ZDNetGovWeek: Not so neutral net and President Obama says spy geeks are friends and family, too

Net neutrality is pretty much being neutered and President Obama gave a big speech on spying, pretty much saying what you'd expect (except the metadata program might change if they can figure out how). Shocking? No. Confidence inspiring? What do you think?

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

Obama unveils NSA reforms: 'Keep calm and carry on spying'
The reforms set out by the President will in reality retain the status quo: The NSA will still be allowed to spy, it just won't have unfettered access to that data. By refusing to apologize for the NSA's actions, Obama buckled to a degree in order to appease an angry world stage.

Target's data breach: No, really. It gets even worse.
Target and Neiman Marcus were not the only name brand retailers to be stung by cyber criminals last holiday season.

Target data breach part of broader organized attack
A confidential U.S. government report indicates that the Target data breaches were tied to a broader effort against retailers. New malicious software called KAPTOXA led the attacks.

I hope net neutrality is really dead this time
Why would anyone assume that a government bureaucracy knows how best to manage the Internet? We're all very lucky that the Internet has not been "neutral" so far.

NSA scoops up millions of text messages
The US National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million mobile phone text messages a day from around the world, according to the latest revelations from the Edward Snowden files.

Lies, lies, and more damned Washington lies: Why you shouldn't expect much on NSA 'reforms'
What's to say the White House won't keep its spying efforts from ticking over as it did before the Snowden revelations came to light?

Other government coverage around ZDNet

UK's security branch says Ubuntu most secure end-user OS
CESG, the UK government's arm that assesses operating systems and software security, has published its findings for ‘End User Device’ operating systems. The most secure of the lot? Ubuntu 12.04.

Brazilian government outlines technology priorities for 2014
The creation of a cybersecurity policy and investment in research are key targets.

US government now owns Silk Road website and $28m of its Bitcoins
Through a default decision on Silk Road's seized Bitcoin, the US government has taken ownership of $28m worth of the volatile currency.

Want to stop the FBI spying on you? Just use sticky tape
One of the Netherlands' top prosecutors is warning that PC users should prevent themselves from being filmed by hackers - or intelligence services - by taping over their webcam.

Google's Safari privacy case can be heard in UK
Google has failed in its attempt to have a privacy case be heard in California, rather than the United Kingdom.

iiNet holds out on signing NBN agreement
iiNet and its subsidiaries are refusing to sign a wholesale broadband agreement with NBN Co until the regulator gets better oversight and NBN Co agrees to compensate for its failure to meet targets.

Irish TD attacks open-source browsers, anonymous networks
Despite being key pillars in protecting online freedom of speech, one Irish political party member wants open-source browsers and anonymous networks scrutinised by EU nations.

NBN Co finally signs agreements with retailers
After two years of running on temporary agreements, NBN Co has finally been able to sign retailers up to wholesale broadband agreements.

Apple to refund at least $32.5M in FTC settlement
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to staff that despite a federal judge siding with the company, the case was settled with the FTC to avoid a "long and distracting legal fight."

Blackphone: A smartphone designed to stop spying eyes
A new smartphone is soon to hit the shelves. Developed by security experts including those from Silent Circle, they say that privacy will be placed in the hand of the user -- and surveillance will be made far more difficult.

Dotcom unveils name of political party
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom is to launch a political party called the Internet Party in Auckland next week.

Atlassian's UK move 'overblown': Turnbull
Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has downplayed the news of Australia's tech startup darling Atlassian planning a move to list in the UK.