Internet Security

Trump impeachment could derail administration’s maneuvers in tech

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced official impeachment proceedings against President Trump today, and while the approaching political fracas may not be directly tech-related, it could have serious effects on several efforts at the federal level to rein in or otherwise influence the tech industry. Impeachment does not mean the government stops doing what…


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced official impeachment proceedings against President Trump today, and while the approaching political fracas may not be directly tech-related, it could have serious effects on several efforts at the federal level to rein in or otherwise influence the tech industry.

Impeachment does not mean the government stops doing what it needs to do, of course. But it does immediately become one of the highest priority items on the White House’s already crowded to-do list. It’s more than possible that with impeachment work, the smoldering conflict in Saudi Arabia, immigration and ICE issues, and innumerable other issues and legal challenges, something like social media regulation may simply not be important enough to actively pursue.

The Trump administration has a complicated relationship with the tech industry. Many would say that it was the savvy leveraging of

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Internet Security

TikTok’s new set of safety videos teach users about features, the app’s focus on ‘positivity’

TikTok today released a new set of safety videos designed to playfully inform users about the app’s privacy controls and other features — like how to filter comments or report inappropriate behavior, among other things. One video also addresses TikTok’s goal of creating a “positive” social media environment, where creativity is celebrated and harassment is…


TikToktoday released a new set of safety videos designed to playfully inform users about the app’s privacy controls and other features — like how to filter comments or report inappropriate behavior, among other things. One video also addresses TikTok’s goal of creating a “positive” social media environment, where creativity is celebrated and harassment is banned.

This particular value — that TikTok is for “fun” — is cited whenever the Beijing-based company is pressured about the app’s censorship activity. Today, TikTok hides under claims that it’s all about being a place for lighthearted, positive behavior. But in reality, it had been censoring topics China doesn’t want its citizens to know about — like the Hong Kong protests, for example. Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear to take action on political issues in the U.S., where hashtags like #dumptrump or #maga have millions of views.

To figure out its approach to moderation, TikTok recently hired corporate law firm K&L Gates to advise it on how to create policies that won’t have it coming under the eye of U.S. regulators.

In the meantime, TikTok is tackling the job of crafting the sort of community it wants through these instructive videos. But it’s not just issuing its commands from the top-down — TikTok partners with its own creators to participate in the videos and then promote them to fans. The first set of videos, released in February, featured a dozen TikTok creators, for example.

This time around, the company has pulled in a doze

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Internet Security

Facebook pilloried over iPhone ‘secret camera access’ bug

Facebook has faced a barrage of concern over an apparent bug that resulted in the social media giant’s iPhone app exposing the camera as users scroll through their feed. A tweet over the weekend blew up after Joshua Maddux tweeted a screen recording of the Facebook app on his iPhone. He noticed that the camera…


Facebookhas faced a barrage of concern over an apparent bug that resulted in the social media giant’s iPhone app exposing the camera as users scroll through their feed.

A tweet over the weekend blew up after Joshua Maddux tweeted a screen recording of the Facebook app on his iPhone. He noticed that the camera would appear behind the Facebook app as he scrolled through his social media feed.

Several users had already spotted the bug earlier in the month. One person called it “a little worrying.”

Some immediately assumed the worst — as you might expect, given the long history of security vulnerabilities, data breaches and inadvertent exposures at Facebo

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Internet Security

India moves closer to regulating internet services as it fears ‘unimaginable disruption to democracy’

India said on Monday that it is moving ahead with its plan to revise existing rules to regulate intermediaries — social media apps and others that rely on users to create their content — as they are causing “unimaginable disruption” to democracy. In a legal document filed with the country’s apex Supreme Court, the Ministry…


India said on Monday that it is moving ahead with its plan to revise existing rules to regulate intermediaries — social media apps and others that rely on users to create their content — as they are causing “unimaginable disruption” to democracy.

In a legal document filed with the country’s apex Supreme Court, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said it would formulate the rules to regulate intermediaries by January 15, 2020.

In the legal filing, the government department said the internet had “emerged as a potent tool to cause unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity.” Oversight of intermediaries, the ministry said, would help in addressing the “ever growing threats to individual right

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Internet Security

Twitter says government demands for user data continue to rise

Twitter says the number of government demands for user data are at a record high. In its latest transparency report covering the six months between January and June, the social media giant said it received 7,300 demands for user data, up by 6% a year earlier, but that the number of accounts affected are down…


Twittersays the number of government demands for user data are at a record high.

In its latest transparency report covering the six months between January and June, the social media giant said it received 7,300 demands for user data, up by 6% a year earlier, but that the number of accounts affected are down by 25%.

The company turned over some account data in just less than half of all cases.

U.S. government agencies requested the most data from the company during the period, filing 2,120 demands for 4,150 accounts — accounting for about one-third of all

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