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.

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 Court System downed by technical glitch, not hackers
The U.S. Court system was taken down Friday afternoon for several hours by a suspected denial-of-service attack. The FBI challenged such claims on Saturday.

FBI issues security warning to US retailers
The federal agencies warn that retailers' point of sales systems are being targeted by criminals.

Julie Bishop lashes Snowden on US visit
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has lashed out at Edward Snowden, accusing the US intelligence leaker of 'unprecedented treachery' after he unveiled Canberra's efforts to spy on Indonesia.

Snowden speaks (but does anyone really care?)

NSA engaged in industrial espionage, claims Snowden
The U.S. did not limit spying to issues of national security, but also tapped corporations such as Siemens for the country's national interests, says former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

'Not all spying is bad': Three key takeaways from Snowden's Q&A
U.S. fugitive and whistleblower Edward Snowden said "not all spying is bad," but indiscriminate mass surveillance was a global problem — one that America "needs to take a lead in fixing."

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Will you buy your servers from a Chinese company?
Lenovo's purchase of IBM's server hardware product line could cause businesses to rethink buying options.

NBN Co seeks exemption for VDSL interference
NBN Co's fibre-to-the-building trial agreement document reveals that the company seeks no liability for crosstalk on its VDSL services as part of the trial.

Critical IT upgrades play role in Australian Valuation Office closure
A total of AU$1 million in required IT upgrades for the Australian Valuation Office was part of the reason why the Abbott government has decided to shut down the office, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steven Ciobo has said.

China blames hackers for outage, but fingers point at govt
Chinese government says a malicious attack caused the massive Web outage which affected up to 600 million online users, but observers point the finger at the national censorship system which likely malfunctioned.

Parents want transparency from schools concerning use of student data
A new survey suggests that the majority of American adults are concerned about how student data is collected, stored and shared in schools.

Social media watchdog has 'serious risks': Freedom commissioner
Australia's incoming Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson has said there are 'serious risks' with the government's proposed children's eSafety commissioner having the power to remove content deemed to be 'harmful'.

World Cup boosts e-registration in Brazilian hotels
A guest registration database developed by the government aims to create tourist profiles and support public investment in tourism.

Verizon touts its transparency report as a 'first' for a telco
Verizon's general counsel reveals asserted that telcom providers receive more government demands than those in any other industry.

BitTorrent, Level 3 among a dozen companies to settle FTC privacy complaint
Twelve US companies, including Level 3 Communications and BitTorrent, agreed to settle FTC charges that they falsely claimed to be in compliance with an international privacy framework known as the US-EU Safe Harbor.

South Korea raises regulatory penalties following massive data leaks
Top execs face dismissal, while financial firms face heavier fines and suspensions as part of proposed measures in the wake of the data breach involving over 20 million credit card customers revealed earlier this week.

Mega CEO resigns, joins Dotcom's Internet Party
Vikram Kumar, CEO of Mega, shifts to Kim Dotcom's Internet Party, aiming to win the "hope and excitement" vote.

Credit card signatures to be phased out in Australia
Australians will need to get used to using their PIN for credit card purchases, with signatures set to be phased out from the middle of 2014.