ZDNetGovWeek: FBI RFQ for malware, NSA collects less than y'all claim, and broadband for school

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...
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

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

NSA collects only about 20 percent of phone metadata
Government sources say that the NSA's phone metadata collects only a fraction of calls, owing to the program not collecting most cell phone call records.

Uncle Sam: I want you to sell me malware
The FBI has an RFQ out to buy malware for research. Read the document and the project sounds legitimate, but the RFQ is still funny to read.

Snowden aftermath: Defense contractors revamp policies, practices
Following the Edward Snowden wake-up call, three in four defense contractors have already made significant changes in their IT security and hiring practices.

Obama hooks up new school broadband plan
President Barack Obama has unveiled a new government partnership with the private sector worth nearly $3 billion to hook up an extra 20 million school kids to high-speed internet.

Government systems ripe with cyber vulnerabilities, report shows
"Simple stuff" not getting done, and poor password hygiene among top issues

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Vic government funding cut leads to NICTA redundancies
Following Victorian government cuts to NICTA's funding, a number of jobs have been axed from the research organisation's Victorian labs.

BNZ follows TSB using RealMe ID
Banker BNZ announces customers can use New Zealand Post's RealMe authentication system from mid month.

Tax transformation: $50 million down, $1.45 billion to go
New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department has spent NZ$50 million so far on a massive transformation project, but the slow pace of change to date has some members of Parliament worried.

Anonymous targets Singapore govt with second tweetstorm
In a bid to raise awareness over criminal proceedings against alleged hackers in Singapore linked to Anonymous, the hacktivist group called for its second tweetstorm in a month.

Google forced to show privacy fail message on homepage
A French judge has refused to suspend an order obliging Google to publish a notice saying it had been fined for breaches of the French data protection act.

Google heads to court to fight French privacy slapdown
The search giant is fighting a ruling that could see it fined €150,000 and forced to make changes to its French homepage.

Anonymous leaks Singapore govt employees' personal data
In response to recent arrests in Singapore linked to Anonymous, the hacktivist group is threatening to release more personal info unless it sees "a sense of justice and fairness" from the government.

Australian government IT apprenticeships hit, grad program unaffected
Amid reports of departments reducing the number of IT apprenticeships it is taking on, the Department of Finance has said that the Australian government IT graduate program has not been affected by a public sector hiring freeze.

Increasing costs force CabNet 'pause'
A document management project to serve the executive branch of New Zealand's Government has hit a wall.

IBM lands deal to make DARPA's self-destructing 'VAPR' ware
DARPA's VAPR project could allow it to blanket vast areas with monitoring sensors without risking the equipment falling into enemy hands.

Windows XP at home? Don't access corporate networks, says GCHQ
Among the measures proposed by the data security branch of GCHQ to cut risks after Windows XP support ends is a block on government workers with the OS remotely accessing the network.

Medical Research Council seeks IT services
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council is seeking an IT managed services provider

Telehealth pilot expanded beyond FttP NBN
The Australian Department of Health has said that it doesn't require a fibre-to-the-premises NBN connection in order to implement its telehealth trials.

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