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Analysis: Senate Cybersecurity Bill Is Uncontroversial but Also Unambitious

July 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While President Obama was busy shooting down the House Intelligence Committee's cybersecurity bill for the second year in a row, the Senate was quietly working on a bill of its own. After months of talks, a draft of the legislation has finally come out—and it looks nothing like the much-reviled...

Edward Snowden Says He Wants to Stay in Russia, for Now

July 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Edward Snowden intends to apply for asylum in Russia, according to Human Rights Watch's Tanya Lokshina. For the past half-hour, Lokshina has been meeting with Snowden—along with members of a handful of other human-rights organizations—in his first public appearance since fleeing to Moscow. Snowden said he had received a formal...

The IRS Mistakenly Exposed Thousands of Social Security Numbers

July 8, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Another day, another slipup by the Internal Revenue Service. The incident involves the unwitting exposure of "tens of thousands" of Social Security numbers, according to a recent audit by the independent transparency and public-domain group The identifying numbers were on the Internet for less than 24 hours after being...

Everything Gmail Knows About You and Your Friends

July 8, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When Google hands over e-mail records to the government, it includes basic envelope information, or metadata, that reveals the names and e-mail addresses of senders and recipients in your account. The feds can then mine that information for patterns that might be useful in a law-enforcement investigation. What kind of...

The Number of Times We Could Blow Up the Earth Is Once Again a Secret

July 1, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Collectively, Russia, China, the United States and the world's other nuclear-armed countries possess enough fissile material to blow up the planet many times over. Exactly how many times that is, however, became more of a mystery Monday. At last count, in 2010, the Pentagon revealed it was the proud owner...

Your TV Is Spying on You

June 28, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Political messaging is moving back to the living room. After an election in which Internet tactics seemed to captivate the public, political strategists are turning—or perhaps more accurately, returning—their attention to television advertising. TV isn’t sexy. Or at least, it hasn’t been lately. But with coming developments in user tracking...

How Zombie Phones Could Create a Gigantic, Mobile Botnet

June 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow You've heard of the botnet — a collection of enslaved, malware-infested computers that act together to pump out spam and DDoS attacks, often unbeknownst to their owners. For the past decade, botnets have mostly been a problem for the PC world. But, according to a new report on mobile malware,...

Edward Snowden Realizes He Can't Live Without WikiLeaks

June 24, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Edward Snowden may not have chosen to go the route of fellow Espionage Act indictee Bradley Manning by releasing sensitive National Security Agency documents through WikiLeaks. Part of that, he said, was because he wanted every single page vetted—not everything was to be revealed at once, and he trusted The...

You Know Who Else 'Inadvertently' Gathered Your Electronic Data?

June 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Not long ago, when a Google Street View car came driving down your street, it wasn't just taking pictures to add to Google Maps—it was also scooping up information about local Wi-Fi networks as well as individual e-mail addresses and passwords. The privacy scandal led to formal investigations, international complaints—and...

Can Silicon Valley Stand Up to Washington?

June 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Watching Silicon Valley respond to the National Security Agency surveillance uproar has been a bit like watching Iron Man gear up for battle—countless screws whirring themselves into position; armored scales sliding closed; weapons charging; the menacing faceplate slamming solidly shut. One after another, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have...

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