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Government/Defense News and Analysis

ACLU demands Justice Dept. reveal facial recognition tech use


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU of Massachusetts are demanding the Justice Department reveal how the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies are using facial recognition technology. The rights organization has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to compel the department about the use of the technology “and what safeguards,…

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ACLU suit seeks social media surveillance records from seven fed agencies


The U.S. government’s social media surveillance activities, including the monitoring of immigrants and visa applications under the Trump administration’s extreme vetting effort, are in the crosshairs of a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Northern California. The suit, which takes aim at actions of the…

Massachusetts rolls out free credit monitoring for breach victims


Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed into law legislation requiring that consumers victimized by a data breach receive free security freezes and credit monitoring. The law is broken into two parts. The first impacts credit reporting agencies, which will be required to provide a security freeze free of charge when requested by a consumer. Also,…

Rosenstein to leave, Barr expresses support for Mueller


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead a probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign, has signaled he would be leaving his post once the Mueller investigation is wrapped up and has run its course in the courts. Recent…

Wall-inspired government shutdown threatens federal cybersecurity workforce, effectiveness


Twenty days in and the government still may be shut down as lawmakers maintain an impasse over funding a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border, but that doesn’t mean hackers are off the clock or that key government systems aren’t vulnerable. “I do not expect a cyber catastrophe. Operational, mission-critical employees are mostly designated as essential,…

Kaspersky may have helped U.S. catch alleged NSA data thief


After experiencing several allegations of shady ties to the Russian government, in a twist of events it turns out that Kaspersky Lab may have assisted the National Security Agency (NSA) in capturing an alleged data thief. On Aug. 27, 2016, U.S. authorities arrested Harold T. Martin III  then indicted him in February 2017 on 20 counts…

ACLU urges Senate to grill AG nominee Barr on surveillance, privacy


As Congress prepares to question William Barr in confirmation hearings to become Attorney General, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is warning lawmakers that Barr’s “record regarding the right to privacy and the Fourth Amendment…raises serious concerns about his suitability” to hold the post. Contending that Barr helped create the U.S.’s surveillance state during his stint…

Mueller may believe Manafort shared polling data with Russian during campaign


Paul Manafort shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik –a businessman linked to the Russian intelligence unit GRU, which hacked the DNC–  at least that’s what Special Counsel Robert Mueller apparently thinks, a poorly redacted court filing by the former Trump campaign manager’s attorneys showed. Details that Manafort met with Kilimnik in Madrid while a member…

NSA to demo open-source malware reverse engineer tool at RSA 2019


The National Security Agency (NSA) will demonstrate a free and open-source tool for reverse engineering malware with the hopes of improving security rather than undermining it. The agency is advertising the free tool, GHIDRA, as part of its presentation at The 2019 RSA Conference on March 5. “An interactive GUI capability enables reverse engineers to…

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