Good News For Net Neutrality?

There has been a war going on for net neutrality….Trump’s boy at the FCC does not want it to be all that free….the good news is that the Senate has voted to restore the neutrality, which is good but will the House do the right thing or just be another rubber stamp Trump?

The Senate has voted to kill a Federal Communications Commission rule that repealed the Obama administration’s ban on internet providers blocking or slowing down certain content. Back in December, in an effort to deregulate the internet, the FCC repealed “net neutrality” rules that ensured equal treatment for all web traffic. The Obama-era rule prevented providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. Three Republicans joined with Democrats in voting to repeal the FCC rule that is scheduled to go into effect next month, the AP reports. The final vote was 52-47.

Telecommunications companies lobbied hard to overturn net neutrality, and critics, including the Trump administration, said over-regulation was stifling innovation. CNN says the measure to reinstate net neutrality will now “be sent to the GOP-led House, where it’ll likely go nowhere,” noting that Trump isn’t likely to back it either. Still, the AP notes, Democrats see their effort as something that will energize young voters who value unfettered access to the internet.

Will this bring about a happy ending……I think not Trump’s lackeys in the House will defeat net neutrality…..there is no way that these toads will do the right thing….

Keep those cards and letters flowing into the House….maybe someone will listen.

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The Zuck Meets Congress

Closing Thought–11Apr18

Yesterday was the big day….Facebook honcho begins his 2 day Congressional testimony….I admit that I watched on TV for I wanted to hear his lame ass excuses….I was not disappointed.

He was given softball questions that he was allowed to evade at all costs….we could say that the time constraint did not bode well for a substantive answers.

In case you were smarter than I and avoided the TV BS show let me fill in the blanks for you…..

The first couple hours of Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate testimony Tuesday were, as Time puts it, “tedious.” Lawmakers’ questions made it clear they don’t quite understand all the ins and outs of social media (the Week says Zuck spent a fair amount of time explaining how the internet works), and that made it easy for Zuck to give sometimes evasive answers without much pushback. But when Ted Cruz questioned Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder actually appeared to be “on edge,” giving us, in Time‘s words, “the most explosive part” of the hearing. The exchange had to do with whether Facebook is a neutral public forum, with Cruz rattling off a number of instances in which the social network appeared to show its political bias by leaning left. Cruz specifically asked Zuckerberg about Palmer Luckey, a former Facebook employee who left the company after his conservative political views were revealed; Zuck denied those political views had anything to do with his departure. Time has more on Luckey and the Zuck-Cruz exchange.

  • Things did get a bit less tedious as the hearing wore on; Kamala Harris, at one point, called Zuckerberg out for deflecting questions, per the Raw Story; Slate looks at a particularly “awkward” exchange between Zuck and Dick Durbin about Zuck’s hotel; and CNN highlights an exchange in which a senator told Zuckerberg bluntly, “your user agreement sucks.” Roll Call has a look at some of the other key exchanges between Zuck and lawmakers.
  • Fast Company explains how Zuck “dodged” a question about Facebook’s ability to follow users around the internet even when they’re not logged in. Meanwhile, Slate says he “struggled” to answer uncomfortable questions about Facebook board member Peter Thiel.
  • Roll Call offers up photos from the day, including the veritable army of Zuckerberg cutouts adorning the East Lawn of the Capitol; the Week has photos and videos illustrating the “zoo” Capitol Hill became; and Mashable zeroes in on photos of Zuck’s face throughout the day to look at his “emotional journey” as the day progressed.
  • Zuckerberg, who is 5’7″, reportedly sat on a “booster seat” during his testimony. Gizmodo has pictures.
  • Might there one day be a paid version of Facebook? Zuck revealed he apparently isn’t ruling it out, per the Verge.
  • Time and Mashable round up some of the best jokes and memes to come out of the testimony.
  • Vanity Fair says this is “just the beginning of what could become a fraught regulatory battle with Congress,” and offers up a ranking of Zuck’s “regulatory nightmares.”
  • Speaking of Facebook scandals, NPR has a primer on how to check whether your data was used by Cambridge Analytica, and the New York Times reports that some of the data collected by the quiz app included private messages. Facebook is offering up a “bounty” to anyone who can find the next Cambridge Analytica, CNBC reports.
  • Fast Company takes a look at the “brain trust of advisers” helping Zuck through all this controversy.
  • The Atlantic offers up a list of the day’s 13 strangest moments.
  • Zuck will testify before the House of Representatives Wednesday. While you wait, AdWeek offers up five things we learned during today’s testimony.
  • This whole thing makes the Edward Snowden affair “look quaint,” writes Anne Applebaum at the Washington Post.

