Articles by date

02 February 2015

A Question Over the Reach of Europe's 'Right to Be Forgotten' (New York Times)

Dan Shefet doesn't want you to Google his name. A Danish lawyer who has lived in Paris for 30 years, Mr. Shefet has been accused online of professional malpractice, fraud and even having connections to the Serbian mafia -- accusations he strongly denies.

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Australian metadata retention scheme: Telstra warns data storage plan will attract hackers (ABC News)

The nation's biggest telecommunications company has sounded a warning about the Government's mandatory metadata retention scheme.

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Battle Over Google Subpoena Threatens Critical Online Free Speech Protections (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

A high-profile battle over whether Google must respond to an unusual and dangerous subpoena raises fundamental concerns about federal free speech law and the protections it affords hosts of online content, the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued in an amicus brief filed today.

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Gordian net: Why network neutrality is such an intractable problem—and how to solve it (The Economist)

The idea that certain businesses are so essential that they must not discriminate between customers is as old as ferries. With only one vessel in town, a boatman was generally not allowed to charge a butcher more than a carpenter to move goods. This concept, called "common carriage", has served the world well, most recently on the internet. The principle of blindly delivering packets of data, regardless of origin, destination or contents, is welded into the network's technical foundations. This, more than anything else, explains why the internet has become such a fountain of innovation.

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The future of new business is disrupting old business (Washington Post)

There are many lessons to be learned from Uber, the taxi- ­ and car-hailing start-up that came out of nowhere and is valued at $41 billion. Less than three years ago, Uber had zero drivers. Now it has more than 160,000 active drivers who have collected $656.8 million in fares (net of what they pay Uber).

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31 January 2015

Canada Seeks to Strengthen Spy Agency After Attacks (New York Times)

Citing the attacks by radical Islamists that killed two Canadian soldiers in October and the more recent assaults in France, Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced sweeping legislation on Friday that would greatly expand the role of Canada's spy service, allowing courts to remove online postings and increasing police detention powers.

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Google agrees privacy policy changes with UK data watchdog (BBC News)

Google has agreed to rewrite its privacy policy after pressure from the UK Information Commissioner's Office.

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'Google Now' Will Suck In Outside App Data (Wall Street Journal)

Google Inc. doesn't want to lose its perch atop the search market, and it's looking to the likes of Airbnb, eBay, Lyft and a couple dozen other companies to help it do just that. On Friday, Google is set to announce that, for the first time, it's allowing third-party apps to deliver information to Google Now, its predictive search app that's built into Android phones, Android Wear smartwatches and the Chrome web browser.

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West Africa turns into dumping ground for e-waste (CIO)

As measures by countries in East and Southern Africa to prevent the dumping of e-waste take effect, West Africa has become a destination for old computers, mobile devices and components.

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30 January 2015

The FCC has set a new, faster definition for US broadband (Washington Post)

Federal regulators have set a new definition for broadband that establishes 25 megabits per second as the baseline for high-speed downloads, up from 4 Mbps previously.

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Microsoft's Bill Gates insists AI is a threat (BBC News)

Humans should be worried about the threat posed by artificial Intelligence, Bill Gates has said.

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China Further Tightens Grip on the Internet (New York Times)

Jing Yuechen, the founder of an Internet start-up here in the Chinese capital, has no interest in overthrowing the Communist Party. But these days she finds herself cursing the nation's smothering cyberpolice as she tries -- and fails -- to browse photo-sharing websites like Flickr and struggles to stay in touch with the Facebook friends she has made during trips to France, India and Singapore.

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Australian data retention scheme still not clear-cut for telcos and others, inquiry told (The Guardian)

Australia's peak body for IT and communications companies says organisations still face considerable uncertainty over whether they will need to retain Australians' web and phone data as part of the federal government's mandatory data retention scheme.

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Telstra, Vodafone Hutchison slam Australian metadata storage plan (Australian Financial Review)

Two of Australia's biggest telecommunications providers have voiced concerns and called for changes to the government's controversial plan to record the metadata of all Australians for two years.

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29 January 2015

Canada Agency Monitors File-Sharing, Reports Say (New York Times)

Every day, Canada's electronic spy agency examines tens of millions of electronic documents and videos -- and some of the people who downloaded them -- as part of an antiterrorism effort involving the United States and other allies, a document leaked by Edward J. Snowden indicates.

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Rapists use social media to cover their tracks, police warned (The Guardian)

Rapists are increasingly exploiting social media to cover their tracks and mislead investigators, a joint conference by police and prosecutors on rape was told.

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The Role of Data in Promoting Growth and Well-Being (OECD)

Data forms a key pillar in 21st century sources of growth. The confluence of several trends, including the increasing migration of socio-economic activities to the Internet and the decline in the cost of data collection, storage and processing, are leading to the generation and use of huge volumes of data - commonly referred to as "big data". These large data sets are becoming a core asset in the economy, fostering new industries, processes and products and creating significant competitive advantages.

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28 January 2015

Hacktivists step up web attack volumes (BBC News)

Hacktivists and gamers are becoming big users of net attacks that knock sites offline by bombarding them with data, suggests a report.

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F.T.C. Says Internet-Connected Devices Pose Big Risks (New York Times)

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday confirmed some of the worst fears about Internet-connected devices, saying the technology presented serious data security and privacy risks, and urged companies to make data protection a top priority.

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Mobile banking will help the poor transform their lives by Bill and Melinda Gates (Gates Notes)

The Kenya Financial Diaries, a fascinating project documenting the financial lives of hundreds of Kenyans over the course of a year, tells countless stories of people who had to forgo medical care or take their children out of school for want of a few dollars.

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27 January 2015

Chehadé Criticises Domainers, and Domainers and Allies Kick Up Stink

Parts of the domain name world have acted with incredulity to the ICANN CEO and President's comments on people "hogging names in order to charge a lot for them." Obviously Fadi Chehadé's comments were aimed at domainers, and some in the media as well as domainers are not happy.

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Unease for What Microsoft's HoloLens Will Mean for Our Screen-Obsessed Lives (New York Times)

Microsoft made a big announcement last week, revealing that Windows, a lucrative legacy franchise, was about to be unleashed into the physical environment through a set of goggles called the HoloLens that superimposes the operating system on the actual world. In one sense, it was heartening. Business reporters are frequently hung up on the new and the insurgent, but seeing mature companies adapt to a changed world is equally interesting.

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Mass surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European report (The Guardian)

Europe's top rights body has said mass surveillance practices are a fundamental threat to human rights and violate the right to privacy enshrined in European law.

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Documents Show N.S.A.'s Wiretap Moves Before Congress's Approval (New York Times)

A federal judge issued a top secret ruling in 2007 that the USA Patriot Act empowered the National Security Agency to collect foreigners' emails and phone calls from domestic networks without prior judicial approval, newly declassified documents show.

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Facebook Said to Block Pages Critical of Muhammad to Avoid Shutdown in Turkey (New York Times)

To avoid being banned throughout Turkey, Facebook has blocked Turkish users' access to a number of pages containing content that the authorities had deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, according to a company employee with direct knowledge of the matter and a report by the state broadcaster TRT.

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