The UK’s Tech Backlash Could Change the Internet

British officials took a swipe at global internet giants Monday, suggesting rules that would require the companies to proactively remove content the government views as illegal or “harmful,” and giving the government the right to shut down offending sites. The proposals, contained in a 102-page white paper, are aimed at combating the spread of disinformation, hate speech, online extremism, and child exploitation. If enacted as described, they would constitute some of the most stringent and far-reaching restrictions on internet speech by a major western democracy. But critics said the proposals fail to balance curbing harmful speech with free expression. Under current UK law, social media platforms and other online companies are shielded from liability for potentially illegal content posted by …

Cambridge Analytica a year on: a lesson in institutional failure

One year after she broke the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Carole Cadwalladr discusses the state of play with whistleblower Christopher Wylie Its a measure of how much has changed in a year that, last month the UK, parliament published an official report that called Facebook digital gangsters and said that Britains electoral laws no longer worked. It was a report that drew on hours of testimony from Cambridge Analytica directors, Facebook executives and dozens of expert witnesses: 73 in total, of whom MPs had asked 4,350 questions. And its conclusion? That Silicon Valleys tech platforms were out of control, none more so than Facebook, which it said had treated parliament with contempt. And its a measure of how much hasnt changed …

Your Facebook Password Isnt Safe. Neither Is Your Android Phone

Tech news you can use, in two minutes or less: Change your Facebook password Facebook acknowledged a bug that caused hundreds of millions of user passwords (dating back to 2012) for both Facebook and Instagram to be stored as readable text internally. This basically means that thousands of Facebook employees could have searched for and found them. Facebook says they weren't accessible outside of the company, and that there's no evidence employees did in fact abuse or improperly access them. We say, change it anyway. Airbnb may be beloved by you, but not by local governments Our own Paris Martineau spoke to nearly two dozen city officials, hosts, and experts about their interactions with Airbnb, and the picture they painted …