#Cyberculture agenda: “How Palantir Helped the NSA Spy on the Whole World…

Donald Trump has inherited the most powerful machine for spying ever devised. How this petty, vengeful man might wield and expand the sprawling American spy apparatus, already vulnerable to abuse, is disturbing enough on its own. But the outlook is even worse considering Trump’s vast preference for private sector expertise and new strategic friendship with Silicon Valley billionaire investor Peter Thiel, whose controversial (and opaque) company Palantir has long sought to sell governments an unmatched power to sift and exploit information of any kind. Thiel represents a perfect nexus of government clout with the kind of corporate swagger Trump loves. The Intercept can now reveal that Palantir has worked for years to boost the global dragnet of the NSA and its international partners, and was in fact co-created with American spies.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deploying a new intelligence system called Investigative Case Management (ICM), created by Palantir Technologies, that will assist in President Donald Trump’s efforts to deport millions of immigrants from the United States.

In 2014, ICE awarded Palantir, the $20 billion data-mining firm founded by billionaire Trump advisor Peter Thiel, a $41 million contract to build and maintain ICM, according to government funding records. The system is scheduled to arrive at “final operating capacity” by September of this year. The documents identify Palantir’s ICM as “mission critical” to ICE, meaning that the agency will not be able to properly function without the program.

On Tuesday, Facebook decided to block a video advertisement, stating that the ad violated their guidelines around sexual content.

However, the ad was merely for a collection of artwork to be auctioned off and the “sexual content” was actually a piece of artwork.

Twitter’s attempt at automatically fighting abuse hasn’t worked flawlessly. However, you might not mind the missteps quite so much now that it’s implementing some (arguably overdue) improvements to both mute controls and abuse report feedback in its.

New Twitter tools include algorithms to detect harassment, updated abuse reporting procedures, and new filters—including an egg-killer.

Investors and employees aren’t buying Uber’s sexism ‘probe’

Nobody was terribly surprised by revelations from former engineer Susan Fowler about a sexist, bro-centric Uber culture that protects “high performer” employees. And many folks aren’t impressed by CEO Travis Kalanick’s investigation into the matter b…
Facebook’s Reactions have now been available for a year – so how are they being used and what insights can they provide?

Why the internet was so screwed up today

Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3, the cloud computing service that backs many major sites and services, including Netflix, Airbnb, Giphy and 148,213 other sites, suffered a disruption on Tuesday, bringing large parts of the internet to a grinding halt.

After Uber, Snapchat’s boom & tech ethics #103

🚀 This is issue #102 of THE EXPONENTIAL VIEW. Sign-up for the newsletter here.

Visualising probability and statistics

Jigsaw is a “wildly ambitious” Google spin-off research unit that recently released Perspective, a machine-learning system designed to identify argumentative, belittling and meanspirited online conversation. Within days of its release, independent researchers have published a paper demonstrating a way of tricking Perspective into trusting ugly messages, just by introducing human-readable misspellings into their prose.

A funny thing happens when you lock a bunch of bots in a virtual room: Sometimes they don’t get along.

Mozilla snaps up Pocket in its first-ever acquisition

Mozilla, which is best known for building the Firefox browser, has purchased read-later service Pocket for an undisclosed sum in its first acquisition. The app, which lets you save links from the Web to a reading list that you can access on any device, currently counts about 10 million monthly active users and 3 billion saved items after being around for more than nine years.

Copyright Law Versus Internet Culture

Throughout human history, culture has been made by people telling one another stories, building on what has come before, and making it their own. Every generation, every storyteller puts their own spin on old tales to reflect their own values and changing times.

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