Articles by date

03 July 2019

Luxembourg's ccTLD Passes 100,000 Registrations

Luxembourg’s ccTLD passed the 100,000 domain name registrations mark in June. It’s far from one of the biggest ccTLDs, but then, Luxembourg isn’t one of the biggest countries with less than 600,000 people. It was also announced that the ban on one- and two-character .lu domain names will be lifted and available for registration in the first half of 2020.

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China Snares Tourists' Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App (New York Times)

Border authorities routinely install the app on the phones of people entering the Xinjiang region by land from Central Asia, gathering personal data and scanning for material considered objectionable.

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02 July 2019

ICANN Renews PIR's .ORG Agreement

Last week Public Interest Registry, the .org top-level domain registry, announced ICANN had renewed their .ORG Registry Agreement which is now consistent with the standard registry agreements already in place for more than 1,200 other top-level domain extensions in the marketplace.

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The Government Cut Their Internet. Will Abuses Now Remain Hidden? (New York Times)

With ethnic conflict spreading in Rakhine State in Myanmar, a government-led online shutdown could hide human rights abuses and leave vulnerable populations in the dark.

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What Trump's Huawei Reversal Means for the Future of 5G (New York Times)

Huawei is the top threat to American dominance in wireless technology. And the U.S. is woefully, even disgracefully, behind.

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Facebook ban on white nationalism too narrow, say auditors (The Guardian)

Facebook’s new policy banning white nationalism from its site has been undercut by the company’s decision to ignore content that does not use the term “white nationalism”, according to an external audit.

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30 June 2019

The Worm That Nearly Ate the Internet: It infected 10 million computers. So why did cybergeddon never arrive? (New York Times)

Just over 10 years ago, a unique strain of malware blitzed the internet so rapidly that it shocked cybersecurity experts worldwide. Known as Conficker, it was and remains the most persistent computer worm ever seen, linking computers with Microsoft operating systems globally, millions of them, to create a vast illicit botnet, in effect, a black-market supercomputer. That much power controlled by its unknown maker posed an existential threat not just to any enterprise connected to the web, but to the internet itself.

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29 June 2019

Introducing Equiano, a subsea cable from Portugal to South Africa (Google)

Today we are introducing Equiano, our new private subsea cable that will connect Africa with Europe. Once complete, Equiano will start in western Europe and run along the West Coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa, with branching units along the way that can be used to extend connectivity to additional African countries. The first branch is expected to land in Nigeria. This new cable is fully funded by Google, making it our third private international cable after Dunant and Curie, and our 14th subsea cable investment globally.

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French online hate speech bill aims to wipe out racist trolling (The Guardian)

France’s tough new law against online hatred aims to wipe out racist and homophobic trolling on social networks and could be replicated across Europe, according to the politician spearheading it as she faces daily racist abuse on Twitter.

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26 June 2019

Regulators Have Doubts About Facebook Cryptocurrency. So Do Its Partners. (New York Times)

One of the biggest selling points of Facebook’s ambitious plans for its new cryptocurrency, Libra, was that the social media company had 27 partners, including prominent outfits like Visa, Mastercard and Uber, helping out on the project.

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In a world first, Facebook to give data on hate speech suspects to French courts (Reuters)

In a world first, Facebook has agreed to hand over the identification data of French users suspected of hate speech on its platform to judges, France’s minister for digital affairs Cedric O said on Tuesday.

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25 June 2019

DomainTools Appeals To Seek To Continue Flouting .NZ Whois Terms of Use

Lawyers for DomainTools and .NZ’s Domain Name Commission (DNCL) slugged it out for another round in the US courts recently as DomainTools appealed a preliminary injunction that prevented them from creating a shadow database of .nz registrant data. The case is likely to have wide ranging implications on registrant data collected by top-level domain registries and how that data can be used by third parties such as DomainTools. It’s believed the DNCL is the only TLD registry to initiate proceedings against a company like DomainTools since the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018.

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How E-Commerce Sites Manipulate You Into Buying Things You May Not Want (New York Times)

When potential customers visit the online resale store ThredUp, messages on the screen regularly tell them just how much other users of the site are saving.

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If Facebook or Google create their own currency, they can control our lives (The Guardian)

Dystopian fiction – from Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange to Russell T Davies’s spectacular recent BBC1 series Years and Years – is usually intended to take elements of the present and then imagine a future in which they have become inescapable, so as to warn us of what might already be in our midst.

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24 June 2019

auDA Announces Updates on Second Level Registrations

Second level .au registrations are coming later this year and last week auDA, the .au policy and regulatory body, announced the cut-off dates determining which priority category an existing third level .au domain name is assigned to.

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Internet of Things Technology Will Connect Highways, Street Lights, and Vehicles (IEEE)

As more and more intelligent cars and autonomous vehicles hit the road, some engineers are thinking about what can be done to smarten up the streets on which they travel.

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23 June 2019

To Take Down Big Tech, They First Need to Reinvent the Law (New York Times)

When Americans fear the future, they turn to antitrust action. It happened in the 1890s, when the United States was rapidly moving from a farming economy to an industrialized one. It happened again in the late 1940s, when nuclear war seemed imminent. And it is happening now, as big technology companies work on artificial intelligence that threatens to create a world where human beings are eternal losers.

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Americans 60 and older are spending more time in front of their screens than a decade ago (Pew Research Center)

For older Americans, leisure time looks different today than it did a decade agoThe amount of time that Americans ages 60 and older spend on their TVs, computers, tablets or other electronic devices has risen almost half an hour per day over the past decade, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, even as screen time among younger people has more or less held steady.

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Libra cryptocurrency: dare you trust Facebook with your money? (The Observer)

We’ve known for ages that somewhere in the bowels of Facebook people were beavering away designing a cryptocurrency. Various names were bandied about, including GlobalCoin and Facebook Coin. The latter led some people to conclude that it must be a joke. I mean to say, who would trust Facebook, of Cambridge Analytica fame, with their money?

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U.S. Carried Out Cyberattacks on Iran (New York Times)

United States Cyber Command on Thursday conducted online attacks against an Iranian intelligence group that American officials believe helped plan the attacks against oil tankers in recent weeks, according to people briefed on the operation.

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Facebook's plan to break the global financial system by Evgeny Morozov (The Guardian)

What should we make of Facebook’s sudden foray into the world of digital money? Just as regulators were beginning to wake up from their self-induced coma to discover that Facebook has grown too fast and too big for its own good, the company has decided to redouble its unbending commitment to “moving fast and breaking things”. The good old days when Facebook was merely breaking privacy and elections are now gone – and we’ll surely miss them. But how could they compete with the chance of breaking – once and for all – the global financial system?

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Facebook usage falling after privacy scandals, data suggests (The Guardian)

Facebook usage has plummeted over the last year, according to data seen by the Guardian, though the company says usage by other measures continues to grow.

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21 June 2019

30 years since Australia first connected to the internet, we've come a long way (The Conversation)

When Australia joined the global internet on June 23, 1989 – via a connection made by the University of Melbourne – it was mostly used by computer scientists. Three decades later, more than 86% of Australian households are connected to the internet.

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20 June 2019

Slack Wants to Replace Email. Is That What We Want? (New York Times)

As the office chat start-up prepares to go public, some of us are still figuring out how available we want to be — and whether it’s O.K. to ping the C.E.O.

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Activists urge Google to break up before regulators force it to (Reuters)

Shareholder activists on Wednesday urged Google parent Alphabet Inc to break itself up before regulators force the world’s biggest internet ad seller to split into different pieces.

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