EU Court of Justice Declares US-EU Data Transfer Pact Invalid 201

Sique writes: Europe's highest court ruled on Tuesday that a widely used international agreement for moving people's digital data between the European Union and the United States was invalid. The decision, by the European Court of Justice, throws into doubt how global technology giants like Facebook and Google can collect, manage and analyze online information from their millions of users in the 28-member bloc. The court decreed that the data-transfer agreement was invalid as of Tuesday's ruling. New submitter nava68 adds links to coverage at the Telegraph; also at TechWeek Europe. From TechWeek Europe's article: The ruling was the court’s final decision in a data-protection case brought by 27-year-old Austrian law student Max Schrems against the Irish data protection commissioner. That case, in turn, was spurred by Schrems’ concerns over the collection of his personal data by Facebook, whose European headquarters is in Ireland, and the possibility that the data was being handed over to US intelligence services.

Soon-to-Be US Ed Chief Was Almost FB CEO's Ed Chief 30

theodp writes: Before President Obama announced John B. King as his pick to replace outgoing U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan (who is returning to Chicago, where his kids now attend a $30K-a-year private school), King was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's pick to lead Zuck's failed $100 million "reform" effort of Newark's Schools. From The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?: "[Newark Mayor Cory] Booker asked [NJ Governor Chris] Christie to grant him control of the schools by fiat, but the governor demurred, offering him instead a role as unofficial partner in all decisions and policies, beginning with their joint selection of a 'superstar' superintendent to lead the charge. Booker's first choice was John King, then deputy New York State education commissioner, who had led some of the top-performing charter schools in New York City and Boston and who credited public school teachers with inspiring him to persevere after he was orphaned as a young boy in Brooklyn. [Mark] Zuckerberg and [his wife Priscilla] Chan flew King to Palo Alto for a weekend with them and [Facebook executive Sheryl] Sandberg; Christie hosted him at the governor's beach retreat on the Jersey Shore; and Booker led King and his wife, Melissa, on a tour of Newark, with stops at parks and businesses that hadn't existed before his mayoralty. But after much thought, King turned them down. Zuckerberg, Christie, and Booker expected to arrive at their national model within five years. King believed it could take almost that long to change the system's fundamental procedures and to raise expectations across the city for children and schools. "John's view was that no one has achieved what they're trying to achieve: build an urban school district serving high-poverty kids that gets uniformly strong outcomes," said an acquaintance who talked with King about the offer. "You'd have to invest not only a long period of time but tremendous political capital to get it done." King had questions about a five-year plan overseen by politicians who were likely to seek higher office."

Carly Fiorina: I Supplied HP Servers For NSA Snooping 488

MFingS writes: According to an article at Motherboard, shortly after 9/11, NSA director Michael Hayden requested extra computing power and Carly Fiorina, then CEO of HP, responded by re-routing truckloads of servers to the agency. Fiorina acknowledged providing the servers to the NSA during an interview with Michael Isikoff in which she defended warrantless surveillance (as well as waterboarding) and framed her collaboration with the NSA in patriotic terms. Fiorina's compliance with Hayden's request for HP servers is but one episode in a long-running and close relationship between the GOP presidential hopeful and U.S. intelligence agencies.

Analysis: China-US Hacking Accord Is Tall On Rhetoric, Short On Substance 38

An anonymous reader writes: Ars takes a look at the cyberspying agreement between the U.S. and China. The article looks at what the accord does but more importantly, what it does not. "But even assuming both sides would follow the pact, the accord is tall on rhetoric and short on substance. The deal, for instance, defines the method of enforcement as requiring the two nation's to create a 'high-level joint dialogue mechanism,' according to a joint statement from Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson. More important, the two superpowers make no commitment not to hack one another for intelligence-gathering purposes. That means the recent hack of the Office of Personnel Management's background investigation data—5.6 million sets of fingerprints from US federal employees, contractors and other federal job applicants—doesn't run counter to the accord. The OPM hack is believed to have originated in China and the data, as Ars has previously reported, is 'in the hands of the foreign intelligence services of China.'"
The Internet

