Government

Tue
07
Jul
John Lister's picture

Leak Shows FBI Bought Spyware

A business which makes spying software for governments and police has been hit by a major hacking attack. The company has recommended customers temporarily stop using its products in case the attack compromises security. The business is named ... "Hacking Team," and is based in Italy. It specializes in software that can monitor the online activities of computer users and even retrieve data from their computers. Critics claim the software often uses the same tactics as malware created by cyber criminals. The firm says its situation is different as it only sells its products to public ... (view more)

Thu
25
Jun
John Lister's picture

Navy Spends $9.1M to Keep Running Windows XP

The US Navy has paid $9.1 million for ongoing support for Microsoft Windows. What makes it really amazing is that the ongoing support is for Windows XP. The payment comes from the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. It covers support for ... XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003. It only covers a temporary extension and there's an option for the Navy to extend the support coverage until 2017 with a total price of $30.8 million. The Navy isn't completely clueless about how outdated the software is. It's running a program to upgrade to more recent software and previously ... (view more)

Wed
10
Jun
John Lister's picture

US to Encrypt All Government Websites

All US government websites accessible by the public must use secure connections by then end of next year. The new rules should protect the public, particularly "whistleblowers." New rules laid down this week mandate the change for all public sites ... that are wholly or partly maintained by the federal government. This applies even if the site is operated by a contractor. The rules apply whether or not the site requires a user to log-in. (Source: cio.gov ) Under the rules, sites must use the most secure protection that is widely available. The initial implementation of the rule ... (view more)

Thu
04
Jun
John Lister's picture

AT&T Makes Surprise Offer On Net Neutrality

AT&T says its prepared to drop its opposition to government rules for net neutrality. In return it wants to be allowed to take over DirecTV without regulatory interference. The offer could be a dramatic development in the ongoing dispute over ... net neutrality. That's the principle that Internet carriers should not discriminate between different types of content (other than illegal material). Examples include: blocking, slowing down, or charging special carriage fees for some forms of data, but not others. The US government, in particular the Federal Communications Commission, has ... (view more)

Wed
11
Mar
John Lister's picture

Lawsuit: Gov't Net Surveillance Breaches Constitution

The US government is being sued by civil liberties groups who say the security services' collection of personal data online fundamentally breaches the constitution. At issue is the question of whether or not the government's interpretation of the ... law correctly allows for mass surveillance without probable cause about specific individuals. The lawsuit is led by the American Civil Liberties Union and is joined by at least nine other groups, including the organization that oversees Wikipedia. It makes the accusations against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of ... (view more)

Thu
05
Feb
John Lister's picture

Government To Enforce 'Net Neutrality' Principle

Should websites like Netflix pay extra fees to deliver their Internet-based services to the public? The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says no. Tom Wheeler says that broadband should be treated like a utility, such as phone ... services; in doing so, it will help to protect Internet freedoms. Critics, however, suggest that such a plan would be unworkable. Tom Wheeler's announcement has to do with the principle of net neutrality . That's the idea where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all Internet traffic (except for illegal content) equally. In other ... (view more)

Wed
30
Jul
John Lister's picture

Cellphone Unlocking Ban Overturned, Now Legal

President Obama is expected to sign a bill in the coming weeks to make it legal to unlock cellphones. That may give users more choice about the cellphone network they use to get service, though there will still be technical restrictions. Most new ... cellphones are sold in a 'locked' state, meaning that they can only run on a particular cellphone network carrier. Usually that's because the network sells the handset at a reduced cost, hoping to make money back from associated monthly service fees and call charges. Unlocking a cellphone effectively modifies the phone's software, and thus allows ... (view more)

Thu
21
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

US Gov't Wants to Upgrade Nation's Landline Network

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it's time to update America's outdated landline telephone network. Chairman Tom Wheeler is calling for an all-digital system that works much like the Internet. At the moment, all landline phones in ... the United States connect to a single analog network made up of old copper wire and switches. Many of the key components are in such short supply that they are extremely expensive to replace, or simply aren't made any more. That not only makes it difficult for phone companies to maintain the network, but it means adding new lines or dealing with ... (view more)

Tue
05
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

NSA Went Too Far, US Secretary of State Says

United States Secretary of State (and former presidential candidate) John Kerry says the National Security Agency went too far with its controversial surveillance programs. Kerry indicated that he and U.S. President Barack Obama were largely unaware ... of the extent of the government's surveillance activity. "The president and I have learned of some things that have been happening in many ways on an automatic pilot, because the technology is there and the ability is there," Kerry recently noted. "In some cases, some of these actions have reached too far and we are going to try to make sure it ... (view more)

Mon
07
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

FBI Shuts Down Billion-Dollar Online Drug Market

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested and charged a man accused of running a notorious Internet "underground market" that let users trade illegal drugs and weapons. The "Silk Road" site combined a range of technologies to offer users ... greater secrecy. The site was part of the so-called "dark Internet": the collection of sites that were part of the Internet but were not reachable through ordinary links. Users could only visit the site by using software known as TOR, or The Onion Router. The name came from the way that data sent through the software was redirected through thousands of ... (view more)

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