Washington Post: How CDC data problems put the U.S. behind on the delta variant

Washington Post: How CDC data problems put the U.S. behind on the delta variant. “When Pfizer representatives met with senior U.S. government health officials on July 12, they laid out why they thought booster shots would soon be necessary in the United States. Data from Israel showed the vaccine’s effectiveness waned over time, especially in older and immunocompromised people. But officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagreed, saying their own data showed something quite different, according to four people with direct knowledge of the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Other senior health officials in the meeting were stunned. Why hadn’t the CDC looped other government officials on the data?”

‘Easy money’: How international scam artists pulled off an epic theft of Covid benefits (NBC News)

NBC News: ‘Easy money’: How international scam artists pulled off an epic theft of Covid benefits. “In June, the FBI got a warrant to hunt through the Google accounts of Abedemi Rufai, a Nigerian state government official. What they found, they said in a sworn affidavit, was all the ingredients for a ‘massive’ cyberfraud on U.S. government benefits: stolen bank, credit card and tax information of Americans. Money transfers. And emails showing dozens of false unemployment claims in seven states that paid out $350,000.”

Ars Technica: US settles with Trump admin whistleblower who exposed botched COVID response

Ars Technica: US settles with Trump admin whistleblower who exposed botched COVID response. “The US government has reached a financial settlement with whistleblower Rick Bright, a former health official who detailed the Trump administration’s botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bright is an immunology expert who led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) until he says he was forced out of his position in April 2020. We wrote a detailed summary of the whistleblower complaint he filed shortly after.”

CBS News: ACLU arm publishes database tracking fatal encounters with Customs and Border Protection

CBS News: ACLU arm publishes database tracking fatal encounters with Customs and Border Protection. “The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas has identified 177 fatal encounters with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel dating back to January 2010 – including 34 deaths in custody. A new database launched Friday by the non-profit organization tracks fatal encounters with CBP officials, including U.S. Border Patrol agents.”

A D for NASA, a C for HUD: Senate report warns agencies unprepared for cyberattacks (NBC News)

NBC News: A D for NASA, a C for HUD: Senate report warns agencies unprepared for cyberattacks. “A number of federal agencies are woefully unprepared for cyberattacks, while others ‘have not met the basic cybersecurity standards necessary to protect America’s sensitive data,’ according to a report released Tuesday by the Senate committee overseeing homeland security.”

CNN: TikTok, Biden administration agree to drop litigation over Trump-era app store ban

CNN: TikTok, Biden administration agree to drop litigation over Trump-era app store ban. “TikTok and the US government agreed on Wednesday to drop a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s attempt to ban the short-form video app from US app stores. In a filing in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, the two sides said they had mutually agreed the suit should be dismissed.”

Business Insider: How Apple, Google, and Microsoft reacted to Trump-era DOJ subpoenas and requests for data on political rivals and journalists

Business Insider: How Apple, Google, and Microsoft reacted to Trump-era DOJ subpoenas and requests for data on political rivals and journalists. “Some of the world’s biggest tech companies – including Google, Apple, and Microsoft – received subpoenas or other record requests for information held by accounts belonging to the press, members of Congress, their staff members, or their families. This is how each company reacted to those legal requests.”

BBC: Donald Trump-era ban on TikTok dropped by Joe Biden

BBC: Donald Trump-era ban on TikTok dropped by Joe Biden. “President Joe Biden has revoked an executive order from his predecessor Donald Trump banning Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat in the US. The ban faced a series of legal challenges and never came into force. Instead, the US Department of Commerce will now review apps designed and developed by those in ‘the jurisdiction of a foreign adversary’, such as China.”

Facial recognition, fake identities and digital surveillance tools: Inside the post office’s covert internet operations program (Yahoo News)

Yahoo News: Facial recognition, fake identities and digital surveillance tools: Inside the post office’s covert internet operations program. “The post office’s law enforcement arm has faced intense congressional scrutiny in recent weeks over its Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), which tracks social media posts of Americans and shares that information with other law enforcement agencies. Yet the program is much broader in scope than previously known and includes analysts who assume fake identities online, use sophisticated intelligence tools and employ facial recognition software, according to interviews and documents reviewed by Yahoo News.”

GovExec: Trump, Defying Custom, Hasn’t Given the National Archives Records of His Speeches at Political Rallies

GovExec: Trump, Defying Custom, Hasn’t Given the National Archives Records of His Speeches at Political Rallies. “In the case of modern presidents, for the official record, we rely upon transcriptions of all their speeches collected by the national government. But in the case of Donald Trump, that historical record is likely to have a big gap. Almost 10% of the president’s total public speeches are excluded from the official record. And that means a false picture of the Trump presidency is being created in the official record for posterity.”

Census settlement: House seat numbers can’t be released before next week (CBS News)

NBC News: Census settlement: House seat numbers can’t be released before next week. “The numbers used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets can’t be released before next Monday, according to an agreement that settles litigation between the U.S. Census Bureau and a coalition of local governments and civil rights groups. The agreement filed in court on Thursday also requires the statistical agency to provide regular updates to the civil rights groups and local governments on the quality of the data used for drawing congressional and legislative districts.”

Yahoo News: The Postal Service is running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts

Yahoo News: The Postal Service is running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts. “The law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News. The details of the surveillance effort, known as iCOP, or Internet Covert Operations Program, have not previously been made public. The work involves having analysts trawl through social media sites to look for what the document describes as ‘inflammatory’ postings and then sharing that information across government agencies.”