Privacy not a right, police can force you to unlock your smartphone [Government IT Week]

It's been a rough week for privacy around the world, but heck, on the upside, government workers can now order Surface Pro 3 tablets. So, that's something, right? Lots more govern-minty news around the world. Click in and get up to date.

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

UK spy chief throws privacy in the fire, says it's not an 'absolute right'
Britain's new eavesdropping agency's chief publicly sets out his views and possible agenda by taking embracing the "collect it all" side of the debate.

New agency with funky name wants to make federal government IT more agile
18F, a startup embedded within the U.S. General Services Administration, offers itself as an 'agile coach' to tech-heavy federal agencies.

Microsoft makes Surface Pro 3 available to U.S. government users on GSA schedule
Microsoft is slowly continuing to expand availability of its Surface Pro 3 tablets by expanding its reseller ranks, as well as getting the devices on the U.S. GSA government schedule.

Virginia police can now force you to unlock your smartphone with your fingerprint
A circuit judge likened police forcing smartphone owners to unlock their device with a fingerprint akin to providing a DNA sample or an actual key.

Zero Day Weekly: CurrentC hacked, White House breached, APT28 exposed, Verizon shamed
A collection of notable security news items for the week ending October 31, 2014. Covers enterprise, controversies, reports and more.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Australian government preps IT hardware panel
The Australian government is going to market this month for its IT hardware panel to provide desktops, laptops, tablets, and servers to Australian government agencies.

NBN review costs top AU$2 million
The Department of Communications has revealed the full extent of the cost for the panel tasked with conducting a cost-benefit analysis into Australia's broadband options, and the other reviews it has undertaken since the election of the Coalition government.

We don't have any pre-existing metadata laws: Brandis
While on the one hand, the Australian government is claiming that security agencies will not get access to any new data under mandatory data retention, Attorney-General George Brandis has claimed that the legislation is required because there aren't any existing metadata laws.

Open Toscana: Can Tuscany's new approach to online services get citizens engaged?
The Italian region of Tuscany has overhauled its online services presence, hoping locals will respond to a mixture of apps, open data, and more.

Protesters celebrate after Hungary puts internet tax on ice
The Hungarian ruling party has removed a planned levy on internet traffic from its proposed budget.

Piracy cat is out of the data-retention bag: Ludlam
Mandatory data retention is not just about national security, but also about cracking down on illicit online file sharing, according to Greens communications spokesperson Scott Ludlam.

Privacy Commissioner, ACMA ink deal to ease duplication
The ACMA and the Australian Privacy Commissioner have signed a deal to work together in a bid to streamline telecommunications, spam, and telemarketing matters, and to ease duplication in their respective duties.

ATO overhauls IT contractor panel in red tape blitz
The Australian Taxation Office is hoping to save up to AU$4 million annually from an IT contractor panel overhaul.

On metadata legislation and used-car salesmanship
Australia's proposed data-retention laws still leave too many questions unanswered. Turnbull and Brandis must fill in the blanks.

Victorian government backs courtroom mobility
The Victorian government is dipping into its AU$12 million Technology Innovation Fund to back a program that is aimed at digitising courtroom paperwork and providing a mobile solution for case management and transparency.