government

FBI vs Apple fight update: Bill Gates recants (sort of)

FBI vs Apple fight update: Bill Gates recants (sort of)

While yesterday it seemed that former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates landed squarely on the government's side of a recent legal dispute between the FBI and Apple. The case involves a locked smartphone owned by one of several San Bernardino shooters, and whether or not Apple should be obligated to create a new version of their iOS operating system to allow access to data stored within said device. It would appear that Bill Gates doesn't think the case is as black and white as most would suggest.

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Microsoft makes modest statement in support of Apple over iPhone encryption

Microsoft makes modest statement in support of Apple over iPhone encryption

The news about the FBI ordering Apple to offer backdoor access to an iPhone belonging to a terrorist, along with Apple's subsequent refusal, has been dominating headlines this week. On an issue that's sure to prompt ongoing debate about encryption and privacy, several other tech giants are voicing their support for Apple's stance. It took a bit of time, but Google's Sundar Pichai tweeted his agreement with Tim Cook's open letter on encryption, along with Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp. Now Microsoft has spoken up, albeit in a moderate way.

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UK teen arrested over FBI, DHS data hacking

UK teen arrested over FBI, DHS data hacking

Following the news earlier this week about data on some 30,000 FBI and Department of Homeland Security employees being stolen and subsequently posted online, a suspect has already been taken into custody, authorities have revealed. In what's not all that surprising, as it's become common in many of the high-profile corporate and government hacking incidents recently, the suspect is a 15-year-old boy, this time found living in England.

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Google, National Park Service team to digitize 3800+ artifacts

Google, National Park Service team to digitize 3800+ artifacts

The U.S Department of the Interior has announced a partnership with Google Cultural Institute to digitize and publish “thousands of historically and culturally significant objects” online for the public to explore. The objects include artwork, records, artifacts, photos, and more, and are drawn from the National Park Service’s massive museum system (more than 380 park museums and millions of objects). The work was done in preparation for NPS’ Centennial anniversary this year.

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Zuckerberg responds on India internet, remains mum on Net Neutrality

Zuckerberg responds on India internet, remains mum on Net Neutrality

This afternoon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to comments about India's refusal to allow "Free Basics" in the country. While Facebook appeared to be bringing free internet to the world with this initiative last year - but as soon as it became apparent that not all was what it seemed, India responded. They responded by banning Free Basics altogether. Then earlier this month, they went a step further, issuing a Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016. Today Zuckerberg responded.

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IRS successfully thwarted hack attempt (this time)

IRS successfully thwarted hack attempt (this time)

The IRS has announced it successfully blocked hackers who were attempting to steal electronic filing PINs belonging to taxpayers. The attack, which took place in the prime of tax season, is the latest attempt to steal data, but fortunately for tax payers was not successful this time around. Notably, the IRS announced last year that it had suffered a data breach, one that left hundreds of thousands of taxpayers vulnerable to identity theft.

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DOJ and Homeland Security hacked by ‘impersonator’

DOJ and Homeland Security hacked by ‘impersonator’

Unfortunately, 2016 has brought news of another government data breach, this latest one affecting workers at both Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Information on thousands of employees was accessed by an intruder, though a Justice Department spokesperson has said there is no evidence at this time that "personally identifiable information" was breached. When the hack took place is unclear, but it marks the latest in a growing number of federal security failures.

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US Customs officials intercept 16k faux hoverboards

US Customs officials intercept 16k faux hoverboards

The United States Customs and Border Protection has announced that it confiscated more than 16,000 counterfeit hoverboards worth more than $6,000,000 USD. These counterfeit hoverboards, like ones before them, are potential safety hazards; more than a few faux hoverboards have caught on fire, prompting airlines, the postal service, and more to ban them.

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FCC’s radical new proposal will overhaul set top box market

FCC’s radical new proposal will overhaul set top box market

Yesterday, a report surfaced claiming the FCC would soon propose a change involving set top boxes, and such a proposal was indeed made public today. According to the FCC, “Ninety-nine percent of pay-TV subscribers are chained to their set-top boxes because cable and satellite operators have locked up the market.” If the commission gets its way, its proposal will save consumers money currently spent on leasing boxes from providers, and will open the doors for more consumer options.

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Google teams with Fox News for final Republican debate

Google teams with Fox News for final Republican debate

Google has teamed with Fox News Channel ahead of the final Republican debate. This is the last debate ahead of the 2016 primaries, and with this Google partnership, people will have a trio of new options for staying up to date on the details. Says Google, it is integrating three additional elements into the debate, including Google Trends data, questions from YouTube stars, and a new way to get info from candidates.

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AG on encryption: we don’t want back doors, just back doors

AG on encryption: we don’t want back doors, just back doors

Encryption has become a very thorny subject of late, particularly in but not just limited to the US, which isn't that surprising considering most of the tech companies of the world call the country their HQ. Although it has since slightly weakened its formerly strong language, the US government stands by its position. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch reiterated that position. The US doesn't want encryption back doors. They just want access to encrypted systems through another door that isn't the front. So maybe a side door perhaps.

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Apple’s new EEO-1 filing paints different diversity picture

Apple’s new EEO-1 filing paints different diversity picture

Apple’s EEO-1 Federal Employer Information Report for 2015 was released quietly this past weekend, and in it we see a different snapshot of the company’s workforce diversity than the one last presented by Apple. Yes, the company has seen improvements in the realm of diversity among its employees. However, the numbers presented in the report aren’t quite the same as the ones we saw before, and they show relatively little change.

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