Government

Tue
11
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

FBI $1B Facial Recognition Program Launches in 2014

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is going ahead with a $1 billion program that will help it find persons of interest more rapidly. Between now and 2014 the money will be used to upgrade the FBI's facial recognition system and national ... fingerprint database. Officially, the upgrading program is called "Next Generation Identification" (NGI). The idea has been percolating for at least two years. In 2010, FBI representative Richard Vorder Bruegge first discussed the bureau's desire to use facial recognition technology to "identify subjects in public datasets." Bruegge ... (view more)

Fri
03
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

'Outdated' Child Data Rules to Change: FTC

A government agency wants to overhaul the rules limiting how websites collect personal data about children. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says the changes would make the rules much clearer and more effective. The current regulations stem ... from the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), which took effect in 2000 and currently applies to sites aimed at children under 13 years of age. As the rules stand, websites must clearly explain to both children and parents what data they will collect about children and how they plan to use it. Such sites must also get parental ... (view more)

Fri
17
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Gov't to Crack Down on Telemarketing Robocalls

In an attempt to limit companies that make automated marketing calls to consumers, a government agency has introduced tougher restrictions and standards. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said the move was necessary because companies had ... failed to take heed of the principles behind the existing rules. The new restrictions and standards involve automated calls, often called 'robocalls' because a robot (computer program) makes them, in which consumers answer their phones and immediately hear recorded messages. Marketers find such tactics profitable because they can conduct whole ... (view more)

Wed
24
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Would You Vote Online? Canada Mulls Initiative

A lot of people are comfortable using their credit card online to purchase items -- but would they feel comfortable voting via the world wide web? Right now, Elections Canada is mulling over that very idea, and may implement an online voting system ... within the next two years. According to Canada's chief electoral officer, Marc Mayrand, testing for an Internet voting platform could be ready for the federal by-election in 2013. In a report filed earlier this summer, Mayrand noted that Canadians have demonstrated a desire to make the voting process easier. And let's face it, voting in one's ... (view more)

Tue
01
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

US Internet 'Kill Switch' Bill to be Reconsidered

The situation in Egypt is dire. The government, which is facing enormous protests has turned to shutting off communications, most notably the Internet , as a way to silence dissension. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has gone on record ... admonishing the Egyptian Internet blackout , calling it a senseless attempt to bring order to a country at the cost of basic democratic rights. Could an Internet Blackout Happen in the United States? While most Americans have viewed the entire debacle as something that simply couldn't and wouldn't happen in the United States, some political pundits ... (view more)

Fri
19
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Internet 'Mediation Service' Proposed by UK Gov't

Ed Vaizey, Britain's Communications Minister, believes that people should be able to demand that inaccurate data is deleted from the Internet. Speaking to the House of Commons, Vaizey said that a mediation service would help make it easier to remove ... misleading information. As an example, Vaizey cited the case of a women's refuge that appeared on Google Street View: pleas from the refuge to have its location removed -- in order to protect the identities of the women living there -- proved futile, and frustrations arose from not having a more straightforward process for getting the information ... (view more)

Tue
12
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

US Gov't Considers New Internet Wiretap Rules

The United States government is said to be considering plans that would force all communications firms to make their systems available for "wiretapping" in the event of a court order. A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lawyer says the idea ... would not mean expanding the ability of law enforcement and security officials to demand access to data through the court system. Instead, the changes would deal with cases where court orders are effectively meaningless because the communications firms concerned are unable to hand over the relevant data, either because it can't be intercepted ... (view more)

Tue
13
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

UK Opposes Sanctions for Illegal File-Sharing, Copyrights

A recently leaked document (PDF) by La Quadrature du Net reveals that European Union (EU) negotiators want criminal sanctions introduced into the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Chapter 2 of the proposed ACTA treaty states ... that "each party shall provide for effective proportionate and dissuasive penalties" which would include "imprisonment and monetary fines" for those caught in illicit activities such as music file-sharing. (Source: laquadrature.net ) ACTA Treaty: Can Seize, Destroy Your PC, Electronics According to the document, anyone believed to have " ... (view more)

Thu
22
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Government Considers New Approach Over Net Neutrality

A former presidential advisor has called for the US government to reclassify the legal status of the Internet. It follows concerns that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may not have the statutory authority to enforce "net neutrality" ... principles or to go ahead with proposed plans to expand Internet access. The FCC has historically sought to uphold the idea of net neutrality. This is the principle that, with the exception of illegal material, all Internet traffic should be treated equally by carriers. This would mean, for example, that an Internet service provider couldn't charge ... (view more)

Thu
18
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

US Gov't Attempted to Hush Whistleblower Site, Report Says

The U.S. government is being accused of attempting to deliberately take down the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.org, approximately two years ago. This virtual David versus Goliath war came to life after a 32-page classified document written by ... the Department of Defense (DoD) Intelligence Analysis program was posted on Wikileaks. The document, which was dated March 2008, speaks of the "counterintelligence threat posed to the U.S. Army by the Wikileaks.org website." The document accentuates the fact that there is the "possibility that a current employee or mole within the Department of ... (view more)

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