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Inside Israel’s million dollar troll army

A global influence campaign funded by the Israeli government had a $1.1 million budget last year, a document obtained by The Electronic Intifada shows. Act.IL says it has offices in three countries and an online army of more than 15,000. In its annual report, from January, Act.IL says its goal is to “influence foreign publics” and “battle” BDS – the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. Through its app, Act.IL issues “missions” to this troll army in exchange for “cool prizes” and scholarships. The app directs comments towards news websites in support of Israeli wars and racism, while…

Slap on the wrist: France fines Google $166 million for abusing ad dominance

France’s competition authority fined Google 150 million euros ($166 million) on Friday for “abusing its dominant position” in the online ad market. The agency said the U.S. tech company mistreated buyers of ads based on keywords. Methods used by its Google Ads platform are “opaque and difficult to understand” and the company applies them in an “unequal and arbitrary way,” it said. It also ordered Google to clarify the rules for Google Ads and its procedures for freezing accounts, to avoid “brutal and unjustified” suspensions. It’s the latest in a string of European fines against Google, which faces very little…

Google Billionaire Larry Page has been Quietly Funnelling Money into Flu Vaccination Initiatives

Google cofounder and billionaire Larry Page has been quietly pursuing a campaign against the flu. Both Page and Google cofounder Sergey Brin stepped back from Google’s parent company earlier this month, driving speculation about what he might be up to next. Page is one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of about $65 billion. Page, according to TechCrunch, has been associated with funding flu vaccinations, specifically, an initiative called “Shoo the Flu,” which offers free flu shots to schoolchildren in Oakland, California. The initiative is fully funded by a for-profit company that Page controls. TechCrunch…

Microsoft Allays Concerns, Says Windows 7 Security Essentials to Receive Updates after Support Ends

Windows 7, released in October 2009, was one of Microsoft’s big successes, and currently, despite its end-of-extended-support deadline fast-approaching on 14 January 2020, the popular OS is still in use on 27 per cent of all desktop computers running Windows. Microsoft has confirmed that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) will receive security definition updates after Windows 7 OS support ends, despite the company’s earlier claims stating the contrary, writes IT expert Martin Brinkmann in his blog. Windows 7: Microsoft Security Essentials will receive definition updates after support end #windows7 #security #microsofthttps://t.co/D1QRpCCPvD pic.twitter.com/WILCwMJba1 — ghacksnews (@ghacks) December 19, 2019 The company has…

MIT develops dye for storing VACCINE records under the skin

MIT engineers have devised a novel way to record a patient’s immunisation history: storing the information in a patterned dye that is invisible to the naked eye and delivered under the skin at the same time as the vaccine. It is designed to bridge the gap that exists in medical records, particularly in developing countries, and emits a near-infrared light that can be detected by a specially equipped smartphone. The new dye consists of nanocrystals called quantum dots and was described in the journal Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday. It has so far been tested only on cadavers and rats…

New Orleans Declares State of Emergency After Cyberattack

Technology is great but only when it’s safe.  Unfortunately, city governments – and hospitals – being held for ransom by hackers are becoming more common. A recent report also revealed tens of thousands of cybersecurity weaknesses in The U.S. Dept of Energy – including inside the Nuclear Security Administration.  Yikes!  Now “The Big Easy” has been compromised. From American City and County: The New Orleans government has declared a state of emergency following a cyber attack on its systems. The attack began at 5:00 a.m. on Dec. 13, according to Forbes. It was discovered about six hours later, at which…

Instagram hides false content behind warnings, except for politicians

Instagram is giving politicians the same free rein to spread misinformation as its parent company Facebook. Instagram is expanding its limited fact-checking test in the U.S. from May and will now work with 45 third-party organizations to assess the truthfulness of photo and video content on its app. Material rated as false will be hidden from the Explore and hashtag pages, and covered with an interstitial warning blocking the content in the feed or Stories until users tap again to see the post. This goes an important step further than Facebook’s early attempts to append warnings on links alongside content…

The Pentagon has a laser that can identify people from a distance—by their heartbeat

