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Uptick in Police Surveillance Tech Sparks New Opportunity

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To some people, few things are more violating than government surveillance.

But with tracking down criminals getting harder than ever, local police are getting desperate.

Sometimes that involves taking matters into their own hands and loading up on NSA-style tech.

One spy device in their arsenal is a computer that can impersonate a cellphone tower. So it can be used to locate and infiltrate a mobile device.

That might sound like a blatant invasion of privacy. Rest assured, however, the state appeals court ruled this kind of spying illegal without a warrant in 2016.

But that’s not the most disturbing tech at police disposal.

One local government just paid a small fortune for an even more powerful spy tool.

Wall Street Daily Senior Analyst Jonathan Rodriguez breaks down these controversial — and highly investable — technologies below.


Local PD Goes Full-NSA to Catch the Bad Guys

In a world where technology advancements outpace law enforcement, police around the world are struggling mightily to nab criminals.

Using encrypted computers, mobile phones — even using currencies like Bitcoin to do business under the radar — criminals are savvier than ever before.

Tired of being burned by the bad guys, police departments have invested big money into high-end spy gear.

Not James Bond gadgets, necessarily. But certainly the kind of stuff typically reserved for agencies like the NSA and the FBI.

For instance, the Baltimore City Police Department bought a cell-site simulator nearly a decade ago and used it — secretly — in at least 837 investigations, according to a USA Today report.

If you’re unfamiliar, this device — called the Stingray — tricks a cellphone into thinking it’s communicating with a real tower.

Once they’ve connected, authorities can record all the phone’s data transmission — audio, visual and internet data packets.

Using little more than a van, a laptop and the Stingray device, police can find and track a phone’s location accurately to within a few feet.

Just further north, CityLab reported that the Baltimore County Police Department purchased an even more sophisticated simulator.

The official transaction was redacted, but they were widely assumed to have purchased a “Dirt Box.”

The “Dirt Box” is a long-range cell-site simulator that can be mounted to a helicopter for increased mobility.

But there’s a catch… these devices are not precision-minded tools.

Police sweep in hundreds of unrelated cellphone signals with each scan, filtering out the signal they want.

This means that on the hunt for a suspect, an ordinary citizen’s cellphone could be under surveillance.

Still, police argue this could be the only way to catch the most tech-savvy criminals on the move.

And that’s not even the furthest they’re willing to go…

Phone Passwords Cracked Like an Egg

Baltimore City PD also has what’s called a Universal Forensics Extraction Device, or UFED.

Built by Israel-based tech security firm Cellebrite, this tool connects to a phone and — using proprietary techniques — unlocks the device.

Once the UFED has unlocked the cellphone, police can extract not just the data stored on the phone, but private cloud-based data, too.

This device is rumored to have been used by the FBI to crack the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook — the same phone that Apple Inc. famously refused to unlock in 2015.

The UFED isn’t cheap, either. They start at a mere $6,000.

Between 2008 and 2011, the Baltimore City police department spent just over $300,000 on cellphone surveillance tools alone, according to CityLab. And the Baltimore County PD shelled out $135,000 on their spy stuff.

Between those two jurisdictions, that’s nearly a half million dollars for the surveillance of 1.4 million people.

Like it or lump it, folks, this spy tech isn’t going anywhere.

In fact, CityLab reports that 27 individual police departments have already sprung for these tools. And the list grows by the day.

Here’s how you can invest in these highly coveted spy tools…

Cash in on the Spy Game

The Stingray cellphone simulator is made by defense tech giant Harris Corp. (HRS).

Over the last five years, the company’s stock has gained 146% excluding dividends — more than twice the gain of the S&P 500 over that span.

Harris has many defense contracts around the world and a growing list of Stingray clients. But with a market cap of $13 billion — Harris doesn’t represent a high-growth opportunity.

However, UFED maker Cellebrite is owned by Japanese tech conglomerate Sun Corp. (6736.T), which trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Sun Corp. sports a market cap of ¥17.3 billion, or $152.6 million— equivalent to a microcap stock here in the States.

Since 2012, the company’s shares are up 307% — nine times the gain of the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) over the same period.

