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international Archives - LINX

UK prime minister calls on internet firms to remove extremist content within two hours

By | Content Issues, International, News

The UK prime minister, Theresa May, has told internet companies that they need to go “further and faster” in removing extremist content in a speech to the United Nations general assembly. The prime minister said that terrorist material is still available on the internet for “too long” after being posted and has challenged companies to find a way to remove it within two hours. The material in question can include links to videos glorifying terrorism and material encouraging converts to commit terrorist acts.

In her speech, May said:

“Terrorist groups are aware that links to their propaganda are being removed more quickly, and are placing a greater emphasis on disseminating content at speed in order to stay ahead.

Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online, and developing technological solutions that prevent it being uploaded in the first place.”

The UK, together with France and Italy, is demanding evidence of progress by the time of a meeting of G7 interior ministers in Rome on 20 October.

Internet giants protest over rollback of net neutrality

By | Content Issues, International, News
A large number of internet giants – including Facebook, Google, AirBnB and others – are preparing for a “Day of Protest” on Wednesday 12th July over a ruling by the US communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), that will reverse Obama-era net neutrality rules that prevent the prioritisation (or “throttling”) of data.

These were implemented by classifying ISPs as telecommunications operators regulated under Title II of the US Communications Act.Campaigners fear the decision by the communications regulator will lead to a two-tier internet in which ISPs can determine the download speeds of content. Sean Vitka, a lawyer for pro-net neutrality groups Demand Progress and Fight for the Future, said: “If a new company can’t access companies on the same terms as the incumbents they’re not going to have the chance to thrive.But the NCTA, a trade association for network operators argued that Title II regulation is “a complicated set of rules from the 1930s” and “not remotely connected to net neutrality”.

The FCC implemented net neutrality rules under Title II when the courts found that it had exceeded its authority under Title I when imposing a previous ruleset in 2010.

On Wednesday, several internet companies will be voicing their opposition to the move in a variety of ways, from changing their homepage to black, simulate what internet access is like in a world without net neutrality, displaying messages against the move, and more.

Leaked documents according to the Daily Mail and Wikileaks reveal that CIA has hacked Wi-Fi routers

By | International, Malware and DOS attacks, News

Leaked documents from activist group Wikileaks and as reported by the Daily Mail has shown that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has hacked a number of routers and has converted them into devices used to snoop in on people’s conversations. The Daily Mail reports that the hacks have targeted 25 router models from manufacturers such as Linksys, DLink and Belkin. Furthermore, the Daily Mail cites the Wikileaks document as stating that the firmware could be expanded to affect a hundred or more devices if they are given only slight modifications.

The 175-page document was reportedly nicknamed “CherryBlossom” (CB for short) by the intelligence agency. The document described CherryBlossom as stating that: “The Cherry Blossom (CB) system provides a means of monitoring the internet activity of and performing software exploits on targets of interest”.

The firmware apparently works by converting the router into a “FlyTrap” that sends messages also known as “beacons” to CIA-controlled server nicknamed “CherryTree”. The FlyTrap sends information such as the router’s device and security information, which CherryTree logs into a database.

Devices that were protected with a weak or default password were highly susceptible to the firmware, the document from Wikileaks show.

The findings, if true, show the various problems associated with friendly governments taking the view that it is acceptable for intelligence agencies to compromise either security or privacy. The end result can only be the use of such mechanisms by actors with less than noble intentions – ranging from hostile governments to organised criminals to terrorists all the way down to script kiddies. This serves as a useful forewarning on the dangers of requiring ‘backdoors’ on encryption technology, together with the policy ramifications from the Investigatory Powers Act Technical Capability Notices.

Swiss court convicts man over Facebook ‘likes’

By | News
A Swiss court has convicted a man for his ‘likes’ on Facebook. The 45-year-old unnamed defendant was told by the court in Zurich that because he had a ‘liked’ a post written by someone else regarding Erwin Kessler, who heads the animal rights group Verein gegen Tierfabriken (VgT), he was responsible for the words it contained, which alleged that Keller is a racist and an anti-semite.

The posts arose from a debate on Facebook concerning whether animal rights groups should take part in a large street vegan festival in Switzerland, the Veganmania Schweiz. Some left posts on Keller accusing him of racism and anti-semitism, which the defendant then ‘liked’. Kessler brought a case against the unnamed defendant, claiming that because these Facebook ‘likes’ helped to spread the accusations even further, he should be convicted. The court agreed, with Judge Catherine Gerwig saying at the trial that in liking the Facebook posts they were “spreading a value judgement”.

This was despite Kessler being convicted for racial discrimination in 1998 for trying to prevent the uplifting of a ban on the Jewish practice shechita, a Jewish religious method of slaughtering animals for food in order to produce kosher meat. However, because no current proof was provided for Kessler being racist now, the case against him for his Facebook ‘likes’ still stands.

The man was fined 4,000 Swiss Francs.