Tag Archives | Internet

UK to stop its citizens seeing extremist material online

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Israel Defense Forces (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Gigaom:

The U.K.’s big internet service providers, including BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media and Sky, have agreed to filter out terrorist and extremist material at the government’s behest, in order to stop people seeing things that may make them sympathetic towards terrorists.

The move will also see providers host a public reporting button for terrorist material. This is likely to be similar to what is already done with websites that may host child pornography – people can report content to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an organization that maintains a blacklist, to which that site could then be added.

In the case of extremist material, though, it appears that the reports would go through to the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), which is based in London’s Metropolitan Police and has already been very active in identifying extremist material and having it taken down.

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China Stops Censoring the Web—for Three Days, in One City

Michael Coghlan (CC BY 2.0)

Michael Coghlan (CC BY 2.0)

World Internet Conference in China. Now there’s an oxymoron.

via Bloomberg:

This week in China, there is a place where you can tweet to your heart’s content, Facebook your friends, or Google a YouTube video.

Beijing normally blocks nationwide access to Western social media and news websites, but it’s opening a crack in the Great Firewall just big enough for participants at a technology conference in Wuzhen, China, to squeeze through. The country is hosting the World Internet Conference from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, where leaders from local Internet giants, including Alibaba and Tencent, will mingle with executives from LinkedIn, SoftBank and other global tech companies.

This temporary opening of the gates doesn’t mean China is having second thoughts about Web censorship. Not in the least. China often lifts its controls on the Web for attendees of high-profile international forums, as it did for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing earlier this month.

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Ending reader comments is a mistake, even if you are Reuters

Howard Lake (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Howard Lake (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Gigaom:

Anyone who has followed our coverage of online media probably knows that I am in favor of media entities giving their readers the option to comment — even though comment sections are often filled with trolls, flame wars and spam. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I think Reuters is making a mistake by removing the option to comment from its news articles. Even though Reuters is a newswire service with mostly corporate clients, I think the reasoning behind its decision is flawed.

In a post about the decision, Reuters Digital executive editor Dan Colarusso describes it as a necessary evolution, brought about by changes in reader behavior. In other words, he argues that the Reuters website doesn’t really need to have comments on its news articles any more because people are commenting elsewhere — primarily Twitter and Facebook:

“Much of the well-informed and articulate discussion around news, as well as criticism or praise for stories, has moved to social media and online forums.

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Consciousness In The Age Of Digital Dystopia

Vijay Kalakoti (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Vijay Kalakoti (CC BY-ND 2.0)

This was originally published on Jan Wellmann’s website. You can follow him on Twitter: @janwe

It’s Monday morning and you’re preparing your first cup of coffee when the tanks roll into your neighborhood. Phone lines are cut, curfew is activated, and doors are broken down.

You sigh. It’s another “cleanout day” in the not too distant future.

The War On Terror has infiltrated every layer of society. Internet sites track the spread of extremism like the CDC tracks a lethal virus. The threat is pandemic and online news sources agree: In order to keep you safe, weekly cleanout campaigns must ramp up all across the nation – yet again.

Today you just happen to be in the red zone.

The main annoyance about being in a red zone is usually the loss of your phone signal. But today is different.

A close friend has gone missing – along with his past.… Read the rest

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Americans pay more for slower Internet

mosaic36 (cc by 2.0).

mosaic36 (cc by 2.0).

via CNN Money:

When it comes to Internet speeds, the U.S. lags behind much of the developed world.

That’s one of the conclusions from a new report by the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, which looked at the cost and speed of Internet access in two dozen cities around the world.

Clocking in at the top of the list was Seoul, South Korea, where Internet users can get ultra-fast connections of roughly 1000 megabits per second for just $30 a month. The same speeds can be found in Hong Kong and Tokyo for $37 and $39 per month, respectively.

For comparison’s sake, the average U.S. connection speed stood at 9.8 megabits per second as of late last year, according to Akamai Technologies.

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Hungary internet tax cancelled after mass protests

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Prime Minister Viktor Orban © European People’s Party (CC by 2.0)

via BBC:

Hungary has decided to shelve a proposed tax on internet data traffic after mass protests against the plan.