And the stock still trades for less than $7 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Bottom line: If you’re looking to cash in on the next explosive growth phase of high-tech spy gear, look no further than Cellebrite owner Sun Corp.

On the hunt,

Jonathan Rodriguez
Senior Analyst, Wall Street Daily

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Cryptocurrencies

This family bet it all on bitcoin

The Dutch family of five is in the process of selling pretty much everything they own — from their 2,500-square-foot house, to their shoes – and trading it in for the popular cryptocurrency.

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This family sold everything to make a big bet on bitcoin

Didi Taihuttu, his wife, three kids and their cat bet all they have on bitcoin. The Dutch family of five is in the process of selling pretty much everything they own — from their 2,500-square-foot house, to their shoes – and trading it in for the popular cryptocurrency. They have moved to a campsite in the Netherlands, where they’re waiting for bitcoin to really take off.

It’s only been a few months, but the 39-year-old father of three says he doesn’t regret a thing. “We were just like – sell it, sell it, what can we lose? Yeah, we can lose all the material stuff. Yeah, we can lose all our money. Yeah, we don’t have three cars anymore. We don’t have the motorcycle anymore. But in the end, I think we, as a family, will still be happy and just enjoying life.”

He once mined for bitcoin, but now only trades it, along with other cryptocurrencies like ether, ripple, neo, dogecoin and XLM. The family is still in the process of liquidating assets and investing the proceeds in cryptocurrencies as they go. The income from trading is enough for food and necessities, which the family says is all it needs right now.

Source: Yolo FamilyTravel

Taihuttu’s brother, sister and in-laws call him crazy, but that hasn’t stopped them from taking their experiment public. The Taihuttus are documenting their experience on social media, and they are even taking donations in bitcoin. “A lot of people have lost their faith in the current monetary system,” he says. “And I think that cryptocurrency is a big alternative for those people.”

The family decided to make the gamble on bitcoin this summer, after seeing its swift climb this year. It’s already surpassed $5,000 a coin, and Taihuttu thinks it could quadruple by 2020. Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat, has made the same prediction.

In the last week, the value of outstanding bitcoin reached nearly $100 billion and surpassed the market value of Goldman Sachs. Some believe bitcoin’s value will reach at least $1 trillion in less than a decade.

But even with these kinds of returns, the fact remains, a speculative asset like bitcoin remains prone to seismic price moves in a very short space of time.

“We’re going through a revolution that’s changing the monetary system.”-Didi Taihuttu

Campbell Harvey, a finance professor at Duke University, says this kind of volatility is brutal. “We’re talking six times the volatility of the S&P 500 or five times the volatility of gold.” He says it has to do with the fact that this is new technology, “and it’s not easy to think about the fundamental value of a cryptocurrency.”

Those wild price swings are partly to do with the fact that cryptocurrencies aren’t backed by an asset. They’re valuable because people believe they’re valuable. In September, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “fraud,” and billionaire investor Howard Marks says bitcoin is a “pyramid scheme.”

Bitcoin’s volatility also has to do with uncertainty about government regulation. China and South Korea have enacted bans on new cryptocurrency sales. While the U.S. has yet to legislate hard and fast rules on bitcoin and other virtual currencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission warned in July that it might move to regulate new token sales.

Despite the heightened scrutiny and a lot of sleepless nights, Taihuttu says he remains a devout bitcoin enthusiast. “Money has to evolve, and it’s evolving now to cryptocurrency.”

The Yolo family

Source: Yolo Family
The Yolo family

Taihuttu’s strategy is risky. Adam White, general manager of GDAX, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, has said investors shouldn’t take on more than they can afford to lose. But Taihuttu’s motivation is about more than just cashing in on a big return; it’s about taking part in a revolution that’s transforming the world of money.

“We’re going through a revolution that’s changing the monetary system. … We are just lucky to realize that we are in the middle of it right now,” he says.

Digital assets like bitcoin or ethereum are built on a technology called blockchain, something experts believe is already changing the way we interact with money.

