Government & Communications

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

Snowden and WikiLeaks Clash Over How to Disclose Secrets

Location:
WikiLeaks, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Recommendation:
3

They may both support the dissemination of government secrets, but Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks seem to disagree on how best to do it. On July 28, Snowden, the former government contractor who released a trove of National Security Agency documents and now lives in exile in Russia, credited WikiLeaks, a clearinghouse for similar disclosures, with furthering the cause of transparency but also criticized its unfiltered approach.

Donald Trump’s wish for hacking powers sets up disaster scenario Snowden feared

Location:
Freedom of the Press Foundation, 601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94102, United States
Recommendation:
3

This really gets at the crux of why civil libertarians have been arguing for years that the National Security Agency has to be significantly curtailed. Even if you believe that the Obama Administration is 100 percent trustworthy and no one at the NSA under his watch has abused the agency’s vast spying powers (which, by the way, evidence refutes), the real danger is the infrastructure in place that would allow some future leader to wreak havoc. A future leader just like Donald Trump.

Commissioner Pai: FCC Should Not Have Dunned AT&T

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Commissioner Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission says the FCC should not have issued a notice of apparent liability and proposed fine against AT&T because it waited too long to take that enforcement action.

The FCC is pushing Internet innovation forward — and holding it back

Location:
Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, 37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC, 20057, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission published a pair of decisions recently that show in sharp contrast the right and wrong ways regulators use their authority to shape the trajectory of disruptive technologies. This time, the continuing evolution of the Internet is at stake.

Environmental Protection Agency Tests Future of Public Comments

Location:
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC, 20460, United States
Recommendation:
3

Collecting public comment on federal rules might get a little easier. An Environmental Protection Agency pilot lets citizens comment on specific paragraphs of proposed rules instead of submitting them via e-mail or in a separate text box.

FTC Approves Final Order in ASUS Privacy Case

Location:
Asus, Taipei, Taiwan
Recommendation:
3

After a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order resolving the Commission’s complaint against ASUSTeK Computer, Inc., charging that critical security flaws in its routers put the home networks of hundreds of thousands of consumers at risk.

In Secret Battle, Surveillance Court Reined in FBI Use of Information Obtained From Phone Calls

Location:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, DC, 20535-0001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Beginning over a decade ago, the country’s surveillance court intervened to limit the FBI’s ability to act on some sensitive information that it collected while monitoring phone calls. The wrangling between the FBI and the secret court is contained in previously undisclosed documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC.

Weather Service conducts ‘illegal surveillance’ on staff, union says

Location:
National Weather Service, 1325 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, United States
Recommendation:
3

If it’s on Facebook, can it be secret? Members of the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) thought they had a secret Facebook page that was available only to them. But not only did National Weather Service (NWS) management officials know about the page, they accessed it and made scornful comments about the postings, according to the union.

Time to Stop Hitting the Cyber Snooze Button on US Infrastructure

Location:
Raytheon, 870 Winter Street, Waltham, MA, 02451-1449, United States
Recommendation:
3

Power grids have proven to be vulnerable to cyber terrorists. Hackers interrupted a regional power supply abroad (in the Ukraine), and white hat hackers in the Midwest recently demonstrated there’s nothing special about our own grid that would protect our systems from the eventuality of a similar – and potentially much more damaging – fate.

Professionals Across the Globe Agree: Government Don't Invest Enough In Cyber

Location:
Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1800 K Street, Washington, DC, 20006, United States
Recommendation:
3

A global lack of cybersecurity talent could make nations more vulnerable to cyberattack, and governments aren't doing enough to fill that gap, a new report finds.

The Democrats’ well-deserved WikiLeaks blowback

Location:
Washington Post, 1150 15th St NW, Washington, DC, 20071, United States
Recommendation:
2

Over at the CIA and the National Security Agency headquarters, they must be really enjoying watching Democrats in Philadelphia (PA) squirm over WikiLeaks’s exposure of tens of thousands of internal Democratic Party e-mails. There’s a word for what is happening in the intelligence community: Blowback.

Arab Americans Join With Tech, Privacy Groups to Fight Surveillance

Location:
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, 1990 M St NW #610, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

Privacy advocates in the technology space have a new ally in Arab American groups to help with their fight to keep US surveillance at bay. They are spurred on by anti-Muslim rhetoric from Republicans. Privacy and civil rights groups are joined by Arab American advocacy groups that call to be more publicly opposed to government surveillance.

Why Federal Agencies Won't Take Up the Internet of Things Anytime Soon

Location:
Center for Data Innovation, 1101 K Street, NW, Suite 610A, Washington, DC, 20005, United States
Recommendation:
2

Public spending on sensor technology might be up, but Internet of things enthusiasts shouldn’t get too excited about a futuristic, hyperconnected government. Without top-down strategies for using networks of devices and embedded sensors, federal adoption “will likely remain low,” a new report from the Center for Data Innovation suggests.

The End of Australia’s National Broadband Network?

