Nearly 1.2 million people read Palin's Wikipedia page in the first 36 hours after Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced she was his VP choice, according to Web analytics company Compete.com. Palin's page was the most popular Wikipedia page for all … Read more
WASHINGTON--When politicians got together six years ago and decided to glue together a medley of federal agencies to create the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, one of the justifications was a better focus on cybersecurity.
"The department will gather and focus all our efforts to face the challenge of cyberterrorism," President Bush said when signing the 500-or-so-page bill into law in November 2002. "This department will be charged with encouraging research on new technologies that can detect these threats in time to prevent an attack."
That was then. Now, Homeland Security is weathering a deluge … Read more
John McCain doesn't use e-mail. So it was downright odd to see one of his aides hold up a BlackBerry on Tuesday and claim that the Arizona senator somehow deserves credit for its existence.
"He did this," economic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters, referring to a BlackBerry, according to a report on Politico.com. "Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce Committee. So you're looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that's what he did."
This may join … Read more
Google has elevated the profile of its attempt to make videos searchable through speech recognition technology, a move that portends a potentially more financially successful YouTube division.
The speech recognition technology was used in an online application that let people search political speeches launched in July, and now the Gaudi (Google Audio Indexing) project has an official interface at Google Labs.
The site's search box has instructions: "Search what the politicians are saying." The search results are presented next to a YouTube video player, and clicking each result sets the player to show the part of the … Read more
After ducking questions this year from both Congress and the private sector about its National Cyber Security Initiative, the Department of Homeland Security finally revealed a little more on Monday.
Paul Schneider, deputy secretary for DHS, along with other senior federal officials, offered more information at a forum hosted by the Information Technology Association of America. Plans for the initiative include enhancing the current cyberintrusion detection system, working more closely with the private sector (a longstanding federal mantra), and focusing on foreign threats.
"Cybersecurity really is one of the top priorities of the Department of Homeland Security and the … Read more
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not met requirements to provide "open source" intelligence--that is, publicly available information--for state and local law enforcement, a new report shows.
The House Committee on Homeland Security released a report Friday criticizing the department after interviewing more than 350 state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials about the DHS's open source intelligence efforts.
While 82 percent of law enforcement officials surveyed said they use open source information, 60 percent said the DHS needed to establish a training program on how to use the department's open source material. Half … Read more
WASHINGTON--Internet users have jumped head-first into the world of cloud computing, but both policy makers and the public have a lot to learn about it, tech experts said Friday.
Cloud computing will "transform how we do computing--and not in 10 years, but in four or five," said Mike Nelson, a visiting professor at Georgetown University's Center for Communication, Culture, and Technology and a former tech policy adviser under the Clinton administration. "This is going to change everything we do with computing, and there are lots of policy implications."
Nelson participated in a panel discussion of … Read more
The Virginia Supreme Court on Friday overturned the conviction of a notorious AOL spammer, the first spamming defendant to be convicted of a felony, saying the state junk e-mail law is too broad and violates the First Amendment.
This is a remarkable decision (PDF). But a close reading of the Virginia statute shows that it is the right one.
The law in question is kind of the state equivalent of the Can-Spam Act, though with exclusively criminal penalties. It says:
A. Any person who: 1. Uses a computer or computer network with the intent to falsify or forge electronic mail … Read more
A United Nations agency is quietly drafting technical standards, proposed by the Chinese government, to define methods of tracing the original source of Internet communications and potentially curbing the ability of users to remain anonymous.
The U.S. National Security Agency is also participating in the "IP Traceback" drafting group, named Q6/17, which is meeting next week in Geneva to work on the traceback proposal. Members of Q6/17 have declined to release key documents, and meetings are closed to the public.
The potential for eroding Internet users' right to remain anonymous, which is protected by law … Read more
WASHINGTON--The potential for "cybersecurity" attacks on the United States' electric power grids has spurred politicians to consider legislation to broaden federal authority over electric companies.
Congress already has been consulting with federal agencies and industry associations over how to craft such legislation. On Thursday, legislators sought further input at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce's subcommittee on energy and air quality.
Industry representatives endorsed the idea of strengthening federal authority in the event of an imminent cybersecurity threat but cautioned against expanding the government's powers too broadly.
"We understand the seriousness of the … Read more