industryterm:internet users

  • Renaud Epstein & station urbaner kulturen

    (Feben Amara, Jochen Becker, Christian Hanussek, Eva Hertzsch, Adam Page) with Oliver Pohlisch and Birgit Schlieps

    One day, one ZUP, one postcard (2014-…), 2018

    Wallpaper / Display cabinet
    Collection station urbaner kulturen, Berlin-Hellersdorf

    The sociologist Renaud Epstein’s project has first and foremost been an online format since its initiation in 2014: he posts a new postcard of large housing estates (Zones à Urbaniser par Priorité / ZUP) on his Twitter account every day. From a time when France dreamed of being modern and urban and believed in its architectural utopias, the ZUP postcards evoke at best a golden era, at worst a contemporary delusion.

    The Berlin collective station urbaner kulturen, based in the last big housing estate built in the GDR, has extracted sections from Epstein’s Twitter timeline in order to materialize the interaction between internet users and images. Their project «Going out of Circles / Kreise ziehen» presents a wider series of exhibitions that aims to create connections between the housing estates on the periphery of urban and economic centers, around Berlin and beyond.

    A display case with original postcards next to the Twitter wallpaper emphasises the different readings of formats of communication.

    Postcards – News from a Dream World
    Musée départemental Arles Antique

    1 July - 25 August / 10 - 18

    Exhibition curators: Magali Nachtergael and Anne Reverseau

    Eric Baudart & Thu-Van Tran (1972 et 1979), Fredi Casco (1967), Moyra Davey (1958), documentation céline duval (1974), Renaud Epstein & station urbane kulturen (1971 et créé en 2014), Jean Geiser (1848-1923), Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige (1969), Roc Herms (1978), Susan Hiller (1940-2019), John Hinde (1916-1997), Katia Kameli (1973), Aglaia Konrad (1960), Valérie Mréjen (1969), Martin Parr (1952), Mathieu Pernot (1970), Brenda Lou Schaub (1993), Stephen Shore (1947), John Stezaker (1948), Oriol Vilanova (1980), William Wegman (1943)

    The postcard is the ultimate circulating picture, constantly subject to a sense of déjà-vu. Throughout the twentieth century, it went hand in hand with the bottling of the visible world, the rise of image globalization and mass tourism. Collectors, hoarders, retouchers and iconographers seize existing pictures to give them a new meaning, clarify their status or context.

    By comparing this artistic vision with the making of postcards, this exhibition questions what they show and tell of the world, like a visual anthropology. What did they convey throughout the twentieth century, during their hour of glory? What vision of the world did they plant in the minds of their recipients, who got them from relatives and friends?

    Both a symbol of our private and collective imagination, the postcard represents an illusion, always close to hand. It shows us a dream world in which can project ourselves, as in a desirable fiction story.

    #renaud_epstein #cartes_postales

  • Adversarial Interoperability: Reviving an Elegant Weapon From a More Civilized Age to Slay Today’s Monopolies | Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Voici ce que le mouvement pour le logiciel libre peut apprendre des tactiques des concurrents de Microsoft - si vous ne pouvez pas gagner contre les géants, profitez d’eux.

    Today, Apple is one of the largest, most profitable companies on Earth, but in the early 2000s, the company was fighting for its life. Microsoft’s Windows operating system was ascendant, and Microsoft leveraged its dominance to ensure that every Windows user relied on its Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc). Apple users—a small minority of computer users—who wanted to exchange documents with the much larger world of Windows users were dependent on Microsoft’s Office for the Macintosh operating system (which worked inconsistently with Windows Office documents, with unexpected behaviors like corrupting documents so they were no longer readable, or partially/incorrectly displaying parts of exchanged documents). Alternatively, Apple users could ask Windows users to export their Office documents to an “interoperable” file format like Rich Text Format (for text), or Comma-Separated Values (for spreadsheets). These, too, were inconsistent and error-prone, interpreted in different ways by different programs on both Mac and Windows systems.

    Apple could have begged Microsoft to improve its Macintosh offerings, or they could have begged the company to standardize its flagship products at a standards body like OASIS or ISO. But Microsoft had little motive to do such a thing: its Office products were a tremendous competitive advantage, and despite the fact that Apple was too small to be a real threat, Microsoft had a well-deserved reputation for going to enormous lengths to snuff out potential competitors, including both Macintosh computers and computers running the GNU/Linux operating system.

    Apple did not rely on Microsoft’s goodwill and generosity: instead, it relied on reverse-engineering. After its 2002 “Switch” ad campaign—which begged potential Apple customers to ignore the “myths” about how hard it was to integrate Macs into Windows workflows—it intensified work on its iWork productivity suite, which launched in 2005, incorporating a word-processor (Pages), a spreadsheet (Numbers) and a presentation program (Keynote). These were feature-rich applications in their own right, with many innovations that leapfrogged the incumbent Microsoft tools, but this superiority would still not have been sufficient to ensure the adoption of iWork, because the world’s greatest spreadsheets are of no use if everyone you need to work with can’t open them.

    What made iWork a success—and helped re-launch Apple—was the fact that Pages could open and save most Word files; Numbers could open and save most Excel files; and Keynote could open and save most PowerPoint presentations. Apple did not attain this compatibility through Microsoft’s cooperation: it attained it despite Microsoft’s noncooperation. Apple didn’t just make an “interoperable” product that worked with an existing product in the market: they made an adversarially interoperable product whose compatibility was wrested from the incumbent, through diligent reverse-engineering and reimplementation. What’s more, Apple committed to maintaining that interoperability, even though Microsoft continued to update its products in ways that temporarily undermined the ability of Apple customers to exchange documents with Microsoft customers, paying engineers to unbreak everything that Microsoft’s maneuvers broke. Apple’s persistence paid off: over time, Microsoft’s customers became dependent on compatibility with Apple customers, and they would complain if Microsoft changed its Office products in ways that broke their cross-platform workflow.

