'When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (likely a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. The most high-tech part of Somebody is not in the phone, it’s in the users who dare to deliver a message to a stranger.’
‘Hudec volunteered to join the army after outbreak of World War I, but was captured by the Russian Army in 1916 and was sent to a prison camp in Siberia. While being transferred, he jumped from a train near the Chinese border and made his way to Shanghai, where he joined the American architectural office R.A. Curry.’
'A video posted by ISIL terrorists purports to the show the beheading of an American photojournalist who has been missing since 2012. The group claims the beheading is a message to President Obama to end the American intervention in Iraq. The incident is reminiscent of Daniel Pearl's 2002 death. Pearl was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, taken hostage and killed by Al-Qaeda.’
“Singapore has become a laboratory not only for testing how mass surveillance and big-data analysis might prevent terrorism, but for determining whether technology can be used to engineer a more harmonious society.”
o tempora o mores!
The Crimean peninsula depends critically on the Ukrainian mainland for infrastructure services: power, water, and Internet. That has begun to change in the last few days, as Crimean ISPs began receiving their first Internet services over the newly constructed Kerch Strait Cable, linking Crimea with the Russian mainland.
'In a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations is currently drafting a new set of development goals with the aim of eradicating poverty by 2030. The Open Working Group (OWG) that was given the job of drafting the new goals will hold its 13th and final session from 14 to 18 July.
Goal 16, on the media and information, is the subject of heated discussion and opposition from certain OWG members such as Russia, Cuba and China. Protection of the right to information is in danger of being weakened or disappearing altogether, to be replaced a vague reference to freedom of expression.’
from red lips to white noise
codes & conducts
‘Whenever Thai internet users attempt to access a web page that has been censored (such as the Human Rights Watch site or the independent news site Prachatai), they are rerouted to a page controlled by the government’s Technology Crime Suppression Division. That page has two blue buttons—one reading “close” and the other offering to “login with Facebook”—that both lead to a page asking users to hand over access to their profile information.
The ultimate consequences of the junta’s Facebook maneuvers may take a while to play out. Norwegian telecom operator Telenor is in the regime’s doghouse for acknowledging that its DTAC subsidiary was forced to briefly block Facebook in late May. Now the Thai junta is threatening to lock DTAC out of the country’s upcoming 4G mobile spectrum auctions, saying it “showed no respect for the difficult situation in Thailand.’
'In its effort to align with Chinese government content restrictions, LinkedIn has accidentally censored Hong Kong users’ mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Users in Hong Kong couldn’t share stories about the 1989 massacre, but the social network is only supposed to censor stories in mainland China.’
for the record
‘Iranian spies appear to be engaged in their most elaborate and persistent effort yet to dupe lawmakers, journalists and defense contractors into revealing email addresses, network logins and other information that could be used to collect intelligence. A three-year espionage campaign, believed to have originated in Iran, has used an elaborate scheme involving a fabricated news agency, fake social media accounts and bogus journalist identities to trick victims in the United States, Israel and elsewhere, according to iSight Partners, the company that uncovered the campaign. Using fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+, the attackers have built an elaborate universe of fake personas bolstered by secondary accounts all for the purpose of garnering the trust of their targets, according to a report issued by the company.
The spies also created a fake news organization, NewsOnAir.org, owned and operated by a fake media mogul named Joseph Nillson, whom they illustrated using a photo of Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.’