Today’s most innovative police states owe more to Mark Zuckerberg than to Joseph Stalin.
On social media, millions of regular citizens have a voice. So do paid trolls and government propagandists.
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From jailing people for likes to weaponizing copyright, it’s easier to prosecute your critics when you can find them on Facebook.
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Berlin’s annual IFA consumer electronics conference is not, generally, a political affair. Walk past its nearly 2,000 exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors and you’ll be greeted with “innovation engines,” calls to “do your laundry #LikeABosch” and demonstrations of advanced air conditioners (I didn’t feel a difference). At one of many “cooking shows,” presenters
In the aftermath of America’s disastrous 2017 hurricane season, some media outlets became interested in the people who were going to profit. One of these people was Albert Slap, CEO of Coastal Risk Consulting. “[He] would rather not be profiting from other people’s misfortune,” wrote Bloomberg. “But his business, determining the flood risk facing specific
When you take an Uber ride, information about your trip may be stored and shared with governments. But it’s not fed into a controversial mass surveillance system or security apparatus; instead, the data is anonymized and analyzed by cities, to help with problems like traffic flow and congestion. It’s called “Uber Movement,” and is like
What do you do when you have access to a massive electrical power source and you’re looking to make a bit more money? The staff at the state owned South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant in Yuzhnoukrainsk reckoned that a recent spike in cryptocurrency trading prices provided the perfect incentive to hook up their mining rigs
Britain’s new Home Secretary, appointed when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister and the third in the last three years, recently announced that encryption safeguards should be eliminated to allow access for law enforcement agencies. End-to-end encryption means only the sender and recipient can read encrypted messages. Priti Patel, widely considered to be a social conservative
One hallmark of the dominance of big technology firms like Amazon and Google is the rise of small groups of activist workers who use their proximity to the decision making process to lobby for change. This was demonstrated earlier this week when an anonymous group of Amazon employees, using a new social media account, began
This week, U.S. Attorney General William Barr made another move in the long-running argument between the government and tech companies by reiterating the government’s belief that electronics manufacturers need to make their encryption breakable by the authorities. “The deployment of warrant-proof encryption is already imposing huge costs on society,” Barr said according to Ars Technica.
Oakland, California has become the third American city to ban facial recognition. The president of its city council cited “potential abuses of data” and “the invasive nature of the technology” as reasons to do so. The latest ban, which would also prohibit the police, will be seen as a welcome trend by activists. In the
Digital technologies have changed the modern application of power. Political leaders mobilize large resources to win information wars on Twitter and Facebook. Rarely a day passes where new and viral instances of “fake news”, sometimes produced by state employed trolls, don’t pollute social media networks and monopolize our attention. Much of this was on discussion
As governments around the world ready themselves for the launch of Facebook’s forthcoming cryptocurrency, Libra, India announced last week that Asia’s third largest economy will probably not allow the digital offering to operate in the country. “Design of the Facebook currency has not been fully explained,” said Economic Affairs Secretary, Subhash Garg. “But whatever it
A month ago, we published Kayleigh Long’s dispatch from Myanmar, where she described how the country’s internet has become a battlefield. In one province in particular — Rakhine State — online content has both encouraged atrocities and helped activists document them. “The phone is our gun,” one opposition activist was quoted as saying. Myanmar’s government
As new tech such as biometrics and cloud intelligence changes the nature of law enforcement, Russia has put facial recognition systems at the heart of its policing strategy. Last week, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed the results of its latest facial recognition system test: over two years, 90 individuals were detained as a