Four years earlier, the conservative Likud Party had won its first general election, and a new national vote was in the offing.Likud had mismanaged the economy; inflation was already hurting him.Last Monday, Labor members narrowly elected Avi Gabbay, who was not even a member of the Party eight months ago, as their new leader.Labor jumped to a projected twenty-four Knesset seats (out of a hundred and twenty) in opinion polls, surpassing the vaguely centrist Yesh Atid Party of Yair Lapid, where many liberals were parking their votes as long as Labor was run by Gabbay’s predecessor.His acceptance speech seemed to take a page out of Obama’s 2008 playbook: a good-news challenge to skeptics, delivered with liturgical cadences: “To all who doubted the indispensability of Israeli democracy; to all who doubted Labor as alive, kicking, and renewing; to all who believed Israelis had lost their hope for change .It is time for the government to think, he rhymed, of “Dimona, not Amona”—that is, on behalf of the struggling towns in the Negev Desert, not settler outposts in the West Bank.
A new group at Harvard University staffed by the former campaign managers of the Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney campaigns, along with other top security experts, have banded together to help mitigate various types of online attacks that threaten American democracy.The initiative, dubbed "Defending Digital Democracy," will be run by former chief of staff for the secretary of defense, Eric Rosenbach."Americans across the political spectrum agree that political contests should be decided by the power of ideas, not the skill of foreign hackers," Rosenbach said in a Tuesday statement."Cyber deterrence starts with strong cyber defense—and this project brings together key partners in politics, national security, and technology to generate innovative ideas to safeguard our key democratic institutions."The statement goes on to explain that the project will create "practical ‘playbooks’ to improve... cybersecurity" and will "assess emerging technologies, such as blockchain, that may improve the integrity of systems and processes vital to elections and democracy."The group also boasts an all-star advisory group, which includes a handful of key lawyers, political figures, and top security experts, including Alex Stamos (CSO, Facebook), Heather Adkins (director, information security, Google), and Dmitri Alperovitch (co-founder and CTO, Crowdstrike).
Here we go again: the Australian government is the latest to plan new laws that will require companies to be able to unscramble encrypted communications.In particular, the government wants tech companies to be able to hand over communications currently protected by end-to-end encryption, which scrambles messages so they can only be read by the sender and the recipient, and not by the tech company itself."The laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that," Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters.At the time it was making its way through Parliament there were warning the law, known either as the 'Snoopers Charter' or "the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy", would spark copycat legislation elsewhere and this was clearly correct.It's not realistic to legislate encryption out of existence.Even 20 years ago, when it was relatively rare and harder to use, governments accepted that that the benefits of encryption -- like privacy and security -- vastly outweighed the genuine concerns that encryption could help bad people to do evil in secret.
While Facebook’s role in disseminating fake content becomes ever more complex as its identity becomes muddied, one thing is clear: it’s dangerous.Fake news is seen as a symptom of something much bigger and broader at play, involving the decline of trust in mainstream media, the polarisation of politics in the UK and the US and the consequent echo chamber effect on social media – where people are increasingly looking for views which reinforce their own, without regard to the veracity of the source.The term has been weaponised by president Donald Trump as a pejorative label to undermine the legitimacy of the established news media.Steve Erlanger, its London bureau chief, says: “We are in the middle of a fight with Donald Trump, it's not a fight we wanted.He uses us as props in his play, we are being set up by Donald Trump to appeal to his base, he lives on partisanship, he identifies everything coming from the mainstream media as fake news, and when we produce real news he wants to undermine the credibility of what we produce.”Using the term fake news in this way puts “the civic role of journalism in danger”, says Jonathan Heawood, chief executive of Impress, and muddies the water of what fake news really is.
The United States is a democracy, where every citizen has the right to be treated fairly by the legal system, but unfortunately things don’t always work out that way.Fighting something as simple as a parking ticket can be a minefield of confusing regulations and obscure rules that seem to have been designed specifically to overwhelm the average person.Now, a ‘robot lawyer’ is trying to change that, and after already helping to get nearly 400,000 tickets thrown out, the tool is available for everyone in the United States.The bot, called DoNotPay, was designed and built by a Stanford University student named Joshua Browder.He’s dubbed the AI-powered bot “the world’s first robot lawyer,” and in trials in New York and Seattle, as well as the UK, the tool has performed a fantastic public service.Now he’s opening up the chat bot to everyone in the US.
