Articles by date

19 April 2018

Exclusive: Former auDA CEO Opens Up On What's Gone Wrong at auDA

Ever since the auDA Board gave the then CEO Chris Disspain his marching orders in March 2016 after 16 years at the helm, the Australian ccTLD manager has been in turmoil. It’s not that any one person is indispensable. But rather a reflection of the dysfunction that has followed. With the Australian government’s scathing review of the management of Australia’s ccTLD released this week, we asked the former CEO and now ICANN Vice-Chair what his thoughts were on the organisation, what could have been done better and where to now.

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Facebook among tech firms to sign 'digital Geneva convention' (The Guardian)

More than 30 global technology firms have signed up to a “digital Geneva convention”, committing never to partake in cyber-attacks against individuals or businesses.

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Facebook to put 1.5 billion users out of reach of new EU privacy law (Reuters)

If a new European law restricting what companies can do with people’s online data went into effect tomorrow, almost 1.9 billion Facebook Inc users around the world would be protected by it. The online social network is making changes that ensure the number will be much smaller.

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18 April 2018

More Domain Names Hosting Child Sexual Abuse Than Ever Before

More online child sexual abuse imagery is being found online than ever before, and more domain names than ever before are being used to host images and videos of children being sexually abused, according to the 2017 Annual Report from the Internet Watch Foundation.

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Facebook Is Creepy. And Valuable. (New York Times)

One of the most telling moments in the spectacle of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony last week was when Representative Billy Long, a Missouri Republican, warned the co-founder of Facebook of what Congress was likely to do about its multiple concerns surrounding the social network. “Congress is good at two things: doing nothing, and overreacting,” he said. After years of the former, he said, “we’re getting ready to overreact.”

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Steep rise in child abuse images online, charity reports (BBC News)

The Internet Watch Foundation says it is finding more images of child sexual abuse online than ever before, according to its annual report.

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Far more than 87m Facebook users had data compromised, UK MPs told (The Guardian)

Far more than 87 million people may have had their Facebook data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, according to evidence from former employee Brittany Kaiser.

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Russia blocks millions of IP addresses in battle against Telegram app (The Guardian)

Russia’s internet watchdog has blocked an estimated 16m IP addresses in a massive operation against the banned Telegram messaging app that could set a new precedent for Russian online censorship.

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auDA Battling to Save Itself After Scathing Government Review Says "No Longer Fit-For-Purpose"

auDA has been put on notice that it needs to reform or its gone following an Australian government review into its operations. The report has found “urgent reforms are necessary”. But reform won’t come easy with significant changes required to its constitution, and without significant changes in leadership, Members will be reluctant to support them. Meanwhile the auDA dirty tricks campaign has taken to Twitter with fake or troll Twitter accounts attacking the 3 behind the Grumpier.com.au call for a SGM.

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17 April 2018

US and UK blame Russia for 'malicious' cyber-offensive (New York Times)

The cyberwar between the west and Russia has escalated after the UK and the US issued a joint alert accusing Moscow of mounting a “malicious” internet offensive that appeared to be aimed at espionage, stealing intellectual property and laying the foundation for an attack on infrastructure.

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Why we should stop panicking about robots stealing our jobs (The Observer)

Ideology is what determines how you think when you don’t know you’re thinking. Neoliberalism is a prime example. Less well-known but equally insidious is technological determinism, which is a theory about how technology affects development. It comes in two flavours. One says that there is an inexorable internal logic in how technologies evolve. So, for example, when we got to the point where massive processing power and large quantities of data became easily available, machine-learning was an inevitable next step.

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Twitter handles are big business, even if the owner doesn't want to sell (The Guardian)

Everything has a price, even the top Twitter handles, and if somebody does not want to sell then they may be forced to relinquish their account.

