Noteworthy Information

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A delatora do Facebook fala ao público

Uma cientista de dados de Iowa com um diploma de engenharia computacional e um MBA em Harvard se apresentou como a delatora que vazou informações alarmantes sobre o Facebook. Ela já apresentou pelo menos 8 queixas à Comissão Americana de Valores Mobiliários, que realiza uma ampla supervisão sobre mercados financeiros e tem o poder de fazer acusações contra empresas suspeitas de enganar investidores. Para validar suas queixas, a delatora secretamente copiou "dezenas de milhares" de pesquisas internas do Facebook, que resumem sua conclusão final: "que a empresa está mentindo ao público sobre seus supostos avanços contra o ódio, a violência e a desinformação".

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Facebook Whistleblower Speaks

An Iowa data scientist with a computer engineering degree and a Harvard MBA has come forward as the whistleblower leaking damaging information about Facebook. They've now also filed at least eight complaints with America's Securities and Exchange Commission, which has broad oversight over financial markets and has the power to bring charges against companies suspected of misleading investors. To buttress the complaints, the whistleblower secretly copied "tens of thousands" of pages of internal Facebook research, which summarizes her ultimate conclusion: "that the company is lying to the public about making significant progress against hate, violence and misinformation.

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What Happened When Germany Tried to Fight Online Hate Speech?

"Harassment and abuse are all too common on the modern internet," writes the New York Times. "Yet it was supposed to be different in Germany." In 2017, the country enacted one of the world's toughest laws against online hate speech. It requires Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to remove illegal comments, pictures or videos within 24 hours of being notified about them or risk fines of up to 50 million euros. Supporters hailed it as a watershed moment for internet regulation and a model for other countries. But an influx of hate speech and harassment in the run-up to the German election, in which the country will choose a new leader to replace Angela Merkel, its longtime chancellor, has exposed some of the law's weaknesses.

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O que aconteceu quando a Alemanha tentou lutar contra o discurso de ódio online?

"O assédio e os abusos sao muito comuns na Internet moderna", escreve o New York Times. "No entanto, era pra ser diferente na Alemanha." Em 2017, o país promulgou uma das leis mais duras do mundo contra o discurso de ódio on-line. Ela requer que Facebook, Twitter e YouTube removam comentários, fotos ou vídeos ilegais dentro de 24 horas após serem notificados sobre eles ou podem receber multas de até 50 milhões de euros. Os apoiadores a saudaram como um momento decisivo para a regulamentação da Internet e um modelo para outros países. Mas uma corrente de discurso de ódio e assédio no período que antecede as eleições alemãs, nas quais o país escolherá um novo líder para substituir Angela Merkel, sua chanceler de longa data, expôs algumas das fraquezas dessa lei.

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CEO da Salesforce afirma que o Facebook 'é o novo cigarro'

As redes sociais podem ser ruins para nossa saúde, declara a repórter e comentarista de tecnologia de longa data Kara Swisher, no New York Times.

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Salesforce CEO Argues Facebook 'is the New Cigarettes'

Social media may be bad for our health, argues long-time technology reporter/commentator Kara Swisher in the New York Times.

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9/11's Legacy: Mass Surveillance

Twenty years ago, the privacy hawk Senator Wyden helped kill an infamous post-9/11 program called Total Information Awareness. He’s still trying to rein it in.

After the 9/11 attacks, one big concern was connecting the dots. Failing to do so was why we missed the warning signs of the attacks and how we would prevent the next ones, the thinking went. One solution, according to the Pentagon, was a project to gather as much data as possible, to look for signs of future bad behavior.

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O legado do 11 de setembro: vigilância em massa

20 anos atrás, o "falcão da privacidade", Senador Wyden, ajudou a enterrar o infame programa pós-11 de setembro "Total Information Awareness". Ele ainda está tentando controlar a situação.

"Depois dos ataques do 11 de setembro, uma grande preocupação foi ligar os pontos. A lógica por trás disso era que o fracasso em ligar esses pontos foi o motivo de não termos visto os sinais de alerta dos ataques e como faríamos para prevenir os próximos. Uma solução, de acordo com o Pentágono, era um projeto para coletar a maior quantidade de dados possíveis, buscando futuros sinais de comportamentos ruins"

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Lawsuits Accuse Siri, Alexa, and Google of Listening When They're Not Supposed To

On Thursday, a judge ruled that Apple will have to continue fighting a lawsuit brought by users in federal court in California, alleging that the company's voice assistant Siri has improperly recorded private conversations. He ruled that the plaintiffs, who are trying to make the suit a class action case, could continue pursuing claims that Siri turned on unprompted and recorded conversations that it shouldn't have and passed the data along to third parties, therefore violating user privacy. The case is one of several that have been brought against Apple, Google and Amazon that involve allegations of violation of privacy by voice assistants.

