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Technology 26 August 2019

The Week in Internet News: Google, Mozilla Block Surveillance in Kazakhstan

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossGuest AuthorTechnology Reporter

Root-level spying: Google and Mozilla are blocking surveillance efforts by Kazakhstan’s government, Engadget reports. The two organizations are blocking a root certificate that the Kazakhstan government rolled out, allowing it to monitor the encrypted Internet activity of any users who installed it. The government forced ISPs to require all customers to install the certificate in order to gain Internet access.

Broadband for all: An opinion piece in the New York Daily News calls for citywide municipal broadband service after one city report estimated that 29 percent of city residents have no broadband service. “By virtually all measures, New York City’s system for providing broadband internet service is an abysmal failure,” the piece says.

A new war: The industrial Internet of Things is a new battleground for hackers, Silicon Angle says. Nation states are increasingly targeting these systems, with potentially deadly consequences. “The stage is set for the world to find out what might happen if petrochemical, gas and power plant safety systems designed to prevent catastrophic accidents are disabled by malicious hackers,” the story says.

Regulation isn’t the cure: Meanwhile, regulation alone won’t solve the IoT security problems, says IoT for All. While several governments are considering IoT security regulations, consumer education and more manufacturer focus on security are also needed, the story says. “Through strong security and support on the manufacturer end, and better understanding of IoT devices among consumers, we can effectively supersede the need for lawmakers to step in.”

Shifting encryption: The government of Canada has shifted its stance on strong encryption and is now calling on tech companies to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted communications, IT World Canada reports. This is in line with the encryption views of the U.S. Department of Justice and several other governments. Privacy group Citizen Lab called the change in policy in Canada irresponsible with the government offering “one-sided anecdotal and emotionally-driven arguments that encryption is increasing risks to public safety.”

It’s up to all of us to protect encryption, protect our data, and protect one another.

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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