Everyone’s heart is different. Like the iris or fingerprint, our unique cardiac signature can be used as a way to tell us apart. Crucially, it can be done from a distance. It’s that last point that has intrigued US Special Forces. Other long-range biometric techniques include gait analysis, which identifies someone by the way he or she walks. This method was supposedly used to identify an infamous ISIS terrorist before a drone strike. But gaits, like faces, are not necessarily distinctive. An individual’s cardiac signature is unique, though, and unlike faces or gait, it remains constant and cannot be altered…

Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed To Sacrifice Pedestrians To Save The Driver

When they crash, self-driving Mercedes will be programmed to save the driver, and not the person or people they hit. That’s the design decision behind the Mercedes Benz’s future Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous cars, according to the company’s manager of driverless car safety, Christoph von Hugo. Instead of worrying about troublesome details like ethics, Mercedes will just program its cars to save the driver and the car’s occupants, in every situation. One of the biggest debates about driverless cars concerns the moral choices made when programming a car’s algorithms. Say the car is spinning out of control, and…

Epilepsy Foundation Was Targeted in Mass Strobe Cyberattack…Hackers sent images of flashing strobe lights to the foundation’s thousands of Twitter followers in several attacks.

Hackers sent videos and images of flashing strobe lights to thousands of Twitter followers of the Epilepsy Foundation last month in a mass cyberattack that apparently sought to trigger seizures in those with epilepsy, the foundation said on Monday. The series of online attacks was particularly reprehensible, it said in a statement, because it took place during National Epilepsy Awareness Month. “These attacks are no different than a person carrying a strobe light into a convention of people with epilepsy and seizures, with the intention of inducing seizures and thereby causing significant harm to the participants,” said Allison Nichol, director…

DNA-Based Dating App Aims to Eliminate Genetic Diseases

In a recent interview with 60 Minutes, Harvard biologist George Church shared his plans for a genetics-based dating app that would match people to potential partners based on their genes. The end goal: to eliminate hereditary diseases, protect humans from viruses and reverse the aging process. In the interview, Church is asked if he’s suggesting that if all of the correct gene matches are made through the dating app where participants have their genome sequenced, inherited diseases could be eliminated. He responded, “Right. It’s 7,000 diseases. It’s about 5% of the population. It’s about a trillion dollars a year, worldwide.”…

Deep State Attorney Threatens Auschwitz Museum on Social Media: ‘I Will Come After You’

An attorney from the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued threatening messages over social media last week to the Auschwitz Museum, claiming he would “come after” the museum’s press official. “@AuschwitzMuseum if you ever intimidate my followers via DM again, or you try to intimidate strong Jewish women who lost family members at Auschwitz, I will confront you. Personally. That’s a promise,” DOJ attorney McKay Smith said in a tweet on Wednesday. Smith was triggered after the museum blocked a feminist account that posted trolling messages toward them on Twitter. Smith direct messaged press official Pawel Sawicki with personal threats after…

Silicon Valley Engineers Psychedelic Drug to Treat Addiction

Silicon Valley startup, MindMed, is in the business of turning psychedelic drugs into medicine, and its first drug with the potential to treat addiction may be just around the corner. The drug is said to have the ability to turn addictions “off like a light switch,” including alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine and even sugar. Known as 18-MC, the compound has not been tested yet in human efficacy trials, but it’s been in the works for nearly a decade. In June 2019, MindMed bought 18-MC from Savant Health and Wellness Partners, after the company ran out of money to continue with…

Fewer than 10% of Americans are buying $1,000 SLAVEPHONES, report says

We’ve already seen indications that American consumers are holding onto their smartphones longer than before, posing challenges for companies like Apple and Samsung for whom mobile phone sales are important to the bottom line. A new NPD report reiterates that point but adds that fewer than 10 percent of American smartphone buyers spend more than $1,000, effectively ruling out flagship phones like the iPhone 11 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note10 that gather most of the marketer and media attention. The main point of concern raised by the NPD report, though, is 5G adoption. 5G phones will likely be unaffordable…

Verizon blocks archivers from Yahoo Groups, almost two decades of history at risk of being lost forever

