QuoteThe charter and legal framework for an office within the Homeland Security Department that would use overhead and mapping imagery from existing satellites is in the final stage of completion, according to a department official who requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about it. The future of this program is likely to come up Wednesday when Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff goes to Capitol Hill to talk about his department's spending plan. Last fall, senior Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee asked the department to put the program on hold until there was a clear legal framework of how the program would operate. This request came during an ongoing debate over the rules governing eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists inside the United States.
QuoteThe book makes no mention of questionable investigative methods like pretexting, which involves pretending to be someone else to obtain information from telephone company employees. Nor does the book say whether Fiorina directed Sonsini to spy on any individual reporter or director. She writes that Sonsini personally interviewed every board member. He reported back to Fiorina that Thomas Perkins, the prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist who had previously served on the HP board and would soon rejoin it, had been a source for the article.
Quote"The court is persuaded that requiring AT&T to confirm or deny whether it has disclosed large quantities of telephone records to the federal government could give adversaries of this country valuable insight into the government's intelligence activities," U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly said. A number of such lawsuits have been filed around the country in the wake of news media reports that AT&T and other phone companies had turned records over to the National Security Administration, which specializes in communications intercepts.
QuoteAmericans are still reeling from last month's revelations that the NSA has been logging phone calls since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. The Congressional Research Service, which advises the US legislature, says phone companies that surrendered call records may have acted illegally. However, the White House insists that the terrorist threat makes existing wire-tapping legislation out of date and is urging Congress not to investigate the NSA's action. Meanwhile, the NSA is pursuing its plans to tap the web, since phone logs have limited scope. They can only be used to build a very basic picture of someone's contact network, a process sometimes called "connecting the dots". Clusters of people in highly connected groups become apparent, as do people with few connections who appear to be the intermediaries between such groups. The idea is to see by how many links or "degrees" separate people from, say, a member of a blacklisted organisation.
Quote"It's better and more efficient for us all if we have a separate market where we get our connectivity, and a separate market where we get our content. Information is what I use to make all my decisions. Not just what to buy, but how to vote," Berners-Lee told journalists.
QuoteThe conundrum isn't apparently lost on the consumer electronics industry or Hollywood. According to German-language Spiegel Online, there is reportedly a behind-the-scenes, unofficial agreement between Hollywood and some consumer electronics manufacturers, including Microsoft and Sony, not to use ICT until 2010, or possibly even 2012. Without providing more details, the report suggests that Hollywood isn't exactly happy with the situation, and could very well renege on the agreement, such that it is. But the agreement is there nonetheless, presumably to help the industry transition to HDMI. This could explain why the very same studios that pushed for HDMI and ICT have recently announced that they would not use it for the time being.
Quote"Pito expects to prepare an outline business case for national video identification systems, define standards and link video images with facial images stored within Find, during the coming year," the report said. Pito will also develop the Ident1 biometric technology platform, which replaced the national automated fingerprint database, to capture and store multiple fingerprint sets in order to increase the percentage of identified prints from scenes of crime.