Articles by date

19 September 2018

Almost half of UK internet users 'harmed' online (BBC News)

Almost half of internet users in the UK have suffered "harm" online, suggests research.

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18 September 2018

German Courts Rebuff ICANN For Fourth Time Over WHOIS/GDPR Data Collection

ICANN has suffered another setback in its desire to continue to collect and make public domain name registrant contact details following an appeal to a German High Court who ruled against ICANN's plea to reconsider the Court's own earlier decision following the introduction of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation earlier this year.

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PIR: Worldwide Philanthropic Giving Trends from Largest Online Survey of Individual Donors

Public Interest Registry, the not-for-profit operator of the .org domain, and Nonprofit Tech for Good today [17 Sept] revealed the results of the second annual “Global Trends in Giving Report.” The report analyzes global giving through cultural, technological and geographical filters to understand how and why donors worldwide are giving to and engaging with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), nonprofits and charities.

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Instagram is supposed to be friendly. So why is it making people so miserable? (The Guardian)

For a growing number of users and mental health experts, the positivity of Instagram is precisely the problem, with its relentless emphasis on promoting ‘perfect’ lifestyles. Should everyone just stop scrolling?

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Sweden to End Twitter Experiment Letting Ordinary People Be Nation's Voice (New York Times)

It was a radical experiment in free speech, even for Sweden: Give ordinary and not-so-ordinary people the chance to be, more or less, the official voice of a nation. After seven years of Twitter posts on topics as varied as manga comics, ugly sweaters and the dangers of prescription drugs, Sweden is calling it quits.

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Access Now calls on 22 major tech companies to account for their human rights practices (Access Now)

Every day, we entrust more of our personal information to tech companies — whether it’s our internet service provider, mobile phone network, email client, social media platforms, or app maker. We depend on these companies for the services we need to work, learn, and play. And in turn, they carry an important responsibility to make sure their business practices respect our human rights.

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Ofcom to push for regulation of social networks (The Guardian)

Tech companies such as Facebook and Google could be regulated in the same way as the mobile phone and broadband industry, the head of media regulator Ofcom was expected to say on Tuesday.

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A Woman's Place Is in the Digital Revolution (Project Syndicate)

Women’s access to the Internet and mobile phones is about 85% of the level for men, on average, and a total of 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries are unconnected. Closing these gaps would enable women to seize opportunities in the industries that are shaping our collective future, benefiting all.

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16 September 2018

Wanted in the digital monopoly age - powers to curb the hold of online giants (The Observer)

One of the paradoxical things about digital technology is that while in theory it fosters competition, in practice it leads to winner-takes-all outcomes. The reasons for this are complex – they include zero marginal costs, powerful network effects, power-law distributions and technological lock-in – and need not detain us here. But we are all too familiar with the winners: Google in search; Apple’s IoS and Google’s Android in mobile operating systems; Facebook in social networking; YouTube in video; Microsoft in office software; Amazon in online retailing.

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Facebook's Crackdown on Misinformation Might Actually Be Working (Slate)

Facebook’s efforts to reduce misinformation in its news feed since the 2016 election have opened the company to all manner of criticism, including allegations of political bias from both left and right. But a new study from researchers at Stanford University, New York University, and Microsoft Research suggests they might actually be working—at least, to some extent.

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More and more governments now benchmark broadband status in their national plans, says new global report (International Telecommunication Union)

A new report issued today by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development shows that a growing number of governments now benchmark the status of broadband in their national broadband plans. This year, the report shows for the first time that at least 15 countries now have strategies in place for promoting the safe use of Artificial Intelligence.

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14 September 2018

Cyber attacks cost German industry almost $50 billion: study (Reuters)

Two thirds of Germany’s manufacturers have been hit by cyber-crime attacks, costing industry in Europe’s largest economy some €43 billion ($50 billion), according to a survey published by Germany’s IT sector association on Thursday.

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Facebook ramps up effort to combat fake images, video (Washington Post)

Facebook said Thursday it would expand its efforts to scan photos and videos uploaded to the social network for evidence that they've been manipulated, as lawmakers sound new alarms that foreign adversaries might try to spread misinformation through fake visual content.

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Use of "7 Dirty Words" Now Allowed in .US

After intervention from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Harvard University Cyberlaw Clinic, it’s now possible to register .us domain names with the “seven dirty words”.

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.NZ Wins Preliminary Injunction Against DomainTools to Keep Registrant Data Private

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission this week won a motion for preliminary injunction in a US court [pdf] to prevent DomainTools from accessing .nz’s Whois details and downloading the information into their own database.

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13 September 2018

How Game Apps That Captivate Kids Have Been Collecting Their Data (New York Times)

Before Kim Slingerland downloaded the Fun Kid Racing app for her then-5-year-old son, Shane, she checked to make sure it was in the family section of the Google Play store and rated as age-appropriate. The game, which lets children race cartoon cars with animal drivers, has been downloaded millions of times.

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The E.U. just voted to advance digital copyright rules that would force Google, Facebook and others to pay up (Washington Post)

The European Parliament approved changes to digital copyright rules Wednesday designed to protect the content of publishers and artists on the Web, advancing a contentious battle between tech companies and creative industries over the future of free expression and intellectual property online.

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12 September 2018

Has GDPR Contributed To Spam Decline? 2 Organisations Say It's Too Early To Tell

Recently threat intelligence organisation Recorded Future published a blog post suggesting “spammers are not — at least at this time — rushing to launch new campaigns because of GDPR-enforced WHOIS privacy rules.”

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RSF to launch groundbreaking global Information and Democracy Commission, 70 years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Reporters Without Borders)

Seventy years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris, the Paris-based international NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announces the formation of a panel of 25 prominent figures with the aim of drafting an International Declaration on Information and Democracy.

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Google fights plan to extend 'right to be forgotten' (BBC News)

European rules that allow individuals the "right to be forgotten" online could be extended worldwide.

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'The next billion users': Google targets India's lucrative mobile market (The Guardian)

To check Instagram at home, Laveena must stand on the edge of her terrace, arm outstretched, hoping the signal is strong enough for her phone to blink to life.

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09 September 2018

What's the biggest influence on the way we think? (Googling it won't help) (The Observer)

This is a month of anniversaries, of which two in particular stand out. One is that it’s 10 years since the seismic shock of the banking crisis – one of the consequences of which is the ongoing unravelling of the (neo)liberal democracy so beloved of western ruling elites. The other is that it’s 20 years since Google arrived on the scene.

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Twitter's Flawed Solution to Political Polarization (New York Times)

On social media, encountering opposing views can make people become even more wedded to their own.

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Joseph Stiglitz on artificial intelligence: 'We're going towards a more divided society' (The Guardian)

The technology could vastly improve lives, the economist says – but only if the tech titans that control it are properly regulated. ‘What we have now is totally inadequate’

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma, China's Richest Man, to Retire From Company He Co-Founded (New York Times)

Alibaba’s co-founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, said he planned to step down from the Chinese e-commerce giant on Monday to pursue philanthropy in education, a changing of the guard for the $420 billion internet company.

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