Friday, October 28, 2016

Donald Trump’s twofold strategy to win the election—Trump’s own electoral map, and his attempts to suppress voters


This is an amazing—if not frightening—election. Amazing that anyone as unqualified as Donald Trump is the presidential nominee of a major party. Amazing that Trump has no policies only stated goals, most of which are offensive not to mention unrealistic (e.g., deporting 11 million "illegals," building a wall on our southern border, changing our foreign alliances like NATO, banning Muslims from entering the USA, etc.). Frightening because Trump has no government experience whatsoever. He is a New York City real estate developer, and he does not even have a good newspaper knowledge of what presidents can and cannot do with our highest office. He has virtually no true understanding whatsoever of how Washington works.

Frightening also because Trump is an authoritarian personality, which makes him unsuited for the Oval Office. Trump is so taken with himself he is unable to acknowledge that he is not qualified for the job; he thinks he can fake it until he figures it out. Or that he can hire people—of course having them all sign nondisclosure agreements—who can guide him until he understands the job. Unfortunately, it does not work that way and our nation's enemies are not going to give him a grace period to learn on the job. Therefore, national security experts from both parties have publicly declared he must not become president.

The only reason that Trump has not been shut out of any chance whatsoever of winning the White House, and remains competitive with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, is Republicans have spent the last 35 years trying to destroy Hillary Clinton. While they failed, they have confused enough people to seriously tarnish her. Trashing her began when she became the First Lady of Arkansas, the wife of the governor. When the Clinton partnership arrived on the national stage, and President Clinton gave his wife responsibility to develop a national healthcare program, she became a serious and more focused target of conservatives. Indeed, there was (and still is) "a vast right-wing conspiracy" devoted to destroying Bill and Hillary Clinton.

If Donald Trump wins the election, this country will have a national disaster of unprecedented dimensions. The blame for this calamity is on the mainstream media (e.g., The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News) which gave Trump endless free coverage during the Republican primary contests (where competent candidates were ignored to cover his more interesting shenanigans), coverage which has extended into the general election. And that same news media has made a great issue out of Hillary Clinton's uses of a private email server as secretary of state, a totally bogus scandal of no consequence whatsoever, ignoring that her predecessor Colin Powell used private email and the Bush II administration "lost" 22 MILLION emails.

Voting is now underway, but no one knows for certain how it will end on November 8, 2016. For example, while Hillary is leading by varying amounts in all the legitimate polling, nobody thinks her victory is a sure thing. For example: Michael Moore: Here's why Trump will win election – WND; Stop it with the Clinton coronation. Trump can still win – CNBC; Why Trump can still win and most likely will win this election – Daily Kos; Yes, Trump can still win this election –

Donald Trump knows he is a longshot, yet he believes he is still very much in the race. We now have evidence of his thinking, why he is still in the game. He recently released an electoral map as part of his fund-raising efforts, which is instructive, and Bloomberg Businessweek was able to look inside the Trump bunker in San Antonio, where the number crunchers operate. Let's examine both.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Over 43 Million Weebly Accounts Hacked; Foursquare Also Hit By Data Breach

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Ex-NSA Contractor Stole 50 TB of Classified Data; Includes Top-Secret Hacking Tools Thursday

Almost two months ago, the FBI quietly arrested NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III for stealing an enormous number of top secret documents from the intelligence agency.

Now, according to a court document filed Thursday, the FBI seized at least 50 terabytes of data from 51-year-old Martin that he siphoned from government computers over two decades.

The stolen data that are at least 500 million pages of government records includes top-secret information about "national defense." If all data stolen by Martin found indeed classified, it would be the largest NSA heist, far bigger than Edward Snowden leaks.

According to the new filing, Martin also took "six full bankers' boxes" worth of documents, many of which were marked "Secret" and "Top Secret." The stolen data also include the personal information of government employees. The stolen documents date from between 1996 through 2016.
"The document appears to have been printed by the Defendant from an official government account," the court documents read. "On the back of the document are handwritten notes describing the NSA's classified computer infrastructure and detailed descriptions of classified technical operations."

