Articles about Federal

Cookie Monster

Four senators call for federal probes into Verizon 'supercookies'

Verizon's sweet tooth for cookies has dunked it in more hot water after four Democratic senators urged the US Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to examine the firm's practice of tracking customers' web habits. Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Edward Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT), and …
Iain Thomson, 06 Feb 2015
medical_doctor_health_channel

Oregon hit with federal subpoena over failed healthcare website launch

The state of Oregon is facing a subpoena and grand jury probe from the US government over a failed IT project which cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. A Federal Court has issued a subpoena asking the state's Cover Oregon agency to hand over documents, records and correspondence related to the agency's disastrous …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2014
FBI badge and gun

UK man Lauri Love accused of hacking US Federal Reserve

The US government have laid more hacking charges against a Brit alleged to have hacked into the US Federal Reserve. Lauri Love, 28, of Stradishall, Suffolk, is charged with one count of computer hacking and a further charge of aggravated identify theft over an alleged attack on Federal Reserve computer systems between October …
John Leyden, 28 Feb 2014
anonymous logo

'Anons' cuffed by Australian Federal Police

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) claim to have arrested two chaps who conducted defacement and denial of service attacks on Indonesian and Australian government websites while using the name and iconography of Anonymous. The AFP says a 40-year-old from Scarborough in Western Australia has been charged with aiding “the …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2014
Europa Clipper

NASA: Give us JUST 0.5% of the federal budget and we'll take you to MARS and EUROPA

President Obama has proposed raising the NASA budget to $18.5bn in 2016 - and the space agency says it would use the funds to plan missions to the water-moon Europa and to capture asteroids and bring them back to Earth's orbit for study. The budget proposal would raise NASA's funding by $519m. NASA's administrator Charles Bolden …
Iain Thomson, 03 Feb 2015
Isilon 3-node S200

Federal squeeze hits EMC as revenues and profits nose downwards

The US federal spending shutdown has hit EMC's results, causing declines in both revenues and profits compared to the previous quarter. In comparison, rivals VMware saw accelerated double-digit year-over-year revenue growth; no federal shutdown effect visible there. Third quarter revenues of $5.5bn were $100m less than the …
Chris Mellor, 22 Oct 2013

Australian Federal Police admit to slurping politicians' metadata

It seems that merely being a recipient of a leak is sufficient, in Australia, for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to search members of parliaments' phone records. The admission that the AFP had accessed “non-content data” of MPs came as independent Senator Nick Xenophon grilled the AFP over the issue. In a Senate Estimates …
Supreme Court Building

Slurp away, NSA: Mass phone data collection IS legal, rules federal judge

A US federal judge has ruled that the NSA is within its rights to harvest millions of innocent Americans' telephone call records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act – and that the dragnet is fine under the Fourth Amendment since the data was collected by a third-party telco, not the government. The decision kicks the debate …
Iain Thomson, 27 Dec 2013

US federal judge: Yes, Bitcoin IS MONEY

A US federal judge has ruled that Bitcoin meets the criteria for "a form of money" under US law, paving the way for what could become a defining lawsuit for the virtual currency. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Texas resident Trendon Shavers with operating a Ponzi scheme under the name Bitcoin Savings and …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2013
The Sun, hacked to redirect to LulzSec Twitter page

Australian Federal Police claim arrest of 'LulzSec leader'

Updated The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested a man described "a self-proclaimed leader of the group ‘Lulz Security’ (Lulzsec), a computer hacking group that has existed since 2011." The as-yet-unnamed 24-year-old man was apprehended in the coastal town of Point Clare was arrested after using a known exploit to last month …
The Register breaking news

AWS cloud gains critical federal security certification

The more people you have to go through to get approval for an IT project, the less likely it is to happen, so when Amazon announces another security certification it's not just about compliance, it's about releasing pent-up cloud demand. With the company's announcement on Tuesday that both its US West and East data center hubs, …
Jack Clark, 21 May 2013
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

'All browsing activity should be considered private and sensitive' says US CIO

The CIO of the United States has floated a plan to make HTTPS the standard for all .gov websites. “The majority of Federal websites use HTTP as the primary protocol to communicate over the public internet,” says the plan, which also states that HTTP “create a privacy vulnerability and expose potentially sensitive information …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2015
The Register breaking news

