For years, Silicon Valley has bemoaned a shortage of skilled domestic labor, the complaint being that the pool of quality technical talent in the U.S. has atrophied to the point where a failing educational system has left companies with no other choice except to import more skilled IT help from abroad. Recently, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman came … Read more
Consumers unhappy about the prospect of paying more to shop online aren't alone.
Online retailers are objecting to a proposed federal law to levy sales taxes on Internet shoppers, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed -- and sometimes conflicting -- regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors.
The U.S. Senate began debate on the tax measure, S.743, Monday afternoon, capping years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores including including Walmart, Target, AutoZone, Best Buy, Home Depot, OfficeMax, … Read more
From Aaron Swartz's struggles with an antihacking law to Hollywood's lobbying to a raft of surveillance proposals, the Internet and its users' rights are under attack as never before, according to the creators of a forthcoming documentary film.
The film, titled "War for the Web," traces the physical infrastructure of the Internet, from fat underwater cables to living room routers, as a way to explain the story of what's behind the high-volume politicking over proposals like CISPA, Net neutrality, and the Stop Online Piracy Act.
"People talk about security, people talk about privacy, they … Read more
The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a controversial data-sharing bill that would authorize e-mail and Internet providers to share confidential information with the federal government.
By a 288-127 vote today, the House adopted the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA, which supporters say is necessary to protect American networks from electronic attacks and intrusions. The vote signals more support for the bill than it enjoyed last year, when it cleared the House by a narrower margin but died in the Senate. (See CNET's CISPA FAQ.)
CISPA is "so important to our … Read more
Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet companies and e-mail providers will be prohibited from making legally binding promises to protect your privacy, thanks to a vote this afternoon in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The vote came after Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican who's the committee's influential chairman, urged his colleagues to vote against … Read more
A controversial data-sharing bill won the approval of a key congressional committee today without privacy amendments, raising concerns that the National Security Agency and other spy agencies will gain broad access to Americans' personal information.
The House Intelligence committee, by a vote of 18 to 2, adopted the so-called CISPA bill after an unusual session closed to the public where panel members debated and voted on the proposed law in secret.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who proposed three unsuccessful privacy amendments, said afterward she was disappointed her colleagues did not limit the NSA and other intelligence agencies from collecting sensitive … Read more
You can now search among 2 million confidential, or formerly confidential, government documents courtesy of Wikileaks.
The whistle-blowing group has set up a new "public library of U.S. diplomacy" offering more than 1.7 million diplomatic files from 1973 to 1976. Dubbed "The Kissinger Cables," the files reveal diplomatic cables, intelligence reports, and congressional correspondence, many of which relate to then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
As expected, the documents focus on some hot-button issues, including U.S. involvement with dictatorships in Latin America and Greece and the 1973 "Yom Kippur war" … Read more
An unusual bipartisan revolt has erupted against law enforcement plans to fly more drones equipped with high-tech gear that can be used to conduct surveillance of Americans.
A combination of concerns about privacy, air traffic safety, facial recognition, cell phone tracking -- and even the possibility that in the future drones could be armed -- have suddenly placed police on the defensive.
A public outcry in Seattle last month prompted the mayor to ground the police department's nascent drone program. Oregon held a hearing this week on curbing drones, following one in Idaho last week. And on Tuesday, Rep. … Read more
Internet tax supporters are hoping that a vote in the U.S. Senate as early as today will finally give them enough political leverage to require Americans to pay sales taxes when shopping online.
Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are expected to offer an amendment to a Democratic budget resolution this week that, by allowing states to "collect taxes on remote sales," is intended to usher in the first national Internet sales tax.
AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to capture and store Americans' confidential text messages, according to a proposal that will be presented to a congressional panel today.
The law enforcement proposal would require wireless providers to record and store customers' SMS messages -- a controversial idea akin to requiring them to surreptitiously record audio of their customers' phone calls -- in case police decide to obtain them at some point in the future.