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Human rights advocates question potential impact of Facebook in China

June 3, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If Facebook decides to open shop in China, Human Rights Watch worries that the company could end up hurting rather than helping the human-rights situation. "The entry of Facebook could be a chance for millions of Chinese users to enjoy freedom of information and expression, but it could also be...

Google says Chinese hackers breached email accounts of U.S. government officials

June 1, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An online scam snared hundreds of Gmail users, including U.S. government officials, Google said on Wednesday. Likely through a scam called phishing, hackers, apparently based in China, tricked users into revealing personal information, including their email passwords, Google said in a blog post. "The goal of this effort seems to...

Commerce Department signals support for House patent bill

June 1, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Commerce Department voiced approval of the House's patent reform legislation Tuesday, signaling much needed support for an issue that has been bogged down in Congress for the better part of a decade. In a letter to the bill's sponsor, House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and ranking member John...

Google says Chinese hackers breached e-mail accounts of U.S. government officials

June 1, 2011 An online scam snared hundreds of Gmail users, including U.S. government officials, Google said on Wednesday. Likely through a scam called "phishing," hackers, apparently based in China, tricked users into revealing personal information, including their e-mail passwords, Google said in a blog post. "The goal of this effort seems to...

House panel worries that Obama cybersecurity plan could open door to abuse

May 25, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal cybersecurity officials got a cold reception on Wednesday from House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who questioned whether White House cyber proposals could result in abuse and government intrusion. Officials from the Justice, Homeland Security, and Commerce departments who testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual...

Lawmakers express optimism, concerns over White House cybersecurity plan

May 23, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee praised the Obama administration's recently released cybersecurity proposal during a Monday hearing, but expressed concern about some remaining differences between the approaches of the White House and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said he was pleased with much of...

As shuttle program winds down, uncertainty looms for NASA

May 18, 2011 As the space shuttle program nears its final mission, Congress is criticizing NASA for moving too slowly to take the next step. But in many ways, it's still not entirely clear what that next step is. "I'm worried that NASA's inaction and indecision in making this transition could hurt America's...

Shuttle safely takes off with Giffords watching

May 16, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The space shuttle Endeavour took off Monday morning, with astronaut Mark Kelly commanding and his injured wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, watching. Endeavour, on its last mission ever, launched as scheduled at 8.56 a.m. from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle hit 17,500 m.p.h. as it entered orbit, according...

Google defends privacy policy, presses for legislation

May 10, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google defended its privacy policies on Tuesday, saying they provide services that range from helping parents send Amber Alerts about missing children to aiding people who want to flee natural disasters. But the company also supports legislation to help protect privacy online--so long as it is applied equally to all...

Online privacy concerns fuel drive for 'do-not-track' legislation

May 9, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., will introduce an online-privacy bill next week that will include a controversial "do-not-track" provision letting consumers block companies from collecting unnecessary information. "Consumers have a right to know when and how their personal and sensitive information is being used online--and most importantly to be...

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