ZDNetGovWeek: More NSA fun, tin foil hats, Google slapped in UK, and more

There's nothing more fun than government news, and nothing that puts humanity's foibles in clearer light. This week, the NSA story continues, we gently mock those wearing tin foil hats, Google's Street View is once again in view, and all around the world, governments are keeping us entertained (and worried).
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

US: Snowden shouldn't be allowed to travel to Ecuador
The United States is demanding that Edward Snowden, charged with revealing vast US surveillance, should 'not be allowed to proceed further' overseas as the former spy landed in Moscow en route to Ecuador.

NSA PRISM: The cloud laughs at the tin foil hat brigade
I hate to break it to you guys, but the government just isn't that into you. Moving your organization's applications and workloads to the cloud from a traditional on-premises model fundamentally changes nothing about the impact of NSA surveillance on the enterprise. 

U.S. Gov't files charges against Snowden over NSA leak
The legal case of the U.S. against Edward Snowden is going into action, based on a new report.

NSA PRISM puts "public" cloud in a new light
Can you really trust the public cloud with your data? If you really want to be secure? No.

Amid NSA spying scandal, the gloves are off for EU's justice chief
No longer is the EU standing for U.S. lobbying and policy pushing. The EU's Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is back in the trenches. The gloves are off, and she's fighting back.

Secret NSA documents on data collection appear more relaxed than first told
More secret and classified materials have been leaked by a U.K. newspaper. This time, the top secret guidelines that authorizes data collection of "non-U.S. persons" are on show.

Google slapped with Street View data deletion order by UK watchdog
Google faces criminal charges if it doesn't destroy all wi-fi payload data gathered by its Street View cars within the next 15 days.

Other government coverage around ZDNet

Apple warns: If it loses the ebook case, businesses will weep
Apple claims there will be grave consequences if the tech giant doesn't have its way.

France hopes to turn PRISM worries into cloud opportunities
When the NSA's PRISM program was first revealed, reactions were cautious. But now, some believe it could be an opportunity for France's cloud industry.

India's Aadhaar ID system opens up IT revenue opportunities
The ambitious project to issue every Indian citizen a unique, biometric photo ID, is set to be a platform for new revenue streams for IT firms especially in rural India.

India doubles budget for monitoring system
Indian government doubles its original budget of about US$70 million to build a system to track voice calls, social media usage, and can be used without prior approval or subsequent disclosures, according to The Hindu report.

Google facing privacy probe from Spanish data watchdogs
Authorities in Spain have joined French and Italian counterparts in taking legal action against Google over its data collection practices.

India sets up program for telecoms surveillance
Following the recent report about the NSA's Prism program, the Indian government has launched a similar surveillance program for its own security agencies in the country.

Telstra boss seeks money for copper: Conroy
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said that Telstra CEO David Thodey is talking up the state of the copper network to get more money should the Coalition change the NBN policy.

Ignorant Oz politicians prevent meaningful metadata debate
The attorney-general doesn't know what 'online' means. His opposite number is a parrot. When it comes to Australian citizens' online rights, you can forget about meaningful debate.

Australian Taxation Office has spent AU$45m on E-tax
Exclusive: Figures provided to ZDNet show that the ATO has spent over AU$45 million working on E-tax across Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile, and web platforms.

Brazilian government launches operation to monitor the web
National intelligence agency will analyze data from social networks to measure protest potential

India police urged to use social media to assess public opinion
Delhi Police senior official admits Indian law enforcement has been slow to adopt new technologies to improve efficiencies, and points to social media tools as an opportunity to address shortfalls.

Indian govt mulls WeChat ban
Popular Chinese messaging app WeChat has stepped out to defend its security credentials, in the face of a potential ban by the Indian government.

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