Technology & Telecommunications

James Bimen Associates of Virginia and Harris Corporation of Florida have contracts with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to hack into computers and phones of surveillance targets, according to Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.
Beware the public relations person with a modem. Now corporate spinmeisters, too, can go online to track customers -- especially the disgruntled ones who vent their spleen in cyberspace.
BUENOS AIRES -- Afraid that Peru may adopt a bill decreeing the use of open-source software in all government systems, Microsoft apparently enlisted the American ambassador in Lima to help try to convince the Peruvians to kill the legislation.
Which are the world's worst multinationals? Which are the best?
The SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) is a sixteen year old multi-racial, statewide grassroots membership organization in New Mexico. SWOP's mission is to empower the disenfranchised in the Southwest to realize racial and gender equality, and social and economic justice. Our work focuses on increasing citizen participation and building leadership skills in low-income communities composed predominantly of people of color, so that we may play greater roles in public and corporate decision making which affects our lives and determines our future.
Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) agreed yesterday to plead guilty to corruption charges after admitting to performing a variety of official acts for lobbyists in exchange for campaign contributions, expensive meals, luxury travel, sports tickets and thousands of dollars in gambling chips. He is the first elected official to face prison time in the ongoing influence-peddling investigation of former GOP lobbying powerhouse Jack Abramoff.
The Bush administration has confirmed for the first time that American telecommunications companies played a crucial role in the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program after asserting for more than a year that any role played by them was a "state secret."
Greece and a few other countries in the European Union that have banned genetically modified organisms are on the front lines of a war over the future of modified food in Europe, the only large swath of the world that does not already grow or buy the crops. Facing international pressure and a lawsuit brought by the United States, Canada and Argentina at the World Trade Organization, the union said this year that all member states must open their doors to genetically engineered crops and prepare practical and legal regulations to ensure safety for health and the environment.
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.
A former manager of Siemens, the European engineering company, testified Monday about an intricate system of slush funds and bribery at the company as the first trial on allegations of corporate corruption in Germany began.