    Since Pages’ launch, document interoperability has stabilized, with multiple parties entering the market, including Google’s cloud-based Docs offerings, and the free/open alternatives from LibreOffice. The convergence on this standard was not undertaken with the blessing of the dominant player: rather, it came about despite Microsoft’s opposition. Docs are not just interoperable, they’re adversarially interoperable: each has its own file format, but each can read Microsoft’s file format.

    The document wars are just one of many key junctures in which adversarial interoperability made a dominant player vulnerable to new entrants:

    Hayes modems
    Usenet’s alt.* hierarchy
    Supercard’s compatibility with Hypercard
    Search engines’ web-crawlers
    Servers of every kind, which routinely impersonate PCs, printers, and other devices

    Scratch the surface of most Big Tech giants and you’ll find an adversarial interoperability story: Facebook grew by making a tool that let its users stay in touch with MySpace users; Google products from search to Docs and beyond depend on adversarial interoperability layers; Amazon’s cloud is full of virtual machines pretending to be discrete CPUs, impersonating real computers so well that the programs running within them have no idea that they’re trapped in the Matrix.

    Adversarial interoperability converts market dominance from an unassailable asset to a liability. Once Facebook could give new users the ability to stay in touch with MySpace friends, then every message those Facebook users sent back to MySpace—with a footer advertising Facebook’s superiority—became a recruiting tool for more Facebook users. MySpace served Facebook as a reservoir of conveniently organized potential users that could be easily reached with a compelling pitch about why they should switch.

    Today, Facebook is posting 30-54% annual year-on-year revenue growth and boasts 2.3 billion users, many of whom are deeply unhappy with the service, but who are stuck within its confines because their friends are there (and vice-versa).

    A company making billions and growing by double-digits with 2.3 billion unhappy customers should be every investor’s white whale, but instead, Facebook and its associated businesses are known as “the kill zone” in investment circles.

    Facebook’s advantage is in “network effects”: the idea that Facebook increases in value with every user who joins it (because more users increase the likelihood that the person you’re looking for is on Facebook). But adversarial interoperability could allow new market entrants to arrogate those network effects to themselves, by allowing their users to remain in contact with Facebook friends even after they’ve left Facebook.

    This kind of adversarial interoperability goes beyond the sort of thing envisioned by “data portability,” which usually refers to tools that allow users to make a one-off export of all their data, which they can take with them to rival services. Data portability is important, but it is no substitute for the ability to have ongoing access to a service that you’re in the process of migrating away from.

    Big Tech platforms leverage both their users’ behavioral data and the ability to lock their users into “walled gardens” to drive incredible growth and profits. The customers for these systems are treated as though they have entered into a negotiated contract with the companies, trading privacy for service, or vendor lock-in for some kind of subsidy or convenience. And when Big Tech lobbies against privacy regulations and anti-walled-garden measures like Right to Repair legislation, they say that their customers negotiated a deal in which they surrendered their personal information to be plundered and sold, or their freedom to buy service and parts on the open market.

    But it’s obvious that no such negotiation has taken place. Your browser invisibly and silently hemorrhages your personal information as you move about the web; you paid for your phone or printer and should have the right to decide whose ink or apps go into them.

    Adversarial interoperability is the consumer’s bargaining chip in these coercive “negotiations.” More than a quarter of Internet users have installed ad-blockers, making it the biggest consumer revolt in human history. These users are making counteroffers: the platforms say, “We want all of your data in exchange for this service,” and their users say, “How about none?” Now we have a negotiation!

    Or think of the iPhone owners who patronize independent service centers instead of using Apple’s service: Apple’s opening bid is “You only ever get your stuff fixed from us, at a price we set,” and the owners of Apple devices say, “Hard pass.” Now it’s up to Apple to make a counteroffer. We’ll know it’s a fair one if iPhone owners decide to patronize Apple’s service centers.

    This is what a competitive market looks like. In the absence of competitive offerings from rival firms, consumers make counteroffers by other means.

    There is good reason to want to see a reinvigorated approach to competition in America, but it’s important to remember that competition is enabled or constrained not just by mergers and acquisitions. Companies can use a whole package of laws to attain and maintain dominance, to the detriment of the public interest.

    Today, consumers and toolsmiths confront a thicket of laws and rules that stand between them and technological self-determination. To change that, we need to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, , patent law, and other rules and laws. Adversarial interoperability is in the history of every tech giant that rules today, and if it was good enough for them in the past, it’s good enough for the companies that will topple them in the future.

    #adversarial_Interoperability #logiciel_libre #disruption

  • We monitor and challenge internet censorship in China |

    GreatFire Apps

    FreeBrowser is the only browser that allows Chinese internet users to directly access uncensored news. 40% of our users have never used a circumvention tool before.

    In an effort to crackdown on freedom of speech, the Chinese authorities have kidnapped and “disappeared” book publishers. FreeBooks fights back by making it easy for readers in China to get their hands on uncensored e-books and audio books, helping to inform and educate those who want to learn more.

    GreatFire Websites

    FreeBrowser StartPage
    We have directed Chinese internet users more than 13 million times to censored news stories about government corruption, politics, scandals and other “sensitive” information.

    No other website restores and republishes censored information from WeChat, China’s ubiquitous and most popular application. Our dataset grows larger each and every day and provides a real-time and accurate litmus test of the information that the Chinese authorities find most threatening.

