Links to the extreme-right in facial recognition company | Google told to avoid Hong Kong, by the US | EU's call for guidelines for privacy in tech fight against COVID-19
Clearview’s CEO and co-founder, Cam-Hoan Ton-That, and his associates chose to mass-violate social media policies against scraping accounts to build an image warehouse of unprecedented size. Exclusive documents reveal that Ton-That, as well as several people who have done work for the company, have deep, longstanding ties to far-right extremists. The Huffington Post
U.S. officials granted Google permission to turn on a high-speed internet link to Taiwan but not to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, citing national-security concerns in a ruling that underscores fraying ties between Washington and Beijing. The Wall Street Journal
The European Commission has called for a pan-European approach to using mobile technologies to curb the outbreak. But privacy experts have warned that such tools could undermine central features of the European project. DW
Read the ASPI report referenced by Omar here.
How the US Has Responded to Allegations of China’s Human Rights Abuses
“In the past two years there haven’t really been any audits that have happened in Xinjiang, just because it’s too dangerous, even the companies with goodwill, who want to correct this, have no idea what’s going on,” said Vicky Xu, a journalist-turned-researcher with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
The National Security Implications of Exteme Misogyny
If there’s one common feature which unites communities of online extremists—from pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to white supremacists in the US and Islamic State supporters in the Middle East and Asia, it is a fundamental disrespect for women.
The Far-Right Helped Create The World's Most Powerful Facial Recognition Technology
Clearview’s CEO and co-founder, Cam-Hoan Ton-That, and his associates chose to mass-violate social media policies against scraping accounts to build an image warehouse of unprecedented size, as several outlets have noted recently. What hasn’t been reported, however, is even scarier: Exclusive documents obtained by HuffPost reveal that Ton-That, as well as several people who have done work for the company, have deep, longstanding ties to far-right extremists. Some members of this alt-right cabal went on to work for Ton-That.
On Twitter, almost 60 percent of false claims about coronavirus remain online — without a warning label
The Washington Post
More than half of the misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic that has been debunked by fact checkers remains on Twitter without any warning label, a record that puts it far behind rival social media platforms, according to a study released Tuesday night by Oxford University researchers.
Tech giants are finding creative ways to use our data to fight the coronavirus
An unexpected outcome of the current pandemic is that big tech companies, which have spent the past three years on the defensive over their data collection practices, are now promoting them.
Clever Cryptography Could Protect Privacy in Covid-19 Contact-Tracing Apps
Before the COVID 19 Pandemic pandemic, any system that used smartphones to track locations and contacts sounded like a dystopian surveillance nightmare. Now, it sounds like a dystopian surveillance nightmare that could also save millions of lives and rescue the global economy. The paradoxical challenge: to build that vast tracking system without it becoming a full-on panopticon.
Chinese State Media Seeks to Influence International Perceptions of COVID-19 Pandemic
Chinese overt messaging around COVID-19 has evolved over the course of this pandemic. Insikt Group’s research has identified two distinct phases of Chinese overt messaging. The first, from January 9 through February 10, consisted of an initially informative public response that followed the progression of the outbreak. The second, from February 11 to the present, was characterized by shifts — shifting the blame for the pandemic away from the Chinese government, highlighting the prominence of Xi Jinping as the leader of effective response, and shifting from China as the source of the pandemic to China as a global leader in its response.
In a first, China knocks U.S. from top spot in global patent race
China was the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world last year, pushing the United States out of the top spot it has held since the global system was set up more than 40 years ago.
U.S. Allows Google Internet Project to Advance Only if Hong Kong Is Cut Out
The Wall Street Journal
U.S. officials granted Google permission to turn on a high-speed internet link to Taiwan but not to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, citing national-security concerns in a ruling that underscores fraying ties between Washington and Beijing.
The Virus Changed the Way We Internet
The New York Times
A New York Times analysis of internet usage in the United States from SimilarWeb and Apptopia, two online data providers, reveals that our behaviors shifted, sometimes starkly, as the virus spread and pushed us to our devices for work, play and connecting.
Baby QAnon Was Just Arrested
The Daily Beast
In the bizarre world of QAnon conspiracy theorists, 29-year-old Austin Steinbart was a rising star.
Taipei Lockdown. Three Containment Models to Flatten the Curve
If community spread were to break out in the greater Taipei region, what could be done to effectively contain the pandemic’s spread in such high risk areas?
India asks TikTok, Facebook to remove users spreading coronavirus misinformation
India has told Facebook and Chinese video app TikTok to remove users found to be spreading misinformation about the coronavirus following concern about videos intended to mislead Muslims.
EU unveils coronavirus app tracking guidelines
The European Commission has called for a pan-European approach to using mobile technologies to curb the outbreak. But privacy experts have warned that such tools could undermine central features of the European project.
Read the press release for these guidelines here.
German foreign ministry restricts use of Zoom over security concerns
The German foreign ministry has restricted use of the video conferencing service Zoom to fixed-connection computers due to concerns about security issues, two German government sources said.
France working on 'StopCovid' contact-tracing app, ministers say
The French government is working on a smartphone app that could warn users if they came into contact with a coronavirus carrier.
Africa’s largest mobile money service is now under full African ownership—for the first time
M-Pesa, the East African mobile money service, is now fully owned by two of Africa’s largest telecoms companies.
How the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory tore through the internet
From an interview with an obscure Belgian doctor to apparent arson attacks in the UK, the conspiracy theory that 5G is somehow linked to the coronavirus pandemic has spread unlike any other.
Zoom sued for overstating, not disclosing privacy, security flaws
Zoom Video Communications Inc was slapped with a class action suit by one of its shareholders on Tuesday, accusing the video-conferencing app of overstating its privacy standards and failing to disclose that its service was not end-to-end encrypted.
A Cheap 3D Printer Can Trick Smartphone Fingerprint Locks
With a budget of just $2,000, researchers could fool biometric scanners 80 percent of the time.
Zoom CEO Tells NPR He Never Thought 'Seriously' About Online Harassment Until Now
The CEO and founder of the newly popular video conferencing service Zoom says he'll make his product harder to use, if it improves safety and security.
WhatsApp to impose new limit on forwarding to fight fake news
WhatsApp is to impose a strict new limit on message forwarding as the Facebook-owned chat app seeks to slow the dissemination of fake news.
Twitter chief to donate quarter of his fortune to coronavirus fight
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, has pledged to donate $1bn (£800m) to fund coronavirus research to help “disarm this pandemic”.
Maximator: European signals intelligence cooperation, from a Dutch perspective
Intelligence and National Security
This article is first to report on the secret European five-partner sigint alliance Maximator that started in the late 1970s. It discloses the name Maximator and provides documentary evidence. The five members of this European alliance are Danmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and France.
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