Trump is Launching a New Tech Group To 'Transform and Modernize' the US Govt

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2017-05-01 18:40
President Donald Trump announced on Monday he has signed an executive order creating a new technology council to "transfer and modernize" the U.S. government's IT systems. From a report: The gathering is part of a new effort, called the American Technology Council, commissioned by Trump in an executive order signed this morning. The effort seeks to bring leading government officials together with Silicon Valley's top minds in order to "transform and modernize" the aging federal bureaucracy "and how it uses and delivers information." Trump isn't the first sitting U.S. president to look to Silicon Valley in an attempt to bring government into the digital age. His predecessor, former President Barack Obama, similarly launched efforts like the U.S. Digital Service, which the administration billed at the time as a "startup at the White House" that sought to pair tech experts with federal agencies that needed help. Over 20 technology chief executives will attend meetings at the White House in early June to talk about improving government information technology, the report adds.

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Hearing Wednesday: EFF Argues Against Massive Government Hacking in ‘Playpen’ Case

Electronic Frontier Foundation - Pn, 2017-05-01 18:15
FBI Used One Warrant to Infiltrate Thousands of Computers

Boston – On Wednesday, May 3, at 9:30 am, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue that an FBI search warrant used to hack thousands of computers around the world was unconstitutional.

The hearing in U.S. v. Levin at the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit stems from one of the many cases arising from a controversial investigation into “Playpen,” a child pornography website. The precedent set by the Playpen prosecutions is likely to impact the digital privacy rights of Internet users for years to come.

During the investigation, the FBI secretly seized the servers running the Playpen site and continued to operate them for two weeks. The bureau allowed thousands of images to be downloaded while distributing malware to website visitors. With that malware, the FBI hacked into over 8,000 devices in hundreds of countries across the globe—all on the basis of a single warrant.

However, because the government was running the Playpen site, it was already in possession of information about visitors and their computers. Rather than taking the necessary steps to obtain narrow search warrants, the FBI instead sought a single, general warrant to authorize its massive hacking operation, violating the Fourth Amendment. In Wednesday’s hearing, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Mark Rumold will argue as amicus, urging the court to send a clear message that a vague search warrant is not enough to satisfy the privacy protections enshrined in the Constitution.

U.S. v. Levin

Wednesday, May 3
9:30 am

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way
Boston, MA 02210

For more information on this case:

Contact: Mark Rumold

DRM Will Be Gone By 2025, Predicts Cory Doctorow

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2017-05-01 12:30
An anonymous reader writes: It's been two years since Cory Doctorow joined the EFF's campaign to eliminate DRM within 8 years -- and he still believes it'll happen. "Farmers and the Digital Right To Repair Coalition have done brilliantly and have a message which is extremely resonant with the political right as well as the political left." And now even the entertainment industry seems to oppose extending the DMCA to tractors. "The entertainment industry feels very proprietary towards laws that protect DRM. They really feel that they lobbied for and bought these laws in order to protect the business model they envisioned. For these latecomer upstarts to turn up and stretch and distort these laws out of proportion has really exposed one of the natural cracks in copyright altogether." Doctorow also says that "If there's anything good that might come of Brexit, it's that the UK will renegotiate and reevaluate its relationship to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and other directives. The UK enjoys a really interesting market position if it wants to be the only nation in the region that makes, exports, and supports DRM-breaking tools."

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