Government Finds New Emails Clinton Did Not Hand Over 348

PolygamousRanchKid writes with this Reuters report that The U.S. Defense Department has found an email chain that Hillary Clinton failed to turn over to the State Department despite her saying she had provided all work emails from her time as Secretary of State.The correspondence with General David Petraeus, who was commander of U.S. Central Command at the time, started shortly before she entered office and continued during her first days as the top U.S. diplomat in January and February of 2009. News of the previously undisclosed email thread only adds to a steady stream of revelations about the emails in the past six months, which have forced Clinton to revise her account of the setup which she first gave in March. Nearly a third of all Democrats and 58 percent of all voters think Clinton is lying about her handling of her emails, according to a Fox News poll released this week.

Clinton apologized this month for her email setup, saying it was unwise. But as recently as Sunday, she told CBS when asked about her emails that she provided 'all of them.' The emails with Petraeus also appear to contradict the claim by Clinton's campaign that she used a private BlackBerry email account for her first two months at the department before setting up her account in March 2009. This was the reason her campaign gave for not handing over any emails from those two months to the State Department. The Petraeus exchange shows she started using the account by January 2009, according to the State Department.
The Military

Don't Worry, That Blimp Isn't Watching You Much 43

According to the Baltimore Sun, and despite claims by its maker Raytheon that the system is "performing well right now," the expensive tethered-blimp observatory called JLENS (for "Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System") seems to be mostly a boondoggle. The report focuses on the JLENS installation that was launched in Maryland last year. The Sun makes much of the flight taken by disaffected postal worker Douglas Hughes last April to the White House lawn, directly in the JLENS observation area -- the success of which (to be charitable) casts doubt on the effectiveness of the flying observatory system. Beyond its evidently low utility in doing its job, JLENS seems to be a brittle system, amplying its potential costs as well as its military vulnerability with grand, expensive failures as well as everyday difficulties: in 2010, "a civilian balloon broke loose from its mooring, destroying a grounded JLENS blimp that had cost about $182 million." The article lays out some political shenanigans, too: politicians in a wide range of states have supported the project, which has a nationwide footprint of contractors and possible deployment locations. From the article: Within the Pentagon, Marine Corps Gen. James E. "Hoss" Cartwright, then vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came to JLENS' defense, arguing that it held promise for enhancing the nation's air defenses. At Cartwright's urging, money was found in 2011 for a trial run of the technology in the skies above Washington. Cartwright retired the same year — and joined Raytheon's board of directors five months later. By the end of 2014, Raytheon had paid him more than $828,000 in cash and stock for serving as a director, Securities and Exchange Commission records show.

Speaker of the House Boehner Announces Resignation 406

halfEvilTech writes: House Speaker John A. Boehner announced Friday morning that he will resign at the end of October. The Washington Post reports: "The resignation will end a nearly five-year reign as speaker, allowing House Republicans to approve a short-term government funding bill that will avert a shutdown of federal agencies. Boehner's hold on the speaker's gavel had grown increasingly unsteady amid threats from more than 30 Republicans that they would force a no-confidence vote in his speaker's position, which would have forced him to rely on Democratic votes in order to remain in charge. Several GOP members told The Washington Post that Boehner would step down from Congress Oct. 31."

Legislation Requiring Tech Industry To Report Terrorist Activity Dropped 30

itwbennett writes: John Ribeiro reports that 'the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has dropped a provision that would have required Internet companies to report on vaguely-defined terrorist activity on their platforms.' The draft legislation, which was unanimously passed by the Committee in July, was widely derided by the tech industry for its technical difficulty and by users for invasion of privacy.

RIP: Tech Advocate and Obama Advisor Jake Brewer 142

SpaceGhost writes: The BBC reports that Jake Brewer, a 34-year-old senior policy advisor in the White House Chief Technology Office, has died while participating in a charity bike race on Saturday. Some of his work included global policy and external affairs at, the White Houses TechHire initiative, and the administration's efforts to expand broadband connectivity. Brewer's death has triggered emotional tributes from many in the worlds of politics and technology. Brewer was well known for his work on, and in his role at the White House as an advocate for education, access to technology, and intelligent use of data to make government more effective.

