Articles by date
27 March 2014
Instagram reaches 200m users (The Drum)
It's a very good week to work in the Facebook press office - not only has the company bought the virtual reality Oculus Rift platform for $2bn, but Instagram has reached 200 million users.
Court in Turkey suspends ban on Twitter (BBC News)
Turkish users of Twitter are expected to regain access shortly after a court ordered the suspension of the ban on the social media site.
26 March 2014
French consumer protection group UFC-Que Choisir has issued Facebook, Twitter and Google with a summons to appear before the Paris High Court, which it has asked to strike out what it says are unfair or illegal clauses in the companies' user agreements.
Turkey's leading press organization and two experts in Internet law took legal action Monday to try to overturn a government ban on Twitter, even as the government intensified its efforts to block access to the social media site.
A law for Internet rights passed the lower house of Brazil's Congress last night, advancing the bill after President Dilma Rousseff ended a six-month standoff by giving up on a measure she said would protect Brazilians from spying.
Barack Obama confirmed on Tuesday that the US plans to end the National Security Agency's systematic collection of Americans' telephone data, admitting that trust in country's intelligence services had been shaken and pledging to address the concerns of privacy advocates.
25 March 2014
The process of determining how best to transfer stewardship of key internet technical functions from the US Government to the international community began Monday during ICANN's 49th public meeting in Singapore and be accessible to as many as possible. ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé said information will be available in all six United Nations languages plus Portuguese as well as for people with accessibility issues.
Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.'s Bulk Data Collection (New York Times)
The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency's once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that -- if approved by Congress -- would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials.
After Reports on N.S.A., China Urges End to Spying (New York Times)
The Chinese government called on the United States on Monday to explain its actions and halt the practice of cyberespionage after news reports said that the National Security Agency had hacked its way into the computer systems of China's largest telecommunications company.
The NSA is burning down the web, but what if we rebuilt a spy-proof internet? by David Byrne (The Guardian)
What will life be like after the internet? Thanks to the mass surveillance undertaken by the National Security Agency and the general creepiness of companies like Google and Facebook, I've found myself considering this question. I mean, nothing lasts forever, right?
Consumer groups reacted angrily Monday to news that Apple is reportedly in talks with cable giant Comcast to launch a streaming-television service that would give Apple special treatment and bypass congestion on the web.
Internet groups face global tax crackdown (Financial Times)
A looming global crackdown on aggressive tax avoidance is set to stop internet companies slashing bills by routing profits to havens.
Revelations of N.S.A. Spying Cost U.S. Tech Companies (New York Times)
Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil. IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government.
The Turkish government is "fighting a losing battle" in banning social media network Twitter, experts have said.
Australian Securities and Investment Commission chairperson Greg Medcraft has used the ASIC Annual Forum to issue a warning about the potential for poor information security to destabilise financial markets.
24 March 2014
Yahoo, Google and Apple also claim right to read user emails (The Guardian)
Microsoft is not unique in claiming the right to read users' emails - Apple, Yahoo and Google all reserve that right as well, the Guardian has determined.
Here we go again: authoritarian ruler finds that social media are making life uncomfortable for him in the run-up to elections; finds Twitter particularly annoying; instructs local authorities to shut off access for his citizens; announces that he is unbothered by international criticism of this act of censorship which, he says, will demonstrate the power of his republic.
According to documents viewed by SPIEGEL, America'a NSA intelligence agency put considerable efforts into spying on Chinese politicians and firms. One major target was Huawei, a company that is fast becoming a major Internet player.
Beliebing in streaming: Record bosses now hope that online streaming could become a big enough business to arrest their industry's long decline (The Economist)
At the headquarters of Pandora, an online-radio firm, in Oakland, about a dozen headphone-clad analysts fill in a long questionnaire as they listen. They rank whether a song's mood is "joyful" or "hostile", the vocalist "breathy" or "gravelly". They note whether they can hear electric guitars, lutes or bagpipes. Their ratings help to shape algorithms that push music to the service's 76m users.
The Strange Strategy Behind Turkey's Pathetic Twitter Ban (Businessweek)
The Turkish government blocked access to Twitter on March 20, a move that did exactly nothing to curtail use of the service. The country blocked Twitter at the DNS level, which is not a particularly sophisticated or durable move. People in Turkey are now leaving instructions on how to get around the block as graffiti on bus stops. Twitter (TWTR)instructed Turks to get to the service using text messages. The Hurriyet Daily News points to data from Twitturk, which records Twitter use in the country. The data show that the number of tweets by Turkish users remains unchanged.
23 March 2014
N.S.A. Breached Chinese Servers Seen as Security Threat (New York Times)
American officials have long considered Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, a security threat, blocking it from business deals in the United States for fear that the company would create "back doors" in its equipment that could allow the Chinese military or Beijing-backed hackers to steal corporate and government secrets.
22 March 2014
Executives of several large U.S. Internet companies, including Google Inc and Facebook Inc, will meet with President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss changes to government surveillance programs.
A couple of government wingmen have joined privacy groups in their legal dogfight with Facebook over the company's use of teenagers' likes and comments in advertising.
In Turkey, Twitter Roars After Effort to Block It (New York Times)
It is a sign of the difficulty of banning Twitter in the age of Twitter that within hours of the Turkish government's attempt to block the social media site, President Abdullah Gul was one of thousands of Turks who protested the ban -- using Twitter.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama told an audience of college students in the Chinese capital on Saturday that open access to information - especially online - is a universal right.