Former NSA Insider Could Be Behind The Shadow Brokers

It's not clear exactly what Martin allegedly stole, but The New York Times reported Wednesday that the stolen documents also included the NSA's top secret hacking tools posted online by a supposed hacking group, calling itself Shadow Brokers, earlier this year.

Earlier this summer, Shadow Brokers claimed to have infiltrated NSA servers and stolen enormous amounts of data, including working exploits and hacking tools.

The NY Times report suggests that the FBI has found forensic evidence that the hacking tools and cyber-weapons posted online by the alleged hacking group had actually been on a contractor's machine.

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Massive DDoS Attack Against Dyn DNS Causes Major Outages to Popular Sites

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Inside The History Documentary Every 'Hamilton' Fan Will Want To See


Just over three years ago, filmmaker Alex Horwitz decided to make a documentary. He didn't know exactly what he was documenting ― at that point, it could have been a concept album or maybe a show. But Horwitz did know that whatever his college pal Lin-Manuel Miranda was cooking up in 2013, he wanted to be the one behind the camera capturing it all.

Fast forward to today, and Horwitz's "Hamilton's America" film, produced by Radical Media, is the behind-the-scenes passport musical fans have been waiting for. It does indeed follow Miranda as he perfects the songs and performances that make up "Hamilton," the theater phenomenon that's arguably become the center of gravity for pop culture in 2016. It moves from backstage on Broadway to the research actors embarked upon to craft their characters. But it's hardly, as Horwitz was quick to point out in an interview with The Huffington Post, a typical making-of.

"That movie has been made, several times. It's been made about Lin," Horwitz noted, citing Radial Media's "In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams," a documentary about Miranda's first Tony-winning production, a story of a company of young, unknown performers putting on a make-it or break-it show. Instead, "Hamilton's America" would be about history ― "How Hamilton the man comes to life through whatever it is you're doing," Horwitz pitched Miranda. 

To tell that story, Horwitz recruited not only a gang of "Hamilton" insiders from the cast and creative crew, but also a brigade of politicians and historians capable of drawing parallels between the very real theatrics of two centuries ago and the political maelstrom of today. From Elizabeth Warren to President Barack Obama to a famed historian who refers to Alexander Hamilton as an "asshole," the resulting film centers on creative writing's ability to bring the past back to life.

The day after the first presidential debate of this year, we spoke with Horwitz over the phone. Ahead of the last presidential debate of the season ― and the PBS premiere of "Hamilton's America" on Oct. 21 ― here's what the filmmaker had to say about rap battles, George Washington, and Miranda's unchanging personality.


I want to talk a little bit about the politicians you speak with in the documentary. How did you choose who you would interview?

I'll answer with a negative first: I knew I wanted to interview politicians, but I knew I wanted to stay away from the current political season; I wanted to stay away from current presidential candidates. I was very deliberate in getting politicians from both sides of the aisle evenly. There's a treasury secretary from each side of the aisle. There's a prominent member of Congress from each side of the aisle. And we were very fortunate to get a president from each side of the aisle. So that was important, because I do think it's a film about politics, but it's not a political film itself. I wanted all of these interviewers to reflect on history and political philosophy a bit, but not to talk about contemporary issues, other than by way of mentioning how connected the conversation of today is to the political conversation of 200 years ago or more.

As to the specific names ― it might be obvious to anyone who sees the movie, but I just kind of shot for the moon. If you were to ask someone to name two very prominent members of Congress, it's very likely you're going to get Paul Ryan and Elizabeth Warren on that list. So I just kind of went for people I thought would speak well, were informed on history, and were in the public eye. Because, usually in historical documentaries, when you cut to an expert, it is someone you don't instantly recognize. The cliche was, when we were watching those documentaries in high school, was that it was time to be bored by a person I don't care about. But if I can ride the wave of goodwill from the musical "Hamilton" toward the offices of some very prominent people like Elizabeth Warren and Paul Ryan, I'll take it. I think they just do a lot to immediately grab your attention.

