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Technology 10 September 2018

The Week in Internet News: ‘Five Eyes’ Demand Access to Encrypted Information

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Prying eyes: The so-called Five Eyes – the surveillance alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. – pledged not to weaken encryption, at the same time as the countries are pushing tech companies to give them access to encrypted evidence, notes SearchSecurity. Representatives of the five countries released a new “Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption,” after a recent meeting in Australia. Encryption can help “child sex offenders, terrorists and organized crime groups … frustrate investigations and avoid detection and prosecution,” the statement suggests. More at ZDNet.

AI as public enemy No. 1? Artificial Intelligence is a bigger concern than climate change or terrorism, says the incoming president of the British Science Association, The Telegraph says. Really? AI progress is “happening too fast” without enough scrutiny or regulation, according to physics professor Jim Al-Khalili. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time technology has outpaced regulation.

AI vs. democracy: Meanwhile, AI is transforming social media, with major implications for democracy, worries Clint Watts, a distinguished research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, in an opinion piece at the Washington Post. “Over the long term, AI-driven campaigns may well be the undoing of the social media platforms they haunt and the democracies they seek to dominate,” he writes.

AI vs. obesity: Well, AI isn’t all bad. Researchers from the University of Washington have found a way to estimate a city’s obesity level by analyzing its buildings and green spaces, Quartz reports. The two trained an AI system to figure out the relationship between a city’s infrastructure and its obesity levels using satellite and Street View images from Google. With this information, cities can design health campaigns and focus new construction on ways to improve its residents’ health.

Fake news maps: Bot-designed maps may be the next fake news threat, Fast Company reports. Faked infographic maps designed to misrepresent information like voting trends have already gone viral and could soon be generated by the same kind of bots already posting on social media, worries one researcher. Maps are a good way to spread misinformation because of people’s tendency to trust them, says Anthony Robinson, a geography professor.

Investing in community: Neighborly, an online investment service, plans to launch a community broadband program to help cities and other organizations establish community-owned networks, Route Fifty reports.

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