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Technology 24 August 2020

The Week in Internet News: Facebook Bans Conspiracy Accounts

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossGuest AuthorTechnology Reporter

Ban hammer: Facebook has banned banned about 900 pages and groups and 1,500 ads tied to the conspiracy theory QAnon, NBC News reports. QAnon followers believe an anonymous, supposed government insider has warned them about a massive group of satanic cannibals and pedophiles inside the U.S. government. QAnon, militia movements, and violent movements tied to protests will no longer be allowed to buy ads on Facebook, the social media giant said.

That’s really fast: Researchers from University College London have been able to transmit data at 178 terabits per second, The Independent says. That speed is double the speed of any current system being used, and about 20 percent faster than the previous record. With that speed, an Internet user could download the entire Netflix library in just one second.

Cracks in the ‘Net: U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign against Chinese services TikTok and WeChat could further fracture the Internet, the New York Times reports. “China and the United States once acted like opposites when it came to governing the internet … When President Donald Trump issued executive orders that could lead to a U.S. ban next month on two of the world’s most popular Chinese-made apps, TikTok and WeChat, the White House signaled a new willingness to adopt Beijing’s exclusionary tactics.”

Working around censorship: People in Belarus are using privacy apps to defeat a recent government Internet shutdown, reports. Many Belarusians turned to free anonymizing tools and virtual private networks like Telegram and Psiphon. Psiphon saw the number of regular daily users in Belarus go from 10,000 ahead of an Aug. 9 election to more than a million.

Don’t hide the details: The former chief security officer at Uber has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly attempting to cover up a 2016 data breach that exposed the details of 57 million Uber drivers and passengers, the BBC reports. The executive is accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of taking “deliberate steps”  to stop the Federal Trade Commission from finding out about the breach.

Read the Internet Society Statement on the U.S. Clean Network Program.

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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