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Entire Federal Government Exempt From Robocall Laws, FCC Rules

Slashdot.org - Wed, 2016-07-06 19:25
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Hill: Late Tuesday night, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that the entire federal government is exempt from consumer protection laws that limit unwanted robocalls. They ruled that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 doesn't apply to the federal government, while the law does bar businesses from making numerous autodialed or prerecorded calls to a person's cellphone. The FCC did also make contractors working on behalf of the government exempt from the law as well. Earlier this year, a Supreme Court case found that the law does not apply to the government because of sovereign immunity. However, the FCC ruled that the government falls outside the law's definition of a "person." "Indeed, had Congress wanted to subject the federal government to the TCPA, it easily could have done so by defining 'person' to include the federal government," according to the ruling. Therefore, contractors hired by members of Congress can robocall individuals to participate in town halls, government researchers can place autodialed calls to the cellphones of survey respondents, and contractors can make similar calls to offer information about social security. The ruling does not apply to lawmakers who are using the calls for political campaigns.

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Categories: Technical

European Union's First Cybersecurity Law Gets Green Light

Slashdot.org - Wed, 2016-07-06 18:45
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: The European Union approved its first rules on cybersecurity, forcing businesses to strengthen defenses and companies such as Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. to report attacks. The European Parliament endorsed legislation that will impose security and reporting obligations on service operators in industries such as banking, energy, transport and health and on digital operators like search engines and online marketplaces. The law, voted through on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France, also requires EU national governments to cooperate among themselves in the field of network security. The rules "will help prevent cyberattacks on Europe's important interconnected infrastructures," said Andreas Schwab, a German member of the 28-nation EU Parliament who steered the measures through the assembly. EU governments have already supported the legislation. The EU Parliament also noted that network-securitiy incidents resulting from human error, technical difficulties, technical failures or cyberattacks cause annual losses of upwards of $377 billion (340 billion euros).

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Categories: Technical

Hackers Can Use Smart Watch Movements To Reveal A Wearer's ATM PIN

Slashdot.org - Wed, 2016-07-06 18:05
the_newsbeagle writes: By gaining access to the sensors in someone's smart watch, hackers could track the person's hand movements at an ATM and figure out his/her pin. The hacker needn't be anywhere near the ATM; data can be lifted from the smart watch by either a discreet wireless sniffer or by malware on the watch that sends info to a server. This is hardly the first demonstration of the security flaws in smart watches. Last year, a research group showed that a watch's sensors can reveal keystrokes on a computer keyboard. The team of researchers, led by Chen Wang and Yingying Chen at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, were able to record movements down to the millimeter and crack private ATM PINs with 80 percent accuracy on the first try. To eliminate the security breach, manufacturers could better secure the data stored in their wearables, and/or add noise so one's physical hand movements cannot be as easily translated. Of course, consumers could simply wear their smart watch on their non-dominant hand.

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Categories: Technical

Microsoft Targets The iMac With New All-In-One Surface PCs, Reports Say

Slashdot.org - Wed, 2016-07-06 17:20
New submitter Miche67 writes: Two reports say Microsoft is working on an all-in-one (AIO) PC under the Surface brand. If that's true, it would put it in competition with HP and Dell, which have their own AIO lines, as well as put it in competition with Apple's iMac. Network World reports: "Both DigiTimes and Windows Central picked up on the story, each citing their own sources. DigiTimes, a Taiwan-based publication with connections to the PC industry over there (but also a very mixed record of accuracy) said the new devices would come in the third quarter of this year. Windows Central, which is a little better when it comes to rumors, said it did not have a solid release date." Business Insider was able to find a patent filing by Microsoft for a desktop PC that supports the rumored AIO design. "The device is evidently targeting a 'modern and elegant' design and is meant to be something akin to a premium appliance or furniture," Windows Central wrote. Intel's release date of the new Kaby Lake line of processors around Q3 of this year complicates things. While Kaby Lake is said to be more mobile-friendly with less power consumption and heat, they would make for a good choice for an AIO machine. However, it would be pushing it for Microsoft to release its AIO machines in the same quarter that Kaby Lake is due. On a semi-related note, a programmer at Building 88 recently confirmed that Microsoft will release Surface 5 devices next year powered by Kaby Lake processors. He posted pictures of four device holders marked "2017" on his Twitter account.

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Categories: Technical

DOJ Will Not File Charges Against Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Slashdot.org - Wed, 2016-07-06 16:40
An anonymous reader writes: After FBI Director James Comey recommended not to indict Hillary Clinton for her email misconduct yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday that the Justice Department has decided not to pursue charges against Hillary Clinton or her aids and that the department will close the investigation into her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. "Late this afternoon, I met with FBI Director James Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email system during her time as Secretary of State," Lynch said in a statement on Wednesday. "I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation."

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Categories: Technical
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