government

Hungary’s Internet tax nixed following massive protests

Hungary’s Internet tax nixed following massive protests

Hungary's government isn't doing so well financially, and so it decided the best way to address the issue was to tax the Internet. As you'd expect, both citizen and ISP alike were unhappy with the decision, with service providers in particular warning that the planned fees would be a massive -- potentially crippling -- burden. The government dismissed the concerns, and massive protests in the streets soon followed. In response, the government has announced that it has shelved the taxation plan...temporarily. It may, however, return again in the future.

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Judge rules fingerprint-locked phones are fair game during investigations

Judge rules fingerprint-locked phones are fair game during investigations

There are many ways to protect your smartphone: password, pin, pattern, and more recently, a fingerprint. While legally you can't be compelled as part of an investigation to reveal any of the first three, a judge has ruled that you can be forced to relinquish your fingerprint to investigators seeking access to your device. The reason, says the judge, is that the fingerprint isn't knowledge like a password, but is instead a physical object of sorts, like a key or a DNA sample.

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Minority Report reality: London Police test Precrime software

Minority Report reality: London Police test Precrime software

A 20-week study in London just completed this week utilized predictive software to spot potential gang-related crimes before they happen. Using software developed by Accenture, this project targeted individuals across all known gangs in each of London's 32 boroughs. "Our goal," said James Slessor, Managing Director of Accenture's policing and public safety business, "was to provide MPS with an unprecedented level of insight and intelligence to help them continue to reduce gang-related crimes in the city." With analytics information in hand, the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) was able to assess the likelihood of known individuals re-offending.

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FBI tipped to have raided second leaker’s home

FBI tipped to have raided second leaker’s home

Edward Snowden will likely be leaker extraordinaire in the public's eyes for a long while, but rumor that a second leaker is out there following in his footsteps has been around for a while. We previously detailed this alleged second leaker, which came to the forefront after a report published by The Intercept, but details were slight and nothing was confirmed. Apparently that leaker does exist and has been identified, with the FBI raiding a government contractor's house in Virginia.

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NYPD to equip every officer with Windows smartphone

NYPD to equip every officer with Windows smartphone

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed on Friday that all 35,000 of the city's police officers were going to be issued smartphones as part of a $160 million technology initiative. While it wasn't officially stated, a glimpse at some of the devices, which also includes 6,000 tablets to be installed in police vehicles, seems to indicate that Windows will be operating system flavor.

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Yardarm Sensor brings real-time tracking to police firearms

Yardarm Sensor brings real-time tracking to police firearms

Connected technology largely focuses on the average consumer, being used with devices that monitor homes, keep track of kids, locate lost pets, wake us up and lull us to sleep. Some companies are looking outside of those typical realms into other areas that can benefit from the technology, however, and among them is law enforcement and its related entities. One startup in particular called Yardarm has developed a sensor that will bring real-time monitoring to police firearms, offering up information on things like when a gun was drawn and which way it was pointing.

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FBI director speaks out against consumer tech device encryption

FBI director speaks out against consumer tech device encryption

James B. Comey, the current director of the FBI, made statements on Thursday calling for America's tech companies to make their consumer devices more wiretap-friendly. He believes that the efforts from giants like Apple and Google to provide users with ways to encrypt data and communications on their mobile devices will lead to a future where those who commit murder or acts of terror could have an easier time escaping law enforcement.

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Government halts funding for research that creates superbugs

Government halts funding for research that creates superbugs

Concern about so-called super bugs -- mutated viruses and bacteria resistant to treatment -- is exceptionally high. The Centers for Disease Control issued a report last year, for example, warning about the threat superbugs pose and potential ramifications if certain actions aren't taken. It is for these reasons the deliberate creation of mutated viruses for research purposes (gain of function research) has been highly controversial, a controversy the US government has stoked by announcing a temporary halt to its funding of such studies.

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Florida rules police need warrant to nab cell location data

Florida rules police need warrant to nab cell location data

Your everyday devices, particularly smartphones, betray aspects of your privacy in many ways, not the least of which is transmitting location information that law enforcement, among others, has regularly used in the pursuit of suspects. Such activity has caused vast outcries about privacy concerns and rights violations, something Florida has taken to heart. In a recent ruling, the state's Supreme Court has decided that police must get a warrant before using cell tower data to get location information on individuals.

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