Articles about Federal

White House to bung electric car industry $4.5bn in loans

The White House has said the US federal government will underwrite loans totaling $4.5bn to expand the use of electric cars. But before you go rushing to Elon Musk asking for a set of Falcon doors, note that it is only for building out charging infrastructure. The Department of Energy has expanded its existing loan program to …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jul 2016

Ingram Micro and Tianjin Tianhai: Go on, PROBE us

Ingram Micro and the Chinese logistics giant Tianjin Tianhai that wants to buy it confirmed they are to submit the proposed $6bn bid for review to the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States. This is an about-turn because Ingram - the world’s largest tech distributor - previously said the deal would not “fall …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016

Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

The United States case against alleged Kickass Torrents (KAT) boss Artem Vaulin is built on data obtained from Apple, Facebook and Coinbase. The criminal complaint (PDF) against Vaulin details how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a lengthy online probe into the alleged …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

Whoa! Shanghai Stock Exchange delays $6bn Ingram Micro takeover

Tianjin Tianhai, the Chinese logistics giant, has delayed next week’s shareholder meeting to rubber stamp the $6bn takeover of Ingram Micro as it gathers data requested by the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE). Tianjin Tianhai, owned by the conglomerate HNA Group, revealed in February its intended acquisition of Ingram, the world …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jul 2016

Diablo 'decisive' court victory

A long-running and convoluted breach of contract lawsuit between Netlist and Diablo Technologies concerning flash DIMMS appears to be over, with Diablo prevailing over its former development partner. In a statement, Diablo's law firm McDermott Will & Emery hailed a decisive victory in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2016

How's this for irony? US Navy hit with $600m software piracy claim

A German software developer has accused the United States Navy of illegally copying $596m worth of its product. Bitmanagement Software GmbH claims that the Navy has copied "hundreds of thousands" of copies of its 3D modeling and tracking software BS Contact Geo without paying. They have filed suit [PDF] in the US Court of …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016
Baseballs

Hardball hacker thrown in the cooler for 46 months for guessing rival team's password

A former scout for the St Louis Cardinals baseball team has been sentenced to 46 months behind bars for hacking the player database of a rival Major League team. Christopher Correa pled guilty earlier this year to five counts of unauthorized access to a computer. He was sentenced Monday by the Houston Federal Court. He had …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2016
Study Confirms High Effectiveness of Low Speed Autonomous Emergency Braking

What will laws on self-driving cars look like? Think black boxes and 'minimum attention'

The recent high-profile crash of a Tesla driving in Autopilot mode has sparked a rush to develop new laws for self-driving cars. Just as there is a race on in the engineering departments of many large car companies to develop autonomous car technology, so legislators are working fast to develop the rules to cover it. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jul 2016
drone

AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

Vid AT&T is planning to rapidly expand its use of drones – it can already put one of the gizmos in the air virtually anywhere over continental United States. Speaking at its Shape tech expo in San Francisco on Friday, Art Pregler, AT&T's drone program director, said the telco giant is using the flying gadgets to augment its 20,000 …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016

FTC lets Nest off the hook over Revolv IoT hub bricking shame

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided not to move forward with an investigation into smart-home company Nest and its decision to end support for the Revolv hub. In a letter [PDF] to the Google stablemate, the regulator said it had "decided not to recommend enforcement action at this time," referencing "confidential …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2016
shutterstock_236128771

FCC approves 5G auction

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unanimously approved the auction of a large block of its airwaves to be used by next-generation 5G networks. The regulator's decision will make the United States the first nation to allocate a large chunk of high frequencies to the coming technology. Those frequencies were …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016
Congress

US floats revenge smut law

The US House of Representatives is entertaining an America-wide law to strengthen the penalties for posting revenge porn. The Intimate Privacy Protection Act would create federal laws against distributing private images and information without a person's consent. The bill includes protections for postings that have consent, …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jul 2016

In these troubling times, senators unite to end America's big divide – rural v urban broadband