    We mimic the look and feel of the real Weibo website, but instead of presenting a “harmonized” version of the popular social media network, we restore and integrate censored and deleted posts (currently numbering more than 300,000), so that Chinese can access a real-time view of the real discussions that are taking place online in China.
    Promotes FreeBrowser.

    Circumvention Central
    No other website tests the speed and stability of free and paid circumvention tools from China. We provide an unbiased, data-driven view of what is working and what is not so that Chinese can make informed decisions when choosing a circumvention tool.

    GreatFire Analyzer
    No other website has accumulated as much data as we have around the blocking of websites and keywords. We make ourselves available to the media and have been quoted in thousands of news stories.
    This website.

    GitHub Wiki
    Our GitHub wiki enables our users in China to download our apps directly without circumventing.

    About Us

    We are an anonymous organization based in China. We launched our first project in 2011 in an effort to help bring transparency to online censorship in China. Now we focus on helping Chinese to freely access information. Apart from being widely discussed in most major mass media, GreatFire has also been the subject of a number of academic papers from various research institutions. won the 2013 Deutsche Welle “Best Of Online Activism” award in the “Best Innovation” category. In 2016, GreatFire won a Digital Activism fellowship from Index on Censorship.

    #Chine #censure #vie_privée #surveillance

  • Top green #mining projects

    Top Green Mining Crypto ProjectsThe advantage of bubbles, when they pop, is that they make it possible to do a big spring cleaning. And, on the side of the mining services provider, we can say that the purge was severe.Why that?Let’s go back a few months ago…- The sector has been the target of many scams (it has been highly targeted, as have been the exchange and #blockchain projects). - The price of cryptocurrencies has fallen sharply, making unprofitable most of the mines that had been built in a hurry, with machines that are not very efficient and use a huge amount of energy.- Mining has been criticized in all major media for its impact on the climate, has been hijacked by Javascript hacks on contaminated sites to unknowingly mine using the computers of the Internet users.- Etc.In (...)

    #cryptocurrency #ethereum

  • State Controlled #internet: The Story About VPNs in #china

    Censorship is closely related to politics. The annual global ranking of Internet freedom clearly illustrates this dependence. States that violate human rights also block undesirable websites or block access to the global network.Only 13 of the 65 countries analyzed by the Freedom House researchers do not interfere with the information freedom of their citizens. Most of the rest of the world’s Internet users can access blocked websites only via #vpn services. Residents of China have hard times with this as the hunt for unlicensed VPNs has recently increased there.Chronology of restrictionsBack in 2008, YouTube was blocked in China. A year later in 2009, Facebook, Twitter, and all Google services were blocked. In 2014, access to Instagram was blocked. Chinese authorities said that all (...)

    #privacy #hackernoon-top-story

  • 40% of malicious URLs were found on good domains - Help Net Security

    40 percent of malicious URLs were found on good domains. Legitimate websites are frequently compromised to host malicious content. To protect users, cybersecurity solutions need URL-level visibility or, when unavailable, domain-level metrics, that accurately represent the dangers.

    Home user devices are more than twice as likely to get infected as business devices. Sixty-eight percent of infections are seen on consumer endpoints, versus 32 percent on business endpoints.

    Phishing attacks increased 36 percent, with the number of phishing sites growing 220 percent over the course of 2018. Phishing sites now use SSL certificates and HTTPS to trick internet users into believing they are secure, legitimate pages. Seventy-seven percent of phishing attacks impersonated financial institutions, and were much more likely to use HTTPS than other types of targets. In fact, for some of the targeted financial institutions, over 80 percent of the phishing pages used HTTPS. Google was found to be the most impersonated brand in phishing overall.

    After 12 months of security awareness training, end users are 70 percent less likely to fall for a phishing attempt. Webroot found that organizations that combine phishing simulation campaigns with regular training saw a 70 percent drop in phishing link click-through.

    Nearly a third of malware tries to install itself in %appdata% folders. Although malware can hide almost anywhere, Webroot found several common locations, including %appdata% (29.4 percent), %temp% (24.5 percent), and %cache% (17.5 percent), among others. These locations are prime for hiding malware because these paths are in every user directory with full user permissions to install there. These folders also are hidden by default on Windows Vista and up.

    Devices that use Windows 10 are at least twice as secure as those running Windows 7. Webroot has seen a relatively steady decline in malware on Windows 10 machines for both consumer and business.

    “We wax poetic about innovation in the cybersecurity field, but you only have to take one look at the stats in this year’s report to know that the true innovators are the cybercriminals. They continue to find new ways to combine attack methods or compromise new and existing vectors for maximum results. My call to businesses today is to be aware, assess your risk, create a layered approach that protects multiple threat vectors and, above all, train your users to be an asset—not a weak link—in your cybersecurity program,” said Hal Lonas, CTO, Webroot.

    malicious URLs good domains

    Despite the decrease in cryptocurrency prices, cryptomining and cryptojacking are on the rise. The number of cryptojacking URLs Webroot saw each month in the first half of the year more than doubled in the period from September through December 2018. These techniques can be more lucrative than ransomware attacks, since they don’t require waiting for the user to pay the ransom, and they have a smaller footprint. As far as web-based cryptojacking, Coinhive still dominates with more than 80 percent market share, though some new copycat cryptojacking scripts are gaining in popularity.

    While ransomware was less of a problem in 2018, it became more targeted. We expect major commodity ransomware to decline further in 2019; however, new ransomware families will emerge as malware authors turn to more targeted attacks, and companies will still fall victim to ransomware. Many ransomware attacks in 2018 used the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) as an attack vector, leveraging tools such as Shodan to scan for systems with inadequate RDP settings. These unsecured RDP connections may be used to gain access to a given system and browse all its data as well as shared drives, providing criminals enough intel to decide whether to deploy ransomware or some other type of malware.

