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IRS May Be Sifting Through Email in Defiance of Court Order

The ACLU has raised a disturbing possibility after reading 247 pages of records it obtained from the Internal Revenue Service via a Freedom of Information Act request: The agency may be reading taxpayers' emails without a warrant. The IRS was told not to do this after a 2010 appellate court ruling i...

Shodan Sheds Harsh Spotlight on Internet of Things

Shodan has burst from the shadows into the spotlight, thanks to a recent article that describes it as "the scariest search engine on the Internet." Indeed, delving into what it can do is sure to generate some uncomfortable -- even fearful -- possibilities. Shodan searches for and indexes things that...

Anonymous Taunts North Korea

The hactivist group Anonymous has taken on North Korea, hacking into the country's official Twitter and Flickr accounts on Wednesday. It reportedly sent out tweets ridiculing the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, and used its Flickr account to portray him in an unflattering light, to put it mildly. It ...

Zuckerberg Lobbies to Become a Bigger Difference Maker

It appears Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is plunging into the controversial national debate on immigration reform. An issue-advocacy group he formed has hired two lobbying firms. It is unclear exactly what Zuckerberg's goals are, but he reportedly wants to push for comprehensive immigration reform, p...

Congress Puts Privacy Front and Center

Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have introduced legislation to provide stronger privacy guarantees to email. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013 calls for the government to get a search warrant before gaining access to email or other digital communicati...

A U.S. District Court judge from the Ninth Circuit found that the government's controversial use of so-called National Security Letters violates the First Amendment and the concept of separation of powers. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the government to stop issuing the National Security...

Likes Can Tell the Story of Your Life

It is possible to predict intimate personal characteristics such as sexual orientation by studying a person's Facebook Likes, according to findings released Monday by University of Cambridge researchers. Just by studying Likes, the team was able to determine a person's race, age, IQ, personality t...

Hackers Escalate Reign of Malware Terror on Android

Android has become a mobile malware magnet, according to F-Secure. A whopping 79 percent of all mobile malware targeted the Google OS in 2012, based on a new report from the firm. That was up from 66.7 percent in 2011 and just 11.25 percent in 2010. The fourth quarter of 2012 was particularly bad,...

Microsoft Shoots for New Outlook.com Users by Targeting Less

Microsoft has made its new Outlook.com email service generally available, following six months of receiving and incorporating user feedback. The service is ready to scale to a billion people, the company said, and Hotmail users will be shifted over to form the core of that base. The preview attracte...

CEA Bashes CBS as It Shows Cnet the Door

The Consumer Electronics Association had its say Thursday in a simmering controversy related to its Best of CES awards and announced it was dropping Cnet as its partner. The CEA also gave Dish Network's Hopper with Sling DVR its Best of Show prize. Cnet editors originally selected the Hopper for the...

Facebook’s Relationship With Developers: It’s Even More Complicated

Facebook dropped a bombshell on its developer community last week with the rollout of a clarified platform policy -- one that de-friends certain apps. The new policy spells out which types of apps can use its data. Namely, developers must show "reciprocity"; their apps must let users post content to...

Big Blue Breaks Into Biotech With Bacteria-Blasting Hydrogel

Researchers from IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have developed what they are calling the first antimicrobial hydrogel that is biodegradable, biocompatible and non-toxic. The hydrogel, which can penetrate diseased biofilms and eradicate drug-resistant bacteria upon contact...

Google’s Transparency Report Serves as Subtle Call to Action

Governments around the world peppered Google with 21,389 information requests on about 33,634 users from July through December 2012. That represents a 2 percent year-over-year increase, according to Google's latest Transparency Report, released this week. The U.S. led the barrage, with 8,476 reques...

Dotcom Fights the Law With New Mega Site

Kim Dotcom on Sunday opened the doors to the new file-sharing website Mega. The site is making a splash in the file-sharing world with its promise of exceptional privacy and security. That is not the only reason Mega's debut is notable, though: Dotcom is the founder of Megaupload, which was shut dow...

OkCupid Snafu Raises Online Dating Privacy Alarm

OkCupid this week debuted a new mobile app that sets up blind dates by supplying likely matches for users who plug in a time and venue. As it turned out, though, the app was doing more than just sending hopeful singles to a meet-up. Shortly after its launch, The Wall Street Journal identifi...

Cnet Reporter Refuses to Work in Shadow of CBS Boot

Cnet tech reporter Greg Sandoval resigned Monday, protesting parent company CBS' ban on the publication's planned review of Dish's Hopper DVR service. CBS no doubt found itself in a maddening position: The Dish service is equipped with its Auto Hop ad-skipping technology. CBS and several other broad...

Jettisoning Java: Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t

DHS is urging computer users to disable or uninstall Java due to a serious flaw in JRE 7. The DHS' Computer Emergency Readiness Team warned Thursday evening that it was being exploited in the wild and could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable systems. CERT recommended that Java...

Ouya Comes Out of the Gate Running

The gaming revolution has begun. Ouya, a startup that launched with the outsized goal of challenging the big three gaming platforms of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, reported on Friday that it had shipped 1,200 consoles to developers. The Android-based product is a deceptively simple-looking cube the...

Path Makes Social Search Personal

Path, a social networking startup designed for the mobile environment, on Thursday launched a new social search feature that is both simple and highly intuitive -- and that plays to Path's unique strengths as a private mobile social network. Here's how it works: A user launches the search function...

Genius Inventor Kurzweil Gets Keys to Google Playground

Google has a lot of star power in its executive ranks and certainly a wealth of intellectual horsepower among its rank-and-file engineers and technologists. However, the search engine giant is getting a twofer with its latest hire: Ray Kurzweil, a brilliant engineer who also has name recognition. A ...

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