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Technology 24 September 2018

The Week in Internet News: China’s New Cyberspace Head Talks Up New Controls

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossGuest AuthorTechnology Reporter

“Cleansing” cyberspace: Zhuang Rongwen, recently appointed as director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, has vowed to promote “positive energy” on the Internet while suppressing “negative elements,” including “wrong ideological trends” that attack the Communist Party there, reports the South China Morning Post. Zhuang called on all Internet users to join party members to fight a people’s war to rehabilitate the “cyber ecology.”

Told ya so: Meanwhile, another article in the South China Morning Post, this one an opinion piece, defends recent Chinese crackdowns on the Internet by looking at recent U.S. congressional inquiries into ways to “contain the freewheeling online space.” The piece looks at recent outbreaks of fake news and hate speech online. Some U.S. politicians “are starting to sound a lot like China’s leaders when warning of the insidious dangers of an untamed, unregulated internet,” says the writer, a former Washington Post correspondent.

AI arms race: Speaking of fake news, it’s continued spread has triggered an Artificial Intelligence arms race, says Popular Mechanics. Using AI, the spreaders of fake news reports are becoming more difficult to spot. Meanwhile, other companies will increasingly use AI to spot fake news. Perhaps an AI vs. AI cage match is needed.

Paid to map: Streetcred, a blockchain-powered, open-source mapping startup, plans to pay users to populate its maps, intended to compete with services like Google Maps. Think of the service as mapping for the gig economy, reports CityLab.

Hacking your shopping cart: Newegg, the popular online computer and electronics retailer, has fallen victim to the so-called Magecart attack, which allowed hackers to inject a few lines of malicious JavaScript code onto a webpage shown to consumers during the checkout process, eWeek reports. Magecart was blamed for several high-profile attacks in recent months, including ones on British Airways on September 7 and Ticketmaster on June 27.

Bachelor’s in blockchain: New York University is now offering a degree in blockchain, CoinTelegraph says. It’s claiming to be the first university to offer a blockchain major. Guess this means blockchain is for real?

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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