    #Cybersécurité #Phishing #Malware

  • How to Improve #ruby on Rails App Performance

    Application speed and performance are crucial when it comes to project success. Users expect the app to load as quickly as possible, and our main task is to meet their expectations.Both experienced IT professionals and junior developers have tried to address the problem of Ruby on Rails optimization. Fortunately, we know what this is about. With our tips on how to improve Ruby on Rails’ app performance, your project will surely achieve success.3 Things to Keep in Mind Before You Start to Optimize Your AppTo achieve the desired results, you need to learn more about the topic. So before we proceed with the detailed description of steps to take, take a look at the following factors:Performance MeasurementBack in 2011, almost half of all Internet users expected an app page to load in 3 (...)

    #web-development #ruby-on-rails #ruby-on-rails-development #performance-optimization

  • Chinese authorities go after citizens for using VPNs, skirting online censorship - Global Voices Advox

    Two Chinese internet users are currently facing punishment for doing what an estimated 1-3% of people living in mainland China do every day: access the global internet.

    Among other methods, many internet users in China depend on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to skirt or circumvent China’s “Great Firewall”, the robust filtering system that blocks sensitive information and overseas websites from China’s domestic network.

    While #VPN use is permitted in certain contexts — mainly for government agencies and large private companies — China’s vigorous internet control regime has in recent years put significant resources towards preventing internet users from using these and other similar tools.

    #chine #censure #internet

  • Why Your #shopify Website needs a Mobile App ?

    A few years ago, a Shopify website was enough for every retailer to run their online store.Then, it happened! The prominence of mobile commerce or m-commerce began to rise.Globally, 53 percent of internet users shop online using their smartphones. And 64 percent of global mobile commerce orders come from iOS devices.Today, the global app economy is growing from $1.31tn to $6.35tn between 2016 and 2022. In the wake of this new trend, your Shopify website needs a major companion.It is yearning for an intuitive mobile app!Reasons to Convert Your Shopify Store into A Mobile AppAs you can see from the above graph, a user session comparison between the top 1000 mobile apps and mobile web properties proves the point. The session duration is significantly higher on mobile apps, showing that it’s (...)

    #ecommerce-web-development #mobile-app-development #mobile-apps

  • 5 Online #security Measures to Survive as an #ebusiness

    Cybersecurity is a broad term that encompasses all the technologies geared toward protecting networks and computers, along with the software and data kept on them. While more and more data today can be accessed via the internet, online security has become the major issue for businesses.The risks associated with online security are constantly and quickly increasing. The number of internet users steadily grows as well as the amount of information stored online. At the same time, hacking techniques evolve, including numerous social engineering tactics. As a result, online security issues are likely to become more prevalent, particularly in the business sphere.Menlo Security annual research suggests that 42% of Alexa top 100,000 websites are compromised. So what do you need to know to (...)

    #security-measures #cybersecurity #iot

  • World’s Leading Human Rights Groups Tell Google to Cancel Its China Censorship Plan

    Leading human rights groups are calling on Google to cancel its plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, which they said would violate the freedom of expression and privacy rights of millions of internet users in the country. A coalition of 14 organizations — including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, Access Now, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, PEN (...)

    #Google #GoogleSearch #algorithme #Dragonfly #censure #StateControl #voisinage #surveillance #web #TheGreatFirewallofChina #RSF #AccessNow #CDT (...)


  • The Fake-News Fallacy | The New Yorker

    Not so very long ago, it was thought that the tension between commercial pressure and the public interest would be one of the many things made obsolete by the Internet. In the mid-aughts, during the height of the Web 2.0 boom, the pundit Henry Jenkins declared that the Internet was creating a “participatory culture” where the top-down hegemony of greedy media corporations would be replaced by a horizontal network of amateur “prosumers” engaged in a wonderfully democratic exchange of information in cyberspace—an epistemic agora that would allow the whole globe to come together on a level playing field. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest attained their paradoxical gatekeeper status by positioning themselves as neutral platforms that unlocked the Internet’s democratic potential by empowering users. It was on a private platform, Twitter, where pro-democracy protesters organized, and on another private platform, Google, where the knowledge of a million public libraries could be accessed for free. These companies would develop into what the tech guru Jeff Jarvis termed “radically public companies,” which operate more like public utilities than like businesses.

    But there has been a growing sense among mostly liberal-minded observers that the platforms’ championing of openness is at odds with the public interest. The image of Arab Spring activists using Twitter to challenge repressive dictators has been replaced, in the public imagination, by that of ISIS propagandists luring vulnerable Western teen-agers to Syria via YouTube videos and Facebook chats. The openness that was said to bring about a democratic revolution instead seems to have torn a hole in the social fabric. Today, online misinformation, hate speech, and propaganda are seen as the front line of a reactionary populist upsurge threatening liberal democracy. Once held back by democratic institutions, the bad stuff is now sluicing through a digital breach with the help of irresponsible tech companies. Stanching the torrent of fake news has become a trial by which the digital giants can prove their commitment to democracy. The effort has reignited a debate over the role of mass communication that goes back to the early days of radio.

