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+ - Year in Communications: NSA Revelations Overshadow Communications Breakthroughs

Submitted by MacRonin
MacRonin (112572) writes "Communications news in 2013 was dominated by serial revelations of the National Security Agency’s mass collection of data from major Internet companies and mobile carriers, leading to widespread cries of governmental overreach.

But those revelations, based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, were accompanied by remarkable advances in wireless communications. The Snowden documents also galvanized new efforts at making the Internet more secure and private.

The folks at MIT Technology Review have their year end rundown"
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+ - FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics->

Submitted by
MacRonin
MacRonin writes "According to a 3 page article at the Washington Post — FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics — $1 Billion Project to Include Images of Irises and Faces



The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad.

Digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns are already flowing into FBI systems in a climate-controlled, secure basement here. Next month, the FBI intends to award a 10-year contract that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives. And in the coming years, law enforcement authorities around the world will be able to rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even the unique ways people walk and talk, to solve crimes and identify criminals and terrorists. The FBI will also retain, upon request by employers, the fingerprints of employees who have undergone criminal background checks so the employers can be notified if employees have brushes with the law.

"Bigger. Faster. Better. That's the bottom line," said Thomas E. Bush III, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division
"

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