Articles by date
11 April 2018
Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, began the first of two marathon hearings in Washington on Tuesday afternoon, answering tough questions on the company’s mishandling of data.
MPA Reveals Scale of Worldwide Pirate Site Blocking (TorrentFreak)
Motion Picture Association Canada has revealed the scale of pirate site-blocking around the world. In a submission to the CRTC, the Hollywood group states that at least 42 countries are now obligated to block infringing sites. In Europe alone, 1,800 sites and 5,300 domains have been rendered inaccessible, with Portugal, Italy, the UK, and Denmark leading the way.
Ransomware tops malicious attack charts (BBC News)
Ransomware has become the most popular form of malware used in cyber-attacks, suggests a study.
The number of cybersquatting cases handled by WIPO jumped to an all time high the organisation has announced, as trademark owners filed an all-time high of 3,074 WIPO cases under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), up from 3,036 in 2017 and 2,754 in 2016.
10 April 2018
A coalition of 23 child advocacy, consumer and privacy groups have filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission alleging that Google is violating child protection laws by collecting personal data of and advertising to those aged under 13.
09 April 2018
Don't Fix Facebook. Replace It. by Tim Wu (New York Times)
After years of collecting way too much data, Facebook has finally been caught in the facilitation of one privacy debacle too many. When Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, testifies before Congress, which he plans to do this month, lawmakers will no doubt ask how Facebook might restore the public’s trust and whether it might accept some measure of regulation. Yet in the big picture, these are the wrong questions to be asking.
What if we paid for Facebook - instead of letting it spy on us for free? (Washington Post)
Let’s play the Price is Right. What’s a Facebook membership worth? $7 per month? $5? $1?
Facebook among 30 organisations in UK political data inquiry (The Guardian)
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating 30 organisations, including Facebook, as part of its inquiry into the use of personal data and analytics for political purposes.
Facebook Inc. expressed a “willingness to engage” with European Union regulators in the wake of fresh evidence showing that data on most of the social network’s 2 billion users could have been accessed improperly.
In January, I told the British authorities that the app that was used to harvest data for Cambridge Analytica was likely to have pulled the profiles of British Facebook users. Last week Facebook confirmed it: it told the world that as many as 87 million profiles were collected. This included more than one million British records.
Don't just blame Facebook for taking your data - most online publishers are at it too (The Observer)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good metaphor must be worth a million. In an insightful blog post published on 23 March, Doc Searls, one of the elder statesman of the web, managed to get both for the price of one. His post was headed by one of those illustrations of an iceberg showing that only the tip is the visible part, while the great bulk of the object lies underwater. In this case, the tip was adorned with the Facebook logo while the submerged mass represented “Every other website making money from tracking-based advertising”. The moral: “Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica problems are nothing compared to what’s coming for all of online publishing.”
Countries Consider Penalties for Spreading 'Fake News' (Internet Society)
A handful of countries have recently considered passing new laws or regulations to combat so-called fake news, with Malaysia adding penalties of up to six years in jail for distributors.
08 April 2018
Following on from today’s earlier article about a trio of auDA members calling for the CEO and 3 independent directors, including the Chair, to be removed, sources have confirmed the required numbers have supported the petition and a letter has been sent to auDA advising them of the requirement to hold the Special General Meeting.
Could this be the end of auDA? It’s less than 12 months since a revolt by auDA members that led to the then-Chair Stuart Benjamin resigning prior to a Special General Meeting was held to oust him. At the time auDA said they would listen to their members. But they haven’t. So a trio of members have proposed another SGM, this time calling for the sacking of CEO Cameron Boardman and removing the 3 independent directors including Chair Chris Leptos.
05 April 2018
Building a Connected City From the Ground Up (New York Times)
A developer of planned communities is joining with General Electric to build a smart city near Boston with driverless cars and heated sidewalks.
Cambridge Analytica and Facebook: The Scandal and the Fallout So Far (New York Times)
In March, The New York Times, working with The Observer of London and The Guardian, obtained a cache of documents from inside Cambridge Analytica, the data firm principally owned by the right-wing donor Robert Mercer.
Facebook: 'Malicious actors' used its tools to discover identities and collect data on a massive global scale (Washington Post)
Facebook said Wednesday that “malicious actors” took advantage of search tools on its platform, making it possible for them to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide.
04 April 2018
EU urged to act over social media and fake news (The Guardian)
A senior EU official has called for action against internet companies that harvest personal data, as Brussels prepares to move against those spreading “fake news” following the Cambridge Analytica revelations.
Microsoft Corp on Tuesday backed the Justice Department’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court dismiss a case pitting the two against each other over whether prosecutors can force technology companies to hand over data stored overseas after Congress passed a law that resolved the dispute.
Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday that he agreed "in spirit" with a strict new European Union law on data privacy but stopped short of committing to it as the standard for the social network across the world.
India's 'Fake News' Crackdown Crumbles Over Journalists' Outrage (New York Times)
The Indian government called the decree a crackdown on fake news. It lasted less than a day.
Facebook Removes More Accounts Tied to Russian 'Troll Factory' (New York Times)
Facebook said on Tuesday that it had found and removed more than 270 accounts and pages controlled by Russia’s Internet Research Agency, the so-called troll factory that became notorious for posting fraudulent and divisive material on the platform during the 2016 presidential election.
03 April 2018
The integration and streamlining of the management of New Zealand’s country code top level domain continues with the announcement that New Zealand Registry Services merged with InternetNZ on 1 April.
Facebook Is Not the Problem. Lax Privacy Rules Are. (New York Times)
As recently as 2010, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, believed that privacy was no longer a “social norm.” But over the past few weeks — and not a moment too soon — he and his colleagues have learned that privacy still matters to individuals and society.
They Tried to Boycott Facebook, Apple and Google. They Failed. (New York Times)
... As the reach and influence of Silicon Valley’s tech giants have increased, so have the calls to boycott their products and services. The problem is that pulling off a boycott is not exactly easy: The tech companies’ products are so pervasive that they are difficult to avoid.