law

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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Library of Congress OKs modification of car software

Library of Congress OKs modification of car software

Until recently, it was illegal for owners to unlock their smartphones, which basically constituted modifying the device's software, because it was deemed to be a violation of copyright laws. While that issue has more or less become moot this year, the fight seems to have now shifted to cars, as more and more vehicles include sophisticated infotainment software into the latest models. According to the Library of Congress' new guidelines, car owners don't violate copyright laws when they modify the car's software, a position strongly opposed by many in the auto industry.

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Senate approves controversial CISA bill in 74-21 vote

Senate approves controversial CISA bill in 74-21 vote

In an overwhelming number of votes, the US Senate has given the thumbs up to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, more popularly known as CISA, though it definitely has less flattering nicknames. While the bill will still have to go through a joint committee of House and Senate, the show of majority support is already quite telling. Naturally, privacy interest groups are raising their voices high in continued opposition, calling the bill a huge step backwards in the fight for privacy rights and an ineffective weapon against cybercrimes.

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DOJ unsurprisingly ignores Apple’s encryption arguments

DOJ unsurprisingly ignores Apple’s encryption arguments

It seems that Apple and the US Department of Justice will once again be butting legal heads this Monday, a hearing that was supposedly set for October 22, over the two's favorite point of contention: encryption. The DOJ wants Apple to assist in unlocking an encrypted iPhone 5s. While Apple acknowledges that since the phone is still running something older than iOS 8, it can technically do so but has asked to court not to compel it to act. Naturally, the DOJ would have none of that.

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Obama administration softens encryption backdoor law stance

Obama administration softens encryption backdoor law stance

It's not a complete victory for security advocates, but still a reprieve they could rejoice in. White House spokesperson Mark Stroh told the press Saturday that the Obama administration isn't going to push for legislation that would require tech and network companies to provide backdoor access to their encrypted systems. At least not yet. The government still stands by its position on encryption despite increasing opposition from advocates and companies themselves. For now, however, they could breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have legislature breathing down their necks for a while.

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Volvo ready to take responsibility for erring autonomous cars

Volvo ready to take responsibility for erring autonomous cars

Realistically speaking, we're probably still a few years away from seeing fully self-driving cars on public roads, but Volvo wants to get the legal ball rolling even while such cars are still in development. Becoming the first ever car maker to have the guts to make a very early promise, Volvo Cars president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson says that the company is prepared to be legally liable for any mishap caused by its cars when driving in autonomous mode. Hopefully by then, reported accidents won't be as many.

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VW woes worsen: EPA widens investigation, US starts criminal probe

VW woes worsen: EPA widens investigation, US starts criminal probe

They say when it rains, it pours and for Volkswagen, that might be a lot more than a downpour. It is hardly surprising to see how the German car maker's problems with its TDI turbodiesel engine aren't ending with just an apology and a sales halt. With no end yet in sight, the Environment Protection Agency or EPA is reported to be expanding its investigations into VW's other engines which would affect even more cars. In the meantime, US and German governments are also starting their own investigations into the matter.

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