"If the program were in place before 9/11, I believe it would have prevented 9/11," Mike Morell said earlier today on the CBS television program `Face the Nation.' "And by the program, I mean two things. I mean, NSA's ability to query the database, which would have allowed NSA to find one of the 9/11 hijackers in California, and the part of the … Read more
In a closely watched speech about the NSA and its spy programs, President Obama said this week that "the work has begun" on hammering out detailed reforms, and he announced some initial measures, including steps to prevent abuse of the widely criticized bulk phone-records program and greater privacy protections for citizens of other nations. Critics, however, were less than all-in.
The speech was a response to comments and recommendations made by the president's handpicked NSA Review Group in a report (PDF) released in late December, as well as to opinions gleaned from recent White House meetings with … Read more
President Obama has ordered a redesign of the NSA's controversial phone-records program, saying the secretive spy agency will now need court permission to get at stored data on calls and should no longer collect and store the information itself. Instead, the bulk metadata -- which includes information on calls placed and received -- will be held by a yet-to-be-determined third party.
The changes are among those announced by the president during a speech Friday that revealed Obama's response to reform proposals made by his handpicked NSA review group. The group -- formed in response to the debate over … Read more
The US National Security Agency is collecting millions of "untargeted" text message from across the globe on a daily basis, according to a report from The Guardian.
An NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects and stores nearly 200 million global SMS messages a day, reported The Guardian on Thursday, citing documents provide by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. The program reaches beyond existing surveillance targets and collects "pretty much everything it can," according to the report.
The NSA has extracted information such as "people's travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more -- including of individuals … Read more
The government's problem-riddled Obamacare Web site may face further problems from hackers taking advantage of its many security holes. At least that's the consensus of a group of security professionals who have analyzed the site.
David Kennedy, who is CEO of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec and who is testifying before Congress today on the security issues related to HealthCare.gov, outlined his concerns in a blog post today. Kennedy previously testified in November. Since then, it's still been "business as usual" on the site, he said in the blog.
Among the security holes identified … Read more
Apple has to refund at least $32.5 million to customers in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over in-app purchases.
Announced Wednesday by the FTC, the agreement settles a complaint from the agency that Apple charged consumers millions of dollars over in-app purchases made by kids without parental consent. Under the agreement, Apple also must now change its billing methods to make sure it receives "express, informed consent" from users before it charges them for such purchases.
"This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple's unfair billing, and a signal to the … Read more
Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, and other companies will have to battle a class action lawsuit from around 60,000 disgruntled workers.
Late Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld last October's ruling by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh that paved the way for a lawsuit against companies accused of conspiring to fix wages by agreeing not to poach employees. The appeals court's decision affirms the right of the workers to pursue their lawsuit as a group, according to Reuters.
If successful, a class action lawsuit can saddle the defendants with a higher penalty than … Read more
The National Security Agency is using secret wireless technology that allows it to access and alter data on computers, even when they are not connected to the Internet, according to a New York Times report.
Since 2008, the agency has been increasingly using a "covert channel of radio waves" that can transmit from hardware installed in the computers, according to NSA documents and experts interviewed by the Times. Signals can then be sent to briefcase-size relay stations miles away, according to the report.
The NSA has also installed surveillance software on nearly 100,000 computers around the world, … Read more
A federal appeals court in Washington on Tuesday struck down the Federal Communications Commission's rules for Net neutrality.
The 2-1 ruling upheld the FCC's right to regulate broadband access, but the court called into question the FCC's authority to impose rules that dictate how broadband providers manage traffic on their networks.
In its decision, the court ruled that, "even though the commission has general authority to regulate in this arena, it may not impose requirements that contravene express statutory mandates. Given that the commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them … Read more
IBM takes the US patent crown again for 2013, but Qualcomm debuted in the top 10 and Google nudged out Apple as they cracked the top 20.
According to data from IFI Claims Patent Services, IBM had a record 6,809 patents and has been the top dog for the last 21 years. Samsung was No. 2 and Canon was No. 3.
Qualcomm had a 62 percent jump in patents awarded in 2013 compared to 2012 and landed in the No. 9 spot. Microsoft was No. 5.
Among the top 10 rankings there were three US companies, four Japanese companies … Read more