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Security Firm Mandiant Says China's Army Runs Hacking Group APT1 137

judgecorp writes "The Chinese government has been accused of backing the APT1 hacking group, which appears to be part of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to the security firm which worked with the New York Times when it fell victim to an attack. The firm, Mandiant, says that APT1 is government sponsored, and seems to operate from the same location as PLA Unit 61398." Unsurprisingly, this claim is denied by Chinese officials. You can read the report itself online (PDF), or skim the highlights.

Scientist Removed From EPA Panel Due To Industry Opposition 105

Beeftopia writes "The relationship between regulator and regulated is once again called into question as industry pressure leads to a scientist's removal from an EPA regulatory panel. From the article: 'In 2007, when Deborah Rice was appointed chair of an Environmental Protection Agency panel assessing the safety levels of flame retardants, she arrived as a respected Maine toxicologist with no ties to industry. Yet the EPA removed Rice from the panel after an intense push by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), an industry lobbying group that accused her of bias. Her supposed conflict of interest? She had publicly raised questions about the safety of a flame retardant under EPA review.'"

NZ Broke the Law Spying On Kim Dotcom, PM Apologizes 235

Mad Hamster writes "In the latest installment of the megaupload saga, an official study has determined that New Zealand's Government Communications and Security Bureau broke NZ law by spying on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. NZ Prime Minister John Key has apologised to Dotcom and all New Zealanders for this, saying they were entitled to be protected by the law but it had failed them. Link is to writeup in The Guardian." Lots of outlets are reporting this, based on TorrentFreak's report.

Counterterrorism Agents Were Told They Could Suspend the Law 369

politkal writes "According to the FBI's internal inquiry on counterterrorism training, the FBI taught agents that the Bureau 'has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedoms of others;' that agents should 'never attempt to shake hands with an Asian;' that Arabs were 'prone to outbursts' of a 'Jekyll & Hyde' nature." Even better: "That review, now complete, did not result in a single disciplinary action for any instructor. Nor did it mandate the retraining of any FBI agent exposed to what the Bureau concedes was inappropriate material. Nor did it look at any intelligence reports that might have been influenced by the training."

'The Laws Are Written By Lobbyists,' Says Google's Schmidt 484

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from The Atlantic: "'The average American doesn't realize how much of the laws are written by lobbyists' to protect incumbent interests, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Atlantic editor James Bennet at the Washington Ideas Forum. 'It's shocking how the system actually works.' In a wide-ranging interview that spanned human nature, the future of machines, and how Google could have helped the stimulus, Schmidt said technology could 'completely change the way government works.' 'Washington is an incumbent protection machine,' Schmidt said. 'Technology is fundamentally disruptive.' Mobile phones and personal technology, for example, could be used to record the bills that members of Congress actually read and then determine what stimulus funds were successfully spent." We discussed a specific example of this from the cable industry back in August.

ISPs Lie About Broadband "Up To" Speeds 547

Haffner writes "Ars Technica has an article detailing the difference between ISP advertised 'up to x Mbps' speeds and the actual speeds, in addition to some possible solutions. They find that on average, the advertised speeds were 'up to 6.7 Mbps' while the real median was 3 Mbps and the mean was 4 Mbps. This implies that ISPs were falsely advertising by at least 50%."

Microsoft Mice Made in Chinese Youth Sweatshops? 481

An anonymous reader writes "The National Labor Committee offers an in-depth look into working conditions in Chinese sweatshops producing hardware (mice, etc.) for Microsoft, complete with pictures. Apparently, so called 'work study students,' 16 and 17 years of age, work 15-hour shifts, six and seven days a week, for around 65 cents per hour. Microsoft said it is taking the claims seriously and has 'commenced an investigation.'"

Google Gives the US Government Access To Gmail 445

schliz writes "Google condemns the Chinese Government for censoring its results, and Australia for planning to do the same. Meanwhile, its lawyers and security experts have told employees to 'be intentionally vague about whether or not we've given access to end-user accounts,' according to engineer James Tarquin, hinting that Google may be sharing its data with the US government. Perhaps Australia's most hated communications minister, Steven Conroy, could be right in his criticism of Google's privacy record after all."

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