Technology & Telecommunications

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Police departments across the U.S. pay AT&T, the telecommunications giant, over one hundred thousand dollars a year for special access to telephone records of clients without first obtaining a warrant. The program is called 'Hemisphere' and the company required buyers to keep its existence secret. Read More
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A group of investigative journalists have revealed that General Atomics helped fund the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a major think tank in Washington DC, when it recommended that the Obama administration loosen export rules to allow the company sell more remotely piloted military aircraft. Read More
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Netherlands-based telecommunications giant VimpelCom announced today that it would pay U.S. and Dutch authorities $795 million to end an investigation into bribery in Uzbekistan. While the settlement does not reveal the recipient of the bribes, most sources point to Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the Uzbek president. Read More
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Thales, the French aerospace company, is hoping to develop a weaponized version of the Watchkeeper drone to sell to Poland. This is despite a series of software glitches and accidents that resulted in many of the first 54 Watchkeepers that were delivered to the UK to be sitting idle. Read More
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U.S. Air Force officials has begun to hire private companies to fly drone aircraft operating over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The unprecedented move is in response to demands from the Obama administration to dramatically expand the drone war just as the Pentagon faces a critical shortage of military pilots. Read More
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Qosmos - a French technology company - is being investigated for acting as an "assisted witness" in alleged torture in Syria. The specialized crimes unit of the Paris Tribunal has agreed to study the use of Qosmos surveillance software by Bashar Al-Assad's regime, following complaints filed by two human rights NGOs. Read More
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A formal complaint has been filed against Uber, the car ride company, by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a non-profit advocacy group. The NGO says Uber plans to use their smart phone app to access user's locations at all times, and to send advertisements to user's contact lists. Read More
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Vodafone recently won a rare - but potentially very significant - victory over Indian tax authorities. The Bombay High Court dismissed the government demand for the company to pay 30 billion rupees (about $490 million) for a share transaction conducted in the offshore tax haven of Mauritius. Read More
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