Location:
NBN Co Perth Project Office, 1-9 Tanunda Dr, Rivervale, Australia
Recommendation:
3

Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) is the largest public sector investment in broadband to replace existing copper infrastructure with fiber.

What does the US government know about Russia and the DNC hack?

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

Potentially unpleasant news for FBI Director Jim Comey: We need you to intervene in the 2016 election again. There is significant evidence that individuals acting at the direction of or on the behalf of Russia—the degree of coordination is unclear—are attempting to use organizational doxing to influence the United States presidential election.

China Clamps Down on Online News Reporting

Location:
People's Republic of China, Beijing, China
Recommendation:
3

China has ordered several of the country’s most popular Internet portals to halt much of their original news reporting, in a move that could confine an even larger share of the journalism in the country to Communist-controlled mouthpieces ahead of an important party meeting in 2017.

Technology Is Monitoring the Urban Landscape

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
3

Big City is watching you. It will do it with camera-equipped drones that inspect municipal power lines and robotic cars that know where people go. Sensor-laden streetlights will change brightness based on danger levels. Technologists and urban planners are working on a major transformation of urban landscapes over the next few decades.

China Clamps Down on Online News Reporting

Location:
China, China
Recommendation:
2

China has ordered several of the country’s most popular internet portals to halt much of their original news reporting, in a move that could confine an even larger share of the journalism in the country to Communist-controlled mouthpieces ahead of an important party meeting in 2017.

WikiLeaks threatens to start its own Twitter because of 'cyber feudalism'

Location:
WikiLeaks, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Recommendation:
3

WikiLeaks and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have had harsh words over Twitter’s recent decision to ban noted Breitbart editor and troll Milo Yiannopoulos. WikiLeaks’ Twitter account declared the ban an example of "cyber feudalism," saying that Twitter had "banned conservative gay libertarian [Yiannopoulos] for speaking the 'wrong' way" to Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones.

FCC's Quadrennial Review Vote Is on Clock

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

July 22 marks the three-week anniversary of the Democratic majority's vote to approve the quadrennial broadcast ownership rule review, which does not include loosening or jettisoning the local ownership regulations broadcasters had sought.

FCC Chairman Wheeler Proves To Be No Cable Shill

Location:
TVNewsCheck, Chatham, NJ, 07928, United States
Recommendation:
3

Yes, Chairman Wheeler was chief spokesman for cable in the 1980s, but he has proven to be no cable guy.

Cities, technology, the next generation of urban development, and the next administration, Part 3

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

As the candidates lay out their plans for the country, cities and technology should be at the heart of the conversation about economic growth and social progress. They should articulate both a strategy and specific ideas about how to accelerate the ability of cities to use new technology to achieve those goals. Here are five such ideas.

WSJ Reporter: Homeland Security Tried to Take My Phones at the Border

Location:
Los Angeles International Airport, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA, 90045, United States
Recommendation:
3

On July 21, a Wall Street Journal reporter claimed that the Department of Homeland Security demanded access to her mobile phones when she was crossing the border at the Los Angeles (CA) airport.

Donald Trump, Peter Thiel and the death of democracy

Location:
2016 Republican National Convention, 1 Center Ct Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH, 44115, United States
Recommendation:
3

The next American electorate will be more nonwhite, more working-class, and more leftwing. And they’re likely to demand more democracy, not less – not only from the political system, but from the economic system as well.

Edward Snowden Designs a Device to Warn If Your iPhone’s Radios Are Snitching

Location:
MIT Media Lab, 77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA, 02139, United States
Recommendation:
3

When Edward Snowden met with reporters in a Hong Kong hotel room to spill the National Security Agency’s secrets, he famously asked them put their phones in the fridge to block any radio signals that might be used to silently activate the devices’ microphones or cameras. So it’s fitting that three years later, he’s returned to that smartphone radio surveillance problem.

Cities, technology, the next generation of urban development, and the next administration, Part 2

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

The federal government should focus on how cities are likely to be the primary government jurisdictions on the leading edge of using new technology to transform the public sphere.

Sen Markey floats bill bringing Internet to developing world

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) is pushing to increase Internet access in the developing world with new legislation. The Driving Innovation and Growth in Internet Technology And Launching Universal Access to the Global Economy Act (DIGITAL AGE) would provide the State Department a “Special Representative for the Global Connect Initiative,” a face for the Global Connect Initiative it announced in April.

After Net Neutrality

Location:
Annenberg School for Communication - University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, United States
Recommendation:
3

Confronting the structural roots of internet monopoly power will require the same commitment to democratic principles and the same activism that won net neutrality.

The Supreme Court’s new definition of corruption is out of step with what Americans think

Location:
Colgate University, 13 Oak Dr, Hamilton, NY, 13346, United States
Recommendation:
3

In effect, the court has defined corruption in a way that requires prosecutors to prove an explicit quid pro quo agreement. This narrow definition is out of line with both public opinion and scholarly research on corruption.

Can Silicon Valley Really Do Anything to Stop Police Violence?

Location:
Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, CA, United States
Recommendation:
3

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