    The debate around radio at the time of “The War of the Worlds” was informed by a similar fall from utopian hopes to dystopian fears. Although radio can seem like an unremarkable medium—audio wallpaper pasted over the most boring parts of your day—the historian David Goodman’s book “Radio’s Civic Ambition: American Broadcasting and Democracy in the 1930s” makes it clear that the birth of the technology brought about a communications revolution comparable to that of the Internet. For the first time, radio allowed a mass audience to experience the same thing simultaneously from the comfort of their homes. Early radio pioneers imagined that this unprecedented blurring of public and private space might become a sort of ethereal forum that would uplift the nation, from the urban slum dweller to the remote Montana rancher. John Dewey called radio “the most powerful instrument of social education the world has ever seen.” Populist reformers demanded that radio be treated as a common carrier and give airtime to anyone who paid a fee. Were this to have come about, it would have been very much like the early online-bulletin-board systems where strangers could come together and leave a message for any passing online wanderer. Instead, in the regulatory struggles of the twenties and thirties, the commercial networks won out.

    Corporate networks were supported by advertising, and what many progressives had envisaged as the ideal democratic forum began to seem more like Times Square, cluttered with ads for soap and coffee. Rather than elevating public opinion, advertisers pioneered techniques of manipulating it. Who else might be able to exploit such techniques? Many saw a link between the domestic on-air advertising boom and the rise of Fascist dictators like Hitler abroad.

    Today, when we speak about people’s relationship to the Internet, we tend to adopt the nonjudgmental language of computer science. Fake news was described as a “virus” spreading among users who have been “exposed” to online misinformation. The proposed solutions to the fake-news problem typically resemble antivirus programs: their aim is to identify and quarantine all the dangerous nonfacts throughout the Web before they can infect their prospective hosts. One venture capitalist, writing on the tech blog Venture Beat, imagined deploying artificial intelligence as a “media cop,” protecting users from malicious content. “Imagine a world where every article could be assessed based on its level of sound discourse,” he wrote. The vision here was of the news consumers of the future turning the discourse setting on their browser up to eleven and soaking in pure fact. It’s possible, though, that this approach comes with its own form of myopia. Neil Postman, writing a couple of decades ago, warned of a growing tendency to view people as computers, and a corresponding devaluation of the “singular human capacity to see things whole in all their psychic, emotional and moral dimensions.” A person does not process information the way a computer does, flipping a switch of “true” or “false.” One rarely cited Pew statistic shows that only four per cent of American Internet users trust social media “a lot,” which suggests a greater resilience against online misinformation than overheated editorials might lead us to expect. Most people seem to understand that their social-media streams represent a heady mixture of gossip, political activism, news, and entertainment. You might see this as a problem, but turning to Big Data-driven algorithms to fix it will only further entrench our reliance on code to tell us what is important about the world—which is what led to the problem in the first place. Plus, it doesn’t sound very fun.

    In recent times, Donald Trump supporters are the ones who have most effectively applied Grierson’s insight to the digital age. Young Trump enthusiasts turned Internet trolling into a potent political tool, deploying the “folk stuff” of the Web—memes, slang, the nihilistic humor of a certain subculture of Web-native gamer—to give a subversive, cyberpunk sheen to a movement that might otherwise look like a stale reactionary blend of white nationalism and anti-feminism. As crusaders against fake news push technology companies to “defend the truth,” they face a backlash from a conservative movement, retooled for the digital age, which sees claims for objectivity as a smoke screen for bias.

    For conservatives, the rise of online gatekeepers may be a blessing in disguise. Throwing the charge of “liberal media bias” against powerful institutions has always provided an energizing force for the conservative movement, as the historian Nicole Hemmer shows in her new book, “Messengers of the Right.” Instead of focussing on ideas, Hemmer focusses on the galvanizing struggle over the means of distributing those ideas. The first modern conservatives were members of the America First movement, who found their isolationist views marginalized in the lead-up to the Second World War and vowed to fight back by forming the first conservative media outlets. A “vague claim of exclusion” sharpened into a “powerful and effective ideological arrow in the conservative quiver,” Hemmer argues, through battles that conservative radio broadcasters had with the F.C.C. in the nineteen-fifties and sixties. Their main obstacle was the F.C.C.’s Fairness Doctrine, which sought to protect public discourse by requiring controversial opinions to be balanced by opposing viewpoints. Since attacks on the mid-century liberal consensus were inherently controversial, conservatives found themselves constantly in regulators’ sights. In 1961, a watershed moment occurred with the leak of a memo from labor leaders to the Kennedy Administration which suggested using the Fairness Doctrine to suppress right-wing viewpoints. To many conservatives, the memo proved the existence of the vast conspiracy they had long suspected. A fund-raising letter for a prominent conservative radio show railed against the doctrine, calling it “the most dastardly collateral attack on freedom of speech in the history of the country.” Thus was born the character of the persecuted truthteller standing up to a tyrannical government—a trope on which a billion-dollar conservative-media juggernaut has been built.

    The online tumult of the 2016 election fed into a growing suspicion of Silicon Valley’s dominance over the public sphere. Across the political spectrum, people have become less trusting of the Big Tech companies that govern most online political expression. Calls for civic responsibility on the part of Silicon Valley companies have replaced the hope that technological innovation alone might bring about a democratic revolution. Despite the focus on algorithms, A.I., filter bubbles, and Big Data, these questions are political as much as technical.

    #Démocratie #Science_information #Fake_news #Regulation

  • “Enhance Your Penis”

    “Enhance Your Penis!”Companies are collecting data about people. We shouldn’t let them do that. The data that is collected will be abused. That’s not an absolute certainty, but it’s a practical, extreme likelihood, which is enough to make collection a problem.— Richard StallmanI agree that collecting data on people can have unintended bad consequences. However, banning the practice of data collection would effectively ban targeted #advertising. This would have unintended consequences as well.Twenty-two years ago, there weren’t large #internet companies tracking your every move and serving targeted advertising. But that does not mean that life was perfect for Internet users. Those were also the days when we were deluged with emails with the subject line Enhance Your Penis!. The emails were sent (...)

