ZDNetGovWeek: Miley Cyrus out-twerks the NSA while foam fingers lose the will to live

Last Monday we told you that the NSA spying controversy would be a big thing unless there was another "wardrobe malfunction". That same morning, mainstream media led with stories of Miley Cyrus having a malfunction of a "twerking" nature. Did we not tell you this would happen? VMA trumps NSA. Figures.
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.

Last Monday, in NSA: fear of a black van, I wrote: 

This is what President Obama and General Alexander have to overcome before the headlines start to tone down. Either that, or some big celebrity has to do something so stupid or attention-getting that we all forget about the NSA completely. Wardrobe malfunctions will always trump national security.

Did I not tell you? Did I not?

Top stories this week

Welcome to the United States: Discriminated, detained, searched, interrogated (special report)
America may be the land of the free, but upon arrival, millions of visitors cross a legal purgatory at the U.S. border. We explore the worst-case scenarios: what happens to thousands of travelers at U.S. airports each year, and what rights (or lack thereof) they have.

New leaked documents detail secret U.S. intelligence 'black budget' figures
The NSA is just one cog out of a much larger intelligence machine, according to new documents, which outline and detail what the U.S. government spends out of the taxpayer's pocket on data collection and domestic and foreign surveillance efforts.

Syria-Iran cyberwar fears are a diversion from real issues
Will western military action against Syria redound as cyber-disaster in western Internet infrastructure? There are many reasons for the US not to attack, but this isn't one of them.

Microsoft and Google to sue government over transparency
Negotiations between big tech companies and the government to disclose their cooperation have broken down. Things may change today.

60 percent of vehicles to be Internet-enabled by 2025
Internet connectivity in cars will promote better vehicle safety and driving convenience. However the rise of autonomous vehicles also makes vehicles more vulnerable to software hacking, according to IEEE.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Brazilian president targeted by NSA spy program
Allegations that communications between Dilma Rousseff and her key aides have been intercepted by the US agency increase tension between the countries

Police metadata misuse raises questions over accountability
Allegations of police misuse of telecommunications metadata raise questions of how many requests by law enforcement officers are illegitimate.

Labor not the only party clueless about its cybers
The incumbent Australian government might be clueless about its cybers when it crows on about the digital economy, but it turns out the Coalition isn't much to look at, either.

Telstra wins AU$457.3m Qld govt wireless network deal
Telstra has beat out CSC and Broadcast Australia for a lucrative AU$467.3 million wireless network construction contract for the Queensland government.

NBN Co deputy chair resigns for Transfield chair role
NBN Co's deputy chair Diane Smith-Gander has resigned to take up the role of chairwoman for NBN construction contractor Transfield.

Regulation forces Tradehill Bitcoin exchange to suspend all trading
After being shut down once before in 2012, the revived Tradehill exchange is in trouble again due to 'regulatory issues'.

Turnbull pushes government cloud, IT services in digital economy policy
The Coalition has launched its digital economy, aiming to shift the focus away from the NBN 'hogging the limelight' and toward government adoption of online services and cloud.

Vendors question new interception law
Huawei, Microsoft, and Facebook weigh in on the dangers of a draft Bill before New Zealand's parliament.

Minas Gerais kicks off multimillion-dollar tech startup program
Initiative will see the acceleration of 120 early-stage ventures by the end of 2014.

India will reportedly ban use of US e-mail services
The government is said to be planning a formal notification to employees banning them from using e-mail providers with servers in the U.S. such as Gmail, to increase the security of confidential government information.

SingTel, S'pore govt reportedly linked to undersea cable spying
The telco has been helping local and Australian intelligence agencies tap communications on SEA-ME-WE-3, a major undersea cable carrying Internet traffic between Singapore and Perth, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

Melbourne IT breach highlights need for security culture
Spearphishing attacks are cheap and will continue to be effective unless organisations -- and those they deal with -- develop a security culture.

Australian Defence CTO to become new Immigration CIO
The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship will replace outgoing CIO Tony Kwan with Defence CTO Matthew Yannopoulos.

PBO checks off NICTA funding
The Australian Parliamentary Budget Office has said that the government's election announcement of AU$42 million in additional funding to National ICT Australia will not affect the underlying cash and fiscal balance because it had already been announced.

DFAT CIO doesn't buy into cloud 'hype'
The ongoing cloud hype still doesn't address issues of data security and privacy, and there is no reason for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to move into the cloud, according to CIO Tuan Dao.

France investigates role of internet companies in PRISM
France has launched a probe into whether internet companies violated domestic privacy laws by participating in PRISM.

NZ spy agency staff cleared in illegal spying probe
The New Zealand Police will not charge anyone in the government's spy agency over allegedly illegally spying on 88 residents, including Kim Dotcom.

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