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Was auDA Hacked? Or Have They Deliberately Leaked A Confidential Report to Discredit Agitators

Either auDA has been hacked or there has been a deliberate leaking of a confidential report by the senior echelons at the .au policy and regulatory body. If it’s the former, then auDA need to call in the relevant law enforcement bodies to investigate. If it’s the latter, it’s a sad state of affairs given auDA has turned into an organisation that could rival a former Soviet-style dictatorship in it’s efforts to hide documents from the industry and spin its “achievements”.

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16 April 2018

Why Europe, not Congress, will rein in big tech (Washington Post)

U.S. lawmakers demonstrated an increased appetite for regulating technology giants when they grilled Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg about privacy last week. But the future of Facebook’s relationship with its 2 billion users is less likely to be determined from the halls of Congress than it is from an un­assuming 18th-century townhouse in Ireland’s capital packed with lawyers, technology experts and gumshoe investigators.

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Consumer policy and the smart home (OECD)

The “smart home” looks set to be the arena in which many people will utilise consumer-facing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the first time. A new generation of familiar household devices and appliances (e.g. washing machines) are becoming “smart” through the addition of sensors, software and Internet connections. They are entering the home alongside innovative IoT era devices (e.g. smart speakers) – often integrating with them to form smart residential systems (e.g. relating to energy, entertainment and home security).

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15 April 2018

Bridging the digital gender divide (OECD)

New digital tools are empowering, and can serve to support a new source of inclusive global economic growth. Now is the time to step up the efforts and take advantage of the digital transformation to ensure that it represents a leapfrog opportunity for women and a chance to build a more inclusive digital world.

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Google loses UK landmark 'right to be forgotten' case (The Guardian)

A businessman has won his legal action to remove search results about a criminal conviction in a landmark “right to be forgotten” case that could have wide-ranging repercussions.

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Facebook Takes the Punches While Rest of Silicon Valley Ducks (New York Times)

Two pages of notes sitting in a binder in front of Mark Zuckerberg during his congressional testimony this week hinted at a message the Facebook chief executive rarely got a chance to deliver: We’re not the only ones.

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13 April 2018

After Cambridge Analytica, Privacy Experts Get to Say 'I Told You So' (New York Times)

Doc Searls met with a group of fellow internet privacy experts one recent afternoon here at the Computer History Museum. On a whiteboard were the words “OUTRAGE” and “MAKE HAY” — capitalized, underlined and surrounded by lines jutting in all directions like a cartoon “BOOM!”

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Exclusive: EU to demand improvements on tackling fake news by end of year - draft (Reuters)

The European Union is set to demand tech giants like Facebook and Google do more to stop the spread of fake news on their websites by the end of the year to avoid possible regulatory actions, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

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Australian bill to create back door into encrypted apps in 'advanced stages' (The Guardian)

The Australian government is pushing ahead with controversial legislation it says will create “back doors” into encrypted communication services – but still can’t say when it will introduce the bill.

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12 April 2018

What You Don't Know About How Facebook Uses Your Data (New York Times)

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, went to Capitol Hill this week to explain to members of Congress how the detailed personal information of up to 87 million Facebook users ended up in the hands of a voter-profiling company called Cambridge Analytica.

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Zuckerberg Faces Hostile Congress as Calls for Regulation Mount (New York Times)

After two days and more than 10 hours of questioning of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, there was widespread consensus among lawmakers that social media technology — and its potential for abuse — had far outpaced Washington and that Congress should step in to close the gap.

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How do emerging technologies affect the creative economy? (McKinsey)

Research suggests some ways artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain are reshaping creative work.

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auDA Using Bullying and Fear to Silence Critics

In an inflammatory email Tuesday night, auDA Chair Chris Leptos sent out an email boasting of his achievements while including a threat to all former Board members that they may have been referred to the Victorian Police due to certain “practices”. The email follows less than a week on from auDA Members under Grumpier.com.au demanding a second Special General Meeting in 9 months to remove the Chair (again), the 2 other independent Directors and a vote of no-confidence in the CEO.

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