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Donald Trump Booed After Attacking Clinton at Catholic Charity Dinner

The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, an annual charity event that has long been a bastion of civility in an otherwise partisan political world, was disrupted by booing at the Waldorf-Astoria Thursday night as Donald Trump offered up a cruel roast of Hillary Clinton, drawing jeers from the otherwise genteel crowd.

It was an unusually awkward affair, by all accounts. It is a longstanding election-year tradition for both major party presidential candidates to be invited to attend the white-tie gala, where each takes the opportunity to give a lighthearted speech, gently ribbing themselves (and their opponents) in the spirit of former New York governor Al Smith, the first Catholic presidential nominee. "The purpose of the Al Smith Dinner is to show both our country and our Church at their best," Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, wrote in a blog post in 2012 defending his decision to invite President Barack Obama, despite his support for abortion rights. "People of faith gathered in an evening of friendship, civility, and patriotism, to help those in need, not to endorse either candidate."

Right out of the gate, however, Trump, misread the room. "They've had me to their homes, they've introduced me to their children, I've become their best friends in many instances," he said, referring to the Who's Who of Manhattan elite in the room before him. "They've asked for my endorsement and they always wanted my money. And even called me really a dear, dear friend. But then suddenly, decided when I ran for president as a Republican, that I've always been a no-good, rotten, disgusting scoundrel. And they totally forgot about me." The response was notably silent.

Trump did land several jokes about his modesty ("In fact many people tell me that modesty is perhaps my best quality"), his "nasty woman" remark ("I don't think so badly of Rosie O'Donnell anymore"), and the mainstream media attacking him unfairly. "You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it—it's fantastic. They think she's absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech, and people get on her case." For a moment, those following along on Twitter were ready to concede that the real-estate mogul had some decent comedic chops.

But Trump, continuing to be Trump, veered back into campaign mode soon afterwards. "Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission," he said at one point, to an uncomfortable crowd. "How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate Commission? Pretty corrupt. Hillary is, and has been, in politics since the 70s. What's her pitch? The economy is busted? The government's corrupt? Washington is failing? 'Vote for me. I've been working on these problems for 30 years. I can fix it', she says."

The hardest joke, however, nearly turned the crowd against him. "Hillary believes that it is vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private," he said at one point, referring to her leaked speeches, drawing boos from the audience. "That's O.K., I don't know who they're angry at, Hillary, you or I," Trump continued. "For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics."

Clinton's speech was more calibrated, mocking the embarrassing details about her life spilled by WikiLeaks ("it's a treat for all of you too, because usually I charge a lot for speeches like this"), while still going after Trump. "You know, come to think of it, it's amazing I'm up here after Donald. I didn't think he'd be O.K. with a peaceful transition of power. And, Donald, after listening to your speech, I will also enjoy listening to Mike Pence deny that you ever gave it."

She also joked, to Trump's increasing discomfort, about his ties to Russia: "Donald really is as healthy as a horse, you know, the one Vladimir Putin rides around on"—and, of course, his widely panned appearances at the debates. "Donald wanted me drug-tested before last night's debate. And look, I've got to tell you, I am so flattered that Donald thought I used some sort of performance enhancer. Now, actually, I did. It's called preparation."

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Biden: I’d Take Trump ‘Behind the Gym’

A fired-up Joe Biden went after Donald Trump on Friday, saying he would take the Republican presidential nominee "behind the gym" if the two were still in high school. The vice president was responding to Trump's lewd comments in which he bragged about using his celebrity status to sexually assault women. Since then, 10 women have come forward saying Trump acted inappropriately toward them. Trump has denied the allegations. "What a disgusting assertion for anyone to make," Biden said to a roaring crowd. "The press always asks me, 'don't I wish I were debating him.' No, I wish we were in high school—I could take him behind the gym. That's what I wish."

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Ivanka Trump’s brand: associated from luxury to racism, misogyny, and white-supremacist swamps

There was a certain pathos to Ivanka Trump's appearance at Fortune Magazine's "Most Powerful Women" summit this week. She waxed defensive, then dismayed, at her father's crude talk about groping women. She lamented that the "vicious" media, which for decades served her father so well, somehow just doesn't get the real him. She insisted she doesn't weigh in on strategy or policy, except for that maternity plan she pitched then made a commercial about. She brooded that somehow, people have gotten the crazy idea that she is a campaign surrogate (a Wednesday text message to Trump supporters begins, "Hi, it's Ivanka…"). And she raised the curtain on what's sure to be a concern at the next Trump family gathering: the runaway dumpster fire that's burning the Trump brand to cinders.

