Morning Security Brief: Warrantless Tracking, Bomb Dogs, Credit Checks, and More.

By Carlton Purvis


►To track (without a warrant), or not to track, is the question right now. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled on Tuesday that the government would need to get a probable cause warrant to get cell phone location data. The government argued that it was "entitled to the data whenever it’s ‘relevant’ to a criminal investigation, Wired reports. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) has backed up the government’s stance, pushing a bill that would make it law. At the same time another bill introduced by lawmakers would require authorities to obatin a warrant to get geolocational information on a suspect’s movements -- while the Obama petitions the Supreme Court to allow the government to secretly use GPS tracking on suspects without a warrant. “The petition, which was granted, is to be heard by the justices in the upcoming term and is arguably the biggest Fourth Amendment case in a decade — one weighing the collision of privacy, technology and the Constitution.” Wired reports.

►Researchers want to breed bomb-sniffing dogs to be more resilient  and to better react in chaotic situations. Bomb dogs are required to work in noisy airports and planes and work in war zones where improvised explosive devices are commonplace. Scott Thomas, program manager of the Canine Breeding and Development Center at the Lackland Air Force Base and child development researchers say by getting puppies used to those conditions in development could help them to stay focused during the same conditions as adults. There are now more than 800 TSA-certified explosives-detection teams of handlers and dogs at airports and mass transit hubs around the United States, USAToday reports. Immediately after 9-11, there were fewer than 200.

►In Connecticut, a new law bars employers from requiring credit checks as a part of the hiring process. Critics of the practice say it unfairly eliminates otherwise qualified candidates, CtWatchdog reports. Under the new law employers are prohibited from requiring “an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about the employee’s or prospective employee’s credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment.” The law, which goes into effect October 1st, has some exceptions however, allowing credit checks if the person is applying to a financial institution, if the employer has reason to believe an employee has violate law in relation to their job, or if a report is “substantially related” to the job position.

►In other news, The (ISC)² Foundation has established multiple grants to encourage women to enter the field of cybersecurity.→ Developers make a Taser-capable drone. → And The Daily Beast examines al-Qaeda’s activity on the Sinai Peninsula.



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