"And finally, I’m actually here today to win the ‘Most Creative Use of Tor’ award I’m actually here today to win the ‘Most Creative Use of Tor’ award," she said, followed by roars of laughter in the audience. "I really couldn’t have done it without Tor, because Tor was really the only way to manage totally untraceable browsing. I know it’s gotten a bad reputation for Bitcoin trading and buying drugs online, but I used it for BabyCenter.com."Genius, right? But not exactly foolproof. Vertesi said that by dodging advertising and traditional forms of consumerism, her activity raised a lot of red flags. When her husband tried to buy $500 worth of Amazon gift cards with cash in order to get a stroller, a notice at the Rite Aid counter said the company had a legal obligation to report excessive transactions to the authorities."Those kinds of activities, when you take them in the aggregate … are exactly the kinds of things that tag you as likely engaging in criminal activity, as opposed to just having a baby," she said.Vertesi said we need to be more aware of the information we give our servers voluntarily, and wondered if a time will ever come when we can opt out of giving personal information to the Internet.
Utah law enforcement officials searched, without a warrant, the prescription drug records of 480 public paramedics, firefighters and other personnel to try to figure out who was stealing morphine from emergency vehicles.
This type of snooping doesn’t require crypto-cracking technology or other National Security Agency spying tools disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. All it took was a law enforcement official’s hunch in this case to search every member of the Unified Fire Authority’s prescription records.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday derided the 2013 dragnet search as “shocking” and called it a “disregard for basic legal protections” to provide law enforcement with “unfettered” access to such private data.
The warrantless search of Utah’s database chronicling every controlled substance dispensed by a pharmacist resulted in charges against one paramedic that have nothing to do with the original investigation. Instead, the authorities discovered an employee whose records exhibited “the appearance of Opioid dependence” and lodged prescription fraud charges against paramedic Ryan Pyle. Now Pyle faces a maximum five-year prison sentence if convicted of the felony.
“To me, it’s outrageous government conduct,” Pyle’s attorney, Rebecca Skordas, said in a telephone interview Monday.