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Amazon Won’t Let Police Use Its Facial-Recognition Tech for One Year

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Amazon announced on Wednesday it was implementing a “one-year moratorium” on police use of Rekognition, its facial-recognition technology. Lawmakers and civil liberties groups have expressed growing alarm over the tool’s potential for misuse by law enforcement for years, particularly against communities of color. Now, weeks into worldwide protests against police brutality and racism sparked by […]

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This Bot Hunts Software Bugs for the Pentagon

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Late last year, David Haynes, a security engineer at internet infrastructure company Cloudflare, found himself gazing at a strange image. “It was pure gibberish,” he says. “A whole bunch of gray and black pixels, made by a machine.” He declined to share the image, saying it would be a security risk. Haynes’ caution was understandable. […]

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How Surveillance Could Save Lives Amid a Public Health Crisis

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For each new transmission of coronavirus, imagine the “tick tick tick” of a stopwatch. At least 2 million adults in the US could require hospitalization over the course of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates; that’s more than double the nation’s supply of hospital beds. Curfews and social distancing will hopefully […]

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The Value and Ethics of Using Phone Data to Monitor Covid-19

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Google and Facebook are considering efforts to analyze the collective movements of millions of users to determine how the deadly novel coronavirus is spreading across the US, and to gauge the effectiveness of calls for social distancing. The results could be shared with government agencies working to head off what could become an unprecedented public […]

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WireGuard Gives Linux a Faster, More Secure VPN

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VPNs, or virtual private networks, are an important part of any security and privacy toolbox. VPNs are essentially encrypted connections between two or more devices that enable you to route data through a secure “tunnel.” Companies use them to allow employees to access corporate networks from outside the office. Commercial VPN services try to protect […]

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How AI Is Tracking the Coronavirus Outbreak

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With the coronavirus growing more deadly in China, artificial intelligence researchers are applying machine-learning techniques to social media, web, and other data for subtle signs that the disease may be spreading elsewhere. The new virus emerged in Wuhan, China, in December, triggering a global health emergency. It remains uncertain how deadly or contagious the virus […]

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Elections Globally Are Under Threat. Here’s How to Protect Them

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A new report offers one of the most comprehensive overviews of the challenges to global electoral integrity posed by the onslaught of misinformation, online extremism, and social media manipulation campaigns, and calls for a series of reforms from platforms, politicians, and international governing bodies. In a report released Wednesday, the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections […]

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Now Stores Must Tell You How They’re Tracking Your Every Move

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The law that took effect January 1 says businesses must “inform” consumers that they are collecting personal information “at or before the point of collection.” The attorney general’s draft regulations, due to be finalized in time for enforcement to begin in July, suggests physical premises distribute paper notices or display “prominent signage” with a web […]

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Now It’s Really, Truly Time to Give Up Windows 7

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Two days ago, I finally gave up Windows 7. I don’t dislike Windows 10, but there’s just always been something special about Windows 7. It was svelte. It actually ran faster and took up less hard drive space than its predecessor, the much-maligned Windows Vista. It looked great. We Windows users could finally hold our […]

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This Government-Subsidized Phone Comes With Malware

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An Android phone subsidized by the US government for low-income users comes preinstalled with malware that can’t be removed without making the device cease to work, researchers reported on Thursday. ARS TECHNICA This story originally appeared on Ars Technica, a trusted source for technology news, tech policy analysis, reviews, and more. Ars is owned by […]