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Technology 16 December 2019

The Week in Internet News: U.S. Lawmakers Threaten Anti-Encryption Regulations

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Don’t make us make you: Members of a U.S. Senate committee recently told representatives of Facebook and Apple that they need to give police access to customers’ encrypted communications, or they will be forced to by Congress, the Washington Post reports. The companies told lawmakers that backdoors in encryption would be exploited by cybercriminals.

Facebook declines: Meanwhile, Facebook has refused a request from U.S. Attorney General William Barr to build encryption backdoors into WhatsApp and Messenger, the New York Times reports.

Women want to be included: As Internet access is growing in the central African country of Chad, women are demanding to be in on the action, Reuters reports. Women across sub-Saharan Africa are currently 15 percent less likely to own a mobile phone than men are and 41 percent less likely to use the mobile Internet, the story says.

Gigabit tech boom: Gigabit-speed Internet service is turning some small U.S. cities into tech centers, bringing businesses and jobs to the areas, Inc. says. The story looks at businesses taking advantage of gigabit-speed networks in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Melbourne, Florida, and Sarasota, Florida.

Arrested for reporting: Thirty journalists are currently in prison worldwide on charges related to reporting “fake news,” the Washington Post notes. Twenty-one of those journalists are from Egypt, where they are being jailed for simply reporting information President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi doesn’t like, the story suggests. In 2012, only one journalist was jailed on alleged fake news charges.

Take these six actions to protect encryption and protect yourself.

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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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