"I saw on the front cover of The New York Times a story talking about how the Trump brand was being decimated due to the campaign," she said at the Fortune forum. "Our team had provided statistics as it relates to our hotel company, for example, showing traffic patterns and actual analytics and data. They insisted on using quotes from random people. I have no idea where they called."

They could have called FortuneMagazine itself. Or Bloomberg, which are among the financial media companies whose analyses suggest the Trump brand is in trouble, if not in ruins. From what we know of his finances, after going belly-up in the mid-1990s, Trump shifted from real estate development as a core business, to marketing. The product he decided to sell? Donald Trump. And he set about affixing his surname to everything from hotels to golf courses to board games.

Trump markets Trump-themed products to three kinds of people: the affluent who can afford to purchase condos or stay in luxury hotels with his name on them; businesses and organizations who rent out his golf courses, hotel venues, or Mar-a-Lago for events; and aspirational everymen who want to feel richer by swigging some Trump water or wearing a Mexican-made Trump suit.

The first group, according to the polls, can't stand Trump, whose run for president has rebranded him from reality-show bon vivant to racist, woman-groping business failure and tax cheat.

The second group risks boycotts and protests if they associate with him.

The third can't generally afford the inflated room rates at properties that are typically located in blue states with few Trump voters. And the broader marketing audience for Trump products includes the people he has turned off with his abominable campaign: women, Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, and college-educated white suburbanites.

A peek at a 2008 contract proposal from the Trump Organization, obtained from a source close to the enterprise, reveals how the Trump family trades on the perceived value of the name.

The proposal from Eric Trump to an overseas luxury-property developer, stipulates that Trump Organization licensing deals contained three basic elements. The first is the initial fee, in the millions of dollars, upon execution of the contract. The second is a percentage "of the gross sales price for each saleable real-estate unit sold (including all parking spaces, commercial units, and other features of the building that will be sold)." The third is an additional "incentive fee" that amounts to a premium paid to the Trump Organization for every dollar above the base sales price that the housing units sell for, in increments of $1,000. The higher the premium the developer charges over the basic price due to the Trump name, the higher the percentage "incentive fee" that's attached.

"[T]he Trump name is critical to obtaining a premium over market prices," Eric Trump tells the prospective partner, noting that the premiums due to the Trump Organization "vary as prices escalate—for instance, a 20 percent fee from $1,000-$1,100 per square foot will escalate to a 30 percent payment from $1,100-$1,200 per square foot, etc.); once again, the exact % is subject to negotiation."

It's tough to see what kind of premium the Trump Organization could charge today, or even whether developers will seek deals to slap the Trump name on the side of their buildings.

For Ivanka, the damage could be twofold: both reducing her income from the Trump Organization, where she is an executive, and spreading the damage to her own brand.

The former model and father's favorite—sometimes in the creepiest possible way—has spent years building her side business based on an appeal to young working women.

Ivanka's website dispenses tips on work-life balance. Her clothing, shoes, and handbags, manufactured in China and Vietnam, are available for sale on her site, as well as at Nordstrom, Amazon, and other online retailers. The line reportedly did $100 million in business last year.

But that business, like her father's, is based on Ivanka's last name. She hasn't developed a first-name-only brand, like Madonna or BeyoncĂ©. Her surname is how she makes a living, and how her brothers and their father do, too. So the iceberg sinking the Trump campaign stands to cost her and her family money.

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Why Today’s Attacks on the Internet Are Just the Start

Thanks to powerful new botnets, hackers now have the ability to knock major companies—even whole countries—offline.

10.21.16 7:25 PM ET

Back in September Bruce Schneier, an internationally renowned security technologist, wrote about hackers probing the internet for points of weakness in an attempt to have the ability to take the entire net offline.

