SEC to Facebook: yeah, we're good, Homeland Security does software, and go ahead and unlock your cellphone [Government IT Week]

It's been a slow summer in Gov news, but at least the Library of Congress seems willing to let you unlock your cell phone. The SEC just "liked" (or at least ignored) Facebook's IPO mess, and DHS is now the Department of Homemade Software. Read on...
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor on

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

Cell phone unlocking will be legal again
In 2012, the Library of Congress ruled that you couldn't unlock your cell phone from your carrier without their permission. Congress has finally passed a law that will make it legal again.

Facebook's bungled IPO now a distant memory as SEC drops inquiry
Fast-forwarding from a disappointing IPO in 2012 to the present, Facebook has made it up to shareholders and then some.

Homeland Security gets into software security
It sounds unlikely, but the Homeland Security Agency is now providing an online, open-source code-testing suite with the unlikely name of SWAMP.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Delayed and over budget NZ border system hits a milestone
The first tranche of a new, IBM-developed border management system is making progress, but debate rages about budget overruns, delays and transparency.

Chinese regulators drop in on Microsoft
Chinese government investigators dropped in on multiple Microsoft offices throughout the country, according to reports.

SMBs overlooking online security risks: Zurich
A report by Zurich has found that while technology such as the internet and the cloud can be beneficial for small to medium businesses, it's also putting them at risk.

Beware the spin behind Australia's copyright law discussion paper
Another week, another propaganda-driven proposal from the mind of Australian Attorney-General Brandis. This one assumes that ISPs need to fix other people's broken product distribution models.

Unregistered Opal cards offer anonymous travel
The New South Wales government today started selling unregistered Opal cards, allowing public transport passengers to travel anonymously.

The Apple backdoor that wasn't
On Monday, several media outlets mistakenly reported that Apple had installed "backdoors" on millions of iPhones and iOS devices. UPDATED.

Google granting half of 'right to be forgotten' requests
After being called to account over its handling of the 'right to be forgotten' ruling, it has been revealed that Google is approving around 50 percent of all requests.

Brandis proposes website blocking and piracy crackdown
A leaked discussion paper from the Australian Attorney-General's Department reveals proposals to implement new legislation to undo the High Court's judgement in the 2012 iiNet copyright infringement case against Hollywood film studios, and force ISPs to block websites containing copyright infringing material.

Australia’s Covata eyes US financial sector
Australian data security firm, Covata, is setting its sights on the United States financial sector, in the lead up to its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in September.

Dutch government can use spy data gathered illegally, court rules
Data collected by the likes of the NSA in a manner that would be forbidden in the Netherlands can still be used by the country's government, according to a recent court ruling.

Sony settles PSN hack lawsuit for $15 million
The tech giant plans to offer restitution for those affected by the 2011 PSN hack in free games, subsidies and cash payouts.

Google to face-off with data watchdogs over 'right to be forgotten' stance
Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are meeting data protection officials in Brussels to discuss how best to handle right to be forgotten requests.

Wi-Fi security boost just over the horizon
Wi-Fi, especially public Wi-Fi, is still fraught with security problems. A solution has been in the works for some time but is still not ready for most.

European Central Bank suffers security breach, personal data stolen
The European Central Bank's website has been hacked and personal information has been stolen by a cybercriminal.

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