U.S. Lawmakers Vote To Extend Surveillance Laws, Mud Slide Search And Rescue Continues, Mexico Names New Intelligence Chief

U.S. Lawmakers Vote To Extend Surveillance Laws, Mudslide Search And Rescue Continues, Mexico Names New Intelligence Chief, And More
  • ​​The U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend current surveillance laws without introducing new privacy safeguards championed by a bipartisan group of legislators. “The vote, 256 to 164, centered on an expiring law that permits the government, without a warrant, to collect communications from United States companies like Google and AT&T of foreigners abroad—even when those targets are talking to Americans,” according to The New York Times. “Congress had enacted the law in 2008 to legalize a form of a once-secret warrantless surveillance program created after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.”​

  • Search and rescue efforts continued for a fourth day in California as emergency crews scour debris to locate survivors of recent massive mudslides. Rescuers are searching some areas for a second time, CNN reports, attempting to locate victims in buildings that were searched immediately after Tuesday’s mudslides.

  • Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto named Alberto Bazbaz the new head of Mexico’s intelligence agency, causing outcry from citizens who consider him unfit for the position. The criticism stems from Bazbaz’s leadership of a search for a missing girl who was later found dead in her bed at her family’s apartment in Mexico City. 

  • Hackers who gained access to the U.S. Democratic Party are “laying the groundwork” for another cyber campaign against the U.S. Senate, according to a report published by Trend Micro. The hackers—known as Fancy Bear—are very active in attempting to influence public opinion, said Trend Micro security researcher Feike Hacquebord, who spoke to CNBC. “They are looking for information they might leak later.”

  • General Motors asked for U.S. government regulator’s approval to create a fully autonomous car for its 2019 commercial ride-sharing fleet, Reuters reports. The vehicle would not have a steering wheel, brake pad, or accelerator.

  • Skype is finally joining other messaging services to use end-to-end encryption to secure communications on the platform. Skype will use the Signal protocol, which WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Google Allo use, to support text, audio calls, and file transfers, according to Ars Technica.

  • In other news, Turkey warns citizens to avoid travel to the United States due to terror threats, Tunisian authorities arrest 150 people following unrest over price and tax increases, Facebook will make a major change in its news feed to shift towards personal posts, and want to know if a drone is watching you? There’s a trick for that.