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United States

+ - Implementing Homeland Security for Feds

Submitted by White Yeti
White Yeti (927387) writes "Federal agencies are required to implement Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12). At least at NASA, this is requiring background checks and access controls just short of those required for a "Secret" clearance, for both civil servants and contractors. Even the lowliest worker bee will need the checks, a new badge, and a smart card to access their computers. The utility and cost-effectiveness of all this is debatable, though at least one fellow is glad to voice his "problems". There's really no choice, since not complying means losing computer access."

+ - Phone taps in Italy boosts cellular encryption

Submitted by
morpheus83 writes "A number of Italian politicians, businessmen, soccer players and coaches, showgirls and actors nailed due to their negligent use of the mobile phone as they have had their personal conversations recorded by official or nubile detectives and then leaked to the press. This has fueled a rush for cellular encryption which works like this — phones on both sides of the voice conversation have a software preloaded which once activated through a personal key code scrambles or encryptes the user's voice. The data is then send through a normal GSM cellphone network, received by the listener's phone and then decrypted back into decipherable language, all of which causes a slight delay."

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan