Cyberculture agenda: “Bots Are Getting More Sophisticated and Mimic Human Behavior Online…

Over the past few years, bot traffic has been a persistent concern for marketers and users alike online. At certain points bots have even accounted for more than half of all internet traffic. However, the tables seem to be turning, according Distil Networks‘ 2016 Bad Bot Landscape report. More sophisticated bots are causing new challenges.


Microsoft Research deployed a tween-simulating chatbot this week, only to recall it a few hours later because it had turned into a neo-Nazi, and the next day, they published a bewildered apology that expressed shock that it had been so easy for trolls to corrupt their creation. (more…)

Mark Josphephson is the CEO of Bitly. Catch his talk at TNW Europe in Amsterdam this May alongside 130 other top-flight speakers.   The year was 2011. Bitly was at a crossroads. Over the previous three years, we had developed the internet’s definitive link shortening tool, shortening millions of links a month and processing millions more in clicks. We were growing like crazy. We had raised $1.5 million in seed funding in 2008 and another $2 million in Series A in 2009. In 2010, we had ambitious growth plans, raising debt financing in the first half of the year and…

Baidu Uses Map Searches to Predict When Crowds Will Get Out of Control

China’s leading search engine, Baidu, says user data can help it predict when real-world gatherings become so large they’re dangerous.

Digital Dissidents

An in-depth look at the most famous whistleblowers of the 21st century and what drives them to speak out.
It’s Far Too Hard to Anonymize Video–We Have to Do Better

To protect the ability to speak out in our visual age, we need obfuscation tools in the platforms we all use.

Apple to FBI: You Can’t Force Us to Hack the San Bernardino iPhone

Apple to FBI: You Can’t Force Us to Hack the San Bernardino iPhone

In its response to the court today, Apple said the 200-year-old All Writs Act doesn’t give court authority to compel it to assist government in hacking phone

The Next Web by Kirsty Styles
It’s pretty much exactly what Apple asked for in its ongoing encryption dispute with the FBI – the company’s legal representative Bruce Sewell will appear in Congress on Tuesday to argue its case in front of the House’s legal committee. The director of the FBI James Comey Jr. will appear in an initial hearing, followed later by Sewell, Senior VP and General Counsel at Apple. Sounding rather more like a movie than an official meeting, the event has been called: ‘The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans’ Security and Privacy.’ Sewell will be joined by Susan Landau, who’s a professor of Cybersecurity Policy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an award-winning writer…

McDonald’s didn’t always have its iconic golden arches to show people where they can get some McNuggets, fries and cardiovascular disease. In 1948, the restaurant’s logo included a hand drawn mascot named Speedee, which had a hamburger for a head. The little man represented the quick and efficient service that the drive-in promised to provide.


Robot legal theorist Ryan Calo writes, “I thought you might enjoy my new paper, canvassing decades of American case law involving robots. Courts have had to decide, for instance, whether a robot represents something ‘animate,’ whether the robot band at Chuckie Cheese ‘performs,’ and whether a salvage crew ‘possesses’ a ship wreck by visiting it with a robot sub.” (more…)

Clarendon is, by far, the most-used Instagram photo filter, both in the U.S. and worldwide, according to a new study by graphic-design program Canva.

Canva examined more than 1 million recent photos on Instagram, and its findings included:

The FBI made a group of security researchers hand over their findings about the TOR anonymity network so that it could track users’ digital footprints, the BBC reports. The two Carnegie Mellon University researchers’ data – after being subject to a court order – was used by the FBI to identify the IP address of Brian Farrell, who was arrested at the start of 2015 for being suspected of running the Silk Road 2.0 darknet site that sold illegal drugs. He denies the accusation and is still awaiting trial. Before the arrest and other revelations that the NSA could crack TOR by monitoring exit…

Though most news on social media flows through Facebook, a new study of news consumption habits by Wibbitz finds that the most voracious news junkies are on LinkedIn.

animationInsecure desktop operating systems (and even server/CMS vulnerabilities) has led to the creation of enormous, powerful botnets comprised of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of machines — and thanks to the law of supply and demand, it’s remarkably cheap and easy to rent time on a botnet and blast any site of your choosing off the Internet. (more…)

FBI Director Admits Apple Case Could Be a Game Changer

FBI Director James Comey reversed himself on Thursday when he acknowledgedthat the outcome of a California court order compelling Apple to write new code to unlock a terrorist’s phone could “be instructive for other courts” when interpreting how far third parties have to go in helping the government hack their products.

Does your business follow copyright law to the best of its ability? Not good enough. At least that was the case for one long-standing peer-to-peer network, which had its payment processing shut down after more than 14 years of being a loyal PayPal customer.

Soulseek, a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, faced a Kafkaesque battle with PayPal. When its donors were cut off from making payments to Soulseek, the network struggled to figure out what it had done wrong—or even get a response from PayPal to its questions. Thankfully, Soulseek reached out to EFF. We got in touch with Paypal and helped convince them to reinstate the network.

FBI’s Tor Hack Shows the Risk of Subpoenas to Security Researchers

Confirmation that the FBI subpoenaed information from Carnegie Mellon and used it in a criminal investigation should send a warning to white-hat hackers

At a House Intelligence Committee hearing today, CIA Director John Brennan — the guy who recently had his AOL account hacked — used his time at the World Wide Threats hearing to blame media for terrorists being so good at evading law enforcement. The hearing started with testimony — or a complete lack of testimony — from FBI Director James Comey who sounded like a wind-up doll with a single recorded message: “I’m not an expert.” After Comey’s testimony was over, we heard from CIA Director John Brennan and NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett about terrorists “going dark” — essentially falling off…

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