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Taxpayers Get an Extra Day to File After IRS Computers Fail

American taxpayers received an extra day to file their returns electronically after a computer malfunction disrupted the Internal Revenue Service’s website. The IRS said in a statement on Tuesday evening that its processing systems were back in operation, and that the new deadline was Wednesday. “This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.” Every year the IRS processes more than 120 million tax returns that arrive by mid-April and spits back some $300 billion in refunds. Last year, about 90 percent of returns submitted by April 21 were e-filed...

Mnuchin Says Taxpayers to Get Extension After IRS Site Crashes

The Treasury Department will grant extra time to U.S. taxpayers who have been unable to submit their returns electronically after a computer malfunction disrupted the IRS website. “We’ll make sure taxpayers have extensions once the system comes up to make sure they can use it and it in no way impacts people paying their taxes,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters following a Tax Day event in New Hampshire, according to the Associated Press. Every year the IRS processes more than 120 million tax returns that arrive by mid-April and spits back some $300 billion in refunds. Last year, about 90 percent of returns submitted by April 21 were e-filed, according to IRS data. Tax Day is on April 17 this year, since April 15 was a Sunday and April 16 was a holiday in Washington. “We are...

Russia Steps Up Hacking, Spurring U.S.-U.K. Warning on Risk

Russia is using compromised computer-network equipment to attack U.S. and British companies and government agencies, the two countries warned in an unprecedented joint alert. The warning on Monday came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain’s National Cyber Security Center. It included advice to companies about how to protect themselves and warned specifically of attacks on routers, the devices that channel data around a network. “Russian state-sponsored actors are using compromised routers to conduct spoofing ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations,” according to a joint statement. “Mu...

Russia starts blocking Telegram for failing to turn over encryption keys

The Russian state telecommunication regulator has began blocking Telegram as expected. This comes after the messaging company refused to give Russian security services encryption keys. The service is expected to be blocked within the coming hours. According to several reports Telegram is still operational in the country though several service providers have started blocking the company’s website. Ran by its Russian founder Pavel Durov, Telegram has over 200 million users and is a top-ten messaging service made popular by its strong stance on privacy. Telegram is recognized as an operator of information dissemination in Russia and therefore the company is required by Russian to provide keys to its encryption service to the Federal Security Service. This is so the FSS can reportedly read the...

Oracle Co-CEO Tells Trump Pentagon Cloud Plan Makes ‘No Sense’

By Gwen Ackerman and Nico Grant April 16, 2018, 5:36 AM EDT Oracle Corp. Co-Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz said she discussed the U.S. Defense Department’s cloud-computing contract with President Donald Trump, and understands that the Pentagon’s plan is to find only one provider. “It just made no sense,” she told journalists at Oracle’s offices in Petach Tikva, Israel. “I never heard of something like a single cloud and I would challenge anyone to point at a significant commercial customer who has one cloud.” Safra Catz Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg The Pentagon intends to award a single contract for multi-year cloud services. The contract could go to one team made up of multiple companies. A final request for proposals, which outlines a contract as long as 10 y...

States Want to Force Online Retailers to Collect Billions in Sales Tax

Overstock.com has a small but unmistakable advantage for anyone looking to buy a 3-cup Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor for shipment to Germantown, Maryland: Purchasers don’t have to pay the 6 percent sales tax they’d owe at a local store. That sort of discrepancy is at the heart of a multibillion-dollar U.S. Supreme Court case set for argument Tuesday. States and traditional retailers are asking the court to overturn a 26-year-old ruling that exempts many internet merchants from collecting billions of dollars in sales taxes. The 1992 decision says retailers can be forced to collect the tax only if they have a physical presence in a state, such as a store or warehouse. “That rule doesn’t make sense anymore in today’s world of e-commerce,” said Deborah White, general coun...

