Election officials in 21 states have been notified by the Department of Homeland Security that hackers targeted voter registration systems ahead of last year's presidential election. In most cases, the systems were not breached. A small number of networks were compromised, but those affected were not involved in the actual tallying of votes. In most of the states, the targeting involved preparatory activity, such as scanning computer systems. Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin had confirmed they had been targeted as of Friday evening.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is moving forward with its plans to accelerate drone testing in the US -- with help from technology companies including Alphabet, FedEx and Intel. The agency announced 10 states that will participate in the the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program, an effort that aims to study the potential uses of drones in agriculture, commerce, emergency management, and human transportation. The 10 pilot winners include the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, in Durant, Oklahoma; the City of San Diego, California; the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, in Herndon, Virginia; the Kansas Department of Transportation; the Lee County Mosquito Control District in Fort Meyers, Florida; the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority; the North Carolina Department of Transportation; the North Dakota Department of Transportation; the City of Reno, Nevada; and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. First announced last October, the UAS program aims to partner the FAA with local, state and tribal governments, along with private sector technology companies, to explore the integration of drone operations across industries. The program will also address public safety and security risks that go along with bringing drones into the national airspace.
On August 1st, Defense Distributed was set to upload designs of 3D-printed guns for the public to buy and download. But the day before, a Seattle judge temporarily blocked their release after seven states and Washington, DC sued the company and State Department. Today, eleven more states have joined the legal battle to stop the firearm plans from being sold online. According to the filing, amended complaint added California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia to the list of states Attorneys General opposing the release of the files. Per the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled for August 21st and the temporary restraining order has been extended until August 28th.
Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai announced his agency will investigate an issue that left AT&T customers in at least 14 states without the ability to call emergency services. Reports of the outage began on Wednesday, when law enforcement agencies and emergency response services took to social media to alert others of the issue. The disruption lasted for at least five hours before the problem was corrected. The New York Times reported the outage affected access to emergency services in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington. "Service has been restored for wireless customers affected by an issue connecting to 911," a spokesperson for AT&T told International Business Times.
Yiling Chen (email@example.com) is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Arpita Ghosh (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate professor of information science at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Michael Kearns (email@example.com) is a professor and National Center Chair of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Tim Roughgarden (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate professor of CS at Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Jennifer Wortman Vaughan (email@example.com) is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research, New York, NY.