Posts Tagged us government

Less than 300 phone numbers were probed by US Government in 2012

According to an unclassified document circulated Saturday, NSA probed less than 300 phone numbers last year.

This comes at a time when tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft are trying to regain the confidence of their customers by revealing the number of requests received and granted by these companies. And looks like the Obama Government is also trying to do the same as the paper explains the procedure of such searches conducted by the Government.

NSA Phone Records

The paper explains that such searches have enabled the Government thwart several terrorist attacks in the country. These programs have nailed down terrorists before they even execute their plans like the two individuals who were caught while making plans to attack New York City’s subway system.

The Chairman of the House Committee, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers further explains how the Government collected information from the citizens without violating any individual’s rights.

“We take the business records by a court order, and it’s just phone numbers — no names, no addresses — put it in a lock box,” Rogers went on to explain to CBS News “And if they get a foreign terrorist overseas that’s dialing in to the United Sates, they take that phone number… they plug it into this big pile, if you will, of just phone numbers — it’s like a phonebook without any names and any addresses with it — to see if there’s a connection, a foreign terrorist connection to the United States.”

“When a number comes out of that lock box, it’s just a phone number — no names, no addresses,” he continued. “If they think that’s relevant to their counterterrorism investigation, they give that to the FBI. Then upon the FBI has to go out and meet all the legal standards to even get whose phone number that is.”

The news of the existence of the PRISM program and other such secret surveillance programs has been a revelation to the public as well as a number of law makers.

We have seen a number of tech companies and now the government come forward and reveal information about such programs and we are sure things will get clearer when we receive more information about the same in the future.

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Boeing Manufacturing Secure Android Handsets For US Government And Defense Sectors

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With Android being “open sourced” and all that, it pretty much means just about anyone can grab Google’s code and put it on a device of their choosing. That’s probably why the US government took a liking to the platform over rival mobile OS’s, and has commissioned a secure Android device from the unlikeliest of manufacturers — aerospace corporation — Boeing. Believe it or not but Boeing also specializes in defense and security, which makes them the perfect OEM to manufacturer the nation’s most secure Android handset for our military officials.

Boeing announced the news today, and will be outfitting defense and intelligence markets with these ultra-secure handsets that provide all the functionality of a normal Android device, just locked down tight. Due towards the end of 2012, Boeing failed to mention a price on these new handsets although, they’re expected to be significantly cheaper than comparable devices, which can reach upwards of $20,000 (remember, our government spends around $900 on an average hammer). Can’t wait to see the specs on this beast. Just don’t expect to find a Boeing phone in your local Radio Shack anytime soon.

[NationalDefense | Via GeekWire | TheVerge]


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US government sticking with BlackBerry, appreciates RIM’s focus on security

US government sticking with BlackBerry, appreciates RIM's focus on security
Just when you thought RIM couldn’t catch a break, The Washington Post is reporting the US government doesn’t plan to jump smartphone ships anytime soon. According to the publication, Casey Coleman (chief information officer at the General Services Administration) says that while the agency may have handed out iPhone and Android phones to the staff, a big chunk of the 12,000 agency-issued handsets are BlackBerry devices. The main reason behind the choice of Berries is RIM’s focus on security, which Coleman notes “is paramount for government use.” Still, the GSA officer isn’t ruling out switching to a different OS in the distant future, as platforms like iOS and Android start to become “equally secure.” For RIM’s sake, we hope the refocusing on enterprise pays off.

US government sticking with BlackBerry, appreciates RIM’s focus on security originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 05 Apr 2012 11:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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High security Android phones headed to US government and military officials

This project has been a bit of a slow burner for Google. We reported early in 2011 that the US Military was looking into Android and a Dell Android 2.2 build gained military approval late in 2011. This recent news  is a clear indication of the progress being made in what has long been a market dominated by RIM devices and software

The specially modified version of Android has been designed to run on commercially available smartphones, a move that will keep costs down whilst allowing the government to upgrade to that shiny new Galaxy SIII when it finally arrives!

US soldiers will be the first to receive these devices, having been involved in the project from the early stages. Federal agencies will then receive the second batch of phones for sending and receiving confidential government informations whilst on the move.

Currently, US Government and Military workers are not permitted to use smartphones for sending classified information as (up until now) there has been no devices that have met the high security certifications. There’s hardly a week that goes by without a high profile, blue chip organization finding their data compromised by the likes of wikileaks or some other anonymous source. With this in mind, it’s absolutely imperative that the Government is more vigilant than ever before.

Michael McCarthy, director for the Army’s Brigade Modernization Command has been overseeing the testing of touchscreen devices for over 2 years now. He confirmed that his division shipped over 40 phones to overseas fighters last year with another 50 phones and 75 tablets due to be shipped in March of this year.

Source : CNN


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US Government claims that secure Android phones can be updated in just 2 weeks

Anybody who’s bought an expensive Android phone in the last couple of years can probably commiserate with all those waiting months and months for an official update. Many times users root and install custom ROMs not out of any particular desire to mod, but just to get the features in the current version of Android. US Government officials made a bold claim on CNN this morning, saying that they can send out major software updates to their secure Android-based phones in just two weeks, side-stepping both manufacturers and carriers to deliver updated code based on Android’s open-source releases.

The official further stated that the government’s choice of Android for secure phone operations was specifically because of the operating system’s open-source nature. Publicly-available code enables modifications like the NSA’s ultra-secure Android variant, not to mention all the changes that OEMs and carriers place on phones and tablets. But since the government’s changes are relatively small and only apply to a few thousand phones at most, it follows that they could keep a tighter lid on their changes. The official said that they had approached Apple for customized versions of the iPhone and iOS for government use, but were denied access to the software’s source code.

Of course, updates to secure government-issued hansets aren’t going to grace the headlines of gadget blogs any time soon. But given the generally deplorable state of Android updates, wherein some customers wait for six months to a year for new software (if they get it at all) would seem a might bit more pathetic if Uncle Sam could do so much better. Private sector, consider yourself bested.

[via GigaOm]


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Sprint files suit to stop AT&T / T-Mobile merger

Looks like the US government isn’t the only party looking to stand in the way of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. Sprint today announced that it has filed suit in federal court in the District of Columbia against AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile. The filing outlines the carrier’s concern that the proposed deal would harm consumers, corporate customers and carriers (such as, you know, Sprint), while transforming AT&T-Mobile and Verizon into a “duopoly.” Of course, this isn’t the first time the carrier has let the world know that it’s not particularly pumped about the whole proposal. See the full litigious press release after the break.

Continue reading Sprint files suit to stop AT&T / T-Mobile merger

Sprint files suit to stop AT&T / T-Mobile merger originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 06 Sep 2011 13:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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