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An essential plan for gathering global data
server room
Servers at a Facebook data center in Sweden. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images

There's a solution in Congress that will help law enforcement gather electronic evidence, often stored on servers abroad, while reducing conflicts of law facing cloud storage providers: the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act.

Why it matters: Data — meaning evidence — is now global. The CLOUD Act makes clear when U.S. warrants apply, considers the applicable laws of other countries, and creates a framework for bilateral cooperative agreements that allow for cross-border data requests to be handled through domestic legal processes. The proposed U.S.-UK agreement is a good model. 

Joe Uchill 9 hours ago
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Tesla's cloud platform falls victim to cryptocurrency mining attack
Tesla chargers
Tesla chargers. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty

Tesla confirms that resource-draining thieves installed cryptocurrency mining malware onto the company's cloud platform and even test vehicles. The incident was first reported by researchers at the security firm Red Lock.

What they're saying: In a statement, a Tesla spokesperson said: "We maintain a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, and we addressed this vulnerability within hours of learning about it. The impact seems to be limited to internally-used engineering test cars only, and our initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way."

Joe Uchill 10 hours ago
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Justice Department announces Cyber-Digital Task Force
Department of Justice
The DOJ announced a Cyber Digital Task Force on Tuesday. Anadolu Agency / Getty

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new, multi-agency Cyber-Digital Task Force on Tuesday. It will advise Sessions on internet and security related topics.

Between the lines: The Department of Justice listed several priorities for the force at its onset in a press release, headed by the "study of efforts to interfere with our elections." Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller announced Friday the indictment of 13 Russians for an information campaign in the 2016 election, leaving the White House scrambling to demonstrate it took the Russia issue seriously after more than a year of undercutting its importance.

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Judge rules against AT&T in White House records dispute
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson grimaces
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

The federal judge hearing the Justice Department's lawsuit to block AT&T's proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner on Tuesday denied a request by the telecom giant to disclose communications between Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the White House about the deal.

Why it matters: Tuesday's ruling is a blow to AT&T's attempt to show that the lawsuit to block the deal is politically motivated by President Trump's antipathy for CNN, which Time Warner owns. AT&T says it wasn't asked to offload any assets as part of the deal until after Trump took office.

Joe Uchill 12 hours ago
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Fancy Bear now fancying Middle East and Asia
Man in bear suit
A fancy (enough) bear. Dan Kitwood / Getty

The believed Russian cyber-espionage group Fancy Bear, best known for hacking a variety of political targets during the 2016 election, turned its focus to Middle Eastern and Asian targets in the second quarter of 2017, according to a new report from Kaspersky Lab.

The intrigue: Fancy Bear is primarily known for attacks against NATO and former Soviet states, with a smattering of attacks against Russian antagonists mixed in. The shift to Middle Eastern and Asian targets would signify a change in priority for the Russian government.

Ina Fried 12 hours ago
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More cars were added to US cell networks in 2017 than phones
A woman uses a tablet in a 4G-equipped connected car
A woman uses a tablet in a 4G-equipped connected car. Photo: GM

When we think of wireless networks, we now think of smartphones. But in 2017, for the first time, more cars than phones were added to US cellular networks, according to a new report from industry consultant Chetan Sharma.

Why it matters: While there were more cars added, the money is still in smartphones, which have a higher monthly service fee and generate the bulk of carrier revenue and profits. Nonetheless, as smartphone sales level off, other types of devices will become increasingly significant in the wireless network market.

Ina Fried 14 hours ago
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Broadcom re-evaluating bid after Qualcomm ups NXP offer
Paul Jacobs Qualcomm
Paul Jacobs speaks during a keynote address. Photo: David Becker / Getty Images

Qualcomm raised its offer for Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors on Tuesday, possibly making that deal more likely to happen and a hostile takeover from Broadcom less likely.

The bottom line: This is the highest-stakes poker game in town and Qualcomm just significantly increased the pot.

Joe Uchill 14 hours ago
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Believed North Korean hacking group is targeting new nations
Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. AFP photo /KCNA via KNS

Researchers at FireEye say a newly profiled group they nicknamed APT 37 or Reaper is now targeting Japan, Vietnam and the Middle East, including targets in a bevy of industries. It had until recently been focused on South Korea. FireEye believes Reaper is North Korean.

Between the lines: North Korea runs several separate hacking operations, including the prominent (and distinct) Lazarus Group known for hacking Sony. Reaper is known to have used a previously undiscovered security flaw in Flash during an attack. Since such unknown security problems are not cheap to research, this suggests the group is fairly well resourced.

Sam Baker 17 hours ago
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When AI will start to disrupt health care
Several intelligent guide robots standing in the outpatient lobby of Beijing 301 hospital.
Several intelligent guide robots standing in the outpatient lobby of Beijing 301 hospital. Photo: TPG / Getty Images

Artificial intelligence is all the rage in Silicon Valley, but it has so far not made much of a dent in health care. That’s largely because the technology just isn’t good enough yet, according to a report in VentureBeat.

  • The most interesting applications so far have focused on diagnostics — using algorithms to process and distill published medical research at a volume humans simply couldn’t handle, or having them read patient data and look for abnormalities, the report says.

Key quote: “I have no doubt that sophisticated learning and AI algorithms will find a place in health care over the coming years,” data scientist Andy Schuetz tells VentureBeat. “I don’t know if it’s two years or 10 — but it’s coming.”

David McCabe 18 hours ago
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Tech leaders boost challenger to Feinstein's Senate seat
Kevin de León wearing a suit and speaking from a podium
Kevin De León is running for longtime California Senator Dianne Fienstein's Senate seat. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Several Silicon Valley leaders are bankrolling California State Senate leader Kevin de León, the challenger to longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, per disclosure forms. Among his backers is LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, one of Silicon Valley's most prolific political donors, who held a fundraiser for de León last year, Axios hears from multiple sources.

Why it matters: The support from big names in the industry underscores growing tension between Silicon Valley and its longtime senator. Some in tech see Feinstein as out of step with their fast-growing industry and have clashed with her over issues like encryption.