ZDNetGovWeek: Just because it's a new year, that doesn't mean the NSA stories will stop

Are you bored of the NSA yet? Are you suffering from NSA-fatigue? Apparently the fourth estate just can't help themselves, because the NSA news keeps on comin'. Is anything else interesting happening in the World 'o Gov this week? Not much. Nope.

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: a big stack of mostly-NSA news

U.S. appeals 'unconstitutional' ruling on NSA metadata programs
One court said the NSA's data collection programs were a "vital tool" to protect Americans. But another court said such programs was "likely" unconstitutional. Guess which one the U.S. Justice Dept. wants to challenge. 

More spying and focused energy beams? NSA, say it ain't so.
I have it on good authority that paranoia can destroy ya but the allegations against the NSA are mounting and becoming weirder by the day. This post is my reaction to the latest round of NSA banter. I think it's a clear case of wagging the dog.

2014: Let's all try to do better this year
You can describe 2013 in four words: NSA, shutdown, twerking, and selfie. Sigh. We need to do better this year. Humanity had better step up its game. 

NSA hacked Dell PowerEdge server BIOS
The latest NSA leak describes DEITYBOUNCE, a tool for flashing malicious BIOS on Dell servers. The doc is from 2007 and such attacks would be much harder now.

No surprise: The NSA can hack iPhones
Nobody should find it surprising that the NSA can hack into iPhones and there's no reason to assume Apple is helping them.

Report: Apple denies ever creating NSA backdoor to iPhone
In a memo to TechCrunch, the iPhone maker denies ever offering the NSA with special access to its special smartphone.

So Facebook allegedly reads your private messages. But what about Google?
Facebook is being sued after third-party security researchers demonstrated that it is intercepting and scanning the content of “Private” messages. But Facebook is not the only company that does this.

Snowden sometimes rational, sometimes hysterical
When Edward Snowden says that privacy has been completely eliminated from life he makes it clear that his view of the world is fallacious.

How the NSA has destroyed trust
Because we know that the NSA has attempted, and in some cases succeeded in making vendors and other third parties complicit in their data collection, it's hard to completely believe vendor denials anymore. It's the vendors who are the biggest victims here.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Italy passes €1bn Google tax law - then promptly delays it for six months
After clearing parliament, a tax law that would force online advertising sellers from outside Italy to make themselves taxable in the country has hit a road block.

Indian IT 'sleepless' over US immigration bill
Nasscom president Som Mittal says U.S. immigration bill remains a concern among Indian tech companies and efforts should continue to urge the U.S. government to rethink its foreign worker policy.

Forrester 2014 forecast: Gov't, enterprise IT spend up worldwide, led by U.S.
Now that all the 2013 recaps are out of the picture, it's well past time to look at all of the trend predictions for the next 12 months.

Orange to file suit over NSA cable intercept within days
The French telco is planning legal action to discover whether or not the NSA intercepted its customer data.

'It has outlived its usefulness': The cross-border deal that sounds the death knell for physical signatures
One small memorandum of understanding, one big step for cross-border IT as Estonia and Finland ink deal for common online services.

Singapore adds Do-Not-Call 'exemption' for firms with existing customers
[UPDATE] "Exemption order" will allow businesses to send text or fax messages to their existing customers on related products and services, without the need to first check if the customers are listed in the Do-Not-Call Registry.

China slams US comments on Chinese spying as PRISM 'diversion'
In Brussels for talks with the European Union, a Chinese diplomat describes the comments of U.S. congressman Mike Rogers on Chinese espionage as attempts to divert attention from international concerns regarding PRISM.

India to set up portal with US to check cybercrime
The proposed portal will help India get information on crime such as hacking and misuse of social media platforms, especially when servers are based in the U.S.

Your Australian broadband results may vary
Two days out from Christmas, the Australian government has released the summary of its broadband availability and quality report, but the detail and methodology will wait until 2014.


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