Articles by date

23 November 2014

Tech Firms Could Be Quiet Winners in Obama's Immigration Overhaul (Foreign Policy)

After years of tension over mass data collection and NSA surveillance, President Barack Obama's immigration reform announcement Thursday evening may improve the White House's tattered relationship with Silicon Valley.

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China's 600 Million Internet Searchers Nudge Global Web Toward Censorship (Bloomberg)

A few days before the anniversary of China's crackdown in Tiananmen Square this June, Patrick Poon posted a video commemoration on his LinkedIn Web page. The Hong Kong-based researcher for Amnesty International soon got a message saying the post was prohibited in China so it had been blocked from the site -- and by extension from users worldwide.

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22 November 2014

European parliament set to call for break-up of Google in antitrust case (The Guardian)

The European parliament is reportedly poised to call for a break-up of Google in a drastic escalation of Europe's long-running antitrust case against the tech giant.

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New private companies spark mobile phone revolution in once-isolated Burma (Washington Post)

Incense swirls through the air on a darkening evening, as a Buddhist monk sits cross-legged before an ancient temple, his eyes closed in meditation. His cellphone rings. The monk fumbles in his traditional crimson robes, speaks for a while, then puts it aside and continues meditating.

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BitTorrent Users are Avid, Eclectic Content Buyers, Survey Finds (TorrentFreak)

A new study carried out by BitTorrent Inc. has found that the company's users aren't the freeloaders they're often made out to be. The study found that BitTorrent users are 170% more likely to have paid for digital music in the past six months and are 8x more likely to have a music streaming account when compared to the average Internet user.

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21 November 2014

Driverless cars could face threat from hackers trying to cause road chaos (The Guardian)

Driverless cars will need to be protected from hackers who could take control of vehicles to cause chaos on the roads, cyber security and transport experts have warned.

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As Firefox dumps Google for Yahoo, is the clock ticking for Mozilla? (The Guardian)

Firefox users in the US will no longer see Google from December when searching on the browser, but will be offered Yahoo as their default search engine which outbid Google for the deal.

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UK moves to shut down Russian hackers streaming live British webcam footage (The Guardian)

The UK is to take international action to close down a Russian website that is streaming images from British webcams including baby monitors, bedroom cameras and gym CCTV.

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Torrents Good For a Third of all Internet Traffic in Asia-Pacific (TorrentFreak)

New data published by the Canadian broadband management company Sandvine reveals that BitTorrent can be credited for one-third of all Internet traffic in the Asia-Pacific region during peak hours. That's an increase of more than 50% compared to the previous year.

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The NBN twilight zone by Mark Gregory (Business Spectator)

Speaking at CommsDay NBNRebooted held on November 17 Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull addressed the issue of National Broadband Network (NBN)-related complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) when he stated "this is why the NBN Co is forecasting it will increase the number of serviceable premises in brownfield areas from 67 per cent of the total premises passed to 81 per cent of premises passed."

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N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Could Go On, Even if a Law Expires (New York Times)

A little-known provision of the Patriot Act, overlooked by lawmakers and administration officials alike, appears to give President Obama a possible way to keep the National Security Agency's bulk phone records program going indefinitely -- even if Congress allows the law on which it is based to expire next year.

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20 November 2014

Governments Can't Control the Internet, Gatekeeper Says (Bloomberg)

ICANN, the gatekeeper for Web addresses, said government attempts to impose rules on the Internet are doomed to fail as the group seeks to end its own formal ties with U.S. legislators.

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Amnesty releases anti-spying program for activists (BBC News)

Amnesty International has released a program that can spot spying software used by governments to monitor activists and political opponents.

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Google's secret NSA alliance: The terrifying deals between Silicon Valley and the security state (Salon)

In mid-December 2009, engineers at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, began to suspect that hackers in China had obtained access to private Gmail accounts, including those used by Chinese human rights activists opposed to the government in Beijing.

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As Microsoft battles feds on email access, Ireland asks EU to join the fight (CIO)

The Irish government is turning to the European Commission for help dealing with U.S. demands for email stored in Microsoft servers in Ireland and allegedly containing information on drug trafficking. If the Department of Justice gets its way, it may end up bypassing European data protection laws, the Irish government said in a request for legal guidance.

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US Senator Questions Uber on Privacy Practices (New York Times)

The relationship between the media and Uber has been strained as of late. It is not going so well on Capitol Hill, either.

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China says controls on Internet needed to maintain stability (Reuters)

Chinese officials called on Wednesday for controls on the Internet to preserve stability, saying its model for cyberspace regulation can be the framework for spawning commercial successes like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

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Australian data retention bill's human rights limitations are over the top, report says (The Guardian)

The government's mandatory data retention bill places limitations on human rights that are "not proportionate" to the intentions of the proposed scheme, a scathing report published on Tuesday by a cross-party committee says.

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19 November 2014

90 percent to have mobile phones by 2020, predicts Ericsson Mobility Report (Ericsson)

Nine out of ten people aged six and over will have mobile phones by 2020. That is one of the most surprising predictions from the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

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Google to label 'mobile friendly' websites (Computerworld)

In the next few weeks, Google will start to label websites that render well on mobile devices and is considering giving that label weight as a search rank signal, the company said Tuesday.

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Bill to Restrict N.S.A. Data Collection Blocked in Vote by Senate Republicans (New York Times)

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a sweeping overhaul of the once-secret National Security Agency program that collects records of Americans' phone calls in bulk.

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Apple, Microsoft, Google and others join push against government spying (Computerworld)

Apple, Microsoft, and Google are among 10 top tech companies that this week signed onto a letter backing passage of a bill that would curtail bulk collection of Internet metadata by government agencies.

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WhatsApp Adds Improved Encryption on Android Phones (New York Times)

Facebook's WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, is getting a security upgrade. WhatsApp messages on Android phones are now encrypted all the way through the transmission process and on their own servers using respected, open-source encryption techniques developed by Open Whisper Systems.

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Encrypting Web site traffic could become easier next year (Washington Post)

Your online activities are only protected from prying eyes if the sites and services you're using are encrypted -- a process noted in many browsers with a little lock icon in the URL bar. But not every Web site is encrypted.

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Editing Google's search results would damage free speech, judge rules (The Guardian)

A San Francisco court declared that Google can arrange its search results however it likes, in stark contrast to the decision of European regulators.

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