law

Bill could block attempts to enforce encryption backdoors

Bill could block attempts to enforce encryption backdoors

The fight for security and privacy, now embodied in the encryption of devices and services, has long taken a political flavor when the US government publicly advocated installing backdoors on such systems for the sake of criminal investigation. Now the story takes an interesting turn when two lawmakers cross the political divide to propose a bill that will preempt such proposals. Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California, and Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Republican from New York, have proposed a House bill that will prevent any state or local government from forcing OEMs to create such backdoors.

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NHTSA will consider Google’s self-driving car AI as “driver”

NHTSA will consider Google’s self-driving car AI as “driver”

It seems that President Obama's declared push to make the US a haven for self-driving cars is already starting to bear fruit. In what may be a significant milestone, the National Hightway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA has just given Google the break it needs to move forward. In a letter sent to the company, the traffic agency agreed to one of Google's proposal to have its Self-Driving System (SDS) AI to be considered as the legal "driver" of the car, opening the doors for more legal opportunities for Google's self-driving car.

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California also wants encryption backdoors on smartphones

California also wants encryption backdoors on smartphones

Another US state has added itself to the roster of those fighting for requiring encryption keys to be provided to aid in criminal investigation. Or as others call it, "weakening encryption". California assemblyman Jim Cooper proposed a new bill that eerily sounded like a similar proposal being made in New York City. The difference, however, is that the purpose isn't to fight terrorism but to crack down on human trafficking specifically. Still, it's basically the same mantra that's being repeated in the US, UK, and France, requiring companies to provide governments with keys when they need them.

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France goes against the flow, rejects encryption backdoor law

France goes against the flow, rejects encryption backdoor law

While the US, particularly New York, and the UK are on a crusade to legally mandate the creation of backdoors on otherwise tightly secure encrypted systems, the French government is doing the opposite. It has recently rejected a proposed amendment that would practically require companies to install such backdoors and give government the keys in case of a criminal investigation. This rejection is almost ironic considering it was the recent Paris attacks that are being used by other government to justify their push for encryption backdoors.

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Google, Facebook back Samsung on Supreme Court patent appeal

Google, Facebook back Samsung on Supreme Court patent appeal

Samsung has just gotten some mighty allies in its proxy legal tussle with Apple. Before 2015 ended, the Korean manufacturer went to the US Supreme Court asking for a review not of its patent case with Apple, which it already lost, but of the design patent system in general. Now several organizations, from tech giants to non-profit advocacies to legal interest groups, have filed amicus briefs in support of Samsung's case to have the federal government's interpretation of design patent laws revised for the current century.

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Facebook Friend Finder truly and finally illegal in Germany

Facebook Friend Finder truly and finally illegal in Germany

Legal cases usually take years because of appeal after appeal. But when they reach the highest court of the land, judgment is, more often than not, really final. That might be the case here with Facebook's ongoing, and now probably over, tussle in German courts over its Friend Finder feature. Now that the country's highest court, the Federal Court of Justice, has declared it illegal, there isn't much left for Facebook to do except to recoup its losses and to move forward. Without that feature in Germany, that is.

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Apple might lose its encryption battle in New York

Apple might lose its encryption battle in New York

While Apple is still fighting any nationwide attempt to have backdoors installed in otherwise secure devices and Internet services, it might already be losing ground just in New York state alone. The state assembly has proposed a bill that, if approved and enacted, would force smartphone manufacturers and operating system provider, like Apple in both cases, to unlock and decrypted devices or risk being fined a hefty $2,500 per related device. This would, in turn, force Apple to weaken its encryption system and maybe even turn it off all together.

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Obama to touch on self-driving cars in State of the Union Address

Obama to touch on self-driving cars in State of the Union Address

Today, President Obama, one of the more tech savvy, or at least tech conscious, president, will be discussing one of the thorniest topics in the tech industry in his State of the Union Address. And no, it's not about privacy and encryption this time, though we bet that will be included as well. According to government officials, the president will be touching on the topic of advanced transportation efforts in the country, which is to say self-driving cars. Their regulation, or rather the lack of it, has repeatedly been cited as one of the biggest hurdles in pushing the technology that would give the US an even more prominent spot in the automobile industry.

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China’s anti-terrorism law does what US, UK could only dream of

China’s anti-terrorism law does what US, UK could only dream of

The US and the UK have only been planning and talking about it for years, but China has already done it. Unsurprisingly, despite strong criticism and outcry from the US and tech companies, China has passed a law that practically requires technology companies to have backdoors to encrypted systems and to hand the Chinese government keys to those doors should they be required by law. Almost ironically, the US' arguments against that law sound similar to the ones used by tech companies against the US' similar proposal.

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Your hoverboard will now get you arrested in NYC

Your hoverboard will now get you arrested in NYC

This week the NYPD made relatively clear that self-balancing scooters or "hover boards" are now illegal inside the city. The call was made this Monday, believe it or not, as Tweeted (also believe it or not) by the New York Police Department's 26th Precinct Twitter account. There it was said that "the electric hoverboard is illegal as per NYC Admin. Code 19-176.2." Strangely the tweet was deleted not long after being sent. No tweet or tweet, the law remains.

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Google self-driving car pulled over for driving too slow

Google self-driving car pulled over for driving too slow

Some of the fears associated with driverless, autonomous cars is that they might actually speed through roads, with nary a care for other cars or humans. The case with Google's self-driving cars, however, might actually be the exact opposite. It might actually be traveling too slow, which might actually be just as bothersome. As the Mountain View traffic police found out, a Google car cruising, if you could call it that, at 25 mph no small amount of traffic backup. Fortunately for Google, it was actually operating under the law.

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Feds still want Apple to unlock iPhone even after guilty plea

Feds still want Apple to unlock iPhone even after guilty plea

It seems that Apple won't be able to take a breather even after a case it has been dragged into has practically been closed. In a drug-related case in Brooklyn, federal Judge James Orenstein formally asked Apple's input regarding the Department of Justice's request to order Apple to unlock the defendant's iPhone. Apple naturally argued against it. The whole matter would have been moot since the defendant plead guilty to the charges, but the DOJ hasn't retracted its application and the judge himself is puzzled by it.

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