Articles by date

13 December 2018

The view from inside Facebook: Professor Jonathan Zittrain discusses social media giant's 'long year' with head of global policy management (Harvard Law Today)

At a time when social media affects everything from our private lives to our public discourse, the rules governing online behavior are increasingly under scrutiny. At Facebook, the process behind those rules — how they are determined, and how they continue to change — is the province of Monika Bickert, the head of global policy management.

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12 December 2018

Can China have difficult conversations about the internet? (Brookings)

Attending China’s World Internet Conference—China’s annual showcase for its vision of internet governance—was preceded by the irony of preparing to minimize connection to the internet. I took none of my usual devices. Instead, I rented a smartphone for a week and installed a minimal number of apps, including a virtual private network (VPN) service before leaving. I set up a temporary email account. I took a “thin client” office laptop with a secure VPN connector and nothing on its hard drive.

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It's time to strengthen global digital cooperation (World Economic Forum)

Digitalization transforms, pervades and affects all aspects of our social, economic and political lives. These impacts span a wide range of issues, which through digitalization become increasingly interconnected and interdependent. However, at the global level, these issues are addressed by institutions that were founded in the 19th and 20th centuries, and which are often incapable of ensuring effective cooperation between the relevant international actors.

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UN Promotes Technological Developments for SDGs (SDG Knowledge Hub)

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution asking key UN bodies for updated findings on the impact of key technological changes vis-a-vis the 2030 Agenda, for discussion at the fourth annual UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI Forum). The UN also recently announced that over half the world is using the internet, held a high-level briefing on frontier technologies for sustainable development, and convened a forum on internet governance.

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NetBlocks and the Internet Society launch tool to calculate the cost of Internet censorship worldwide (Internet Society)

The civil society group, NetBlocks, and the Internet Society, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to the open development, use and evolution of the Internet, have partnered up to build a tool to better measure the cost of Internet disruptions.

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11 December 2018

Social media outpaces print newspapers in the U.S. as a news source (Pew Internet)

More Americans get news often from social media than print newspapersSocial media sites have surpassed print newspapers as a news source for Americans: One-in-five U.S. adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than the share who often do so from print newspapers (16%) for the first time since Pew Research Center began asking these questions. In 2017, the portion who got news via social media was about equal to the portion who got news from print newspapers.

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Is Screen Time Bad for Kids' Brains? (New York Times)

A generation ago, parents worried about the effects of TV; before that, it was radio. Now, the concern is “screen time,” a catchall term for the amount of time that children, especially preteens and teenagers, spend interacting with TVs, computers, smartphones, digital pads, and video games. This age group draws particular attention because screen immersion rises sharply during adolescence, and because brain development accelerates then, too, as neural networks are pruned and consolidated in the transition to adulthood.

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Two years after #Pizzagate showed the dangers of hateful conspiracies, they're still rampant on YouTube (Washington Post)

A year after YouTube’s chief executive promised to curb “problematic” videos, it continues to harbor and even recommend hateful, conspiratorial videos, allowing racists, anti-Semites and proponents of other extremist views to use the platform as an online library for spreading their ideas.

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Pew: 37% of technologists don't think AI will improve lives by 2030 (Venture Beat)

About 37 percent of technologists believe that most people won’t be better off in the next 10 years as a result of advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies. That’s according to a Pew Center Research survey of more than 979 developers, business executives, and policy leaders, the results of which were published today to coincide with a presentation at the Our People-Centered Digital Future conference in San Jose, California.

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Turns Out, Willy-Nilly Blocking of URLs Doesn't Stop Film Piracy (Gizmodo)

The most expensive film ever made in India is out around the globe, and its producers are very serious about shutting down piracy of the film. So serious that they were able to obtain a court order forcing local internet providers to block 12,564 domain names—many of which aren’t even registered. It appears this brute-force approach to piracy didn’t even work.

