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AM Prep-Cyber Corner

December 26, 2018


MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — GoFundMe says it has refunded everyone who contributed to a campaign involving a homeless veteran from Philadelphia who prosecutors allege schemed with a New Jersey couple to scam donors out of more than $400,000.

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne says “all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded” and the organization is cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Burlington County prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that Johnny Bobbitt conspired with Katelyn McClure and her boyfriend at the time, Mark D’Amico, to concoct a feel-good story about Bobbitt giving McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas. They raised $400,000, which authorities say was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

Whithorne said campaigns involving misuse “make up less than one tenth of one percent” of all GoFundMe campaigns, but such behavior “is unacceptable” and “has consequences.”


NEW YORK (AP) — A civil rights group has sued the U.S. government, saying it needs more information about surveillance of Americans’ phone and financial records to guide the public debate over what will happen when the law that regulates the scrutiny expires next year.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the National Security Agency, the director of national intelligence, the CIA and the Justice Department on Friday in Manhattan federal court, seeking information about a program that collects records during investigations into terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.

According to the lawsuit, the government has not responded to requests made last month for information about its surveillance of Americans under a 2015 law. Congress used the law to set boundaries on the NSA’s bulk collection of call records and other data after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents revealing extensive government surveillance.

The law requires annual reports to Congress from the intelligence community and forces the government to seek a court order to collect call records to obtain intelligence.


Confusion, anger grow as Congo faces Sunday’s election

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Questions are being raised about the emergence of technology in Congo’s troubled election set for Sunday.

The opposition has urged mobile phone companies to disable SIM cards provided for voting machines as concerns grow about how the ballots of some 40 million people will be counted and shared.

This vast Central African country for the first time is using the voting machines as it chooses a successor to longtime President Joseph Kabila (kah-BEE’-lah) after more than two years of election delays. In the past week some electoral workers said they still hadn’t seen, much less been trained on, the machines.

Among those who have been trained, a serious concern has emerged: Several electoral workers allege the voting machines will be used to send results electronically, opening the door to possible manipulation. Congo also has little reliable electricity.

Update hourly