That pretty much covers the first day of this  Greek comedy…..Tuesday will produce more crap that wasted the Congress’ time.

If the Zuck-ster sez anything important I shall give my readers another look.  I expect a replay of the comedy of Monday.

The Sins Of Social Media

The Zuck-meister is testifying before Congress….he will be apologetic hoping that it will ward off any action by Congress….protect the cash, screw the user.

With the latest news of the use of Facebook’s members info has led to a new and fresh look at social media….new warnings, new worries, new possibilities……

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data exploitation crisis seems to be waking up a new wave of Americans to the fundamental downsides of our purposeful addiction to social media providers. Russia’s information war, designed to foment domestic unrest, exposed more of us to the reality of online manipulation, but many viewed this as a willful attack by an outsider, not reflective of a base problem with the social media platform business model.

This week’s outing of how and why Cambridge Analytica extracted vital, personal information on more than 50 million Americans for political reasons amplifies how dangerous the fundamental business model is to our national cohesion.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/column/expert-view/seven-deadly-sins-social-media

Do you remember the Dark Ages?

That historic age when all progress stopped and the world went into a period of ignorance……could this new info about what is going on with social media could it be leading us into a new form of the Dark Ages?

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is the latest in a series of incidents that, taken together, have contributed to a rising sense of alarm over the effects of social media — on human behaviour, on civil discourse, on democratic politics. A growing number of commentators have concluded that social media — shorthand for Facebook, Twitter and Google — are more a force for harm than good, whether in their own lives or society at large.

Certainly the effects are not trivial. Whether or not you think the more underhanded uses of social media — fake news, Russian bots, or the exploitation of improperly obtained personal data to compile detailed psychological profiles of tens of millions of voters — decided the course of the last U.S. presidential election, they plainly were of some importance, or those responsible would not have gone to such lengths to deploy them.

Andrew Coyne: The pessimists might be right, social media may have plunged us into a new dark age

Just a few thoughts in the aftermath of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica fiasco……

Beware of social media….best advice that I can give.

Trust No One But Yourself!

Closing Thought–03Apr18

Since the news broke about the insecurity of Facebook the conversation about the people’s privacy is once again newsworthy…..

Well I am here to keep you abreast of the government’s attempts to invade our privacy….ever hear of the CLOUD Act?

No?  Then maybe you should stop skimming the post and read it for real…..

While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.

While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) “updates the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet,”CNETreported. “Now law enforcement won’t be blocked from accessing someone’s Outlook account, for example, just because Microsoft happens to store the user’s email on servers in Ireland.

The CLOUD Act will also allow the U.S. to enter into agreements that allow the transfer of private data from domestic servers to investigators in other countries on a case-by-case basis, further globalizing the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has strongly opposed the legislation, listed several consequences of the bill, which it called “far-reaching” and “privacy-upending”:

http://theantimedia.com/us-government-privacy-cloud-act/

Our internet privacy has been under attack for well over a year now….we had better pay attention or lose out completely.

Once And Future Infowars

Well first the Infowars in this post has nothing to with the site from the uber-conspiracist, Alex Jones….or the tin foil hat crowd…..

We have seen how social media has played into our elections and the spread of crappy world views….some might even say “fake news”…..but the future of social media is in question….maybe not by everyone but some at least……

A new book covers this subject……..