The US Senate has formally formed its first informal committee to push for better broadband in America's countryside. The bi-partisan Senate Broadband Caucus will be made up of five senators who represent states with large rural populations and will push for laws that help to expand high-speed internet service into those …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2016
A person hiding in a box

US govt bank insurer 'covered up China hack to protect top boss'

The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – a government agency tasked with safeguarding citizens' bank accounts – deliberately covered up a cyberattack by China to protect its incoming chairman. This is according to a damning report from Republican members of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, who …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2016

50 CELEBRITY SECRETS EXPOSED scores year behind bars

The New York man behind a 2014 data dump site exposed.su has been sentenced to a year in prison, plus 12 months for time already served, for doxing high-profile figures including First Lady Michelle Obama, Presidential candidate Donald Trump, and artist Jay Z, and placing dozens of highly-dangerous swatting calls. Mir Islam, …
Darren Pauli, 13 Jul 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

US drug squads told to get a warrant before tracking mobile phones

A US federal judge in New York State has pushed back against Uncle Sam's Drug Enforcement Agency's use of Stingrays, saying evidence collected by the fake phone masts isn't admissible. A Maryland judge ruled in 2015 that investigators need court-approved warrants to set up pretend cellphone towers that track people by their …
Man in helmet looks uncertain, holds up shield. Photo by Shutterstock

European Commission straps on Privacy Shield

The European Commission has this morning adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, which will enter into force as soon as all member states are notified of the adequacy decision (PDF). Privacy Shield, which has been adopted after months of negotiations, is an agreement between the EU and the US which ostensibly ensures that …

YouTube stars shilled for Warner Bros, screwed up, and now the FTC has written an angry letter

Warner Bros has settled a complaint that YouTube celebs it paid to promote its video game online didn't declare that they were taking the entertainment giant's coin. YouTubers who agreed to publicize 2014's Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor were given cash on condition they produce a favorable review of the game, not show any …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2016
Blackmail

FTC wants a date with Ashley Madison's fembots

The US Federal Trade Commission has decided to add Ashley Madison's “fembots” to the company's long list of woes. The existence of the fembots – fake profiles used to keep men on the “Life is short, have an affair” forking out funds in case they got lucky – was revealed after the infamous hack of the site. The investigation …
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Australian Information Industries Association*: you're not the future of democracy, so please shut up

Australia's close-run federal election has brought out the tech sector in force, seeking government rent so it can appropriate the country's democracy. It's been trying – with very limited success – since the 1990s, but on the principle that “practice makes perfect”, the same arguments have been rolled out again: electronic …
Password screen

Chap fails to quash 'shared password' 'hacking' conviction

A man who used his colleagues' passwords to swipe confidential information from his employer has failed to overturn his computer hacking conviction. In a 2-1 decision [PDF] today, the California 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court's judgment that David Nosal broke the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Jul 2016

EU uncorks €1.8bn in cybersecurity investment. Thirsty, UK?

The EU Commission has launched a public-private partnership on cybersecurity that is expected to trigger €1.8bn ($2bn) of investment by 2020. The EU is promising to invest €450m ($502m) in a bid to spur innovation in cybersecurity with the remainder coming from the private sector. Some security commentators reckon the Brexit …
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2016

Second celebgate hacker pleads guilty to phishing

A second US man has pleaded guilty to stealing intimate pictures of celebrities using a phishing scam. Edward Majerczyk, 28, who resides in Chicago and Orland Park, Illinois, was charged with hacking into the Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts of more than 300 people, including Hollywood celbrities. In a plea bargaining deal, …
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2016

Judge gives Zuck a US$6 million Brazilian

Brazil is trying yet again to force Facebook's WhatsApp to release user messages, and has frozen US$6 million worth of locally-held funds. The decision was made by the Federal Court in Londrina, in northern Parana, according to Brazilian news outlet G1, which broke the news (in Portugese). The most recent operation was in …
Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

New phones rumoured as BlackBerry cans BB10 production

Federal government staff in Washington DC have their own private underground metro system but they might not be getting any more BlackBerrys. A recently uncovered memo appears to tell United States Senate staff they’ll no longer be equipped with the once ubiquitous BlackBerry phones because they are to be discontinued. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Jul 2016
Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock

