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American Express adds Apple Pay support to corporate credit cards

08/10, 2:30pm

Corporate AmEx cards now usable for Apple Pay transactions

American Express is increasing its involvement with Apple Pay by making more of its credit cards work with the service, just as teased earlier this month by Apple. The credit card company revealed earlier today that its corporate cards in the United States will support the mobile payments service from now on, potentially allowing business users and corporate customers to make use of Apple Pay when carrying out transactions using the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch.

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Microsoft makes Skype for Web available to all US, UK users

06/06, 11:58pm

Browser-based version of Skype widens beta reach, global availability expected in weeks

Microsoft has opened up Skype for Web to more users, pulling it out of the closed beta and making it available to all current Skype users based in the United States or the United Kingdom. The widening of beta access follows after another web-based Skype change, namely a redesign of how Skype for Outlook.com appears and works for users of the browser-based webmail client.

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FAA gives Amazon approval for outdoor drone delivery testing

03/19, 10:11pm

Restrictions of FAA certificate only for local testing of Amazon Prime Air drones

Amazon's plan to bring drone-based deliveries to the United States has taken another step to becoming reality, thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The regulator has examined Amazon's request to test its potential service, and has granted the online retailer with an "experimental airworthiness certificate," allowing it to perform testing outdoors.

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WSJ: Apple preparing to launch Internet TV service this fall

03/17, 8:08am

Rumored Apple streaming television service could have 25 channels at launch

Apple may launch an Internet television service later this year, a report claims. The supposed streaming service will apparently offer around 25 channels from major broadcasters including ABC, CBS, and Fox to subscribers, sources of the Wall Street Journal say, with Apple said to be aiming for an unveiling in June and a launch of the service in the United States by September.

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Sony launching PlayStation Vue Internet TV service in two weeks

03/12, 1:21pm

National PlayStation Vue rollout expected by end of this year

Sony is getting closer to launching its PlayStation-based Internet television service, with PlayStation Vue set to open up to new users in a few locations in the United States soon. Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House advised that PlayStation Vue will be leaving its invitation-only testing, and launching in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia within the next two weeks.

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Dual-screen YotaPhone 2 heading to US via Indiegogo

03/05, 9:38am

Crowdfunding site will offer YotaPhone 2 in US before wider retail availability

Yota Devices is bringing the YotaPhone 2 to the United States, with initial sales going through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The smartphone, which notably has a secondary e-paper display on the back of the device, will apparently go on sale in the US next month through the site in a similar move to Pebble's recent smartwatch sequel launch on Kickstarter.

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Briefly: AT&T selling new BlackBerry devices soon, Google Talk

02/16, 11:17am

AT&T to start selling BlackBerry Passport, Classic from February 20

BlackBerry fans in the United States will soon be able to pick up the manufacturer's latest devices on AT&T. The BlackBerry Classic and the BlackBerry Passport, redesigned specifically for the carrier, will be going on sale from February 20. The Passport, complete with rounded edges, will cost $650 off-contract, $200 with a two-year agreement, or for between $21.67 and $32.50 under AT&T Next. The Classic will cost $50 on a two-year contract, $420 off-contract, or under AT&T Next's various plans, between $14 and $21 per month.

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FAA proposes rules for commercial drone flights

02/15, 5:02pm

Proposals rule out drone-based delivery services

Drones performing deliveries for retailers will not be offered to consumers any time in the near future, if proposals from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are adopted. The initial proposals for "small unmanned aircraft systems" would in theory allow for the commercial use of the remote-controlled aircraft, but not to a point where Amazon's drone delivery service would become a reality in the United States.

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Netflix launches streaming service in Cuba, keeps price at $8

02/09, 3:08pm

Video streaming service enters Cuba after US relaxes trade restrictions

Netflix is continuing its current strategy of fast expansion into new countries, by unexpectedly launching in Cuba. The video streaming service is being made available to residents of the country for the first time, following the recent easing of trade restrictions that have been imposed on Cuba by the United States since 1961, though potential users still have some obstacles in the way between them and watching House of Cards.

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Xiaomi holding press event in San Francisco, won't be US launch

02/05, 4:10pm

Employee claims Xiaomi event intended to introduce brand to US media

Xiaomi could be preparing for a debut in the United States, by holding its own media event in the country. A report claims the Chinese smartphone producer will be holding an event for members of the press on February 12 in San Francisco, California, though a company employee suggests that the event will not be a US launch at all.

