How is it that the government that tells us that they need a back door into encryption because the tool that we use to safeguard our privacy can also be used by "bad guys" for evil purposes, completely forgets this argument when it comes to guns? "Yeah, bad guys use guns for bad things but there's nothing we can do." The right to bear arms (interpretation up to debate) and the right to privacy are both supposedly guaranteed in the constitution (amendments 2 and 4).

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According to a [report](http://www.fireeye.com/resources/pdfs/fireeye-operation-ke3chang.pdf) from researchers at US security outfit FireEye, a number of computers belonging to diplomats attending the G20 summit in Russia three months ago, including at least five European foreign ministries, were successfully targeted by Chinese hackers. FireEye researchers had monitored a server, one of 23, used by the Ke3chang group in August. This enabled them to observe the malware in action, although FireEye says no data was stolen as far as they were aware during this period of observation. Naturally the security firm contacted the relevant authorities as soon as it realised what was underway. The …

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Anonymous hacktivists took aim at the websites of the UK Justice Department, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Home Office and even the Prime Minister's own Number 10 site. All of them were successfully targeted overnight and went down for a period of time. The attacks were part of the Anonymous response to the UK government's handling of the Julian Assange extradition situation. WikiLeaks founder Assange has been granted political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and police have gathered to arrest him should he leave the building. The UK government has threatened to enter the embassy, under …

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It's not unusual for a government IT department to warn its users about downloading malware onto their government-issued computers. It's more unusual, though, for the source of the malware to be the ads on the website of the newspaper of record. In July, the cyber security coordinators in the state of Idaho took the unusual step of recommending that its users block or avoid the website of the Idaho Statesman, a Boise-based daily paper that covers most of the state, due to what was said to be malware in the website's ads, according to a memo sent to the security …

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Earlier this year Jonathan Evans, the Director General of MI5 (the UK Security Service), warned that cyber attacks against UK plc were as much of a security challenge as terrorism as far as Britain was concerned. He claimed that UK businesses were being targeted at an 'astonishing' rate driven by "many thousands of people lying behind both state-sponsored cyber espionage and organised cyber crime". Now Foreign Secretary William Hague has [joined the fray](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9624655/Britain-is-target-of-up-to-1000-cyber-attacks-every-hour.html) to warn that "not an hour goes by when a system in the UK is not being attacked" and how hackers and foreign spies are 'bombarding' government …

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According to a new [URL="http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=1072"]study [/URL]from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 21 percent of American adults do not use the Internet. And of those, 90 percent say they have no intention of using the Internet in the future. Among the non-internet users, 34 percent do have some relationship with the online world, ranging from living in a home with an Internet connection or having used the Internet at some point in the past. As far as reasons, 48 percent say they are too busy or not interested, while 21 percent are concerned about the price and 18 percent …

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The United Nations Global Pulse, along with analytics software specialist SAS, has revealed how social media streams can be used as predictors of national unemployment line spikes. By analysing more than half a million blogs, forums and news sites, the researchers were able to determine how social media chatter more specifically the 'conversation sentiment' expressed by it, could warn of pending unemployment increases as well as help to inform government policymakers of the likely impact of those increases. ![dwebglobalpulse](/attachments/small/0/dwebglobalpulse.jpg "align-right") The data analysed came from more than two years worth of social media streams in both the USA and Ireland, …

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Sykipot is not a new Trojan Horse by any means, but the variation found to be attacking Department of Defense smart cards is certainly something that government agencies need to be worried about. United States government agencies, that is. It's doubtful the Chinese government will be too worried about them, considering that the Sykipot-led attacks against these US government agencies would appear to be originating from China itself. [ATTACH=RIGHT]23494[/ATTACH]Security specialist [URL="http://www.alienvault.com"]AlienVault[/URL] has uncovered evidence that the attacks might stretch right back as far as March 2011 and have been targeting a number of agencies which use ActivIdentity, or more specifically …

