National Briefs: Data broker measure urged

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WASHINGTON -- Data brokers that collect, analyze and sell huge amounts of information on the activities of consumers for marketing purposes operate with "a fundamental lack of transparency," the Federal Trade Commission said in a report Tuesday.

The report is the result of a lengthy investigation of the data-broker industry, and it recommends that Congress enact legislation that requires the companies to disclose more information about themselves and the data they collect.

The legislation, the FTC recommends, should give consumers access to the information collected about them by data brokers, allow consumers to suppress information and inform consumers what inferences are being made about them.

The FTC report adds momentum to the push in Washington to put new curbs on how information collected about people is used by companies.

Police shooting upheld

WASHINGTON -- The police may use deadly force to shoot and kill a motorist who leads them on a reckless, high-speed chase, even if the suspect's car is temporarily cornered, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

In a unanimous decision, the justices threw out an "excessive force" claim brought against Arkansas police officers who chased a speeding car across the bridge into Memphis and shot the driver, Donald Rickard, when he refused to give up.

In the case decided Tuesday, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said the officers were justified in shooting the motorist because he continued to maneuver his car after he had been temporarily stopped by a squad car.

Detroit blight examined

DETROIT -- Saying that Detroit needed to rid itself of its vast collection of dilapidated houses, junk-filled lots and empty shops, the Blight Removal Task Force said Tuesday that the price tag for the cleanup would be at least $850 million, including the likely demolition of 40,000 buildings scattered around the city.

The task force also suggested that the city must deal with the hulking factories that dot Detroit -- reminders of the manufacturing prowess of a city far larger, wealthier and more vibrant than it is today.

Hacker allowed to walk free

NEW YORK -- The New York man whose cooperation helped the authorities infiltrate the shadowy world of computer hacking and disrupt at least 300 cyberattacks on targets that included the U.S. military, courts and private companies was given a greatly reduced sentence Tuesday of time served and allowed to walk free.

Federal prosecutors had sought leniency for the hacker, Hector Xavier Monsegur, citing his efforts in helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation take down an aggressive group of hackers who were part of the collective Anonymous and its splinter groups, which had taken credit for attacking government and corporate websites.

Also in the nation ...

California lawmakers Tuesday proposed expanded restraining orders and new law enforcement procedures to deter the type of violent rampages that left six young people dead over the weekend near the University of California, Santa Barbara. ... Daniel Calhoon, 19, faces criminal charges in Oregon after crashing his car, injuring himself and three others, because he passed out behind the wheel while trying to hold his breath through a nearly 800-foot-long tunnel.

-- Compiled from news services



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