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[AxisOfEasy] The Internet Will Split In Two By 2028

by on September 24, 2018


Weekly Axis Of Easy #67


This week’s quote:   “It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.” …by ???
Last Week’s Quote was  “In the end, they wanted security more than they wanted freedom.” By Edward Gibbons, in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Nobody got it.
THE RULES: No searching up the answer, must be posted in the comments below.
The Prize: First person to post get their next domain or hosting renewal is on us.

 


In this issue:
  • Ex-Google CEO: The internet will split in two by 2028
  • A day in the life under Sesame Credit
  • Life insurance company to sell only interactive policies driven by wearable tech
  • UK initiative uses big data on citizens to predict child abuse
  • Scan4You author sentenced to 14 years in prison
  • EU court rules UK surveillance programs violate human rights
  • Ticketmaster caught actively colluding with scalpers
  • Watch out for Hurricane Florence charity scams

Ex-Google CEO: The internet will split in two by 2028

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, at a private venture capital event in San Francisco, predicted that by 2028 the Internet will split in two, with one half being controlled by China, and the other by the U.S. (For anybody paying attention I’ve been warning about this in one form or another since around 2011, see here and here)

Schmidt, who still serves as a director and owns 1.3% of the shares of Google is almost certainly jockeying to be neck-deep in both. If he’s right, then on current trajectories they will each be uniquely Orwellian gulags. We’ll think ours is better because we’ll have infotainment and government mandated safe spaces punctuated by heavily curated “free speech zones”.

A day in the life under Sesame Credit

China has already made it clear what their Internet will look like, and we’ve covered it here before: Sesame Credit – a social network system that gamifies obedience to the State and becomes compulsory for all citizens in 2020. “Leave No Dark Corner”, a truly chilling examination by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about a day in the life of a Chinese citizen, who is rated and scored on every single transaction and event of her daily life (“She selects a bottle of alcohol off the shelf, which may signal dependency, so she’s penalized a few points. Then she selects napkins, signalling cleanliness, and earns some points back”). Good luck with all that.

(In the meantime, Chinese state authorities recently concluded a three-month “web clean up” effort which removed over 4,000 websites from the internet which contained “harmful online information”. See https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/china-shuts-thousands-of-websites-in-clean-up-campaign-xinhua-10747570 )

Life insurance company to sell only interactive policies driven by wearable tech

Like I said, the forthcoming “Western Internet” probably won’t resemble Sesame Credit on the surface. It’ll be more along the lines of Black Mirror’s ’Nosedive’ episode Case in point: John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones”. The program is called “Vitality” and all existing policy holders will be converted to it by 2019. Participation at the individual monitoring level won’t be mandatory, but those declining may face higher premiums.

UK initiative uses big data on citizens to predict child abuse

Data point #2: Budget constrained government social agencies in the U.K are turning to big data and “predictive analytics” to “algorithmically identify” families who might warrant additional scrutiny from local child services authorities. “[A]t least five local authorities have developed or implemented a predictive analytics system for child safeguarding. At least 377,000 people’s data has been incorporated into the different predictive systems.”  The analytics look at data points such as school attendance, housing association repairs and arrears, and police records on antisocial behaviour and domestic abuse.

Scan4You author sentenced to 14 years in prison

The author of a reverse malware scanning system favoured by cybercriminals has been sentenced to an astonishing 14 years in prison. The service, Scan4you works the opposite of something like, say, VirusTotal. With the latter, normal people and security researchers can scan files to see if they’re infected or if so, already known. Scan4you is used by malware programmers to refine their wares to evade detection by malware and virus scanners. It’s like regression testing for virus writers.

EU court rules UK surveillance programs violate human rights

The European Court of Human Rights issued a finding this month on three programs: 1) bulk interception of communications, 2) intelligence sharing with foreign governments, and 3) obtaining of data from ISPs. In a 5-2 decision the court found that bulk interception violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that the other two programs were operating under insufficient oversight.

See: https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press#{% 22itemid%22:[%22003-6187848-8026299%22]} (then download the PDF)

Ticketmaster caught actively colluding with scalpers

I almost missed this one until I asked why everybody in my Facebook feed was going apeshaft over Ticketmaster. It turns out that a couple of investigative journalists went undercover to a Ticketmaster reseller event and found out that Ticketmaster actively encourages ticket scalping and provides cooperation and incentives with scalpers to mass purchase tickets for events and then resell them at inflated prices.

Watch out for Hurricane Florence charity scams

A quick reminder via security journalist Brian Krebs to remind us in the wake of Hurricane Florence relief efforts: watch out for scams. Unfortunately these events bring out both the best (those of us who desire to help others in need) and the worst (those who seek to exploit those good natured impulses). So donate via known channels. Personally that’s why I like online aggregators like CanadaHelps.org, for example. They vet the groups, and you make your selections and donations via their system. I’m sure something like this exists for the US and other countries as well.


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8 responses to “[AxisOfEasy] The Internet Will Split In Two By 2028”

  1. Avatar RICHARD MCKELVIE says:

    This week’s quote sounds a lot like something Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) would have said.

  2. Avatar Bruce Lehmann says:

    This week’s quote: Frank Herbert, author of Dune.

  3. Avatar Bruce Lehmann says:

    This week’s quote: Frank Herbert, author of Dune

  4. Avatar Latent Libertarian says:

    Great quote. It’s actually more ironic than that. We establish government in order to protect ourselves from the tiny percentage of sociopaths and psychopaths that are emergent from humanity. To this end, the government is granted the exclusive use of force. That power is a magnet drawing the same deviants into government “service”. The whole government eventually becomes infested and consumes the society that it was established to protect.

  5. Avatar Ramjeeram says:

    “It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.” …by
    Edward Abbey

  6. Avatar John Biddle says:

    Just a minor correction, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire was written by Edward Gibbon, not Gibbons.

  7. Avatar Jody Lemoine says:

    Hey, I think I have this week’s quote! I just happened to be re-reading “The Postman” this week while I was on vacation and remembered this. I’m going to go with David Brin, but it’s possible that he was quoting someone else, too.

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