law

Obama signs divisive cyberthreat bill amid privacy fears

Obama signs divisive cyberthreat bill amid privacy fears

President Obama publicly signed the executive order driving through new cyber security legislation today, using an appearance at Stanford to discuss the controversial balance of privacy and protection. The bill - already a topic of fierce debate in Congress, which had continually refused to pass it - demands greater information sharing between government and private industry, "sharing appropriate information" as relevant to ensure vital infrastructure isn't compromised by hackers or malicious governments. However, exactly what counts as "appropriate", and what impact that has on individual privacy, remains to be seen.

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Cops flood Waze with fake police sightings

Cops flood Waze with fake police sightings

A lot of navigation apps dot the app stores, but Waze stands out of among them for one particular reason: it lets users know when a cop has been spotted in any particular region. Though not always accurate, this has been a favorite feature among users, and an excellent way to help avoid getting a speeding ticket. As you might have heard, though, law enforcement isn't so happy about the feature, going so far as requesting that Google/Waze eliminate the feature in the name of officer safety. That request didn't pan out, and now officers are using a different tactic.

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FCC to propose treating ISPs as public utilities

FCC to propose treating ISPs as public utilities

The FCC might be heating up the old net neutrality debate again come Thursday. The agency is expected to propose the rules that would determine how business around the Internet will be treated in the years to come. In this latest version, FCC chair Tom Wheeler is expected to adopt President Obama's stance to treat broadband providers the same way telecommunications companies are treated and to regulate them as public utilities, giving government more weight over the deals between broadband providers and content providers, much to the chagrin of many in the industry.

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$19.5M in counterfeit NFL merch seized by Homeland Security

$19.5M in counterfeit NFL merch seized by Homeland Security

As you sit down to watch the Super Bowl tomorrow, rest easy knowing that your favorite NFL jersey and other sportswear is authentic, legitimate, and safe, thanks to officials at Homeland Security. Much like they do every year around this time, government authorities have just announced that millions of dollars in counterfeit, "unsafe" NFL merchandise have been seized, this time amounting to $19.5 million. That means you have a few less knockoff sports team jerseys, shirts, and hats to worry about.

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Germany to give self-driving cars a highway test track

Germany to give self-driving cars a highway test track

While many governments are wary of the progress of autonomous, self-driving cars, Germany is taking quite an opposite stance. As a country that is readily associated with the automobile industry, it can't but be interested in the development of the cars of the future. That is why the German government will be setting up the A9 Autobahn highway in Bavaria as a specialized track to be used for testing such self-driving automobiles in the hopes that the country will become a world leader in this market segment as well.

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Sheriffs want Google, Waze to disable ‘police stalking’ feature

Sheriffs want Google, Waze to disable ‘police stalking’ feature

Sheriffs around the nation want Google and Waze to stop tracking their whereabouts. A feature in Waze allows users to report on traffic accidents or other traffic slowdowns, but also allows for users to report where police might be stationed. According to law enforcement officials, that presents a danger to them. The existing feature shows where a police officer might be located, but doesn’t report why they are there. Sheriffs are even going so far as to call Waze a “police stalker” app.

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Tweeted bomb threats ground two Atlanta-bound flights

Tweeted bomb threats ground two Atlanta-bound flights

Two U.S. passenger flights bound for Atlanta were grounded and searched for bombs after threats were made via Twitter from the account @kingZortic (now suspended). Delta flight 1156 and Southwest flight 2942, from Portland and Milwaukee, respectively, were already in the air when the threats were made. Both planes were escorted by F-16 fighter jets to their landings, and were found clear of explosives or weapons after searches from authorities, while all the passengers were unharmed and safe when exiting the aircrafts.

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Proposed law requires Apple Pay users show photo ID

Proposed law requires Apple Pay users show photo ID

Apple Pay, Apple's new wireless, NFC payment method, is a clear step towards a future where customers no longer have to deal with pulling a card out of their wallet, typing PIN numbers, or signing receipts when making payments. We just tap/swipe our phones and we're done. But one lawmaker doesn't like that idea and still wants us to continue digging in our wallets at the register. Missouri's Joshua Peters (D) from the House of Representatives has proposed a law that requires a photo ID be shown by anyone making a smartphone-based payment.

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Here come the drug drones

Here come the drug drones

This week a quadcopter drone landed - rather badly - in a Mexican supermarket parking lot carrying more than its average payload. Instead of carrying just a camera and its propellers, this particular drone was carrying meth. A whopping 6-pounds of methamphetamine, in fact, with intent to distribute. Tijuana police are investigating the drone's origin and destination, but currently have no significant (public, anyway) leads on how this situation came to be. This may, in fact, be the point at which drones begin breaking bad.

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President Obama calls for new federal laws on data security

President Obama calls for new federal laws on data security

President Obama thinks you should be protected if you’re connected. On Monday, the President called for the passing of the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would require you to be notified within 30 days if a company you did business with as a consumer or professionally were breached. Secondly, the President wants access to your credit score to be simpler so you can manage your credit data should a hacker wreak havoc on your financial standing, giving you an early start on fixing the problems.

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Canadian ISPs required by law to notify users of illegal downloads

Canadian ISPs required by law to notify users of illegal downloads

January 1st saw a new law, part of the Copyright Modernization Act, go into effect in Canada that requires internet service providers and website hosts to notify their users when copyright holders have detected illegal downloading. When an ISP now receives a letter of complaint from a copyright holder, they must forward it to the customer tied to the IP address associated with the download, or face fines of up to $10,000. The same applies to VPN (virtual private network) services, who must also record customer logs for a least 6 months.

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India gives OnePlus some space, temporarily lifts ban

India gives OnePlus some space, temporarily lifts ban

India's High Court just handed OnePlus a timely holiday gift. Overturning the decision of a solitary judge, the court gave OnePlus some amount of reprieve and allowed it to continue selling its OnePlus One smartphone in India. But it is hardly a straight out victory for the Chinese startup as the case is still to formally begin in January. It does, however, give OnePlus some time to recoup some of its loses and at least sell some of its remaining inventory, and maybe even import some more, until that fated date.

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