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Ações judiciais acusam Siri, Aleza e o Google de escutarem mesmo quando não deveriam

Na quinta-feira, um juiz decidiu que a Apple terá que continuar lutando contra uma ação judicial movida por usuários no tribunal federal da Califórnia, que alegam que a assistente virtual da empresa, Siri, gravou conversas particulares de forma imprópria. Ele decidiu que os demandantes, que estão tentando fazer do processo um caso de ação coletiva, poderiam continuar a perseguir as alegações de que Siri iniciou conversas de forma súbita, gravou conversas que ela não deveria escutar e enviou os dados para terceiros, violando assim a privacidade dos usuários. O caso é um dos vários que foram movidos contra a Apple, Google e Amazon que envolvem denúncias de violação de privacidade por assistentes virtuais.

A solidão entre os adolescentes cresceu em 36 países - e a razão pode ser o uso de smartphones

A solidão entre os adolescentes cresceu de forma espantosa em uma década, noticia o The Washington Post. E um novo estudo aponta que a causa disso pode ser o uso de smartphones:

Em 36 dos 37 países analisados, a solidão entre os adolescentes cresceu significativamente entre 2012 e 2018, com um aumento ainda maior entre as meninas, de acordo com um relatório divulgado na última terça-feira no Journal of Adolescense. Pesquisadores utilizaram dados do Programme for International Student Assessment, uma pesquisa realizada com mais de 1 milhão de estudantes com idades entre 15 e 16 anos. O questionário incluía um medidor de solidão na escola com 6 níveis em 2000, 2003, 2012, 2015 and 2018. Antes de 2012, a tendência era baixa. Mas entre 2012 e 2018, aproximadamente o dobro de adolescentes mostrou sinais altos de "solidão na escola", um indicador da depressão e outros problemas de saúde mental

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Teen Loneliness Has Increased in 36 Countries. The Reason May be Smartphones

Loneliness among adolescents around the globe has skyrocketed since a decade ago, reports the Washington Post . And it may be tied to smartphone use, a new study finds:

In 36 out of 37 countries, feelings of loneliness among teenagers rose sharply between 2012 and 2018, with higher increases among girls, according to a report released Tuesday in the Journal of Adolescence. Researchers used data from the Programme for International Student Assessment, a survey of over 1 million 15- and 16-year-old students. The survey included a six-item measure of loneliness at school in 2000, 2003, 2012, 2015 and 2018. Before 2012, the trends had stayed relatively flat. But between 2012 and 2018, nearly twice as many teens displayed high elevated levels of "school loneliness," an established predictor of depression and mental health issues.

[Intermediate] What Ever Happend to IBM's Watson?

After Watson triumphed on the gameshow Jeopardy in 2011, its star scientist had to convince IBM that it wasn't a magic answer box, and "explained that Watson was engineered to identify word patterns and predict correct answers for the trivia game." The New York Times looks at what's happened in the decade since.

Watson has not remade any industries. And it hasn't lifted IBM's fortunes. The company trails rivals that emerged as the leaders in cloud computing and A.I. — Amazon, Microsoft and Google. While the shares of those three have multiplied in value many times, IBM's stock price is down more than 10 percent since Watson's "Jeopardy!" triumph in 2011. The company's missteps with Watson began with its early emphasis on big and difficult initiatives intended to generate both acclaim and sizable revenue for the company, according to many of the more than a dozen current and former IBM managers and scientists interviewed for this article.

Investigação revela vigilância indiscriminada de celulares de inocentes

Os telefones celulares "podem ser transformados em aparelhos de monitoramento," escreve o The Guardian, noticiando sobre alarmantes novos detalhes que evidenciam que a vigilância de pessoas inocentes continua a ser praticada.

Os investigadores afirmam que os alvos em potencial incluem cerca de 200 jornalistas ao redor do mundo. Também foram econtradas evidências de que o software Pegasus havia sido instalado no celular da noiva de Jamal Khashoggi, jornalista saudita assassinado. A NSO nega esses fatos para o jornal Washington Post. Mas ela também insiste que está simplesmente licenciando seu software aos clientes, e que a empresa "não tem conhecimento" das atividades específicas de vigilância que esses clientes empreendem. The investigators say that potential targets included nearly 200 journalists around the world evidence was found that the Pegasus software had been installed on the phone of the fiancée of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. NSO denies this to the Washington Post. But they also insist that they're simply licensing their software to clients, and their company "has no insight" into those clients' specific intelligence activities.

O que aconteceu com o Watson da IBM?

Depois do sucesso de Watson no programa de televisão "Jeopardy" em 2011, o principal cientista da IBM teve de explicar à empresa que o supercomputador não era uma máquina mágica de acertar perguntas e "explicou que o Watson havia sido projetado para identificar os padrões de palavras e prever respostas corretas para o jogo de perguntas e respostas [na televisão]". O New York Times investigou o que aconteceu na década que se seguiu ao ocorrido.

