privacy

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, accepting the recommendation of FBI Director James Comey and others in the Department of Justice, is formally closing the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server without bringing any criminal charges.

The investigation centered on the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's use of the server while she was secretary of state. Lynch announced the decision in a statement Wednesday, saying Comey and "career prosecutors and agents" unanimously recommended that the investigation be closed without charges.

The long-running drama over Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server during her time as secretary of state came to some resolution today as FBI Director James Comey announced that while Clinton was "extremely careless" in handling classified information, she should not face charges.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she "fully expects" to endorse the recommendations of career prosecutors and FBI agents investigating the security of Hillary Clinton's email server, but stopped short of recusing herself from the politically charged case.

In an interview in Aspen, Colo., Lynch said she regrets that her unscheduled meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac this week has "cast a shadow" over the investigation into his wife's email practices at the State Department.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday fully upheld the so-called Open Internet rules, regulations backing the principle of net neutrality.

It's the idea that phone and cable companies should treat all of the traffic on their networks equally — no blocking or slowing their competitors, and no fast lanes for companies that can pay more.

What Feds' Push To Share Health Data Means For Patients

May 9, 2016

Two years ago, when the federal government first released data on how much Medicare paid physicians, the media coverage was widespread. Doctors who earned significant sums were dubbed "Medicare millionaires" and journalists highlighted unusual patterns in how some doctors bill for services.

Throughout the fight over whether Apple should help unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone was the understanding that this was not Apple's first time at bat.

Now, documents show that Apple has been facing similar requests since at least 2008, and that the Silicon Valley giant is not alone, as Google, too, has fielded calls for help unlocking phones in court, for instance to bypass a lock screen and reset a password.

The FBI says it has gotten into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters in California, so prosecutors have dropped their case trying to compel Apple to do it. But the controversy is far from over. Local prosecutors across the country have iPhones that they would like to unlock, and they want to know if the FBI will use its master key to help.

The high-profile public and legal dispute between the government and Apple is officially over after the FBI managed to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists without Apple's help.

The Justice Department says it has successfully retrieved the data from the phone and is asking the court to vacate its order for Apple's assistance.

The rumor mill is on.

A report by an Israeli newspaper, citing anonymous industry sources, pointed the finger at an Israeli company as the firm helping the FBI get inside the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

The FBI may have found a new way to crack into the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters — a method that doesn't require Apple's help.

This is a major new development in the increasingly heated debate between the tech giant and the government, which has argued that Apple should be compelled to write new special software that would override some security features. That was the only way, investigators previously had said, that they could crack the phone's passcode without jeopardizing its contents.

Flickr / Creative Commons

The state Freedom of Information Commission in Hartford has ruled that the University of Connecticut trustees violated open-meetings laws when they privately reviewed the school's $1.3 billion proposed budget.

While Apple and the FBI fight in court over the government's demand that the tech company to help it break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Congress is trying to find its own solution to the digital security/national security debate.

While the dispute over cracking into an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter is at the center of a legal case between Apple and the FBI, the company recently told a federal court that it has received — and resisted — similar orders to help unlock iPhones and an iPad in recent months.

The Department of Justice has filed a motion to compel Apple to cooperate with a government investigation and help access data on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino assailants.

The motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (read it in full below) lays out the government's legal case for why Apple should provide technical assistance.

When a federal judge ordered Apple earlier this week to unlock a phone used by one of the assailants in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., she cited a law from 1789. It could make you wonder if the nation's legal system is having a hard time keeping up with the fast pace of technological change. So, I asked a few legal experts if our old laws can apply to this particular situation.

Remember the cryptex, the little handheld safe from The Da Vinci Code where entering the correct combination will reveal the secret message and entering the wrong one will destroy it?

Now replace the little safe with an iPhone, and instead of a secret message, it's holding evidence in a terrorism case. The critical combination? It's a passcode — one the FBI doesn't know, and one that Apple is reluctant to help the agency figure out.

