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Hacker Publishes 2TB of Data From Cayman National Bank

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-11-19 02:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: On Sunday, Motherboard reported that the hacker or hackers known as Phineas Fisher targeted a bank, stole money and documents, and is offering other hackers $100,000 to carry out politically motivated hacks. Now, the bank Phineas Fisher targeted, Cayman National Bank from the Isle of Man, confirmed it has suffered a data breach. "It is known that Cayman National Bank (Isle of Man) Limited was amongst a number of banks targeted and subject to the same hacking activity," Cayman National told Motherboard in a statement issued Monday. "A criminal investigation is ongoing and Cayman National is co-operating with the relevant law enforcement authorities to identify the perpetrators of the data theft. Cayman National takes any breach of data security very seriously and a specialist IT forensic investigation is underway, with appropriate actions being taken to ensure that the clients of Cayman National's Isle of Man bank and trust companies are protected," the statement added. The statement doesn't name Phineas Fisher explicitly, but instead says the bank was the victim of a "criminal hacking group." "I robbed a bank and gave the money away," Phineas Fisher wrote in their most recent manifesto, adding that they breached the bank in 2016. "Computer hacking is a powerful tool to fight economic inequality." In its statement, Cayman National claimed it had found no evidence of financial loss either to its customers or Cayman National itself. Twitter account Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets) posted a link to the copies of the servers of Cayman National Bank and Trust. "To make certain files easier to access, the two Athol servers were combined into a single archive. The raw Athol servers will be released next week, along with the launch of the Hunter Memorial Library which will make over 600,000 of the bank's emails searchable online," reads a follow-up tweet. The total size of data is about 2 terabytes.

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Juul Sued by California for Marketing E-Cigarettes To Teens

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-11-18 22:19
Juul Labs was sued by California for allegedly targeting teenagers with ads for its e-cigarettes, after a series of lawsuits filed by schools, parents and others against the market leader as deaths and illnesses linked to vaping add up across the U.S. From a report: "Juul adopted the tobacco industry's infamous playbook, employing advertisements that had no regard for public health and searching out vulnerable targets," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who announced the lawsuit at a news conference Monday in Los Angeles. "Today we take legal action against the deceptive practices that Juul and the e-cigarette industry employ to lure our kids into their vaping web." The San Francisco-based e-cigarette company has become a target of government regulators attempting to stem an epidemic of new nicotine users who have flocked to the sleek device even though many have never smoked cigarettes. Becerra alleges that Juul targeted young people in its advertising, failed to include required warnings, knowingly delivered tobacco products to consumers without verifying their age, kept the personal e-mails of minors who tried and failed to make a purchase, and proceeded to market Juul to them.

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Microsoft Announces Plan To Support DoH In Windows

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-11-18 21:39
New submitter Shad0wz writes: Microsoft's Core Network team just announced they plan on supporting DoH in the Windows resolver. In the blog post, the company writes: Providing encrypted DNS support without breaking existing Windows device admin configuration won't be easy. However, at Microsoft we believe that "we have to treat privacy as a human right. We have to have end-to-end cybersecurity built into technology." We also believe Windows adoption of encrypted DNS will help make the overall Internet ecosystem healthier. There is an assumption by many that DNS encryption requires DNS centralization. This is only true if encrypted DNS adoption isn't universal. To keep the DNS decentralized, it will be important for client operating systems (such as Windows) and Internet service providers alike to widely adopt encrypted DNS. With the decision made to build support for encrypted DNS, the next step is to figure out what kind of DNS encryption Windows will support and how it will be configured. Here are our team's guiding principles on making those decisions: Windows DNS needs to be as private and functional as possible by default without the need for user or admin configuration because Windows DNS traffic represents a snapshot of the user's browsing history. To Windows users, this means their experience will be made as private as possible by Windows out of the box. For Microsoft, this means we will look for opportunities to encrypt Windows DNS traffic without changing the configured DNS resolvers set by users and system administrators. Privacy-minded Windows users and administrators need to be guided to DNS settings even if they don't know what DNS is yet. Many users are interested in controlling their privacy and go looking for privacy-centric settings such as app permissions to camera and location but may not be aware of or know about DNS settings or understand why they matter and may not look for them in the device settings. Windows users and administrators need to be able to improve their DNS configuration with as few simple actions as possible. We must ensure we don't require specialized knowledge or effort on the part of Windows users to benefit from encrypted DNS. Enterprise policies and UI actions alike should be something you only have to do once rather than need to maintain. Windows users and administrators need to explicitly allow fallback from encrypted DNS once configured. Once Windows has been configured to use encrypted DNS, if it gets no other instructions from Windows users or administrators, it should assume falling back to unencrypted DNS is forbidden.

