Rollback of U.S. spy powers would mark post-9/11 watershed
By Warren Strobel and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At 3:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, the National Security Agency and telecommunications companies will begin mothballing a once-secret system that collected Americans' bulk telephone records, shutting down computers and sealing off warehouses of digital data. If the U.S. Congress fails to act, key provisions of the USA Patriot Act will lapse in a watershed moment in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, era. Intrusive government powers, created and wielded in the name of preventing another mass-casualty terrorist attack, would be at least partly scaled back, proponents and critics of the surveillance say.
Sat, 30 May 2015 07:04:00 -0400
U.S. to bring Japan under its cyber defense umbrella
By Tim Kelly TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States will extend its cyber defense umbrella over Japan, helping its Asian ally cope with the growing threat of online attacks against military bases and infrastructure such as power grids, the two nations said in a joint statement on Saturday. "We note a growing level of sophistication among malicious cyber actors, including non-state and state-sponsored actors," they said in a statement released by the U.S.-Japan Cyber Defense Policy Working Group, which was established in 2013. Cybersecurity is a key area where Japan and the United States are deepening their military partnership under a set of new security guidelines released in April, that will also integrate their ballistic missile defense systems and give Tokyo a bigger security role in Asia as China's military power grows. Both the United States and Japan are wary of cyber threats, including potential attacks from China or North Korea.
Sat, 30 May 2015 07:01:13 -0400
Silk Road website creator gets life term for drug plot
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - The accused mastermind behind the Silk Road underground website was sentenced on Friday to life in prison for orchestrating a scheme that enabled more than $200 million of anonymous online drug sales using the digital currency bitcoin. Ross Ulbricht, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan after a federal jury in February found him guilty of charges including distributing drugs through the Internet and conspiring to commit computer hacking and money laundering. "What you did was unprecedented," Forrest said.
Fri, 29 May 2015 20:16:07 -0400
Apple buys German augmented-reality software maker Metaio
By Harro Ten Wolde FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Apple Inc has acquired Metaio, a German company whose technology melds real-world imagery and computer-generated elements into moving video presentations, according to a corporate filing. Metaio's previous investors included Westcott LLC, the investment vehicle of entrepreneur Carl Westcott, the founder of floral delivery firm 1-800-Flowers , and Atlantic Bridge, a Silicon Valley-based growth equity technology fund. A document filed with a Munich court showed that Apple is now the company's sole shareholder.
Fri, 29 May 2015 13:47:37 -0400
Vodafone, Wind sign letter of intent for Italy fiber-optic network
Britain's Vodafone and Vimpelcom's Italian mobile phone unit Wind have signed a letter of intent with shareholders of broadband firm Metroweb to build a fiber-optic network in Italy, the companies said in a joint statement. The agreement comes as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is pushing to upgrade the country's aging phone infrastructure in a 12-billion-euro ($13 billion) plan he considers vital to modernize the economy. Rome sees Metroweb, which is partly owned by the state and has attracted takeover interest from former phone monopoly Telecom Italia, as a building block for the multi-billion-euro plan.
Fri, 29 May 2015 13:49:13 -0400
Vivendi to book 4.2 billion euro pre-tax gain on GVT sale
French media group Vivendi said on Friday it would book a 4.2 billion euro ($4.6 billion) pre-tax gain from the sale of Brazilian telecommunications company GVT, which would help it pay interim dividends. The company said it had also received a 12 percent stake in Telefonica Brazil's Vivo and would exchange 4.5 percent for 8.3 percent of Telecom Italia's ordinary shares in the coming weeks. "The closing of the sale of GVT and of the 20 percent interest in Numericable-SFR enables the Vivendi management board, in accordance with its commitment, to authorize in principle the payment of two interim ordinary dividends, each in the amount of 1 euro per share, in respect of 2015," Vivendi said in a statement.
Fri, 29 May 2015 02:01:46 -0400
Watch the Solar Impulse 2 takeoff live from Nanjing, China
Pilot Andr Borschberg is about to fly solo from Nanjing, China to Hawaii in a cramped, cold, solar-powered plane, the Solar Impulse 2. Solar Impulse is currently streaming today's takeoff, which has been delayed several times due to inclement weather, live. Takeoff is planned for 6PM UTC, or 2PM ET.
Sat, 30 May 2015 13:35:52 -0400
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