Articles by date

18 January 2018

Russia moves toward creation of an independent internet (Deutsche Welle)

Freedom on the internet has diminished over the years in Russia: people go to jail for posts on social media, there's a ban on VPN services and expanded data storage is hard to come by. And recent moves by the Russian government indicate that further developments are yet to come.

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ICANN Proposes Solutions To Deal With WHOIS and GDPR Conflicts

Enforcement of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming on 25 May and as of yet, ICANN still hasn’t worked out a way to deal with the conflicts between the collection of domain name registration data (WHOIS) and the requirements of GDPR.

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17 January 2018

YouTube Adds More Scrutiny to Top-Tier Videos (New York Times)

The decade-plus evolution of YouTube from repository of cat videos and pirated content to potential TV replacement hit a road bump last year when marketers discovered their advertisements were showing up next to extremist videos and other unsavory content.

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U.S. Senate, Rebuffing Privacy Concerns, Clears Path to Extend Surveillance Law (New York Times)

The Senate cleared the path on Tuesday for Congress to extend the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting bipartisan calls to first vote on amendments that would have imposed significant new privacy protections when the program sweeps up Americans’ emails.

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Flurry of Lawsuits Fight Repeal of Net Neutrality (New York Times)

The legal fight against the Federal Communications Commission’s recent repeal of so-called net neutrality regulations began on Tuesday, with a flurry of lawsuits filed to block the agency’s action.

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16 January 2018

Alexa, We're Still Trying to Figure Out What to Do With You (New York Times)

These days, you can find virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant in all sorts of things, from smart speakers and smartphones to washing machines and bathroom mirrors.

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15 January 2018

EURid Report Finds IDNs Lead to More Diverse Content

Internationalised domain names are a key component of a truly multilingual internet. It’s slow progress making the internet, and the Domain Name System, truly multilingual. The introduction of IDNs started around a decade ago with hybridised IDNs – that is the top level domain being in ASCII characters and IDN characters available for the second, or sometimes third, level.

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14 January 2018

In Some Countries, Facebook's Fiddling Has Magnified Fake News (New York Times)

One morning in October, the editors of Página Siete, Bolivia’s third-largest news site, noticed that traffic to their outlet coming from Facebook was plummeting.

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Blockchain or Blockheads? Bitcoin Mania Mints Believers and Skeptics (New York Times)

Sometimes life shows you what absurd really is. This is one of those times. I’m talking about the phenomenon known as Bitcoin, a monetary system based on computation, complex algorithms and — let’s face it — communal delusion.

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Law enforcement and private sector join forces to shut down illegal Streaming Network (Europol)

On 11 January 2018, a crime group suspected of hosting a large-scale illegal IPTV streaming business has been dismantled. The investigations were led by the Cypriot Police – Intellectual Property Crime Unit, with the support of the Cybercrime Division of the Greek Police, the Dutch Fiscal Investigative and Intelligence Service (FIOD), the Cybercrime Unit of the Bulgarian Police, Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC³) and with the support of members of the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA). In total, four individuals have been arrested and 17 houses searches have been carried out in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece.

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In Germany, online hate speech has real-world consequences: A new study finds that anti-refugee rhetoric on Facebook is correlated with physical attacks (The Economist)

... New research suggests that this digital hatred is now spilling over into the real world. A paper by Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz of the University of Warwick finds a strong association between right-wing, anti-refugee sentiment on German social-media sites and violent crimes against refugees. Using data from the Facebook page of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and statistics on anti-refugee incidents collected by local advocacy groups, the authors find that for every four additional Facebook posts critical of refugees, there was one additional anti-refugee incident. This relationship appears to be driven by violent crimes such as arson and assault, and cannot be explained by local social-media usage or demography.

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12 January 2018

How to fight the 'dark patterns' websites deploy to trick you to spend more (ABC News)

Magazine subscriptions that mysteriously end up in your online shopping cart. Items with 50 people looking at them "right now" that are still for sale weeks later — these are the internet's "dark patterns".

