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Technology 20 May 2019

The Week in Internet News: San Francisco Bans Use of Facial Recognition by Police

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

No cameras, please: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted to ban the use of facial recognition technologies by the policy and other agencies over privacy and civil liberties concerns, the New York Times reports. Even though police across the country have used the technology to identify criminals, facial recognition has raised fears of abuse and of turning the country into a police state.

Broadband in space: SpaceX had planned to launch a rocket containing 60 satellites designed to deliver broadband service, but the company delayed the launch a couple of times, first because of wind and then because the satellites need a software update, ExtremeTech reports. The launch was supposed to be a first step toward Elon Musk’s plan to create a space-based broadband network.

Broadband in drones: As an alternative to satellite broadband and other efforts, SoftBank is looking at ways to provide Internet service by drone, the L.A. Times says. The Japanese telecom carrier recently announced it is working with drone maker AeroVironment to build a drone capable of “flying to the stratosphere, hovering around an area for months and serving as a floating cell tower to beam internet to users on Earth.”

Just pay the man: Some vendors offering technological services to unlock the data of ransomware victims often just pay the fees to hackers instead, ProPublica reports. One vendor Proven Data promised to help ransomware victims by unlocking their data with the “latest technology,” but instead it obtained decryption tools from the cyberattackers by paying the ransoms.

Doing it themselves: Residents of Alton, Maine, population about 900, have voted to expand fiber broadband services to cover the entire area, a guest column in the Bangor Daily News says. The city is working with small telecom provider Otelco and the state to expand fiber access.

Infrastructure attacks: Bad guys are plotting to attack the Internet’s infrastructure, and that’s bad news, according to a story at Brink News. One recent example was a January attack on DNS and Netnod’s I-Root server based in Sweden. In this case, the damage was limited, “but a worst-case scenario could have undermined global Internet communication,” the story says.

Routing security is vital to the future and stability of the Internet. MANRS helps reduce the most common routing threats.

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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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