If you haven’t seen the amusing and disturbing piece in the Wall Street Journal this week about Black Cube, the band of former Mossad (Israeli secret service) agents, it’s worth a look.

The article explains that Black Cube’s people run around the world pretending to be people they are not, in order to investigate private,

The current fight between Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice, which is trying to execute a search warrant in a criminal matter, has been framed by Apple and its defenders as a battle over privacy.

Apple is not arguing that the information sought should never be seen by the government. The company handed over

We’ve written plenty before about Europe’s “Right to be Forgotten,” under which governments tell Google and other search engines to take down links to legal, public documents that are deemed embarrassing or inconvenient for the people involved. We thought four years ago that this problem wouldn’t go away, and we were rightrighttobeforgottenfrance.jpg.

We never

The next time an investigator tells you he can legally “ping” someone’s cell phone to figure out where they are going, run away fast.cell phone pinging.jpg

We’ve written before about the illegality of getting a friendly phone company employee to help out with cell phone tower signal data that helps to locate people. As we wrote in

The on-line world is abuzz today with news from Europe’s highest court that Google will have to start removing links to certain information that some judge or bureaucrat decides is irrelevant. Even if it’s true and lawfully posted, the governments of Europe now get to decide what’s suitable to read, case by casegoogle EU right to be forgotten.jpg.

We’re

What can facts can investigators gather without violating a person’s privacy? The answer we like to give is: whatever the law allows us to gather, but that doesn’t fully answer the question.

For one thing, privacy means very different things to different societies.privacy.jpg

Criminal records are public records in the U.S. and Canada, for instance.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that the Department of Justice had obtained confidential phone records for more than 20 telephone lines used by the staff of the Associated Press while investigating leaks of classified information.  Only days later, news surfaced that the DOJ had also accessed the phone records and emails of James Rosen,