Weekly Axis Of Easy #267
Last Week’s Quote was “Grab them by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow.” We were looking for Theodore Roosevelt as the answer… and MaryD is our winner!
This Week’s Quote: “The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear- fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above all else is safety.” … by ???
THE RULES: No searching up the answer, must be posted at the bottom of this post, in the comments section.
The Prize: First person to post the correct answer gets their next domain or hosting renewal on us.
In this issue:
- The White House unveiled a blueprint for an AI “Bill of Rights” to safeguard the American public’s rights
- PayPal’s new policy to fine $2,500 for disagreeing with their narrative a ‘mistake’
- Twitter deletes, then reinstates tweet from Florida Surgeon General
- US Grandmaster ‘likely’ cheated more than 100 times, says chess investigation
- Iranian activists struggle to access the internet as the country throttles its internet
- Facebook, Instagram in-app browsers accused of breaching Apple privacy rules
- A deepfake Mark Ruffalo swindled a lonely woman out of half a million dollars
- Privacy must be recognized as a civil right in the U.S
- There were 2.1 million ID numbers exposed in a data breach at Optus, the company confirms
- Britain will replace GDPR with its own data privacy regime
- A former NSA employee who sold secrets is facing the death penalty
- Introducing Conti Ransomware: The History of World’s Most Aggressive RaaS Group
On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced a set of far-reaching goals aimed at protecting people’s data and limiting surveillance.
The Biden-Harris administration said it needs to work together across government and industries to hold technology companies accountable. The white paper highlights various federal agencies’ commitments to weighing new rules and studying the specific impacts of AI technologies. Throughout a year, over two dozen departments participated in the development of the document, as did civil society groups, technologists, industry researchers, and tech firms, including Palantir and Microsoft.
The White House proposes five core principles for building algorithmic bias limits into AI systems, giving users control over their data, and ensuring automated systems are used safely and transparently. These non-binding principles cite academic research, agency studies, and news reports that document real-world harms from AI-powered tools and say parents and social workers should know if child welfare agencies are using algorithms to help decide when families should be investigated for maltreatment.
Because many AI-powered tools are developed, adopted, or funded at the state and local levels, the federal government has limited oversight regarding their use. The Biden administration is exploring how to align federal grants with AI guidance. The white paper said AI systems can help society by helping farmers grow food more efficiently or identifying diseases, but that progress must not come at the price of civil rights.
All this begs the question: What’s the catch?
A few days after PayPal’s email notice went out notifying its users of yet another policy update, rumblings around the ‘net began circulating. People were sharing snippets of the new policy highlighting how as of November, “misinformation” will be fined by a deduction of $2,500 from the user’s PayPal balance per incident.
Users were directed to PayPal’s user agreement, which states in part that PayPal can take a number of actions if users participate in restricted activities, such as holding their money in balance indefinitely. It also says that “you will be liable to PayPal for the amount of PayPal’s damages caused by your violation of the Acceptable Use Policy” at the amount of $2,500 per violation.”
A few days passed…
“After outrage ensued, PayPal then insulted everyone’s intelligence – claiming the $2,500 penalty – which would have definitely gone through legal review – went out “in error” and “included incorrect information.””
“An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy,” a PayPal spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email.”
As of Monday, October 10, 2022, PayPal itself got fined by the market, 6% of the value of their shares. We’ll keep an eye on new developments and report here if newsworthy.
Also read: https://bombthrower.com/paypal-bank-seizures-and-the-necessity-for-trustless-money/
On October 8th, Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, the Surgeon General for Florida who holds a PHD in health policy from Harvard, tweeted that an analysis showed elevated risk in cardiac related deaths among males aged 18 to 39 from Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.
Twitter deleted the tweet the same day with a simple backlink to a generic page that Ladapo may have shared “disputed or misleading information.”
After an outcry on Twitter, along the lines of – “why do purple haired wokesters at the Twitter abuse desk get to decide the veracity of a study undertaken by senior government officials who hold Harvard PHDs in their subject matter?” The tweet was reinstated.
The TL,DR from the Florida study is an “84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination“, and is recommending against mRNA vaccines for males ages 18 – 39 years old.
Read the release.
The Study is here.
In early September, controversy erupted at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis when world chess champion Magnus Carlsen withdrew after being defeated by U.S. chess grandmaster Hans Niemann, 19. Carlsen later publicly confirmed his suspicions of Niemann being a cheater. Niemann responded to the suspicions by saying that he only cheated twice, once when he was 12 years old and then as a 16-year-old in “random games.” The American grandmaster (GM) then stated they were the biggest mistakes of his life.
Now a month after Carlsen’s allegations, Chess.com, an online platform where many top players compete, has released a 72-page report that exposes the scope of Niemann’s alleged cheating and contradicts the GM’s previous statements. According to the chess platform investigation published on Tuesday, Niemann “likely” cheated in more than 100 online games, including several prize money events as early as 2020, when he was 17 years old.
