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April 14, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
A certain William Wachtel, the co-founder of WhyTuesday , an election reform group chaired by former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, wrote me over the weekend to complain that I treated Young harshly by criticizing his proposal to require Social Security to issue photo IDs. I called it "a terrible idea. " Norman Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute and another co-founder of WhyTuesday, also defended the proposal, which Young mentioned at an event last week marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Ornstein mounted his defense via Twitter , which only made Young's idea sound even shallower and more foolish.  What these gentlemen failed to do is explain why requiring Social Security to issue photo IDs is not a terrible idea.
April 13, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Paul Richter
MOSCOW - Vowing that the Russian takeover of Crimea would not be repeated elsewhere in the east of his country, Ukraine's interim president gave separatists until Monday to lay down their arms and surrender government buildings they have seized or face a crackdown by military forces. Those separatists who don't fire on security forces and who surrender their weapons will not be prosecuted, President Oleksandr Turchynov said Sunday. "The Council of National Security and Defense has decided to carry out a large-scale anti-terrorist operation with the use of armed forces of Ukraine," Turchynov said in a televised address Sunday afternoon.
April 13, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The discovery of the Heartbleed bug, an online security flaw that's alarmingly widespread, was just the latest reminder of how vulnerable Internet users are to the mistakes made by others. In this case, a programming error in a supposedly secure Internet communications protocol allowed hackers to steal passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information from websites for up to two years before the problem was found. A new version that removed the bug quickly became available, but even if Internet users change their passwords and credit card numbers, their personal information will still be up for grabs until the websites they used for banking, shopping and services install the update.
April 13, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
A high-stakes battle is underway in Washington over launching the U.S. government's most sophisticated national security satellites. Space entrepreneur Elon Musk is pitted against the nation's two largest weapons makers, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., in a fight for military contracts worth as much as $70 billion through 2030. For eight years, the Pentagon has paid Boeing and Lockheed - operating jointly as United Launch Alliance - to launch the government's pricey spy satellites without seeking competitive bids.
April 11, 2014 | By Myscha Theriault
Any traveler can get distracted - in fact, it's the rare traveler who doesn't. But when your attention is focused on other things, you may be leaving yourself wide open to theft and data breaches. From stashing your cash to selecting luggage, here are some of my favorite security solutions. How to carry cash: Carrying limited currency and keeping it in multiple locations keep your theft risk manageable. The storage strategies are as varied as the types of currencies you could carry, but a few stand out as being particularly secure.
April 11, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
Some Democrats have suddenly embraced the old notion of turning Social Security cards into national photo IDs. The goal is to undermine Republican voter suppression efforts that rely on demanding government-issued photos, by making these universally available. What a terrible idea. First, the endorsement parade: It was started this week by former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young while attending a ceremony at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
April 10, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - A key panel of senators investigating the security of the nation's power grid Thursday had mostly softball questions for utility executives and regulators about exposure to assaults like the one by gunmen last year that nearly knocked out electricity in Silicon Valley. Instead, the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee focused its fury on the news media. The media, declared Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), has “served to sensationalize the issue of physical grid security instead of helping protect the grid from attack.” Recent coverage of the April 2013 attack near San Jose, in which a pair of gunmen shot up several transformers at a substation and then escaped into the night, has unnerved utility officials and regulators.
April 9, 2014 | Chris O'Brien and Salvador Rodriguez
The discovery of a significant flaw in software that was supposed to provide extra protection for thousands of websites has thrown the tech world into chaos as experts scrambled to understand the scope of the vulnerability. On Tuesday, Tumblr, owned by Yahoo Inc., became the largest website to disclose that it had been hit by the "Heartbleed Bug" and urged users to change not just the password for its site but for all others as well. Signaling just how much uncertainty and confusion surrounds the glitch, security experts warned that such a gesture might actually be useless because if a site has not fixed the problem hackers could just as easily steal the new password.
April 7, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Adam Crain assumed that tapping into the computer networks used by power companies to keep electricity zipping through transmission lines would be nearly impossible in these days of heightened vigilance over cybersecurity. When he discovered how wrong he was, his work sent Homeland Security Department officials into a scramble. Crain, the owner of a small tech firm in Raleigh, N.C., along with a research partner, found penetrating transmission systems used by dozens of utilities to be startlingly easy.
April 6, 2014
Re "Hands off those photos," Editorial, April 3 Count me among those who have encountered security hysteria for taking pictures. In 2004, I stood in a broad, traffic-free street in a river-adjacent industrial zone of my hometown of Memphis, seeking to capture the beautiful, auburn-streaked patina of a huge, unpainted storage tank. An overzealous security guard called 911 to report a frighteningly skinny, 60-year-old white man in shorts, who might be a terrorist hell-bent on blowing up thousands of gallons of maybe cottonseed oil or rendered animal fat. Memphis police screamed onto the scene.
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