Blake Dowling: FBI gets busy in Tallahassee - Florida Politics

Blake Dowling: FBI gets busy in Tallahassee

After a 2-year investigation in Tallahassee, the FBI is getting down to business.

At this point, no one has been proven guilty of anything. But that hasn’t stopped the circus. Step down! Guilty! Off with their heads! Schemer! Dilly Dilly to the Pit of Misery with you!

Points of order to consider. When on the front page for something devious, is it a media requirement to pick the most unflattering picture available? The ayes have it.

Also, buckle up, as this process will take a long, long time. In Pennsylvania, a city corruption case has been dragging on for years.

There will be plenty of time for snarky front pages; don’t come out of the gate too fast, folks. But this is the world we are in.

Is our Capital City full of corruption? Is this the tip of the iceberg? This week, WCTV asked me to weigh in on the story.

My first response — no, thank you.

But the reporter insisted her story was more about the tech side of the situation. OK, I’m on the bus; I’ll buy a ticket and take that ride.

She wanted to know if, during investigations, Apple and other cloud providers are cooperative.

Absolutely, they are. Dropbox.com — a common cloud storage company — offers a graph of government requests over a 5-year period. It’s slightly on the uptick.

Politicians aren’t the only ones who text things they shouldn’t be, so are everyday folks, as well drug dealers and cybercriminals.

While cloud providers have a responsibility to protect client data, they also have a responsibility to cooperate with law enforcement whenever requested.

During the battle between Apple and the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter’s phone, the landscape became unclear. It was a different situation. The FBI wanted Apple to hack into one individual device. Not access cloud files or info, but what was on his phone, which they could not get into. At least at first.

“No thanks,” the company said, as that meant developing a hack which — if misplaced — could potentially make every iPhone vulnerable. A battle waged.

Read more in The Washington Post.

With that, this case will go on for a long time. More names will be thrown out there. Hopefully, most will be vindicated.

However, if the FBI was undercover on the case for almost two years, someone was up to something.

I believe FBI policy dictates that every few months, agents must show evidence gathered. If there is something to it, the operation is funded for more time (allegedly).

So … as a rule of thumb: don’t text, email, photograph anything you wouldn’t want your kindergarten teacher to read. Don’t pose for pics with the “hang loose” hand symbol and be wary of small people in Las Vegas hotel rooms with paddles (and cameras).

The end.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He can be reached at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com.

Blake Dowling is chief business development officer at Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at dowlingb@aegisbiztech.com or at www.aegisbiztech.com
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