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Facebook: major News Feed overhaul seeks 'meaningful social interactions' (The Guardian)

Mark Zuckerberg announced a major overhaul of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that would prioritize “meaningful social interactions” over “relevant content” on Thursday, one week after he pledged to spend 2018 “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent”.

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Google Plans to Vet YouTube Premium Video Content (Bloomberg)

Google is planning a new push to vet top-tier YouTube videos that it bundles for major advertisers, people familiar with the effort said, moving to address resurgent concerns that inappropriate content is being shown alongside brand messages.

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Shareholders press Twitter and Facebook to act on fake news, hate speech and sexual harassment (Washington Post)

A group of shareholders on Thursday demanded that Facebook and Twitter disclose more information about sexual harassment, fake news, hate speech and other forms of abuse that take place on the companies’ platforms.

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Europol Hits Huge 500,000 Subscriber Pirate IPTV Operation (TorrentFreak)

A Europol-led operation involving police forces from Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands, has targeted one of the largest pirate IPTV operations in the world. At least three people have been arrested. Servers in Bulgaria and the Netherlands reportedly supplied the content to an estimated 500,000 subscribers worldwide, generating annual revenues of around five million euros.

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African Internet Governance Stakeholders Urge Governments to Put Premium on Digital Rights of Citizens (African Freedom of Expression Exchange)

The membership of the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) and other African internet governance stakeholders attending the Sixth African Internet Governance Forum has called for the prioritisation of digital rights of all citizens across the continent.

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House Extends Surveillance Law, Rejecting New Privacy Safeguards (New York Times)

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to extend the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting a push by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to impose significant privacy limits when it sweeps up Americans’ emails and other personal communications.

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Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify in Congress over extremist content (The Guardian)

Twitter, Facebook and Google are to be hauled in front of the US Congress again, to give testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for extremist content.

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10 January 2018

Internet giants not doing enough to take down illegal content - EU (Reuters)

Internet giants like Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter are not taking down illegal content from their websites fast enough, the European Union executive said on Tuesday after meeting with the companies.

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Cryptocurrency-Related Keywords Dominate .COM and .NET Registrations in December

The influence of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies continues to dominate .com and .net trending keywords according to the latest list from Verisign for the month of December.

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.PR Selects Afilias To Provide Registry Services As Afilias Suffers Security Incident

The provision of registry services for Puerto Rico's ccTLD, .pr, is now being outsourced with Afilias winning the contract to provide the services. According to an announcement from Afilias, the transition was completed on 7 January although no date was given for when the contract was signed.

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09 January 2018

Vint Cerf: In 2018, we will tackle the internet's dark side (Wired)

The internet and the world wide web have lowered the barriers to broadcast communication to nearly zero. In the past, you had to have a broadcast licence and a lot of money to run a television station, a radio station, a newspaper or a magazine-publishing operation that would reach a large audience. Today, you only need a smartphone and an account on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or a similar social medium.

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Cybersecurity Today Is Treated Like Accounting Before Enron (New York Times)

Last week, we learned that researchers had discovered two major flaws in microprocessors of nearly all the world’s computers. The revelation came on the heels of a distressing series of major hacks: In 2017, Yahoo revealed that all of its three billion accounts were compromised, WannaCry ransomware shut down hospitals across the globe, and an Equifax breach affected approximately 145.5 million consumers in the United States. The latest news about the computer security problems — whose names, “Spectre” and “Meltdown,” appropriately convey their seriousness — is just the latest evidence that true digital security remains out of our reach.

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.BANK and .INSURANCE To Be First New gTLDs to Implement HSTS... After Google

.fTLD Registry Services has announced they will be implementing a security protocol known as HSTS - HTTP Strict Transport Security – to their .bank and .insurance new gTLDs. They will be the first registry to implement HSTS across an entire top level domain outside of Google.

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