Articles by date

06 August 2017

Country rules: the 'splinternet' may be the future of the web (The Conversation)

Both The Economist and WIRED are worried about the “splinternet”. The UK research organisation NESTA thinks it could “break up” the world wide web as we know it. What is this awkwardly named idea? It’s the concept that someone’s experience of the internet in Turkey, for example, is increasingly different from their experience of the internet in Australia.

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05 August 2017

China's online population hits 751m (Xinhua)

China's online population reached 751 million in June, up 2.7 percent compared with the end of 2016, according to a report on China's Internet published Friday.

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04 August 2017

Europe's Cyber Victims Are Racking Up Hundreds of Millions in Costs (Reuters)

Global hackers have unleashed a brace of attacks in recent months, but while their haul in bitcoin has been paltry, the revenue hit to companies infected is reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

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China's Internet Censors Play a Tougher Game of Cat and Mouse (New York Times)

The shutdown was unusual, and came without warning. Chinese censors tested on Thursday a new way of shutting down websites and cutting off the country’s internet users from the rest of the world. The censorship drill targeted tools that many in China use to thwart the country’s vast online censorship system, though internet companies said it also hit some sites at random.

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03 August 2017

For Facebook, erasing hate speech proves a daunting challenge (Washington Post)

Francie Latour was picking out produce in a suburban Boston grocery store when a white man leaned toward her two young sons and, just loudly enough for the boys to hear, unleashed a profanity-laced racist epithet.

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A Better, Safer Battery Could Be Coming to a Laptop Near You (New York Times)

A start-up company is trying to turbocharge a type of battery that has been a mainstay for simple devices like flashlights and toys, but until now has been ignored as an energy source for computers and electric cars.

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US Senate Crackdown on Online Sex Trafficking Hits Opposition (New York Times)

The Senate’s latest effort to crack down on online sex trafficking is designed for success. Proposed legislation has an unassailable title, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, and bipartisan support. And it targets websites that knowingly facilitate the work of sexual predators online.

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Here's what's on the dark web: Child snuff videos, WMD recipes and your details (Australian Financial Review)

An internet realm known as the dark web was once promoted as a safe haven for political dissidents and libertarians worldwide, and financed partly by the State Department. But it has turned into a criminal cesspool.

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'Anonymous' browsing data can be easily exposed, German researchers reveal (The Guardian)

A judge’s porn preferences and the medication used by a German MP were among the personal data uncovered by two German researchers who acquired the “anonymous” browsing habits of more than three million German citizens.

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Apple Caved to China, Just Like Almost Every Other Tech Giant (Wired)

Apple recently removed some of the virtual private networks from the App Store in China, making it harder for users there to get around internet censorship. Amazon has capitulated to China's censors as well; The New York Times reported this week that the company's China cloud service instructed local customers to stop using software to circumvent that country's censorship apparatus. While caving to China's demands prompts a vocal backlash, for anyone who follows US tech companies in China it was anything but surprising. Apple and Amazon have simply joined the ranks of companies that abandon so-called Western values in order to access the huge Chinese market.

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01 August 2017

Tech Companies Policing the Web Will Do More Harm Than Good (Wired)

The influence and proliferation of extremist content, hate speech, and state-sponsored propaganda on the internet has risen around the globe, as demonstrated by Russia’s involvement in the US election and the rise of ISIS recruitment online. As a result, the pressure that governments, media, and civil society are placing on technology companies to take meaningful action to stem the flow of this content is at an all-time high.

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Apple's Silence in China Sets a Dangerous Precedent (New York Times)

A year ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation made an extraordinary demand of Apple. To get inside a dead terrorist’s iPhone, law enforcement officials wanted the company to create a hackable version of the software that runs all iPhones.

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31 July 2017

Facebook 'dark ads' can swing political opinions, research shows (The Guardian)

Using “psychographic” profiles of individual voters generated from publicly stated interests really does work, according to new research presented at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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30 July 2017

Cyber-crime 'undermining' financial system warns Black Economy boss (Australian Financial Review)

Biometric methods of identification must be urgently and widely adopted to prevent the banking and financial services sectors being "systemically undermined" by rampant identity theft, the former global chief of KPMG now heading the nation's powerful Black Economy Taskforce has warned.

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Apple Removes Apps From China Store That Help Internet Users Evade Censorship (New York Times)

China appears to have received help on Saturday from an unlikely source in its fight against tools that help users evade its Great Firewall of internet censorship: Apple.

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29 July 2017

OECD broadband statistics update: Mobile broadband penetration at 99% in OECD area (OECD)

High-speed Internet use continues to grow in OECD countries with mobile broadband penetration reaching 99 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in December 2016, up from 91 per 100 inhabitants a year earlier, according to new data released by the OECD.

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28 July 2017

auDA Chair Faces the Music and Resigns Before Vote to Oust Him

The auDA Chair has faced the music realising his demise was imminent on Monday when a Special General Meeting was to be held to vote on his removal. However he also indicated auDA, the .au policy and regulatory body, will continue on the path of the current management that will continue to alienate many members and key stakeholders such as registrars who have enough of accountability and transparency disappearing, no community engagement, poor communications, mass staff defections and the cosy closed shop between the CEO, Chair and key board members.

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Crackdown on Online Criticism Chills Pakistani Social Media (New York Times)

Dr. Faisal Ranjha was examining a patient in the crowded critical-care unit of his hospital in northeastern Pakistan when a federal officer abruptly walked in, seized his cellphone and told him he was under arrest.

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27 July 2017

auDA Ignores Their Stakeholders With Echoes of Nominet Debacle a Decade Ago

It’s looming as a battle that has echoes of a few others. There’s the current battle between the powers that be at Cricket Australia and the cricketers. And there was the battle between members and management at Nominet a decade ago. And now there’s another battle that’s been going for a few months now. auDA is defying its members, ignoring their constitution and trashing transparency and accountability. Nominet lost the battle, Cricket Australia is so far losing the battle and auDA is digging in hoping it doesn’t follow.

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The Shifting Geopolitics of Internet Access: From Broadband and Net Neutrality to Zero-rating (Centre for International Governance Innovation)

The nature of Internet access is constantly shifting. How infrastructure technologies are arranged and marketed directly determines conditions of access and participation. In the recent past, the Internet was normally accessed via “broadband” or fixed landline connections. However, the proliferation of smartphones, Wi-Fi access and high-speed cellular telephony networks has dramatically shifted the access landscape, particularly in emerging markets.

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26 July 2017

New gTLD Registrations Hit Lowest Number In 8 Months

Registrations among new gTLDs aren’t in freefall, but numbers continue to drop as registrations come up for renewal and, for some, following heavily discounted promotions, registrants aren’t renewing.

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auDA CEO and Director Caught Not Declaring Conflict of Interest

The auDA CEO Cameron Boardman has once again been caught out. Not content with hiding key documents from members by deleting historical information from the website, Boardman along with new director Dr. Michaella Richards have also now been caught out not declaring a conflict of interest in that both worked in the Victorian state government, along with Chair Stuart Benjamin.

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Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Sold (New York Times)

Your Roomba may be vacuuming up more than you think.

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25 July 2017

ICANN Commits to Transparency, auDA Despises It

In the ongoing debacle at auDA, it’s hard not to notice what happens in other organisations, even in the domain name industry.

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Internet firms should use profits to stamp out child abuse images, says UK police chief (The Guardian)

Internet companies should reinvest some of their “eye-watering” profits into efforts to stamp out child abuse images online, a chief constable has said.

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