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Technology 6 May 2019

The Week in Internet News: Unencrypted USB Drives Pose Security Risk

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

No encryption for U(SB): About 55 percent of U.K. businesses don’t encrypt information on USB drives, according to the result of a survey published at Information Age. Also, 62 percent of executives surveyed admit to seeing USB devices in unsecured locations such as desks, drawers, and exposed office spaces.

Out of touch: As healthcare providers explore ways to use Artificial Intelligence to treat patients, the human touch may end up a casualty, NPR says. AI could “create a gulf between health caregivers and people of more modest means,” with some people not getting the human interaction with healthcare professionals that they need, the story says.

Ship it with blockchain: FedEx CIO Rob Carter, speaking at a recent conference, called on the international shipping industry to mandate the use of blockchain to track shipments, Computerworld notes. The technology could help weed out counterfeit goods, backers say.

Intelligent standards: The U.S. White House has launched an effort to develop AI standards, and it’s asking for public input, NextGov writes. An executive order on AI directs the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to issue a set of standards and tools that will guide the government in its adoption of the technology.

Shutting down violence: Social media shutdowns don’t achieve the common government goal of shutting down violence, suggests an opinion piece at In some cases, protestors have simply moved to other ways to communicate, and violence has continued, the piece suggests.

Blockchain or bike chain? IBM has identified a new use for blockchain: reducing bicycle thefts, Forbes says. Bike riders would register their proof of ownership on a blockchain to provide “irrefutable proof of ownership and an easy process to report and claim on the theft,” the story suggests. Perhaps chaining a bike to a fence would also work?

The trouble with fake news: Journalism organization the Poynter Institute published a list of “unreliable” news sites recently, but later pulled it after objections about some of the sites it included, the Hill says. Some conservative-leaning sites complained that they were included in the list, which told advertisers how to blacklist the sites, but that some liberal news sites were not included.

Encryption is under threat around the world. It’s up to each of us to take action.

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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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