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Friday Cyber News, August 18 2017

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 8/12 - 8/18:

1. Cloudflare kicked a neo-nazi site off of its service, and simultaneously raised concerns with their ability to decide who deserves to be protected on the internet, noting that without services like Cloudflare, vigilante justice determines whose pages remain up and whose are DDoSed away. Other Silicon Valley companies address the same dilemma mostly by not talking about it, so Cloudflare's open acknowledgement is a welcome way to bring broader attention to policy issues. [Gizmodo; Vanity Fair]

2. A Ukrainian malware expert has become a witness for the FBI, and wants to reveal details about Russia's hacking teams. [NY Times]

3. Where are all the robots? Half of all industrial robots in the US are in the auto industry, and concentrated in red states, forecasting where anxiety about the automation-related losses of jobs will be felt the most. Counterpoint: the robots won't take your job, because as a country we're not investing enough in robotics. [Brookings; Wired]

4. The UK government issued tough automotive cybersecurity standards this week, including requiring that manufacturers maintain and support security for the lifetime of the vehicle, and that board members be personally accountable for vehicle security. The US elevated Cyber Command to a Unified Combatant Command this week, giving it more streamlined control of cyber operations, though this elevation does not by itself separate the NSA and Cyber Command. [Reuters;]

5. An interesting look at the Mirai botnet--including the revelation that it was attacking Playstation servers that accidentally brought down Dyn--and how a simple piece of malware developed by a college student spread, evolved, and took advantage of very simple hardcoded passwords to wreak global havoc. [Usenix]

6.​ Note to everyone who has mocked PETA's lawsuit on behalf of Naruto, a monkey who they say owns the copyright to an image he took of himself: we're going to need the result of that lawsuit to know whether AI can own the copyright to works it produces (or if copyright should instead reside with the programmers who created the AI, or the owners of the images the AI was trained on, or used, to produce its works.) [Quartz]

7. Envious comparison as the Girardian basis of Facebook, and what it means to be the product of the largest internet companies in the world. Also, "Facebook is scuzzy". [London Review of Books]

8. Do police need a warrant to access cell site location data? The Supreme Court will decide, and you can read up on the legal arguments for and against ahead of time (in case Apple v. FBI caught you unawares last year). If you read "cell site location data" and thought about biological cells, you may be interested to know that researchers can use genomic data for diagnostic purposes while preserving the privacy of individuals' genomic variations. [Lawfare; Science]

9. The price of Bitcoin passed $4,000, as the first step (Segwit) of Segwit2x's promised increase of block sizes promises to ease some of the transaction time and scalability problems of the Bitcoin network. [Fortune] 

10. Uber has agreed to 20 years of privacy audits (if they're around that long...) after the FTC finds they failed consumers by not monitoring employee access to consumer data over a long enough period of time. [CNBC]

Thanks for reading,

Stanford Cyber Initiative

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