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Technology 14 October 2019

The Week in Internet News: China and Russia Target ‘Illegal’ Content

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Content crackdown: China and Russia plan to sign an agreement to crack down on what they consider “illegal” Internet content, The Register reports. It’s unclear what the agreement will cover but critics already fear the deal will enable the two countries to further crack down on free speech. China has even effectively banned cartoon character Winnie the Pooh because some people have compared the chubby bear to leader Xi Jinping.

Eyes on you: In more censorship-related news, Thailand has ordered restaurants and Internet cafes to log the Internet histories of users, Privacy News Online says. The Thai government already requires ISPs to keep a log of customers’ Internet histories for 90 days as part of the country’s Computer Crimes Act.

Poor access: Some of the U.S. states with the lowest levels of broadband access also have the highest poverty rates, notes a report from Axios. About 30 percent of low-income U.S. residents do not have access to broadband, says the story, citing a Census Bureau report.

Not so smart: A new “smart” doorbell may literally unlock a home’s doors to hackers, according to The Daily Swig. A security researcher found that the Wi-Fi connected doorbell had no authentication mechanism to prevent a remote attacker from launching commands that could allow the attacker to open the lock on a connected door.

Fake law no more: Malaysia has scrapped a controversial law targeting fake news that raised concerns about free speech, Al Jazeera reports. Under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, people found guilty of spreading what the government determined was fake news could be jailed for six years and fined US $120,000. Critics said the former prime minister was using the law to cover up corruption.

Community action: Waterloo, Iowa, will consider building a community broadband network after complaints of slow speeds from current options, Government Technology says. The city is starting with a feasibility study, and the city’s mayor has said the study will determine if a city-owned network is actually worthwhile.

Privacy and security should be more than an afterthought. Learn about Trust by Design and why it matters.

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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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