Government & Communications

Attempts by governmental bodies to improve or impede communications with or between the citizenry.

T-Mobile was asked to turn over more customer info than its larger rivals

Location:
T-Mobile, 12920 SE 38th St, Bellevue, WA, 98006, United States
Recommendation:
2

T-Mobile received nearly 351,940 government requests for data in 2014, the most out of any of the four national wireless carriers. The nation's fourth-largest carrier by subscriber base disclosed in its transparency report that it had fielded 177,549 criminal and civil subpoenas, 17,316 warrants and more than 3,000 wiretap orders.

Hacking Team hacked: firm sold spying tools to repressive regimes, documents claim

Location:
Hacking Team, Via della Moscova, 13, Milano, 20121, Italy
Recommendation:
2

The cybersecurity firm Hacking Team appears to have itself been the victim of a hack, with documents that purport to show it sold software to repressive regimes being posted to the company’s own Twitter feed.

Egypt Enforces Tough Media Restrictions

Location:
Cairo, Egypt
Recommendation:
1

One can't blame journalists in Egypt for being confused about what they can (and can't) cover and what language to use in their reports, given the widening chasm between authorities and countless news organizations.

The OPM cyberattack was a breach too far

Location:
Washington Post, 1150 15th St NW, Washington, DC, 20071, United States
Recommendation:
1

The other shoe is expected to drop this week on the disastrous loss of confidential information from the databases of the Office of Personnel Management.

Silicon Valley 'civic-tech' companies driving transparency in local government

Location:
OpenGov Inc, 955 Charter St., Redwood City, CA, 94063, United States
Recommendation:
1

ities from San Francisco (CA) to Palo Alto (CA) and Dublin -- even down to the financially troubled city of Bell in Southern California -- are using Silicon Valley startup technology to open a window into government spending at an unprecedented level of detail.

Jitters in Tech World Over New Chinese Security Law

Location:
China, China
Recommendation:
3

When a draft of China’s new national security law was made public in May, critics argued that it was too broad and left much open to interpretation. In the final form of the law, Beijing got more specific, but in a way that is sending ripples through the global technology industry.

Time for TV in the Supreme Court

Location:
New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY, 10018, United States
Recommendation:
2

Televise the Supreme Court’s proceedings.

How to bend social media to your will

Location:
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Recommendation:
1

George Takei put a lot of thought into the question of how to attract Twitter followers, and perhaps his answers will be of use to readers trying to bend social media to their will.

Is the White House Skirting Government-wide Cybersecurity Rules?

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
1

The White House’s Executive Office of the President hasn’t submitted reports detailing compliance with federal cybersecurity rules for the past three years, according to a letter to President Barack Obama written by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI).

Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53

Jul 8 2015 - 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location:
House Commerce Committee, 45 Independence Ave SW 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515, United States

Continuing their oversight of the administration’s work to transition key Internet functions from the United States to the multistakeholder community, members will hear from NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers CEO Fadi Chehade and discuss the status of transition efforts following the recently concluded ICANN meeting.

China passes new national security law extending control over Internet

Location:
People's Republic of China, Beijing, China
Recommendation:
1

China has passed a wide-ranging national security law expanding its legal reach over the Internet and even outer space as concerns grow about ever-tighter limits on rights.

Why I Walked Out of Facial Recognition Negotiations

Location:
Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW Hart Auditorium, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

On June 16, consumer privacy advocates walked out of talks to set voluntary rules for companies that use facial recognition technology. They explained that they were withdrawing from the talks because industry would not agree to critical privacy protections. I was one of those advocates.

The regulator of tomorrow

Location:
Deloitte, 1633 Broadway, New York, NY, 10019, United States
Recommendation:
1

Regulators and regulations play a critical role in society -- but one that may need to evolve to remain relevant and effective in the face of technology-induced change.

Outgoing Twitter CEO: 'Regulation is a threat to free speech'

Location:
Twitter (new home), 1355 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, United States
Recommendation:
1

Twitter's outgoing CEO said that government rules endanger free expression. “I will say directly that I think regulation is a threat to free speech,” Dick Costolo said, when asked whether there might be merit to regulating Twitter like a utility.

Australian government bans hundreds of mobile and Web-based games

Location:
Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Recommendation:
1

We're less accustomed to national governments stepping in to decide what apps can and can't be downloaded within their borders. That's just what Australia is set to do on July 1 though, as a new pilot program will ban hundreds of mobile titles that have been "refused classification" in the country on platforms like Google Play.