    #enhance-your-penis #economy #facebook

  • How Blockchain Will Make Digital Ads Less Intrusive

    image source: edgylabs.comThe Cambridge Analytica scandal that unfolded earlier this year is just the latest in a long sequence of incidents of firms’ wrongfully acquiring and misusing internet users’ data. While the scandal itself related to unfair sharing of user information by Facebook, the ensuing media storm brought the public’s attention to their personal data and its use in digital advertising.Apart from depending on stolen data, advertisers are also notorious for bombarding us with irrelevant and annoying advertisements. For every funny commercial that we remember fondly from childhood, there are a million annoying and spammy ads that we look back on with nothing but pure disdain.’s no wonder that 85% of internet users (...)

  • #ovato — Embracing the Future of Digital Marketing Trends

    Image courtesy of Automotive Social via FlickrThe marketing model is consistently shifting to meet the needs of its today’s population, which spends considerable time online. This has informed the creation of digital advertising campaigns but has not managed to keep pace with the rate of transformation within the space. As a result, it is difficult to find a marketing approach that garners full attention of the target audience.In the recent past, marketing agencies as well as brands have come to realize the potential of influencer marketing to reach their audiences and offer a high ROI and conversion potential. Statistical analytics show that up to 74% of internet users discover new services and products on social networking sites. At the same time, 49% of consumers base their decision (...)

    #blockchain #digital-marketing #influencer-marketing #social-media

  • Un ex-agent du FBI affirme que les entreprises de technologie doivent « faire taire » les sources de « rébellion »

    Les implications de ces déclarations sont stupéfiantes. Les États-Unis seraient en pleine #guerre civile et la réponse nécessaire du gouvernement serait la #censure, ainsi que l’abolition de tous les autres #droits démocratiques fondamentaux. La « rébellion » devrait être réprimée en faisant taire les #médias qui la préconisent.

    Qu’une telle déclaration puisse être faite lors d’une audience du Congrès, sans aucune objection, est une expression de la décadence de la #démocratie américaine. Il n’y a aucune fraction de la classe dirigeante qui maintienne le moindre engagement envers les droits démocratiques fondamentaux.

    Aucun des Démocrates dans la commission n’a soulevé aucune des questions constitutionnelles soulevées par la demandant aux sociétés de technologie massives de censurer le discours politique sur Internet. Un seul Républicain a soulevé des préoccupations sur la censure, mais seulement pour alléguer que Google aurait un parti pris libéral.

    • Une analyse de la main-mise de l’état corporatiste US sur les médias de Chris Hedges :

      In the name of combating Russia-inspired “fake news,” Google, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Agence France-Presse and CNN in April imposed algorithms or filters, overseen by “evaluators,” that hunt for key words such as “U.S. military,” “inequality” and “socialism,” along with personal names such as Julian Assange and Laura Poitras, the filmmaker. Ben Gomes, Google’s vice president for search engineering, says Google has amassed some 10,000 “evaluators” to determine the “quality” and veracity of websites. Internet users doing searches on Google, since the algorithms were put in place, are diverted from sites such as Truthdig and directed to mainstream publications such as The New York Times. The news organizations and corporations that are imposing this censorship have strong links to the Democratic Party. They are cheerleaders for American imperial projects and global capitalism. Because they are struggling in the new media environment for profitability, they have an economic incentive to be part of the witch hunt.

      The World Socialist Web Site reported in July that its aggregate volume, or “impressions”—links displayed by Google in response to search requests—fell dramatically over a short period after the new algorithms were imposed. It also wrote that a number of sites “declared to be ‘fake news’ by the Washington Post’s discredited [PropOrNot] blacklist … had their global ranking fall. The average decline of the global reach of all of these sites is 25 percent. …”

      #decodex #fake_news #post-vérité (ministère de la )

  • The Israeli algorithm criminalizing Palestinians for online dissent | openDemocracy

    The algorithm-based program monitors tens of thousands of young Palestinians’ Facebook accounts. It searches for such elements as photos of Palestinians killed or jailed by Israel to identify individuals it deems suspicious. The Israeli army also monitors the activity of relatives, friends, classmates, and co-workers of recent Palestinians killed by Israel to assess their potential risk.

    (...) While systematically targeting Palestinians online, Israel does not punish its Jewish residents for their social media posts, though a significant number of them are racist and violent toward Arabs or Palestinians. A recent report from the Palestinian organization 7amleh reveals that in 2016 almost 60,000 Israeli internet users wrote at least one post containing either racism or hatred towards these groups, mostly on Facebook. This translated into a violent post every 46 seconds.

    Even government officials write such content. In the lead-up to Israel’s bombing of Gaza in 2014, Ayelet Shaked, an extreme right-wing Israeli parliamentarian, posted a Facebook message that said that Palestinian fighters’ mothers should be killed and their homes destroyed. She, nor any other Israeli Jewish internet user who publishes such language has been arrested or even called to account.

    #palestine #big_brother

  • North Korea Gets New Internet Link via Russia

    Being single-homed behind China Unicom gave China control over North Korea’s internet access. This is important as the international community tries to persuade China to use its influence to reign in the nuclear aspirations of North Korea. However, now with an independent connection to Russia via TTK, such leverage is greatly reduced. With alternatives for international transit, the power shifts to North Korea in deciding whether or not to maintain its connectivity to the global internet.

    #BGP #single_point_of_failure #internet #cyberwar

    • Russia Provides New Internet Connection to North Korea

      Until now, Internet users in North Korea and those outside accessing North Korean websites were all funneled along the same route connecting North Korean ISP Star JV and the global Internet: A China Unicom link that has been in operation since 2010.