A lot of people blew that article off at the time as unrealistic. That was before today's attacks which temporarily took down some of the biggest names on the internet.

People have tried to do this before, attacking the root DNS (Domain Name System) servers — the yellow pages of the internet — and failing. DNS underpins all our web browsing, the glue that points us to each of our favorite internet websites.

What's happening today is hackers are explicitly targeting a company called Dyn with denial of service attacks — where a large amount of corrupt data is sent to overwhelm a company. Dyn are a cloud-based Internet Performance Management company, who provide something called "DNS services" to their customers. If DNS is like a telephone book, where you type in and get directed to the correct internet server, Dyn is the host  for about a quarter-million of these phone book entries. That's why big websites like Twitter and Reddit are misbehaving today.

What has happened over the last few years is businesses have consolidated to professional managed DNS providers, ironically in part due to the difficulty in mitigating denial of service attacks.  This has created new centralized platforms for hackers to target.

And they are being targeted. Within the past month there was a distributed denial of service attack which totalled over 1,000 gigabits per second of traffic. That's more bandwidth than many countries have. It's a staggering volume of traffic, multiple times more than anything seen previously. (In 2015, Arbor networks reported what was then the world's biggest DDoS attack: 334 gigabits per second.)

This is aiming to become the new normal. It is extremely difficult and costly to defend against — only a small number of companies can do it currently.

These attacks are driven, in part, by the "Internet of Things"—devices such as CCTV cameras and DVRs being directly attached to the internet, with poor security. Attackers are hacking these devices, inside homes and businesses across the world, to create "botnets"—a herd of infected devices, which they can use to launch attacks.  Criminals are also selling attacks from these botnets for cheap prices, allowing anybody with a wallet to launch attacks against targets.

There are many examples, but here is one.  This is a map of undersea cables, connecting the internet together across countries:


Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking


update 10.21.16: After we published this story, Google reached out to say that it doesn't currently use Gmail keywords to target web ads. We've updated the story to reflect that.

When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company's "number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products."

And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick's massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts.

But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand – literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits "may be" combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools.

The change is enabled by default for new Google accounts. Existing users were prompted to opt-in to the change this summer.

The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on your name and other information Google knows about you. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.

The move is a sea change for Google and a further blow to the online ad industry's longstanding contention that web tracking is mostly anonymous. In recent years, Facebook, offline data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their troves of web tracking data with people's real names. But until this summer, Google held the line.

"The fact that DoubleClick data wasn't being regularly connected to personally identifiable information was a really significant last stand," said Paul Ohm, faculty director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law.

"It was a border wall between being watched everywhere and maintaining a tiny semblance of privacy," he said. "That wall has just fallen."

Google spokeswoman Andrea Faville emailed a statement describing Google's change in privacy policy as an update to adjust to the "smartphone revolution"

"We updated our ads system, and the associated user controls, to match the way people use Google today: across many different devices," Faville wrote. She added that the change "is 100% optional–if users do not opt-in to these changes, their Google experience will remain unchanged." (Read Google's entire statement.)

Existing Google users were prompted to opt-into the new tracking this summer through a request with titles such as "Some new features for your Google account."

The "new features" received little scrutiny at the time. Wired wrote that it "gives you more granular control over how ads work across devices." In a personal tech column, the New York Times also described the change as "new controls for the types of advertisements you see around the web."

Connecting web browsing habits to personally identifiable information has long been controversial.

Privacy advocates raised a ruckus in 1999 when DoubleClick purchased a data broker that assembled people's names, addresses and offline interests. The merger could have allowed DoubleClick to combine its web browsing information with people's names. After an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, DoubleClick sold the broker at a loss.

In response to the controversy, the nascent online advertising industry formed the Network Advertising Initiative in 2000 to establish ethical codes. The industry promised to provide consumers with notice when their data was being collected, and options to opt out.

Most online ad tracking remained essentially anonymous for some time after that. When Google bought DoubleClick in 2007, for instance, the company's privacy policy stated: "DoubleClick's ad-serving technology will be targeted based only on the non-personally-identifiable information."