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Microsoft: We're Changing All Your Cloud Contracts After Privacy Complaints

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-11-18 19:35
Microsoft is rolling out new privacy provisions in its Online Services Terms (OST) contracts for all commercial customers after European privacy regulators began investigating it over potential violations of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). From a report: The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) last month said it had "serious concerns" over Microsoft's contracts with European institutions and compliance with GDPR rules. It kicked off an investigation in April after the Dutch Ministry of Justice found that telemetry data Microsoft collected from Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 users violated GDPR. However, EDPS in October also noted that a new agreement between Microsoft and the Dutch Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for contractual and technical safeguards and measures to mitigate risks to individuals was a "positive step forward". The new OST reflect the contractual changes Microsoft developed with the Dutch MoJ, according to Julie Brill, Microsoft's chief privacy officer and corporate vice president for global privacy and regulatory affairs.

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Facebook, Google Donate Heavily To Privacy Advocacy Groups

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-11-18 17:22
Few companies have more riding on proposed privacy legislation than Alphabet's Google and Facebook. To try to steer the bill their way, the giant advertising technology companies spend millions of dollars to lobby each year, a fact confirmed by government filings. From a report: Not so well-documented is spending to support highly influential think tanks and public interest groups that are helping shape the privacy debate, ostensibly as independent observers. Bloomberg Law examined seven prominent nonprofit think tanks that work on privacy issues that received a total of $1.5 million over a 18-month period ending Dec. 31, 2018. The groups included such organizations as the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Future of Privacy Forum and the Brookings Institution. The actual total is undoubtedly much higher -- exact totals for contributions were difficult to pin down. The tech giants have "funded scores of nonprofits, including consumer and privacy groups, and academics," said Jeffrey Chester, executive director at the Center for Digital Democracy, a public interest group that does not accept donations from Google or Facebook. Further, he says, their influence is strong. The companies have "opposed federal privacy laws and worked to weaken existing safeguards," Chester said. Accepting donations from these "privacy-killing companies enable them to influence decisions by nonprofits, even subtly," he said.

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Why Two Pentesters In Iowa Are Facing A Criminal Investigation and Trespassing Charges

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-11-18 02:50
Ars Technica's security editor re-visits the story of two security penetration testers from Coalfire who were arrested one midnight in the county courthouse in Adel, Iowa (population 3,682): "They were crouched down like turkeys peeking over the balcony," Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard said in an interview. "Here we are at 12:30 in the morning confronted with this issue -- on September 11, no less. We have two unknown people in our courthouse -- in a government building -- carrying backpacks that remind me and several other deputies of maybe the pressure cooker bombs." After more deputies arrived, Justin Wynn, 29 of Naples, Florida, and Gary De Mercurio, 43 of Seattle, slowly proceeded down the stairs with hands raised. They then presented the deputies with a letter that explained the intruders weren't criminals but rather penetration testers who had been hired by Iowa's State Court Administration to test the security of its court information system. After calling one or more of the state court officials listed in the letter, the deputies were satisfied the men were authorized to be in the building... When Leonard arrived on the scene, the mood quickly changed. Leonard read the letter and sized the men up. It said the men were authorized to perform "physical social engineering to attempt to gain access" to courthouse systems... The letter also listed tasks that should not be performed, including alarm subversion, force-opening doors, and accessing environments that require personal protective equipment. The pentesters had already said they used a tool to open the front door. Leonard took that to mean the men had violated the restriction against forcing doors open. Leonard also said the men attempted to turn off the alarm -- something Coalfire officials vehemently deny. In Leonard's mind that was a second violation. Another reason for doubt: one of the people listed as a contact on the get-out-of-jail-free letter didn't answer the deputies' calls, while another said he didn't believe the men had permission to conduct physical intrusions. The sheriff also said he and his deputies smelled alcohol on the breath of one of the men. (Leonard, who didn't identify which Coalfire employee it was, said a test later showed the pentester had a blood alcohol content of 0.05, the equivalent of one or two drinks. It is below the 0.08 threshold for an operating while intoxicated conviction.) Leonard promptly had the men arrested on felony third-degree burglary charges... The charges have since been reduced to misdemeanor trespassing charges. Trial is scheduled for April. Meanwhile, the sheriff's department in nearby Polk County is conducting a criminal investigation into a September 10 break-in on its courthouse under the same arrangement with the State Judicial Administration.... The get-out-of-jail-free letter "said you won't manipulate doors," Leonard said. "Well, they picked four doors. It said they won't manipulate the alarm system. They went right up to the alarm and tried to shut it off. The biggest issue is they were only supposed to work from 6AM to 6PM. They came out in the middle of the night and broke in." Equally important, Leonard said, is what he believed to be the overstepping of Iowa officials who retained Coalfire. When the sheriff confronted the men that night, he said: "The State of Iowa has no authority to allow you to break into a county building. You're going to jail."

