President Obama has made it a top priority to assemble a White House-based team to fight Internet-based crime and defend the country against cyber attack, but first he has to find a person willing and able to lead the effort. Yesterday the interim cyber czar, Melissa Hathway, resigned, saying she’s frustrated over the administration’s delay in filling the post. Siobhan Gorman, intelligence correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, says some of the president’s advisers had apparently turned against Hathaway.

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Scientists working for U.S. intelligence have come up with some nifty ways to steal and communicate secrets over the years – from ball point pens that conceal tiny cameras to a freeze-dried rat with a hollow abdomen to hide information.

These days, of course, the spy game of covert communications is played out digitally, on computers, mobile phones, and the Internet.

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The Obama administration has launched Data.gov, a much-anticipated site where citizens can download raw data from federal agencies. The idea is to encourage programmers and others to make new applications and mashups based on information from such agencies as the National Weather Service, the Census Bureau, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Last week the Obama administration promised to strengthen antitrust enforcement as a means to deal with powerful companies. That would make the U.S. more aligned with the European Union, which last week fined chip maker Intel $1.45 billion for abusing its market power.

Technology companies such as AT&T, IBM and Microsoft have been the biggest antitrust targets for the government over the past several decades. In many ways, the most dominant tech firm now is Google, which is already under some scrutiny by the Justice Department. Last year the company abandoned a search partnership with Yahoo after the government threatened an antitrust lawsuit. And this year the government has opened two separate inquiries — one for Google’s book scanning project, the other related to Google sharing board members with Apple.

Will the government make Google a major antitrust target going forward? Possible but not likely, according to University of Iowa law school professor Herbert Hovenkamp.

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Library groups are urging “rigorous oversight” of Google’s agreement with authors and publishers that would allow it to put millions of books online.

Google reached an agreement last year with the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers to pursue the project. The lawsuit settlement It is awaiting a judge’s approval.

The American Library Association and Association of Research Libraries say they’re concerned Google will not safeguard readers’ privacy, and are worried Google would be the only online source for many books and academic journals.

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