As concerns over the financial viability of the massive music-streaming service continue to rise towards sheer desperation, we’re revisiting a question we asked in early 2016: What happens if SoundCloud goes under?SoundCloud’s dissolution and total disappearance would create a powerful ripple effect across the world of recorded music.Since its inception in 2007, when the company first took on MySpace as a platform for user-uploaded music content, SoundCloud has grown into one of the internet’s biggest purveyors of musical democracy.It’s a playing field where musicians big and small can create accounts and instantly share their musical projects with millions of global listeners for free.SoundCloud fills a void no other streaming service can account for, a fact that becomes most evident when we take a look at the platform’s massive digital library.The company currently hosts over 110 million audio tracks, almost four times the 30 million or so songs available on popular streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
News Media Alliance (NMA), a group comprised of 2,000 news organizations in the US, recently announced it’s lobbying congress for an exemption to Federal anti-trust laws.The organization says that it is integral to democracy that publishers be able to collectively negotiate with advertisers in order to become competitive for revenue.The idea that advertisers would be willing to accept a group that represents, hypothetically, CNN and Fox News as being a part of the same negotiation is a problematic one, but before we get to those issues the NMA is going to need that exemption.The complaint, according to the NMA, isn’t so much about the fact that newspapers’ primary source of revenue came from classified listings and advertising — it’s about freedom.Individual companies looking for a hail-mary might be willing to believe that this is the answer to their sagging subscriptions, but it’s probably not.News publishers aren’t special here either, Google and Facebook aren’t picking on them — the digital marketplace gobbles up everything from Whole Foods to Radio Shack.
With approximately a month to the 2017 general elections in Kenya, I am shocked, but not surprised, at the flavor of content that is surfacing on the Internet.The content is sponsored boldly on Ad networks, shared covertly via social media and also going viral on various instant messaging platforms as memes and the all too common “sent as received” forwards on instant messaging apps like WhatsApp.Politics is said to be a dirty game and propaganda is the muddy pitch where truths, half-truth and blatant lies can be presented as fact, either through pithy well spun prose, smart editing of audiovisual content and dodgy undercover dossiers aimed at crippling the campaign of an opposing camp.Decades past, save for the die-hard tradition of dishing out money in small denomination notes and holding rallies, the only other way to polarize the public was through the distribution of printed material, often distributed in the dark of night in neighborhoods or townships riding off word-of-mouth to great effect under the cloak of anonymity.Today, “word of mouse” makes short work of any content deemed controversial or interesting enough, often reaching population scale in a matter of hours and silently tugging at the emotional heartstrings of an electorate that publicly calls for peace and democracy but quietly harbors prejudices, and biases that even education – formal, informal and via concerted media campaigns has been unable to normalize and rollback.That we are now able to hyper target the electorate, this makes it easy to entrench biases and, by the same measure, also plant doubt in a way that is deeply immersive, essentially having everyone exist in their own little bubble; fed just enough to elicit feelings of domain expertise and get them hooked on the source without a care or concern to question the source and or agenda.
These efforts include research on cyberattack attribution and supply chain security, the development of law enforcement training, the launch of a cyber victims defense clinic, and a curriculum development effort for high school students.They reflect CPRI's critical mission to develop multidisciplinary solutions to cybersecurity challenges at the intersection of technology, law and policy."CPRI brings together the best and brightest cybersecurity experts from the private sector and UCI's world-class faculty to find technological, legal and policy solutions to cyber threats, while protecting and enhancing individual privacy and civil liberties," said Bryan Cunningham, CPRI's founding executive director.The institute is supported and advised by its Executive Committee, which includes former Rockwell Chairman Don Beall and leaders from Qualcomm, Rockwell Collins, Verizon, Cylance, The Irvine Company, the Los Angeles Police Department, Gigamon, First American Financial Corp., IBM, the law firms of Alston & Bird and Newmeyer & Dillion, Avast, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the University of San Francisco, and the Anaheim Union High School District.Leading the institute is Cunningham, a cybersecurity and privacy lawyer and former Deputy Legal Adviser to the White House National Security Council.Cyber Attack Attribution Research Project: Under this project, CPRI will research the feasibility of a holistic approach to cyber-attack attribution with the goal of enhancing the ability of government and private sector actors to learn and prove the origin of such attacks, enabling better deterrence and justice for victims.
