It's a low-snark week here at ZDNet Government HQ. The FBI's seemingly silly-sounding quest for malware actually makes sense, and new reports say the NSA is 80 percent less evil. At least it's all Obama's fault. Oh, wait, he just wants to put broadband in schools. All the gov news that's fit to put into bits. Read on...
CBSI's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz hosts ZDNet Government -- ZDNet's politics and policy coffeehouse -- where civics lessons meet technology, nothing is sacred, and everything is fair game.
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 saving and creating jobs. He is also director of the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute as well as the founder of ZATZ Publishing. David is a member of FBI InfraGard, the Cyberwarfare Advisor for the International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals, a columnist for The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, and has been a regular CNN contributor, and a guest commentator for the Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is the author of Where Have All the Emails Gone?, the definitive study of email in the White House, as well as How To Save Jobs and The Flexible Enterprise, the classic book that served as a foundation for today's agile business movement.
Is anyone surprised that the appeals system for fixing errors made by Healthcare.gov is itself broken? Nah, didn't think so. NSA gets a new chief with a strong crypto-tech background, and lots more that's shockingly not shocking. This week's headline: gov less stupid than in other weeks.
ZDNetGovWeek: Glitches in the US courts, retail hacking worries, and Australia doesn't like Snowden either
Last week was a big week for the steal-from-and-betray-your-government crowd as the patron saint of hit-and-split-treason spoke out from his secret lair hiding behind Putin's pants. Meanwhile, there was actual real news going on in government throughout the world. Click in and read.
Bitcoins are becoming the "national currency" of criminals the world over and are becoming an increasingly poor investment for legitimate miners.
Net neutrality is pretty much being neutered and President Obama gave a big speech on spying, pretty much saying what you'd expect (except the metadata program might change if they can figure out how). Shocking? No. Confidence inspiring? What do you think?
Why does this sound like the beginning of a Godzilla movie?
It's been a quiet week for government news the world over. That doesn't mean everyone in government is avoiding doing stupid things. It's just that last year's stupid things are getting old, and this year's stupid things haven't yet trickled up into news stories. No worries: if there's government, there's stupid. Stay tuned.
Are you bored of the NSA yet? Are you suffering from NSA-fatigue? Apparently the fourth estate just can't help themselves, because the NSA news keeps on comin'. Is anything else interesting happening in the World 'o Gov this week? Not much. Nope.
You can describe 2013 in four words: NSA, shutdown, twerking, and selfie. Sigh. We need to do better this year. Humanity had better step up its game.
Is that too much to ask? One frickin' week of no disasters. I'm not asking for competence, just a quiet week of no mistakes. Yeah, like that's going to happen. Ah, well. Feast your eyes below on the spectrum of news and idiocy that is government in action.
How much do you love your country? Enough to shop until you drop, choosing just the right gifts? If you're stumped on exactly what to give your favorite nation, we have the answers. Come on in!
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'.
As we move forward into a new year, fully aware of all the data gathering, surveillance, and big data out there, I have only one simple piece of advice: Watch where you step.
Legitimate patent owners won't be substantially negatively impacted by this bill. It's a little weak (leaving the door open to the big-boy trolls who use a different bag of tricks), but it's good, robust progress.
ZDNetGovWeek: Yahoo decides to be unhelpful, so does the US, but HP is all about helping Healthcare.gov
Yahoo has decided that it's easier to call something a feature than a vulnerability (oh, joy), the US doesn't like the idea of privacy rights, despite a UN resolution (who's surprised?), Verizon didn't save ACA, so it's HP's turn at bat, and we run down all the tech turkeys we could think of (and speak politely about). So, did the tryptophan wear off yet? Welcome to the silly(er) season!
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 Google Voice: A step-by-step primer on ditching your landline while keeping your number
- 2 Google Voice: A cheapskate's guide to cheap VoIP
- 3 Google Voice: How to consolidate your virtual phone numbers
- 4 Google Voice: The ultimate iPhone how-to
- 5 Buy too much Sudafed and you may get a visit from a cop