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Having a professional interest in security, and a personal distrust of politicians and their promises of providing the same, I was not at all surprised by the findings of a [URL="http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/03_march/23/keylogger.shtml"]BBC TV investigation[/URL] that has just been broadcast in the UK. Inside Out, a news reporting and investigative documentary series that most often homes in on fairly lightweight consumer stories, decided to send their reporter to the heart of the [URL="http://www.parliament.uk/"]UK Parliament[/URL], the [URL="http://www.parliament.uk/commons/index.cfm"]House of Commons[/URL], and test the security provided by one of the most heavily guarded buildings in the British Isles. I’ve attended working group committee meetings there …

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[ATTACH=right]21447[/ATTACH]Penetration testing by the US Department of Homeland Security which involved dropping USB thumb drives and various data discs around the car parks of government agency buildings has revealed a not-so-shocking truth: just like most folk, government workers allow curiosity to trump security when faced with the opportunity to have a nosey at something they think they shouldn't be looking at. Some 60 percent of those who picked up the thumb drives and discs went on to stick them straight into their company computers in order to see what they contained. The more that the drive or disc looked like …

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The state of Oregon is holding a series of informational meetings in 20 areas around the state to identify the barriers to bringing Internet resources to their community. While obviously meetings are being held in urban locations such as Portland and the state capital of Salem, they are also being held in rural and remote locations such as John Day and Madras (with 5,078 residents, according to the 2000 census). The meetings are part of a [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story234021.html"]project [/URL] funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus package. Oregon received a $1.6 million Broadband …

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Along [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_commemorative_months"]with [/URL]Vegetarian Awareness, Toilet Tank Repair, and Pet Wellness, October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Who knew. "The National Cyber Security Alliance, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, sponsors National Cyber Security Awareness Month every October since its founding in 2003. The three organizations work together to help consumers, schools, businesses and government agencies stay safe online, with October being a special time for focused public awareness and education." (Why October? They don't say.) Simultaneous events will be held on Monday in Seattle and Arlington, Va., with speakers …

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A number of civil liberties groups announced today that they are [URL="http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/NewsReleases/2010mn30/$FILE/BorderSearchComplaint09072010.pdf"]fighting [/URL]U.S. Department of Homeland Security [URL="http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1251393255852.shtm"]policies [/URL]that allow them to search all electronic devices -- including laptops, cameras, and smart phones -- that cross the border. Between October 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010, more than 6,500 people -- nearly 3,000 of them U.S. citizens -- were subjected to a search of their electronic devices as they crossed U.S. borders, [URL="http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/NewsReleases/2010mn30/$FILE/BorderSearchComplaint09072010.pdf"]reported [/URL]the groups, which include the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). This …

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There's a map for that. And now nonprofits can get it for free. ESRI, the company that produces the ARCView series of geographic information systems applications, [URL="http://www.esri.com/nonprofit/index.html"]announced [/URL]today its Nonprofit Organization Program, intended to provide copies of the seminal mapping software for free to nonprofits. "The Esri Nonprofit Organization Program is designed to provide conservation and humanitarian nonprofit organizations around the world an affordable means of acquiring ArcGIS software and services," the company said. Other types of nonprofit organizations may also be eligible for membership in the program. Mapping software is an extremely useful way of displaying data with a …

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This year's version of the Cybersecurity Act was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs after amending it to limit the president's authority in the event of a cyber emergency, [URL="http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/105377-senate-homeland-security-committee-approves-cybersecurity-bill-"]reported [/URL][I]The Hill[/I]. The [URL="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.3480:"]bill[/URL], sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Tom Carper (D-Del.), is an update to a bill from [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story220776.html"]last year[/URL] that was also worked on by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). At that time, people were concerned about reports that it would give the President a "kill switch" to shut down the Internet, though …

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I saw this article yesterday titled, "[URL="http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090220/tc_pcworld/studyfederalgovtcansavebillionsinitspending"]Study: Federal Gov't. Can Save Billions in IT Spending[/URL]," and feel compelled to comment. The gist of the article is that by switching to open source software, like Linux and OpenOffice.org, the federal government would save billions of dollars in IT costs. This is one for the "DUH!" category. It is such a "duh" moment for me that I feel like playing "Really" like Seth and Amy do on Saturday Night Live--so I think I will. I read an article that the federal government could save billions in IT spending by using Linux and …

