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Tag: GOVERNMENT

Julian Assange Says WikiLeaks Is More Accountable Than Most Governments, Gets a Little Sassy About It

Julian Assange thinks WikiLeaks is more accountable than any democratic government in the world. And if you dare say otherwise, you'll probably get sued. That was essentially the message that Assange conveyed over the weekend, during his first public appearance since being arrested in December, amid accusations of rape and sexual assault. Speaking to an audience at a public debate in London, As...

Convicted Hacker Says He Committed Credit Card Heist for U.S. Government

The hacker who orchestrated the biggest computer crime operation in U.S. history is alleging that the American government authorized him to do so. Last year, 29-year-old Albert Gonzalez pleaded guilty to hacking into computer systems at TJX, Office Max, Dave & Busters, Heartland Payment Systems and other companies, in order to steal some 130 million credit card numbers. He received a 20-yea...

Bahrain Releases Dissident Blogger One Day After Arresting Him

Authorities in Bahrain have released a dissident blogger, just one day after arresting him at his home. Mahmoud al-Youssef was taken into custody early Wednesday morning, as part of a nationwide campaign against opposition activists and protesters. The 50-year-old al-Youssef, who blogs in English, has long criticized the Bahrain regime for restricting freedom of expression, and has been an outs...

America Develops Cell Phone Panic Button for Pro-Democracy Activists

One of America's newest tools in the war against tyranny could be a cell phone "panic" button. According to Reuters, the U.S. State Department wants to equip pro-democracy activists in the Middle East with technology that could wipe phones of sensitive data in the event that they are arrested or their cell phones are confiscated. Initiating the panic sequence would erase the phone book, call hist...

Twitter, Facebook Still Reluctant to Join Free Speech Initiative

Three years ago, some of the world's leading tech companies agreed to participate in the Global Network Initiative (GNI) -- a code of conduct designed to protect online speech and privacy around the world. The initiative was originally launched in response to brewing tensions in China, where some Internet companies were accused of complying with government censorship policies in order to pursue...

South Korean Government Falls Prey to Cyber Attacks

About 40 governmental websites in South Korea were hit by cyber-attacks this morning, forcing the country to issue a nationwide alert. According to AhnLab, a South Korean anti-virus software manufacturer, the sites fell prey to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack at around 10:00 a.m., local time, and more attacks could be on the way. Websites run by the presidential office, South K...

Beijing to Track Citizens' Cell Phones 'To Ease Traffic Congestion'

A savvy reader has informed Slashdot that the city of Beijing will soon begin tracking its citizens' cell phones -- ostensibly "to ease traffic congestion." According to the website of the Central People's Government, Beijing's cell phone-owning population (about 70-percent) will be tracked in real time as part of the project, which is called "Platform for Citizen Movement Information."...

Facebook Issues Response to FTC, Defends Privacy Policy, User Engagement

Facebook has issued a lengthy response to the Federal Trade Commission's plan to protect online privacy, outlining the social network's long-term philosophy on the issue and its plans for the future. In its response, Facebook admitted that the government should play a role in protecting user information on the Web, but argued that online companies should be allowed some freedom to regulate thei...

Google Announces Challenge to Visualize Federal Spending

Google has issued a challenge to data-nerds: to take data from the site WhatWePayFor.com, which tracks where your tax dollars are allocated, and create a user-friendly way to visualize it. Google has gotten the ball rolling with its own interactive infographic of differently sized bubbles, each representing a distinct category of government spending....

China's New Search Engine Offers Even More Propaganda for User Enlightenment

The Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government's largest news service, has launched its own search engine, providing China's 450 million Web users with even more party propaganda. The search engine, called Panguso, was created in partnership with government-owned China Mobile -- the world's largest mobile operator with over 550 million customers. In combining Xinhua's news with China Mobile's ...

Vladimir Putin Not Laughing at YouTube Video Mocking Russia's Corruption

Vladimir Putin is none too pleased with a YouTube video celebrating the glamorous lifestyles of Russia's government employees. As Reuters reports, the faux rap video was created by a group of customs officers and features many of the luxuries you'd expect most oligarchs to enjoy: champagne, expensive cars, and topless women. "You can't even imagine how the customs officials have fun," the wor...

U.S. Cyber-Security Czar: Don't Use the Term 'Cyber-War' Lightly

U.S. security officials are asking that the rhetoric surrounding the potential for "cyber-war" be tempered in favor of a rational discussion on how to distinguish an actual cyber-war between nations from cyber-attacks that use war-like tactics. It's a blurry line, but White House cyber-security czar Howard Schmidt, who spoke at the RSA computer security conference in San Fransisco, said using the ...

Glenn Beck Says Google is a Front for the U.S. Government

On Monday, Tea Party darling Glenn Beck accused Google of being "in bed" with the U.S. government. The self-styled revealer of history's secrets went even further, insinuating that the company doesn't just cooperate with our oppressive socialist regime, but that it acts as a front for The Government, promoting American interests overseas. Beck warned viewers not to rely on Google searches for thei...

South Carolina Might Ban Facebook in Prisons

South Carolina Democrat Wendell Gilliard has introduced a bill that, if passed, would bar the state's prisoners from using Facebook, or any other social networking site. The bill would penalize offenders with a $500 fine, and an extra 30 days in jail. According to GIlliard, social media allow some prisoners to continue criminal operations from behind bars, thereby putting others at risk. "The inma...

Obama Reveals Wireless Internet Expansion Plan, Targets Rural Areas

Last June, the Obama administration outlined an auction plan that could help double the U.S. broadband spectrum. According to Reuters, the White House has finally revealed the specific financial details concerning that strategy. As part of the overall plan, Obama will propose an additional $5 billion investment to bring wireless Internet to rural areas of the country. But, the spectrum auction pro...