telegram
China Allegedly Conducting Cyber Attacks Against Telegram Messaging App to Suppress Hong Kong Protests

The Chinese government is allegedly conducting cyber attacks against the messaging app Telegram in an effort to frustrate this week’s protests in Hong Kong, according to the CEO of Telegram. Read More >>

travel
Social Media Screening Will Now Affect Nearly All U.S. Visa Applicants

U.S. State Department requests for some visa applicants to hand over information related to their various social media accounts will now extend to nearly all applicants, including those travelling to the U.S. for education or business, the Associated Press reported Sunday. Read More >>

privacy
In Troubling Experiment, University To Monitor Students’ Social Media To Prevent Suicide

Northumbria University has announced that it will surveil student social media posts, among other data, to try and determine whether they are suicidal. The project is part of a pilot programme and will reportedly be deployed across all British institutions if it works as intended. Read More >>

face recognition
IBM Sells Face Recognition Surveillance to a Dictatorship: Report

The United Arab Emirates is one of the 21st century’s most modern and forward thinking surveillance states. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Shareholders Fail to Limit Company’s Sale of Facial Recognition Software

Long-simmering concerns over Amazon’s facial recognition software came to a head this week during the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where activist investors put forward several agenda items that would increase oversight of the software and limit who could use it. Read More >>

amazon
This Week, Amazon Has a Chance to Prove It Can Do the Right Thing on Its Own

Today, during an Amazon shareholder meeting, investors will vote on proposals pushing for more oversight on the tech giant’s facial recognition efforts. But there are a number of caveats. Read More >>

amazon
Why Amazon Is Hiring an Editor for ‘Breaking Crime News’

A smart doorbell company owned by Amazon is looking for a new managing editor to oversee a team of journalists breaking crime news for an app tailor-made to stoke fear in its users and loop in the police. Read More >>

privacy
US Federal Agents, Police Are Using Google’s Location History Feature to Track Down Suspects

American law enforcement queries of Google’s massive mobile device location tracking database, which employees call Sensorvault, has “risen sharply in the past six months,” the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing sources at the company. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
‘Automated Racism’: Chinese Police Are Reportedly Using AI to Identify Minority Faces

Facial recognition technology can target entire populations of a specific demographic, and in the wrong hands, can be used as a powerful tool for discrimination. In China, this isn’t a cautionary tale, it’s already happening. Read More >>

china
China’s ‘Little Red Book’-Like App Is Blowing Up the Charts

The most downloaded app in Apple Store’s China region, with over 100 million users, awards points for reading articles, taking quizzes, learning about socialist theory and watching videos about President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party. The app, Study the Great Nation, was developed by the public opinion research division of China’s Central Propaganda Department and tech company Alibaba, and it’s being likened to Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. Read More >>

cybersecurity
Chinese Dating App for Queer and Lesbian Women Reportedly Left 5.3 Million Profiles Exposed

A Chinese dating app for lesbian and queer women exposed the profiles and private data of over 5.3 million users, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday, possibly since June 2018. Read More >>

surveillance
US Police Officer Used Police Database to Creep on Over 100 Women, Investigation Finds

After a woman in Florida experienced a “chance brief encounter” with a police officer in a parking garage last year, authorities say the officer showed up at her parents house in an effort to see her again. The woman then filed a complaint, and the department says it discovered the officer had been misusing a police database to target women to date and have sex with for years. Read More >>

privacy
Report: The NSA’s Domestic Metadata Collection System Is Not Being Used and May Be Discontinued

The National Security Agency has “quietly shut down” the mass surveillance programme it implemented after the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks to analyse metadata on domestic US calls and text messages, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing an episode of the Lawfare podcast with “senior Republican congressional aide” Luke Murry. The Wall Street Journal separately reported that Murry stated the programme has not been used in at least six months, with both papers writing that it is unclear whether Donald Trump’s administration will ask Congress to renew its legal authority when relevant portions of the Patriot Act expire at the end of 2019. Read More >>

china
Report: China’s Social Credit System Has Blocked Tens of Millions of Rejected Plane and Train Tickets

China’s dystopian “social credit” system—which penalises citizens found to have engaged in some type of misconduct by imposing a number of restrictions on their activities—has already resulted in tens of millions of rejected attempts to purchase plane or train tickets, the Guardian reported on Friday. Read More >>

tv
C.H.E.R.Y./L. the Robot Is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Unsung Hero

Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has come to an end, and it’s time to celebrate its underappreciated hero. Read More >>