Yahoo Groups recently announced that it was going to close – and the reaction was divided. One group of people didn’t know that Yahoo Groups was still a thing and the other group of people lamented its demise as they were still utilizing Yahoo Groups for some obscure use-case. Even the organization in charge of assigning phone numbers in the UK were using Yahoo Groups for some communication. As always, when a platform announces that it’s going to close, archivers get to work to archive the content for posterity – so that future generations can still have access to the…

Thieves Are Using Bluetooth to Target Vehicle Break-Ins

My friend Joe had his MacBook and iPad stolen from the back of a locked car over Thanksgiving. So far, so normal, right? Well, the thieves only broke the small window immediately adjacent to where his devices were hidden and only took the backpack containing them. Police told him it was likely they’d used a Bluetooth scanner to target his car and even located exactly where his devices were before breaking into it. When he texted me about what happened, I turned to Google to see what a Bluetooth scanner was and immediately found dozens of smartphone apps. The first one I downloaded didn’t just…

Bernie Sanders Says Internet Service Should be a Human Right

In August, presidential candidate and senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) proposed spending $85 billion to expand high-speed internet access in rural America and other underserved communities. Senator and rival presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) thinks that’s not enough. Friday, he offered his own $150 billion broadband plan that goes far beyond connecting rural communities to the internet. Sanders wants to break up large media and telecommunications giants, force companies to make internet services more accessible to people with disabilities, and regulate broadband prices to ensure affordability. He says he will treat internet service as a human right. “Just as President Roosevelt…

New Drivers Forced To Take A Children’s Hospital Designed “Virtual Driver Assessment” Program

What business does a children’s hospital have in deciding who gets to drive a vehicle? Apparently a lot. Last month The Center Square revealed that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and their spinoff company Diagnostic Driving are convincing DMV’s to get new drivers to take a virtual driver assessment before they take an on-road licensing exam. “This program allows for assessing new license applicants’ driving skills in conditions associated with common serious crash scenarios, Suzanne Hill, the program director for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Research Institute, told The Center Square in an email. The Ohio Department of Public…

Those free USB charging ports could rob you blind

It’s called “juice jacking,” which may sound as innocuous as a toddler ripping the sippy cup out of a playmate’s hands, but this is very much a grownup problem, unless that kid is already using a cellphone. Juice jacking is the devious practice by which bad guys hijack a public USB charging port and use it to steal information from your phone or tablet. Those same ports you’re relieved to find when your electronic device is low on power have become a cause for worry. This isn’t a new problem, experts say, but it has returned to the radar because…

We Need a New Internet Which is Not Owned by a Few…

Kristof De Spiegeleer is a serial entrepreneur who is the co-founder and chairman of the ThreeFold Foundation, where he is building the next generation of IT infrastructure, leveraging the power of the blockchain. We had the chance to discuss his journey building tech companies, problems with current IT systems, and what he believes is the future of the blockchain. Edward: Kristof, tell us more about your background so that the Hackernoon community can get to know who you are. Kristof: Since I was 9 years old I have been obsessed by computers & programming. I guess you can call me…

Amazon’s “Ring” doorbell now being used to create watchlists of “suspicious” neighbors to be reported to police

Just as we warned, Amazon’s questionable tech offerings aren’t actually about making your life simpler, easier, and more convenient. They’re about spying on you, your family, and your friends – and in the case of Amazon’s “Ring” doorbell, it’s about building a secret watchlist for government spooks to better identify and track your “suspicious” neighbors. According to reports, the Jeff Bezos empire has formed a partnership with law enforcement that involves Amazon handing over facial recognition data from people’s Ring doorbell systems, which are equipped with tiny cameras and wi-fi systems that relay everything they “see” back to Amazon, which…

Google Escalates Their Electoral Interference Plan, Removes 300+ Trump Campaign Ads From YouTube

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki confirmed during an appearance on CBS’ 60 Minutes that aired Sunday night that her company is removing ads for President Trump’s presidential campaign from their platform. “Have you taken down any of President Trump’s ads at all?” 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki. “There are ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube,” she responded. CBS News scoured the searchable database of political ads set up by Google and YouTube to get official numbers on how often Trump’s campaign ads have been taken down. They found over 300 examples,…

