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subjectComputers And Society
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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Warrantless Phone Tapping, Email Spying Inching to Supreme Court Review
From ACM News

Warrantless Phone Tapping, Email Spying Inching to Supreme Court Review

In 2013, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a once-clandestine warrantless surveillance program that gobbles up Americans' electronic communications—a project...

'epic' Fail—how Opm Hackers Tapped the Mother Lode of Espionage Data
From ACM News

'epic' Fail—how Opm Hackers Tapped the Mother Lode of Espionage Data

Government officials have been vague in their testimony about the data breaches—there was apparently more than one—at the Office of Personnel Management.

Shock European Court Decision: Websites Are Liable For ­sers' Comments
From ACM News

Shock European Court Decision: Websites Are Liable For ­sers' Comments

In a surprise decision, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has ruled that the Estonian news site Delfi may be held responsible for anonymous...

How the End of Patriot Act Provisions Changes Nsa Surveillance
From ACM News

How the End of Patriot Act Provisions Changes Nsa Surveillance

Thanks to resistance from Senator Rand Paul and other members of the Senate, the provisions of the USA Patriot Act that were used to justify the National Security...

Researchers Craft Network Attack to 'hack' Surgical Robot (sort Of)
From ACM News

Researchers Craft Network Attack to 'hack' Surgical Robot (sort Of)

As part of a series of experiments, a group of researchers at the University of Washington's BioRobotics Lab launched denial-of-service attacks against a remotely...

Project Elysium Wants to ­se Vr to Revive Deceased Loved Ones
From ACM News

Project Elysium Wants to ­se Vr to Revive Deceased Loved Ones

How far is too far when it comes to pushing the boundaries of virtual reality?

2,636 Icelandic Genomes Pinpoint Risk For Alzheimer's, Other Diseases
From ACM News

2,636 Icelandic Genomes Pinpoint Risk For Alzheimer's, Other Diseases

An Icelandic genetics firm has sequenced the genomes of 2,636 of its countrymen and women, finding genetic markers for a variety of diseases, as well as a new timeline...

For a Brighter Robotics Future, It's Time to Offload Their Brains
From ACM News

For a Brighter Robotics Future, It's Time to Offload Their Brains

Robots already stand in for humans in some of the dullest and most dangerous jobs there are, handling everything from painting cars to drilling rocks on Mars.

To Digitize a Brain, First Slice 2,000 Times with a Very Sharp Blade
From ACM News

To Digitize a Brain, First Slice 2,000 Times with a Very Sharp Blade

As I stepped into the Brain Observatory, I didn't really see what I expected from a brain bank.

Surveillance-Based Manipulation: How Facebook or Google Could Tilt Elections
From ACM Opinion

Surveillance-Based Manipulation: How Facebook or Google Could Tilt Elections

Someone who knows things about us has some measure of control over us, and someone who knows everything about us has a lot of control over us.

Secrets Become History: Edward Snowden in Citizenfour Wins Documentary Oscar
From ACM Opinion

Secrets Become History: Edward Snowden in Citizenfour Wins Documentary Oscar

Citizenfour is filmmaker Laura Poitras' account of the first meetings between herself, Glenn Greenwald, and Edward Snowden.

How Hackers Could Attack Hard Drives to Create a Pervasive Backdoor
From ACM News

How Hackers Could Attack Hard Drives to Create a Pervasive Backdoor

News that a hacking group within or associated with the National Security Agency compromised the firmware of hard drive controllers from a number of manufacturers...

If Software Looks Like a Brain and Acts Like a Brain—will We Treat It Like One?
From ACM News

If Software Looks Like a Brain and Acts Like a Brain—will We Treat It Like One?

Long the domain of science fiction, researchers are now working to create software that perfectly models human and animal brains.

Washington Lawmakers Want Computer Science to Count as Foreign Language
From ACM Careers

Washington Lawmakers Want Computer Science to Count as Foreign Language

Two Washington state legislators have recently introduced a bill that would allow computer science class (e.g., programming) to effectively count as a foreign language...

Don't Call Them 'utility' Rules: The Fcc's Net Neutrality Regime, Explained
From ACM News

Don't Call Them 'utility' Rules: The Fcc's Net Neutrality Regime, Explained

Within a few weeks we’ll have a huge document full of legalese on the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, to replace the near-200-page ...

Cops Get Handheld Radar that Can 'detect People Breathing' Through Walls
From ACM News

Cops Get Handheld Radar that Can 'detect People Breathing' Through Walls

At least 50 local law enforcement agencies—and the United States Marshals—have acquired a type of handheld radar that allows cops to scan through walls to detect...

Snowden: ­.s. Has Put Too Much Emphasis on Cyber-Offense, Needs Defense
From ACM News

Snowden: ­.s. Has Put Too Much Emphasis on Cyber-Offense, Needs Defense

In an on-camera interview with James Bamford for an upcoming episode of PBS' NOVA, Edward Snowden warned that the U.S. Department of Defense and National Security...

Fbi Says Search Warrants Not Needed to Use 'stingrays' in Public Places
From ACM News

Fbi Says Search Warrants Not Needed to Use 'stingrays' in Public Places

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the position that court warrants are not required when deploying cell-site simulators in public places.

Baer's Odyssey: Meet the Serial Inventor Who Built the World's First Game Console
From ACM Opinion

Baer's Odyssey: Meet the Serial Inventor Who Built the World's First Game Console

Even if you're a devoted fan of video games, there's a decent chance you're not familiar with the name Ralph H. Baer.

One Arrow of Time to Rule Them All?
From ACM News

One Arrow of Time to Rule Them All?

Time is something we're all very aware of.
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