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Iran Shuts Down Country's Internet In the Wake of Fuel Protests

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-11-17 23:41
"Iran, one of the countries most strongly identified with the rise cyber terrorism and malicious hacking, appears now to be using an iron fist to turn on its own," reports TechCrunch: The country has reportedly shut down nearly all internet access in the country in retaliation to escalating protests that were originally ignited by a rise in fuel prices, according to readings taken by NetBlocks, a non-governmental organization that monitors cybersecurity and internet governance around the world... The protests arose in response to a decision by the state to raise the price of gas in the country by 50%. As this AP article points out, Iran has some of the cheapest gas in the world -- in part because it has one of the world's biggest crude oil reserves -- and so residents in the country see cheap gas as a "birthright." Many use their cars not just to get around themselves but to provide informal taxi services to others, so -- regardless your opinion on whether using fossil fuels is something to be defended or not -- hiking up the prices cuts right to ordinary people's daily lives, and has served as the spark for protest in the country over bigger frustrations with the government and economy, as Iran continues to struggle under the weight of U.S. sanctions. Clamping down on internet access as a way of trying to contain not just protesters' communication with each other, but also the outside world, is not an unprecedented move; it is part and parcel of how un-democratic regimes control their people and situations. Alarmingly, its use seems to be growing. Pakistan in September cut off internet access in specific regions response to protests over conflicts with India. And Russia -- which has now approved a bill to be able to shut down internet access should it decide to -- is now going to start running a series of drills to ensure its blocks work when they are being used in live responses. On Twitter, NetBlocks reported yesterday that realtime network data "shows connectivity at 7% of ordinary levels after twelve hours of progressive network disconnections."

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Ask Slashdot: What Should You Do If Someone's Trying To Steal Your Identity?

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-11-17 02:59
Long-time Slashdot reader shanen "just got the darnedest phone call..." The caller knew my name and the name of a bank that I've done business with, and obviously my phone number, but beyond that I have no idea what was going on... There is no problem with my account. She was quite clear about that, but she had no clear reason for calling. As I got more and more suspicious, she asked me to wait and she eventually transferred the call to a man, who claimed to be a manager at the bank, but the entire thing stinks to high heaven. All I could think of was to suggest that I call him back, but he was apparently unable to provide a phone number that I could independently verify. Why not give me the bank's phone number that I could check on the Internet? One would think that I could then transfer to his extension. After almost nine minutes I just hung up, and now I realize that I have the caller's phone number, but that isn't definitive evidence of anything. A scammer might know that blocking the phone number would have made things more suspicious... So what should I have done? Do you have any similar experiences to share? Or have I missed warnings about some new scam that's going around? Now I realize that they could start from names and phone numbers and just guess for the largest banks. Maybe I got suspicious too quickly, before she could start asking for the personal information she was really after? The original submission also includes this question: "If it's an identity theft in progress, then I want to stop it and fast, but how can I tell what's going on?" So leave your own thoughts in the comments. What should you do if you think someone is trying to steal your identity?

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Most Americans Think They're Being Constantly Tracked, Study Finds

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-11-16 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: More than 60% of Americans think it's impossible to go through daily life without being tracked by companies or the government, according to a new Pew Research study. It's not just that Americans (correctly) think companies are collecting their data. They don't like it. About 69% of Americans are skeptical that companies will use their private information in a way they're comfortable with, while 79% don't believe that companies will come clean if they misuse the information. When it comes to who they trust, there are differences by race. About 73% of black Americans, for instance, are at least a little worried about what law enforcement knows about them, compared with 56% of white Americans. But among all respondents, more than 80% were concerned about what social-media sites and advertisers might know. Despite these concerns, more than 80% of Americans feel they have no control over how their information is collected.

