politics

WannaCry ransomware is North Korea’s doing, US says

WannaCry ransomware is North Korea’s doing, US says

Remember WannaCry? If you don’t or never even heard about it, this latest public statement coming from the US will probably make sure you won’t. The ransomware that plagued Windows computers in the first half of the year has been blamed for not a few outages of computer systems all over the country, including some life-critical ones in hospitals. And now, the mastermind behind WannaCry has been finally unmasked. At least according to the US. And, unsurprisingly, it is pointing the finger at North Korea.

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Electric cars could suddenly get a lot more expensive

Electric cars could suddenly get a lot more expensive

The $7,500 tax credit for electric car buyers in the US faces an unexpected premature death, with a new Republican tax plan cutting the credit immediately. The credit gives EV buyers a sizable cut on their tax bill when they purchase a new car, and has been instrumental in driving the adoption of electric vehicles across the country. Now, Republicans are proposing doing away with it altogether.

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Facebook, Google and Twitter given furious ad ultimatum

Facebook, Google and Twitter given furious ad ultimatum

Facebook, Google, and Twitter have been given a stark ultimatum by US lawmakers, as the role each played in Russian gaming of the US election goes under the microscope. The three firms have faced challenging questioning at this week's Senate and House Intel Committee meetings, though arguably nothing so blunt as the deadline laid down by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein this morning. Speaking as part of the Senate Intel Committee, Sen. Feinstein told legal representatives of the trio that if they wouldn't fix things, the government would be forced to step in and do it for them.

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Cyber Shield Act IoT security labeling proposed by Dems

Cyber Shield Act IoT security labeling proposed by Dems

A scheme to label Internet of Things devices that meet more stringent security standards has been proposed by the US Democrats, responding to mounting concerns about the safety of connected gadgets. The idea, dubbed the Cyber Shield Act of 2017, was put forward by Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today. In addition to a labeling scheme that compliant IoT devices would bear, if passed it would also be responsible for establishing a best-practices advisory committee.

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Russian trolls used Pokemon GO to incite violence in the USA

Russian trolls used Pokemon GO to incite violence in the USA

Russian government-linked internet troll accounts aimed to use Pokemon GO to stir several political bees nests over the past year. Using the then mega-popular game to lure users to participate, Russian-linked operatives attempted to draw foot traffic to physical locations where events involving police brutality had occurred. Operatives promised that once Pokemon gamers had arrived at these locations, they were to snap a photo and send it in to win prizes.

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Google Russia ads buys found in 2016 Election Interference

Google Russia ads buys found in 2016 Election Interference

It's Google's turn to face the idea that Russia may have exploited their advertisement business to spread disinformation over the past year. Facebook was the subject of scrutiny in recent weeks over revelations of similar significant Russian exploits of the social network during the 2016 US Presidential election in the USA. Word comes from sources familiar with Google's investigation who've spoken on condition of anonymity with The Independent.

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Zuckerberg replies to Trump’s tweet with a list of Facebook benefits

Zuckerberg replies to Trump’s tweet with a list of Facebook benefits

In case you missed it (and no one would blame you), Trump fired off a tweet this morning accusing Facebook of being "anti-Trump," also blaming "The Networks" of the same, presumably referring to major news networks. He specifically pointed fingers at the New York Times, at the Washington Post, making accusations of fake news.

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Twitter says it won’t delete “newsworthy” Trump tweets

Twitter says it won’t delete “newsworthy” Trump tweets

US President Donald Trump's "Modern Day Presidential" use of social media has undoubtedly raised a few legal questions and tested the limits of such services' policies. Twitter, his favorite social network pulpit, has been thrown into the center of that hurricane. There have been calls for the social media giant to pull down some of Trump's tweets that they claim are in violation of Twitter's own policies. Without admitting that such tweets do violate its rules or not, Twitter defends its decision not to delete those tweets for the sake of newsworthiness, transparency, and, perhaps, evidence.

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This messaging app just blocked ALL Breitbart links

This messaging app just blocked ALL Breitbart links

With Steve Bannon out as White House Chief Strategist and returning to his role as Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, messaging app Blend has announced that it will begin blocking links to the site. This is sure to be a controversial decision, but it may not be one that ends with only Breitbart targeted. To hear the CEO of Blend explain it, this is part of a larger effort to snuff out fake news in general.

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Internet proxies are now illegal in Russia

Internet proxies are now illegal in Russia

It will soon be a lot harder for Internet users in Russia to access anything outside of government-sanctioned or region-locked sites and services. Vladimir Putin has just signed into law a bill that makes it illegal to use Internet proxy services, including VPNs or virtual private networks. While the law is primarily aimed at curbing anti-government activities, it also puts other legitimate or excusable uses of proxies at terrible risk.

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France is banning gas and diesel car sales to push EVs

France is banning gas and diesel car sales to push EVs

France has announced an aggressive plan to ban the sale of all gas and diesel cars in the country, aiming to promote EVs and and other green vehicles. The move is part of the French government's attempt to meet the emissions targets it has committed to for the Paris climate accord, the pact by most in the global community to voluntarily reduce their contribution to climate change. However, unsurprisingly the switchover won't happen overnight.

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North Korea just claimed a huge, terrifying missile milestone

North Korea just claimed a huge, terrifying missile milestone

Experts are divided on whether North Korea has passed another worrying missile milestone, with the clandestine and controversial country claiming to have successfully tested its first ICBM. The Hwasong-14 missile test was confirmed on North Korean television today, July 4th, along with claims about the details of its flight. While the missile traveled further in altitude than it did in horizontal distance, it's the implications of that which have many concerned.

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