Part of why blockchain — the software powering bitcoin — is so powerful is because it cuts out the need for a middleman entirely. That means you don’t need a third party like a bank to clear your transactions. Instead, a decentralized network of miners all over the world handles the virtual accounting. The decentralization offered by blockchain also means that cryptocurrencies aren’t tied to any one country or government.

Some say this underlying technology holds even greater potential than the cryptocurrencies. For Taihuttu and his family that potential seems well worth the risk — even if it means having to all sleep in the same room.

“I was shocked,” says Taihuttu’s wife, Romaine. “I was like, ‘What the hell is bitcoin and crypto coin?’ It was a lot for me to handle. But then I got into it, and it made me believe it was a good change in our lives — for my children, for my husband, and for myself.”

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Trading

Here’s an Investment You Should Not Forget About

It’s pretty near impossible to build a growth portfolio without a very large weighting of technology stocks.

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Original Link : Investing Daily

It’s pretty near impossible to build a growth portfolio without a very large weighting of technology stocks. Look at any actively traded ETF containing the major tech companies like Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN)Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOG)Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), and you are looking a collection of stocks that has vastly outperformed the major market averages over the past one-, five-, and 10-year periods.

All of these stocks have strong fundamentals and near monopolies or at least leading market shares within their realms. They will maintain this grip unless the government decides to step in (some whispering about this lately but nothing more) or the companies run into major competition from Chinese counterparts.

Moreover their valuations while not cheap are not frothy, either. In contrast to 2000, when Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) was trading above 100 times earnings, not even Amazon trades at a forward P/E of about 60, with growth in the mid-20s likely over at least the next several years. Amazon’s free cash yield is positive, about 3.5 percent based on expected 2018 values, and growing faster than earnings.

But we’re not here today to praise these great tech companies but to offer an alternative, an investment that in the long run may have more potential and where you don’t have to worry about government interference or Chinese competition. No, we haven’t discovered some miracle stock – rather, we’re talking about a miracle metal. It’s one that is vital in almost all technologies and that is running up against supply constraints just as the demand for technology, from blockchains to artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things, may be on the verge of a major extended growth phase.

Moreover, this miracle metal offers not just a way to play on tech but is also prized because it is inherently beautiful, resistant to oxidation, and a wonderful hedge against inflation. We are, you may have guessed, talking about silver. Silver, which has been used as currency for at least as long as gold – many thousands of years – is still valued as a monetary investment, with about 40 percent of yearly demand coming from investors. But the other 60 or so percent comes from its many industrial uses, which are on the threshold of accelerated growth.

In the 1980s no less an investor than Warren Buffett became the world’s largest holder of silver. Once it became news that he had amassed such a large position, he stopped reporting his silver holdings and presumably sold them. Still, Buffett’s rationale for buying the metal holds true today, to an even greater extent.

Buffett said he was buying silver because demand for the metal consistently exceeded supply. Silver has a number of remarkable properties that make it a critical part of many industrial applications. The metal is the world’s best electrical conductor – even better than copper – and also the world’s best conductor of heat. And as mentioned above, it is relatively nonreactive with oxygen, which is a major reason the metal maintains its properties over time.

This combination of characteristics has made silver an essential industrial and technology metal. The keyboard I am using to write these words has silver. My smartphone may have 0.35 grams of silver, and if I lived in a house that used solar power, silver would be critical to the photovoltaic modules providing my electricity. The auto I drive may have as much as 2 to 3 ounces of silver, depending on how many connections it has and the type of windshield heater.

The point is that silver’s properties, because they are simultaneously singular and critical, translate into many uses. And in world in which technology is becoming more pervasive; in which solar has become the fastest-growing renewable energy; and in which the number of nano-connections among objects is multiplying, the industrial demand for silver is certain to surge.

Right now, as has been true since at least the 1980s, demand for silver exceeds supply, and prospects for additional supply are limited. As I pointed out in a recent interview, above-ground stocks of silver – bars and coins purchased for investment purposes – have mostly accumulated in custodian vaults. The bulk of these supplies, around 1 billion ounces, or a year’s worth of production, is held in China.