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FCC redefines broadband speeds as 25Mbps downloads, 3Mbps uploads

01/29, 2:49pm

Vote of FCC commissioners to change broadband definition passes 3-2

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has changed its definition of broadband, after commissioners voted 3-2 in favor. The previous definition of 4Mbps download, 1Mbps upload minimum speeds have been increased to 25Mbps down, 3 Mbps up, a move which pushes higher the proportion of households in the United States declared to be incapable of receiving broadband Internet access.

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Cable lobbyist asks FCC not to redefine broadband as 25Mbps connection

01/26, 12:49pm

Claimed lack of justification for proposed FCC broadband speed definition

Cable companies do not believe customers need to have connection speeds faster than 25Mbps, according to a letter sent by a cable lobbying group to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The letter from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) asks that the FCC avoids defining broadband as a 25Mbps downstream, 3Mbps upstream connection, due to a lack of justification.

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Sony starts accepting compensation claims for 2011 PlayStation breach

01/23, 11:28am

Free games, subscription time, compensation offered to US PlayStation owners

Sony is providing compensation to PlayStation Network users in the United States affected by a major breach in April 2011, half a year after agreeing to a settlement stemming from a class action lawsuit. The original attack, resulting in the closure of the online service and Qriocity for close to a month, risked the personal data and payment details of more than 77 million accounts.

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President Obama to propose '30-day shot clock' on breach notifications

01/12, 7:25am

Proposals require companies to reveal data breaches within 30 days

President Barack Obama will push for legislation forcing companies to be quicker in revealing major intrusions of their servers, White House officials have advised. In a speech set to take place at the Federal Trade Commission later today, Obama is expected to propose a new law, requiring disclosures over server hacks and other security breaches within 30 days of occurring.

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North Korea refutes US hacking accusations, endures Internet outage

12/22, 9:46pm

Main Internet connection for North Korea goes down following statement attacking US government

North Korea has declared it will strike against the United States, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified the rogue state as the origin of the Sony Pictures hack. However, alongside the sabre-rattling statement provided by the Korean Central News Agency of DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as it calls itself) are reports that the country's Internet connection has itself been the target of an attack over the weekend, with North Korea effectively being knocked offline.

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Google Nexus 9 with LTE connectivity ships in US through T-Mobile

12/12, 12:58pm

LTE-equipped Nexus 9 priced $120 more than Wi-Fi equivalent

A variant of the Google Nexus 9 tablet with cellular connectivity is now on sale in the United States, two months after it was first unveiled. The Nexus 9 LTE, being sold first through T-Mobile before other carriers and Google Play, is identical to the already-available 32GB Wi-Fi model, but includes the requisite cellular radios to connect to T-Mobile's network.

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Monthly sales of Xbox One in US beats PlayStation 4 for first time

12/12, 11:18am

NPD claims 1.2M Xbox One consoles sold in US in November

Microsoft has beaten Sony for the first time in a long while, in terms of console sales. Sales data from NPD reveals that the Xbox One outsold the PlayStation 4 in the United States for the month of November, with the pre-holiday spending breaking a sales streak Sony has enjoyed since the launch of its console in the country last year.

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Briefly: AT&T expands VoLTE and HD Voice, McDonald's kiosk ordering

12/11, 6:13am

AT&T increases number of markets with HD Voice enabled

AT&T has expanded its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and HD Voice service into more markets. The carrier's higher-quality voice calls are now available to use in parts of the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, though customers will require a VoLTE-compatible smartphone.

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Nielsen: TV viewing drops four percent from 2013, streaming booms

12/05, 7:53am

Average time spent watching TV in US lower, online viewing up 50 percent

The viewing of television shows in the United States via broadcasting has dropped in the face of streaming services gaining in popularity, according to Nielsen. The ratings company's third-quarter report claims the average American watches more than 141 hours of live television per month, or more than four hours a day, but the figure is a year-on-year four percent drop from last year's 147 average hours per month.

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NOAA admits to server breach, Chinese hackers blamed

11/13, 12:54pm

Officials slow to react in NOAA hacking, cover-up claimed by congressman

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has admitted that it has been the target of another online breach, just a few days after the United States Postal Service (USPS) revealed it too endured an intrusion. The attack took place in late September, though unlike the other governmental intrusion, NOAA officials are not revealing whether any classified data was acquired by intruders, nor if systems were altered.

