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Technology 20 January 2020

The Week in Internet News: Kentucky Broadband Program Stalls

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Broadband delays: KentuckyWired, an ambitious plan to bring broadband services to underserved, rural parts of the state, is about two years behind schedule, the Courier Journal reports. As a result, the promise of new high-tech jobs has not materialized. About 405,000 residents of Kentucky have no access to wired broadband.

Cities take the lead: Meanwhile, a handful of cities in Oregon are considering municipal broadband projects, KPTV reports. Hillsboro is about to join the ranks of cities offering city-funded connectivity.

Tweets against encryption: U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted a demand for Apple to defeat encryption on iPhones owned by criminal suspects, CNet says. Administration officials have criticized Apple for not unlocking a phone used by a dead mass shooter.

Election hacking: A security researcher has found that an election server in the U.S. state of Georgia may have been hacked in 2014, before a tight 2018 race for governor, Politico reports. If hackers did manage to breach the server, they would have “almost total control” of it, including the abilities to modify files, delete data, and install malware,” election security expert Logan Lamb said.

The cost of pulling the plug: Internet and social media shutdowns cost economies in sub-Saharan Africa more than $2.1 billion in 2019, with Sudan absorbing the majority of the impact, according to a new report detailed at QZ.com. The cost in the Middle East and North Africa was even higher, at $3.1 billion, according to The Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns in 2019 report.

Better security, please: Consumer Reports has written a letter to 25 connected device manufacturers, pleading with them to make their cameras, doorbells, and security systems more secure, Dark Reading reports. Google/Nest and Ring were among the companies targeted. “As multiple reports of connected camera hacking and incidents of unauthorized access have shown, many of these products are built without adequate security,” the letter says. “Attackers have openly viewed home security systems and baby monitor feeds, and have even spoken with residents, including young children.”

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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