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IRS tells Senate: We only use our stingrays with court orders

(credit: Morning Calm Weekly) The head of the Internal Revenue Service told a Senate committee on Tuesday that its stingrays are “only used in criminal investigations.” The remarks came just one day after The Guardian revealed that the IRS had purchased the devices in 2009 and 2012. Stingrays, also known as cell-site simulators, can be […]

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13 million plaintext passwords belonging to webhost users leaked online

Enlarge (credit: Troy Hunt) A security researcher has discovered a trove of more than 13 million plaintext passwords that appear to belong to users of 000Webhost, a service that says it provides reliable and high-speed webhosting for free. The leaked data, which also includes users’ names and e-mail addresses, was obtained by Troy Hunt, an […]

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Prime Now drivers sue Amazon, say they were cheated on wages and breaks

An employee loads a truck at an Amazon.com Inc. distribution center in Phoenix, Arizona in 2012. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images (credit: Getty Images) Four ex-delivery drivers for Amazon Prime Now, the service that gets Amazon Prime customers their products in as little as one hour, have sued (PDF) their former employer. They claim they were denied […]

EFF: We found 100+ license plate readers wide open on the Internet Read more

EFF: We found 100+ license plate readers wide open on the Internet

This story originally appeared on Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website and is republished with EFF’s permission. Law enforcement agencies around the country have been all too eager to adopt mass surveillance technologies, but sometimes they have put little effort into ensuring the systems are secure and the sensitive data they collect on everyday people is protected. […]

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Orwell estate again rattling copyright saber over 1984 novel

If he were alive today, Eric Arthur Blair (better known by his pen name of George Orwell) might add another theme to the three defining political ideologies of 1984‘s Ingsoc. The themes in the dystopian novel were “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” and “Ignorance is Strength.” Perhaps the new theme would read something like: “This is […]

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Spotify reduces piracy, but also cuts into digital track sales

(credit: Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock) New research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre shows that Spotify has helped to reduce the level of piracy in the countries where it is available. The work also reveals that Spotify reduces the number of digital track sales, but that those losses are cancelled out by the licensing […]

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Congressman doubles down, accuses NOAA scientists of doctoring results

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). (credit: Photograph by Ryan J. Reilly) On Monday, we covered a series of requests (culminating in a subpoena) from Texas Congressman Lamar Smith (R). He sent the requests to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), demanding data and communications relating to a recent update of NOAA’s global surface temperature dataset. The […]

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Air Force picks Northrop Grumman to build Long Range Strike Bomber

An artist’s rendition of Northrop Grumman’s proposed for the Long Range Strategic Bomber. It strongly resembles the X-47B drone developed by Northrop for the Navy. (credit: Northrop Grumman) Yesterday afternoon, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III announced that Northrop Grumman […]

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Senate passes controversial cybersecurity-cyberspying bill 74-21

(credit: mag3737) The Senate overwhelming approved the so-called Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) on Tuesday. The measure would allow companies to share consumers’ data with the US government in the event of security breaches or cyber attacks—all in the name of cybersecurity. Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, had declared the measure—which now goes to a conference […]

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Drone downs power lines in Hollywood, hundreds affected for a few hours

Consider this a dramatization (it’s not the actual drone in question). (credit: Kevin Baird) Officials in Los Angeles told Ars that a small drone knocked out power to hundreds of Hollywood residents after it crashed into an overhead electrical wire. The incident, which took place on Monday at around 1:20pm, happened at the corner of […]