Tag Archives: Comment on news item

In the Conversation: “Could your kettle bring down the internet?”

page-shot-2016-10-25-could-your-kettle-bring-down-the-internet_On Friday 21st October a botnet of hacked Internet or Things devices launched a massive DDoS attack on a DNS service provider causing major disruption to services like PayPal, Twitter and Netflix. To many security experts familiar with IoT it was only matter of time before this would happen. Assuming that this will act as a wakeup call, what can be done to improve IoT cybersecurity?

Our Conversation article “Could your kettle bring down the internet?” lists some suggestions.

 

Social Media platforms, Algorithm tools & Editorial responsibility

EditorialResponsibilityOn Tuesday August 30th (2016), it was reported that the German government had asked Facebook to remove hateful and illegal posts more quickly, as part of its corporate social responsibility. Social Media companies however are typically reluctant to be very proactive in their approach to such removal, preferring to rely on notifications from the users, because they do not want to be seen to edit the content that is shared since this might lead to them being labelled a publisher. The moment a social media company becomes a publisher it would become liable to media regulations and open to libel laws. This was also the position that Zuckerberg reaffirmed one day earlier during a Q&A in Italy where he said: “No, we’re a tech company, we’re not a media company,” Facebook builds “the tools, we do not produce any of the content.”

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Social media, what is it good for (when used as part of your work)?

Twitter_communicationThe POET (Public Outreach Engagement Tool) project is currently running a second round of interviews to map out how academics at the University of Nottingham are using social media in the context of public engagement, especially in regards to the Impact and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) agendas. We previously conducted one round of interviews with science researchers, and have held a workshop to think about what the output of this tool could look like. Our project is still at the stage where we are collecting information about how social media is used by academics as part of their working day – to what extent it is used, the feelings associated with using it, whether their motivations for using it are work related, and whether this tool would be useful for any current public engagement work.

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What makes an algorithmic system trustworthy?

FairAlgosIn an age of ubiquitous data collecting, analysis and processing, what determines the trustworthiness and perceived ‘fairness’ of a system that heavily relies on algorithms?

Over the last couple of weeks, Facebook has repeatedly had to defend itself against criticism about the way in which it makes editorial decisions when selecting stories that will appear on its ‘Trending Topics’ and ‘News Feed’.

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Apple vs. FBI

apple

Apple is not willing to weaken its hard-to-crack encryption protocols after being asked by a magistrate judge to build a weaker new version of its mobile operating system. This request comes from the FBI as an attempt to access the content of the iPhone used by one of the gunmen involved in the San Bernardino shooting. It has been argued that law enforcement officials wanted to use this high-profile act of terrorism as a way to create political pressure on Apple to comply with the FBI demands and set a dangerous precedent for future cases.

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Launch of #AnalyzeMyData Twitter campaign

AnalyzeMyDataIn celebration of Data Protection Day (also known as Data Privacy Day), please join us for the launch of our #AnalyzeMyData campaign on Twitter. Through this campaign we hope to increase public awareness of the ways in which data is used/misused and establish an evidence base of public opinion on these issues that can be used to support future policy discussions around improved guidelines and regulations for data access consent.

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Analysis of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill (part 2)

IPB

Continuation from part 1

One of the much vaunted features of the IPB by the Home Secretary is the so called ‘double lock’ provided by the requirement that the Judicial Commissioner has to sign off on any warrant in order for it to take effect. So what do we know about the position of the Judicial Commissioner, and how they will be appointed?

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Analysis of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill (part 1)

IPBThe draft Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) is a proposed new law on surveillance that was presented to parliament in November 2015. The bill is currently before the Joint Committee (i.e. both Houses of Parliament) which is investigating the content of the bill and will report its recommendations to the Houses in February 2016. The first step of the procedure having been a call for written evidence, which had to be submitted by 21 December 2015, as well as public hearings in November, December 2015 and January 2016. Since the IPB has obvious implications for privacy and digital rights, I decided to take a closer look at the Bill (despite it being 299 pages long).

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Government surveillance powers require careful legislation

snooper1In the shadow of the tragic attacks in Paris recently, people will undoubtedly be asking themselves again what could possibly be done to improve the safety of innocent civilians and protect all us of from further violence of that, or any other, kind. Predictable, voices will be calling for more powers for security agencies and urging government to rush the newly proposed Investigative Powers Bill (IPB) through parliament so that GCHQ can drag their search net though the internet and stop any future attacks from happening.

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House of Lords vs. Algorithm Overlords!

Lords_v_AIAs a researcher who has spent some time working on AI and Robotics I naturally tend to notice when AI gets discussed in the news. Over the last couple of years, social media and software companies have all started to invest heavily in AI research such as Google’s purchase of the robotics company Boston Dynamics, Facebook, as well as Microsoft, Apple and IBM’s Watson and Deep Blue of course. Partially in response to this, research institutes (e.g. Future of Life institute, Future of Humanity institute, Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI)) and well known scientists and industrialists (e.g. Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, Elon Musk and Bill Gates) have launched various campaigns and given media interviews to raise their concerns about the possible extinction level threat posed by the possible rise of Superintelligent AI.

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