ZDNetGovWeek: Snowden to stay in Russia, nothing-to-hide no excuse, Utah pays taxes for NSA power, and more

ZDNetGovWeek: Snowden to stay in Russia, nothing-to-hide no excuse, Utah pays taxes for NSA power, and more

Summary: Somehow, we can't seem to keep America's most secretive agency out of the news. The NSA is back with a story about XKeyscore, another one about how Utah residents have to pay an NSA power bill, Russia welcomes (or at least tolerates) Snowden, and lots of other gov-stuff around the world.

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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

US fumes as Russia grants Snowden asylum
Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has left the Moscow airport where he was marooned for more than five weeks, after Russia granted him one year's asylum.

State surveillance may be a fact of modern life, but having 'nothing to hide' is not an excuse for apathy
State surveillance is not new, but today fights against terrorism. Many are against government spying, while some are apathetic. But even if you believe you have "nothing to hide," your government may still think you do. And proving otherwise could be impossible.

Utah residents will get to pay extra for NSA domestic spying
It looks like the state will subsidizing the NSA datacenter power bill.

US spy system XKeyscore allows NSA to 'wiretap anyone'
A secret surveillance system known as XKeyscore allows US intelligence to monitor 'nearly everything a typical user does on the internet', according to leaked documents.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

First round of Brazilian government-backed start-ups is announced
Public-private partnership has selected 56 new projects so far.

Researchers reveal details of active 'Comfoo' cyberespionage campaign
The trojan used in the RSA breach of 2010 is still active and targeting corporate and government targets worldwide; over 200 variants of 'Comfoo' recently discovered by researchers.

Amazon fires back at IBM over $600M CIA cloud contract with court complaint
Amazon has filed a complaint in court in a bid to prevent Big Blue from snapping up a lucrative $600 million contract with one of the world's most elusive intelligence agencies.

Australian government allays NICTA funding fears
The rumours of NICTA's death were greatly exaggerated, with the Australian government extending its funding for 2015-16.

Turnbull talks 1Gbps over FttN NBN
Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has suggested that his version of the NBN may be able to deliver 1Gbps speeds thanks to developments in DSL technology.

S. Korea IT company probed for assisting North's cyberattacks
The Seoul Supreme Prosecutors' Office is investigating a local IT company and its president, over allegations it assisted North Korean hackers infect over 110,000 computers.

Microsoft, Facebook oppose Kiwi spying Bill
Potential for a new interception legislation in New Zealand has been hit by another blow, with companies that may be subject to surveillance saying they will either have none or it, or it'll affect whether they do business in the country.

Commonwealth Ombudsman warns metadata warrants will strain resources
The Australian Commonwealth Ombudsman has said that requiring warrants for every access of telecommunications metadata will result in its office needing a boost in resources for overseeing the issuing of the warrants.

Shanghai sees surge in online personal data theft
Shanghai People's Procuratorate said number of identity theft cases increased from one in the first half of last year, to thirty cases this year, with most suspects abusing their employee position to harvest data for criminal purposes.

NSA Director Alexander Black Hat USA 2013 Keynote: Gallery
During his packed Black Hat USA keynote NSA Director Keith Alexander assured the crowd that the NSA's surveillance programs are lawful interception; attendees did not hesitate to shout "Bullshit."

NSA Director accused of lying to Congress at Black Hat USA 2013 keynote
During his packed Black Hat USA keynote NSA Director Keith Alexander assured the crowd that the NSA's surveillance programs are lawful interception; attendees did not hesitate to shout "Bullshit."

Twitter Transparency Report sees uptick in removal requests worldwide
However, Twitter's Transparency Report might not be as transparent as company execs would like it to be.

Australian government keeps digital dividend spectrum price
Communications Minister Anthony Albanese last week quietly directed the industry regulator to keep the existing reserve price for the remaining 700MHz spectrum from the digital dividend auction.

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

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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