Following the many data breaches that have hit U.S. retailers, financial institutions and even the government, the White House has also confirmed that an unclassified computer network used by President’s Obama’s senior staff had been breached by hackers, The New York Times reports. However, it’s not clear why hackers attacked the White House, or at least such details have not been divulged yet. More →
On Wednesday night, there was yet another fence jumper at the White House. Luckily, two heroic dogs sprang into action and stopped him almost immediately — but not before one dog, Jordan, took a kick to the face from the assailant.
Remember back in 2009 when it was a big security concern that Obama wanted to continue using his BlackBerry instead of a more secure Sectera Edge smartphone? The White House may begin relaxing its strict requirements to allow some employees to carry consumer devices, according to The Washington Post. Reportedly, lots of government employees already enter the White House daily with personal devices sharing a pocket with their government-issued BlackBerry smartphones. “The line between work and home in terms of technology is beginning to blur,” Vivek Kundra, the United States’ chief information officer said, noting that government workers “despise” government issued devices. Kundra has begun discussing the possibility of allowing government employees to carry the device of their choice, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android powered device; private app stores could then be used to install secure applications on those platforms. Similarly, the U.S. General Services Administration may look to other consumer technologies to save money — the group estimates that its plan to move 17,000 of its employees to Gmail could save 50% in expenses over the next five years. The switch to consumer devices is already proliferating on Capitol Hill: The Washington Post said that Congress already allows the iPhone and iPad on the floor of the House, about 300 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory employees have switched from a BlackBerry to an iPhone, and the ATF has roughly 50 iPhone/iPad units, and has plans to bump that number to 100. More →
After the whole controversy over the usage of the White Space spectrum had been given the thumbs up by the FCC, we thought that free, nationwide wireless Internet access was a given. Not so fast says the White House. The FCC was going to vote as early as next week on a plan to auction 25 megahertz of spectrum in the 2155MHz to 2180MHz band. According to the FCC’s plan, those who purchase a license to use this spectrum would be required to offer free wireless broadband service. The White House disagreed with the requirement that licensees had to offer free service and voiced its objection in a letter written by Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez saying:
“The administration believes that the (airwaves) should be auctioned without price or product mandate. The history of FCC spectrum auctions has shown that the potential for problems increases in instances where licensing is overly prescriptive or designed around unproven business models.”
The FCC is reportedly reviewing the letter and has publicly stated that, though it does agree that “market forces should drive competition”, it also believes “providing free basic broadband to consumers is a good thing.” Perhaps the White House is considering how well the free market system is working in every other industry these days when making this assessment…