ZDNetGovWeek: A little end-of-year and a little bit NSA. Plus, you know, porn

Summary:It's never a dull week watching and mocking the shenanigans of governments worldwide. This week is no different, except there's more NSA, a little nostalgia for 2013, and, well, porn. So pretty much same ol' same ol'.

ZDNet's worldwide team provides global 24/7 technology news and analysis. In addition to my own coverage analysis here in the ZDNet Government column and on ZDNet's DIY-IT, every week I'll bring you a selection of the best government-related articles posted by our intrepid reporters and analysts. Here are some of the most interesting from the last week.

Top stories this week

2013 in review: The big themes
Edward Snowden, the unwinding of Nokia and the post PC era were key themes for 2013.

ZDNet’s top products and tech trends for 2013
Which products, platforms, and big ideas made the most impact in 2013?

Govt officials at 2011 G20 baited with porn
Attendees at the Paris summit of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors fell for an email promising nude photos of Carla Bruni, former supermodel and wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

FCC and carriers agree to make it easier to unlock phones
Not everyone is ready to open the champagne yet as we wait to see if these new policies will become new practices. If all goes well, users will eventually find it easier to unlock their phones.

Mass phone record gathering necessary: NSA chief
The mass collection of telephone data is necessary to monitor communications between terrorist suspects, the head of a US spy agency has said.

NSA using Google cookies, app location data to track targets
A newly-released NSA document leaked by Edward Snowden shows that the agency is using advertising cookie and location data to track individuals already under suspicion.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Turnbull: NBN fibre-to-the-basement trial a 'blistering' success
Fibre-to-the-basement trials in Melbourne have produced download speeds of 108Mbps, according to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

NBN Co's 25Mbps promise relies on HFC networks already built
Telstra and Optus' existing HFC networks will be be crucial for the Coalition to even meet less than half of its 25Mbps promise in 2016, and despite the criticism of the proposal, NBN Co board member Simon Hackett has said that HFC still has a lot to offer.

FCC and carriers agree to make it easier to unlock phones
Not everyone is ready to open the champagne yet as we wait to see if these new policies will become new practices. If all goes well, users will eventually find it easier to unlock their phones.

3 in 4 Chinese firms unprepared for data attacks
Their average financial loss through security breaches in 2013 was US$1.8 million, above the Asia-Pacific average of US$1.6 million, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Labor critic appointed to 'independent' NBN review panel
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed Labor critic Henry Ergas to the independent expert panel to conduct a cost-benefit analysis into broadband and NBN regulation.

$24.8 million more needed for new Immigration NZ platform
A shift to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) among other changes sees project costs increase as signs of slippage emerge in release schedule.

Australian government agencies access more metadata
Figures released by the Attorney-General's Department reveal a rise in the number of authorisations given to government agencies to access telecommunications metadata for criminal investigations from 290,358 to 319,874 in the last financial year.

ACCC finally accepts NBN Co's access terms
After two long years of consultation, the competition watchdog has finally accepted NBN Co's special access undertaking.

Microsoft releases certificate spoof fix for Windows XP, Server 2003
The company initially released protection against improper certificates issued by the French government certificate authority without support for XP and Server 2003, but have now come through.

Intel, Via hardware crypto not to be trusted
[UPDATE] In light of government attempts to subvert products and standards, both Linux and FreeBSD add extra entropy/randomness to the output of Intel's and Via's opaque hardware-based random number generators. Smart move.

Australian Greens succeed in bid to establish surveillance inquiry
After a handful of previous attempts, the Greens party has finally gained an inquiry into the Telecommunications Act that will look at surveillance conducted in Australia.

Bharti Airtel to invest $650M in Punjab over next 5 years
The telco's investment will provide a major boost in growth of broadband services in rural areas, as well as enable delivery of e-governance, e-education, and e-health services.

Topics: Government, Government : Asia, Government : AU, Government : UK, Government : US, Privacy, Security

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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