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Friday Cyber News, May 6 2016

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 4/30 - 5/6:

1. The White House released a report on big data in discrimination, including both "how big data techniques can be used to detect bias and prevent discrimination...[and]...the risks involved, particularly how technologies can deliberately or inadvertently perpetuate, exacerbate, or mask discrimination." []

2. Jaron Lanier on the digital revolution, and intellectual property: "IP is a crucial thread in designing a humane future with dignity.  Not everybody can be a Zuckerberg or run a tech company, but everybody could – or at least a critically large number of people could – benefit from IP." Related: how you're making Facebook a money machine (with your data). Also related: technology vs. the distribution of workers, making the argument that aggregate productivity is slowing even as the use of individual technologies is increasing.  [Wipo; NYTimes; Growthecon]

3. In another country's encryption fight, Brazil ordered a 72-hour block of WhatsApp, that was later overturned. The dispute is over police investigations into drug crimes that involved WhatsApp communications; the encrypted messages cannot be turned over to police, but the courts are determined to punish WhatsApp for being unable to do so. [TechCrunch; Threatpost]

4. European law enforcement are joining US agencies in putting pressure on tech companies to turn over information that could be useful in terrorism investigations. US law prohibits US-based tech companies from turning over certain types of information to foreign authorities, but when Parisian police want to know what suspects are saying on Facebook, they succeed about half the time. (On the other hand, Facebook blocked 37,695 pieces of content from France, including images of the terrorist attacks in Paris.) [WSJ; Facebook]

5. Around the globe: Iran threatens the use of 1,500 cyber jihadis against the US; the US and South Korea join forces to combat cyber threats; the Bank of Greece, Cyprus' central bank, and the Swiss military were hit by cyber attacks. [The Hill; Politico; Reuters;]

6. A former US deputy national security advisor suggested that companies should be given limited ability to hack back against their cyber attackers. One of the first targets could be Russian hackers who leaked tens of millions of Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo account credentials. [PCworld; Reuters]

7. UK hospitals are calling on Google for help data-mining and analyzing trends in patient records, though privacy advocates argue a for-profit company has no business accessing so much personal information. [Motherboard]

8. A lot of money is pouring into chatbots, considered the future of business-customer interaction. In response, the White House will be holding a series of meetings this summer on the growing influence of AI, and the role for security and regulation in the field. A personal hypothesis: phishers are directly benefited by the growing amount of natural-language human-computer interaction data stored and used by chatbots. [VentureBeat; The Hill]

9. Craig Wright attempted again this week to lay claim to the name (and fortune) of Satoshi Nakamoto, pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin. Craig was unable to carry out his fraud, and apologized. Here's how anyone could run the same scam. [Economist; Ars Technica; ErrataSec]

10. Bug bounties mean more bikes: A 10-year-old received $10,000 for reporting an Instagram vulnerability. And, the "world's greatest internet troll" explains his comedic philosophy. [Ars Technica; Vox]


Stanford Cyber Initiative

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