Spyware to Tap Into Smartphones Puts Users’ Rights at Risk

Governments around the world are using surveillance software that taps into individual smartphones, taking screenshots, reading email and tracking users’ movements, according to security experts and civil liberties groups. The rise of so-called spyware comes as electronic communications have become more encrypted, frustrating law enforcement and governments’ surveillance efforts. Over the past several years, private companies have begun selling advanced software that first appears as a text message with a…

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‘Digital Democracy’ Turns Average Citizens into Influencers in Africa

From cashless payments to smartphone apps offering everything from taxis to take-out food – Africa’s digital revolution is gathering pace as average citizens take an active role in public discourse. “You’re seeing a lot of the people changing the way they live their lives,” says Maria Sarungi, founder of the #ChangeTanzania platform. “And also creating for themselves wealth, jobs, opportunities. But also to engage politically on a very different level.”…

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Drones, 5G Internet Dominate Talks as Tech Execs Visit White House

Ubiquitous drones and a faster Internet are coming sooner than you might think, and governments are staring into the unknown as they face the prospect of regulating the coming technological revolution in a way that fosters innovation, while at the same time protecting the often conflicting interests of consumers, entrepreneurs and the general public. It’s Technology Week at the White House, and top industry executives huddled together Thursday with President…

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US Official: Russians Targeted 21 State Election Systems

Federal officials say Russian cyber-operatives targeted voting systems in 21 U.S. states last year and had varying degrees of success in penetrating them. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, that testimony before House and Senate panels Wednesday revealed significant tensions between state election officials and federal agencies whose cooperation is deemed essential to safeguard future elections. …

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New Girl Scout Badges Focus on Cybercrime, Not Cookie Sales

Cookie sales may take a back seat to fighting identity theft and other computer crime now that Girl Scouts as young as 5 are to be offered the chance to earn their first-ever cyber security badges. Armed with a needle and thread, U.S. Girl Scouts who master the required skills can attach to their uniform’s sash the first of 18 cyber security badges that will be rolled out in September…

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Intel Becomes Olympics Sponsor, Will Bring Tech to the Games

Intel said Wednesday it would become a major sponsor of the International Olympic Committee, making the computer chipmaker the latest technology company to put marketing dollars behind the global sporting event. The new deal, which goes until 2024, comes a week after longtime Olympics sponsor McDonald’s Corp bowed out of its sponsorship deal three years early, citing a change in the company’s priorities as it tries to hold down costs….

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Lockheed Wins US Air Force Deal for Radar Threat Simulators

Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had won a $104 million U.S. Air Force contract to develop, produce and field a threat simulator to train combat aircrews to recognize and deal with rapidly evolving threats, such as surface-to-air missiles. Tim Cahill, vice president of air and missile defense systems for Lockheed, said a number of other countries had already expressed interest in the  Advanced Radar Threat System Variant 2,…

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Red Cross App Helps Refugees in Italy Find Food Banks, Doctors, More

The Red Cross launched a smartphone app Tuesday to help refugees and migrants arriving in Italy access information and services, including medical, psychological and legal support. The digital platform called “Virtual Volunteer” was unveiled on World Refugee Day as new data showed the number of refugees globally reached a record 22.5 million in 2016. “People moving are often caught in a fog of poor information,” said Jagan Chapagain, head of…

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Red Cross App Helps Refugees in Italy Find Food Banks, Doctors

The Red Cross launched a smartphone app Tuesday to help refugees and migrants arriving in Italy access information and services, including medical, psychological and legal support. The digital platform called “Virtual Volunteer” was unveiled on World Refugee Day as new data showed the number of refugees globally reached a record 22.5 million in 2016. “People moving are often caught in a fog of poor information,” said Jagan Chapagain, head of…

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