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USPS servers hacked, data for 800,000 employees compromised

11/10, 6:10pm

Customer payment data not in danger, USPS claims following intrusion

Servers belonging to the United States Postal Service (USPS) have been hacked, it has been revealed. The latest major organization to suffer an intrusion, following a string of retailers, data belonging to more than 800,000 USPS employees have been compromised, including the postmaster general's, in a breach which was discovered in mid-September.

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Briefly: Timex Ironman One GPS+ on AT&T, Huawei TalkBand B1 in US

11/06, 10:28am

Pre-orders for Timex Ironman One GPS+ smartwatch start tomorrow

Pre-orders for the Timex Ironman One GPS+ will commence in the United States through AT&T stores on November 7th, and online from November 10th. Designed for runners, the smartwatch is able to track the wearer's speed, distance, and other position-related information, includes 4GB of storage, works with Bluetooth speakers and headphones, and has its own cellular data connection rather than relying on a nearby smartphone. Including one year of AT&T data, the Timex Ironman One GPS+ will be priced at $400.

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Samsung ships Gear S in UK this week, Gear Circle in US via T-Mobile

11/05, 1:07pm

Bluetooth earphones, standalone Samsung Gear S smartwatch head to market this week

Samsung has confirmed it is bringing its Gear Circle wireless earphones to the United States this month, ready for the holiday shopping period. At the same time, it has been revealed the manufacturer's standalone Gear S smartwatch will be making its way to the United Kingdom, with the first units set to go on sale later this week.

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China denies hacking involvement uncovered in US committee report

09/18, 10:26pm

Official states charges are 'groundless,' believes US should focus on upholding security

In a press conference today, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei responded to the government sponsored hacking allegations from the United States. In an unclassified report from the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the body accused the Chinese military of being responsible for at least 20 successful attacks on US Transportation Command (Transcom) contractors.

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Senate Judiciary Committee readying hearing on net neutrality

09/09, 7:55pm

Senator pushes for more citizen input days after FCC commenting period closes

There is still some fighting left to do for the United States Senate when it comes to net neutrality, as Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced that there would be hearing in the near future. The senator, who is also the chairman for the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling the hearing for September 17 in order to take testimony on the importance of keeping the Internet free and open.

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Home Depot confirms data breach for United States, Canada stores

09/08, 7:18pm

Breach confirmed for April forward as investigation continues, no evidence of PIN theft

An initial investigation by Home Depot into an intrusion of its payment data systems has revealed that its systems were indeed breached. The home improvement retailer began looking into the breach of its systems after it noticed irregular activity and subsequent sale of its customer data last week. Home Depot was apparently hit by the same malware responsible for the breach of Target's systems.

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Hacker infiltrates Healthcare.gov, no personal information stolen

09/04, 9:40pm

Intruder installs 'malicious software' for cyber-attacks, breach access point unknown

Health care exchanges continue to hit rough patches, as the United States government has revealed that the federal health care portal Healthcare.gov was breached. While there is no evidence that any personal information from the 5.4 million people applying through the site was stolen during the event, the attack marks the first time an intrusion has successfully accessed systems attached to the website.

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RootMetrics: Verizon top carrier in performance, speed, reliability

08/19, 7:50pm

Independent tester finds that Verizon beats out all other carriers for first half of 2014

A new study of wireless carriers for the first half emerged today, putting Verizon at the top of the pile in five categories, marking it as the best overall carrier in the United States. Market research firm RootMetrics announced its findings, showing that Verizon was the best carrier in reliability, speed, data performance and call performance.

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TV broadcasters file petition against FCC over 2015 spectrum auction

08/19, 5:05pm

Organization believes that auction violates Spectrum Act, abuses discretion under APA Act

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seeking a review of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2015 spectrum auction. In the filing, the NAB states that the FCC isn't taking the proper precautions to protect broadcasters that choose to retain their spectrum. According to the NAB, an updated methodology the FCC is using will result in a loss of coverage area for remaining broadcasters.

