government

FAA suggests $1.9m fine against SkyPan over drone operations

FAA suggests $1.9m fine against SkyPan over drone operations

The Federal Aviation Administration has recommended that SkyPan International Inc. be hit with a $1.9 million civil penalty over its alleged drone-based violations of airspace regulations. Between March 2012 and December 2014, the company allegedly performed 65 UAS operations without permission, doing so in “some of our most congest airspace and heavily popular cities,” according to the FAA.

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GAO audit finds federal networks still vulnerable to attack

GAO audit finds federal networks still vulnerable to attack

It has been an embarrassing year for the U.S. government, at least as far as network security goes. Various government agencies have revealed massive data breaches, including the IRS, which left hundreds of thousands of tax payers vulnerable, and the Office of Personnel Management, which had data on millions of federal workers compromised. Agencies have vowed to increase their network security as a result, but a new audit reveals that many still remain vulnerable.

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GrubHub and more hit with suits challenging worker status

GrubHub and more hit with suits challenging worker status

Joining the same ranks as Uber and Lyft, GrubHub and a couple other companies have been hit with lawsuits challenging worker status. It’s the latest legal matter challenging the sharing economy and its habit of labeling workers as independent contractors. In this case, the lawsuits claim DoorDash, GrubHub, and Caviar are misclassifying their delivery drivers, treating them like employees but classifying them as 1099 workers.

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OPM revises hack details: 5.6m fingerprints compromised

OPM revises hack details: 5.6m fingerprints compromised

In early June, the U.S. government revealed that four million federal employees were comprised as the result of a massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management. It has since been suggested the number could be higher, and that the type of data grabbed (supposedly by Chinese hackers) was more extensive than originally reported. Today the OPM made a new update about the hack, revealing the hackers stole a few million more fingerprints than originally believed.

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White House report says broadband internet is a necessary utility

White House report says broadband internet is a necessary utility

Those of us with easy, everyday access to broadband internet might take it for granted, but its importance in today's world can be no more apparent than to the millions of Americans who don't have a connection. That's the sentiment expressed in a new report from the White House and the Broadband Opportunity Council, which write that broadband internet has become an "essential infrastructure for communities" and is no longer just a convenience, but a "core utility" in the same way as electricity and water.

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Justice Department spends $23m on police body cameras

Justice Department spends $23m on police body cameras

The Department of Justice has announced that it has spent upwards of $23 million in grants on police departments for the purpose of issuing body cameras. This follows the body-worn camera project pilot that was announced back in May; the money issued through the grants in part goes toward training police departments on how to use and troubleshoot the cameras, and partly toward research efforts that monitor the impact body cameras have (or don’t have) when it comes to curbing police violence.

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Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is underway

Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is underway

After years of sidestepping the legal matter, Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing is underway in Auckland. Dotcom, along with three others, have been accused by US authorities of operating a “criminal enterprise” via the now defunct website Megaupload, a file storage website that was home to copyrighted TV shows, music, movies, and more. The drama started in early 2012, when the US government seized Megaupload and New Zealand police raided Dotcom’s local mansion.

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Comcast strikes settlement with California over privacy issue

Comcast strikes settlement with California over privacy issue

Comcast and California have struck a settlement deal according to the state’s Attorney General Kamala Harris. The settlement was announced on Thursday, and is related to claims that Comcast published personal customer data online, including phone numbers, names, and addresses. This is said to have affected “tens of thousands” of Comcast subscribers who had shelled out for an unlisted VOIP service.

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US regulator officially recognizes Bitcoin as commodity

US regulator officially recognizes Bitcoin as commodity

The US government's Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has declared that virtual currency like Bitcoin is officially recognized as a commodity, just like materials such as copper, crude oil, coffee, or wheat. The decision was announced on Thursday alongside the CFTC saying it had settled charges against the Bitcoin exchange Coinflip for allowing users on its platform to trade option contracts. The agency's press release states that the CFTC "for the first time finds that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are properly defined as commodities."

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LAPD adding Tesla Model S P85D to its growing EV fleet

LAPD adding Tesla Model S P85D to its growing EV fleet

A few days back the City of Los Angeles announced that it would be leasing a massive fleet of hybrid and electric vehicles for city employees, including the LAPD. What was unclear at the time was exactly where the hybrid and electric vehicles the city would be leasing would end up. Some details on where the new fleet will be used and what models are being considered has now been offered.

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FAA: keep drones out of the sky while Pope Francis is here

FAA: keep drones out of the sky while Pope Francis is here

The FAA has a tough situation on its hands. In one regards, it must step carefully to avoid over-regulating the use of hobby aircraft (“drones”). On the other hand, people have and do use drones irresponsibly, and it’s only a matter of time until someone becomes seriously injured as a result. As the Pope's visit to the US nears, the agency has issued a statement to make something extra clear: absolutely no drones are to be in the sky while he's here.

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Drone operator arrested for flying near LAPD chopper

Drone operator arrested for flying near LAPD chopper

Flying drones of any type near other aircraft is a big violation of regulations — not to mention extremely and senselessly dangerous. That hasn’t stopped some operators from flying their aerial vehicles in places they shouldn’t (one just crashed recently at the US Open, for example), and while in the past these instances would usually merely get the operator a conversation with police, they're increasingly resulting in arrests.

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