Articles by date

16 November 2019

China's Internet Is Flowering. And It Might Be Our Future. (New York Times)

The HeyTea shop in the Chaoyang district of Beijing is an expression of svelte minimalism, its LED lettering and black tiles giving off a vaguely retro vibe. On a recent weekend, one of the last truly warm days of early fall, the location was full of upmarket customers — families with strollers, Gen Z-ers in knockoff Supreme streetwear — enjoying the popular cheese tea. On the front facade, right by the door, an illustration of a hand holding a phone displayed a two-dimensional bar code, or QR code. “Scan the code to avoid lines,” a sign read.

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Online Cesspool Got You Down? You Can Clean It Up, for a Price (New York Times)

A decade ago, an internet video start-up called Hulu boldly declared an end to the era of paid TV. The company announced that users would be able to watch their favorite shows over the internet, “anytime, anywhere, for free.”

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Pope tells tech companies they are responsible for child safety (Reuters)

Pope Francis said on Thursday that technology company executives and investors must be held accountable if they put profit before the protection of children, including from easy access to pornography on the web.

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15 November 2019

The Real Fight for the Future of 5G: Who Will Patrol the Borders of a New Network? (Foreign Affairs)

In late October, Germany and China began commercial-scale rollouts of 5G, the wireless technology infrastructure that is transforming the way the world computes. Machines and people will still talk to each other over the borderless network we call the Internet. But with 5G, a new networking infrastructure is emerging, dependent on the Internet but distinct from it and subject to much more government and private control.

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14 November 2019

U.S. Supreme Court To Decide If Adding .COM Makes A Protected Trademark

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal to decide if adding “.com” to a generic term can make it trademarkable. The case involves the online hotel reservation site who was prevented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from trademarking the site’s name as it was too generic to deserve legal protection, reports Reuters.

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Facebook says it removed 3.2B fake accounts in 6 months (Associated Press)

Facebook says it removed 3.2 billion fake accounts from its service from April to September, up slightly from 3 billion in the previous six months.

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PIR Eyeing Growth Opportunities Following Ethos Capital Takeover

Public Interest Registry and the Internet Society announced Wednesday that they had agreed for PIR, the .org registry, to be taken over by Ethos Capital, an investment firm, based in the United States.

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13 November 2019

Microsoft tops list of the most 'just' US corporations (Al Jazeera)

With capitalism widely under fire in the United States for its contributions to widening wealth inequality and a deepening climate crisis, many Americans have called for major structural change.

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Far right 'use Russian-style propaganda to spread misinformation' (The Guardian)

Misinformation techniques first deployed by Russian agents are now more commonly used in Britain by the far right, as well as by politicians to convince their own voters, an audience in Oxford has been told.

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12 November 2019

A.I. Systems Echo Biases They're Fed, Putting Scientists on Guard (New York Times)

Researchers say computer systems are learning from lots and lots of digitized books and news articles that could bake old attitudes into new technology.

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Where 8channers Went After 8chan (Slate)

The notorious troll board is back online with a new name—but its racist users didn’t just find new homes. They found new ways to gather.

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Study: Russia's web-censoring tool sets pace for imitators (Associated Press)

Russia is succeeding in imposing a highly effective internet censorship regime across thousands of disparate, privately owned providers in an effort also aimed at making government snooping pervasive, according to a study released Wednesday.

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Explosive Allegations Made Against Directors Of Wasteful Spending As auDA Gets Second Choice Chair

It was supposed to be a new beginning. But on the day when a new auDA Board, including a new Chair, was announced, it appears there are still recriminations from those in the past with explosive allegations of what could at worst amount to corruption by outgoing directors. Not only that, the new Chair was second choice, with the first choice as Chair overruled due to what can be best described as a personality conflict.

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11 November 2019

Business Slow On The Uptake In Securing Their Domain Names With Registry Locks

The option of reducing the risk of domain names being hijacked by cybercriminals by signing up to a Registry Lock has been available through many top-level domains for several years now, but the uptake among brands, to which they are mostly aimed, has been very slow. This is the subject of a recent blog post from SIDN, the manager for the Netherlands ccTLD .nl, who note that only 150 of the 5.8 million .nl domain names are secured with .nl Control, SIDN’s name for their Registry Lock.

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ICANN Announces First Meeting Location For 2022, Third For San Juan

ICANN announced at their public meeting last week in Montreal that the first meeting of 2022, ICANN73, will be held at the Puerto Rico Convention Center from 5 to 10 March. It will be the third meeting to be held in San Juan with previous meetings held in June 2007 (ICANN29) and March 2018 (ICANN61).

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Child Abusers Run Rampant as Tech Companies Look the Other Way (New York Times)

Though platforms bar child sexual abuse imagery on the web, criminals are exploiting gaps. Victims are caught in a living nightmare, confronting images again and again.

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09 November 2019

China kicks off work on 6G research, state media say (Reuters)

China has officially started researching sixth-generation telecoms technology, state media reported on Thursday, a move it described as aiming to promote the latest wireless innovation.

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Why Spy on Twitter? For Saudi Arabia, It's the Town Square (New York Times)

In Saudi Arabia, where a relatively closed culture leaves citizens few public forums to discuss news and politics, Twitter has become a kind of town square, the place where citizens meet to swap information and debate the latest issues.

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Short-Lived Domains Play Major Part In Phishing Campaigns: Akamai

The latest Akamai State of the Internet report focuses on phishing and includes how short-lived domain names play their part. Phishing is a huge cost to brands large and small, and even individuals. Ever escalating defences against phishing are being met with ever escalating efforts by criminals with phishing having “evolved from being an email-based attack to one that now includes mobile devices and social media. This evolution is leveraging the world’s increasingly connected existence as a means of rapid propagation. This means that criminals now have more options when it comes to targeting their victims.”

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08 November 2019

Social media are a growing conduit for electoral manipulation and mass surveillance (Freedom House)

Governments around the world are increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year, according to Freedom on the Net 2019, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment of internet freedom, released today by Freedom House.

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07 November 2019

Privacy protection essential to shield human rights, says Microsoft's Smith (Reuters)

Microsoft President Brad Smith said on Wednesday a “new wave” of data privacy protection and other security measures was needed to safeguard people’s rights at a time when “everything has gone digital”.

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05 November 2019

Brexit Uncertainty Continues To Hammer .EU

Registrations of .eu domain names dropped by just over 21,000 in the third quarter of 2019 according to EURid’s Q3 2019 Progress Report. Of those, registrations to British registrants declined by over 7,500 due to Brexit uncertainty.

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…from somewhere over the Rainbow

Jordan Carter and Brent Carey from .nz have organised a Rainbow Drinks event at this week’s ICANN public meeting in Montreal, Canada. Here they explain why – and what the term means.

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CIRA Announces 3 More ccTLD Partnerships With .NZ, .FI and .PL

In advance of the ICANN meeting currently underway in Montreal, Canada, the Canadian ccTLD registry CIRA announced 3 new partnerships with ccTLDs – with InternetNZ, Finland’s Traficom and Poland’s NASK. As ccTLDs find registration growth plateauing, although .ca is somewhat of an exception, there is a growth in some registries providing services to others with CIRA one of the leading providers.

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03 November 2019

This 'father of the internet' still isn’t completely sold on 5G (Fast Company)

Few living people know more about connectivity than Vint Cerf, who has long been celebrated as one of the fathers of the internet. The core Internet Protocol and Transmission Control Protocol frameworks he cowrote in the 1970s remain essential infrastructure on today’s net. So the latest round of 5G hype is just a bit less likely to wow him.

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