When CVS Health customers complained to the company about privacy violations, some of the calls and letters made their way to Joseph Fenity. One patient's medication was delivered to his neighbor, revealing he had cancer. Another was upset because a pharmacist had yelled personal information across the counter.

If you use the Internet or carry a smartphone  and let's face it, that's almost everyone who's not off the grid  you probably already know that companies are tracking our movements. Apps track where we shop, the items we search for, and where we like to travel. Companies are gathering as much data as they can, in large part to come up with more effective ads to sell us more stuff, or in the case of the government, to track suspicious activity.

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School spokespeople often help a district in crisis. But they can also obscure facts just to avoid legal risk, and make it harder to sort out truth from spin, possibly interfering with the public's right to know.

sipo / Creative Commons

The Iranian government has criticized the decision by a U.S. court to sentence an engineer with dual citizenship to more than eight years in prison for trying to send sensitive military documents to Iran. 

Hackers have stolen the personal information of about 15 million T-Mobile customers and potential customers in the U.S., including Social Security numbers, dates of birth and home addresses.

Experian says it notified law enforcement as soon as it discovered the breach, NPR's Laura Sydell reports:

She also says:

U.S. Intelligence Dabbles in Forecasting the Future

Sep 29, 2015
CALI / Flickr

The participants are average citizens: school teachers, waiters, pharmacists, perhaps even your neighbor. By day they work and pay their bills, but when they return home, things change. These elite individuals go to work forecasting the outcomes of global events (sometimes years into the future), all at the direction of a little-known government intelligence agency called IARPA.

While this all sounds ripped from the latest Hollywood thriller, the truth is that this is happening right now in America. The "superforecasters," as they are known, are all volunteers. They are Americans like you and me who signed up to take part in a long-running experiment put together by U.S. intelligence officials and several university professors.

A group of hackers, who calls itself the Impact Team, purportedly released a huge trove of data that appears to contain the account details of more than 30 million users of a website that helps married people cheat on their spouses.

Ray Hardman / WNPR

State officials are urging federal lawmakers to reconsider several bills aimed at improving cybersecurity.

Can Big Data and Privacy Coexist?

Jul 13, 2015
Chion Wolf / WNPR

"Big Data" describes vast data sets that, when analyzed by algorithms, may reveal patterns, associations, and trends. In particular, these findings relate to human behavior and interactions.

Cara Paiuk

A piece written for The New York Times by a mother in West Hartford has gone viral. The article in the Motherlode blog is called, “A Kindergarten Form Asks: Vaginal Birth, or C-section. Why?

The U.S. ambassador to France has been summoned to the French Foreign Ministry to answer new claims that the NSA monitored the communications of three sitting French presidents and their top staff.

Those said to be targeted include President Francois Hollande, who is holding an emergency meeting today with top French lawmakers.

From Paris, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports:

More than 3,400 people are now under quarantine in South Korea's fight to contain an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome — a deadly virus that can cause severe pneumonia and organ failure.

So far, South Korea has reported 122 MERS cases. And the government is actively tracking the whereabouts of people possibly exposed to the virus.

Chung-ahm is a Buddhist monk who's quarantined in the Jangduk village in southern South Korea.

The Senate has approved the USA Freedom Act, which will alter the way U.S. agencies conduct surveillance and gather data. A final vote on the bill came late Tuesday afternoon, after amendments to the bill failed.

Update at 9:30 p.m. ET: Obama's Signature

Following an expedited enrollment process, President Obama signed the bill into law late Tuesday.

(This post was last updated at 11:09 p.m. ET.)

It was a dramatic day on the floor of the United States Senate on Sunday. Unable to overcome parliamentary maneuvers by Sen. Rand Paul, the body adjourned and let three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act expire at midnight.

Trying to beat a midnight deadline during a rare Sunday session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to fast track a House bill that would overhaul the government's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.

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