In his first interview since stepping down as head of the spy agency in March, Hannigan said some form of "cyber retaliation" may be necessary one day to deter such Russian activity.When asked if Russia is a threat to the democratic process, Hannigan said on BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "Yes, there is a disproportionate amount of mayhem in cyberspace coming from Russia, from state activity."He noted that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have already publicly challenged Russia over its activities and recent "attacks on major democratic institutions right through major organised cyber-criminal groups, many of which are based in Russia."Last week, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency BfV said it assumed Russia will try to meddle in its upcoming general election in September.In January, US intelligence agencies assessed with "high confidence" that Putin ordered a multifaceted "influence campaign" to undermine American democracy, denigrate Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump win the election.The Kremlin has continued to vehemently deny allegations of interference and any involvement in the hacking attacks targeting elections, political parties and agencies in other nations.
As the rest of the nation headed home for the weekend, the UK parliament's 10-strong cyber security unit sprang into action on Friday 23 June.Just three months after a knife-wielding terrorist launched an attack on the Palace of Westminster in March and a month after the WannaCry ransomware assault on the NHS in May, the heart of British democracy was facing a new threat.The Parliamentary Digital Service, led by the Royal Opera House's former chief technology officer Rob Greig, fought off at least 48,000 attempts to get into its network during a 24-hour-long cyber battle."They were pretending to be a legitimate email client and methodically trying every password, but not frequently enough to lock out any accounts," Greig wrote."We had to find what we call 'indicators of compromise' in the data to help identify and combat the hack."Unfortunately, the hackers had taken advantage of weak passwords and around 90 email accounts belonging to MPs and peers, representing 1% of parliamentary accounts, were breached.
The two superpower leaders discussed a slew of topics, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters after talks ended, but analysts across the spectrum agree that Putin emerged the winner of the meeting."Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded and safe," Trump tweeted on Sunday.Experts and lawmakers have expressed alarm at the prospect of the US and Russia working together on cybersecurity, given Russia's hacking of the 2016 presidential election, as well as its suspected cyberattacks in Ukraine and across the globe in recent years.Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement Friday that a US-Russia working group to address cyber threats "would be akin to inviting the North Koreans to participate in a commission on non-proliferation — it tacitly adopts the fiction that the Russians are a constructive partner on the subject instead of the worst actor on the world stage.""This is like giving the alarm code to the guys who just burglarized your home," Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, tweeted on Friday.Trump can now point to the commission and say, 'Look, we're working on mutual problems' and forget that Russia messed with our institutions and democracy."
News headlines today present us with the latest in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and algorithms, which are sold as the “cure all” solution to our problems.From curing cancer or solving the ongoing problem of climate change, to stopping the mass spread of fake news that can impact democracy and politics, these technologies are believed to be our golden ticket.While AI, algorithms and machine learning can certainly have an impact, they are not advanced enough to offer lasting solutions on their own.In fact, one estimate says that even the smartest AI is only as intelligent as a four-year-old.Of all the challenges we face in 2017 and beyond, “fake news” has certainly made its way to the top of the list.Not only is it said to have changed the outcome of U.S. politics, it has also, in appearance at least, disrupted leaders of some of the world’s largest companies and news organizations — Facebook, AP and CNN included.
German officials say they are expecting Russia to try and influence its upcoming general election on 24 September.In a news conference on Tuesday (4 July), Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere warned that confidential documents and data stolen from the German Parliament in a major cyberattack in 2015 may be leaked in the coming weeks in an effort to undermine democracy, lawmakers and members of the government.Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany's BfV intelligence agency, said it is not currently known what Russia could do.However, he warned that Russia's intention may not be to favour one party over another, but to "damage trust in and the functioning of our democracy so our government should have domestic political difficulties and not be as free to act in its foreign policy as it is today".De Maiziere pointed to the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the US and efforts to influence the election in France in May."As a result, it cannot be excluded — and we are preparing internally — that there will be a similar effort to influence the election in Germany," de Maiziere said.
