Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation; Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries.

An office that Facebook set up in Dublin to monitor misuse of the platform. Oxford researchers said the company’s efforts were not enough to curb disinformation campaigns.

In Vietnam, citizens were enlisted to post pro-government messages on their personal Facebook pages. The Guatemalan government used hacked and stolen social media accounts to silence dissenting opinions. Ethiopia’s ruling party hired people to influence social media conversations in its favor.

Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs.

The researchers compiled information from news organizations, civil society groups and governments to create one of the most comprehensive inventories of disinformation practices by governments around the world. They found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation.

In addition, Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation, the report said. Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries.

Read Full Story Here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/technology/government-disinformation-cyber-troops.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

 

Google admits ‘language experts’ listen to ‘some’ assistant recordings

Outsourced spying: Google admits ‘language experts’ listen to ‘some’ assistant recordings

Google’s smart speakers are recording users when they least expect it, according to temp worker language experts hired by the company to listen to the snippets – which include some of users’ most private moments.

Google is able to claim it does not listen to the recordings Google Home devices are constantly generating only because it contracts the job out to temp workers. These “language experts,” as they are called, use a collaborative system built by the company to share and analyze sound snippets, assisting Google’s AI assistant in deciphering the nuances of human speech.

While Google emphasizes that it anonymizes the snippets, replacing the user’s name with a serial number, Belgian broadcaster VRT found that matching a voice snippet with its owner was not very difficult, given the ample supply of addresses and sensitive information found on the recordings they were given. They listened to over 1,000 excerpts supplied by a Dutch contractor and discovered that more than 15 percent of them – 153 recordings in all – were recorded without the user’s knowledge.

Full story: https://www.rt.com/news/463970-google-home-assistant-eavesdropping/

Facebook to be fined $US5 billion for privacy violations…

The US Federal Trade Commission has approved a roughly $US5 billion ($7.1 billion) settlement with Facebook over its investigation into the social media company’s handling of user data, a source familiar with the situation has told Reuters.

Key points:

  • Penalty criticised as “a Christmas present five months early” for Facebook
  • The settlement would be the largest civil penalty ever paid to the agency
  • Source tells Reuters a final announcement on the settlement could come as early as next week

The FTC has been investigating allegations Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

The probe had focused on whether the data sharing violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator.

Investors cheered news of the deal and pushed Facebook shares up 1.8 per cent, while several powerful Democratic politicians in Washington condemned the proposed penalty as inadequate.

The FTC is expected to include in the settlement other restrictions on how Facebook treats user privacy, according to the Wall Street Journal, which also said that the agency vote was along party lines, with three Republicans voting to approve it and two Democrats opposed.

Full story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-13/facebook-5-billion-dollar-fine-cambridge-analytica-privacy/11306324

‘Lone wolf’ myth covers up possible Mossad role in New Zealand terrorist attack

International news warns New Zealand shootings are a ‘false flag’

Ever since the news broke on March 15 of two consecutive mass shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand, corporate media has been determined to establish that suspect Brenton Tarrant acted alone in the terrorist attacks that took the lives of 50 innocent Muslim worshippers and wounded 50 others.

While mainstream media has been predictably eager to parade the tragedy as another chapter in the wave of rising Islamophobia and right-wing extremism globally, they have put equal effort into conscientiously avoiding any evidence that contradicts the ‘lone wolf’ theory they decided on in the initial hours following the first mass shooting in New Zealand since 1997.

Full story: https://off-guardian.org/2019/03/27/lone-wolf-myth-covers-up-possible-mossad-role-in-new-zealand-terrorist-attack/#comments

VIDEO: Veteran Censored By Facebook Brings the Tech Censorship Fight to DC

USAF Veteran and triple-amputee Brian Kolfage has already rallied 20,000 people in support of his battle against Tech Censorship.

War Veteran Brian Kolfage is on a mission to expose the danger that Facebook poses to the Constitution he gave three-limbs defending. He’s already rallied 20,000 and this week he’s taking his fight against Tech Censorship to Washington DC. Kolfage says that his fight started when he and his company, Military Grade Coffee, was targeted by Facebook for supporting Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his network of millions was instantly and permanently deleted.

“I’m going to fight this unamerican censorship in court,” Brian told the DC Chronicle in a recent interview. “I’m going to fight it in Congress and I’m going to keep exposing these Big Tech authoritarians using every bullhorn I can get my hand on.”

Read Full Story Here: https://dc-chronicle.com/2018/12/11/video-veteran-censored-facebook-brings-tech-censorship-fight-dc/