The Switchboard: Google’s floating barge is on the rocks

December 10, 2013

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

Google barge on 'hiatus' amid scrutiny from two agencies. A San Francisco conservation agency, along with the Coast Guard, is eyeing Google's floating barge project, CNET reports. "BCDC has said repeatedly that Google has yet to officially request a permit to dock the barge in San Francisco, something that may well be required under state law. Perhaps even more problematic, BCDC is now considering whether it will require Google to obtain a permit if it wants to continue construction at the Treasure Island site."

Chinese hackers spied on Europeans before G20 meeting: researcher. "Chinese hackers eavesdropped on the computers of five European foreign ministries before last September's G20 Summit, which was dominated by the Syrian crisis, according to research by computer security firm FireEye Inc," Reuters reports. "For about a week in late August, California-based FireEye said its researchers were able to monitor the "inner workings" of the main computer server used by the hackers to conduct their reconnaissance and move across compromised systems."

FCC halts AT&T plan to stop certain discounts. "The Federal Communications Commission on Monday suspended AT&T Inc.'s plan to stop offering long-term discounts on special access plans," the Wall Street Journal reports. "The program provides higher-capacity data and voice services to businesses, ATMs and other users. AT&T filed new tariffs last month seeking to discontinue special access plans over three years, as part of the company's strategy to transition to newer, Internet Protocol-based technology."

Google spots unauthorised French government registered certificates."An intermediate certificate authority (CA) registered to the French Ministry of Finance issued rogue certificates for several Google domains without authorization," according to Computerworld. "The intermediate CA certificate involved in the incident had been issued to the Direction générale du Trésor, the Treasury department of the French Ministry of Finance."

Snapchat, U.S. messaging service startup, files for restraining order. "Snapchat, a service that allows users to exchange fleeting photo messages, has filed for a temporary restraining order against Frank Reginald Brown, who claims he came up with the idea for the company," Reuters reports. "Snapchat said Brown disclosed confidential information about the company to the media, according to court documents filed in California on Friday."

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post.
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