Press exposure of Federal data security hole leads to legal threats

An investigation into a security slip that left the identity information for over 170,000 users of a US federal government program publicly available online has led to accusations of hacking and legal threats. The Scripps News investigative team spent the last month studying companies running Lifeline, a federal program to …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2013
The Register breaking news

US federal transport crash investigators ditch BlackBerry for iPhones

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has followed other federal agencies in ditching Blackberry for iPhone. But it's not just because they love the retina screen, the public sector agency has blamed their Blackberry devices for being unreliable in a document on the FedBizOpps site explaining why they are switching …
Anna Leach, 21 Nov 2012
FTC building

Yes, AT&T, you do have to go to court with the FTC

AT&T will be forced to go to court with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its handling of unlimited data plans. Judge Edward Chen has struck down (PDF) AT&T's motion to have the FTC complaint dismissed, an order that will force the US telco giant to face charges of violating the Federal Trade Commission Act. Last …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2015

'Come on, everyone – block US govt staff ogling web smut at work'

A US congressman wants to take hard action against government staff viewing grumble flicks at work. House Rep Mark Meadows (R-NC) said that his proposed Eliminating Pornography for Agencies Act would task the White House's Office of Management and Budget to "issue guidelines that prohibit the access of a pornographic or other …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2015
Obama

Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

U.S. President Barack Obama has backed Apple Pay – Cupertino's new payment system – after iThing chief Tim Cook was given a 15-minute-long ad spot at the White House on Friday. That endorsement means that the government will accept Apple Pay transactions for citzens who have federal-payment cards and are, for example, claiming …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Feb 2015

Feds ponder jamming journo comms in Australian Parliament

Canberra's appetite for security theatre could soon see comms blackouts in Parliament House as a response to terrorist threats. The proposal emerged by way of a briefing with the president of the press gallery, David Speers, who told Fairfax Media it's part of a plan to ramp up parliamentary security. As well as armed …
management regulation2

THOUSANDS of alleged pirates' addresses to be handed to Dallas Buyers Club

A few thousand Australians will get a cease-and-desist of some kind from the owners of the film Dallas Buyers Club after local internet service provider (ISP) iiNet and its co-defendants lost a Federal Court case. As a result of the loss, Dallas Buyers Club LLC will be able to get the names and addresses of subscribers it …
eyeofSauron

Lack of secure protocol puts US whistleblowers at risk, says ACLU

Responding to the recent proposal for a "HTTPS-Only Standard", the American Civil Liberties Union has stressed the value of a more thorough and timely implementation of functional transport encryption. The non-profit organization noted that at least 29 US federal websites do not currently use HTTPS to protect sensitive …
International Space Station

Russia considers keeping its own half of the ISS alive after 2024

Russia has decided that if Europe ends its involvement in the International Space Station (ISS), it will undock and keep its half alive. A meeting of the Roscosmos science and technical council has recommended that the Russian space agency continue to support the ISS until 2024. After that, the Federal Space Agency statement …
The Register breaking news

Privacy campaigner blasts FTC's federal limpness

The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is making a mistake by leaving web and data companies to regulate themselves, privacy campaigner the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said today. Responding to the FTC's report Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change (PDF) published yesterday, EPIC said the …
Anna Leach, 27 Mar 2012
US Digital Service Logo

Obama pinches VMware's CIO for same gig at White House

VMware's senior veep and CIO Tony Scott has been made an offer he couldn't refuse: to take the latter job in the US Government. The White House announced the appointment Thursday, with the canned statement saying he's the right person to meet the gig's goals of "driving value in Federal IT investments ... delivering world-class …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Feb 2015
The Register breaking news

Viviane Reding says imitate US and form FEDERAL EUROPE

Viviane Reding, VP of the European Commission, has published an open letter calling for a Federal Europe, modelled on the USA, claiming the only way out of the financial crisis is consolidation of all the participating countries into a single administration. The letter, published on the same day that European leaders are meeting …
Bill Ray, 28 Jun 2012
Air traffic control at NATS

US air traffic control 'vulnerable to hackers' says watchdog

US air traffic control systems are potentially vulnerable to hackers, according to an audit by the American government. A report [46 pages, PDF] by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) faults the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for failing to meet compliance with the relevant government standards, specifically the …
John Leyden, 09 Mar 2015
The Register breaking news