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A small story in the context of the rest of the world is the UK Government's call for the banning of forthcoming computer game, [URL="http://www.medalofhonor.com"]Medal of Honor[/URL]. British Defence Secretary [URL="http://http://www.liamfox.co.uk/text.aspx?id=1"]Liam Fox[/URL] has called for the ban because unlike its predecessors the game is set in Afghanistan, where of course both US and UK troops are still dying. Dr. Fox is incensed and outraged that such a thing should be used for entertainment and has said so. His Government Department has made it clear (and he hasn't objected) that this is a personal view. There are complex issues about freedom …

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[ATTACH=RIGHT]16424[/ATTACH]In its daily briefing for reporters today, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell demanded that [URL="http://wikileaks.org"]WikiLeaks[/URL] return over 15,000 documents that the site has not yet published. He also denied reports that WikiLeaks had asked Department of Defense officials for assistance in going through the as yet unpublished documents. [I]"The Defense Department demands that Wikileaks return immediately to the US government all versions of documents obtained directly or indirectly from the Department of Defense databases or records...The only acceptable course is for Wikileaks to take steps immediately to return all versions of all of these documents to the US government and permanently …

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[ATTACH=right]16134[/ATTACH]At [URL="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/introducing-google-apps-for-government.html"]today's press conference[/URL], Google announced a new version of its Google Apps productivity suite, [URL="http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/government/trust.html"]Google Apps For Government[/URL]. The software has been certified as meeting U.S. Government security requirements. Like the Premier version of their suite, the cost is a yearly charge of $50 per user, and includes applications such as Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Postini, an e-mail/Web security and archiving service. The certification is a FISMA-Moderate rating, which can be used for sensitive, but not classified data. FISMA stands for the Federal Information Security Management Act passed in 2002 and applies to all information systems used …

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Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has asked the British public to help decide which laws should be repealed by way of what can only be described as an exercise in crowdsourcing via the government sponsored '[URL="http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws"]Your Freedom[/URL]' website. However, it seems the great British public are not taking this journey into online democracy in action quite as seriously as the politicians would have hoped. [attach]15673[/attach] "The Coalition Government is committed to restoring and defending your freedom" Clegg says "and we're asking you to participate." Which is nice, as is the notion that "Rules in society create …

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Some industry experts are expressing concern about a [URL="http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/ns_tic.pdf"]proposal [/URL]from the White House to develop a "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace," now up for public comment, saying it is vague, might no longer allow online anonymity, potentially gives government too much access to personal information, and provides a single point of failure for identity thieves. The plan postulates security tokens such as a "smart identity card," possibly from state government, or a digital certificate from a smart phone, that would contain all sorts of identity information about a person, rather than people having to remember a long string …

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In a move that some are hailing as a new frontier for independent political candidates, the Utah Supreme Court ruled today that nominating petitions can be signed electronically as well as on paper and still be valid. "[W]e conclude that the plain language of section 20A-9-502 is not limited to handwritten signatures," wrote the court in its [URL="http://www.utcourts.gov/opinions/supopin/Anderson7062210.pdf"]decision[/URL]. "The Court’s opinion, the first of its kind nationwide, has the potential to increase significantly the ability of independent candidates to access the general election ballot, and thus to increase the opportunity for minority viewpoints to be heard and considered in election …

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Martha Lane Fox, who co-founded lastminute.com, has [URL="http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/latest-news"]been appointed[/URL] as the new UK Digital Champion by Prime Minister David Cameron. As part of the coaltion Government's drive to increase transparency and accountability, the Internet entrepreneur will be tasked with encouraging as many people as possible to go online, and improving the convenience and efficiency of public services by driving online delivery. She will be supported in this endeavour by the Cabinet Office. Lane-Fox will also sit on the Efficiency Board, which is co-chaired by Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, and which oversees …

