The top intelligence bureau in the US, the FBI, plans on expanding its cyber-spying toolset by inquiring to private-sector, social-app-building companies about the feasibility of building a world-wide social-network-monitoring spy network. Their foray into social-network monitoring is no surprise of course—given that the FBI, amongst other American intelligence agencies, have been intelligence-gathering via social networks for some time. Their new system will undoubtedly increase their online spying capabilities, social-network-monitoring capabilities that have already been used to build cases and arrest warrants for over 40 noted New York gangsters. The FBI also used social-network spying to spy WikiLeaks supporters, like the case with Icelandic MP, Birgitta Jónsdóttir.
The initial cloud of smoke has cleared on 2012’s National Defense Authorization Act and we are still no better informed about the extent of its newly formed ambiguous power than we were when it was passed two weeks ago.
The NDAA of 2012 broke with its traditionally monotonous roots when its scope spread far beyond the traditional yearly Department of Defense budgeting. In a seemingly dodgy move the government slipped in the now highly controversial Section 1021 and 1022—constitution-raping pieces of legislation akin the Patriot Act on steroids. The two sly sections allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens suspected of terror activities, without a trial. Think: Guantanamo Bay tactics for Americans, on US soil.
Surprise, surprise — America is meddling in international affairs, again. The United State’s newest pet piracy project, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), is looking to bring the uber-American vigilante-style anti-piracy justice beyond its borders. This newest act in a long string of anti-piracy measures will allow the U.S Department of Justice to force an all-out boycott of websites hosting pirated content, regardless of their international locations.
As enforcement SOPA will require:
- ISPs to suspend access to their users for offending websites and
- require payment and ad networks (like Google AdWords, VISA and PayPal) to suspend services to offenders.
The new law would also force US-based search engines to remove the offending websites from search results.
One of the few places which always has security beefed up round the clock, ensuring there is no breach and leakage of important and confidential information, is the stock market. Well, even such places are not free from cyber attacks and hacking. There was one such development last Friday, the 5th of February, wherein the operator of NASDAQ Stock market found some suspicious files on US computer services and also qualms rose of hackers affecting one of the internet-based client applications of Nasdaq.
A recent survey of Nielsen Company has made Smartphones – the talk of the town. Every blog and news website is publishing and writing about this sudden rise in demand for the Smartphone and the mass populace of United States now has to reconsider which OS is the best and serves as the best for their individual needs. In the fiscal quarterly results, at the end of Q2 2010, U.S. Smartphone market share was ruled by Blackberry but the survey done in October by Nielson company completely turned the table upside down.
According to the surveys conducted in United States, Android and Apple iphone OS are the only cutthroat contenders in the stratum of ameliorated mobile technology whereas Blackberry OS occupies the third place. The research concluded that 29.7 of U.S. mobile subscribers own Smartphones that completely run on fulltime OS. Taking into account the whole OS market share of the U.S., Apple iOS rules the market share just by couple of points as against Blackberry, with 27.9 and 27.4% respectively. The third place is occupied by the Android OS by 22.7% share, which has seen an eye-popping rise of 14% since January.
It wasn’t a total surprise but I felt a little awkward when I read the news about a big Indian Outsourcing giant setting up a customer-service call center in Reno, Ohio (US). This is at a juncture when the western and the european world feels India and China like itches that you can’t really scratch; and when a tangent of love-hate relationship is growing organically on its own.
The Indian conglomerate Tata Group has setup a 250 seater call center to serve the online travel agency Expedia across the street from an Army Reserve center and next to a farm in Reno, Ohio. It definitely looks like ‘Outsourcing’ is imploding back to the US.