government

Federal agent pleads guilty to stealing Silk Road bitcoins

Federal agent pleads guilty to stealing Silk Road bitcoins

In March, two federal agents involved with the operation against former online underground market Silk Road were charged with nefarious activities allegedly committed during the investigation. A criminal complaint released at the time by the Department of Justice alleged that former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges and former DEA agent Carl Force IV had committed various offenses, including money laundering.

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Virginia teen behind ISIS Twitter account gets 11 year sentence

Virginia teen behind ISIS Twitter account gets 11 year sentence

The Virginia teenager who supported ISIS on Twitter, among other things, has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced. The matter concerns 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin, the Virginia-based teenager behind the “@Amreekiwitness” Twitter account that offered support to ISIS and disseminated ISIS propaganda. Reportedly, the support included providing information on using Bitcoin to send financial support to terrorists. The teen plead guilty to running the Twitter account in mid-June.

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IRS hit with lawsuit over recent taxpayer data hack

IRS hit with lawsuit over recent taxpayer data hack

The massive IRS data breach has resulted in a lawsuit from affected taxpayers. The hack was announced in May, and affected about 330,000 (or more) taxpayers who used the IRS’ “Get Transcript” service. The hackers, who are said to have originated from Russia, made off with sensitive personal details, including social security numbers and home addresses. Using this information, the hackers then spoofed tax paperwork and were able to steal millions in refunds.

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Russia bans Wikipedia for drug reference, reverses decision hours later

Russia bans Wikipedia for drug reference, reverses decision hours later

It seems the Russian government hasn't changed its stance on internet censorship following the recent, and brief, ban of the website Reddit. Beginning late on Monday evening, the Russia's Roskomnadzor, or "Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications," issued a ban on all of Wikipedia after an entry was discovered about a type of hashish from India that reportedly included "instructions" on how to make it.

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Yelp, US government partner: official federal pages inbound

Yelp, US government partner: official federal pages inbound

Yelp has announced that it partnered with the U.S. government, and that under the partnership, federal agencies will be able to claim Yelp pages and use them to solicit and monitor feedback. Whether that will result in any actual meaningful changes in government offices and airports where its receives low marks is doubtful, but regardless users now have another option to vent their complaints and, if they're feeling generous, leave a positive note the next time the TSA gets you through the line smoothly.

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IRS hack larger than reported: 600k+ taxpayers targeted

IRS hack larger than reported: 600k+ taxpayers targeted

This year the IRS joined the OPM and other entities -- both government and private -- that were hit with cyberattacks of one sort or another. The massive Office of Personnel Management hack has received the most attention, but as you may remember, the IRS was also targeted and suffered a huge loss of data. Only, it didn't report accurate numbers. As it turns out, the hack was even more massive than originally reported, with more than half a million people having been targeted.

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Reddit finally checks its email, gets unbanned in Russia

Reddit finally checks its email, gets unbanned in Russia

If you spend any time on Reddit, you’ve likely seen the Russia drama unfold. Though the entire thing has been confusing, the timeline goes something like this: a Redditor published a post on growing drugs in Russian, and Russia didn’t like that. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media watchdog, made a post on a Russian social network (more or less) asking that someone with contacts “with the Reddit administration” ask them to “check their email for messages” the agency has sent. If Reddit didn’t respond, Roskomnadzor said it may end up having local ISPs block access to the website.

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Twitter expands transparency report with two new categories

Twitter expands transparency report with two new categories

Twitter has announced that it is, for the first time, expanding the scope of its transparency report, doing so to include two new categories: email privacy practices and trademark notices. This brings the report up to five categories. In addition, Twitter is making it easier to find its data with a redesign of its transparency site, including adding improvements to its mobile transparency portal. The new design is already in place, and the data has been refreshed with the two new sections.

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Russia threatening nation-wide Reddit ban over drug posts

Russia threatening nation-wide Reddit ban over drug posts

The Russian government has said it's considering a nation-wide block on the social website Reddit over concerns about easily accessible information on growing and acquiring drugs. One government agency has said it's tried contacting Reddit about removing such posts, but they haven't gotten a response. Oddly enough, the government says it was prompted to take action because of complaints from users. Because surely people go right to the government when they see things on the internet, as this couldn't be a case of Russia wanting to censor information.

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Report: China’s spies have been reading US officials’ emails since 2010

Report: China’s spies have been reading US officials’ emails since 2010

China has been accused in recent months of orchestrating a massive hack against the U.S. government's Office of Personnel Management, the insurance company Anthem, and more. According to a recently leaked report and unnamed government official, Chinese spies have also been reading emails from top Obama administration officials since at least April 2010. According to the leaked report, the email hack was first spotted in early 2010, and was codenamed both “Dancing Panda” and “Legion Amethyst” by the NSA. The report was made in 2014, and indicates the email breach was still actively happening at that time.

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White House releases Clean Power Plan: power plants targeted

White House releases Clean Power Plan: power plants targeted

Today marks a big day for the US’s environmental progression, with President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator Gina McCarthy jointly releasing a final Clean Power Plan — the first in the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce the nation’s pollution levels and tackle the issue of climate change. The White House said in a statement this morning, “We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged … Taking action now is critical."

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White House announces ConnectHome initiative to bring internet to low-income homes

White House announces ConnectHome initiative to bring internet to low-income homes

The Obama administration has announced a program today that aims to increase the number of low-income households who have access to high-speed internet. The initiative is called ConnectHome, and will see Google, along with internet service providers including Cox, Sprint, and Century Link bring broadband service that is either free or at a very cheap price to 275,000 families across the US, in 27 cities.

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