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Government Agencies

July 6, 2011 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
Walter Tamosaitis, once a top engineer in the nation's nuclear weapons cleanup program, has been relegated to a basement storage room equipped with cardboard-box and plywood furniture with nothing to do for the last year. Tamosaitis' bosses sent him there when he persisted in raising concerns about risks at the Energy Department's project to deal with millions of gallons of radioactive waste near Hanford, Wash., including the potential for hydrogen gas explosions. "Walt is killing us," said Frank Russo, Bechtel Corp.'s top manager at the project, in an email to Tamosaitis' boss urging that the engineer be brought under control.
June 22, 2011 | By Janet Stobart and Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times
A 19-year-old man was arrested in Britain on suspicion of taking part in Web attacks against businesses and government agencies, authorities said Tuesday. The man, who was not immediately identified by police, was arrested on suspicion of computer misuse and fraud in Wickford, in southeastern England, by British police in cooperation with the FBI, authorities said. A police statement indicated that the suspect was being questioned at a central London police station. The accusations against him include attempting to keep computer users from accessing information or services.
June 11, 2011 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times
Spanish police on Friday arrested three alleged members of the hacker and activist group Anonymous on suspicion of taking part in online attacks against Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Network, as well as banks, businesses and government websites. Police said the three "hacktivists," whose identities have not been released, were involved in the April hacking of the PlayStation Network, an online video gaming and entertainment service that Sony suspended for more than a month after the attack.
April 14, 2011 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
Google Inc.'s big push to supply email services to governments around the country is running into headwinds both from federal agencies and its marquee client, Los Angeles City Hall. More than a year after the city awarded Google a $7.2-million contract to provide email for its 30,000 employees, Google has been unable to meet crucial security requirements, preventing nearly half of city personnel from moving to the new system, according to city officials. The city's controller has launched an inquiry, and City Council members have held closed-door meetings to confer with attorneys, raising the possibility of legal action.
March 23, 2011 | By Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
The families of eight mentally disabled adults on Tuesday sued an El Monte day care center and government agencies for allegedly failing to properly investigate their complaints about verbal, physical and sexual abuse at the facility. The families said they had complained to managers at the center, formerly known as Healthy Start, and government authorities that their adult children were delivered home late ? sometimes with bruises, scratches and skin rashes ? and that they had turned sullen, fearful and withdrawn.
March 5, 2011 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
Government agencies are demanding that the country's largest banks take major steps to improve the way they modify delinquent home loans and conduct foreclosures. The state attorneys general and federal agencies outlined the proposed overhaul in a 27-page document sent to the banks as part of efforts to settle disputes over mishandled mortgages and foreclosures, Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for Iowa Atty. Gen. Tom Miller, said Friday. "These are what we expect to be binding legal requirements of how they service loans and handle foreclosures," Greenwood said, predicting counterproposals from the banks.
February 11, 2011 | By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau
On the heels of an uprising by rookie Republican lawmakers, House leaders Friday will unveil a new budget proposal that instructs appropriators to slice deeper to reduce the 2011 budget by the $100 billion the GOP promised voters last fall. The new proposal is expected to produce steep cuts and may require job losses in government agencies, putting some elected officials in the difficult position of choosing between fiscal austerity or employment opportunity as the nation continues to struggle with high unemployment during the economic recovery.
December 12, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
According to the government, the car with the highest mileage per gallon on the market doesn't use a single drop of gasoline. The 2011 Nissan Leaf, which was scheduled to be delivered to its first California customers this weekend, runs entirely on battery. But the Environmental Protection Agency says it can travel 99 miles on the equivalent of a single gallon of fuel. Confused? You're not alone. The mileage-equivalent ratings, meant to help potential buyers compare electric cars with others in their class, are befuddling some consumers who see them as an automotive example of comparing apples and oranges.
November 28, 2010 | By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
When the Orange County Sheriff's Department launched its blog three years ago, the first entry hinted at the department's motivation for venturing into social media. "The Media's Rush to Judgment," penned by then-Sheriff Michael S. Carona, who was in the midst of a corruption scandal, addressed public perceptions surrounding a police shooting and an inmate's death at a county jail. With his blog, Carona had made an end-run around the print and electronic media that he felt had sabotaged his career, overlooked the good things his department had done and overreacted to events such as the beating death of an accused sex offender at Theo Lacy jail.
November 16, 2010
Washington is gearing up to take a more active role in regulating Internet privacy, responding to growing public concern about the amount of personal information being collected and shared without users' knowledge. There may be a role for the federal government in promoting transparency and limiting unwanted disclosures, particularly those made to government agencies. But policymakers should focus on real harms, not imaginary ones, and remember that rapidly changing technology could quickly render their strictures obsolete.
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