Google’s Search Changes May Not Level Playing Field

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Ethical issues, Google, Internet Advertising, IT and Politics, IT and the law.

GOOGLE WILL ALLOW rivals to bid on coveted advertising spots that it previously reserved for itself at the top of product search results in Europe, but there are widespread doubts that the move will create meaningful competition. Source: Wired Magazine Date: September 28th, 2017 Link: https://www.wired.com/story/googles-search-changes-wont-really-level-playing-field/ Discussion 1) “Google’s plan to auction space at the top of search results… Read more »

Social media and censorship in China: how is it different to the West?

Posted by & filed under Censorship, Ethical issues, IT and Politics.

China has disrupted WhatsApp in a censorship drive ahead of the government’s Communist Party meeting next month.  It has only been accessible through virtual private networks (VPNs) at times – but even some of them are being blocked.  Other social media platforms, which people in the West use every day, are also banned in mainland China.  Instead they’re replaced by… Read more »

How Facebook knows you’re Jewish

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues, Facebook, IT and Politics, IT and the law.

Facebook is wishing some of its “Jewish” users a Happy New Year.  Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, began Wednesday evening — and some Facebook users received a celebratory message when they logged in. While the note was well received by some, others questioned how exactly the social network was aware of their religious affiliation. In some… Read more »

‘Shot Spotter’ a key technology in arrest of Fresno shooter

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues, Internet of Things, IT and Politics, SaaS Software as a Service.

Fresno Police Chief, Jerry Dyer, says his department’s ‘Shot Spotter’ technology detected gunfire on Tuesday that led to the quick apprehension of Kori Ali Muhammad, accused of fatally shooting three men. Source: Toronto Star Date: April 25th, 2017 Link to video: https://www.thestar.com/news/2017/04/20/-shot-spotter-a-key-technology-in-arrest-of-fresno-shooter.html Discussion 1) “Shot spotter” technology means that very high fidelity microphones are placed in an area… Read more »

Mobile phone motion sensors can be used to crack your PIN

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Cyber Security, Emerging Technologies, IT and Politics.

A new study has revealed just how easy it is for hackers to use the sensors in mobile devices to crack four-digit PINs and to access a wide variety of other information about users. Cyber-security experts from Newcastle University in the U.K. found that once a mobile user visits a website, code embedded on the page could then use… Read more »

Investigative reporter for CBS News continues to fight government electronic surveillance

Posted by & filed under Censorship, Civil Liberties, Cyber Security, Electronic Surveillance, Ethical issues, IT and Politics.

As an investigative reporter for CBS News, Ms. Attkisson was responsible for investigating and reporting on national news stories. Between 2011 and 2013, she investigated and prepared various high-profile news reports, including ones related to the “Fast and Furious” “gunwalking” operation and the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya… In 2011——at the… Read more »

Will Cuba embrace the internet revolution?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies, IT and Politics, IT Trends.

No matter how much you warn visitors to Cuba that they’ll be offline during their stay, they often won’t believe it until they actually arrive in Havana.  Is this about to change? Source: BBC Technology News Date: March 8th, 2017 Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-39119873 Discussion 1) The title of this article is “Will Cuba embrace the internet revolution?”  Isn’t a… Read more »

WikiLeaks Releases Trove of Alleged C.I.A. Hacking Documents

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, Electronic Surveillance, Ethical issues, IT and Politics, IT Security.

Wikileaks recently released thousands of documents that it said described sophisticated software tools used by the CIA to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions. Source: New York Times Date: March 7th, 2017 Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/world/europe/wikileaks-cia-hacking.html?action=Click&contentCollection=BreakingNews&contentID=64996424&pgtype=Homepage&smid=fb-nytpolitics&smtyp=cur&_r=0 Discussion 1) “The WikiLeaks release said that the CIA has managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services.”  Does this… Read more »

Why has the country of Cameroon blocked the internet?

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics.

Three weeks after reports that Cameroon had blocked the internet in English-speaking parts of the country, residents say services have yet to be restored. So what is going on?  Cameroonians have little doubt that pulling the plug on internet services for about 20% of the population is an intentional act by the government. Source: BBC Technology… Read more »