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Technology 27 August 2018

The Week in Internet News: U.S. DOJ Pressures Facebook to Break Messenger Encryption

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Encryption wars, part 2,403: The U.S. Department of Justice is pressuring Facebook to break the encryption in its Messenger app so that investigators can access communications by suspected Ms-13 gang members. The DOJ has asked a judge to force Facebook to allow the agency to tap into Messenger, with the outcome potentially affecting other tech companies, Fortune reports.

Hacking the Apple: An infamous North Korean hacking group has created their first macOS malware as a way to compromise a cryptocurrency exchange, Bleeping Computer reports. The hackers who created the so-called AppleJeus malware are going to great lengths to make it work – even creating a fake company and software product to deliver it.

AI loves TV: As researchers explore ways to give Artificial Intelligence systems curiosity, AIs will sometimes choose to watch TV all day, QZ.com says. AIs playing video games will sometimes die on purchase to see the game-over screen or fixate on a fake TV and remote and flip through channels to find something new.

Certified secure? Trade group CTIA is offering a security certification for cellular-connected Internet of Things devices, TechRepublic reports. Security experts and test labs have participated in the program. With so many potential security vulnerabilities in IoT, it can’t hurt, right?

The righteous Internet: Chinese President Xi Jinping recently defended tight controls over the Internet, saying it must be “clean” and cleansed of vulgar content, Reuters reports. China must “uphold a clean and righteous Internet space,” Xi said.

Don’t be a pack rat: Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, was apparently a fan of encrypted communications apps like WhatsApp and Signal, but that didn’t stop him from getting into legal trouble. Cohen kept logs of his conversations on those apps on his phone, and investigators were able to access those logs somehow, Fast Company says.

Enforcing fair algorithms: Scientists from IBM want AI developers to testify that their creations aren’t biased, as a way to protect against concerns about unfair algorithms, Futurism reports. Under the proposal, developers would publish a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity that shows how well the algorithm performed at standardized tests of performance, fairness and other measures.

Encryption is under threat around the world. Learn how you can protect encryption, protect our data, and protect one another.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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