US Memo on Drone Strikes vs. Al-Qaida Memo on How to Avoid Them

A bit off topic of Internet law, the discovery by the Associated Press of an Al Qaida memorandum on how to avoid detection/death from American drones is a technology story worth discussing.  The news coverage on this has been bleak.skynet

On the other hand, there has been plenty of coverage of the U.S. memo entitled the Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against U.S. Citizen Who Is A Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa’ida or an Associated Force.

So now you can read both memos, back-to-back.

The Al Qaida memo has seemingly not hit the news yet  — google “Al Qaida memo drones” and only one story appears in Fast Company, Terrorists May Know How to Avoid Drones, Memo Says.

If you thought that Al Qaida had a lack of technical experience, this memo enumerates 21 ways to avoid drone detection (starting with hiding from under a tree and then it moves towards jamming frequencies).  There is even a discussion of the “War of the Drones” and how, according to Al Qaida, the US moved from F-16 fighters to less expensive drones.  Shockingly, it discusses using a $3,000 system called Skygrabber which you can buy off the internet at Skygrabber.com.  There is a YouTube video showing how Skygrabber can intercept (or at least in 2009) Drone communications.

For context of the US memo, Michael Isakoff’s (NBC) article on the revelation of that report is here.

Special thanks to Gizmodo, which brought the Al Qaida story to our attention (their article includes both the original Arabic as well as link to the English translation, if you are so minded to check that out).

1st Amendment
“Valid Grounds for Employment Action” Deemed Not Enough for Stalking Injunction under F.S. 784.048 (Klenk v. Ransom)

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal held today that a respondent’s behavior may be enough for an “employment action” (presumably, for termination due to sexual harassment) but, in this case, was not enough for the “exacting standard” for an injunction against stalking under Florida Statute 748.048. The case is Joseph …

Data Breach
U.S. v. Yujing Zhang — April 8, 2019 Filing of Passport, Articles, Receipt, Ad for Mar A Lago event

The unusual case of U.S. v. Yujing Zhang continues in the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida. On the same day as a well-covered April 8 pre-trial detention hearing, the Defendant filed a number of documents: Two (?) passports and a visa; Receipt; Article (translated): “Trump said he is …

4th Amendment
Can A State Search Cellphone of Person on Probation Without Warrant or Probable Cause? (Florida v. Mark Leroy Phillips, Sr.)

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal considered the question whether, under the Fourth Amendment, the State of Florida could search the cellphone of a man on probation for child abuse convictions (and who was a registered sex offender) when there was no warrant or reasonable suspicion. The court, in Florida …