Articles by date

27 November 2019

Pointless emails: they're not just irritating - they have a massive carbon footprint (The Guardian)

More than 64m unnecessary emails are sent in Britain every day. Along with clogging up our inboxes they are also damaging the environment

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A 17-year-old posted to TikTok about China’s detention camps. She was locked out of her account (New York Times)

Feroza Aziz started her TikTok video like a typical makeup tutorial, telling viewers she would show them how to get long eyelashes. Then the 17-year-old stopped abruptly, calling instead on viewers to start researching the harrowing conditions facing Muslims in China’s detention camps.

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In the face of increasing digital divides and cyberattacks, UN Chief calls for transforming the Internet as a powerful force for good (United Nations)

Calling for collective responsibility to face the challenges of nefarious use of digital technology, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the fourteenth Internet Governance Forum in Berlin, Germany, that the growing frequency and severity of cyber-attacks are undermining trust and encouraging States to adopt offensive postures for the hostile use of cyberspace.

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26 November 2019

They Think It’s All Over. It Is Now. RIPE Allocates Final IPv4 Addresses.

Yesterday it happened. The RIPE NCC ran out of IPv4 addresses. It’s been anticipated for some time and on 25 November 2019, RIPE made their final /22 IPv4 allocation from the last remaining addresses in their available pool.

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Tim Berners-Lee unveils global plan to save the web: calls on governments and firms to safeguard it from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity (The Guardian)

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has launched a global action plan to save the web from political manipulation, fake news, privacy violations and other malign forces that threaten to plunge the world into a “digital dystopia”.

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I Invented the World Wide Web. Here's How We Can Fix It. by Tim Berners-Lee (New York Times)

My parents were mathematicians. My mother helped code one of the first stored-program computers — the Manchester Mark 1. They taught me that when you program a computer, what you can do is limited only by your imagination. That excitement for experimentation and change helped me build the World Wide Web.

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25 November 2019

PIR Addresses Concerns Over Conflicts And Registry Fee Rises Following Takeover

The announcement in mid-November that Ethos Capital, a private equity company, had bought Public Interest Registry from the Internet Society has caused some outrage from sections of the internet community over possible conflicts of interest and concerns the registry fee for .org domain names could rise significantly. To address these concerns Public Interest Registry put out a statement over the weekend addressing some frequently asked questions about the transaction with responses that they believe should provide additional clarity.

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EURid Wins Domains Award At 18th eco://awards For Domain Registration Abuse Prevention System

EURid has won the “Domains” award at the 18th eco://awards for their Domain Name Registration Abuse Prevention System it was announced Thursday. The system prevents abuse through machine learning, identifying whether a newly registered domain name is likely to be used abusively. And the day before, EURid was handing out their own awards at the .eu Gala Awards.

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Nominet Suspends 0.22% Of All .UK Domains For Criminal Activity In 12 Months

Nominet suspended 28,937 .uk domain names between 1 November 2018 and 31 October 2019, a small reduction year on year a – down from 32,813 in the previous year. This represents around 0.22% of the more than 13 million .uk domains currently registered.

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Internet Companies Prepare to Fight the 'Deepfake' Future (New York Times)

Several months ago, Google hired dozens of actors to sit at a table, stand in a hallway and walk down a street while talking into a video camera.

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Mobile Divides in Emerging Economies (Pew Internet)

Some still do not have mobile phones, and even phone owners struggle with connectivity and costs; they also face security issues

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How Iran Turned Off the Internet: Cutting off internet access isn't as easy as flipping a switch. (Slate)

Ten years ago, a Senate bill proposed by Sens. John Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe spurred considerable controversy. The bill, which never even came up for a vote, would have made it possible for the U.S. government to build an “internet kill switch” that would allow it to shut off the internet in the event of an emergency. The proposal drew significant criticism, and U.S. politicians backed off relatively quickly, but in other countries around the world, the kill switch model was—and is—very real, as Iran’s government has just demonstrated. On Nov. 16, amid widespread political protest, most of the country was cut off from the global internet. After five days of isolation, the government announced Thursday that access would be “gradually restored.”

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24 November 2019

Opinion: Blocking the Disabled on the Web Means Blocking Innovation (Wired)

Without the inspiration and innovation of two disabled individuals, the digital world likely wouldn’t be what it is today. Yet that same world so summarily excludes disabled individuals today that we’re eliminating the very people we will need to solve the web’s future problems.

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Global 5G deal poses significant threat to weather forecast accuracy, experts warn (Washington Post)

A long-awaited international deal governing how the world’s technology companies should roll out 5G technology poses serious risks to weather forecast accuracy, according to data from federal agencies and the World Meteorological Organization.

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Why Everyone Is Angry at Facebook Over Its Political Ads Policy (New York Times)

After Google announced restrictions on political advertising this week, campaign strategists in Washington quickly turned their attention to a different company: Facebook.

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22 November 2019

IG Radar: DENIC Information Platform Explains Internet Governance Processes

For the first time in the IGF history, Germany will be hosting the Annual Meeting of the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum this year. Under the overarching theme ‘One World. One Net. One Vision.’ several thousand delegates of governments and international organisations will come together from all parts of the world with international representatives from the private sector, academia, the technical sector and civil society. From 25 to 29 November they will conduct the IGF’s 14th annual dialogue about rules, values and standards for the Internet of the presence and the future on an equal footing in the German capital of Berlin.

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Iran net outage first to effectively isolate a whole nation (Associated Press)

Internet connectivity is trickling back in Iran after the government shut down access to the rest of the world for more than four days in response to unrest apparently triggered by a gasoline price hike.

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White nationalists are openly operating on Facebook. The company won't act (The Guardian)

Guardian analysis finds VDare and Red Ice TV among several outlets that are still on the platform despite Facebook’s promised ban

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21 November 2019

When Things Go Wrong for Blind Users on Facebook, They Go Really Wrong (Slate)

Last December, Tasha Chemel agreed to participate in a Facebook study. A professional academic coach at a college, Chemel had been blogging about Facebook’s problems with accessibility for blind people like her and complained directly to the company. She was used to not hearing back. But this time a Facebook envoy had humbly reached out, admitting “that Facebook is not as accessible as it should be, and the frustration with accessibility gaps you and others share with us is understandable.”

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Google and Facebook's data collection models are a threat to human rights, Amnesty International says (ABC News)

The data-collection business model fuelling Facebook and Google represents a threat to human rights around the world, Amnesty International has said in a report.

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Iran's internet blackout reaches four-day mark (BBC)

A country of 80 million people - and practically no way to get online. Iran's internet shutdown has lasted for four days now, sparking international concern.

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Big Tech's Toughest Opponent Says She's Just Getting Started (New York Times)

Margrethe Vestager won praise for her oversight of the tech industry. Now, with more authority from the European Union, she envisions a more aggressive agenda.

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American Big Tech Will Not Protect You (Brown Political Review)

For the first 15 years of the 21st century, Democrats and Big Tech seemed to get along. There was something exciting and progressive about the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos that made them distinct from the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch. They wanted to make the world more connected and to liberate us all from the bounds of society’s echo chambers. Big Tech capitalized on America’s naivety.

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20 November 2019

What Is End-to-End Encryption? Another Bull's-Eye on Big Tech (New York Times)

After years of on-and-off debate over nearly snoop-proof security, the industry is girding for new pressure from law enforcement around the world.

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The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Sir Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web - A Mid-Course Correction (BBC)

Jonathan Dimbleby introduces this year's lecture from London's Design Museum, with engineer and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee talking about his aspirations for the future of the world wide web, which he invented in 1989.

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