Leading members of Congress and the White House must ask themselves, “If we were to start a government from scratch, how would we prevent terrorist attacks, and how would we protect the president?”
It might not involve the DHS—or even the Secret Service.
via The Secret Service's Problems May Be Older and Harder to Fix Than You Thought – Management – GovExec.com.
Iraq’s new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, has cancelled a scheduled visit to the White House, citing “concerns about the security situation there.”
via Citing Security Concerns, Iraq’s Prime Minister Cancels Visit to White House – The New Yorker.
The current mode of protection – “patch and pray” – really doesn’t work anymore
via Defense.gov News Article: DARPA Director Discusses Cyber Security Challenges.
President Barack Obama has decided to move his family into a full-service doorman building in Washington, D.C., saying that “it just makes more sense right now.”
via Obama to Move to Doorman Building – The New Yorker.
“If an entity is a common carrier providing common carrier services, we can’t bring actions against them.”
“If broadband service is reclassified as a common carrier service under Title II, I think that would seriously call into question the ability of the FTC to bring those kinds of actions.”
via The FTC doubles down on its net neutrality ambitions – The Washington Post.
The best proportional representation (PR) system is a twist on party-list voting known as mixed-member PR, or MMP for short.
MMP has voters select both a candidate in their local district and a party they’d like to win a majority.
Everyone who wins a district gets a seat, and then additional seats are given out to ensure that parties are represented in proportion to their share of the party vote. This has a number of advantages.
via 3 reasons why New Zealand has the best-designed government in the world – Vox.
.. an edict from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) demands that monasteries, temples, and even homes fly the Chinese flag.
It may seem trivial, but since the 2008 riots many Tibetans have been locked-up or killed for committing crimes no more serious than waving a Tibetan flag or possessing a picture of the Dalai Lama.
via The Dalai Lama and the Politics of Reincarnation | The Diplomat.
.. this filing effectively raises the bar for the FCC to justify to the court why they should uphold an FCC whipsaw decision to reclassify broadband.
In general, jurisdictional turf fights with another Federal independent agency can undermine one’s otherwise high-ground in defending the public interest and the consumer.
via FTC Implicitly Urges FCC to Not Reclassify Broadband as a Utility | Heartlander Magazine.
The report acknowledged CFPB’s ongoing collection of up to 600 million credit cards,
11 million credit reports,
700,000 auto sales,
10.7 million consumers, co-signers and borrowers,
29 million active mortgages,
and 5.5 million private student loans.
via The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is Collecting Massive Amounts Of Your Personal Financial Information.
The disputed ISDS clause would allow firms to sue EU states or Canada to protect their trading interests, but critics say this would give multinationals too much power and could lead to governments being pressured into ignoring laws on labour, the environment, data protection or food standards.
via Germany wants investment clause scrapped in EU-Canada trade deal | EurActiv.
Partly using proceeds from a one-penny sales tax passed in late 2009, it’s now in the process of making a slate of improvements, including a 70-acre park that will link the city’s downtown with the Oklahoma River, a new streetcar line and river kayaking facility, a senior wellness center, and hundreds of miles of jogging, walking, and biking trails.
It’s also making sure there are gyms in all grade schools and is narrowing all the downtown streets to add trees to wider, more pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.
via This City Lost 1 Million Pounds–Now It’s Redesigning Itself To Keep Them Off | Co.Exist | ideas + impact.
Unlike Songdo, another planned city in South Korea, whose developers bid on public facilities at the beginning of the project (schools, cultural centers, sports fields), Masdar City has bet exclusively on business.
A hundred startups out of 1,500 announced are still in the development stage, while Siemens has offices there and General Electric a showroom.
The result is that life is simply impossible: one must drive many miles to do basic shopping.
via Eerie Video Shows Masdar City–The Sustainable City Of The Future–Has No One In It | Co.Exist | ideas + impact.
Apple’s recent announcement that the company won’t be able to decrypt user data in iOS 8 apparently has a lot of law enforcement figures spooked.
via FBI director blasts Apple and Google for offering encryption | The Verge.
Western attention focuses almost exclusively on Vladimir Putin, who has captivated our imaginations as a strongman and ex-spook.
But a focus on Putin’s personality alone ignores his ‘inner circle’ of unelected advisors, who feature heavily in Kremlin decision-making despite a lack of formal ministerial portfolio.
via Piecemeal Sanctions Won't Deter Russia.
.. So the public will have to wait another year, when panic over the imminent expiration of some Patriot Act provisions may stampede Senators into action.
via Everyone agrees that NSA reform legislation is needed. So why hasn't it happened? – Vox.
In simple terms, the bill allows law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant to access data from a computer—so far, so good. But it redefines “a computer” to mean not only “one or more computers” but also “one or more computer networks”.
Since the Internet itself is nothing but a large network of computer networks, it seems difficult to avoid the conclusion that the bill may stealthily allow the spy agency to surveil the entire Internet with a single warrant.
.. this may mark the week in history when it became easier for the Australian government to surveil and manipulate the Internet at will.
via Australian Government Scrambles to Authorize Mass Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation.
In 2011, we were at a “crossroads of history with the chance to move decisively in the direction of peace.”
via There's Obama's Rhetoric, and There's History – Bloomberg View.
[ SMARTER GOVERNMENT ]
The nation’s most populous state has one of the world’s largest economies, nearly 500 cities and literally thousands of state and local government agencies. Governing California is mind-numbingly complex, with a full array of social, economic, institutional and political variables.
via What Feds Can Learn About Cloud Computing From California – Nextgov.com.
.. most special agents reported they spent more time filling out database fields to improve search results, which “leaves less time for investigative activities”
via FBI Can’t Find Files After Spending $550M to Digitize Them – Nextgov.com.
The FBI has specifically instructed law enforcement agencies to lie about the use of these products, which basically puts the agencies in the position of lying to courts when producing evidence or securing warrants.
via Internal Emails Show Harris Corp. Misled The FCC On Stingray Device Usage In Order To Receive Approval | Techdirt.