The State of New Jersey Awareness in Dealing with Identity Theft

Many people heard about “identity theft” but for sure, not all of them really understand what it means and how a person becomes a victim of this type of robbery. According from the explanation of the New Jersey State Police, Identify theft happens when somebody utilizes the personal identification information of an individual such as the name, credit card details, Social Security Number without any permission. This is a clear act of crime for committing fraud because of stealing someone’s information.

From the records of the Federal Trade Commission, there are almost 9 millions of Americans who experienced stolen identities every year and they continue to increase in numbers. Unless the victim receives a surprise mail of unknown bills, it is not easy to determine if this person is a victim of such unlawful activity.

The state of New Jersey already has an existing law known as the Identity Theft Prevention Act. They needed to impose this kind of rule because many unknown criminals are using personal information from their targeted victims for unlawful purposes. It is also very unfortunate that despite the awareness of many people living here. The most disappointing issue is that most of the victims are worrying about their unexpected involvements to fraudulent transactions because of using their identities and accessing their credit cards.

When talking about the most sensitive information to protect against someone who steals personal data, this is deals about securing the Social Security Number. This is a very important record for anyone who lives in the United States because it is very useful in different transactions such as for health or medical care, employment, bank accounts and other vital purposes. Because of this, it is the responsibility of the Jersey Legislature to provide the necessary guidelines to make sure their citizens have protected Social Security Number.

From the shared information about the existing bill or law as well, it is very important for a potential “identity theft” victim to coordinate and report the problem with the legitimate law enforcement agency of the government. The victim ought to explain the situation properly as a complainant and the enforcing agency will provide a comprehensive report after the discussion. On the other hand, the agency can only accommodate a victim from their jurisdiction when filing a lawsuit. As for the complainant, it is advisable to safeguard the report copy until they found the theft and released the decision of the court.

Definitely, the State of New Jersey considered identity theft as a serious crime and covered under the statute of Wrongful Impersonation (N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17), as indicated by the police authority of the state.  When talking about the extent of this particular crime, it can range from the Disorderly Person’s offense if the theft was able to have a victim of at least 5 or more people already. This can seriously put the involved person in a long-term sentence and penalties.

Aside from the existing law of the state, it is as well possible to coordinate with the Credit Reporting Bureaus and get the best help. In most cases, these agencies can prevent the thefts from using credit cards by requesting a “Flagged with a fraud alert” that will monitor the involved accounts.

New Jersey has different guidelines and laws that can deal with identity thefts. However, it is still the responsibility of the citizens to become more cautious on their own personal information to avoid any compromised issue.

Researchers Proves Sound Waves can Hack Smartphones, Other Devices

Based on the recent studies when using a Fitbit monitoring device, it may be possible to include additional methods to allow somebody counter the device. Unfortunately, this kind of added security loophole might put the user in danger because there are possible harms with the advancing technology we have today.

From the shared information through the, the idea to consider using a security loophole appears to be safer when allowing somebody to counter the monitoring of a Fitbit device. On the other hand, there are potential dangers in doing this kind of method as explained by some researchers who studied about our continuous developing technology.

According from the report of a team composed of researchers who are expert in computer security, they discovered the possible harm of allowing other people to control or influence such devices using small accelerometers from fitness monitors, smart phones and vehicles. They attempted to include bogus methods to a fitness monitoring device created by Fitbit and begin playing a file that contain “malicious” music through the speaker of a smart phone to control the accelerometer of the phone.

With this kind of method, they successfully hindered the software depending on the phone such as radio-controlled application, which control a toy car.

“It’s like the opera singer who hits the note to break a wine glass, only in our case, we can spell out words” and enter commands rather than just shut down the phone, said Kevin Fu, an author of the paper, who is also an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan and the chief executive of Virta Labs, a company that focuses on cybersecurity in health care. “You can think of it as a musical virus,” as quoted by the based on the research information of the researchers.

In line with this, the researching team also believed that the continuing popularity of companies that produce self-driving vehicles might reveal unknown vulnerabilities in case an attacker decided to sabotage the systems they use to control the vehicles remotely. This is the exact reason why consumers ought to be willing to learn more about the kind of technology we have these days.

On the other hand, the group of expert researchers from the University of South Carolina and University of Michigan stated that this kind of concern in computer security is not a huge matter to consider. It only proves that the challenges in cyber-security have a slight window to the unexpected hindrances when somebody interfered to the existing system of a device.

