and RWDSU in attendance. My source says no public update likely today.
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Highly concerning piece about a case of hacking and harassment against a TikTok creator, but one that happens likely much more than you think - sim swapping; broke into accounts - escalated into physical threats, attacks on property - family had to move vice.com/en/article/dy8npv/a…
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Random people are sometimes the worse threats vice.com/en/article/dy8npv/a…
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Venntel, a contractor that sells location data to ICE, gets some of its data via real-time bidding. Real-time bidding bidstream data is the sort of data at the center of this lawsuit vice.com/en/article/93we9z/g…
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Here is the class action lawsuit against Google for allegedly selling users' data documentcloud.org/documents/…
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Here is a diagram included in the lawsuit that explains how Google is allegedly selling users data vice.com/en/article/93we9z/g…
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