Security

IT professionals continue to cite security concerns as one of the largest barriers to cloud migration. Uniform government standards specific to cloud computing have yet to be finalized, leaving important questions regarding data availability and integrity unanswered. SafeGov.org aims to provoke discussion related to these concerns as well as raise awareness of the ways in which cloud computing could ultimately strengthen existing security measures.

Public concerned about web snooping, says survey

David Barrett, The Telegraph,  Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Eight out of 10 Britons admit to being concerned about online privacy, according to new research. A poll commissioned by campaign group Big Brother Watch found a sizeable majority – 72 per cent - also want official watchdogs to offer them more protection. It reported that 68 per cent of people interviewed said regulators should have obtained a stricter privacy agreement with Google, the internet giant, in an agreement earlier this year. ComRes polled 1,000 adults about their views and found nearly six out of 10 believe companies should only be allowed to gather personal data if they explain why they are doing so and how they will use the information. In January Google was forced to improve its privacy policy after the Information Commissioner, the privacy watchdog, said the company was "too vague" about the vast amounts of data being gathered about web users.

The LEADS Act and cloud computing

Patrick Maines, The Hill,  Monday, March 30, 2015

Short for "Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad," the LEADS Act's principal improvements on ECPA are in recognizing that U.S. law enforcement may not use warrants to compel the disclosure of customer content stored outside the United States unless the account holder is a U.S. person, and by strengthening the process — called MLATs (mutual legal assistance treaties) — through which governments of one country allow the government of another to obtain evidence in criminal proceedings.

Senate to Investigate White House Role in Google's Antitrust Victory

Brendan Sasso, National Journal,  Monday, March 30, 2015

A Senate panel plans to investigate whether the White House inappropriately derailed a federal investigation into accusations that Google was stifling online competition. Sen. Mike Lee, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary's Antitrust Subcommittee, plans to contact the Federal Trade Commission, Google, and other online companies to discuss the issue, Emily Long, a spokeswoman for the Utah Republican, said Monday. The subcommittee has no plans yet to hold a hearing on the issue, she said.

Mobile Alters Landscape Where Google Operates

Rolfe Winkler, Wall Street Journal,  Friday, March 27, 2015

Google is a big player in mobile through its Android mobile-operating system, which ran about 80% of the smartphones shipped in 2014, estimates Strategy Analytics. Its apps, including Google Maps, YouTube, and Gmail, are among the most popular for smartphones. When smartphone users do open a Web browser, Google is even more dominant than on personal computers, with an 84% share of U.S. searches in February, according to StatCounter. ComScore doesn’t release its mobile estimates. The company’s tactics, particularly the agreements that Google signs with smartphone makers, have piqued the interest of antitrust regulators in Europe. Those deals have required device makers to install a range of Google’s less popular apps and to set some Google services like search as defaults in order to gain access to more popular apps like Google Maps and the Play Store digital bazaar, where users can download more than a million other apps and games.

How companies secure their cloud data

Help Net Security,  Friday, March 27, 2015

As companies accelerate their adoption of the cloud, the cloud data footprint is expected to grow to 6.5 zettabytes by 2018. This rapid migration of data into the cloud creates the need for insight into both cloud adoption trends and cloud data security issues.

FISMA report highlights federal cloud security deficiencies

Rob Wright, TechTarget,  Friday, March 27, 2015

A newly released government report shows a lack of basic security controls in many departments and agencies, highlighting the precarious state of federal cloud security.

Google loses UK appeal court battle over 'clandestine' tracking

The Guardian,  Friday, March 27, 2015

Google has failed in its attempt in the court of appeal to prevent British consumers having the right to sue the internet firm in the UK. A group known as Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking wants to take legal action in the English courts over what it says is Google’s tracking of Apple’s Safari internet browser. It has accused Google of bypassing security settings in order to track users’ online browsing and to target them with personalised advertisements. Three judges have dismissed Google’s appeal over a high court decision against it and ruled that claims for damages can be brought over allegations of misuse of private information.

F.T.C. Addresses Its Choice Not to Sue Google

Rebecca R. Ruiz, New York Times Bits,  Thursday, March 26, 2015

Several members of the Federal Trade Commission defended on Wednesday the actions taken by the agency in its antitrust investigation of Google, nearly a week after an internal document came to light, raising questions about the process. An internal document from the Federal Trade Commission written during the investigation in 2012 but first reported on last week showed that some central staff within the agency had wanted to sue Google for anticompetitive practices. The agency’s five commissioners ultimately voted not to sue. On Wednesday, the three commissioners who were at the F.T.C. at the time of that decision released a joint statement on the decision.

EU to Open Extensive E-Commerce Sector Probe

Tom Fairless, Wall Street Journal,  Thursday, March 26, 2015

The European Union is set to open a sweeping investigation into whether Internet commerce firms like Amazon.com Inc. are violating the bloc’s antitrust laws by restricting cross-border trade. The inquiry, announced Thursday by the EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, follows pressure from France and Germany to use EU competition rules and other regulations to better target the business practices of large technology firms. It is part of a broader EU strategy to knit together the bloc’s fragmented online ecosystems into a digital single market. Policy makers hope that will help European Internet firms to build their clout to better compete with U.S. Web giants like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Why State and Local Law Enforcement Should Be Part of the MLAT Reform Process

H. Bryan Cunningham by Bryan Cunningham, Cunningham Levy LLP
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MLATs are formal agreements between countries establishing procedures for requesting evidence stored outside the requesting country’s jurisdiction. Historically, in many time-sensitive cases, law enforcement agencies officials exchanged information informally and private companies cooperated without formal legal process. But with increasing overseas attention to privacy rights and concerns about secret, unilateral data collection by national governments against other countries’ citizens, companies increasingly are refusing to cooperate informally and governments are retaliating for unfair “spying” on their citizens. State and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) should care about this problem not only because of its potential impact on the general ability of the U.S. to take down international terror and other criminal organizations, but because, in our increasingly interconnected world, what once could have been treated largely as “local” cases, such as cyber fraud and child pornography now require retrieval of evidence from overseas, and even basic crimes without any obvious cyber component will require evidence stored overseas.