A Call To RICO Climate Change Science Deniers 737

GregLaden writes: The argument could be made that the organized effort to disrupt climate change science and the development of effective policies to address climate change is criminal, costing life and property. The effort is known to be generally funded by various actors and there are people and organizations that certainly make money on this seemingly nefarious activity. A group of prominent scientists have written a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren asking for this to be investigated under RICO laws, which were originally designed to address organized crime.
United Kingdom

UK Govt's Expensive Mobile Coverage Project Builds Just 8 Masts In 4 Years 75

An anonymous reader points out a dismal report at The Register on a project intended by the UK government to connect lots of internet have-nots, but which has so far not accomplished as much as hoped. The Mobile Infrastructure Project is intended to provide last-mile connectivity, but the project has languished, and fallen short of its promises. This year, Department for Culture, Media and Sport has managed to erect only six masts, which can serve about 200 homes apiece. Originally more than 575 sites had been commissioned, following the publication of the “no coverage” database by watchdog Ofcom. At the rate seen so far of four masts a year it will take over 140 years to complete the £150m Mobile Infrastructure Project. The original deadline was to to have all the sites equipped and live by the end of 2015. However, that deadline was extended to March 2016 to "ensure that benefits of the program are maximized."

Some Trump Donors Get Fleeced By 3rd-Party Payment System 113

According to an article in Maine's WMTW Channel 8, some Donald Trump supporters claim they've ended up giving more than they intended to this campaign, because a since-resolved "glitch" (according to campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks) meant they were charged multiple times. From the article: "Heather Nason of Saco told WMTW News 8 that her husband was one of the affected customers. ... Nason said a series of unauthorized charges appeared on her husband's bank statement days later. She said someone tried to make 13 withdrawals from her husband's account. After the first six charges went through, the account was almost empty."

Technology Colonialism 81

jrepin sends an editorial from Anjuan Simmons on how tech companies are behaving more and more in a manner that evokes colonialism. Quoting: Technology companies are increasingly being treated like sovereign nations. A nation with sovereignty has a right to conduct its internal affairs without interference from other nations. ... When technology companies are feted by foreign ministers and also refuse an invitation from the leader of their own country of origin, they exhibit the characteristics of a group that wants to be treated as a peer to heads of state. Technology companies understand the power they wield in the global economy. ... If Silicon Valley is allowed to become the central repository of information about people around the world, then there is a danger of setting up a form of imperialism based on personal data. Just as the royal powers of old reached far into the lives of distant colonized people, technology companies gain immense control with every terabyte of personal data they store and analyze.

The Campaign To Get Every American Free Money, Every Year 1291

merbs writes: Supporters of a basic income have finally organized a proper political movement. Basic Income Action is, according to co-founder Dan O'Sullivan, "the first national organization educating and organizing the public to support a basic income. "He tells me that "Our goal is to educate and organize people to take action to win a basic income here in the U.S." This 2013 Economist article does a good job of summarizing the pro and con viewpoints on the (ahem) basic idea.

NASA Delays Orion's First Manned Flight Until 2023 115

The Verge reports that the first manned flight planned for the Orion crew capsule has been delayed, and is now slated to take place in 2023, rather than the previously hoped-for 2021. The delay is based on both budget and design considerations; Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for human exploration at NASA, said at a press conference yesterday that several changes have been made to save weight in the capsule, including reducing the number of panels that make up the craft's cone. The article notes So far, Orion has met most of its major milestones. The spacecraft made its first uncrewed test flight in December 2014. The engineering team also recently demonstrated the Orion could land safely despite the failure of two of its parachutes. NASA hopes to eventually launch the Orion on top of the Space Launch System (SLS) — a giant rocket the space agency is currently building to go beyond lower Earth orbit. The plan is to send astronauts on the Orion to Mars sometime in the 2030s.