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High-Level Cybersecurity Meeting Warns of Dire Effects of Cyberattacks on Prosperity, Innovation and Global Collaboration (World Economic Forum)

Cyberattacks are increasing in volume and sophistication, affecting an ever-greater number of people and institutions. Through artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and other new technologies, the threat surface and vulnerability are growing, spinning out in new threat areas facing citizens, consumers, companies and countries. To fight increasing cybercrime, the global community needs to overcome three major challenges: lack of trust, lack of cooperation and a lack of adequate skills.

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Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They're Not Keeping It Secret (New York Times)

Dozens of companies use smartphone locations to help advertisers and even hedge funds. They say it’s anonymous, but the data shows how personal it is.

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Australian watchdog wants a regulator for dominant Google, Facebook (Reuters)

We need new laws to monitor and curb the power wielded by Google, Facebook and other powerful digital platforms, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

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Australia's war on encryption: the sweeping new powers rushed into law: Australia has made itself a global guinea pig in testing a regime to crack encrypted communication (The Guardian)

In the hit US TV series The Wire police are initially baffled when the criminal suspects they are investigating begin to communicate through photographic messages of clock faces.

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The internet is going to hell and its creators want your help fixing it (The Register)

If ever there was doubt that 2018 is the year of fear, it was confirmed by a panel discussion involving the two men that are credited with inventing the internet and the world wide web.

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10 December 2018

'Outlandish' encryption laws leave Australian tech industry angry and confused (ABC News)

The Australian technology industry is "incredulous to fuming mad" after the Government's controversial encryption bill passed the Senate.

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09 December 2018

Europeans Anywhere Able To Register .EU Domains From 2019

Citizens of the European Union no matter where they reside in the world will be able to register .eu domain names in 2019, according to new rules announced on 5 December following an agreement by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission.

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ITU releases 2018 global and regional ICT estimates: For the first time, more than half of the world's population is using the Internet (International Telecommunication Union)

​​​​​​​​​ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), estimates that at the end of 2018, 51.2 per cent of the global population, or 3.9 billion people, will be using the Internet.

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07 December 2018

As Global Domain Name Registrations Slowly Rise, .NET Slides and New gTLDs Growing: Verisign

Globally domain name registrations grew to approximately 342.4 million at the end of the third quarter of 2018, an increase of approximately 2.6 million, or 0.8%, compared to the second quarter of 2018, according to Verisign's latest Domain Name Industry Brief. In the 12 months to the end of the third quarter registrations grew by approximately 11.7 million, or 3.5%.

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Australian Government Passes Contentious Encryption Law (New York Times)

The Australian Parliament passed a contentious encryption bill on Thursday to require technology companies to provide law enforcement and security agencies with access to encrypted communications.

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Will China's Investments Reshape Africa's Internet? (China Digital Times)

At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit, delegations from fifty-three African countries gathered in Beijing, where the Chinese government pledged to support African countries in building smart cities; enhancing the role of information communication technologies (ICTs) in safeguarding public security, counter-terrorism, and fighting crime; and expanding African countries’ efforts to uphold information security. These activities can sound uncontroversial, even commendable; but what implications do they hold for democratic freedom on the African continent?

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Huawei faces catastrophe in the technology cold war (The Guardian)

The arrest in Canada of the chief financial officer of the Chinese mobile network and handset tech firm Huawei marks a new stage in a technological cold war between western spy agencies and Beijing. This development could be catastrophic for Huawei: according to reports, the US suspects it broke sanctions by selling telecoms equipment to Iran. If that is proven, the response could exclude Huawei from many of the world’s most valuable markets.

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The End of Privacy Began in the 1960s (New York Times)

Choices that Congress made decades ago allowed tech giants to become as powerful as they are.

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Tumblr Fans Abandon Ship as Tumblr Bans Porn (New York Times)

Pornographic content, which had a large female viewer base on the site, will no longer be allowed.

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06 December 2018

Chief censor set to reveal all about Kiwi teens' harmful porn habits (Stuff)

Pornography is shaping children's attitudes towards sex and leading to increased child on child assault, research reveals.

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