O Watson não provocou grandes transformações em nenhuma indústria. E nem aumentou a fortuna da IBM. A empresa ficou para trás de rivais que emergiram como líderes no ramo de cloud computing e IA - Amazon, Microsoft e Google. Enquanto as ações dessas três empresas multiplicaram seu valor em muitas vezes, as ações da IBM desvalorizaram em mais de 10% desde o sucesso de Watson no programa "Jeopardy" há dez anos. Os deslizes da empresa com o Watson começaram com sua ênfase inicial em iniciativas grandes e complicadas que tinham como intenção generar tanto aclamação quanto um lucro significativo para a empresa, de acordo com mais de uma dúzia de gerentes e cientistas que trabalharam e trabalham na IBM e foram entrevistados para esse artigo.> Watson has not remade any industries. And it hasn't lifted IBM's fortunes. The company trails rivals that emerged as the leaders in cloud computing and A.I. — Amazon, Microsoft and Google. While the shares of those three have multiplied in value many times, IBM's stock price is down more than 10 percent since Watson's "Jeopardy!" triumph in 2011. The company's missteps with Watson began with its early emphasis on big and difficult initiatives intended to generate both acclaim and sizable revenue for the company, according to many of the more than a dozen current and former IBM managers and scientists interviewed for this article.

[Intermediate] Investigation Reveals Widespread Cellphone Surveillance of the Innocent

Cellphones "can be transformed into surveillance devices," writes the Guardian, reporting startling new details about which innocent people are still being surveilled.

The investigators say that potential targets included nearly 200 journalists around the world evidence was found that the Pegasus software had been installed on the phone of the fiancée of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. NSO denies this to the Washington Post. But they also insist that they're simply licensing their software to clients, and their company "has no insight" into those clients' specific intelligence activities.

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Investigation Reveals Widespread Cellphone Surveillance of the Innocent

Cellphones "can be transformed into surveillance devices," writes the Guardian, reporting startling new details about which innocent people are still being surveilled.

The investigators say that potential targets included nearly 200 journalists around the world evidence was found that the Pegasus software had been installed on the phone of the fiancée of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. NSO denies this to the Washington Post. But they also insist that they're simply licensing their software to clients, and their company "has no insight" into those clients' specific intelligence activities.

1,4 milhão de cubanos contornam a censura utilizando o Psiphon

A ferramenta de evasão de censura da Psiphon Inc, disponível gratuitamente na Internet, ajudou quase 1,4 milhão de cubanos a reganhar o acesso a sites, afirmou a empresa na última sexta-feira. Esse anúncio se dá no momento em que o governo cubano impede o acesso a redes sociais e aplicativos de mensagem.

A ferramenta de evasão da censura — que reúne ferramentas de VPD, SSH e HTTP Proxy — também já foi utilizada em países como Irã, China, Belarus e Myanmar, de acordo com as notícias mais recentes. A agência Bloomberg destaca que a Psiphon, organização sem fins lucrativos sediada em Toronto, "recebeu recursos do 'Open Technology Fund', uma instituição sem fins lucrativos do governo estadunidense que tem por objetivo apoiar tecnologias que garantam a liberdade no acesso à Internet ao redor do mundo". The censorship-circumvention tool — which combines VPN, SSH, and HTTP Proxy tools — has also been used in Iran, China, Belarus, Myanmar, according to recent news reports. Bloomberg notes that the Toronto-based nonprofit Psiphon "has received funding from the Open Technology Fund, a U.S. government nonprofit that aims to support global internet freedom technologies.

[Simple] 1.4 Million Cubans Bypass Censorship Using Psiphon

Psiphon Inc's freely available internet censorship circumvention tool has helped nearly 1.4 million Cubans this week gain access to websites, the company said on Friday, after Cuba's government curbed access to popular social media and messaging platforms...

The censorship-circumvention tool — which combines VPN, SSH, and HTTP Proxy tools — has also been used in Iran, China, Belarus, Myanmar, according to recent news reports. Bloomberg notes that the Toronto-based nonprofit Psiphon "has received funding from the Open Technology Fund, a U.S. government nonprofit that aims to support global internet freedom technologies.

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Golden Age of Surveillance

Police makes 112,000 data requests in 6 months: When U.S. law enforcement officials need to cast a wide net for information, they're increasingly turning to the vast digital ponds of personal data created by Big Tech companies via the devices and online services that have hooked billions of people around the world.

A Era de Ouro da vigilância

A polícia faz 112.000 pedidos de dados em 6 meses: oficiais dos EUA se dirigem de forma cada vez mais frequente aos grandes "reservatórios" digitais de dados criados pelas empresas de Big Tech quando precisam criar uma ampla rede em busca de informação. Esses reservatórios são criados através dos dispositivos e serviços online que atraem bilhões de pessoas ao redor do mundo.


Questions Asked

Individuals Intermediate read

Because of Social Media, Are We Reading Fewer Books?

A user wrote:

"Twitter did something that I would not have thought possible: It stole reading from me," argues a former New Yorker writer (who was once nominated for the Pulitzer Prize). In a new piece in the Atlantic this week, they argue that Twitter "hacked itself so deep into my circuitry that it interrupted the very formation of my thoughts..."

I'm still haunted by a free 37-minute documentary I saw two years ago on YouTube called Bookstores: How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content. It followed Max Joseph, the former host of the TV show Catfish (and the documentary's director) as he spoke to several reading experts (including a speed reader) about how he could form better habits. But at one point he calculates he was spending 20 minutes a day just on news, plus another 30 minutes a day on social media — which adds up to 304 hours a year that could've been spent reading books. (Enough time to read 30 books a year.)

Are we reading fewer books because of social media?