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Germany Forces Apple To Let Other Mobile Wallet Services Use iPhone's NFC Chip

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-11-16 02:20
A new German law passed yesterday requires Apple to allow other mobile payments services access to the iPhone's NFC chip for payments to allow them to fully compete with Apple Pay. 9to5Mac reports: Apple initially completely locked down the NFC chip so that it could be used only by Apple Pay. It later allowed some third-party apps to use the chip but has always refused to do so for other mobile payment apps. Reuters reports that the law doesn't name Apple specifically, but would apply to the tech giant. The piece somewhat confusingly refers to access to the NFC chip by third-party payment apps as Apple Pay. "A German parliamentary committee unexpectedly voted in a late-night session on Wednesday to force the tech giant to open up Apple Pay to rival providers in Germany," reports Reuters. "This came in the form of an amendment to an anti-money laundering law that was adopted late on Thursday by the full parliament and is set to come into effect early next year. The legislation, which did not name Apple specifically, will force operators of electronic money infrastructure to offer access to rivals for a reasonable fee." Apple says that the change would be harmful: "We are surprised at how suddenly this legislation was introduced. We fear that the draft law could be harmful to user friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information."

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White House Unveils Rules Requiring Online Disclosure of Hospital Prices

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-11-16 01:00
schwit1 shares a report from The Hill: The Trump administration on Friday unveiled new rules to require increased disclosure of health care prices, in a move officials said would drive down costs by increasing competition. One regulation would require hospitals to provide a consumer-friendly online page where prices are listed for 300 common procedures like X-rays and lab tests. A second regulation would require insurers to provide an online tool where people could compare their out-of-pocket costs at different medical providers before receiving treatment. The rule announced Friday affecting hospitals is a final rule, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2021. The rule for insurers is still a proposal that is not yet finalized. "Hospitals and insurers will fight this. The last thing they want is consumers price shopping," adds schwit1.

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Supreme Court Will Hear Long-Running Google and Oracle Copyright Lawsuit

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-11-15 23:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: The Supreme Court said on Friday that it will hear a dispute between tech giants Oracle and Google in a blockbuster case that could lead to billions of dollars in fines and shape copyright law in the internet era. The case concerns 11,500 lines of code that Google was accused of copying from Oracle's Java programming language. Google deployed the code in Android, now the most popular mobile operating system in the world. Oracle sued Google in 2010 alleging that the use of its code in Android violated copyright law. Google won two victories in the lower courts but ultimately lost on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which ruled last year for Oracle. Oracle has previously said it is entitled to $9 billion in damages, though no official penalty has been set. Java was developed by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle purchased in a deal valued at $7.4 billion that was completed in 2010. Underlying the legal issues in the case is a technical dispute over the nature of the code that Google used. Google has said that the code was essentially functional -- akin to copying the placement of keys on a QWERTY keyboard. Oracle maintains that the code, part of Java's application programming interface, or API, is a creative product, "like the chapter headings and topic sentences of an elaborate literary work." A number of high-profile tech firms urged the top court to take the case in order to side with Google.

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Disney + and 'The Mandalorian' Are Driving People Back To Torrenting

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-11-15 18:41
An anonymous reader shares a report: A simple glance at torrent websites shows that plenty of people are stealing from the brand new steaming services -- episodes of The Mandalorian and Dickinson all have hundreds or thousands of seeders and are among the most popular shows on torrent sites. I reached out specifically to Disney, Apple, and Netflix to ask what their policy was on going after pirated content, and haven't heard back, but it's obvious that these companies assume that at least some of their viewers aren't paying the full price for their services. Given that you can watch as many as six simultaneous streams with Apple TV+, and four with Disney+ and the top Netflix package, the more common form of piracy -- password sharing -- is built into the system. But for pirates who don't have any access to the legit services, what makes stealing content particularly appealing in this age is that there are few if any people who face consequences for the crime. Since the discontinuation of the "six strikes" copyright policy in 2017, there's been lax enforcement of copyright laws. Rather than going after individuals for exorbitant fines for downloading a handful of songs like copyright holders did a decade ago, enforcement these days has focused on the providers of pirated content, with the much more efficient goal of taking down entire streaming sites rather than just a few of their visitors. Of course, as the continued resilience of The Pirate Bay shows, the current strategy isn't particularly effective at stopping piracy, either. But it does mean that those who only download already-stolen content are safer than they've ever been.

