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NetHappenings Newsletter 10-26-2020
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Huge COVID study finds remdesivir doesn’t work—FDA grants approval anyway BUT IT DOESN’T WORK SO WHAT’S WITH THE FDA?
A study coordinated by the World Health Organization has indicated that remdesivir, along with three other potential drug treatments for the coronavirus, has “little or no effect” on death rates among hospitalized patients.
2020 General Election Early Vote Statistics
AS OF 10/25/2020 Washington’s mail ballot return rates are nearly three times what they were in 2016.
Nationwide, voters will not only be sent an unprecedented number of at least 87 million mail ballots, but they are returning them sooner than in past elections. In all nearly 40 million mail ballots have been returned so far, a return rate of nearly 46%. Americans’ resilience and support for their democracy is very heartening in these trying times. Voters still haven’t returned a little more than 47 million mail ballots to election officials.
Last update next week, with more precise turnout forecasts and a couple of projections for all-mail states like Colorado, Oregon, and Nevada. And before you think these states are uninteresting because they aren’t all battlegrounds, they may provide us with a sense of the direction and magnitude of the national swing towards Biden or Trump.
When Barrett joins the court, five of the nine justices will have been appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote.
The Republican senators who will vote for her represent 15 million fewer Americans than their Democratic colleagues.
How is this representative government? ~ Robert Reich
Maxwell Deposition 2016 Original Document (PDF)
Lest We Forget the Horrors: A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes
The Complete Listing (So Far): Atrocities 1- 944
ANTITRUST TECHNOLOGY LAW
Google must respond to U.S. antitrust lawsuit by Dec. 19
The Justice Department on Tuesday sued the $1 trillion company and accused it of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals in the biggest challenge to the power and influence of Big Tech in decades.
Signs point to another Google antitrust complaint, this time focused on adtech
Google could be hit with another multistate antitrust complaint to pile on the US Justice Department’s search-centric suit against the company. State lawyers have been poking at Google’s adtech system for months, asking detailed questions about ad auction mechanics, header bidding, third-party data access and more. A new complaint against Google involving its advertising industry practices is percolating. While the antitrust complaint filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier this week is all about Google’s search business, another multistate complaint against the company could come down the pike soon.
EDUCATION / DIGITAL DIVIDE
WHAT THE HELL TOOK THEM SO LONG TO DO THIS!
They are getting money from the government – because all the taxes the phone companies took from the public since 1994 to do this job never happened. Now we have to pay again with taxes collected from the goverment to pay for it. We had to pay TWICE!
American Farm Bureau Federation https://www.fb.org/
DIGITAL DIVIDE AMERICAN CONNECTION PROJECT
FIND WIFI LOCATIONS
New tool locates Wi-Fi hot spots in rural communities.
Close the digital divide and extend broadband access to over 3 million unserved people in rural America by July 2022.
American Connection Project makes it easier to find free internet connectivity across the nation. Broadband Coalition represents more than 100 companies and organizations who are working together to bring high-speed internet access to all U.S. households, with a focus on those in rural areas.
* American Connection Project Broadband Coalition to Support Advocacy and Connectivity Improvement Efforts
* Offering Free High-Speed Internet Access for Guests in Select Store Parking Lots
* Contributed 3,000 Chromebooks to Hourly Team Members with School-age Children.
DOWNLOAD THE APP. FIND
Access points through the 4-H organization, libraries and county extension offices.
The UN urges people to #PledgetoPause before sharing information online
ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK?
WANT TO HELP ACADEMICS FIND OUT WHAT IS FACEBOOK UP TO?
HELP ACADEMIC RESEARCHERS AND FIND OUT INSTALL INTO CHROME OR FIREFOX
Ad Observer is a tool you add to your Web browser. It copies the ads you see on Facebook, so anyone, on any part of the political spectrum, can see them in our public database. If you want, you can enter basic demographic information about yourself in the tool to help improve our understanding of why advertisers targeted you. However, we’ll never ask for information that could identify you. https://adobserver.org/ad-database/
Firefox – Folks are gaming Twitter and Facebook’s algorithms to spread misinformation.
Trending Topics and Group Recommendations need to take a pause so misinformation doesn’t threaten our democracy.