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A series of angry email messages to a U.S. Senator has landed a man in jail, possibly because he didn't sign them with his correct name or location. Bruce Shore, who is from Philadelphia, sent email to Senator Jim Bunning, of Kentucky, after the Senator complained on the Senate floor that he'd missed the Kentucky-South Carolina basketball game because of a debate on extending unemployment benefits -- a debate the Kentucky Republican himself prevented from proceeding to a vote, according to an [URL="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/25/bruce-shore-unemployed-ph_n_588798.html"]article [/URL]in the Huffington Post. Shore was angry because he has been unemployed for two years and had …

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Remember Richard Blumenthal? The Connecticut Attorney General who has led a pack of other state Attorneys General for more than a year chasing [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story220115.html"]pedophiles [/URL](who may or may not have been there) on social networks and [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story220488.html"]prostitutes [/URL]on Craigslist? And who, in what is surely just a coincidence, is running for the U.S. Senate, and whose campaign is slipping following [URL="http://www.wfsb.com/politics/23856922/detail.html"]revelations [/URL]that he lied about serving in Vietnam? He's back -- and now he's jumping on the outrage bandwagon about privacy issues with Google Streetview. The company came under fire earlier this year amidst revelations that while taking pictures for …

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It sounds great in theory: Use the power of the Internet to get ideas from people, have people vote on the ideas, and then use the ideas that get the most votes. However, it doesn't work so well for some people. "Republicans are drafting a new plan to win back the House of Representatives," [URL="http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2010/May/GOP-Seeks-Public-Input-With-New-Website/"]reported [/URL]the Christian Broadcasting Network, in describing the American Speaking Out [URL="http://www.americaspeakingout.com/"]website[/URL]. "The plan is a project known as America Speaking Out. It is similar to the Contract With America in 1994 that fueled a GOP takeover of the House that year. The new plan is …

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All of the applications for the second round of broadband stimulus funding have been posted -- sort of. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus package, Congress appropriated $7.2 billion for broadband grants, loans, and loan guarantees to be administered by the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). There are two programs: RUS Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). BIP will make loans and grants for broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas, while BTOP will provide grants …

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People who are unhappy with the progress of the military actions in Iran and Afghanistan finally have something to blame: PowerPoint. “PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said in an [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html?emc=eta1"]article [/URL]in the [I]New York Times[/I] this week. The article went on to describe how the software "is deeply embedded in a military culture that has come to rely on PowerPoint’s hierarchical ordering of a confused world." Articles in military journals on the same subject appeared in 2009: [URL="http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2009/07/print/draft-draft-draftpowerpoint-1/"]One [/URL]in [I]Small Wars Journal[/I] and [URL="http://www.afji.com/2009/07/4061641"]another [/URL]-- which actually spawned the …

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It took two years, but Terry Childs, former network administrator for the city of San Francisco, has finally been convicted of one felony count of computer tampering. In [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story219397.html"]2008[/URL], Childs changed the system's router passwords and then for more than a week refused to give them to anyone, even after being arrested. He finally revealed them to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and was charged with four felony counts, basically of variations on hacking. Last, [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story224982.html"]August[/URL], San Francisco Superior Court judge Kevin McCarthy dropped three of the four charges, related to his attaching three modems to the network. The charge …

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The case of a Philadelphia school allegedly [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story263325.html"]spying [/URL]on students through webcams in their laptop computers continues to wend its way through the legal system, with more recently filed court documents alleging that as many as 56,000 pictures were taken. While attorneys for the school system [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/us/20brfs-SCHOOLDISTRI_BRF.html"]insist [/URL]none of the images were inappropriate, some of the images depicted students sleeping and partially undressed, with the school administrator in question being [URL="http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20100415_Lawyer__Laptops_took_thousands_of_photos.html"]called [/URL]in some documents a "voyeur" -- which she [URL="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/04/adminresponse.pdf"]denied[/URL]. Lawyers for the family of the student who first filed legal cases released a [URL="http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20100415_Lawyer__Laptops_took_thousands_of_photos.html"]picture [/URL]of the student sleeping, allegedly …

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The End.