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
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

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 …

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
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

'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
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 …
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

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
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

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
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

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 …
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
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

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
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

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
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 …
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
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

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

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

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
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

Australia's (current) PM Tony Abbott again calls for metadata trove laws to pass, ASAP

Australia's current prime minister Tony Abbott has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the head of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to renew his call for the country's data retention regime to pass parliament as soon as possible. Relying on briefings from law enforcement and intelligence agencies, Tony Abbott stated that there …
Barratt Brown

FBI-baiter Barrett Brown gets five years in chokey plus $890,000 fine

Barrett Brown is going to be spending a little longer inside than he thought after a Dallas judge threw the book at him on charges related to the hacking attack on private US intelligence firm Stratfor. Lawyers for Brown had been hoping their client would get off with time served, as he has spent the last 28 months in federal …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jan 2015
M-DISC profile

Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway

HDS' federal subsidiary says it has a Blu-ray optical storage platform for long term data preservation, with 1,000-year M-DISCs in prospect. The kit - we say kit although no products have been announced yet, just this "platform" - is for US federal agencies who need to "preserve and archive mission-critical data indefinitely." …
Chris Mellor, 17 Sep 2014

'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail

The man that Australia's Federal Police once described as "a self-proclaimed leader of the group ‘Lulz Security’ (Lulzsec)" has been sentenced to 15 months of home detention, after a local magistrate decided he was just a very naughty boy. Flannery was sentenced last week in a case that has to date evaded law reports and media …

Net neutrality: Growing flames of criticism lick FCC chief's secret plans

As the big vote on new net neutrality rules draws close, opposition to the FCC chairman's plan to reclassify broadband under so-called Title II legislation is growing. On Thursday, the Washington Post formally came out against the idea, arguing that such an approach would "expose broadband providers to a new world of federal …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015
John Brennan protests TSA security by going starkers

Feds investigate Homeland Security background checker security breach

A contractor running background checks for the US Department of Homeland Security has suffered a potentially embarrassing security breach. The security snafu at USIS reportedly led to the theft of some DHS employees’ personal information. The recently discovered breach prompted DHS to suspend all work with USIS, pending the …
John Leyden, 05 Nov 2014

German spies want millions of Euros to buy zero-day code holes

Germany's spooks have come under fire for reportedly seeking funds to find bugs – not to fix them, but to hoard them. According to The Süddeutsche Zeitung, the country's BND – its federal intelligence service – wants €300 million in funding for what it calls the Strategic Technical Initiative. The Local says €4.5 million of that …

Big content seeks specialist court for copyright cases

Australia's music lobby has stepped up its calls for intervention against unauthorised copying, asking the government to establish a special court system devoted to copyright. Former Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) enforcer Michael Speck made the call speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, following the UK …

Australia ignores data retention in summer slack-off

The Australian federal government's strategy of conducting inquiries on a short time-scale approaching holidays is paying off in spades when it comes to data retention. The Register has already noted the government's rushed Christmas-eve questionnaire to the telecommunications industry about the costs of data retention. There's …

Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport

Australia's Federal Police force has apologised for leaving explosives in a suitcase at an airport. The force says the explosives – all 230 grams of them – were a “canine training device” inadvertently left in a suitcase used during a training exercise at Sydney Airport. The suitcase was then forgotten but eventually “a woman …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Sep 2014
Parliament House Canberra by Flickr user OzMark17 used under CC Share and Share alike licence

Turnbull: Box-huggers are holding back cloud

Dimension Data has announced it will soon offer a government-only cloud hosted in Australia's capital city, Canberra. The new facility will be another node of the firm's currently-14-strong network of Managed Cloud Platforms (MCPs), but won't be open to the general public. Instead, it's been tweaked to handle Australian …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2014

FTC: We didn't robocall you and thousands of others asking for bank details. IT'S A TRAP!

The FTC says it has shut down a massive robocall operation that gathered personal information and bank account details on thousands of people. The US watchdog claims a company operating under the name The Cuban Exchange used a combination of calls and fake websites to pose as an "FTC refund" site in order to harvest account …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

German states defend use of 'Federal Trojan'

Five German states have admitted using a controversial backdoor Trojan to spy on criminal suspects. Samples of the so-called R2D2 (AKA "0zapftis") Trojan came into the possession of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), which published an analysis of the code last weekend. German federal law allows the use of malware to eavesdrop on …
John Leyden, 12 Oct 2011
Map showing Narrabri in NSW

Supposed 'leader' of LulzSec pleads guilty to hacking, hubris

Matthew Flannery, once paraded by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as the “leader” of international hacking collective LulzSec, has pleaded guilty to the five remaining charges against him, in Gosford Local Court. Flannery has waited since April 2013 to have the case settled. He is to be sentenced at a later date. At the …