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White House creates US Digital Service to aid IT projects

08/12, 9:56am

US Digital Service created to avoid issues similar to Healthcare.gov launch

The Obama administration has launched a new team dedicated to managing the IT practices of government agencies. The US Digital Service (USDS), headed by former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson, aims to help government-created public IT projects work as effectively as privately-owned services, in order to avoid issues similar to the ill-fated Healthcare.gov launch, a project Dickerson helped rescue.

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Presidential executive order over drone usage reportedly on the way

07/25, 7:34am

NTIA may be called to create voluntary best practices for commercial drones

President Barack Obama may issue privacy guidelines for commercial drones in the United States, claims a report. Plans to issue an executive order allegedly involve the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) working with consumer groups, and companies planning to operate drones in the future, to create "voluntary best practices" for the unmanned aircraft.

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Two-year decline of PC shipments ended in second quarter, says Gartner

07/09, 7:31pm

Worldwide shipments up 0.1 percent over second quarter 2013, US shipments up 7.4 percent

Following up on the projections it says that PC shipments worldwide witnessed flat growth during the second quarter of 2014. Total PC shipments, which includes desktops, notebooks and premium ultra-mobiles, peaked at 75.7 million units, with the United States taking up 15.9 million of the total.

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US Attorney General promises stronger data privacy rights to Europeans

06/27, 12:19pm

Proposal would extend US Privacy Act rights to EU citizens

European citizens could receive some of the same rights to privacy as Americans in the future, if new proposals are adopted. US Attorney General Eric Holder advised to European leaders in Athens, Greece on Wednesday that the Obama administration is working on legislation that would provide EU residents similar protections under the US Privacy Act as US citizens already have.

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Microsoft cuts price of Surface Pro 2 before Surface Pro 3 ships

06/18, 7:40am

Discounts of $100, $200 on Surface Pro 2 through Microsoft Store

Microsoft has cut the price of the Surface Pro 2 tablet in the United States, before the latest incarnation of the device, the Surface Pro 3, starts shipping. Echoing a similar discounting scheme in the United Kingdom, the lower cost of previous-generation Surface Pro tablets comes at the same time as news that there could be some delays in Surface Pro 3 shipments.

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Google rates ISPs in United States with Video Quality Report

05/29, 3:39pm

Report shows streaming performance of YouTube videos over 30-day period

Google is expanding the coverage of its Video Quality Report to all Internet service providers in the United States. Originally launched in Canada in January, the service monitors the quality of connections between YouTube servers and the end user, with ratings provided for each ISP in an attempt to pressure telecommunication companies to improve their services.

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US House members lobbying FCC receive double average contributions

05/18, 2:52pm

Signers of three letters to FCC receive 1.2 to 5 times more lobbyist money from telecoms

Members of the United States House of Representatives responsible for sending letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over net neutrality concerns have received more than double the average campaign contributions from telecommunication companies over a two-year window. The contributions, tracked by Maplight, shows the funds that the politicians of both parties have received via political action committees and employees of organizations.

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Russia plans to shutter GPS ground stations, block US access to ISS

05/14, 1:29pm

Demands placement of GLONASS ground stations on US soil

Russia is threatening to shut down American-run GPS stations in the country, in retaliation to the refusal by the United States to allow similar sites to operate in its territory for the competing GLONASS system. The threat comes at the same time as another against NASA's use of the International Space Station, in retaliation to US sanctions.

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Credit card system in United States to shift away from magnetic strip

05/08, 11:05pm

Smart chip cards as found in Europe making way to customers in next 18 months

Credit cards in the United States will begin transitioning away from the aging technology of magnetic swipe strips in the next 18 months. Future cards will have embedded smart chips containing card data as well as a magnetic strip, much like the cards that are used in Europe and Canada. The system currently in place, that relies wholly on magnetic strips, is still used in Mongolia, parts of the Middle East, and Papua New Guinea.

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US Department of Commerce asks ICANN for DNS transition plan

03/15, 2:20pm

NTIA starts process to end DNS management, American monitoring in 2015

The United States government has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to begin drafting a proposal to transition the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) responsibility of domain name system (DNS) administration away from the United States. Stepping away from governance of ICANN would mark the final phase of DNS privatization that had been set in motion in 1998, allowing ICANN to operate independently.