In 2012, Google changed its privacy policy to allow it to share data about users between different Google services - such as Gmail and search. But it kept data from DoubleClick – whose tracking technology is enabled on half of the top 1 million websites – separate.

But the era of social networking has ushered in a new wave of identifiable tracking, in which services such as Facebook and Twitter have been able to track logged-in users when they shared an item from another website.

Two years ago, Facebook announced that it would track its users by name across the Internet when they visit websites containing Facebook buttons such as "Share" and "Like" – even when users don't click on the button. (Here's how you can opt out of the targeted ads generated by that tracking).

Offline data brokers also started to merge their mailing lists with online shoppers. "The marriage of online and offline is the ad targeting of the last 10 years on steroids," said Scott Howe, chief executive of broker firm Acxiom.

To opt-out of Google's identified tracking, visit the Activity controls on Google's My Account page, and uncheck the box next to "Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services." You can also delete past activity from your account.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

@chicago_police By stealing from innocents, Chicago PD amassed millions in a secret black budget for surveillance gear


Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor's office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it used to buy secret surveillance gear.

Civil forfeiture is widely considered to be an invitation to abuse and exploitation, and Chicago's system is especially pernicious, as the police get to keep the proceeds from seizure, and do not have to disclose or account for the money.

The full scope of the program was revealed in late September by the Chicago Reader, who worked with Muckrock and the Lucy Parsons Lab to file public records requests that yielded more than 1,000 pages' worth of CPD documents.

The documents revealed that forfeiture is disproportionately used against poor people, especially people of color, who lack the legal resources to fight the theft of their property -- and who are most vulnerable to being deprived of a vehicle, or cash savings, or other property. It also revealed that the CPD used the money to buy Stingrays and other mass-surveillance gear -- by using its secret budget, the CPD was able to avoid scrutiny and oversight by the city.

In addition to surveillance gear, CPD used the money to pay officers' cell-phone bills. They collected so much cash they had to buy a bill-counting machine (purchased with money from forfeiture, of course).

This is the latest corruption scandal to hit the CPD. Last year, the Guardian revealed that the Chicago PD maintained a secret "black site" where thousands of suspects had been kidnapped and tortured (the Chicago Reader reveals that some of the surveillance equipment at that site was purchased with funds from civil forfeiture). Later, the independent Accountability Task Force called the CPD "racist, corrupt and broken." In September, the city settled a $2M lawsuit brought by whistleblowers from the force who'd been hounded and threatened and then fired for reporting a gang of CPD officers who extorted protection money from drug dealers and framed their competitors, sending them to jail for long sentences. Last week, a report revealed that 25,000 CPD officers had generated 125,000 complaints.

On November 30, 2012, Roti authorized a request for forfeiture funds to pay for wiretapping equipment made by the technology firm Pen-Link. The request included a bold-print disclaimer, similar to ones that appear on all such secret requests for forfeiture-funded technology obtained by the Reader: "These items are of a covert nature and knowledge of their existence should be kept within the Bureau of Organized Crime and limited to sworn personnel." In total, CPD has paid more than $411,000 in forfeiture money to Pen-Link since 2010.

CPD first began to use surveillance devices that track license plates and catalog the locations of passing vehicles in real-time in 2006. The technology, known as Automatic License Plate Readers, was heralded by then-CPD superintendent Phil Cline. Speaking at the City Club in September of that year, Cline boasted that in the first three months of using the readers, CPD had "checked more than 142,000 license plates."

But since then, CPD has concealed the purchases of the cameras themselves, as well its subscriptions to national databases that collect and sell the location data gleaned from private and law-enforcement ALPR systems. An April 2015 e-mail sent by a sergeant in CPD and the city's shared technology unit indicates that four of the department's ALPR units were paid for with forfeiture proceeds. A stand-alone ALPR system, also purchased with forfeiture money, was installed at Homan Square in 2010, according to a payment sheet obtained by the Reader.

Inside the Chicago Police Department's secret budget [Joel Handley, Jennifer Helsby and Freddy Martinez/Chicago Reader]

(Image: Pablo Iglesias)

(via Techdirt)

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