Scores of US federal agencies still open to 2008 cache attack

US federal agencies are still struggling to roll out mandated technology that would make it much harder for attackers to spoof their websites. The Federal Information Security Management Act set a December 2010 deadline to deploy DNSSEC, or DNS Security Extensions, on federal domains. However a survey by Domain Name System …
John Leyden, 23 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

US federal court fast-forwards case on Google privacy policy

A lawsuit brought against the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its inaction regarding Google's imminent changes to its terms of service was expedited yesterday. The US federal court of the District of Columbia agreed to a request put forward by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) - the plaintiffs in the case …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Feb 2012
Tom Wheeler, Chair of FCC. Image by DonkeyHotey

AT&T, Verizon and telco pals file lawsuit to KILL net neutrality FOREVER

America's top telcos are suing the FCC over its efforts to impose net neutrality regulations on US broadband networks. AT&T, Verizon, and others, represented by trade body USTelecom, will drag the Federal Communications Commission to the appeals court in Washington DC in a bid to overturn fresh rules on what ISPs can and can't …
Chris Williams, 24 Mar 2015

FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

CenturyLink has become the seventh organization to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dismantle its radical new net neutrality rules. The broadband provider filed a lawsuit against the US regulator in the Washington DC Court of Appeals, and used almost exactly the same language as the first lawsuit to land last …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015
An Amazon Prime Air drone

Amazon's delivery drones SHOT DOWN by new FAA rules

The United States Federal Aviation Administration has released a new set of rules covering the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles, and appears to have shot down Amazon.com's delivery-by-drone dream. The draft regulations (PDF) say drone operations must be “Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only” and that “unmanned aircraft must …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2015
The Register breaking news

Federal advisors urge Congress to look into China's cyber attacks

A federal advisory group has told the US Congress that it should be doing an in-depth investigation of Chinese cyber spying and that it should create tougher penalties for companies that benefit from corporate espionage. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in its annual report to the government that China …
American Airlines Plane

iPad no flight risk says Federal Aviation Authority

Being asked to switch off your electronic devices during the takeoff and landing phases of a flight now looks even more anachronistic, after American Airlines announced it has been given permission to let its pilots use iPads in the cockpit “in all phases of flight”. The airline is chuffed that the Federal Aviation …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Sep 2012
David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell

The spy who leaked me: Ex-CIA boss Petraeus 'fesses up to blabbing intel to his mistress

The US Department of Justice has reached a settlement with General David Petraeus allowing the former military leader and ex-head of the CIA to avoid prison for handing over classified information to his lover. Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge: one count of unauthorized removal and retention of …
Iain Thomson, 03 Mar 2015

Silk Road 2.0 busted! At least two arrests as federal crackdown begins

If drugs traffickers thought the anonymous online black market calling itself Silk Road 2.0 would be any safer from law enforcement than the original, it looks like they had better think again. According to reports by Forbes and TechCrunch, the FBI have made "multiple arrests" of people believed to be involved with Silk Road 2.0 …
Neil McAllister, 20 Dec 2013

US plots to KILL hackers – with bureaucracy!

A new US government "cyber threat" agency will take information on computer security breaches at private companies, pair it with classified intelligence – and put it back out to businesses so they can learn how to beef up their defences. That's the dream, anyway, according to President Obama's homeland security and …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015
Photo of the White House at dusk

Hillary Clinton draws flak for using personal email at State Dept

Hillary Clinton allegedly used a private email account while presiding over the State Department, potentially violating US federal record-keeping laws in the process. The former US Secretary of State exclusively used a private email account instead of an official State Department facility, the New York Times reports. Staffers …
John Leyden, 03 Mar 2015
Bank vault

Intuit halts TurboTax filings after states spot mass tax fraud scheme

Accounting software maker Intuit has temporarily suspended the ability of its TurboTax software to electronically file US state income tax returns following reports of widespread suspicious activity. "During this tax season, Intuit and some states have seen an increase in suspicious filings and attempts by criminals to use …
Neil McAllister, 07 Feb 2015
CSIRO's giant titanium bugs

CSIRO carves out another 75 jobs

The CSIRO has had to announce yet more staff cuts after one of its divisions failed to meet an external funding target. According to the CSIRO Staff Association, the digital productivity flagship is one of the agency's targets for the cuts, along with researchers in agriculture and advanced manufacturing. The latter is the home …
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Budge up, Navy boys, I've got some broadband spectrum to flog – FCC

