politics

Whistleblowers claim Russia has a propaganda “troll house”

Whistleblowers claim Russia has a propaganda “troll house”

What's more frightening and more destructive than an Internet troll? Why, a house full of them! That is exactly what Russia alleged has and it is a literal one. Two former employees of this "troll house" have come out to reveal some rather worrying details about this secret business that might actually be booming in the dark. Their testimonies add to the growing body of testimonies and speculation regarding Russia's more than active yet completely under the radar activities to spread its ideology and world views, especially against its enemies and the West.

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Google turns to GIFs (oh, and facts) to slam FTC snark

Google turns to GIFs (oh, and facts) to slam FTC snark

Weaponized GIFs are apparently the new way to make serious points more flippant online, with Google smacking back at News Corp. criticism that the search giant had made a habit of hanging around the White House. Google had been accused of chasing undue political influence, with the News Corp. owned Wall Street Journal suggesting it was sneaky maneuvering that saw Google escape FTC censure over activities contrary to the public interest. Key to the accusations was a count of the number of times Google had visited senior officials since President Obama took office.

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All 650 MPs in House of Commons to receive iPad Air 2

All 650 MPs in House of Commons to receive iPad Air 2

Once the current elections are wrapped up, all 650 members of the House of Commons will receive a special tool to help them perform their tasks. With a funding boost of about $300,000 (£200,000) annually, the MPs will all get an iPad Air 2 and a laptop of unknown make. It’s the latest workaround for Apple, who has been diligently working to get the iPad into hands of enterprise, schools, and now government. Questions loom, though, as critics say MPs will be playing games, not passing laws.

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Sheriffs want Google, Waze to disable ‘police stalking’ feature

Sheriffs want Google, Waze to disable ‘police stalking’ feature

Sheriffs around the nation want Google and Waze to stop tracking their whereabouts. A feature in Waze allows users to report on traffic accidents or other traffic slowdowns, but also allows for users to report where police might be stationed. According to law enforcement officials, that presents a danger to them. The existing feature shows where a police officer might be located, but doesn’t report why they are there. Sheriffs are even going so far as to call Waze a “police stalker” app.

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Apple may allow Chinese government to conduct security audits on products

Apple may allow Chinese government to conduct security audits on products

According to a new report from The Beijing News, Apple will begin allowing the Chinese government to carry out security inspections on its devices that it sells in the country. The purpose for this agreement would be to address China's recent fears about iOS devices allowing access to sensitive information from both customers and the government. The deal was reportedly made between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Lu Wei, director of the director of Chinese State Internet Information Office.

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Turkey threatens Twitter to censor nation’s newspaper account

Turkey threatens Twitter to censor nation’s newspaper account

It seems like it wasn't that long ago when the Turkish government was trying to make the social network services Twitter and YouTube illegal in the country for not playing along with their censorship requirements. Oh, wait, that's because it was less than a year ago. Well, Turkey is as at it again, this time threatening Twitter that it outright ban the site (again) if it doesn't censor the account belonging to a left-wing, opposition newspaper.

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LAPD getting tasers that trigger recording when used

LAPD getting tasers that trigger recording when used

On the heels of President Obama calling for more police to wear body cameras, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to bring around 8,000 cameras to the LAPD. Not content with monitoring, the LAPD is also purchasing 3,130 tasers that connect to those body cameras. The Taser X26P, a “smart” taser released two years ago, will automatically activate the worn camera if the safety is turned off. The two pair over Bluetooth, theoretically calling for rolling tape each time the taser is fired.

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White House sanctions North Korea in response to Sony hack

White House sanctions North Korea in response to Sony hack

In an apparent attempt to thwart future cyber attacks, the United states has issued sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions are a response to “ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment”. Sanctions are part of The White House’s previous statement that any response to North Korea regarding the Sony hack would be “proportional”, though the sanctions aren’t final. The White house is calling them the “first part” of a full response.

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Concept app Intuitive Voting wants you to vote from your phone

Concept app Intuitive Voting wants you to vote from your phone

Here are a few questions for you: Do you know who your district council-members are? What topics are on your ballot? Where is your local polling station? If you couldn’t answer those, don’t feel bad. We’re not a hyper-politicized society, but we are hyper connected. Even if you couldn’t answer those questions, you could probably tell us where your smartphone is. Oddly enough, election day and your smartphone still haven’t made themselves know to one another, but there’s an app concept that would change that, and it’s amazing.

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First Chinese iOS Trojan Xsser mRAT targets Hong Kong activists

First Chinese iOS Trojan Xsser mRAT targets Hong Kong activists

Protesters and activists these days have flocked to social media and mobile technology to circumvent censorship and blockades that prevent their message from reaching other people. But now the tables might have been turned on them. A new trojan malware called Xsser mRAT that infects iOS as well as Android devices has been discovered to be of Chinese origin and is seemingly targeting Hong Kong's Occupy Central movement.

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Russia now requires ID for access to public WiFi

Russia now requires ID for access to public WiFi

Modern Russia seems to be edging on totalitarianism, and the latest development doesn’t help that notion. Public WiFi hotspots in Russia now require identification to log in, and companies must make it known to the government who is using their connections. The legislation, though over-reaching and drawing the ire of many, is said to be a measure to stop terrorism.

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Thailand bans Tropico 5 due to junta scenarios

Thailand bans Tropico 5 due to junta scenarios

Thailand's Board of Film and Video Censors has just declared the fifth installment of the popular Tropico game unfit for a local release because it could affect peace and order and that the game's content, which may possibly lead to scenarios of a military dictatorship or junta, is not appropriate for the country's current situation. The irony of the matter is that Thailand has been under such a government ever since the military overthrew the previous administration in May.

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