Facebook Takes Down Tory Ads After BBC Complaint Over Use of ‘Intellectual Property’

The Conservative Party struck back against the British national broadcaster’s  remarks arguing they used actual reporting by anchors  without in any way distorting it and suggesting that viewers “judge for themselves” about the reasons behind the “Brexit deadlock.” Facebook removed seven Conservative Party social media adverts on Sunday after the BBC complained about them having cast doubt on the news service’s impartiality. “We have removed this content following a valid intellectual property claim from the rights holder, the BBC”, a Facebook spokesman said in an email to Bloomberg. The BBC News Press Team issued a comment on 28 November, saying…

Beware Phony Reviews As We Head Into Cyber Monday

As Black Friday slides into Cyber Monday, you may want to really sift through online product reviews instead of blindly trusting those 5-star reviews. According to review monitor Fakespot, over 1/3 of online reviews on all major websites – including Amazon, Walmart and Sephora, are fake – meaning they are generated by either bots or people paid to write them, according to the Wall Street Journal. The companies have disputed Fakespot’s findings, but promise they’re doing more to make their reviews more reliable. In Amazon’s case, it said it has spent more than $400 million to protect customers from review…

The Internet Society (ISOC) has just sold the “.org” TLD for USD 1.35 Billion, to Ethos Capital, a brand new private equity company, after the price caps for the domain were removed

Internet Society reveals the price it is selling out for. On a webinar today, Internet Society has purportedly disclosed that Ethos Capital will pay $1.135 billion to acquire the .org registry from it: #Internetsociety offered 1b and 135mil$USD for #.ORG from Ethos Capital, disclosed only now at a special webinar — Desiree (@Des) November 29, 2019 This was a savvy investment for former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé and Ethos Capital. Had .org been sold in a competitive process, it surely would have sold for much more. At the same time, the deal makes financial sense for ISOC. It should earn…

EFF to DHS: Stop Mass Collection of Social Media Information

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released a proposed rule expanding the agency’s collection of social media information on key visa forms and immigration applications. Earlier this month, EFF joined over 40 civil society organizations that signed on to comments drafted by the Brennan Center for Justice. These comments identify the free speech and privacy risks the proposed rule poses to U.S. persons both directly, if they are required to fill out these forms, and indirectly, if they are connected via social media to friends, family, or associates required to fill out these forms. DHS’s Proposed Rule In the…

The End Of Ownership, Military Edition: Even The US Military Can’t Fix Its Own Equipment Without Right To Repair Laws

We’ve written many times about the right to repair and how various companies have basically destroyed the concept of ownership by putting all sorts of post-purchase restrictions on what you can do with the products you supposedly “bought.” This began with copyright, but has morphed into other areas as well, including abusive and illegal claims about “warranty void if removed.” I still believe that excessive copyright law is to blame for all of this, as physical goods manufacturers looked at the post-sale restrictions enabled by copyright law and immediately began to think of ways to use that on physical items.…

Twitter quietly changed its terms of service to allow discussion of “attraction towards minors”

While Twitter has been cracking down on political speech over the course of the year, with the range of what is allowed to be discussed on the platform narrowing, there’s one shocking thing that Twitter has decided to allow – the discussion of “attraction towards minors.” The new update has been quietly added to Twitter’s policy. Over the last week, users have been pushing back against Twitter for suspending journalist Andy Ngo for tweeting facts about transgender deaths as well as suspending the ads of Project Veritas – an organization that has revealed Twitter’s internal bias and the desire of…

China wants to lead UN agency that allows copyright holders to seize web domains

Earlier this month, China nominated a candidate to become the next leader of the United Nations’ (UN) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO administrates the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) – a policy that allows copyright holders to seize web domains and has been criticized for its excessive clampdowns against domain holders. Concerns over China exporting its censorship through US companies have been on the rise over the last few months. If China’s candidate is elected as the head of WIPO, it would give China greater influence over the UDPR and the associated confiscation of domains under this…

