law

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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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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Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès arrested in Japan for alleged fraud

Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès arrested in Japan for alleged fraud

Mt. Gox. That's a name you probably never imagined, or wished, hearing again after all this time. Good thing that this is more about its CEO Mark Karpelès. Sadly, it might actually still be linked with the scandal that rocked the Bitcoin world early last year. In Japan, Karpelès was arrested on the grounds that he allegedly manipulated the company's computer systems to add $1 million to his balance, at a time when Mt. Gox has filed for bankruptcy because of its inability to pay back its customers.

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California’s “kill switch” law is now in full swing

California’s “kill switch” law is now in full swing

Starting this month, any smartphone made after July 1 that will be sold in the State of California is legally required not only to have a kill switch feature but must also have it turned on by default. But considering the expenses and work that will be required to have devices specific to California only, this practically means the kill switch law will be in effect throughout the US. This is just the latest, and perhaps the most forceful, effort to curb smartphone theft, which has thankfully declined substantially in recent months.

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Driver fined for using Apple Watch while driving

Driver fined for using Apple Watch while driving

Smartwatches were designed to actually pry us away from our smartphones by only bringing to our attention very critical notifications, and even then only for a short while. At least that's the theory. And that theory will be one that still needs to be tested by the law, which has grown rather indecisive when it came to the latest breed of smart devices in the market. That is something that a driver from Pincourt, Quebec found out the hard way when he was fined with a $120 ticket for driving with an Apple Watch.

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House passes USA Freedom Act, curtails NSA’s powers

House passes USA Freedom Act, curtails NSA’s powers

The NSA and other government agencies like it have been dealt yet with another near fatal blow. Just a week after the Court of Appeals agreed with the ACLU that the agency's massive data collection spree was illegal, the House of Representative further reduces the NSA's power. In an almost landslide vote of 338 to 88, the House passed what is known now as the USA Freedom Act of 2015, which imposes limits on what the government can and cannot demand in terms of private phone data.

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Uber pays fines in Portland ahead of possible re-launch

Uber pays fines in Portland ahead of possible re-launch

Late last year, Uber arrived in Portland, Oregon. The service was unauthorized, and city officials weren’t taking it lightly. A covert operation to request rides and fine drivers was underway (they got two warnings before a fine, technically), which brought as much confusion to the scene as happy hipsters who could bypass the taxi system. After the kerfuffle, Uber agreed to withdraw from the city for 90 days. As City Hall considers new rules that would allow Uber to operate, the ridesharing service has agreed to pay $67,750 in fines handed down by the city over the unsanctioned launch.

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Tesla Motors banned from direct sales in West Virginia

Tesla Motors banned from direct sales in West Virginia

Thanks to a decision made Friday by West Virginia's governor, Tesla Motors will not be allowed to practice its direct-sales approach in the state. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed a bill that protects franchised auto dealers, making them the only outlet where new vehicles can be purchased from. The new law states that auto manufacturers are prohibited from acting as a new car dealer or operating as a dealership. Not surprisingly, Tesla is unhappy about the decision, which just so happens to have been supported by West Virginia's Senate president, Bill Cole, himself a car dealer in the state.

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Obama signs bill to allow sanctions be placed on ‘malicious’ hackers

Obama signs bill to allow sanctions be placed on ‘malicious’ hackers

Taking dead aim at “malicious cyber attackers”, President Obama today signed into law a bill that will allow those who target US companies for things like DDoS attacks to have sanctions imposed upon them. In announcing the bill, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism chief Lisa Monaco said “by freezing assets of those subject to sanctions and making it more difficult for them to do business with U.S. entities, we can remove a powerful economic motivation for committing these acts in the first place”.

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