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Technology 4 February 2019

The Week in Internet News: Japan to Probe Residents’ IoT Devices

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Government hacking: Japanese government workers will be able to hack into residents’ Internet of Things devices in an attempted survey of IoT insecurity, ZDNet reports. The Japanese government recently approved an amendment that allows the survey by employees of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. The government hacking effort is part of Japan’s preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Government officials are worried that other hackers might use compromised IoT devices to launch attacks against the games.

Evolving encryption: A story at TechTarget looks at the evolution of the Let’s Encrypt certificate authority, established in 2016. The free and automated certificate authority is “changing the industry in interesting ways” by making the certificate process less cumbersome, the story says. Meanwhile, a story at CSO Online looks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s efforts to encrypt the entire Internet and says that Let’s Encrypt is an important piece of that campaign.

Lagging encryption: Less than 30 percent of enterprise businesses encrypt their data across their on-premises environments, within their cloud services or on their mobile devices, according to a survey from French aerospace and security vendor Thales Group. A Computer Business Review story notes that encryption still isn’t widespread, even though 60 percent of organizations acknowledge they’ve been breached.

No deal: A judge has rejected a proposed settlement in for massive data breaches disclosed by Yahoo in 2016, Ars Technica says. The proposed settlement would have paid out $50 million to affected users, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh was unimpressed. Yahoo has not committed to any budget increases for data security and has made “only vague commitments as to specific business practices to improve data security,” she wrote.

Jail for fake news: A Thai man has been arrested and faces up to five years in jail for posting inaccurate information on his website, The Australian reports. The man had posted a story saying toxic smog in the Thai capital had killed a woman, but authorities said the story wasn’t true.

Patenting intelligence: The U.S. and China are gobbling up Artificial Intelligence patents faster than other countries, Al Jazeera reports, citing a U.N. study. Among companies, IBM had the largest AI patent portfolio with 8,920 patents, followed by Microsoft with 5,930, and a group of mainly Japanese tech conglomerates.

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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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