Trump Escalates Pressure on Russia as West Rallies Against Putin

President Donald Trump is ramping up the economic and diplomatic pressure on Russia after more than a year of bipartisan criticism — including from his own top aides — that he hasn’t done enough to confront Moscow over meddling in the 2016 election. Trump’s move on Friday to sanction dozens of Russian tycoons, companies and key allies of President Vladimir Putin are among the most significant actions to date and add to a succession of moves by the U.S. and its allies in recent weeks. The latest sanctions hit Putin allies including Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire founder and majority shareholder of En+ Group Plc, the man once married to Putin’s daughter and key public companies. “Today’s action is far and away the most significant sanctions action against Russia since the imposi...

Lockheed Gets Edict to Cut F-35’s $1.1 Trillion Support Bill

Lockheed Martin Corp. must find ways to reduce the Pentagon’s current $1.1 trillion estimate to own and operate the F-35 jet, the world’s costliest weapons program, according to the Defense Department’s latest annual program overview. According to the document, Lockheed “must embrace much-needed supply chain management affordability initiatives” to cut costs on the next-generation stealth fighter. The $1.1 trillion estimate to sustain the U.S. F-35 fleet through 2077 was compiled in 2015 by the Pentagon’s independent cost assessment office but has not been updated, according to the Selected Acquisition Report, or SAR, obtained by Bloomberg News. The Pentagon said this week that the estimate will be updated next year before acquisition officials meet to decide whether the program should ent...

California Would Require Twitter, Facebook to Disclose Bots

By Selina Wang April 3, 2018, 1:23 PM EDT California has proposed legislation that would require social platforms like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. to identify automated accounts, or bots, amid a push by state lawmakers to police the technology companies that have proven vulnerable to manipulation and the spread of fake news. Bots, which can be purchased or created by individuals or organizations, have been used to inflate influence or amplify divisive opinions in politics and national tragedies. In the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, for example, bots with suspected links to Russia released hundreds of posts to weigh in on the gun control debate. Russia-linked bots on Twitter shared Donald Trump’s tweets almost half a million times during the final months of the...

Teslas Don’t Have Black Boxes, Making U.S. Crash Probes Harder

When a Tesla Inc. Model X slammed into a concrete highway barrier in California last month, the vehicle’s computers contained a wealth of information about the moments leading to the fatal accident. The problem for U.S. accident investigators is that the information wasn’t easily accessible. The data stored on the Tesla is in a proprietary format that can only be accessed by the company. Similarly, the information the vehicles beam to Tesla computers on a regular basis can’t be obtained without the company’s cooperation. The scene where a Tesla electric SUV crashed on March 23 in California. Source: KTVU via AP Photo “It makes a challenging investigation more so,” said Peter Goelz, a former managing director at the National Transportation Safety Board who is now senior vice president at O’...

Trump’s China Concern Adds Pressure in Race to Be First With 5G

The Trump administration’s concern about China’s growing technology clout is putting even more pressure on U.S. wireless carriers in their marketing battle over which company will be the first to offer 5G. Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. are rushing to deliver fifth-generation wireless service that will perform as much as 100 times faster than 4G. At stake is the potential to grab market share in an industry where consumers are fiercely loyal to their carriers. And the companies need to upgrade their networks quickly so they can quash the idea that government should intervene to accelerate the process. “The race is really about getting that 5G icon on the handset,” said Chetan Sharma, a wireless consultant. In the consumer’s mind, 5G is way bett...

Air Force Risks Losing Third of F-35s If Upkeep Costs Aren’t Cut

The U.S. Air Force may have to cut its purchases of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 by a third if it can’t find ways to reduce operations and support costs by as much as 38 percent over a decade, according to an internal analysis. The shortfall would force the service to subtract 590 of the fighter jets from the 1,763 it plans to order, the Air Force office charged with evaluating the F-35’s impact on operations and budgets, in an assessment obtained by Bloomberg News. While the Defense Department has said it has gained control over costs for developing and producing a fleet of 2,456 F-35s for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — now projected at $406 billion — the internal analysis underscores the current and looming challenges of maintaining and operating the warplanes. It may...

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