Rather than use these supplies to make up for the current supply/demand deficit, it’s likely that China will continue to accumulate the metal. That’s because the country, with its megacities that go hand in hand with a burgeoning Internet of Things, its massive AI projects, and other technologies that have begun to drive the economy, will want to have on hand as much as possible of the silver that these technologies depend on.

The bottom line is that over the next several years, silver is likely to be in extremely short supply. I would not be surprised to see the metal climb to three digits by the early part of the next decade, and I sincerely doubt that you will find many tech stocks that will outperform.

 

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Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold… Here’s Why You Should Still Own It

Bitcoin is frequently compared to gold. But it’s not an either/or proposition… And I’ll tell you why.

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Bitcoin is frequently compared to gold. But it’s not an either/or proposition… And I’ll tell you why.

Gold and bitcoin are the only two widely distributed, decentralized methods of exchanging value as currency. They have no central authority issuance, unlike U.S. dollars or any other fiat currency.

Likewise, neither bitcoin nor gold can just be “printed” at the push of a button by an anxious central banker. You have to either earn your gold by mining it, or you can pay cash for it. The same is true of bitcoin (although bitcoin miners use computers instead of picks and shovels).

But there’s one big difference between the two…

Gold is the very opposite of new technology.

Gold is a physical, tangible, and real asset. You can pick it up and feel its satisfying weight in your hand. It can’t be altered. Gold is gold. Once I own it, that’s it. I don’t need to rely on a functioning Internet. I don’t need a computer. It has pure, tangible value.

And gold has unquestionably been money for thousands of years. A gold coin can still sit in my pocket, even while I might be fending off mobs, zombies, hordes of cockroaches, or a nuclear winter.

On the other hand, bitcoin is nothing more than a code that exists somewhere on the Internet. You can’t pick it up and put it in your pocket. If you lose that code… you lose your bitcoin.

Not only that, but unlike gold, bitcoin isn’t easy to explain to the average guy on the street. The fundamentals of blockchain, and the distributed ledger systems upon which bitcoin is built, are not straightforward. It usually takes time and effort for people to understand just how much of an innovation bitcoin really is as a “trustless” mechanism for exchanging value.

(By “trustless,” I mean we don’t need to trust an intermediary to settle our transaction – we can exchange value directly and securely with one another, thanks to blockchain technology.)

Despite its benefits, most people simply can’t comprehend bitcoin and blockchain.

Gold, however, is easy to understand. Its value has stood the test of time. As a friend of mine once put it: “I prefer a currency that has survived 5,000-plus years of wars, empires, the rise and fall of countries, cold spells, hot spells, and has been universally accepted in every country of the world.”

I can’t argue with that.

No matter how big bitcoin gets, it will never be gold.

If you were to ask me which I think is more likely to be around a hundred years from now, my answer is gold… every time. Nothing has usurped it for millennia as a globally accepted medium of exchange or store of value, and I don’t think bitcoin will do so either.

But… you should still own bitcoin. Let me tell you why…

Bitcoin is the ultimate in freedom of asset ownership. The government can’t confiscate it, as the U.S. government did with gold under Executive Order 6102 in 1933.

You can cross national borders with bitcoin in your possession on a USB thumb drive… or, if you can memorize your private key, with no physical object in your possession of any kind.

Whether your bitcoin is worth $100 or $100 million, it makes no difference to how you move and store it (which is clearly not the same with gold). You don’t need a trusted middleman to send it. And you can move it around the world, securely, in a matter of minutes.

And if you’re looking for gains… bitcoin is a lot likelier than gold to be up 1,000% three years from now. Even though its price has soared over the past few years, it’s still nowhere near mainstream yet.

So gold and bitcoin both deserve a place in your portfolio.

Gold has stood the test of time and is a medium of storing value. Bitcoin’s time, on the other hand, is just beginning. Blockchain technology is the future, and when you have an opportunity to buy the future and tuck it away, you should take it.

Good investing,

Tama Churchouse

Editor’s note: Tama’s little-known bitcoin technique could potentially make you 10-50 times your money… And this week, he’s sitting down with Porter Stansberry – live from Baltimore – to reveal how it works. You’ll also hear unique predictions about bitcoin and the crypto markets. This event is completely free to attend – just tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to reserve your spot.

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