Here's how to SMS spam Liberal voters and get away with it

It's easy to spam voters with text messages and get away with it. If you wanted to swing voters ahead of a federal election, as the Australian Labor Party is alleged to have done in a message claiming a rival Liberal Coalition Government would privatise the nation's healthcare provider Medicare, you wouldn't send a text …
Darren Pauli, 04 Jul 2016
Lauri Love. Pic: Courage Foundation

Here's how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next

Feature Lauri Love was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 early in the evening of 25 October 2013, when a National Crime Agency officer wearing dungarees and posing as a UPS courier told Love's mother that Lauri himself had to come to the porch to collect his delivery. In his dressing gown and pyjamas …
Cartoon - Private SNAFU

Telstra's business network in six-hour collapse

Telstra is red-faced yet again, after suffering a long outage centred in Victoria. The TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance) began around 2pm on June 30, and it was six hours before Telstra reported services back online. On the way, the outage forced airline Jetstar to manually process passengers at …

FCC starts running from cable box rip-off kill-off

Twenty billion dollars is a lot of incentive, as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has found out. Following a proposal in January, later approved by three of the five FCC Commissioners, cable companies would be obliged to let third parties produce set-top boxes by making subscriber and channel information …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2016

Encryption, wiretaps and the Feds: THE TRUTH

Figures published this month suggest fewer Americans are using encryption to secure their communications – but if you look into the detail, the opposite is probably closer to reality. The latest Wiretap Report from the US courts system – which counts up the number of requests from investigators to spy on people's chatter in …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2016

Apple, Amazon and Google are screwing us, warns Elizabeth Warren

Potential vice-president and Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren has accused tech giants Apple, Amazon and Google of undermining competition and using their political clout to kill off efforts to place limits on them. Giving the keynote [PDF] at a one-day conference titled "America's Monopoly Problem," the senator warned: " …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2016
Image: Lessimol http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1612118p1.html

Hopeless Vic agencies have two years to hit infosec best practice

Government agencies in the Australian state of Victoria will have two years to move from near ground zero to stand up fully-fledged and updated information security, risk, and governance policies. The requirements are a big ask for agencies in the southern state, previously described as in information security turmoil after …
Darren Pauli, 30 Jun 2016

Google hires black man

Google's parent company Alphabet has added finance specialist Roger Ferguson to its board. Ferguson is the CEO of insurance company TIAA and was a former vice chair of the Federal Reserve. He will also be the company's first black man on the board: something that shouldn't be news but is given Silicon Valley's overwhelming …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jun 2016

Alleged Brit hacker Lauri Love bailed amid US extradition battle lull

Alleged Brit hacker Lauri Love, who is accused of compromising US government servers and faces extradition to America, has been bailed by a UK court. US prosecutors want the 31-year-old university student shipped across the Pond for questioning after he allegedly infiltrated systems used by the US Federal Reserve, the Missile …
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

Alleged hacker Lauri Love, of Stradishall, Suffolk, who is said to have hacked into a number of US government agencies' websites, is at risk of killing himself if British authorities allow him to be extradited to the US, a court heard yesterday. Westminster Magistrates' Court in London began to hear the extradition request …
Dirty VW Beetle in Sleeper

VW finds US$15 BEEELION under the couch to pay off US regulators

Volkswagen has reached a settlement in the USA – or rather, two settlements, since it had to satisfy both federal regulators and the State of California. Its troubles are far from over, and the up-to-US$14.7 billion settlement only covers part of the tab, because it only covers US complaints over the software cheat implemented …
Ron Wyden

US Senator Wyden: Why I had to halt FBI's latest internet spying push

US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has placed a hold on the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill – because it would allow the FBI to snoop on people's browser histories without a court order, and weakens oversight of the intelligence community. The bill as it stands would allow the Feds to use National Security Letters (NSLs) – which …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jun 2016
IBM Headquarters, Armonk, NY

