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TikTok and WeChat downloads to be blocked in the U.S. from Sunday

In a move that pretty much everyone saw coming, it looks like the U.S. Commerce Department is planning to issue an order that will prevent people in the U.S. from downloading WeChat and TikTok from Sunday, Sep 20.  According to a Reuters report, app stores -- including Apple and Google -- will be barred from offering the app on any platform “that...

Palantir just got its hands on the UK’s post-Brexit border and customs data

Palantir is already buried deep into the heart of the United States. Now, it’s getting cozy with the United Kingdom. The UK government just handed over a contract for oversight of the UK’s post-Brexit border and customs data to Palantir.   The Guardian has revealed sensitive documents unveiling how Palantir is set to manage the data analytics and...

Apple handed over iCloud data to help the FBI track down a George Floyd protestor

Apple has helped the FBI to track down George Floyd protestor Kelly Jackson, who was accused of firebombing police cars, by handing over vital evidence from the protestor’s iCloud.  According to court documents first pointed out by Forbes, Verizon handed records over to the FBI that revealed Jackson’s location during the protests, and a log of calls...

The invisible labor of content moderation

Have you ever taken a look at Facebook’s content policies? Or Twitter’s? Probably not — they’re decently hard to find, and most social media platforms don’t necessarily go out of their way to advertise their moderation policies. But this silence around moderation illuminates a fascinating dichotomy: moderation is the actual commodity of any social...

An Uber safety driver was just charged with negligent homicide for the fatal 2018 crash

The morning after an autonomous Uber vehicle killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in Tempe on March 18, 2018, Police Chief Sylvia Moir blamed the victim.  She told a newspaper: “it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway.” ...

“After the pandemic ends, there won’t be a return to normal,” says futurist P.W. Singer

P.W. Singer is a strategist, author, and Senior Fellow at New America. The Wall Street Journal as described him as “the premier futurist in the national-security environment".  I’m excited to talk with him about Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, his latest collaboration with August Cole, who used to be a defense industry reporter for...

TikTok bid winner Oracle is at the heart of the modern surveillance state

When it comes to collecting data, Oracle (and probably the State Department) has decided that maybe it’s not ideal to outsource its technology needs to China for once. Instead, surveillance technology will be “Made in the USA” moving forward. Designed in Redwood City. Deployed from Redwood City. After beating out Microsoft, Oracle is set to partner...

Facebook just went full circle and launched 'Campus'

Having thoroughly demolished democracy, Facebook is panicking that kids and teens might not want to use it anymore. In a desperate attempt try and grab the youths back from the clutches of TikTok, and Snapchat, Facebook has slithered back to what it was originally designed for: helping college students to interact with their peers at school.  Earlier...

What I found out when I blocked apps from tracking my iPhone for one week

When Apple made an appearance at the CES tech conference in Las Vegas in 2019, they also put up a sign. It wasn’t a billboard, as many news outlets claimed, but a 13-story Apple ad plastered onto the side of a hotel. It had one message: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone”. To anyone who knows the first thing about what makes smartphones...

Gaming the Twitter system: lessons from the 2016 presidential election

It’s 2020 and incumbent President Donald Trump is trailing in national polls. His political opponents are numerous and diverse, including disaffected Republicans represented by the Lincoln Project, Republican Voters Against Trump, and others in the “Never Trump” movement, as well as Democrats and progressives.  While the groups opposing the President...

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