BOMBSHELL: 5G devices exposed as actual beam weapon systems by man who disassembles them on camera and finds weaponized electronics inside

Anthony Steele from the YouTube channel “ANTHONY STEELE” has been conducting his own independent investigations into LEDs, 5G, and other emerging technologies to see if they’re really as safe and beneficial as our tech overlords claim, and wouldn’t you know it but many of these high-tech devices are actually radiation weapons in disguise, based on what Steele has uncovered. In a recent video update he published on November 21st, Steele looked at the 450-volt capacitor and computer board of a standard LED light, revealing that the blue light wavelengths blasted out from it are a type of phototoxic radiation that…

These Phones Emit The Most (And Least) Radiation

For most people nowadays, their smartphone is within arm’s reach 24 hours a day. It’s in their pocket while they’re at work, it’s in their hand on the train ride home and it’s on their bedside table as they go to sleep. With this level of proximity and usage, many can’t quite shake the niggling feeling that they might be risking damage to themselves in the long run. While conclusive longitudinal research on the effects of cell phone radiation is still hard to come by, for those looking to hedge their bets, Statista’s Martin Armstrong shows in the infographics below,…

The Privatized Internet — Entire .ORG Domain Registry Sold to Investment Equity Firm “Ethos Capital”; Registration Fee Restrictions Removed

The love of money is a sickness with these people. —Attributed to an Indian chief as he watched the Europeans move west. Nothing dollarable is safe. —John Muir, 1908 Buried in the recent impeachment and campaign news was this announcement from the Internet Society and Public Interest Registry (emphasis mine): Ethos Capital to Acquire Public Interest Registry from the Internet Society Public Interest Registry Will Continue Management and Mission of .ORG Under New Ownership Reston, VA (November 13, 2019) – The Internet Society and Public Interest Registry (PIR) today announced that they have reached an agreement with Ethos Capital, under…

Contract for the Web: Internet Inventor Tim Berners-Lee Unveils Global Plan to Battle ‘Digital Dystopia’

Along with allies from across the globe, the computer engineer credited with inventing the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has unveiled a new global plan to designed to restore and enshrine some of the key principles of the revolutionary technology that he and his colleagues believe have been subsumed by the predations of government censorship and surveillance as well as a rapacious corporate appetite for endless data, monetization, and profit. Called the ‘Contract for the Web,’ the project sets out a bold set of principles designed to save the web from the forces that have stolen its potential and…

Sadiq Khan Backs Decision to Ban Uber in London After ‘Pattern of Failure’

The minicab app Uber has become a global phenomenon since it launched a decade ago, undercutting existing taxi services in cities around the world. But the company has been criticised for failing to suspend drivers with criminal records or a lack of insurance. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has backed Transport for London after it said on Monday, 25 November, that Uber would lose its licence to operate in the capital. Khan, who faces re-election in May, said: “Keeping Londoners safe is my absolute number-one priority, and TfL have identified a pattern of failure by Uber that has directly…

Algorithms Have Already Taken Over Human Decision Making and Nobody’s Talking About It

I can still recall my surprise when a book by evolutionary biologist Peter Lawrence entitled “The making of a fly” came to be priced on Amazon at $23,698,655.93 (plus $3.99 shipping). While my colleagues around the world must have become rather depressed that an academic book could achieve such a feat, the steep price was actually the result of algorithms feeding off each other and spiralling out of control. It turns out, it wasn’t just sales staff being creative: algorithms were calling the shots. This eye-catching example was spotted and corrected. But what if such algorithmic interference happens all the…

46 Cities Sue The FCC For Trampling Their Rights

The Trump FCC has made it abundantly clear it isn’t particularly keen on state, city, or local rights, especially when they interfere with AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast’s ability to make a buck. The problem: when the FCC neutered its ability to police the telecom sector at lobbyist request as part of the net neutrality repeal, it may have ironically obliterated its authority to tell states or cities what they can do. The agency fiercely opposes your town and city’s right to build its own broadband networks, even if nobody else will and locals have voted for it. The Pai FCC…