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Technology 11 November 2019

The Week in Internet News: Facebook Moves Forward with Encryption, Despite Concerns

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossGuest AuthorTechnology Reporter

Forging ahead: Facebook plans to move ahead with plans to expand encryption despite concerns from law enforcement agencies that it will be used by criminals, the New York Times reports. Facebook’s decision to expand encryption across its Messenger platform comes after complaints by top law enforcement officials in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia that Facebook’s plan to encrypt messaging on all its platforms would make it more difficult to find child sex predators and pornographers.

Investigate the ISPs: Mozilla has asked Congress to investigate data collection by Internet service providers following reports that Comcast is lobbying against browser plans to implement the encryption scheme DNS-over-HTTPS, Vice reports. Mozilla’s rollout of DNS-over-HTTPS “has raised questions about how ISPs collect and use sensitive user data in their gatekeeper role over internet usage,” the browser maker wrote.

The next billion: The next billion Internet users will have significantly different goals and needs than the first billion, Quartz says. While many observers have talked about the Internet being a tool to deliver basic needs, many new users will be focused on using the Internet for leisure activities, the article predicts. And while many users in the West are focused on privacy, many newer users may not share the same concerns.

Free speech vs. hate speech: A recent move in Germany to crack down on right-wing hate speech online also impacts free speech, Foreign Policy suggests. Authoritarian governments are watching Germany’s efforts and using the country as a model to stifle political dissent, the story says.

Not-so-smart devices: Best Buy is shutting down the smart features in a range of smart devices it has sold in recent years, The Register says. The Insignia Connect smart devices that will soon become dumb devices include power plugs, in-wall light switches, security cameras, and, believe it or not, a freezer.

Take these six actions to protect encryption and protect yourself.

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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