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Communications

The NSA Wants Its Own Smartphone 172

Art Vanderlay writes "Troy Lange might work for one of the more secretive spy agencies in the United States, but he is happy to talk about his work. He is the NSA's mobility mission manager and he has been tasked with creating a smartphone that is secure enough to allow government personnel who deal with highly sensitive information to take their work on the road. At present, the U.S. Government has secure cellphones; they use the government's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. The problem is that they can only communicate with other devices that are plugged into the network and their use is restricted to top-secret level communications. Lange wants a smartphone that is inter-operable and presumably trusted to deal with even more sensitive information. Lange said that he wanted to see his secure smartphone reach beyond the NSA – ultimately to reach every 'every employee in the Defense Department, intelligence community, and across government.'"
Image

Scientists Advocate Replacing Cattle With Insects Screenshot-sm 760

rhettb writes "Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered that insects produce significantly less greenhouse gas per kilogram of meat than cattle or pigs. Their study, published in the online journal PLoS, suggests that a move towards insect farming could result in a more sustainable — and affordable — form of meat production."
The Internet

Rushkoff Proposes We Fork the Internet 487

Shareable writes "Douglas Rushkoff: 'The moment the "net neutrality" debate began was the moment the net neutrality debate was lost. For once the fate of a network — its fairness, its rule set, its capacity for social or economic reformation — is in the hands of policymakers and the corporations funding them — that network loses its power to effect change. The mere fact that lawmakers and lobbyists now control the future of the net should be enough to turn us elsewhere.' And he goes on to suggest citizens fork the Internet & makes a call for ideas how to do that."
Media

AP Proposes ASCAP-Like Fees For the News 146

eldavojohn writes "Techdirt directed my attention to an article where the AP discussed pressure from new devices and mediums today giving them cause to create a clearinghouse for news — much like the music industry's ASCAP — to 'establish an enforcement and payment system.' You'll notice that the story I am linking to and quoting is an AP story ... would Slashdot then be required to pay these fees? We have seen DMCA take down notices and fee discussions before from the AP."
Privacy

FTC Wants Browsers To Block Online Tracking 205

storagedude writes "The FTC wants a do-not-track mechanism that would allow Web users to opt out of online behavioral tracking, similar to the national do-not-call registry. The agency's preferred method for accomplishing this would be a browser-based tool that would give users the option of blocking data collection across the Web. The only problem is that the agency may not have the authority to require this, thanks to concerted lobbying efforts by the advertising industry. The first step may just be voluntary measures, to be released this fall."
Encryption

New State Laws Could Make Encryption Widespread 155

New laws that took effect in Nevada on Oct. 1 and will kick in on Jan. 1 in Massachusetts may effectively mandate encryption for companies' hard drives, portable devices, and data transmissions. The laws will be binding on any organization that maintains personal information about residents of the two states. (Washington and Michigan are considering similar legislation.) Nevada's law deals mostly with transmitted information and Massachusetts's emphasizes stored information. Between them the two laws should put more of a dent into lax security practices than widespread laws requiring customer notification of data breaches have done. (Such laws are on the books in 40 states and by one estimate have reduced identity theft by 2%.) Here are a couple of legal takes on the impact of the new laws.

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