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Tag Archives for " US "

US Congress passes new IoT cybersecurity law

In response to high-profile data breaches and security warnings from the technology industry and independent agencies alike, members of U.S. Congress have been working for years to address security concerns involving Internet-of-Things devices.

Congress recently made significant progress toward greater IoT security in the United States when it enacted the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020, which entered into force Dec. 4, 2020. Although the new IoT cybersecurity law focuses primarily on the procurement of IoT technology and products by the federal government, it has the potential to create a more uniform IoT security standard across the private sector.

Source: US Congress passes new IoT cybersecurity law

Chinese embassy blames hackers for retweet of Trump’s claim that Democrats cheated in election

The Chinese embassy in the U.S. said its Twitter account was hacked after it retweeted a baseless claim from President Donald Trump that the Democrats cheated in the election.

“If somebody cheated in the Election, which the Democrats did, why wouldn’t the Election be immediately overturned? How can a Country be run like this?,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday, without any evidence.

The Chinese embassy then retweeted it in a moment captured by one Reuters reporter.

Source: Chinese embassy blames hackers for retweet of Trump’s claim that Democrats cheated in election

Police Drones Are Starting to Think for Themselves

The latest drone technology — mirroring technology that powers self-driving cars — has the power to transform everyday policing, just as it can transform package delivery, building inspections and military reconnaissance.

Rather than spending tens of millions of dollars on large helicopters and pilots, even small police forces could operate tiny autonomous drones for a relative pittance.

That newfound automation, however, raises civil liberties concerns, especially as drones gain the power to track vehicles and people automatically. As the police use more drones, they could collect and store more video of life in the city, which could remove any expectation of privacy once you leave the home.

Full article: Police Drones Are Starting to Think for Themselves – The New York Times

How an ICE Contractor Tracks Phones Around the World

Venntel, a government contractor that sells location data of smartphones to U.S. law enforcement agencies including ICE, CBP, and the FBI, gathers information through a highly complex supply chain of advertising firms, data resellers, and ultimately innocuous-looking apps installed on peoples’ phones around the world.

Although it’s not clear if Venntel ultimately provides all data generated from this specific supply chain to agencies such as ICE, the documents provide much deeper and previously unreported insight into how data moves from apps, middlemen companies, and through to data brokers. In this case, Venntel.

Source: How an ICE Contractor Tracks Phones Around the World

Feds logged website visitors in 2019, citing Patriot Act authority

The federal government gathered up visitor logs for some websites in 2019, the Office of Director of National Intelligence disclosed in letters made public this week. And the feds cited authority derived from a provision of the Patriot Act to do it.

The exchange begins with a May 20 letter from Wyden to the ODNI asking then-director Richard Grenell to explain if and how the federal government uses section 215 of the Patriot Act to obtain IP addresses and other Web browsing information.

As it turns out, one of those 61 orders did indeed result in the FBI gaining access to “information that could be characterized as information regarding ‘Web browsing.'” Specifically, federal investigators collected log entries for “a single, identified US Web page” showing IP addresses that accessed it from “a specified foreign country.”

Source: Feds logged website visitors in 2019, citing Patriot Act authority | Ars Technica

Trump admin mulls blocking cloud firms from countries like China

A proposed executive order that could keep American cloud computing companies out of certain foreign countries is being circulated within the Trump administration and to tech industry players.

Under the proposed order, the Commerce Department would under certain circumstances have the authority to ban U.S. cloud providers from doing business in certain countries and ban foreign cloud providers from doing business with U.S. customers.

Source: Scoop: Trump admin mulls blocking cloud firms from countries like China – Axios

San Diego Plans for Military-Grade Drone to Catch Speeding Drivers

San Diego was supposed to be the site this year of a major drone project intended to show off the civilian capabilities of military-grade technology for monitoring things like wildfires and infrastructure. The players involved in the test flight obscured its other purpose: catching drivers who speed.

Office of Homeland Security had been supportive of General Atomics, a local defense contractor, in its attempt to open the skies above San Diego to new forms of surveillance.

Source: San Diego Kept Quiet on Plans for Military-Grade Drone to Catch Speeding Drivers — Voice of San Diego

ICE Is Trying To Force BuzzFeed News To Divulge Its Sources

Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators issued a subpoena this week demanding BuzzFeed News identify its sources — an extraordinary attempt by the government to interfere with a news outlet acting under the protections of the First Amendment.

The subpoena appears to be an escalation of the Trump administration’s efforts to track down the identities of people who provide information to news outlets.

Source: ICE Is Trying To Force BuzzFeed News To Divulge Its Sources

Homeland Security Watchdog to Probe Department’s Use of Phone Location Data

The Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog said it would open an investigation into the use of mobile-phone surveillance technologies to track Americans without a warrant.

The department’s inspector general told five Democratic senators that his office would initiate an audit “to determine if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components have developed, updated, and adhered to policies related to cell-phone surveillance devices,” according to a letter sent last week to Capitol Hill and shared with The Wall Street Journal.

Source: Homeland Security Watchdog to Probe Department’s Use of Phone Location Data – WSJ

Facebook Asks Supreme Court To Decide Whether Tracking Violates Wiretap Law

Facebook is urging the Supreme Court to take up a long-running dispute about whether tracking logged-out users via the “Like” button violates a law restricting the interception of online communications.

In a petition filed quietly last week, the social networking service argues that the battle over tracking “presents a question of critical importance” — namely, whether “certain ubiquitous practices in the technology industry involving computer-to-computer communications violate the federal Wiretap Act.”

Source: Facebook Asks Supreme Court To Decide Whether Tracking Violates Wiretap Law 11/30/2020

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