Interviews: Ask John McAfee About His Presidential Run 157

samzenpus writes: He's run a multi-billion dollar company and hidden in the jungles of Central America while being chased by Belizean authorities, but John McAfee's presidential bid may be his most interesting adventure yet. Last week John said: "Our government is in a dysfunctional state. It is also illiterate when it comes to technology. Technology is not a tool that should be used for a government to invade our privacy. Technology should not be the scapegoat when we fail to protect our digital assets and tools of commerce. These are matters of priorities," when announcing his run. According to his Cyber Party website: "Donkeys and elephants just don't make sense in the modern world. If the federal bureaucracy adopts technology in a meaningful way, it will become much easier to adapt to changes in policy or procedure. 10 hour long congressional hearings will no longer be needed for a simple change in workflow. By adapting a lean approach to government, the amount of savings that can be realized by improved efficiency will eliminate the need for wholesale changes to foundational policies. Other parties consistently lag behind trends in technology – Cyber Party members are committed to staying ahead of the curve and remaining proactive in policymaking." John has agreed to answer any questions you have about his step into politics or any other questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

NYU Study: America's Voting Machines Are Rapidly Aging Out 263

Presto Vivace passes on a link to a report at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's law school which says that many of the vote-counting machines set to be used in the 2016 U.S. general election will be past their prime by the time of the election, if not long before. From the report: Technology has changed dramatically in the last decade, but America's voting machines are rapidly aging out. In 2016, for example, 43 states will use electronic voting machines that are at least 10 years old, perilously close to the end of most systems' expected lifespan. Old voting equipment increases the risk of failures and crashes — which can lead to long lines and lost votes on Election Day — and problems only get worse the longer we wait.

John McAfee On Why He's Running For President 242

Velcroman1 writes: Our government is in a dysfunctional state. It is also illiterate when it comes to technology. Technology is not a tool that should be used for a government to invade our privacy. Technology should not be the scapegoat when we fail to protect our digital assets and tools of commerce. These are matters of priorities." So says John McAfee, offering up a brief explanation into why he's running for president. As noted earlier on slashdot, McAfee has filed paperwork already (PDF) to found a new party.

White House Petition To Let Foreign STEM Grads Work Longer In US Hits 100K Signatures 216

theodp writes: Computerworld reports that a petition urging the White House to act urgently on a court ruling that could force thousands of recent foreign STEM graduates working in the U.S. on OPT STEM extensions to leave the States early next year reached 100,000 signatures Tuesday, the threshold for an official government response. It could present a political conundrum of sorts for the Obama administration. Because the administration didn't act to protect U.S. workers at Southern California Edison and Disney, explained an attorney in the case, "now that foreign workers will be losing their jobs, how would it look if Obama went into overdrive to protect their jobs?" By the way, using a map to gauge whether support for the petition comes from all over the country (as the White House suggests), indicates that support for the OPT STEM Extension petition is largely concentrated in tech hotspots and universities, including off-the-beaten-path college towns that host large international student populations.
United States

John McAfee Pondering Presidential Bid 184

An anonymous reader writes: Since this U.S. presidential election cycle clearly isn't chaotic enough already, it seems John McAfee is now considering a campaign as well. Wired reports that McAfee hasn't decided for sure yet, and he's hoping to persuade somebody more charismatic to run with his backing. He said his advisors are pressing him to run, adding, "I have many thousands of emails saying please run for President. It's not something I would just choose to do on my own." What would his platform be? It actually sounds pretty simple: "It's clear that the leadership of our country is illiterate on the fundamental technology that supports everything in life for us now, that is cyber science, our smartphones, our military hardware, our communications." He'd be a strong proponent for privacy and autonomy. We should know in a few days whether McAfee is in or out — Wired says he "seems far more concerned with having his voice heard on one particular issue than with taking a seat in the Oval Office." Something seems to have changed his mind about politics: in a 2014 interview here, McAfee said. "I would never run for office, neither would I want to be in office, of any kind. I would rather drive a nail through my foot." According to the paperwork McAfee has filed, he is founding a new party (PDF).