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dr tech

TechScape: Can the UK create a safer internet? | Technology | The Guardian - 0 views

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    "The government is introducing some amendments in time for the report stage on 12 July, with another batch to be announced shortly after. Under one confirmed change, tech firms will be required to shield internet users from state-sponsored disinformation that poses a threat to UK society and democracy. This is a tightening of existing proposals on disinformation in the bill, which already require tech firms to take action on state-sponsored disinformation that harms individuals - such as threats to kill. Another confirmed amendment is equally incremental. A clause in the bill aimed at end-to-end encrypted services already gives Ofcom the power to require those platforms to adopt "accredited technology" to detect child sexual abuse and exploitation [CSEA] content. If that doesn't work, then they must use their "best endeavours" to develop or deploy new technology to spot and remove CSEA. This move appears to be aimed at Mark Zuckerberg's plans to introduce end-to-end encryption on Facebook Messenger and Instagram."
dr tech

Is your smartphone ruining your memory? A special report on the rise of 'digital amnesi... - 0 views

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    "So what happens when we outsource part of our memory to an external device? Does it enable us to squeeze more and more out of life, because we aren't as reliant on our fallible brains to cue things up for us? Are we so reliant on smartphones that they will ultimately change how our memories work (sometimes called digital amnesia)? Or do we just occasionally miss stuff when we don't remember the reminders?"
dr tech

I saw first-hand how the tech giants seduced the EU - and undermined democracy | Georg ... - 0 views

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    "The Digital Services Act marks the end of the platforms' vast liability exemptions and their seeming impunity. It will impose more transparency on the platforms' content moderation and set rules on so-called dark patterns, design features that can trick users into doing things they didn't mean to."
dr tech

Google, Meta, and others will have to explain their algorithms under new EU legislation... - 0 views

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    "Early Saturday morning after hours of negotiations, the bloc agreed on the broad terms of the Digital Services Act, or DSA, which will force tech companies to take greater responsibility for content that appears on their platforms. New obligations include removing illegal content and goods more quickly, explaining to users and researchers how their algorithms work, and taking stricter action on the spread of misinformation. Companies face fines of up to six percent of their annual turnover for non-compliance. "
dr tech

Facebook struggles as Russia steps up presence in unstable west Africa | World news | T... - 0 views

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    "A report by investigators from the Digital Forensic Lab, a global network of digital forensic researchers run by US-based thinktank the Atlantic Council, reveals how pro-Russian Facebook pages in Mali coordinated support for anti-democracy protests and the Wagner group, a controversial Russian private military contractor that was invited into the unstable country last year after the overthrow of President Bah N'daw by the military."
dr tech

Will blockchain fulfil its democratic promise or will it become a tool of big tech? | J... - 0 views

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    "The problem with digital technology is that, for engineers, it is both intrinsically fascinating and seductively challenging, which means that they acquire a kind of tunnel vision: they are so focused on finding solutions to the technical problems that they are blinded to the wider context. At the moment, for example, the consensus-establishing processes for verifying blockchain transactions requires intensive computation, with a correspondingly heavy carbon footprint. Reducing that poses intriguing technical challenges, but focusing on them means that the engineering community isn't thinking about the governance issues raised by the technology. There may not be any central authority in a blockchain but, as Vili Lehdonvirta pointed out years ago, there are rules for what constitutes a consensus and, therefore, a question about who exactly sets those rules. The engineers? The owners of the biggest supercomputers on the chain? Goldman Sachs? These are ultimately political questions, not technical ones."
dr tech

As a new year dawns, expect a fresh assault on big tech | John Naughton | The Guardian - 0 views

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    "This tulip-mania de nos jours has been happening with cryptocurrencies for a while, but is about to become more frenzied as the notion that blockchain - the cryptographic technology that underpins bitcoin, Ethereum et al - can become the basis for something called Web3: a new, properly decentralised version of the world wide web (as compared with the current version in which control has become effectively centralised in a small number of giant corporations)."
dr tech

China plans control of tech that US can only dream of, Government & Economy - THE BUSIN... - 0 views

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    "The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) unveiled a 30-point draft proposal for "algorithm recommendation management regulations" that would directly affect companies including ByteDance, Tencent Holdings and Kuaishou Technology. The rules would forbid practices that "encourage addiction or high consumption", as well as any activities that endanger national security or disrupt social and economic order."
dr tech