Court Revives Defunct NSA Mass Surveillance Program

Location:
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has revived the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records, a program that lapsed when sections of the Patriot Act briefly expired. The court approved a government request to renew the dragnet collection of US phone metadata for an additional five months -- a timeframe allowed under the Freedom Act, a newly enacted surveillance reform law that calls for an eventual end to the mass spying program exposed by Edward Snowden two years ago.

US, Brazil to restart long dormant Internet working group

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

The US and Brazil have pledged to restart a long-dormant Internet policy working group in the fall. The move is a rare step forward on cyber issues for the two countries, which have been at odds on Internet policy since the revelations of US spying in 2013.

Warrantless phone tapping, e-mail spying inching to Supreme Court review

Location:
Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), One First Street, NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

More than 26 million people have changed their Facebook picture to a rainbow flag. Here’s why that matters.

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

In the wake of a landmark Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage a right nationwide, a whopping 26 million people slapped a rainbow flag over their Facebook photos to “celebrate pride.”

Coding for Liberty: On the Ground at Rand Paul’s Presidential Hackathon

Location:
San Francisco, CA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Virtually everyone at #HackForRand brings up privacy rights and the National Security Agency within ten seconds of explaining why they’re here, and the goal of the hackathon -- a 24-hour marathon competition of programming judged by a three-person panel -- is to work on building an app that advances “liberty and privacy.”

Iraqi government shut down the Internet to...prevent exam cheating?

Location:
Republic of Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq
Recommendation:
1

A year after Iraqi officials ordered the shutdown of Internet access in nearly a quarter of the country to limit the ability of ISIS to communicate, the government ordered a complete shutdown of Internet service in the country for three hours on Saturday, June 27.

China crosses President Obama’s cyber ‘red line’

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
1

Remember how President Barack Obama failed to enforce his “red line” in Syria? Well, it’s happening again -- this time in cyberspace.

There's a special place for those who quash hyperbole in online comments

Location:
Reason, 5737 Mesmer Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90230, United States
Recommendation:
2

Imagine the fun: A libertarian magazine, which has been criticizing the drug war and government overreach for 47 years while fighting constantly to expand the parameters of free speech, legally barred from talking about an egregious free-speech clampdown in its own lap.

FCC again signals no plan to require political ads to name top donors

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler again signaled his agency is not focusing on a Democratic push that would require some political ads to name the top donors behind them.

Tech company finds stolen government log-ins all over Web

Location:
Recorded Future, Boston, MA, United States
Recommendation:
2

A CIA-backed technology company has found logins and passwords for 47 government agencies strewn across the Web -- available for hackers, spies and thieve

How States Are Fighting to Keep Towns From Offering Their Own Broadband

Location:
North Carolina Department of Justice, 9001 Mail Service Center Attorney General's Office, Raleigh, NC, 27699, United States
Recommendation:
3

The attorneys general in North Carolina and Tennessee have recently filed lawsuits in an attempt to overrule the Federal Communications Commission and block towns in these states from expanding publicly funded Internet service.

A ‘Political Miracle’: What We Learned from the Net Neutrality and Comcast Fights

Location:
Free Press (DC), 501 Third Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
2

Over the past few months we’ve been thinking about everything we learned in the fights over the fate of the Internet. Many of these lessons will be useful to other movements confronting deep-pocketed foes  --  and overwhelming odds. Here are our biggest takeaways.

Why accountability and transparency need to be ICANN’s number one priority

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

This week’s 53rd public meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been focused on the review of the accumulation of months of work on two different paths that are crossing over each other in the ICANN world: the transition of the IANA functions and the effort to improve ICANN accountability and transparency.

Fueled by Snowden and Apple, private search engine DuckDuckGo rapidly grows

Location:
DuckDuckGo, Paoli, PA, United States
Recommendation:
1

The privacy-minded search engine DuckDuckGo announced that it has reached a milestone. The Google alternative now serves over 10 million searches per day. (

Accessible Communications: FCC Should Evaluate the Effectiveness of Its Public Outreach Efforts

Location:
Government Accountability Office (GAO), 441 G St., NW, Washington, DC, 20548, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Federal Communications Commission established accessibility complaint and enforcement procedures within the time frames mandated by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) to ensure that people with disabilities would have access to advanced communications.

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