government

Tue
19
Jan
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Google, Facebook Face News Fees

Google and Facebook could have to pay a fee to show content from Australian news organizations. The proposed laws have upset not just the tech giants, but the United States government. The Australian proposals follow a government investigation that ... concludes the two companies have too much control in the media market. It pointed to several regional newspapers closing and advertising revenue falling for publications at the same time Google and Facebook benefit from using news extracts on Google News and in Facebook posts. No Surprise Algorithm Changes Under the laws, Google and Facebook would ... (view more)

Tue
08
Dec
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Feds Snooped IP Addresses Using Website Logs

The Director of National Intelligence has confirmed the government collected visitor information from a US webpage using powers stemming from the PATRIOT Act. It's reawakened political debate about whether search and browsing history should be part ... of these powers. The argument centers on Section 215 of the act which gives the government the authority to collect "tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information." In the past that's been interpreted to include electronic records such as phone logs. ... (view more)

Thu
29
Oct
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Apple Working On Own Search Engine

Apple is reportedly working on its own search engine and may ditch its reliance on Google. The Apple tool could be pitched on the idea of increased user privacy. At the moment, Apple devices such as iPhones and software such as the Safari browser ... usually runs searches through Google by default. That's not just because Apple think it's the best search engine, but because Google pays Apple an annual fee reported to be in the region of $10 billion to be the default. (Source: ft.com ) That payment may be under threat with regulators looking into claims that such deals perpetuate an unfair ... (view more)

Wed
28
Oct
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Zoom to Completely Encrypt Video Calls

Zoom is to completely encrypt video calls at all times for most users. It will mean neither Zoom itself nor law enforcement agents or security services can access the content of calls. At the moment, Zoom encrypts the data that flows between ... individual participants on a call. However, it's Zoom's own servers which generate the encryption key issued to each participant. That means it's technically possible for Zoom to decrypt calls. While Zoom insists it's never had any intention of doing so, it does leave it open to pressure or legal threats from law enforcement officials to get access to ... (view more)

Wed
22
Jul
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Smart Devices May Be Governed by Laws

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are considering laws to tighten cyber security for the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). The rules would cover devices that aren't traditional computers or phones but still connect to the Internet. The ... United States Congress is considering the Internet of Things Cyber Security Improvement Act. It's been examined by a Senate committee and is currently awaiting a date to be examined by the Senate as a whole. However, there's no guarantee it will be heard before the end of the year and newly elected or re-elected Senators taking their seats. Agency To ... (view more)

Wed
18
Dec
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Report: Vladmir Putin Still Using Windows XP

Russian leader Vladmir Putin still uses Windows XP if official photographs are to be believed. Ironically it might actually be a security measure. The photos released by the Russian state news agency show Putin's computers in his Kremlin office and ... his official residence. In both cases the screens are displaying the toolbar and icons from XP, though the default desktop background image is replaced with a picture of the Kremlin. (Source: themoscowtimes.com ) It would certainly be frowned upon (if not entirely shocking) for senior government officials in the West to still be running XP due to ... (view more)

Tue
28
May
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Ransomware Attack Linked to NSA Breach

The National Security Agency (NSA) is refusing to comment on claims a tool it developed has been used in a ransomware attack on the Baltimore city government. The New York Times says the attackers used a tool called "EternalBlue." The attackers have ... encrypted Baltimore government systems and demanded between $76,000 and $114,440 (depending on the account) to restore access. Officials have refused to pay and used workarounds including some manual processing of files and switching to Gmail for internal communications. It seems the attack was carried out using EternalBlue, which is ... (view more)

Wed
13
Mar
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Apple Wants To Block Police Phone Tracking

Apple wants to patent a technology that would make it harder for police to track people's location through their phone. The technology wouldn't make messages and calls secret, but rather make it harder to prove who owned the phone in question. The ... patent is for end-to-end encryption for the mobile subscriber identification number (MSNI). That's part of a longer number that also identifies the country and mobile network a phone is registered to What's important here is that the MSNI identifies the specific handset. Police could then force a mobile carrier to hand over the ... (view more)

Thu
02
Aug
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Gov't Staff Revert to Typewriters After Ransomware Attack

Staff of a local government in Alaska have switched to typewriters after a ransomware attack crippled their computer network. Officials are currently rebuilding the system from scratch. The attack hit Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which covers the ... region just north of Anchorage. The problems began on July 24, though officials believe the malware may have been on the system for several weeks before activating. IT staff spotted the ransomware attack thanks to antivirus software , but had to start manually removing some of the more sophisticated elements. They also reset all passwords as a security ... (view more)

Wed
30
May
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Country Plans to Ban Facebook for a Month

Papua New Guinea is set to ban Facebook for a month. Unlike with bans in more authoritarian countries, it's designed to research cyber crime laws rather than stifle debate - or so the official explanation goes. However, the country's government have ... warned it might need to create a "more conducive" site that meets local laws. The government says its necessary to block access to the site while it investigates if and how Facebook helps users breach the Cyber Crime Act passed in 2016. The act was an attempt to update numerous laws to cover activity that was often already illegal in the "real ... (view more)

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