IBM head-hunts AFP assistant commish for Canberra security biz

The ANU / Australian Defence Force computer security joint venture isn't off the ground yet, but it's already acting as an attractor for similar operations. Yesterday, IBM announced it's going to set up a cyber-security office in Canberra. Ginny Rometty announced Big Blue's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) at the company' …

Hillary Clinton: My promises to America's tech industry

Hillary Clinton today outlined her policies when it comes to tech – and they are surprisingly good. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee published a lengthy "Initiative on Technology & Innovation" on Tuesday covering a wide range of issues from education to net neutrality. Demonstrating the fact that she – and her …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jun 2016
Uncle Sam's money

Want $50bn from Uncle Sam? Put in a bid on these IT contracts

The US government's General Services Administration (GSA) has opened bidding on what it says will be a $50bn IT services contract package. The federal agency is now accepting applications for the Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business contracts to create what it describes as a "large, diverse pool of industry partners." The …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2016
Man shouting through a mega phone with abstract communication icons in the background

Airbnb drags SF into court

Airbnb is aiming its First Amendment cannon at San Francisco in California: the biz is suing the city over its rental restrictions. Earlier this month, the city began a crackdown on the mattress-surfing operation. Residents offering their properties for short-term stays have to register with San Francisco officials, and if …

Big Pharma's trying to kill us, says man with literally millions to lose

Despite having lost its biggest customer, being forced to invalidate thousands of test results, being placed under investigation by the US government for fraud, facing sanctions, having had a testing facility shut down, and having had its CEO's worth cut from $4.5bn to $0, "nothing's gone wrong with Theranos." At least that's …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jun 2016
Telstra copper in broken pit

Aust Federal Police keep lid on docs that triggered NBN raids

The Australian Federal Police has determined that one of the least-secret projects in the country can't be discussed lest it endanger national security. On that basis, the AFP's decided not to release the December letter that sparked off its investigation into leaks surrounding the National Broadband Network (NBN). Fairfax …
Fight for the Future FCC protest

Special delivery: Activists drop 100,000 net neutrality complaints on FCC

Activists have delivered a massive package to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they say contains roughly 100,000 citizen complaints. Members of Fight for the Future say they collected the complaints from Americans who want the commission to investigate the use of "zero rating" programs by telcos. The …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
Cut cable

Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved new rules that will require companies to report outages in submarine cables. Although submarine cables account for 95 per cent of the US' international internet traffic, as well as voice and data, the rules over reporting outages are weak and in most cases are simply …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016

Judge rules FBI can hack any time, any, place, anywhere

A federal district court in Virginia has ruled that the FBI has the right to hack into computers around the world without getting a local warrant, and without any review by courts. The ruling, by US District Judge Henry Morgan, comes during the prosecution of Edward Matish. Matish is one of the 100-plus suspects arrested …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jun 2016

Australia's Defence Department tips AU$12M to seat spies with students

The Department of Defence has tipped A$12 million (£6.1 million, US$9.1 million) into an information security facility to attract new blood by housing signals spooks alongside Australian National University academics. The "unusual" pairing is hoped to attract skilled students into the information security field and the country …
Darren Pauli, 24 Jun 2016
Binoculars

FTC dings InMobi ad network for tracking world+dog

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that mobile advertising giant InMobi will pay $950K to settle charges that it tracked "hundreds of millions" of people around the world. The US trade body agreed to the fine as part of a settlement deal that will also include InMobi deleting any information it collected on children, …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016
Mitch McConnell

US Senate strikes down open-access FBI hacking warrant by just one honest vote

The US Senate has struck down an amendment that would have allowed the FBI to track internet histories and communications without judicial oversight, but a re-vote could be called as soon as today due to Senate rules. The amendment [PDF] to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act would have …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jun 2016
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Shareholders rubber-stamp Ingram Micro $6bn sale to Chinese firm

US-headquartered Ingram Micro edged closer to Chinese ownership last night when shareholders voted overwhelmingly to accept Tianjin Tianhai’s $6bn offer. The mega bid for the world’s largest tech distributor was made in February by the Far East company, a subsidiary of HNA Logistics which is itself a division of conglomerate …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jun 2016