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Technology 25 May 2020

The Week in Internet News: Hong Kong Residents Flock to VPNs

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Surveillance is coming: Hong Kong residents are rushing to download virtual private network apps after the Chinese government announced it intends to pass a new national security law covering the region, the South China Morning Post reports. Residents are worried that the Chinese government will restrict Internet access and put new surveillance measures in place in the quasi-independent region.

Fastest Internet ever: A team of researchers in Australia has logged data speeds of a blazing 44.2 terabits per second, claiming the fastest Internet speeds ever, the BBC reports. Researchers set the new record speed by using a device that replaces around 80 lasers found in some existing telecom hardware with a single piece of equipment called a “micro-comb.”

AI vs. coronavirus: Chinese ride-hailing provider Didi Chuxing says it will start using artificial intelligence to verify if drivers in its Latin American markets wear masks and disinfect cars to keep riders safe during the coronavirus pandemic, Al Jazeera says. Beginning on May 22, Didi’s drivers in Latin America needed to take a selfie with mask on to pass the AI verification, and starring in June they will need to report their body temperature to the phone app and upload photos of daily vehicle disinfection procedures.

Tracking switcheroo: Germany’s government has decided to back a COVID-19 tracking app from Google and Apple, in place of a German-led alternative that’s come under fire for privacy concerns, The Local reports. The government had previously backed a European app called PEPP-PT being developed by some 130 European scientists, but the proposed app had faced growing criticism over its plan to store data on a central server.

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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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