See the actions we’re taking and how you can help:
Choosing a password manager
Signal >> Blog >> Multi-device calls with ICE forking
Social Media Restrictions Cannot Keep Up with Hidden Codes and Symbols
Much like spoken language, Internet memes take on shifting political meanings according to context
Also WhatsApp Security Vulnerability
Back in March, Rolf Weber wrote about a potential vulnerability in the WhatsApp protocol that would allow Facebook to defeat perfect forward secrecy by forcibly change users’ keys, allowing it — or more likely, the government — to eavesdrop on encrypted messages.
It seems that this vulnerability is real
the bad guys will move to one of 546 foreign-made encryption products, safely out of the reach of any U.S. law.
Either we build encryption systems to keep everyone secure, or we build them to leave everybody vulnerable.
Scientific American: Social Media Restrictions Cannot Keep Up with Hidden Codes and Symbols. “On the same day that President Donald Trump announced his COVID-19 diagnosis, Twitter reminded users of its policy that ‘tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed.’ The social media platform soon filled with posts accusing it of hypocrisy: threats targeting women and people of color have accumulated for years without removal, users said. But even as Twitter attempted to enforce its rules more stringently, thinly veiled posts slipped through the cracks.”
House Subpoenas DeVos Staff in Probe of For-Profit College
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other high-ranking officials are deliberately sidetracking the oversight efforts by refusing to comply with their requests for information.
Citing a U.S. News investigation, the House Education Committee is compelling testimony from staffers into agency involvement in a for-profit college’s defrauding of students. “The Department has obstructed the Committee at every turn,” Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott wrote regarding Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other high-ranking officials. House Democrats subpoenaed three career staff members at the Education Department on Thursday as part of their ongoing investigation into the Trump administration’s role in allowing Dream Center, the operator of two now-defunct for-profit colleges, to mislead students and continue operating the schools despite losing their accreditation.
K12 EDUCATION Students Are Rebelling Against Eye-Tracking Exam Surveillance Tools
Invasive test-taking software has become mandatory in many places, and some companies are retaliating against those who speak out.
“We must do better than subjecting our students to surveillance & violations of their privacy… better than allowing algorithmic policing through biometric surveillance as the new normal.” @zenalbatross
on why students are rejecting surveillance tools.
Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police
Around the world, activists are building facial recognition tools specifically to identify police officers. The authorities are not happy to be on the other side of the technology.
When you tell Chrome to wipe private data about you, it spares two websites from the purge: Google.com, YouTube.
“Programmer Jeff Johnson noticed the unusual behavior, and this month documented the issue with screenshots. In his assessment of the situation, he noted that if you set up Chrome, on desktop at least, to automatically delete all cookies and so-called site data when you quit the browser, it deletes it all as expected – except your site data for Google.com and YouTube.com.” Google says this is a bug that will be fixed.
CEO Telegram: Developers secretly embed backdoor into apps!
Bundeskabinett approves draft law allowing trojans on phones to monitor WhatsApp
*Note that this is not about backdoor requirements or abilities, but about QuellenTKÜ (english: source telecommunications surveillance), which involves getting a trojan onto end devices, either through hacking, like using a bought 0-day, or by breaking into houses of suspects. It already exists as a part of law enforcement in various German states. The proposed regulation is to allow this for a bunch of additional federal agencies as well.
On the occasion of the recent attack hacking which was accepted by its billionaire owner Amazon, Jeff Bezos, through the WhatsApp application, the Telegram CEO, Pavel Durov, said that WhatsApp application hides many risks.
Durov noted the hacking attack on his smartphone Jeff Bezos it wasn’t due to an Apple security error, but to application of WhatsApp. Wanting to speak more specifically, Durov said his vice president Facebook accused her Apple for hacking Bezos. According to Durov, however, the WhatsApp application was responsible for the hacking. He even justified his view by saying that the “corrupt” error video “WhatsApp didn’t just exist in iOS, but also to Android and Windows Phone. Therefore, it appeared in mobile phones which had WhatsApp installed.
HUMANS ‘anthropodermic bibliopegy’
NPR: ‘Dark Archives’ Explores The Use Of Human Skin In Bookbinding
“Megan Rosenbloom, a young librarian-in-training, wanders through the Mütter Museum’s collection of medical oddities. In an inconspicuous corner, she discovers a display case of leather-bound books with their covers closed — unusual for rare books. The caption explains these books are closed because their binding is more notable than their contents, and that’s because they were made from human skin. This marks the beginning of Rosenbloom’s obsession with ‘anthropodermic bibliopegy’ and the opening scene to Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin…”