Facebook Wants Us to Live in the Metaverse | The New Yorker - 0 views

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    "The metaverse is "a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces," he said. It's "an embodied Internet that you're inside of rather than just looking at. We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile Internet.""
dr tech

Egypt sentences TikTok star to 10 years in prison for 'human trafficking' - 0 views

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    "Egyptian police on Tuesday arrested a Tiktok star who has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for her posts on social media. Haneen Hossam, a 20-year-old Cairo University student who became an influencer on video sharing app Tiktok, was sentenced in absentia on Sunday alongside four others."
dr tech

Amazon's Ring is the largest civilian surveillance network the US has ever seen | Laure... - 1 views

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    "Ring is effectively building the largest corporate-owned, civilian-installed surveillance network that the US has ever seen. An estimated 400,000 Ring devices were sold in December 2019 alone, and that was before the across-the-board boom in online retail sales during the pandemic. Amazon is cagey about how many Ring cameras are active at any one point in time, but estimates drawn from Amazon's sales data place yearly sales in the hundreds of millions. The always-on video surveillance network extends even further when you consider the millions of users on Ring's affiliated crime reporting app, Neighbors, which allows people to upload content from Ring and non-Ring devices."
dr tech

'Missing from desk': AI webcam raises remote surveillance concerns | Working from home ... - 0 views

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    "Explained by "Anna", a desk-sitting avatar complete with an artificial voice, the video introduces TP Observer as "a risk-mitigation tool that monitors and tracks real time employee behaviour, and detects any violations to pre-set business rules". Anna explains that this means home workers will have an AI-enabled webcam added to their computers that recognises their face, tags their location and scans for "breaches" of rules at random points during a shift."
dr tech

Trolls can be hunted down and rooted out. So why aren't social media giants doing it? |... - 0 views

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    "What might happen next? First the investigators would find out the culprits' names, telephone numbers, and where they lived. Then the authorities would be alerted. Shortly afterwards, accounts would be closed down. And, in the worst cases, the police would prosecute. Finally, as people began to realise that actions online had actual consequences, many would start modifying their behaviour. The tsunami of online hate might eventually become a sea swell."
dr tech

Facebook and fear in Manila: Maria Ressa's fight for facts | Maria Ressa | The Guardian - 0 views

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    "There, a Facebook-fuelled tsunami of lies had assisted an authoritarian into power. And she had seen where that had led: to opponents of the state being killed in their homes or turning up dead in ditches. As a Filipino American with a foot in both countries - she calls herself "the first of the CNN hybrids" - she was perfectly positioned to warn America about what happens when a populist president is allowed to spread out-of-control lies across a vast, unregulated tech platform. "A lie told a million times becomes a fact," she repeated again and again."
dr tech

Content Moderation Case Study: Facebook Removes A Picture Of A Famous Danish Mermaid St... - 0 views

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    "In 2016, Danish politician Mette Gjerskov used Facebook to post a link to her own blog post on the TV2 website, which included an image of the statue. Facebook automatically displayed the image with the link, leading the company to then take down the link. The explanation provided by Facebook was that the image had "too much bare skin or sexual undertones.""
dr tech

TikTok urged to take action over Myanmar death threat videos | Global development | The... - 0 views

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    "TikTok has been urged to take action over a flood of videos shared in Myanmar that feature men in military uniform threatening to kill anti-coup protesters, at times while brandishing weapons. Myanmar's police and army have been widely condemned for using lethal force against peaceful protesters who have held mass rallies over recent weeks calling for the return of democracy. "
dr tech

Blockchain technology, used in Bitcoin, aids U.K. vaccine program - Marketplace - 0 views

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    ""Having a tamper-proof record-keeping system that can be shared across the vaccine supply chain is always important, but critically so here for the COVID vaccines," Harmon said. Hedera's chief executive believes that decentralized computer networks with hundreds or even thousands of participants can play an important role in other aspects of pandemic management - to combat vaccine counterfeiting, for example, and create unforgeable vaccination certificates."
dr tech

Myanmar's Military Deploys Digital Arsenal of Repression in Crackdown - The New York Times - 0 views

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    "The software is made by BlackBag Technologies, an American company that was bought last year by Cellebrite of Israel. Both companies also make other sophisticated tools to infiltrate locked or encrypted devices and suck out their data, including location-tracking information."
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