Tag Archive: Government


Google ‘inadvertently’ added a government helpline number to contact lists of all Android phones in India

Google apologizes for coding a government agency’s number into all Android phones in India.

Over the course of this week, several Android users in India took to Twitter over the mysterious appearance of a government helpline number on their devices. The number in question is the toll-free helpline (1-800-300-1947) for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the government agency that oversees the Aadhaar biometric identity program.

The agency’s number seemingly popped up on all Android phones  [Read More…]

U.S. government signs an agreement with ZTE to lift export ban

ZTE will once again be able to conduct business with American component vendors.

ZTE’s woes in the U.S. are about to come to a close. The Chinese telecommunications giant has signed an agreement with the Department of Commerce that will lift the export ban — which will allow ZTE to do business with American suppliers like Qualcomm. ZTE was issued a denial order in April after it was revealed that the manufacturer violated sanctions against North Korea  [Read More…]

U.S. government reportedly unhappy about Google’s relationship with Huawei

The U.S. is targeting Huawei again? Shocker.

Huawei has been in the United States’ crosshairs pretty much since the beginning of the year, resulting in a completely botched launch of its Mate 10 Pro flagship on U.S. carriers.

Now, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Congress is giving Google a hard time over its continued relationship with the Chinese company.

WSJ reports that Congress is unhappy with Google continuing to license the Android OS  [Read More…]

Amazon’s creating a facial recognition system the government can use

Law enforcement will be a “common use case” for the tech.

Privacy is a luxury that seems to be slipping away from our world with every day that passes, and Amazon’s currently working on a system to ensure it disappears ASAP.

According to marketing materials that the ACLU obtained, Amazon’s building a new technology called “Rekognition” that’s designed for facial tracking. Per the ACLU —

Powered by artificial intelligence, Rekognition can identify, track, and analyze people in  [Read More…]

Google needs to regulate how its computers talk to people, or the government will

Much of what Google does with AI scares people, and they will want something done.

With an AI here and AI there, here an AI there an AI everywhere an AI, Old McGoogle has a new farm. One it has been working on for a long time and still isn’t finished with. Making computers in secret server rooms teach themselves how to act like people. Notice I said act and not think; AI and Machine Learning aren’t  [Read More…]

ZTE is DOA, but has the U.S. government gone too far?

ZTE no longer has a viable smartphone program thanks to U.S. sanctions, but was it a fair decision?

The U.S. government has basically killed ZTE’s smartphone business by blocking access to Google’s services. There are a lot of headlines that talk about the ban in different ways, but when you get right down to the nitty-gritty that is what you are left with.

The short version is this: ZTE was caught (and admitted to) selling mobile equipment  [Read More…]

Why does the U.S. government mistrust Huawei and not ZTE or Lenovo?

Some companies make phones but some companies make the parts used to make them, too.

Huawei’s big plans to make a breakthrough into the U.S. smartphone market have been crushed. There’s no gentle way to say that, so I’ll just say it.

As CES 2018 was drawing to a close, AT&T and Verizon, which were both all but confirmed to be “official” carriers of the Mate 10 Pro, both announced that they wouldn’t be selling any Huawei  [Read More…]

A 5G network owned by the United States government? It’s not going to happen.

Image source: Wikimedia

The U.S. government considering its own 5G network is nothing new, frightening, or likely to happen.

Could the Trump White House be pondering a nationalized 5G network? Yes, it’s distinctly possible. But it’s also highly unlikely to happen and the story is being blown dramatically out of proportion.

The latest Twitterverse kerfuffle was kicked up by an Axios report alleging consideration of “an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation’s mobile  [Read More…]

We need restrictions on government surveillance, not limits on Google Assistant or Alexa

We all want to preserve our civil liberties, so let’s tackle the real offenders instead of Assistant and Alexa.

Last week, Ava Kofman wrote an interesting yet terrifying piece in The Intercept about Voice RT. You’ve probably never heard of Voice RT before because it’s been one of those things the U.S. Government does in secret; in this case, it was developing technology that can positively identify someone by the sound of their voice. Be sure to  [Read More…]

New bill aims to block U.S. government agencies from communicating over Huawei or ZTE network equipment

H.R. 4747 wants to stop government contracts with telecom companies that use equipment from Huawei or ZTE.

Huawei and ZTE are familiar around these parts because they make some pretty good Android phones, but the bulk of their business comes from the networking equipment the two companies manufacture and sell. Worldwide, both Huawei and ZTE are known for providing equipment like network switches that perform well and aren’t crazy expensive. Their gear is popular, with Huawei being  [Read More…]