US Government goes into shutdown as Senate fails to pass new budget

As of 00:01 on 20th January 2018  the United States government has officially shut down after the Senate failed to pass a bill funding the government operations. On Friday night, the Republicans’ effort to keep the government open for one more month was rendered unsuccessful after the bill was rejected by a deficit of 60 votes. This happened amidst failure of the two houses to reach a consensus regarding the young illegal migrants known as dreamers.

Federal law requires agencies to shut down in the eventuality of the Congress failing to allocate money for its functioning, forcing hundreds of “non-essential” federal employees to go on a temporary unpaid leave.  Barring essential services such as national security, postal services, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity generation, most of the federal agencies are no longer functional.

The shutdown coincides with the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s Presidency. While he took to Twitter accusing Democrats of putting politics above the interests of the American people, Chuck Schumer, the leading Senate Democrat, blamed the president of turning down two bipartisan compromise deals and added that “a Trump shutdown will serve as a perfect encapsulation for the chaos he has unleashed”.

This is the first shutdown to happen in the history of the country while both the White House and the Congress is under the control of the same party. The last one was in 2013 and lasted for 16 days.

Sources – The Guardian, BBC

Apple to develop new security system for iPhone

Apple has decided to go to the next level with their latest development. Engineers at apple are working on developing a security system within the iPhone that would make it nearly impossible for the government to break the lock of the same.
According to reports, the company is very close to developing this system and if that happens then they will be throwing a big challenge to the law enforcement agencies. And in order to crack this system, the FBI would probably have to look at some other means and systems, and mostly will have to set up more court fights.
According to Benjamin Wittes, who is a senior at the Brookings Institutions, until the Congress has decided to make things clear regarding who actually is obliged in such situations, they all are in for arms race.
Companies worldwide have been in search of different software that would protect and prevent their system from hacking. However after the governments rule about surveillance these very companies are trying to step back from doing so.
In order to get access to the phone of shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, the FBI has been trying to pursue the company to change some of its passcode settings. However the company refuses to do so, in the fear of making that change threaten their other customer’s security. This according to reports has already caused a slight clash between the company and the legal system and also questions the role of the government and law enforcement officials in monitoring communications via digital medium.
As per FBI Director James Comey’s statement, all that the department wants is to try and guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly.