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Why Insiders, Not Hackers, Are the Biggest Threat to Cybersecurity

June 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The National Security Agency leaks by Edward Snowden will easily go down as one of the biggest revelations of the year, if not the decade. But the episode also raises new questions about the risk that insiders pose to government and corporate cybersecurity, in spite of the attention lavished on ...

Cosponsor.gov Lets You Upvote the Bills You Want Passed

June 5, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It used to be that if you ran for Congress and lost, you’d have to crawl back to your opponent’s secure district and kiss your chance at legislating goodbye. With luck and enough money, you might try again next time. But that’s all changed. Now, even the least electable candidate ...

Why Humans Still Can't Go to Mars

May 31, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Long-distance human spaceflight is, famously, a bust. So far, anyway -- no doubt we'll figure it out someday. But the reason we haven't sent humans on five-year missions seeking out new life and new civilizations isn't because of cost, politics, or lack of warp drive. The real reason is that ...

How Hard Will Lisa Jackson Pressure Apple's Suppliers on the Environment?

May 29, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Last night, Apple CEO Tim Cook let slip that his company has created a new executive position to oversee environmental issues. That post, Cook added, will be filled by Lisa Jackson, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Jackson ran EPA for four years under President Obama before stepping ...

Solar Energy's Sunny Future

May 28, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Over the past several years, the solar industry has been trying to recover from a crash in the price of silicon—a key component in the construction of solar panels. For most of us, the effects of the price drop were masked by the tinge of scandal: Among the victims of ...

For Twitter Users, Two-Step Verification Is Finally Here

May 23, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Twitter has finally rolled out a feature users have been clamoring for for months: two-factor authentication. The update adds a layer of security that should help defend you (and any news organizations that haven't changed their passwords yet) from unauthorized log-in attempts. You can enable the feature when it's available ...

Congress Demands to Know if Google Glass Will Violate Your Privacy

May 17, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google has just under a month to respond to a congressional letter questioning CEO Larry Page about the privacy implications of Google Glass. The letter, filed Thursday by the bipartisan privacy caucus, lays out eight questions for Schmidt. They range from the atmospheric (Does Google plan to update its privacy ...

What the AP Subpoena Scandal Means for Your Electronic Privacy

May 15, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Justice Department’s snooping on journalists working for the Associated Press is an abuse of power in the broadest sense. But one reason the whole episode is controversial at all is because the Obama administration technically broke no rules. By law, companies that cooperate with government investigations—such as the telecom ...

Can Cellphone Metadata Hurt Your Privacy and Save America?

May 13, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When Stone Librande took breaks from playtesting the new SimCity, he noticed something mesmerizing. Pausing from the construction frenzy that defines the rest of the game, SimCity’s lead designer discovered that his citizens’ schedules often created beautiful, shifting patterns of motion. “These flows of Sims build up at certain times ...

How Do You Protect Undersea Internet Cables, Anyway?

May 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If you've been following the events in Syria over the past few days, you know the country’s Internet is now back from the dead after a 19-hour outage that the government blamed on “terrorist” sabotage—an explanation bought by approximately zero people. But just because destroying the cables would be logistically ...