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Friday Cyber News, February 10 2017

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 2/4 - 2/10:

1. The existence of social networking has an extended "chilling effect": not only do Facebook users adjust their behavior on the site to present an idealized version of themselves, they also adjust their behavior in real life to conform with their online personas. On the other hand, recent Stanford research indicates that anyone can become an online troll, given the right conditions (seeing other trolling comments; being in a bad mood). [ResearchGate; Futurity]

2. A magistrate judge in Philadelphia ruled that Google must provide emails stored on servers outside the US in response to a US-issued warrant, in contradiction of a federal appeals court ruling that Microsoft did not have to produce emails stored on a server in Ireland in response to a US warrant. The ruling may have been a challenge to Google's assertion during court proceedings that because emails are stored fragmentarily across many servers, the company does not actually know in which country the data resides. Nevertheless, the precedent that any data accessible from a US computer is subject to US search and seizure is troubling. In other legal news, the CFAA was expanded to cover cases where the plaintiff's loss is not a service interruption but rather the costs to investigate a past breach or network intrusion. [Reuters; Bloomberg; Cyberscoop] 

3. Russian cyber meddling in the US election was the first inning of a longer game; the second inning is France. The second edition of the Tallinn manual, a collection of consensus opinion on international law regarding cyber operations, was published this week. No consensus was reached on whether cyber espionage violates international law. [The Grugq; Forbes]

4. Twitter has a problem with abusive users, and announced several steps this week aimed at making the platform more pleasant to use, including preventing blocked users (like this guy) from creating new accounts and hiding inappropriate pictures and images in search results and in replies. On Wikipedia, when Emily Temple-Wood, a longtime editor, is sent misogynistic harassment, she responds by creating a new Wikipedia entry for a female scientist. [Recode; Washington Post; Backchannel] 

5. Algorithmic trading has replaced 600 Goldman Sachs employees. An extensive Pew poll of technologists and government leaders found split opinions on whether the negatives of increasing algorithmic automation outweigh the positives. Respondents predict the increasing spread of algorithms, as well as increasing unemployment and algorithm-driven bias. [Technology Review; Pew] 

6. Punishment slightly smaller than crime: Vizio was using its smart TVs to collect and sell viewer data without their consent. The FTC issued a $2.2M fine, which Vizio agreed to pay, perhaps because the company's revenue in 2015 was $2.2B. A Carnegie Mellon student was sentenced to three years' probation for developing and selling Android malware, and this is your periodic reminder that Aaron Swartz was facing 35 years in prison for redistributing some JSTOR articles. [Washington Post; The Hill; Wikipedia] 

7. Tech has no borders: More than 100 tech companies filed an amicus brief against Trump's immigration ban in San Francisco's 9th circuit court of appeals, arguing that the ban hurts business and that tech companies benefit from hiring skilled immigrants. Denmark is creating a diplomatic position for an ambassador to large multinational tech companies. A cyber attack on a hosting provider took out an estimated 1/5 of the dark web. With wifi expensive and slow, and app purchases blocked by embargo, Cubans buy apps at a physical store, where bundles of apps are transferred by USB to customers' phones. [Reuters; Washington Post; Economist] 

8.  For retailers with online and offline stores, more than 80% of the effect of an online ad shows up in offline purchases. [Science Bulletin]

9. DC police subpoenaed Facebook for account data on protestors arrested on inauguration day. [Mashable]

10.  65% of Americans polled by Blumberg Capital believe they know more about cybersecurity than the President. Luckily for them, under a new pilot program, civilians with cybersecurity experience can receive direct commissions in the Army with ranks up to Colonel. [The Hill; Stars and Stripes]

Thanks for reading,

Stanford Cyber Initiative

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