      From 2012 for about a year, a second link to Star JV existed via Intelsat, an international satellite telecommunications operator, but in recent years the Chinese link has been the sole connection to Star JV.

      Relying on one Internet provider has always left North Korea in a precarious situation.

      More than once the link has been the target of denial of service attacks. Most were claimed by the “Anonymous” hacking collective, but on at least one previous occasion, many wondered if US intelligence services had carried out the action.

  • [Forum] | Trump : A Resister’s Guide | Harper’s Magazine - Part 11

    y Kate Crawford

    Dear Technologists:

    For the past decade, you’ve told us that your products will change the world, and indeed they have. We carry tiny networked computers with us everywhere, we control “smart” home appliances at a remove, we communicate with our friends and family over online platforms, and now we are all part of the vast Muslim registry known as Facebook. Almost 80 percent of American internet users belong to the social network, and many of them happily offer up their religious affiliation. The faith of those who don’t, too, can be easily deduced with a little data-science magic; in 2013, a Cambridge University study accurately detected Muslims 82 percent of the time, using only their Facebook likes. The industry has only become better at individual targeting since then.

    You’ve created simple, elegant tools that allow us to disseminate news in real time. Twitter, for example, is very good at this. It’s also a prodigious disinformation machine. Trolls, fake news, and hate speech thrived on the platform during the presidential campaign, and they show few signs of disappearing now. Twitter has likewise made it easier to efficiently map the networks of activists and political dissenters. For every proud hashtag — #BlackLivesMatter, #ShoutYourAbortion, the anti-deportation campaign #Not1More — there are data sets that reveal the identities of the “influencers” and “joiners” and offer a means of tracking, harassing, and silencing them.

    You may intend to resist, but some requests will leave little room for refusal. Last year, the U.S. government forced Yahoo to scan all its customers’ incoming emails, allegedly to find a set of characters that were related to terrorist activity. Tracking emails is just the beginning, of course, and the FBI knows it. The most important encryption case to date hinged on the FBI’s demand that Apple create a bespoke operating system that would allow the government to intentionally undermine user security whenever it impeded an investigation. Apple won the fight, but that was when Obama was in office. Trump’s regime may pressure the technology sector to create back doors in all its products, widen surveillance, and weaken the security of every networked phone, vehicle, and thermostat.

    There is precedent for technology companies assisting authoritarian regimes. In 1880, after watching a train conductor punch tickets, Herman Hollerith, a young employee of the U.S. Census Bureau, was inspired to design a punch-card system to catalogue human traits. The Hollerith Machine was used in the 1890 census to tabulate markers such as race, literacy level, gender, and country of origin. During the 1930s, the Third Reich used the same system, under the direction of a German subsidiary of International Business Machines, to identify Jews and other ethnic groups. Thomas J. Watson, IBM’s first president, received a medal from Hitler for his services. As Edwin Black recounts in IBM and the Holocaust, there was both profit and glory to be had in providing the computational services for rounding up the state’s undesirables. Within the decade, IBM served as the information subcontractor for the U.S. government’s Japanese-internment camps.

    You, the software engineers and leaders of technology companies, face an enormous responsibility. You know better than anyone how best to protect the millions who have entrusted you with their data, and your knowledge gives you real power as civic actors. If you want to transform the world for the better, here is your moment. Inquire about how a platform will be used. Encrypt as much as you can. Oppose the type of data analysis that predicts people’s orientation, religion, and political preferences if they did not willingly offer that information. Reduce the quantity of personal information that is kept. And when the unreasonable demands come, the demands that would put activists, lawyers, journalists, and entire communities at risk, resist wherever you can. History also keeps a file.

    #Silicon_valley #Fichage #Médias_sociaux #Chiffrement #Ethique

  • “Firefox is now going to censor the internet and decide for you what is true and what isn’t because you’re an idiot.”


    The Mozilla Information Trust Initiative: Building a movement to fight misinformation online

    #mozilla #firefox #censorship #fakenews


    • [...]

      Misinformation is a complex problem with roots in technology, cognitive science, economics, and literacy. And so the Mozilla Information Trust Initiative will focus on four areas:


      Mozilla’s Open Innovation team will work with like-minded technologists and artists to develop technology that combats misinformation.

      Mozilla will partner with global media organizations to do this, and also double down on our existing product work in the space, like Pocket, Focus, and Coral. Coral is a Mozilla project that builds open-source tools to make digital journalism more inclusive and more engaging.


      We can’t solve misinformation with technology alone—we also need to educate and empower Internet users, as well as those leading innovative literacy initiatives.

      Mozilla will develop a web literacy curriculum that addresses misinformation, and will continue investing in existing projects like the Mission: Information teaching kit.


      Misinformation in the digital age is a relatively new phenomenon. To solve such a thorny problem, we first need to fully understand it.

      Later this year, Mozilla will be releasing original research on how misinformation impacts users’ experiences online. We will be drawing on a dataset of user-level browsing data gathered during the 2016 U.S. elections.


  • Aerial Imperialism: Syrian Ruinscapes and Vertical Media

    “Drone videos of the heavily bombed Syrian cities of Homs, Aleppo and Jobar were first recorded and broadcasted online by Russian state media outlets like Russia Today news and Ruptly. ‘Invited’ by the Assad regime (and in violation of popular Syrian sovereignty), Russia’s infinite access to Syrian ground and air space has enabled the Russian state media to capture the least obstructed and most controlled visual documentation of the war space. The drone videos were the first high-quality aerial representation of the large-scale destruction in these Syrian cities. Millions of internet users together with news platforms from all corners of the political spectrum shared these videos, but very few people paused to evaluate the footage or point at its inherent banality and irony: Why would the very military power that has taken part in the mass bombardment, destruction, killing and displacement of Aleppo, Homs and Jobar fly drones over these cities and document its very own footprints of militarised violence? What purpose would such images serve for an imperial power like Russia?”

