ZDNet: Pentagon discloses card breach

ZDNet: Pentagon discloses card breach. “Pentagon official said on Friday that the Department of Defense had suffered a security breach thanks to a third-party contractor. An investigation is still underway, so the exact details haven’t been made public, but according to an Associated Press report, a DOD official said that roughly 30,000 DOD military and civilian personnel are believed to be affected. This number is expected to grow as the Pentagon’s investigation continues.”

IISD: UN-Habitat Database Provides Budget, Expenditure Data for Over 100 Cities

IISD: UN-Habitat Database Provides Budget, Expenditure Data for Over 100 Cities. “The first database of its kind, UN-Habitat’s Global Municipal Database (GMD) offers a standard set of indicators and local-level, per capita budget data for over 100 cities. The database, launched in September 2018, aims to highlight the importance of local financial data to policy- and decision-making.”

Boing Boing: US governmental requests for comment are routinely flooded by pro-corporate bots

Boing Boing: US governmental requests for comment are routinely flooded by pro-corporate bots. “Last year, the FCC was only able to ram through a repeal of Net Neutrality by refusing to reject the millions of comments sent by bots that used the stolen identities of regular internet users, dead people, and even sitting US Members of Congress. It turns out the FCC isn’t the only agency being flooded by bots during requests for comment — and it’s also not the only agency that doesn’t seem to give a shit about being astroturfed by bots using stolen identities to influence government policy in favor of corporate agencies.”

Engadget: California bans default passwords on any internet-connected device

Engadget: California bans default passwords on any internet-connected device. “In less than two years, anything that can connect to the internet will come with a unique password — that is, if it’s produced or sold in California. The ‘Information Privacy: Connected Devices’ bill that comes into effect on January 1, 2020, effectively bans pre-installed and hard-coded default passwords. It only took the authorities about two weeks to approve the proposal made by the state senate.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Spyware hijacks smartphones, threatens journalists around the world

Columbia Journalism Review: Spyware hijacks smartphones, threatens journalists around the world. “IN MAY 2016, the Mexican investigative journalist Sebastián Barragán was working on an explosive story. An anonymous source had sent Aristegui Noticias, the investigative outlet where he worked, a grainy video that appeared to show a scene of brutal torture; in it a group of police officers surround a man handcuffed to a chair; they strike him over and over again, and pull a plastic bag over his head. One of the men in the video is wearing a jacket with the letters PGJEM, The Prosecutor General for the State of Mexico, a state that surrounds Mexico City like a horseshoe. Barragan called the PGJEM and the Mexican Attorney General’s (PGR) office for comment.”

Tehran Times: Iran, Hungary libraries sign MOU

Tehran Times: Iran, Hungary libraries sign MOU . “The MOU [Memorandum Of Understanding] was inked by Istvan Monok, the director general of the Hungarian library, and INLA deputy director Fariborz Khosravi, the INLA announced on Tuesday. Based on the MOU, the two sides agreed to begin joint cooperation to establish an online database to introduce the cultural heritage of the two countries, and also to exchange experts.”