government

NSA project working towards encryption-breaking quantum computer, reveals Snowden doc

NSA project working towards encryption-breaking quantum computer, reveals Snowden doc

According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA dreams of a quantum computer that can break nearly every type of encryption -- one it is working towards (in part, at least) via a program called Penetrating Hard Targets, a $79.7 million project. The NSA isn't the only entity working on making a quantum computer reality, and such technologies would have widespread benefits beyond the cryptographically-oriented industry and various spy games.

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Laptop searches by U.S. border agents ruled legal

Laptop searches by U.S. border agents ruled legal

For most people, one's laptop is a like a trusted friend, packed full of data that one would not give out part and parcel to just anyone, particularly not strangers. Random laptop searches at United States borders have been taking place for years, and have been the subject of much outcry, particularly due to the complete lack of suspicion needed to perform the search. Civil rights attorneys filed a lawsuit against this activity, citing reasons of being unconstitutional, but a New York judge has dismissed their complaint, giving border agents the go-ahead.

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Uber, SnapCar, et al soon must wait 15 min before meeting fares in France

Uber, SnapCar, et al soon must wait 15 min before meeting fares in France

The ever proliferating Uber "black car" service and other mobile-app-dispatched driver services will have to wait 15 minutes before picking up any customer starting Jan. 2014, a French bill has decreed. The bill was spotted by the French news organization Libération and passed on by way of TechCrunch. The decree is intended to preserve the state-regulated taxi industry.

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NSA catalog lets agents deliver cloned hardware to targets

NSA catalog lets agents deliver cloned hardware to targets

A new examination of the seemingly bottomless well of Snowden documents describes an internal NSA catalog of dead ringers for consumer hardware that the NSA can deploy on unsuspecting targets' systems. For example, when a target orders a new hard drive, router, monitor cable, or USB plug online, the NSA can intercept the order and send a bugged clone, which the target would then install by his own volition. The catalog includes hardware by Seagate, Samsung, Cisco, Huawei, Dell and many others.

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Bitcoin miners do not have to register as money transfer services: ruling

Bitcoin miners do not have to register as money transfer services: ruling

Bitcoin miner Milly Bitcoin has done a little citizen letter-writing, and the results should make virtual currency miners breathe a sigh of relief. Milly Bitcoin's mining company Atlantic City Bitcoin last June wrote to the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) requesting an official administrative ruling on whether ACB must register as a money transfer service. FinCEN has now replied, and the answer is no.

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NSA phone surveillance ruled legal by NY judge [UPDATE]

NSA phone surveillance ruled legal by NY judge [UPDATE]

In a ruling on federal phone-tracking this week a U.S. District Judge based in New York has ruled that the NSA’s actions thus far have been legal. Judge William Pauley sent a ruling on Friday, the 27th of December, saying the NSA program “represents the government’s counter-punch” in efforts to eliminate al-Qaida network efforts. This ruling dismisses a lawsuit brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Department of Justice report details case against Kim Dotcom, former Megaupload leaders

Department of Justice report details case against Kim Dotcom, former Megaupload leaders

Kim Dotcom, the man behind Mega, the successor of the now-defunct Megaupload, has been the subject of a long-lived investigation, the details of which were revealed today in a 191-page report by the Department of Justice. The seven defendants in the case, among them being Dotcom, are currently located in New Zealand, and have been hit with many charges, including copyright infringement.

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