That’s why Outlier Media acquires the phone numbers of tens of thousands of renters in Detroit and sends them text messages with free information from publicly available data sources.Housing was chosen as a focus for the news outlet that operates entirely within SMS — and soon Facebook Messenger — because it’s the area with the highest number of complaints from Detroit residents, founder Sarah Alvarez told VentureBeat in a phone interview.Launched in January, Outlier is focused on delivering constructive value to its users.If its messaging news service proves successful, Alvarez wants to expand its data-driven approach to other cities where public data reveals grievances and a demand for information.“They’re harder to serve because they demand more from us, and I want to see news organizations work harder to serve them.”Just over three months old, Resistbot has grown to include more than 730,000 users, and at least 1,000 users in every U.S. congressional district.
Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesCARACAS, Venezuela ― As the day came to a close on Tuesday in the capital of Venezuela, a remarkable scene unfolded.And on Wednesday, authorities began hunting Oscar Perez, a 36-year-old rogue special forces pilot and actor said to be the alleged mastermind of the raid.But conspiracy theories immediately surfaced on social media that all was not as it seemed.Critics of the president said this may have been staged in order to justify more repression of his opponents or as a distraction.Forget the majority of what you read out there: Venezuela is not experiencing a “humanitarian catastrophe” due to a general lack of food, though there is a shortage of some basic goods; the Maduro government will not fall tomorrow as the opposition hopes; and though violence from the national police has certainly led to deaths, my reporting on the ground indicates that it is not as many as some have claimed.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter could be subject to fines in Germany if the companies don't remove or block hate speech from the platforms within 24 hours, according to a law passed in Germany today.Penalities could reach as much as €5 million (roughly $5.7 million, £4.4 million or AU$7.4 million) according to the Bundestag, the body of German government that passed the law.The act also requires companies to maintain "an effective and transparent procedure for dealing with complaints, which is readily recognizable, directly accessible and constantly available to users," according to a Bundestag statement.Heiko Maas, Germany's federal minister of justice and consumer protection, said the law is meant to "prevent a climate of fear and intimidation.""In an open society, in a democracy, disputes and debate are indispensible, " Maas said in a speech to the Bundestag."Freedom of expression also includes sharp and ugly express...
The UK's new surveillance legislation has only been in place since the start of 2017 and much of it is yet to be implemented.One of the UK's top courts is now set to examine these controversial powers as part of a legal challenge against mass bulk powers.The High Court has granted human rights group Liberty permission to challenge the government in court over the provisions of the Investigatory Powers Act, often referred to as the Snoopers' Charter by critics of the law."The Government doesn’t need to spy on the entire population to fight terrorism," she said in a statement."All that does is undermine the very rights, freedoms and democracy terrorists seek to destroy".The human rights organisation is set to challenge the bulk powers included in the Act.
Elinkein the confederation EK said the parliamentary constitutional law committee, used by constitutional experts to be ideologically one-sided.They ”were not able to distinguish the political opinions of the market economy and constitutional interpretation”, tweeted EK's professional affairs director Ilkka Oksala.Oksala also writes that the government presented yhtiöittämisvel you can make a downfall based on the so-called (so-called) "constitutional experts" ideological act of interpretation.Oksala writes in his blog that constitutional law committee is the tax payers expensive, when it is noted that in the incorporation and freedom of choice is constitutional, citizens ' equality based on problems.”when assessing the bill of constitutionality to the constitutional committee members, unfortunately, to trust the so-called.Their power is increased parliamentarism and democracy at the expense of”, Oksala writes.
Image: Courtesy of Jason LongoActivists are fearlessly taking on some of the biggest corporations in the U.S., calling them out for their ties to President Donald Trump.A newly launched website called breaks down how nine major corporations are affiliated with the Trump administration and the ways they will gain from the Trump agenda.The website also outlines current company policies that already negatively impact people of color, immigrants, Indigenous communities, and low income populations — similar to critiques of the Trump agenda.The website launched on April 27, backed by organizations serving immigrants and workers of color.They include the Center for Popular Democracy, Make The Road New York, and a coalition of more than 20 community organizing groups.