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Briefly: Nokia Refocus for all Lumias, Sony leads console race in US

03/14, 6:54am

Nokia rolls out Refocus app to all Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8

Nokia is making its Lytro-style Refocus app available to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, as a free download via the Windows Phone Store. The app, which was initially released for Lumias with PureView, allows users to adjust the focal point of an image, after the photograph has been taken, with the resulting image shareable on social networks and stored on OneDrive.

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T-Mobile tweaks Simple Choice plans, changes data allocations

03/08, 9:14pm

Lower Simple Choice plans gain more data, new higher tier offered

T-Mobile in the United States has updated its Simple Choice price plans with a few changes. The amount of data available to customers on the carrier has both risen and fallen, depending on the tier of service, with all plans also gaining enhanced global data and text services in more countries, and the extra introduction of unlimited stateside international text messaging.

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Samsung details devices receiving Android KitKat in United States

02/18, 12:52pm

Majority of Galaxy S devices will get Android 4.4 update

Samsung has confirmed it will be bringing Android 4.4.2 to a large number of its mobile devices in the United States. The upgrade to Android KitKat, rumored last month, will apparently start rolling out to devices from today onwards, and while the timing will vary between carriers and individual devices, it will continue "throughout the coming months."

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HTC Advantage offers free screen replacement in first six months

02/18, 10:02am

Support scheme provides display repair, Google Drive storage

HTC is upgrading the level of support it provides customers in the United States, in its new HTC Advantage program. The improvements, teased on Valentine's day, include a commitment to offering the major Android updates for two years from the launch date of the device, as well as a free replacement display in the event the customer cracks the screen in the first six months of ownership.

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LG cuts price of 55-inch curved OLED TV from $15,000 to $7,000

02/10, 2:47pm

Price cut an attempt to grow OLED television market, claims LG

LG has lowered the cost of its curved OLED television in the United States, in an attempt to improve demand for OLED devices. The 55EA9800, a curved OLED Full HD television that went on sale in the US through Best Buy in July last year, is being cut down in price from the initial $15,000 down to $8,000, with an extra $1,000 rebate bringing the price down to $7,000.

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Sony to close Reader Store in North America

02/09, 3:15pm

Kobo to serve as e-book option for customers

In addition to getting out of the personal computing business and spinning off their television division, Sony will start dropping out the e-book business as well. In a press release from the company, Sony will be teaming up with Kobo in the United States and Canada in late March 2014, closing its Reader Store in the process.

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Secret surveillance court accepts two of Obama's NSA metadata reforms

02/07, 1:25pm

Agrees to measures requiring court approval for NSA metadata searches

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has given its approval to changes President Barack Obama has requested as part of a surveillance reforms speech last month. Two measures in the reforms have been accepted by the court, which will affect the way the National Security Agency (NSA) searches its phone records database in the future.

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Latest Snowden leaks claim NSA data collection from 'leaky' apps

01/27, 3:21pm

NSA,GCHQ allegedly claimed to collect information on individuals from mobile advertising

Intelligence agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom are allegedly taking advantage of smartphone apps to collect a wealth of information about individuals, in new spying allegations. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are able to use the "leaky" nature of popular mobile phone apps to extract information about an individual, according to new leaked documents.

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Qualcomm acquires vast collection of Palm, Bitfone patents from HP

01/24, 5:30am

1,400 US patents and applications bought by Qualcomm

Processor producer Qualcomm has acquired a considerable haul of patents from HP, including some originally from the portfolios of iPAQ, Bitfone, and Palm. Though the sale price was not revealed by the company in a statement, it did reveal that the purchase includes approximately 1,400 granted patents and pending applications from the United States, and another 1,000 from other countries.

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Federal watchdog calls for end of NSA call log collection programs

01/23, 2:14pm

Collection programs such as Prism is illegal according to review board

An independent federal watchdog has decided that the National Security Agency's (NSA) phone call logging and collection activity is illegal. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board advises that the call log collection provided "minimal" benefits to current counter-terrorism operations and should be stopped, in a 238-page report set to be released today.

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President Obama announces reforms to data collection methods of NSA

01/17, 12:45pm

Collected data to be handed to third party, judicial findings required for access

The United States government will reform the way it uses surveillance data, President Barack Obama has announced. Addressing concerns over the National Security Agency (NSA) and the various programs employed to monitor potential threats, Obama outlined a number of changes in how the data will be accessed by security agencies as he attempts to ease the concerns of US citizens.

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