Violence, like Twitter, is a means of communication. If we do not understand it as such, its place in international relations makes no sense. As Thomas Schelling wrote in 1966: “The power to hurt is bargaining power. To exploit it is diplomacy — vicious diplomacy, but diplomacy.” Thinkers such as Joseph Nye and John Arquilla have argued that future wars will be determined by “whose story wins” more than who wins on the battlefield. Any analysis of narratives affecting war, however, must explain how violence itself shapes and destroys narratives. Violence may be a terrible way of communicating, but it will always be the ultimate way for states to signal their intentions and capabilities when discourse fails.

Journalist David Patrikarakos’ War in 140 Characters is an extremely rewarding, yet hopeless attempt to argue that new information technology — specifically, social media — has fundamentally “destabilized classic forms of war” and suggest that something new is upon us. According to Patrikarakos, social media is “one thing above all else: effect without cause.” As a result, it has given actors without any resources the ability to have an impact on what he calls the “narrative” and “discursive” levels of war, at which actors interpret the truth and political meaning of military action. Since the narrative and discursive levels of war have a greater impact on the political outcome of a war than military operations, effective tweeting can make battles irrelevant. And since non-state actors are better at tweeting than the West’s discredited institutions, they have gained an unprecedented advantage. The pernicious effects of battlefield social media thus threaten “the very idea that wars between state and non-state actors are asymmetric.”

https://warontherocks.com/2018/03/the-once-and-future-infowars/

It is up in the air on the future of social media….Facebook has called into question the security on these sites and points to ways they can be exploited.

Personally, I have never trusted any of them as far as I could spit them….my footprint on social media is very small to the point of being damn near none existent.

I have no confidence still and will continue to use them sparingly.

Closing Thought–27Mar18

By now we all have been told about the so-called tampering into elections by the US and to the US….all this is just the weaponization of social media……the new battleground….Russia is doing it….the US is doing it….China is doing it and North Korea is doing it…..but what do we really know about this new field of attack on another?

Now openly admitted, governments and militaries around the world employ armies of keyboard warriors to spread propaganda and disrupt their online opposition. Their goal? To shape public discourse around global events in a way favourable to their standing military and geopolitical objectives. Their method? The weaponization of social media. 

It didn’t take long from the birth of the world wide web for the public to start using this new medium to transmit, collect and analyze information in ways never before imagined. The first message boards and clunky “Web 1.0” websites soon gave way to “the blogosphere.” The arrival of social media was the next step in this evolution, allowing for the formation of communities of interest to share information in real time about events happening anywhere on the globe.

http://theantimedia.org/weaponization-of-social-media/

How about Artificial Intelligence (AI)…..will it threaten our National Security in the future?

As policymakers debate the government’s role in developing artificial intelligence, a House bill aims to shed light on the emerging technology’s role in strengthening national security.

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Act would create an independent panel to explore recent advancements in artificial intelligence and assess the economic and national security impacts of the budding technology.

http://www.nextgov.com/policy/2018/03/how-much-does-artificial-intelligence-threaten-national-security/146844/

Do you think AI will be a threat?

That is it for the day on my part…look forward to seeing you guys tomorrow….chuq

A New Troll Farm

First of all, what the Hell is a “Troll Farm”?

Troll Farm, n…….an organization whose employees or members attempt to create conflict or disruption in an on-line community by posting deliberately inflammatory or provocative comments.

Now what does this have to do with anything?

US State Department announced that it had obtained $40 million from the Pentagon to fund a new propaganda and disinformation campaign through the “Global Engagement Center.

While the Global Engagement Center was initially conceived of as resisting foreign propaganda efforts, the new funding is set to be invested in going “on the offensive” in global propaganda war with America’s own disinformation campaigns.

The US, of course, is no stranger to engaging in overseas propaganda efforts, but the inexorable nature of global information sharing in the modern era means that such US propaganda always risks misinforming the US public.

Congress has approved the offensive on the grounds that it be used to “counter Russia.” In practice, this likely means much of the funding will be used to try to skew global perception of Russia even more hostile than it already is.

Yet setting up and funding this troll farm so publicly is highly risky, both because the US has a history of laughingly embarrassing failures in online narrative management, and because in publicly going after Russia, they risk as strong backlash.

(antiwar.com)

A lot of words to say that the State Department will be participating in the whole new world of “Fake News”.

Basically this is going to wind up being a waste of $40 million of taxpayer money.