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Technology 23 December 2019

The Week in Internet News: India Sets Record for Longest Internet Shutdown in a Democracy

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

The longest ever: The 130-day-plus shutdown of the Internet in the Indian region of Kashmir is now the longest ever in a democracy, the Washington Post notes. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce estimates $1.4 billion in losses due to the shutdown. Meanwhile, the Indian government is stepping up its shutdown efforts in response to protests across the country, TechCrunch reports. The protests are largely focused on a new citizenship law, which creates a path to citizenship for immigrants of all the major religions except Islam.

Another encryption fight: There’s a battle brewing over the encryption of Internet traffic being pushed by Google and Cloudflare, the ACLU says in a blog post. Some U.S. telecom carriers are calling on Congress to stop the encryption efforts. The blog post has a good explanation of the technical issues, while taking sides in the debate.

New standards for the IoT: Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance are working on a new open-source networking standard for home Internet of Things connected devices, ZDNet reports. The Connected Home over IP standard aims to make it easier for various IoT devices to communicate with each other.

Protesting social media bill: Thousands of people in Nigeria are raising concerns about a bill that would allow the government there to cut off Internet access or block social media platforms at its discretion, Al Jazeera reports. The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 also would prohibit online statements deemed “likely to be prejudicial to national security” and “those which may diminish public confidence” in Nigeria’s government. Penalties include fines of up to US $825 and three-year prison sentences.

Compromised for months: Convenience store operator Wawa has announced a data breach that has affected thousands of customers. The company discovered the breach on Dec. 10, but the attackers may have had access to the Wawa network since early March, the Associated Press reports. The breach affected all of Wawa’s 850 East Coast locations, with in-store payments and payments at fuel dispensers compromised.

Keep the Internet on, and strong. Read the Internet Society Position on Internet Shutdowns.

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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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