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Today’s top stories

Industry digest
Online gossip site, Gawker Media, has experienced a cyber attack enabling spammers to take over thousands of Twitter accounts
, reports BBC News Online. A group calling itself "Gnosis" acquired and then released a 500MB file containing Twitter user data on the file-sharing system Bittorrent. Spammers were then able to break into thousands of Twitter accounts where users had used the same or weak passwords.

 The national security adviser, Sir Peter Ricketts, has warned permanent secretaries that "hacktivists" who last week targeted the sites of companies such as MasterCard and PayPal could switch their focus to Britain. The news comes as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to appear in court today. Extra security measures have been added to selected government web services and in particular those used to claim benefits or provide tax information. See the full story in The Independent.

Google's new cloud computing operating system, ChromeOS, looks like a plan "to push people into careless computing" by forcing them to store their data in the cloud rather than on machines directly under their control, warns Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the operating system GNU. He warns that many could lose their legal right to data if it is stored on a company's machine in the cloud rather than on your own. Read the full story in The Guardian.

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The US government’s privacy board is calling out President Barack Obama for continuing to collect Americans’ phone data in bulk, a year after it urged an end to the controversial National Security Agency program, reports TheGuardian.com. The Obama administration could cease the... Read more

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Apple chief executive Tim Cook has confirmed the Apple Watch will go on sale in April, slightly earlier than anticipated, reports Telegraph.co.uk. Cook announced development of the wearable is “right on schedule” during a call with analysts in the wake... Read more

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Microsoft’s profits have fallen by more than 10% in the three months to the end of December, reports BBC.co.uk.The software giant reported a net income of $5.86bn, down 10.6% on the same quarter in 2013. Microsoft was helped by strong sales of... Read more