Articles by date

16 September 2018

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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Racism and anti-Semitism surged in corners of the Web after Trump's election, analysis shows (Washington Post)

Racist and anti-Semitic content has surged on shadowy social media platforms — spiking around President Trump’s Inauguration Day and the “Unite the Right Rally” in Charlottesville — spreading hate speech and extremist views to mainstream audiences, according to an analysis published this week.

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As Germans Seek News, YouTube Delivers Far-Right Tirades (New York Times)

A researcher found the platform’s recommendation system had steered viewers to fringe and conspiracy videos on a neo-Nazi demonstration in Chemnitz.

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Marking 20(ish) years of Google (Google)

It’s September 1998. Aerosmith is wailing “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” at the top of the Billboard Top 100. “TRL” debuts on MTV, just in time for the release of “Baby One More Time.” Buffy Summers is staking vampires in platform sandals. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are trying to out-bash each other for the home run record. “The Avengers” has just bombed at box offices. And sometime this month, Google is born.

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Browser Extensions: Are They Worth the Risk? (Krebs On Security)

Popular file-sharing site Mega.nz is warning users that cybercriminals hacked its browser extension for Google Chrome so that usernames and passwords submitted through the browser were copied and forwarded to a rogue server in Ukraine.

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How social-media platforms dispense justice: Their armies of content moderators are expanding (The Economist)

Every other Tuesday at Facebook, and every Friday at YouTube, executives convene to debate the latest problems with hate speech, misinformation and other disturbing content on their platforms, and decide what should be removed or left alone. In San Bruno, Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s boss, personally oversees the exercise. In Menlo Park, lower-level execs run Facebook’s “Content Standards Forum”.

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If Privacy Is Dead, Some Argue People Should Sell Their Own Data (Bloomberg)

If privacy is truly a thing of the past, then people should at least profit off their own personal information.

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06 September 2018

Google researchers say the tech industry has contributed to an 'attention crisis' (Washington Post)

Google released a new paper written by its own user experience researchers that delves into the reasons that we can't put down our phones, and starts to explore what companies can do about it. It also calls on the technology industry to reexamine the way it ties engagement to success — noting that capturing people's attention is not necessarily the best way to measure whether they're satisfied with a product.

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05 September 2018

Alex Jones Said Bans Would Strengthen Him. He Was Wrong. (New York Times)

After Silicon Valley internet giants mostly barred Alex Jones from their services last month, traffic to his Infowars website and app soared on the blaze of publicity — and the notorious conspiracy theorist declared victory.

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'Five Eyes' Nations Quietly Demand Government Access to Encrypted Data (New York Times)

The Trump administration and its closest intelligence partners have quietly warned technology firms that they will demand “lawful access” to all encrypted emails, text messages and voice communications, threatening to compel compliance if the private companies refuse to voluntarily provide the information to the governments.

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