“This tax in its current form cannot be introduced,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

Large-scale protests began on Sunday, when demonstrators hurled old computer parts at the headquarters of Mr Orban’s ruling Fidesz party.

The draft law – condemned by the EU – would levy a fee on each gigabyte of internet data transferred.

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Secret Manuals Show the Spyware Sold to Despots and Cops Worldwide

elhombredenegro (CC By 2.0)

elhombredenegro (CC By 2.0)

via First Look:

When Apple and Google unveiled new encryption schemes last month, law enforcement officials complained that they wouldn’t be able to unlock evidence on criminals’ digital devices. What they didn’t say is that there are already methods to bypass encryption, thanks to off-the-shelf digital implants readily available to the smallest national agencies and the largest city police forces — easy-to-use software that takes over and monitors digital devices in real time, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

We’re publishing in full, for the first time, manuals explaining the prominent commercial implant software “Remote Control System,” manufactured by the Italian company Hacking Team. Despite FBI director James Comey’s dire warnings about the impact of widespread data scrambling — “criminals and terrorists would like nothing more,” he declared — Hacking Team explicitly promises on its website that its software can “defeat encryption.”

Read More: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/30/hacking-team/

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Nearing the Third Billion

Blaise Alleyne (CC by 2.0)

Blaise Alleyne (CC by 2.0)

via Live Mint:

October marks the 60th anniversary of the Intergalactic Computer Network – aka Internet.

Here’s a look at Internet over the decades—its beginning, early years and presence in in lives of nearly half of the world’s population today

Around 40% of the world’s over-7 billion population has an Internet connection today. In 1995, it was less than 1%. The first billion was reached in 2005, and the second billion in 2010. The third billion will be reached by the end of 2014, of whom nearly 48.5% users will be in Asia. An Internet user is defined as one who has online access at home. This indicator only records access to Internet, not use or frequency of use.

Internet trivia:

– The first recorded description of the social interactions that could be enabled through networking was a series of memos written by J.C.R. Licklider of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in August 1962 discussing his ‘Galactic Network’ concept.

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The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed

By Christopher via Flickr (cc by-sa 2.0)

By Christopher via Flickr (cc by-sa 2.0)

Meet the people who keep graphic and vulgar videos off YouTube and out of your Facebook feed. It’s a thankless task with meager pay.

via Wired:

The campuses of the tech industry are famous for their lavish cafeterias, cushy shuttles, and on-site laundry services. But on a muggy February afternoon, some of these companies’ most important work is being done 7,000 miles away, on the second floor of a former elementary school at the end of a row of auto mechanics’ stalls in Bacoor, a gritty Filipino town 13 miles southwest of Manila. When I climb the building’s narrow stairwell, I need to press against the wall to slide by workers heading down for a smoke break. Up one flight, a drowsy security guard staffs what passes for a front desk: a wooden table in a dark hallway overflowing with file folders.

Past the guard, in a large room packed with workers manning PCs on long tables, I meet Michael Baybayan, an enthusiastic 21-year-old with a jaunty pouf of reddish-brown hair.

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OpenBazaar: P2P Marketplace to Undermine our Corporate Overlords

Howard Pyle: The Buccaneer (1905)

Howard Pyle: The Buccaneer (1905)

Around the turn of the century, Amazon, eBay and other online marketplaces provided revolutionary new venues for small-business entrepreneurship, but they have since grown into heavy-handed corporate behemoths that treat sellers like share croppers while exerting an ever-expanding influence over government and the economy. In the future, online marketplaces will be publicly shared via distributed p2p networks. There will be no fees, no trade restrictions, no corporate overlords running the show. The concept is gaining traction; the technology is already here.

One promising effort in this direction is OpenBazaar. They hope to offer a full release in 2014, and are currently seeking beta testers:

OpenBazaar is an open source project to create a decentralized network for peer to peer commerce online—using Bitcoin—that has no fees and cannot be censored. Put simply, it’s the baby of eBay and BitTorrent.

Right now, online commerce means using centralized services. eBay, Amazon, and other big companies have restrictive policies and charge fees for listing and selling goods.… Read the rest

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