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Technology 25 November 2019

The Week in Internet News: Balloon-Based Internet Comes to the Amazon

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Internet from the skies: Loon, Google’s sister company, is teaming up with Internet provider Telefonica to provide Internet access to remote areas of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, TechCrunch reports. Loon, the high-altitude balloon company, plans to have the service available in 2020. The area of Peru targeted by the service has about 200,000 residents.

Internet from the highway: Meanwhile, Osceola County Schools in Florida has equipped an unused bus with computer equipment in an effort to bring Internet access to homeless students living in motels, reports. The school district, south of Orlando, has about 500 students living in motels, some with limited Internet access.

Investigating encryption: A top official at the U.S. Department of Justice has hinted that end-to-end encryption services could be part of a sweeping investigation into some big tech companies, the New York Times reports. The DOJ and law enforcement agencies from other countries have been pushing large tech companies like Facebook to drop their end-to-end encryption services, to the chagrin of many security experts.

Iran shuts it down: The Iranian government shut down Internet access for citizens for several days in response to protests about huge hikes in fuel prices, reports. The shutdown was an apparent attempt to stifle the protests. Service was partially restored about a week later.

Ruling for municipal broadband: A judge in Connecticut has ruled against a state Public Utility Regulatory Agency decision prohibiting municipal-owned broadband services from using utility pole space for fiber deployment, reports. Incumbent ISPs have tried to stop community broadband builders from accessing either utility poles or fiber conduit, arguing it’s a safety hazard.

IoT security is the law: A California law that requires all IoT devices sold in the state must to have “reasonable cybersecurity measures” embedded goes into effect in January, Forbes notes. The law contains some specific rules related to authentication, but other types of “reasonable security” are a bit vague.

Take these six actions to protect encryption and protect yourself.

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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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