Articles by date

06 July 2019

France moves to make companies block hate speech online (Associated Press)

French lawmakers have approved a measure that is intended to force search engines and social networks to take hate speech off the internet.

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As New Zealand Fights Online Hate, the Internet's Darkest Corners Resist (New York Times)

A video game that uses footage of the Christchurch massacre to put Muslims in a gunman’s cross hairs. Memes featuring the face and weapons of the man charged in that New Zealand attack. Messages on online forums that glorify him as St. Tarrant — patron saint of the far right.

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04 July 2019

Local Languages Dominate Country Code and Geo TLDs: CENTR Study

English may be the world’s lingua franca, online and offline, but when it comes to content on websites using European country code and geographic top-level domains, local languages as would be expected dominate. But the proportion of content in English and the local language varies markedly across the TLDs. And when it comes to endangered languages, as defined by UNESCO, web content is even rarer online than offline.

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'Fingerprinting' to Track Us Online Is on the Rise. Here's What to Do. (New York Times)

Advertisers are increasingly turning to an invisible method that pulls together information about your device to pinpoint your identity.

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It's not that we've failed to rein in Facebook and Google. We've not even tried (The Guardian)

In a BBC interview last week, Facebook’s vice-president, Nick Clegg, surprised viewers by calling for new “rules of the road” on privacy, data collection and other company practices that have attracted heavy criticism during the past year. “It’s not for private companies … to come up with those rules,” he insisted. “It is for democratic politicians in the democratic world to do so.”

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03 July 2019

MMX To Launch Domain Name Trademark Protection Service For Their Adult gTLDs

MMX is to launch a new blocking service that will allow trademark holders to better protect their naming rights across the four adult-themed generic top-level domains (gTLDs) they acquired in 2018 through its acquisition of ICM Registry. The new service is set to be formally unveiled to the corporate registrar channel on 15 July.

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Cloudflare Outage Causes Grief For Some Of The World's Biggest Websites For About 30 Minutes

Cloudflare, one of the world’s largest cloud network platforms, experienced an outage for around 30 minutes yesterday that led to websites for some of the world’s biggest companies going down and visitors receiving 502 errors which caused by a massive spike in CPU utilisation on their network. Cloudflare claim to provide services to over 16,000,000 “internet properties”.

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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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