Morning Security Brief: U.K. Blocks Extradition of Hacker, Justice Fights Lawsuit, the EU Scolds Google, and More

By Teresa Anderson

►The United Kingdom has blocked the extradition of a British citizen accused of hacking into U.S. military and NASA sites in the United States. According to the Associated Press, Gary McKinnon, an unemployed computer administrator, allegedly hacked into U.S. Army networks, causing $900,000 worth of damage. He also altered computer systems at a New Jersey naval weapons station, which tracks U.S. Navy ships. U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May announced that she opposed the extradition because of the new powers granted the U.S. government after 9-11 to “fast-track” cases and said she would also fight extradition of U.K. citizens for crimes committed mainly in the U.K.

► The U.S. Justice Department has filed a motion in federal court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the House Oversight Committee that seeks to force the Obama administration to release its internal records on Operation Fast and Furious. The administrative branch has refused to release the information citing national security interests. In the motion, the administration argues that solving the impasse in the courts would imperil the separation of powers. The motion states: “The combination of robust alternative remedies and the historical absence of involvement by the Judiciary have provided incentives for both branches to work in earnest through the process of negotiation, accommodation, and ultimate resolution. That process would unravel if courts were available to dictate what information may be demanded or withheld.”

►The European Union has ordered Google to publicly endorse privacy principles, give users greater control over their personal information, and comply with EU data protection laws. The order follows a March 2012 decision by Google to allow the company to combine user data across Internet services and create profiles of users. The orders says: “As data protection regulators, we expect that Google take the necessary steps to improve information and clarify the combination of data, and more generally ensure compliance with data protection laws and principles.”

►The U.S. Department of Labor has launched the Worksite Flexibility Toolkit, a Web page to provide information on workplace flexibility. Announced to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the site contains links to 172 sources, including legislation, case studies, fact sheets, reports, and news articles.



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