  • The secret lives of Google raters | Ars Technica

    Who are these raters? They’re carefully trained and tested staff who can spend 40 hours per week logged into a system called Raterhub, which is owned and operated by Google. Every day, the raters complete dozens of short but exacting tasks that produce invaluable data about the usefulness of Google’s ever-changing algorithms. They contribute significantly to several Google and Android projects, from search and voice recognition to photos and personalization features.

    Few people realize how much these raters contribute to the smooth functioning act we call “Googling.” Even #Google engineers who work with rater data don’t know who these people are. But some raters would now like that to change. That’s because, earlier this month, thousands of them received an e-mail that said their hours would be cut in half, partly due to changes in Google’s staffing policies.

    Though Google boasts about its army of raters, the raters are not Google employees. Instead, they are employed by firms who have contracted them to Google, full time, for years on end. These raters believe that Google has reaped significant benefits from their labor without ensuring their jobs are secure and stable. That’s why 10 raters came to Ars Technica to tell the story of what their lives are really like.

    Du #digital_labor derrière les requêtes Google (et de la politique salariale de cette dernière)

    • The hidden human labour behind search engine algorithms

      The algorithmic production process requires work from highly trained professionals, such as top-level computer scientists and software engineers. Their work also becomes entangled with the input of low-skilled workers necessary for the customisation, testing, adaptation and sustainability of search in local markets worldwide.

      At least three types of search labour can be identified in Google’s global production process. First, the paid work of in-company engineers. This is the most celebrated aspect of algorithmic production and a major part of the story of Google’s technical superiority. Second is the non-paid labour of internet users, which contributes to value generation of the company. Simply put, the more people use the search engine, the more data the company collects, analyses, packages, and ultimately sells to advertisers. Third is the least transparent and discussed labour performed by “search quality raters” and “precision evaluators” hired via third party companies specialised in crowdsourcing global workforces. Google performs so-called precision evaluations and quality assessments of algorithmic changes on a regular basis. According to the latest data published by the company, it performs around 40,000 evaluations a year.


      Unpacking the layers of labour processes behind algorithmic production has wide scholarly implications and potential policy impact in the field of digital literacy, market competition, transparent, fair, innovative and open digital economy. In the past few years, multiple European Union anti-trust investigations targeted three key areas: Google’s comparison shopping service, pre-installation of Google’s applications and services on Android OS, and restriction of third-party websites from displaying search ads from Google’s competitors.

      Google built its public image on separating the so-called organic, or “untampered” search results, from paid search results or ads. This division becomes less visible from a labour perspective. Tracing and mapping the input of precision evaluators delivered for algorithmic calculations of highly skilled engineers is hidden behind a wall of trade secrets. Thus the algorithmic ranking problem ceases to be a technical problem. Transparency of algorithmic calculations is also a political and economic issue since it affects visibility of actors seeking public exposure and impacts the advertising revenue flow.

  • Fact Check: Manchester Bombing Rumors and Hoaxes - The New York Times

    After the bombing in Manchester, England, this week that killed 22, internet users and publishers have spread rumors and hoaxes, and miscast blame.

    How much of this false information is intentional trickery or well-meaning confusion is difficult to know. But below we look at some themes of misinformation, along with context and sourcing to verifiable information.

    Social media posts are spreading hoaxes about missing children.

    People took to social media to search for loved ones lost in the chaos that followed the explosion, which occurred at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. But many well-wishers and social media good Samaritans have been duped into sharing fake reports of missing victims. In a cruel sign of social savvy, many of the most successful frauds have used fake photos and back stories children, as The Washington Post and BuzzFeed have reported.

    One account posted a plea to find “my son” that was retweeted over 19,000 times.

    My son was in the Manchester Arena today
    He’s not picking up my call!
    Please help me
    — Zero (@GamerGateAntifa) May 22, 2017

    But the person pictured is a popular YouTube user, who posted a video denying the claim and calling the post “fake news” from online trolls “just to try to get some laughs out it.” He offered his condolences to the victims.

    In another post, a Twitter user claimed to be searching for “my little brother Frank.” The boy pictured is a model for Downs Designs Dreams, a fashion line for people with Down syndrome based in Ohio, and his name is Griffith, not Frank.

    “This little boy is 9 or 10 now. He was 2 or 3 years old then. He’s certainly not missing,” said Karen Bowersox, the executive director of Downs Designs Dreams. Twitter suspended the account that posted the claim.

    #fake_news #post-truth

  • Life in the People’s Republic of WeChat - Bloomberg

    More than 760 million people use it regularly worldwide; it’s basically how people in China communicate now. It’s actually a lot of trouble not to use WeChat when you’re there, and socially weird, like refusing to wear shoes.

    In China, 90 percent of internet users connect online through a mobile device, and those people on average spend more than a third of their internet time in WeChat. It’s fundamentally a messaging app, but it also serves many of the functions of PayPal, Yelp, Facebook, Uber, Amazon, Expedia, Slack, Spotify, Tinder, and more. People use WeChat to pay rent, locate parking, invest, make a doctor’s appointment, find a one-night stand, donate to charity. The police in Shenzhen pay rewards through WeChat to people who rat out traffic violators—through WeChat.

    On the train, I notice a woman moving methodically down the car, stopping to talk to the other passengers. Is she begging? Testifying? Only when she stops before the woman next to me do I get it: She’s asking for QR scans, trying to get followers for a WeChat official account.

    #wechat #Tencent #messagerie