Articles by date

21 August 2018

Microsoft says it has found a Russian operation targeting U.S. political institutions (Washington Post)

A group affiliated with the Russian government created phony versions of six websites — including some related to public policy and to the U.S. Senate — with the apparent goal of hacking into the computers of people who were tricked into visiting, according to Microsoft, which said Monday night that it discovered and disabled the fake sites.

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Let's Retire the Phrase 'Privacy Policy': People assume it means their information will be kept private. Nothing could be further from the truth. by Joseph Turow, professor of communication (New York Times)

True or false: “When a website has a privacy policy, it means the site will not share my information with other websites or companies without my permission.”

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Europe to punish sites for not removing 'illegal content' within one hour (Marketing Land)

In March of this year, the European Commission created guidelines and recommendations for the removal of “illegal content” (primarily terrorist propaganda) from websites within Europe. At the time, the rules were voluntary; now the EC is going to impose fines if publishers and tech companies fail to comply.

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Microsoft Gains Court Orders Taking Down Domain Names With Aim of Disrupting US Elections

Around the world, not just in the United States, there has been a lot of evidence of the Russian government’s involvement, directly or indirectly, in elections. This week, Microsoft announced their Digital Crimes Unit successfully executed a court order to disrupt and transfer control of 6 domain names created by a group widely associated with the Russian government and known as Strontium, or alternatively Fancy Bear or APT28.

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20 August 2018

.IE On A Roll As It Hits Quarter Million Domains

Ireland’s ccTLD hit the quarter million domain name registrations mark last week as .ie has been on a mini boom since a relaxation in eligibility rules in March. Today there are 254,400 .ie domain names registered, and 34,000 have been registered this year.

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Tech giants warn Australian govt bill opens customers up to cyber attack (The Guardian)

The peak body representing tech giants Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon has blasted a Coalition bill that would force them to assist law enforcement agencies in decrypting private communications.

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19 August 2018

How risky is the Internet? Researchers say 42% (Kaspersky)

When you visit a website, you can open your computer to a lot more danger than you might think. All sites load their own content, some load ads served by an ad network, some load content served by other sites, and some load services hosted by other sites. Often, you’re receiving a pretty motley assortment of visible and invisible code.

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Google refused an order to release huge amounts of data. Will other companies bow under pressure? (Washington Post)

It was a case that gave a new meaning to the phrase “Google search.” Earlier this year, a federal judge signed a search warrant for a windfall of private information to help find the robber responsible for a string of crimes in southern Maine.

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Egypt internet: Sisi ratifies law tightening control over websites (BBC News)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has signed a new law that tightens controls over the internet.

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17 August 2018

.NET Slide Continues As New gTLDs Rebound and Total Domain Registrations Close on 340 Million: Verisign DNIB

The number of domain names registered around the world closed in on the 340 million mark at the end of the second quarter, 2018, according to Verisign’s latest Domain Name Industry Brief, as .net registrations continued to slide and new gTLDs rebounded.

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16 August 2018

Protesters Accuse Russia of Entrapping Young Critics Online (New York Times)

Hundreds of demonstrators walked through downtown Moscow on Wednesday to protest against a growing number of arrests of young Russians on extremism charges for material shared or stored on social media sites.

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15 August 2018

DomainTools Sees 1 Billionth Domain Name

There are currently around 335 million domain names registered around the world, but many domain names are deleted or expired and some are re-registered. So DomainTools has announced they’ve seen their 1 billionth unique domain name in the 17 years they’ve existed. But how many domain names that have come and gone, nobody knows.

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Cubans cheer as internet goes nationwide for a day (Reuters)

Cuba’s government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island’s more than 5 million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

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14 August 2018

So dropping a c-bomb isn't okay, but rape threats are? (Stuff)

I dream of a world where I can use the full c-word in a published sentence. Just now, I typed it out for size. It felt good. Real good.

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Inside Twitter's Struggle Over What Gets Banned (New York Times)

With his arms folded, Jack Dorsey paced back and forth in a conference room at Twitter’s headquarters on Friday afternoon.

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Facebook Banned Infowars. Now What? (New York Times)

Late on Sunday, after returning to his hotel room on a trip away from home, Mark Zuckerberg made a decision he had hoped to avoid.

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Why some computer viruses refuse to die (BBC News)

There are zombies on the internet - odd, undead lumps of code that roam endlessly seeking and finding fresh victims to infect that help keep the whole ugly horde staggering on, and on.

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Alex Jones and the Bigger Questions of Internet Governance (CATO Institute)

Last week Facebook, Google, and Apple removed videos and podcasts by the prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms (Twitter did not). Their actions may have prompted increased downloads of Jones’ Infowars app. Many people are debating these actions, and rightly so. But I want to look at the governance issues related to the Alex Jones imbroglio.

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Australia plans law for tech firms to hand over encrypted private data (Reuters)

Australia on Tuesday proposed a new law requiring technology firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook and Apple to give police access to private encrypted data linked to suspected illegal activities.

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11 August 2018

Hate speech crackdown spreads to behind-the-scenes tech (New York Times)

The tech industry’s crackdown on content from right-wing users spread this week from social media platforms to behind-the-scenes companies that do not typically take on free speech issues, a sign of heightened aggressiveness ahead of a planned far-right gathering this weekend inspired by the riots in Charlottesville.

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Blue light from phone screens accelerates blindness, study finds (The Guardian)

Scientists say they have found how blue light from smartphones, laptops and other digital devices damages vision and can speed up blindness.

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Hackers cause most data breaches, but accidents by normal people aren't far behind (ABC News)

Have you ever had your personal information leaked on the internet? Maybe it was something you purchased online from a website, only to find out that the company was hacked months later? If the answer is “yes”, you probably want to know whether the breach was reported and dealt with.

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Warning over satellite security bugs (BBC News)

Satellite systems used on aircraft, ships and by the military contain bugs that could let hackers take control of them, a security researcher has warned.

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09 August 2018

The Internet Trolls Have Won. Sorry, There's Not Much You Can Do. (New York Times)

This column is going to be a bit unusual. Typically, I write about a broad tech problem and offer some solutions. But this week, I’ve stumbled into a topic that many agree has no easy fix: online comments.

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08 August 2018

Internet use at record level but Britons are lax about web security (The Guardian)

Internet use inBritain has risen to record levels but there is a worrying lack of awareness around security, figures show.

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