Authoritarian Tech

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Surveillance

Today’s most innovative police states owe more to Mark Zuckerberg than to Joseph Stalin.

Social Media

On social media, millions of regular citizens have a voice. So do paid trolls and government propagandists.

News Briefs
14 March, 2019
Researchers Find Flaw In Swiss Internet Voting, With Global implications

Switzerland’s new online voting system has a problem. After a group of researchers recently examined the source code, they announced that a malicious actor could change ballots without anybody noticing, Motherboard reports. Swiss Post, which developed the new system with a Barcelona-based company called Scytl, countered that the flaw can only be exploited by someone

13 March, 2019
As It Turns 30, The World Wide Web Is An Arena For Conflict

State sponsored hacks, government-backed fake news and criminality—as the World Wide Web turns 30 years of age, this week presents a good opportunity to examine how a global digital public square is being threatened by authoritarian states, tech companies and criminals whose acts have walled off large areas of digital space. At their worst, instances

9 March, 2019
UK Government Trade Fair Peddles Tech to Authoritarian Regimes

Last week, the British government held its annual “Security & Policing” fair, which promotes European surveillance technology to, among others, authoritarian regimes. A new Vice News investigation shed fresh light on what goes on at the fair. One company, Gamma, allegedly helped the Bahraini government hack the computers of opposition activists. Gamma has used the

8 March, 2019
Facebook Promises a Pivot to Privacy

In a blog post, Mark Zuckerberg, the C.E.O. of Facebook, announced a major shift in the company’s approach to privacy. In the next few years, Zuckerberg writes, Facebook will put a much greater emphasis on encrypted and temporary messages among small groups of people. “[P]rivate messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the

5 March, 2019
New U.S. Report Warns of Facial Recognition Dangers

A comprehensive new report by a nonpartisan and independent U.S. watchdog which investigates government corruption and abuse of power warns of the dangers of facial recognition surveillance and says its application should be limited to emergency situations only. As personal information belonging to hundreds of millions of Americans is swept up by private companies as

22 February, 2019
Russian Hacker Groups Can Infiltrate a Computer System In 19 Minutes, The World’s Fastest

The company that first linked Russian organizations to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee has released a new ranking of cyber threats, and Russia is at the top. The new threat report from CrowdStrike ranks state-sponsored hackers by the time it takes hackers to start moving around in a computer system after they’ve made

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