• InfrastructureLA, Calif. file criminal charges against SoCalGas over massive methane leak

    Criminal charges were filed on Tuesday against Southern California Gas, the utility company whose blown-out natural gas well forced thousands of people in the Los Angeles area to evacuate their homes. The charges claim that the company failed to report the massive leak to the authorities, as it operating license requires.Papers filed in court yesterday claim that the company allowed the release of 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere.

  • Public healthTheranos blood-testing lab poses “immediate jeopardy” to the public: U.S. government

    Theranos is facing another major setback after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) described the company’s blood-testing technology as posing “immediate jeopardy” to the public. The Silicon Valley firm has been valued at $10 billion, raising $400 million from investors for what it described as “breakthrough” technology which allowed it to do blood tests using a pinprick, rather than a full blood draw.

  • Radiation detectionSymetrica inaugurates Radioactive Threat Verification Solutions Hub

    Southampton, U.K.-based Symetrica has inaugurated the company’s new Radioactive Threat Verification (RTV) Solutions Hub. The company says that the new facility will improve the company’s ability to support the global security community – including the U.K.’s Home Office and Border Force, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and other border protection agencies.

  • CybersecurityIntel unveils new security-on-a-chip system

    Intel on Tuesday unveiled a new password security-on-a-chip system called Intel Authenticate. The new security system aims to thwart hackers who use fake e-mails to trick employees into revealing sensitive information like user names and passwords. Intel said that putting the authentication process on a chip makes the PC itself part of the security system.

  • Social media & terrorismISIS should be kicked off the open Web: Google official

    Jared Cohen, director at Google Ideas and an advisor to the heads of parent company Alphabet Google, said ISIS should be kicked off the open Web. He noted that the Islamist group is always going to be in a position to use some aspects of the Internet, such as anonymized browsing through Tor and the uncatalogued dark Web, but it should be chased away from the open Web.

  • Gas leakGov. Brown declares emergency in wake of massive L.A. natural gas leak

    California governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday declared an emergency in a Los Angeles neighborhood where a natural gas well has been spewing record amounts of stinking, global-warming methane gas. Energy experts said the breach at the natural gas storage reservoir, and the subsequent, ongoing release, are the largest known occurrence of its kind.

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  • CybersecurityKaplan launches cybersecurity education company

    Education provider Kaplan announced Wednesday that it has created a 12-person spin-off, split from a separate sister company called Cybervista, to offer Web-based cybersecurity courses. The creation of this new cybersecurity unit is an indication that the private sector is aware of, and trying to benefit from, the shortage of qualified security employees.

  • Encryption & terroristsEncryption firm tightens access following Paris attacks

    Encrypted communications specialist Silent Circle, after learning that ISIS was recommending two of the company’s products — the encrypted Blackphone handset and Silent Phone applications for private messaging — to the organization’s followers, is taking steps to make it more difficult for terrorists and their followers to use these products.

  • Encryption & terroristsTelegram IM app recalibrates policies after Paris attacks

    Pavel Durov, the creator of the popular instant messaging app Telegram, has said that following the Paris terrorist attacks, his company has blocked dozens of accounts associated with the jihadist Islamic State group. As is the case with other technology companies, Telegram is trying to negotiate the balance between privacy and security: the same privacy-enhancing technology which keeps customers’ communication private, also helps terrorists communicate with each other and plot attacks safe from monitoring and surveillance by intelligence agencies and law enforcement.

  • Personal protective equipmentWireless technology enables advanced up protective clothing

    Combining the latest advances in sensor and wireless technology with comfortable protective clothing has opened up new partnership possibilities across a range of sectors. Numerous end users stand to benefit from the inclusion of smart technology in protective clothing. One French start-up has pioneered intelligent active protection systems for ski racers. Further advances may see the use of advanced protective clothing by soldiers and first responders.

  • SurveillanceFacebook: Governments’ demanding more user data, content restrictions

    Facebook says that governments’ requests for information and for the removal of content have increased in the first half of 2015. Such requests have substantially increased in the last two years, since the company began releasing such information. The number of accounts for which governments around the world have requested account data jumped 18 percent in the first half of 2015, to 41,214 accounts, up from 35,051 requests in the second half of 2014.

  • CybersecurityDHS S&T-funded technology protects devices from cyberattacks

    In 2011, a small group of university researchers working on securing embedded devices caught the attention of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). That effort has since evolved into a one-of-a-kind technology — called Symbiote — which Hewlett-Packard (HP) recently licensed from Red Balloon Security, to protect its printers from cyberattacks.

  • PrivacyLeading tech companies get failing grade for their privacy policies

    The Ranking Digital Rights’ report, 2015 Corporate Accountability Index, find that the world’s leading technology companies deserve a failing grade for their privacy policies and the level of protection they offer their users. Some of the companies have also been found lacking for their freedom of expression practices. “Even the companies that ranked highest are missing the mark in some ways, and improvements are needed across the board to demonstrate a greater commitment to users’ freedom of expression and privacy,” the report says.

  • Radiation risks$100 million NIAID contract to SRI International to develop radiation exposure treatment

    SRI International has been awarded a resource contract of up to $100 million over five years by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, for the development of products to mitigate or treat acute or delayed effects of radiation exposure.

  • PrivacyIf you think your emails are private, think again

    By Lydia A. Jones

    When you type up a racy e-mail to a loved one, do you consider the details private? It appears that at least some Internet users expect a different, and higher, level of privacy simply because the information is cloaked in an e-mail. That’s the issue at stake in a pending lawsuit against Yahoo! Inc. Plaintiffs filed an e-mail privacy lawsuit against Yahoo in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under several privacy laws, including the Stored Communications Act (SCA) — a federal law that prohibits an e-mail service provider from knowingly divulging to any person or entity the contents of a communication while in electronic storage. The plaintiffs won a short-term victory in achieving class action certification, but the bigger issue over whether they can object to the scanning of their e-mails by Yahoo — based on a right to privacy — given Yahoo’s disclosure of its scanning and possible sharing practices and given that they chose to send and/or receive an e-mail to a Yahoo user, is far from being decided in their favor.