Reportedly, the site’s cheat detection system tracks player performance and time usage and compares player moves to those a chess engine would make. The site also “monitors behavior such as players opening up other browsers while playing.” This is proven true as a letter in the report charges Niemann with blatantly cheating to boost his rating. In this letter, Chess.com chief chess officer Daniel Resch pointed out that Niemann’s suspicious moves occurred at the same time as he opened up a different screen on his computer, suggesting that he was consulting a chess engine.
The report concludes that while Niemann’s play displayed a number of “remarkable signals and unusual patterns,” there was no evidence that he cheated against Carlsen and no “direct proof” that he had cheated in any previous online or in-person games.
In the days following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, videos and images of the protests began to spread inside Iran. The government blocked access to Whatsapp, Instagram, and Skype to clamp down internet usage. To solve this, a group of activists is using Tor servers inside Iran as a sort of “Trojan Horse for internet access.”
Videos and images of protests are regularly blocked by the Iranian regime through internet blockades and censorship, which is no stranger to Iranian internet users. Many VPNs are now getting blocked, so Tor networks have become especially vital.
Outside of Iran, the tech community has played an important role in helping protesters get back online. Google, Signal, and WhatsApp have all worked on proxies to make their services available inside Iran. In other efforts, Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite broadband service has been activated in Iran and Ukraine, but a special terminal is needed to receive the signal.
Human rights activists are concerned that the regime is cutting internet links and rendering VPN and proxy servers inaccessible. Therefore, a group of activists has taken a new approach that engages the tech community outside Iran and Tor.
TechCrunch spoke with an entrepreneur inside Iran about how this group is working on restoring internet access to spread the news about the protests. According to the entrepreneur, gaining access has become a “game of cat and mouse” with authorities. As a result of these issues, the Tor Project, which uses free and open-source software to enable anonymous communication, has become a vital tool.
However, the regime is also addressing this by aggressively dropping VPN connections, so users will only stay connected for a short time.
A new approach uses servers inside Iranian data centers to tunnel internet traffic to another server outside Iran. This allows people to connect to the servers from any device at any time of the day. A team of Iranian engineers has been in contact with members of the Tor Project to help build bridges for accessing websites and servers carrying protest information inside Iran. It’s not clear how successful – or safe – the group’s proposal would be in practice.
Meta is accused of breaking Apple privacy rules by using its in-app browser to track user activity without their knowledge or consent. Apple’s “App Tracking Transparency” framework requires app developers to disclose tracking of personal information and obtain user consent to do so.
Meta and Facebook are accused of failing to notify users that their in-app browsers track their activity and obtaining proper consent for this tracking. The lawsuits claim that the in-app browsers also violate several state-level digital privacy laws. Meta has called the suits “without merit” and said it plans to defend itself in court. The company has already seen its stock take several major plunges throughout the year.
The suits are potentially open to any users of the iOS Facebook or Instagram apps and could translate into a significant expense for Facebook.
Companies are using in-app browsers to sneak around the new Apple privacy rules, and China’s leading advertising association is testing its own standardized fingerprinting method.
Apple is reportedly granting certain companies the right to quietly gather ad tracking data without consent, leading to quiet compromises of this nature that iOS users may not be aware of.
Manga comic artist Chikae Ide, 74, received an unsolicited message via Facebook from a phony Mark Ruffalo. A skeptic, Ide responded to the Hollywood actor by attaching a picture of herself and writing her message with the help of translation software.
Flattered by the scammer’s response, Ide shared details of her private life and personal struggles. A friend questioned whether the person claiming to be Mark Ruffalo was genuine, noting that the person behind the messages wrote “like somebody who has not learned English.“
But a 30-second video call cleared Ide’s suspicions.
The manga artist is sure Ruffalo was behind the screen chatting with her. At the time, she was unaware that it was an imposter with a “deepfake” video and her romantic feelings toward him intensified. They were unofficially married online in September 2018.
“He respected my work, and he said that I, this old lady, am beautiful,” Ide recalled. “He also said the age difference is no problem for him, and he wants to make me happy.“
Shortly after their “marriage,” fake Mark Ruffalo started asking Ide for money and would do it several times over the course of 3 years. Ultimately, Ide lost 75 million yen (over US $500,000) over the entire affair. As for the fraudster, she never met him, and he never paid her back.
Recently, Ide published a new word called “Poison Love,” based on her ordeal’s events. To compensate for money she borrowed from friends and acquaintances, she says she will continue “drawing manga until I die.”
Privacy must be recognized as a civil right in the U.S
There were 2.1 million ID numbers exposed in a data breach at Optus, the company confirms
Britain will replace GDPR with its own data privacy regime
A former NSA employee who sold secrets is facing the death penalty
Introducing Conti Ransomware: The History of World’s Most Aggressive RaaS Group
Previously on #AxisOfEasy
If you missed the previous issues, they can be read online here:
- October 3rd, 2022: Drop What You’re Doing, Thunderbird Edition
- September 26th, 2022: Record-Breaking DDoS Attack With 25.3 Billion Requests
- September 19th, 2022: Four-Fifths Of Firms Have Been Impacted By Critical Cloud Security Incidents
- September 12th, 2022: Botnets In The Work From Home Era
- September 5th, 2022: Safety Alert For Thousands Of Tourist Planes As Flying Technology Could Be Hacked