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The New House Republican Web Strategy: Just Add BuzzFeed

April 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow What do cat pictures and GIFs have to do with Republican politics? Not a whole lot, at least right now. But beginning next week, that'll change. Staffers at the National Republican Congressional Committee are finishing up a site redesign that'll likely be rolled out this weekend. The new NRCC.org does...

This Defense Contractor Is Repeatedly Spear-Phishing 68,000 Innocent People

April 3, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One company with deep Washington connections is running a huge online scam. It involves tens of thousands of victims. And it's completely legal. The business in question is Northrop Grumman, one of the country's biggest defense firms. But before crying foul, know this: What the company's doing is actually a...

How Copyrights Suppress Innovation

April 2, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow U.S. copyright protections don't promote innovation. They stifle it. That was one of the arguments that got intellectual-property reformer Derek Khanna fired from his job last year at the Republican Study Committee, a policy shop for the House GOP. The problem, Khanna said, was that too much copyright protection encourages...

FCC Race to Replace Obama's Top Tech Wonk Just Got More Interesting

March 28, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The odds of President Obama nominating a woman to head a top federal agency just got much better. Dozens of Senate Democrats have jointly sent a letter to the White House recommending that he choose a current Federal Communications Commission official, Jessica Rosenworcel, to succeed outgoing Julius Genachowski as chairman....

Will Businesses Be Forced to Say If They've Been Hacked?

March 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The idea is still a long way from reality, but Congress has taken the first step toward requiring companies to admit when their networks have been hacked. The proposed rule on data breaches appears as part of a larger draft bill being circulated in the House Judiciary Committee. On top...

How 'Privacy' Killed Google Reader

March 25, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When Google explained that it was shutting down its beloved news hub, Reader, it offered a couple of reasons for the decision: Not enough people were using it, and the company wanted to focus on a smaller set of more profitable enterprises. But the death of Google Reader may also...

Relive President Obama's Drone War, in Under 10 Seconds

March 25, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It began as a dribble. Then a trickle. And then, a torrent. More than 3,000 people have died as a result of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Of those, no more than about 1.5 percent have involved the deaths of high-profile...

Twitter Needs to Deal With Misinformation. Here's How

March 25, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Over at Poynter, Jeff Sonderman flags a site called Let Me Tweet That For You, which does exactly what its name suggests: It’s pretty simple—you type in a Twitter username and a message, and it generates a realistic-looking image of a tweet from that person. It even adds fake retweet...

The Unfinished Agenda of Outgoing FCC Chairman Genachowski

March 25, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Julius Genachowski is out as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Capping off a four-year stint as the country’s top telecom regulator, Genachowski was responsible for pushing network-neutrality rules as well as killing the T-Mobile/AT&T merger of 2011. But he also leaves a lot for his successor to do. Here's...

How Washington Plans to Regulate Your Bitcoins

March 22, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Treasury Department has issued a memo explaining how it plans to oversee transactions made using Bitcoins, the online currency that's currently trading for $60 a pop. Although other U.S. agencies have done studies on virtual currencies, this marks the first time Washington has ever actually applied existing regulations to...

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