US watchdog the FCC hopes to offer more airwaves to telcos in hope they'll be used to grow mobile broadband coverage in America. The commission announced on Friday that it wants to add 100MHz to the 50MHz of spectrum in the 3550MHz to 3700MHz band already available for commercial use. The US Department of Defense operates a few …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2015
Use google.com button

Google strongly opposes plans to let ANY US COURT authorise digi-snoops

Google has strongly opposed US government plans to expand federal powers to authorise remote searches of digital data - claiming in a letter the powers will weaken citizens' fourth amendment rights. The right is the part of the US Constitution that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be …
Kat Hall, 19 Feb 2015
The Register breaking news

Pwned HBGary Federal boss cancels debate after threats

Ex–HBGary Federal chief exec Aaron Barr has abandoned plans to speak at the DefCon security conference in Vegas next week. Barr was due to take part in a panel discussion on 6 August but cancelled these plans in response to a threatened legal injunction by lawyers acting for his former employers, security blog Threatpost reports …
John Leyden, 28 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Anonymous vows to attack Federal Reserve

Infamous hacktivist collective Anonymous has served notice that it intends to attack the websites of the Federal Reserve. The campaign – likely to take the form of denial of service attacks and possibly sit-ins – is in protest at the Federal Reserve's role in the global financial crisis, misuse of US taxpayer funds and supposed …
John Leyden, 14 Jun 2011
WordPress

FBI to WordPress users: patch now before ISIL defaces you

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning to WordPress users: hurry up and patch your content management system before web site is defaced by ISIL sympathisers. The Bureau has issued a notice titled "ISIL defacements exploiting WordPress vulnerabilities" in which it warns that "Continuous Web …
Darren Pauli, 08 Apr 2015
Bitcoin bloodbath

FTC to flog Butterfly Labs' Bitcoin holdings

The US Federal Trade Commission has stuck another pin through Butterfly Labs, obtaining a court order that the company hand over any Bitcoins it had mined for itself. The company had promised potential customers that its US$29,000-plus servers would embiggen punters' Bitcoin wealth to wildest-dreams level. It turned out to be …
The Register breaking news

'Unlimited' misleading on throttled broadband: Federal Court

Australia's Federal Court has handed the ACCC a win over the misleading use of the word “unlimited” in broadband advertisements. In a decision handed down in Melbourne this week, Justice Anthony North of the Federal Court agreed with the ACCC that the word “unlimited” in Optus advertisements was misleading. Under the plans the …
The Register breaking news

Serial hacker admits breaching Federal Reserve computers

A Malaysian national has admitted hacking a computer network operated by the US Federal Reserve Bank and possessing stolen payment card data. Lin Mun Poo, 32, entered a guilty plea on Wednesday in US District Court in Brooklyn. In November, prosecutors brought a four-count indictment against him that charged him with fraud, …
Dan Goodin, 14 Apr 2011

Microsoft opens Azure cloud to US govt for vid surveillance, etc

At its Cloud for Government Summit in Washington DC on Tuesday, Microsoft declared its cloud good enough for government work, announcing general availability of Microsoft Azure Government. Specifically, its target customers are in the US public sector, with Redmond pitching its cloudy offerings to federal, state, and local …
Neil McAllister, 09 Dec 2014

US watchdog seeks techies, interns to sink gums into Google et al

The US Federal Trade Commission has put up the "help wanted" sign for a new office tasked with investigating American technology giants. El Reg hopes the new team has more backbone that the officials unwilling to pick a fight with Silicon Valley's out-of-control goliaths. The FTC said its Office of Technology Research and …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Mar 2015

Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

The FBI has made it no secret that it hates Apple and Google's efforts to encrypt files in your smartphones and tablets. Now court documents have emerged showing just how far the Feds are willing to go to decrypt citizens' data. The paperwork has shown two cases where federal prosecutors have cited the All Writs Act – which was …
Iain Thomson, 01 Dec 2014
Presidetn Obama signs the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

Barry Obama declares national emergency over foreign hackers

US President Barack Obama has signed a new executive order authorizing economic sanctions against overseas individuals who are believed to have participated in online attacks or espionage. The order declares the prevalence of foreign-launched internet attacks a "national emergency" and cites the International Emergency Economic …
Neil McAllister, 01 Apr 2015