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Friday Cyber News, August 21 2015

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 8/15 - 8/21:

1. The search engine manipulation effect--how Google ranks candidate information in search results--could have a decisive effect on elections, which are usually won by small margins. [Politico]

2. The Impact Team wasn't bluffing: they posted two troves of Ashley Madison customer information and CEO email, which are already searchable. Some of those named have confirmed their participation, others like an account registered under Tony Blair's email, may have been a prank, as user emails are not confirmed upon registration. Ashley Madison is trying to use DMCA to get the data taken down, but copyright doesn't extend to emails or credit card numbers.  [Wired; CSOOnline; Vice]

3. A business model that caters to the speed and flexibility of e-commerce creates working conditions that emphasize instant responses over sanity, and threaten with the ease of replacement. Working at Amazon corporate isn't much better than working at an Amazon fulfillment warehouse. [NYTimes]

4. The internet of things is already here, thanks to Amazon's dash buttons and a quick tutorial to change their purpose from re-ordering diapers to logging whatever event you'd like to log upon a press of the button. That was easy. [Medium]

5. AT&T enthusiastically collaborated with the NSA to provide access to email and phone records, and discovering the company's identity in leaked NSA documents reads like clues to a neat word puzzle. Verizon collaborated too, but privacy advocates have a lot to deride in AT&T's apparent lack of concern. [NYTimes; ProPublica]

6. Helping "crowdworkers", the people who evaluate image tags and extract data from LinkedIn profiles to keep the internet running smoothly, means finding ways to provide online the types of support that a traditional job offers. Can training, coworker socializing, and retention efforts be outsourced? [Pacific Standard]

7. China's cyberspace administration has blocked websites for "spreading rumors" about the Tianjin explosions last week. Or, they're trying to contain negative press. Censoring sites reporting higher death tolls or looting after the explosion raises concerns about whether the government's intent is to help those affected by the disaster, or cover up embarrassing aspects. [Quartz]

8. The IRS reports that a data breach of its tax return transcript system affected more individuals than previously reported--more than 300,000--and those affected will be notified by letter. Facebook's cybersecurity Threat Exchange specifically excludes the government, but hopefully the IRS and the OPM are learning from one another. [NYTimes; CSMonitor]

9. The chance your Uber driver was formerly convicted of murder is slightly higher than the chance a taxi driver was. But don't let that stop you. [WSJ]

10. "Was your server wiped?" "What, like with a cloth or something?" [Washington Post]



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