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  1. UK buying 11,000 iPhone SE for government use in $5.7 million deal The UK's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is buying 11,000 iPhone SE handsets and support from IBM through reseller XMA. The government phones are all 64GB iPhone SE (2020) models. The contract reportedly totals 4,181,628 GBP for 11,000 Apple handsets. Even with support, the sale comes in at about 5% less than retail that Apple sells each of the Touch ID phones for in the UK. As part of that cost, the reseller is including asset tagging for each government-is
  2. On October 20, the United States government filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. One question is: was that really for abuses of antitrust law, or was it just about politics and scoring points in the U.S. national election? And, is Apple actually be the biggest potential casualty in an antitrust battle between the U.S. government and Google? “I think there’s been a consensus now for a while on both the left and the right, that companies like Google and Facebook have too much power in the marketplace,” Greg Sterling, VP of insights for Uberall, told me
  3. T-Mobile has revealed an uptick in the number of demands for data it receives from the government. The cellular giant quietly posted its 2017 transparency report on August 14, revealing a 12 percent increase in the number of overall data demands it responded to compared to the previous year. The report said the company responded to 219,377 subpoenas, an 11 percent rise on 2017. These demands were issued by federal agencies and do not require any judicial oversight. The company also responded to 55,372 court orders, a 13 percent rise, and 27,203 warrants, a
  4. A year ago, we asked some of the most prominent smart home device makers if they have given customer data to governments. The results were mixed. The big three smart home device makers — Amazon, Facebook and Google (which includes Nest) — all disclosed in their transparency reports if and when governments demand customer data. Apple said it didn't need a report, as the data it collects was anonymized. As for the rest, none had published their government data-demand figures. In the year that's past, the smart home market has grown rapidly, but th
  5. The Australian government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has spent more than A$200 million over the past five years developing a National Digital ID platform. If successful, the project could streamline commerce, resolve bureaucratic quagmires, and improve national security. The emerging results of the project may give the Australian public cause for concern. Two mobile apps built on the DTA’s Trusted Digital Identification Framework (TDIF) have recently been released to consumers. The apps, myGovID and Digital ID, were developed by the Australian Ta
  6. Snowden won’t make profits from Permanent Record Edward Snowden is not entitled to any profits from the sales of his memoir and the United States government can instead claim the proceeds, a federal judge found in a decision yesterday. The National Security Agency leaker published the book, called Permanent Record, in September, but the Justice Department immediately stepped in with a lawsuit. Usually, intelligence agencies submit works to a prepublication review process to ensure no government secrets are released. The government argued that si
  7. It's time for the government to step in and regulate big tech companies, says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. With tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and others exerting so much influence over culture and the economy, not to mention users' daily lives, it's become necessary for lawmakers to become more involved in how those companies deal with essential issues like privacy and cyberbullying, Gates said in an interview posted online by Bloomberg on Wednesday. "Technology has become so central that government has to think: What does
  8. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”), a civil liberties group based in Washington D.C., filed an amicus brief in the United States vs. Wilson case concerning Google scanning billions of users’ files for unlawful content and then sending that information to law enforcement agencies. Bypassing the Fourth Amendment EPIC alleges that law enforcement is using Google, a private entity, to bypass the Fourth Amendment, which requires due process and probable cause before “searching or seizing” someone’s property. As a private entity, Google doesn’
  9. Vodafone has revealed the extent of government snooping on its networks around the world, in a long report that appears to confirm the worst fears of privacy campaigners. The firm reveals that authorities in 29 countries have approached it for information on users, and while some are fairly open about their demands, others do not permit the company to reveal anything. However, more worryingly for those who value privacy, the report shows that in six countries Vodafone is obliged to allow governments to listen-in to communications at will, without obtaining a warrant first. Vodafone said it com
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