government

Facebook: 60% of government requests ban notifying affected users

Facebook: 60% of government requests ban notifying affected users

Facebook has released its new Global Government Requests Report, and this time around it includes some case studies as examples of the types of requests it gets. The report also includes a bigger bit of information — the company says that about 60-percent of the government requests it received in the second half of 2015 included gag orders that prevented Facebook from notifying the affected users. On the flip side, though, Facebook has been able to disclose national security requests in bands of 500 rather than the previous 1000 it had to use before.

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Sources: FBI will use loophole to avoid disclosing iPhone hack details

Sources: FBI will use loophole to avoid disclosing iPhone hack details

Apple wants to know how the FBI accessed the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, but the agency has no plans on giving away the goods, according to sources who have surfaced. These individuals say the FBI’s decision to withhold information is due largely in part to its lack of knowledge about how the technology works — while the agency knows how to use the tool, say the sources, it doesn’t know the particulars about the iPhone vulnerability and how it exploits it.

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Charter’s TWC acquisition gets approval from Justice Department

Charter’s TWC acquisition gets approval from Justice Department

Charter’s purchase of Time Warner Cable has been given the green light by the U.S. Department of Justice, it has announced, allowing the two companies to be merged into one. Under the deal, the merged entity will be known as New Charter; as well, Charter Communications will be buying Bright House networks. The deal is significant, and will lead Charter to become the second largest broadband Internet provider in the U.S.

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FBI director hints agency paid more than $1.3m to unlock iPhone

FBI director hints agency paid more than $1.3m to unlock iPhone

Public information about the FBI’s method for unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone is slight, and so we’re forced to piece together what precious little information is available. Take, for example, FBI Director James Comey’s recent statement about how much the FBI had to pay to get the iPhone unlocked: more than he will make in the remainder of his time serving as the bureau’s director, which a little bit of math estimates as $1.3 million.

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New $20 bill to depict Harriet Tubman; 3rd woman ever on US paper money

New $20 bill to depict Harriet Tubman; 3rd woman ever on US paper money

The new $20 bill will feature a portrait of Harriet Tubman - civil rights activist and freedom fighter. This was announced by United States treasuring secretary Jacob J Lew, who also outlined plans for new $10 and $5 notes. The new set of paper money bills will not look like what you're seeing in this article - instead, they're going to be at least partially redesigned aside from the changing-out of historical figures. This is as much about aesthetics as it is about security features.

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Volkwagen may buy back nearly 500k emissions-cheating US diesels

Volkwagen may buy back nearly 500k emissions-cheating US diesels

Volkswagen and the United States have reached a deal, according to sources, and that deal involves an offer on VW’s part to buy back nearly half a million diesel cars that feature emissions-cheating features. Say the sources, Volkswagen will testify in front of a federal judge tomorrow that it will buy back nearly 500,000 of its 2.0-liter diesel cars as part of its amends for violating U.S. emissions rules.

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San Francisco is first big US city to require solar panels on new buildings

San Francisco is first big US city to require solar panels on new buildings

San Francisco has become the first major city in the United States that will require solar panels to be included on newly constructed buildings. The legislation comes from Supervisor Scott Wiener, and it was just recently passed without opposition by the Board of Supervisors, Wiener announced this week. Under the legislation, new buildings will need to put their roof space to good use by installing solar panels, helping ease the city’s energy burden while being better for the environment.

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Why Microsoft just sued the US government

Why Microsoft just sued the US government

Microsoft has sued the United States government for the right to tell users when they are being spied on. The lawsuit was filed in a Seattle-based federal court today, and marks the latest battle between tech company and government over the state of consumer privacy. According to Microsoft’s lawsuit, preventing Microsoft and companies like it from notifying users about government data requests is in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

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Uber transparency reports kick off with data on second half of 2015

Uber transparency reports kick off with data on second half of 2015

Uber has released its first transparency report, putting it among the ranks of dozens of companies that have rolled out similar reports. In this case, Uber’s transparency report has details on the latter half of 2015, letting the public see what kind of requests were received and what kind of information the company ended up supplying to others. As well, Uber says it is the first company to include regulatory requests among its transparency report information.

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‘Textalyzer’ bill wants cops to search phones for distracted drivers

‘Textalyzer’ bill wants cops to search phones for distracted drivers

A new bill has been introduced in New York that, if passed, would give police officers the authority to search a driver’s phone in the event of an accident. The bill speaks of a so-called ‘Textalyzer’ technology that will enable cops to “detect” if a cell phone was used “around the time of a crash” without giving them access to any personal data like phone numbers, chat logs, contacts, app data, or photographs. The technology is being developed by Cellebrite, the same company that helped the FBI unlock an iPhone without Apple's help.

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CDC says zika virus ‘scarier’ than thought as US prepares for outbreak

CDC says zika virus ‘scarier’ than thought as US prepares for outbreak

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detailed the state of zika virus preparations in the nation, saying the virus is “scarier” than the agency first thought. The outbreak first started in Brazil about a year ago, and has since worked its way north, affecting Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Hawaii, among other places. The CDC has found that zika-carrying mosquitos could make their way into more U.S. states than previously assessed.

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Automakers to NHTSA on self-driving cars: slow down

Automakers to NHTSA on self-driving cars: slow down

It is almost ironic. After Obama's State of the Union address early this year, the government has committed itself to kickstart the nation's journey towards self-driving cars, almost in start contrast to the uncertainty looming over law makers' and authorities' heads over those driverless vehicles. Now, however, a global group of car makers are advising the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to take things slowly and ease up on the now aggressive push to write up regulations that would prove to be actually harmful to the industry in the long run.

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