The shared information likewise explained about the functions of accelerometers wherein they consider them as important components to determine the acceleration of a particular gadget, vehicle or computer. They also consider them as Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) that can determine the distance measurement of a person who uses a Fitbit fitness monitoring device when running.

In line with this issue, there had been other research studies that proved this kind of vulnerability before. The Stanford University in 2014 demonstrated that it is possible to use an accelerometer as a rudimentary microphone.

They will hand the research document at the IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy on April in Paris, France.

Facebook Bans Developers From Performing Surveillance Following Activist Protests

(March 14, 2017)Facebook banned apps that could potentially be used for surveillance. This came in following protests by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) California Chapter and other related organizations.

Likewise, Facebook-owned Instagram is also included. The two social media platforms have updated its policy regarding the subject. According to a note written by Rob Sherman, Facebook’s Deputy Chief Privacy Officer, they are adding language to their Facebook and Instagram platform policies to precisely explain that app developers cannot use any data gathered from them (Facebook and Instagram) to offer tools that could potentially be used for surveillance.

The Policy Page for developers has been modified with the language prohibiting the use of any apps for surveillance. Sherman commended and thanked the community leaders working with Facebook for the past months, and brought the attention of the public to the issue. He named these “community leaders| the American Civil Liberties Union of California, Center for Media Justice, and the Color of Change.

Since last fall, the organizations have started advocating changes. They pressured another social media platform, Twitter, to split with Geofeedia and Media Sonar. Geofeedia and Media Sonar are companies responsible for directing the social media information of activists to law enforcement.

Facebook’s Immediate Intervention To Prevent Surveillance

The organizations praised Facebook’s decision, but also said more work must be done to “set robust systems” of enforcement. As evidenced by the records gathered by the ACLU last year, 20 police departments, district attorneys and sheriffs, located in California have gained advantage of social media surveillance tools.

Brandi Collins, Color of Change’s campaign director, said they praise Facebook and Instagram for taking a step. She called on companies who claim to respect diversity and justice to likewise support them and do what is needed to be done to restrict invasive social media surveillances from being used to pinpoint Black and Brown people coming from communities with low income rate. At the same time, California ACLU’s Nicole Ozer said that it is now more than ever. They expect companies to shut down any surveillance tools and ensure no one can use these platforms to target activists and people of color.

Meanwhile, Brennan Center for Justice, which is based in New York, publicized an investigation of 151 U.S. cities, counties as well as law enforcement departments. They have spent over $10,000 worth of software to observe social media for activists, including Black Lives Matters. They used public records to collect the list.

RT News Accused of Manipulating Algorithm Results from Google

From the statement of a United State senator, it appears that he is pinpointing Russia as responsible in manipulating the algorithm results coming from search engine giant Google. He added that the content is to advertise the stories of which RT News and other Russia-based news published online.

In line with this issue, the editor-in-chief of RT mentioned that the senator must learn on how search engines function online before making accusations about manipulations.

Top Democrat on Senate Intelligence and Virginia Senator Mark Warner believed that Russia has something to do with the tempering of the algorithm results from Google in order to advertise the stories, which they published through RT News and other Russia-based news websites, according from the report through

Warner revealed his statement through “Face the Nation” when interviewed by CBS on Sunday.

As quoted by the report he said, “We saw manipulation of certain algorithms, so that if you Googled certain items, you got Russia news, [RT] News, other false news. We saw the selective hacking into DNC and individuals that then tried to leak that information to benefit Mr. Trump.” 

Unfortunately, RT News editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan did not hide his frustration against the good senator. She immediately responded the accusations of Warner to clear their company about the issue.

“Somebody please tell the US Senator how internet search engines work. Or I’ll haunt his dreams in the guise of a bear – this could give him a heart attack!” said Simonyan on Tuesday.

However, this particular issue is not the first time because there are reports wherein they accused the media from Russia of illegal Internet manipulations, the news added. From the revealed information about the accusation, they are spreading misleading information and hacking data as part of their propaganda online.

One of the most intriguing news is that they accused Russia in intruding the US presidential race in America to make sure she will not win the election by publishing false information, which particularly involved the RT News. However, it appears that the allegations are baseless and proved that Donald Trump is the real winner.

Just recently, the group of Emmanuel Macron is accusing the Russian Sputnik news and RT news agencies because of spreading “fake information about the presidential election in France. Unfortunately, the group did not able to support their accusations in terms of proving the involvement of the reports coming from RT.

Nonetheless, it is however important to investigate the accusations to make sure that no news manipulations will transpire. This is regardless if the accusation of the involved US senator is provable or not.