Articles by date

16 August 2018

Protesters Accuse Russia of Entrapping Young Critics Online (New York Times)

Hundreds of demonstrators walked through downtown Moscow on Wednesday to protest against a growing number of arrests of young Russians on extremism charges for material shared or stored on social media sites.

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15 August 2018

DomainTools Sees 1 Billionth Domain Name

There are currently around 335 million domain names registered around the world, but many domain names are deleted or expired and some are re-registered. So DomainTools has announced they’ve seen their 1 billionth unique domain name in the 17 years they’ve existed. But how many domain names that have come and gone, nobody knows.

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Cubans cheer as internet goes nationwide for a day (Reuters)

Cuba’s government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island’s more than 5 million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

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14 August 2018

So dropping a c-bomb isn't okay, but rape threats are? (Stuff)

I dream of a world where I can use the full c-word in a published sentence. Just now, I typed it out for size. It felt good. Real good.

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Inside Twitter's Struggle Over What Gets Banned (New York Times)

With his arms folded, Jack Dorsey paced back and forth in a conference room at Twitter’s headquarters on Friday afternoon.

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Facebook Banned Infowars. Now What? (New York Times)

Late on Sunday, after returning to his hotel room on a trip away from home, Mark Zuckerberg made a decision he had hoped to avoid.

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Why some computer viruses refuse to die (BBC News)

There are zombies on the internet - odd, undead lumps of code that roam endlessly seeking and finding fresh victims to infect that help keep the whole ugly horde staggering on, and on.

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Alex Jones and the Bigger Questions of Internet Governance (CATO Institute)

Last week Facebook, Google, and Apple removed videos and podcasts by the prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms (Twitter did not). Their actions may have prompted increased downloads of Jones’ Infowars app. Many people are debating these actions, and rightly so. But I want to look at the governance issues related to the Alex Jones imbroglio.

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Australia plans law for tech firms to hand over encrypted private data (Reuters)

Australia on Tuesday proposed a new law requiring technology firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook and Apple to give police access to private encrypted data linked to suspected illegal activities.

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11 August 2018

Hate speech crackdown spreads to behind-the-scenes tech (New York Times)

The tech industry’s crackdown on content from right-wing users spread this week from social media platforms to behind-the-scenes companies that do not typically take on free speech issues, a sign of heightened aggressiveness ahead of a planned far-right gathering this weekend inspired by the riots in Charlottesville.

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Blue light from phone screens accelerates blindness, study finds (The Guardian)

Scientists say they have found how blue light from smartphones, laptops and other digital devices damages vision and can speed up blindness.

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Hackers cause most data breaches, but accidents by normal people aren't far behind (ABC News)

Have you ever had your personal information leaked on the internet? Maybe it was something you purchased online from a website, only to find out that the company was hacked months later? If the answer is “yes”, you probably want to know whether the breach was reported and dealt with.

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Warning over satellite security bugs (BBC News)

Satellite systems used on aircraft, ships and by the military contain bugs that could let hackers take control of them, a security researcher has warned.

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09 August 2018

The Internet Trolls Have Won. Sorry, There's Not Much You Can Do. (New York Times)

This column is going to be a bit unusual. Typically, I write about a broad tech problem and offer some solutions. But this week, I’ve stumbled into a topic that many agree has no easy fix: online comments.

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08 August 2018

Internet use at record level but Britons are lax about web security (The Guardian)

Internet use inBritain has risen to record levels but there is a worrying lack of awareness around security, figures show.

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Bitcoin Speculators, Not Drug Dealers, Dominate Crypto Use Now (Bloomberg)

The ratio of legal to illegal activity in Bitcoin has flipped, according to Lilita Infante at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Use of online pay-to-watch TV surges ahead in UK (BBC News)

The use of commercial video streaming services has surged ahead in Great Britain, according to official figures.

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German couple jailed for selling son to paedophiles on dark net (BBC News)

A woman who sold her son to paedophiles on the dark net has been jailed for 12 years and six months by a court in southern Germany.

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Gatekeepers or Censors? How Tech Manages Online Speech (New York Times)

Apple, Google and Facebook this week erased from their services many — but not all — videos, podcasts and posts from the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars site. And Twitter left Mr. Jones’s posts untouched.

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A Generation Grows Up in China Without Google, Facebook or Twitter (New York Times)

Wei Dilong, 18, who lives in the southern Chinese city of Liuzhou, likes basketball, hip-hop music and Hollywood superhero movies. He plans to study chemistry in Canada when he goes to college in 2020.

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07 August 2018

auDA's Last Elected Demand Class Director Fed Up and Resigns

The last director with any real connection to domain name registrants at the .au policy and regulatory body, auDA, has finally succumbed to pressure and resigned today. The resignation of Tim Connell means the current management has now cleared out all dissenting independence in its policy making bodies. Given that auDA is so fond of quoting its Constitution, one wonders if they now actually have a quorum?* Connell was the sole remaining elected Demand Class Director.

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05 August 2018

ICANN Loses Another Round in Battle Over Whois and GDPR With EPAG

ICANN announced Friday they had lost another round in their battle to get EPAG, a subsidiary of Tucows, to enforce their “temporary specification” on the collection of domain name registrant data.

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Why artificial intelligence will have very human frailties (Australian Financial Review)

It's 2022 and Australia has its first artificial intelligence scandal. A freak storm has just hit Melbourne, and an algorithm designed to help emergency services deal with high volumes of requests for help has a stunning and unusual flaw – calls from men are shown to be getting attention faster than calls from women.

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Easier streaming services put dent in illegal downloading (BBC News)

Music piracy is falling out of favour as streaming services become more widespread, new figures show.

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There's ingenuity behind Apple's great success. But we must guard against its might (The Observer)

The more awesome our technological progress, the more our politicians take refuge in the familiar ideological categories of the 19th century. Last week, Apple became the world’s first trillion-dollar corporation. It, like Amazon and Google hard on its heels, offers products and services that have transformed our lives. These companies’ financial and market powers are staggering. They are the new technopolists. But how are the great things they do to be curated and enhanced and how are the menaces to be contained?

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