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Damn you, Black Friday! Target has confirmed that criminals attacked their customer information system Thanksgiving week, stealing credit card and personal data from nearly 40 million customers. The theft continued until December 15. The information stolen included customer names, credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and three-digit security codes. Online customers, however, were safe. Authorities are investigating, but in the meantime, Target is urging customers to be vigilant about fraud during this holiday season “by regularly reviewing [their] account statements and monitoring free credit reports.” Read about it here…[NYT]

Big changes could be coming to the National Security Administration (NSA) and the tactics they use to obtain information, thanks to a new set of recommendations issued by the White House intelligence task force. The panel was created by President Obama in light of Edward Snowden’s leaks. Some reforms proposed range from stronger whistleblower protections to instituting point persons who focus specifically on citizens’ privacy interests. Here are six things you need to know about the recommended changes…[ThinkProgress]

And speaking of the NSA…Russian President Vladimir Putin ensured the public that his government is not working with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, but not before defending or dissing President Obama over his spying program. “How do I feel about Obama after Snowden’s revelations? I envy him, because he can get away with it,” Putin said during a Thursday news conference in Russia. Burn or compliment? We’re not sure. [USAToday]

Wait, did the Senate just agree on something? Congress has passed a government spending plan that will prevent an imminent government shutdown, with the Senate voting 64-36 on Wednesday. The compromise federal budget framework will be sent to President Barack Obama, who has signaled his support. [CNN]


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