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Google Almost Made 100,000 Chest X-rays Public -- Until it Realized Personal Data Could Be Exposed

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-11-15 17:21
Two days before Google was set to publicly post more than 100,000 images of human chest X-rays, the tech giant got a call from the National Institutes of Health, which had provided the images: Some of them still contained details that could be used to identify the patients, a potential privacy and legal violation. From a report: Google abruptly canceled its project with NIH, according to emails reviewed by The Washington Post and an interview with a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. But the 2017 incident, which has never been reported, highlights the potential pitfalls of the tech giant's incursions into the world of sensitive health data. Over the course of planning the X-ray project, Google's researchers didn't obtain any legal agreements covering the privacy of patient information, the person said, adding that the company rushed toward publicly announcing the project without properly vetting the data for privacy concerns. The emails about Google's NIH project were part of records obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request. Google's ability to uphold data privacy is under scrutiny as it increasingly inserts itself into people's medical lives. The Internet giant this week said it has partnered with health-care provider Ascension to collect and store personal data for millions of patients, including full names, dates of birth and clinical histories, in order to make smarter recommendations to physicians. But the project raised privacy concerns in part because it wasn't immediately clear whether patients had consented to have their files transferred from Ascension servers or what Google's intentions were.

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A Jury of Random People Can Do Wonders For Facebook

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-11-15 15:00
Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of Harvard's Berkman Klein Center, writes about how and why Facebook might take inspiration from the U.S. jury system in reviewing the truth value of political ads. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the article: What we need are ways for decisions about content to be made, as they inevitably must be when platforms rank and recommend content for us to see; for those decisions yet not to be too far-reaching or stiflingly consistent, so there is play in the joints; and for the deep stakes of those decisions to be matched by the gravity and reflectiveness of the process to make them. Facebook recently announced plans for an "independent oversight board," a tribunal that would render the company's final judgment on whether a disputed posting should be taken down. But far more than its own version of the Supreme Court, Facebook needs a way to tap into the everyday common sense of regular people. Even Facebook does not trust Facebook to decide unilaterally which ads are false and misleading. So if the ads are to be weighed at all, someone else has to render judgment. In the court system, legislators write laws, and lawyers argue cases, but juries of ordinary people are typically the finders of fact and judges of what counts as "reasonable" behavior. This is less because a group of people plucked from the phone book is the best way to ascertain truth -- after all, we don't use that kind of group for any other fact-finding. Rather, it's because, when done honorably, with duties taken seriously, deliberation by juries lends legitimacy and credibility to the machinations of the legal system.

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Andrew Yang Wants To Tax Digital Ads, Launch a New Algorithm Regulator

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-11-15 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: On Thursday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang put out a sweeping new tech policy proposal with a number of controversial proposals, including taxing digital ads and launching a new department to regulate algorithms on social networks. [...] In his Thursday blog post, Yang argues that his opponents' calls to break-up big tech firms like Facebook and Google fall short of protecting consumers from companies that prioritize "profits over our well-being." Yang's broad tech policy plan attacks the issues plaguing tech from four different angles: promoting a healthy relationship with tech, data ownership and privacy, fighting disinformation, and empowering the federal government with new guidelines and resources to tackle these issues. Ever since the 2016 election, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been under fire by public advocates and lawmakers for their failures to remove disinformation from their platforms. In his tech proposal, Yang piggybacks on his digital ads VAT, suggesting that if it were implemented, there would be less false information on social media because platforms would become subscription-based and not be forced to accept advertising at all, let alone misleading political ads. There would also be significant new restrictions on how platforms like Facebook can target users with content. Any algorithms used by "platforms that allow political advertisements or the sharing of news stories" would be required to be open source or at least confidentially shared with Yang's "Department of the Attention Economy." All ads would have to be clearly labeled as such. Yang says he would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act -- one of the most pivotal laws governing the internet -- but didn't specify what his amendment would look like. He also pledges to pass a "Digital Bill of Rights, ensuring ownership of data, control over how it's used, and compensation for its use" if he is elected president. Consumers could choose to opt in to have their data collected. "But then you should receive a share of the economic value generated from your data," Yang says.

