government

US government to have all its websites begin using HTTPS

US government to have all its websites begin using HTTPS

As part of a new initiative to maintain security and privacy on its websites, both for users and itself, the U.S. government has announced a plan to make HTTPS a standard for all its public federal sites. The goal is to have all sites using HTTPS encryption by December 31, 2016. The White House is even sharing its proposed and final versions of the policy, posting both on Github, allowing the public to compare for themselves.

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NSA expanded warrantless internet surveillance in attempt to stop hackers

NSA expanded warrantless internet surveillance in attempt to stop hackers

New documents from Edward Snowden have revealed that since 2012, the US's National Security Agency has had an expanded ability to spy on Americans' internet data and communications, with no need to get a warrant. The documents were published in a New York Times article this week, and reveal that the NSA's goal is to find and stop hackers attempting cyberattacks from outside the country. Until now, this program was never disclosed to the public.

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Live anthrax was accidentally shipped to Canada, too

Live anthrax was accidentally shipped to Canada, too

A few days ago the Department of Defense announced that a government lab located in Dugway, Utah had accidentally sent live anthrax to nine labs located throughout the United States, as well as a joint military lab in South Korea. Those numbers have since grown. The Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control have been investigating the matter, and there was (and still is) no known risk to the general population. Now it has been revealed that three labs located in Canada also received live anthrax shipments.

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IRS on hack: all signs point to Russia

IRS on hack: all signs point to Russia

Earlier this week, it was reported that the IRS had been hacked and the tax returns for more than 100,000 people were swiped. That reality has not changed, but now there’s a potential culprit: Russian hackers. The news was stated by Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, who serves as the chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees the IRS. The news itself reportedly was given to him by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who relayed the breach’s Russian origins in a phone call.

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DoD accidentally ships live anthrax to South Korea, 9 US labs

DoD accidentally ships live anthrax to South Korea, 9 US labs

The Department of Defense has revealed that it accidentally shipped live anthrax to nine labs located in the United States, as well as to a joint military based located in South Korea. No known infections among lab personnel have been reported, and the Pentagon says there is no known risk to the general population. The Centers for Disease Control is working with the Department of Defense to investigate the issue, which is said to have resulted from live samples of anthrax being shipped inadvertently from a government lab located in Dugway, Utah to the aforementioned locations.

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IRS hacked; data stolen from over 100,000 taxpayers

IRS hacked; data stolen from over 100,000 taxpayers

Hackers successfully accessed—stole—personal information, including tax return data, from over 100,000 U.S. taxpayers. In a series of attacks that took place from February to mid-May, the hackers utilized the IRS's "Get Transcript" system to access all of the personal information that would be on a tax return, from birthdays and social security numbers to addresses. The motivation behind the attack is, apparently, an extensive plot to claim fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities. According to the IRS, over $5.8 billion USD in fraudulent refunds were sent out in the year 2013, alone.

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Takata to declare 33.8 million cars defective over faulty airbags

Takata to declare 33.8 million cars defective over faulty airbags

The Takata faulty airbag saga has been a long and tragic one, with the defective components resulting in at least half a dozen deaths, dozens of injuries, and numerous recalls. The end is nowhere in sight, however. Today the manufacturer is declaring approximately 33.8 million vehicles defective, and as a result the United States will likely see its largest ever recall — not just automotive recall, mind you, but largest consumer product recall that has ever taken place. And frankly, it's about time.

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Feds to probe Chrysler for (maybe) being lazy about 20 recalls

Feds to probe Chrysler for (maybe) being lazy about 20 recalls

Fiat Chrysler has gotten itself into hot water with the NHTSA, which made it known in the recent past that it is putting pressure on auto makers to improve their recall completion rates. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration announced today a future hearing during which it will examine whether the auto maker has been lazy about 20 automotive recalls totaling about 10 million vehicles, with numerous potential problems being cited. At this point the NHTSA is looking into whether the problems represent a pattern, and if so what it plans to do about it.

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Drones banned from Tokyo’s public parks

Drones banned from Tokyo’s public parks

While the acceptance of privately owned drones is rapidly expanding here in the US, in some countries, such as Japan, they are only beginning to get consumers' attention. Unfortunately for budding drone enthusiasts in Tokyo, there is a new roadblock to enjoying their hobby. The Japanese capital's municipal government recently issued a ban on drones being used at all public parks. The prohibition on UAVs follows a recent political protest incident, where a drone was landed on the roof of the Japanese Prime Minister's residence.

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FTC chides Michigan for banning direct-to-consumer vehicle sales, like Tesla

FTC chides Michigan for banning direct-to-consumer vehicle sales, like Tesla

The FTC has come out defending auto manufacturer's right to direct-to-consumer sales. The regulatory agency claims this is much bigger than Tesla, which has been getting all the press from forgoing dealerships and selling its electic vehicles directly to consumers, aggravating conventional manufacturers. The FTC's latest post is a direct comment on Michigan's new, legislation which has yet to be passed.

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