Facebook Is All Over the News

Facebook is the largest “nation” in the world, with more than 1.65 billion users across the globe. Not surprisingly then, with such global reach, Facebook is in the headlines fairly often.

In terms of Facebook news items, a recent example includes a Thai criminal court putting a man in prison for six years because he posted comments on Facebook that were construed to be insulting to the king of Thailand. The court so ruled because the law of Thailand criminalizes statements that are defamatory, insulting or threatening to the Thai royalty.

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Russia’s data localization law – a violation of WTO regulations?

By: Anthony L. Gallia and Allison S. Khaskelis

Just over a year ago, on December 31, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law new personal data localization requirements, mandating that data operators collecting personal data about Russian citizens record, systematize, accumulate, store, amend, update and retrieve” data using databases physically located in Russia.  Among other things, passage of the new law generated immediate concerns regarding its scope, implementation, and implications.  On August 3, 2015, less than a month before the new law was to take effect, the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media published official “guidelines”, largely in the form of FAQs, in an attempt to “clarify” the law and address some of the questions and concerns it generated. http://www.minsvyaz.ru/ru/personaldata/ (in Russian).  Nevertheless, one question that has remained unanswered since the law has gone into effect (September 1, 2015) is whether the law introduces trade restrictions that violate World Trade Organization regulations.  Russia has been a WTO member since August 2012. Continue reading Russia’s data localization law – a violation of WTO regulations?

David Bowie: Internet Predictor and Precursor

Sadly, we lost David Bowie last week. Most of us remember his songs — so many, and so varied across the decades. And, of course, there is no way to forget Bowie’s ever-changing image over the years. But not to be lost in the shuffle is the fact that Bowie was such an innovator, he also anticipated the full impact of the Internet.

Bowie’s prescience when it came to the Internet was explained in a recent article in The Verge. Let’s delve in a bit.
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U.S. ‘Sniffer’ Jets Seek to Detect North Korea Nuclear Detonations

There have been recent claims that North Korea successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test. Plainly, if North Korea has this capability, there would be cause for concern. But, according to CNN, the White House is skeptical, and the Air Force may send a “sniffer” jet in the region of the Korean Peninsula to help ascertain whether North Korea’s claims are accurate.

CNN has been informed by a U.S. official that any type of nuclear detonation would cause certain distinctive elements to be present in the air, and collected air samples could find out what if anything occurred.

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The Average American Makes 46 Smartphone Checks Daily

Does it ever seem that everyone around you constantly is engaged in smartphone checking? Do you even find yourself to be one of those incessant phone-checkers?

Well, surprise, surprise: the average American goes for his or her smartphone 46 separate times daily, according to a recent study released by Deloitte.

With such frequency, Americans collectively check our smartphones at least 8 billion times per day.  Continue reading The Average American Makes 46 Smartphone Checks Daily

Holiday Present From Congress: No Internet Access Taxes

The holidays seem to be coming a bit earlier than expected, as Congress has delivered a gift in the form of no Internet access taxes going-forward.

According to SiliconValley.com, Senate and House members involved in negotiations announced last week that agreement has been achieved on bipartisan legislation to extend permanently a moratorium that bans states from taxing Internet access.
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Lawsuit Reveals Extent of FBI Internet and Telecom Surveillance

While the federal government has wanted access to private electronic information pertaining individuals in its efforts to fight terrorism, the government at the same time has not wished to be transparent to the public about its information gathering techniques. This has been made fairly plain from the fruits of a legal battle that has spanned more than a decade.

The lawsuit resulted from the refusal by Nicholas Merrill, founder of hosted service provider Calyx Internet Access, to comply with a national security letter (NSL) that he received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation as far back as 2004, according to Reuters.

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Online, Seeing Is Believing for Kids

Unfortunately, there has been a sharp increase in the number of children who believe what they read on the Internet. This has been brought home by a recent study by Ofcom, as reported by The Telegraph.

This is significant because 8 to 15-year-olds now are occupying double their time on the Internet than they were one decade ago. These “digital natives” who have grown up on the Internet appear to lack the ability to differentiate online truth from fiction. Continue reading Online, Seeing Is Believing for Kids

Gmail Alerts as to Unencrypted Emails

Many people are nervous about the various perils lurking on the Internet. They want to be able to protect themselves and be secure when to comes to their personal data.

Frequent advice given is to make sure to change passwords often, use complex passwords, not open emails or attachments from unfamiliar sources, and to be careful about sending personal data from Wi-Fi hotspots.
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