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Today's Tech: Cyber Streetwise campaign launches, Obama reveals verdict on NSA, and texting slows down for the first time ever

A stroll down Cyber Street

The government's new "Cyber Streetwise" campaign launched today (opens in new tab), aimed at educating members of the public about the need for cyber security. Its cartoonish antics take users though the importance of strong passwords, secure wireless connections and proper business IT security.

The campaign seeks to draw parallels between unsafe security practices online and in people's everyday lives. The ads show people leaving their cars and houses unlocked, with signs alerting potential burglars to weaknesses in their security.

But will it have any effect?

NSA deadline

US President Barack Obama is expected to unveil reforms to the National Security Agency (opens in new tab) (NSA) that could include extended privacy protections to non-US citizens, according to sources close to the matter.

Obama is expected to announce the proposals in a speech this Friday, putting an end to speculation on what actions the US government will take in response to the spying scandal that has sullied its international reputation since last June.

"This is really crunchtime," Senator Ron Wyden, a member of the Senate intelligence committee who has advocated a major surveillance overhaul.

OMG is txting ovr?

The number of text messages sent in Britain has fallen for the first time since their invention (opens in new tab) 20 years ago, according to a major new study. Accounting firm Deloitte's annual technology predictions report has found that the number of old-fashioned texts (SMS and MMS) sent last year is estimated to have fallen by 7 billion to 145 billion.

The report, which was released on Monday, forecasts a further drop in 2014 to 140 billion.

The plummet has been attributed to the rise of Internet-based instant messaging (IM) services such as WhatsApp and Snapchat, which have exploded onto the market and changed the way mobile users are interacting.

Paul Cooper
Paul Cooper

Paul has worked as an archivist, editor and journalist, and has a PhD in the cultural and literary significance of ruins. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The BBC, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Discover Magazine, and he was previously Staff Writer and Journalist at ITProPortal.