Jeff Bezos Puts The Pentagon On His Monopoly Board

While employees at Google and Microsoft are wary of collaborating with the military, Amazon revels in it.

Speaking at the Wired 25th anniversary last month month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company will continue to accept Pentagon contracts. That includes a very controversial cloud-computing contract that Google and Microsoft have already backed out of due to vocal employee opposition to working with the U.S. military.

Amazon was long considered the front-runner for this contract, but Bezos’s rationale for taking it goes well beyond its being low-hanging fruit. He’s argued that the government’s job is to “make the right decision, even when it’s unpopular,” and that large tech companies should support those decisions irrespective of politics….

>>> continue reading: Jeff Bezos Puts The Pentagon On His Monopoly Board

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Secret Government Report Shows Gaping Holes In Privacy Protections From U.S. Surveillance

On Tuesday, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, a federal privacy watchdog released an important report about how the U.S. government handles people’s personal information that it sweeps up in its surveillance. Despite requests from Senator Ron Wyden and the European Union, the Trump administration had refused to make the report public — until now. The report addresses government agencies’ implementation of “PPD-28,” President Obama’s 2014 policy directive on government spying and the treatment of “personal information,” which includes communications like emails, chats, and text messages.

The release of this report, which the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board finalized in December 2016, was long overdue. The report makes clear that PPD-28’s protections are weak in practice and rife with exceptions. And it will likely only add to concerns European regulators already have about the ways in which U.S. surveillance harms the privacy rights of Europeans — jeopardizing an important transatlantic data-sharing agreement. Here are three key takeaways….

>>> continue reading: Secret Government Report Shows Gaping Holes In Privacy Protections From U.S. Surveillance

Government Report: “An Entire Generation” Of American Weapons Is Wide Open To Hackers

 

A NEW REPORT from the U.S. Government Accountability Office brings both good and bad news. For governments around the would that might like to sabotage America’s military technology, the good news is that this would be all too easy to do: Testers at the Department of Defense “routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities in nearly all weapon systems that were under development” over a five-year period, the report said. For Americans, the bad news is that up until very recently, no one seemed to care enough to fix these security holes.

In 1991, the report noted, the U.S. National Research Council warned that “system disruptions will increase” as the use of computers and networks grows and as adversaries attack them. The Pentagon more or less ignored this and at least five subsequent warnings on the subject, according to the GAO, and hasn’t made a serious effort to safeguard the vast patchwork of software that controls planes, ships, missiles, and other advanced ordnance against hackers….

>>> continue reading: Government Report: “An Entire Generation” Of American Weapons Is Wide Open To Hackers

WATCH: Rand Paul Calls Out FBI Director For Refusing To Answer If Trump’s Calls Are Being Listened To By The FBI

“The concern of us who want more control over what the government can do with our data is because as Madison said men are not angels.”

On Wednesday, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Chris Wray declined to answer a question from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) about the possibility that President Trump might be under surveillance.

Questioning Wray before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Paul asked: “Do you think that it’s possible that the president’s conversations with international leaders are in the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] database?”

Wray replied, “I’m not sure there’s anything I could speak to in this setting.”

Paul responded, citing a Washington Post report that claimed there were 1,500 times then-President Obama was minimized. “Do you think it’s possible that Congress — that members of Congress are in the FISA database if we talk to international leaders?” Paul asked….

>>> continue reading: Rand Paul Calls Out FBI Director For Refusing To Answer If Trump’s Calls Are Being Listened To By The FBI

The Truths Behind Our Current Political Turmoil

Are there any guiding principles that can make sense of the sensational news that now overwhelms the senses seemingly every hour?

What is common to blaring headlines about the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings, an anti-Trump “resistance” buried deep in the permanent bureaucracy and the improper behavior by top officials of the Obama administration, FBI and Department of Justice?

There are a few subtexts to all these spectacles, scandals and melodramas….

>>> continue reading: The Truths Behind Our Current Political Turmoil

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