Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

If Net Neutrality Goes, the Web Will Be Full of Tollbooths

July 12, 2017

If Net Neutrality Goes, the Web Will Be Full of Tollbooths

The Internet is a utility, a vital public asset in a free society. Who could disagree with that? The Trump Administration. Learn more here:

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Ethiopia Shuts Down the Internet Over School Exam

June 3, 2017

Ethiopia Shuts Down the Internet Over School Exam

“Ethiopia shut down the internet on Tuesday (May 30) ahead of a scheduled national examination that was due to take place in the country on Wednesday.

Social media users noted that the internet service was interrupted from around 7 pm on Tuesday—reportedly to prevent exam leaks. About 1.2 million students are taking the grade 10 national exams, with another 288,000 preparing for the grade 12 university entrance exams that will take place next week.”

— “Ethiopia shut down the country’s internet to beat exam cheats,” Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Golf: Hole-in-One for Hackers

May 19, 2017

Trump Golf: Hole-in-One for Hackers

“We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and pointed a 2-foot wireless antenna that resembled a potato gun toward the club. Within a minute, we spotted three weakly encrypted Wi-Fi networks. We could have hacked them in less than five minutes, but we refrained.

A few days later, we drove through the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, with the same antenna and aimed it at the clubhouse. We identified two open Wi-Fi networks that anyone could join without a password. We resisted the temptation.

We have also visited two of President Donald Trump’s other family-run retreats, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a golf club in Sterling, Virginia. Our inspections found weak and open Wi-Fi networks, wireless printers without passwords, servers with outdated and vulnerable software, and unencrypted login pages to back-end databases containing sensitive information.

The risks posed by the lax security, experts say, go well beyond simple digital snooping. Sophisticated attackers could take advantage of vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi networks to take over devices like computers or smart phones and use them to record conversations involving anyone on the premises.

“Those networks all have to be crawling with foreign intruders, not just ProPublica,” said Dave Aitel, chief executive officer of Immunity, Inc., a digital security company, when we told him what we found.”

— “Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago,”  Jeff Larson and Julia Angwin, with Surya Mattu of Gizmodo, ProPublica.com

While the president travels with secure communication equipment, he tweets on an older model Android phone. And members and their guests could have their phones hacked to record conversations at the clubs.

Related:

“Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven — for spies,” Darren Samuelsohn, Politico

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Why GOP Congressman Killed Web Privacy: ‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’

April 28, 2017

Why GOP Congressman Killed Web Privacy: 'Nobody's got to use the Internet'

At at recent Town Hall, 73-year-old Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI, 5) explained why he and his fellow Republicans voted to allow your Internet Service Provider to sell your browsing history:

“Nobody’s got to use the Internet. … And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet. … Internet companies have invested an awful lot of money in having almost universal service now. The fact is is that, you know, I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you cannot get advertising for your information being sold. My job, I think, is to tell you that you have the opportunity to do it, and then you take it upon yourself to make that choice. … That’s what the law has been, and I think we ought to have more choices rather than fewer choices with the government controlling our everyday lives.”

You may recall that the Internet (and the Web as we know it) was developed by government, with your federal tax dollars.

More:

“‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’: A GOP lawmaker’s response to concerns about Web privacy,” Kristine Phillips, Washington Post

“Why one Republican voted to kill privacy rules: ‘Nobody has to use the Internet,’” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Trump Wants to Shut Down the Internet. He Can’t.

September 29, 2016

Trump Wants to Shut Down the Internet. He Can't.

“We cannot allow the internet to be used as a recruiting tool, and for other purposes, by our enemy. We must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do so immediately.”

Donald J. Trump, August 15, 2016

Mr. Trump seems to think the government somehow controls the Internet. It doesn’t. No one does. for someone who doesn’t believe in science, the GOP candidate has an odd faith in the brilliant minds of U.S. technology.

More:

“Why Trump can’t shut down the internet,” Bree Fowler, Associated Press

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Court Upholds Net Neutrality

June 15, 2016

Court Upholds Net Neutrality

In a 2-to-1 ruling,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld new FCC rules prohibiting Internet service providers from selectively blocking or slowing some sites and services and speeding up favored ones, observing:

“Given the tremendous impact third-party internet content has had on our society, it would be hard to deny its dominance in the broadband experience. Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie.”

ISPs had argued that they provide luxury “information services” and should be lightly regulated, but the court upheld the FCC’s new rules classifying them as “telecommunications services” or utilities, which are more strictly regulated. Expect this matter to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

More:

“Cable and telecom companies just lost a huge court battle on net neutrality,” Brian Fung, Washington Post

“Tom Wheeler defeats the broadband industry: Net neutrality wins in court,” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

“Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong,” Micharl Copps, BillMoyer.com

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Pepper Spray University Gets Schooled About PR

April 18, 2016

Pepper Spray University Gets Schooled About PR

In November 2011 the worldwide Occupy Movement reached the campus of the University of California at Davis. Protesters staging a sit-down strike were pepper-sprayed by UC Davis campus police in riot gear. It wasn’t a pretty picture, and outrage spread across the country and the Web. Now the Sacramento Bee has discovered that the UC Davis administration spent at least $175,000 trying to scrub bad publicity about the ugly incident from the Internet and repair the school’s reputation.

Understandably, news of the cover-up attempt has sparked fresh outrage, new campus demonstrations, and calls for the Chancellor’s resignation. And, despite the scrubbing effort, the 2011 UC Davis pepper spray incident is now a Google trending topic.

More:

“UC Davis gets caught in a PR coverup,” San Francisco Chronicle editorial

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Cats.

August 13, 2015

Cats

“’For some reason, cats took off, and then it’s this avalanche that just sort of keeps piling up,’ said Jason Eppink, the curator of ‘How Cats Took Over the Internet,‘ an exhibition that opens on Friday at the Museum of the Moving Image. ‘People on the web are more likely to post a cat than another animal, because it sort of perpetuates itself. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.’

The exhibition — which may well be the first mainstream museum installation entirely dedicated to cats online — is made up mostly of images, videos and GIFs of cats and is meant to be a cultural deconstruction of their enduring popularity. The show takes a high-minded look at anthropomorphism and what it calls the ‘aesthetics of cuteness‘ as well as a low-brow wallow through cheesy trends — like the LOLcats who demand cheezburger — and bad puns, like Caturday, a fad that had people posting cat pictures on Saturdays.”

” ‘How Cats Took Over the Internet’ at the Museum of the Moving Image,” Jennifer A. Kingson, New York Times

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Mobile is Murdering the Cyber Café

June 10, 2015

Mobile is Murdering the Cyber Café

Internet Cafés are an endangered species. Why? Because everyone has a smartphone now, even in RwandaBangladeshChina, India and Nigeria. In the USA, some cyber cafés are staying solvent by offering an extra amenity: Illegal gambling.

More:

“Internet cafes in the developing world find out what happens when everyone gets a smartphone,” Newley Purnell, Quartz

“No takers: After the smartphone boom, cybercafés dying a slow death in Mumbai,” Debasish Panigrahi, Hindustan Times

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Image (“Au Cyber Cafe, after Jean Béraud”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Internet Neutrality

February 27, 2015

Internet Neutrality

“The internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.” —  FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

The FCC voted to adopt stronger Network Neutrality rules on Thursday. Network Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally, that ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services or set aside a “fast lane” to allow ISP-favored content to load more quickly. Broadband providers will now be regulated as public utilities, and it is this “Title II reclassification” move that will give the agency broader authority to establish network neutrality rules.  Expect resistance from ISPs, in the form of PR campaigns and lawsuits.

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