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Amazon Appeals Pentagon's Choice of Microsoft For $10 Billion Cloud Contract

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-11-15 03:25
Amazon is going into battle with the Pentagon over a massive military tech contract awarded to Microsoft. Amazon cited "unmistakable bias" as it prepares to protest the selection in federal court. NPR reports: This begins a new chapter in the protracted and contentious battle over the biggest cloud-computing contract in U.S. history -- called JEDI, for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure -- worth up to $10 billion over 10 years. The Pentagon declared Microsoft the winner of JEDI on Oct. 25, after months of delays, investigations and controversy -- at first, over accusations of a cozy relationship between Amazon and the Department of Defense, and later, over President Trump's public criticism of Amazon. In a statement on Thursday, Amazon's cloud unit argued that "numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias -- and it's important that these matters be examined and rectified." The company is appealing the contract at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Amazon Web Services spokesperson said the company was "uniquely experienced and qualified" for the job, adding: "We also believe it's critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence." Amazon was stunned by its loss of the JEDI contract. Microsoft's cloud business Azure has been a distant second in size to AWS, which also previously won a cloud contract with the CIA. But a former Pentagon official familiar with the JEDI deal previously told NPR that Microsoft's bid "hit the ball out of the park."

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Uber Hit With $650 Million Employment Tax Bill In New Jersey

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-11-15 02:45
New Jersey's labor department says Uber owes the state about $650 million in unemployment and disability insurance taxes because the rideshare company has been misclassifying drivers as independent contractors. Bloomberg Law News reports: Uber and subsidiary Rasier LLC were assessed $523 million in past-due taxes over the last four years, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said in a pair of letters to the companies. The rideshare businesses also are on the hook for as much as $119 million in interest and penalties on the unpaid amounts, according to other internal department documents. The New Jersey labor department has been after Uber for unpaid employment taxes for at least four years, according to the documents, which Bloomberg Law obtained through an open public records request. The state's determination is limited to unemployment and disability insurance, but it could also mean that Uber is required to pay drivers minimum wages and overtime under state law. Uber's costs per driver, and those of Lyft, could jump by more than 20% if they are forced to reclassify workers as employees, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. [...] New Jersey informed Uber in 2015 that it had obtained a court judgment ordering the company to pay about $54 million in overdue unemployment and temporary disability insurance contributions. It is not clear whether the company ever paid any of that bill. "We are challenging this preliminary but incorrect determination, because drivers are independent contractors in New Jersey and elsewhere," Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang told Bloomberg Law.

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FCC Sued By Dozens of Cities After Voting To Kill Local Fees and Rules

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-11-14 23:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission faces a legal battle against dozens of cities from across the United States, which sued the FCC to stop an order that preempts local fees and regulation of cable-broadband networks. The cities filed lawsuits in response to the FCC's August 1 vote that limits the fees municipalities can charge cable companies and prohibits cities and towns from regulating broadband services offered over cable networks. "At least 46 cities are asking federal appeals courts to undo an FCC order they argue will force them to raise taxes or cut spending on local media services, including channels that schools, governments, and the general public can use for programming," Bloomberg Law wrote Tuesday. Various lawsuits were filed against the FCC between August and the end of October, and Bloomberg's report said that most of the suits are being consolidated into a single case in the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. An FCC motion to transfer the case to the 6th Circuit, which has decided previous cases on the same topic, is pending. The 9th Circuit case was initially filed by Eugene, Oregon, which said the FCC order was arbitrary and capricious and that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act, the Constitution, and the Communications Act. The cities' arguments and the FCC's defense will be fleshed out more in future briefs. Big cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Denver, and Boston are among those suing the FCC. Also suing are other municipalities from Maine, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington, according to a Bloomberg graphic. The state of Hawaii is also suing the FCC, and New York City is supporting the lawsuit against the FCC as an intervening party.

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GitHub Faces More Resignations In Light of ICE Contract

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-11-14 04:20
TechCrunch reports that another employee, engineer Alice Goldfuss, has resigned from GitHub over the company's $200,000 contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). From the report: In a tweet, Goldfuss said GitHub has a number of problems to address and that "ICE is only the latest." Meanwhile, Vice reports at least five staffers quit today. These resignations come the same day as GitHub Universe, the company's big product conference. Ahead of the conference, Tech Workers Coalition protested the event, setting up a cage to represent where ICE detains children. Last month, GitHub staff engineer Sophie Haskins resigned, stating she was leaving because the company did not cancel its contract with ICE, The Los Angeles Times reported. Last month, GitHub employees penned an open letter urging the company to stop working with ICE. That came following GitHub's announcement of a $500,000 donation to nonprofit organizations in support of "immigrant communities targeted by the current administration." In that announcement, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman said ICE's purchase was made through one of GitHub's reseller partners and said the deal is not "financially material" for the company. Friedman also pointed out that ICE is responsible for more than immigration and detention facilities.

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