Political ads can lie if they want, Facebook confirms

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 10 October 2019
Browse Politics

Faced with a stark real-world test, though, Facebook appears once again to be erring on the side of letting misinformation circulate far and wide if a politician promotes it.

"If the claim is made directly by a politician on their Page, in an ad or on their website, it is considered direct speech and ineligible for our third-party fact checking program," the company added.

While the guideline used to say that ads "must not contain deceptive, false, or misleading content," the rule now prohibits ads "that include claims debunked by third-party fact checkers" or, in some circumstances, by third-party organizations "with particular expertise" in the matter.

Politicians lie, Facebook loves money. Naturally those two go along well.

Report reveals no-deal Brexit impact – here's what you need to know

Found on New Scientist on Thursday, 12 September 2019
Browse Politics

Yesterday the UK government was forced to release a report describing the possible impact of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal at the end of October, which is looking increasingly possible. The plans had been codenamed Operation Yellowhammer.

Now it’s clear that civil servants, who are supposed to be impartial, expect there to be at least some harmful consequences of leaving the European Union without a deal. They predict that from day one the lorry flow rate through the Channel could roughly halve, for up to three months, with “significant disruption” for another three months.

In the past three years since the referendum nothing has been achieved. That was more than enough time to either make a deal, or prepare for a no-deal scenario, but nothing really happened. Except "we don't want that" replies to everything. So it's time for a hard cut, because then decisions have to be made.

GitHub starts blocking developers in countries facing US trade sanctions

Found on ZD Net on Saturday, 27 July 2019
Browse Politics

There's a debate over free speech taking place after Microsoft-owned GitHub "restricted" the account of a developer based in the Crimea region of Ukraine, who used the service to host his website and gaming software.

Kashkin says GitHub advised him this week that it had restricted his account, pointing to its page about US trade controls, which lists Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria as countries facing US sanctions.

As GitHub notes on its page about US trade controls, US sanctions apply to its online hosting service, GitHub.com, but its paid-for on-premise software -- aimed at enterprise users -- may be an option for users in those circumstances.

So because of an annextation by Russia, Crimea is now facing an embargo. This raises the question if annexed territories are generally a target for embargos; because if so then for example Hawaii would also have to be on that list since the US annexed the former republic. Anoother question is how serious such embargos really are if they can be avoided when you hand over money; but that's probably how it always works...

No Telegram today, protestors: Chinese boxes DDoS chat app amid Hong Kong protest

Found on The Register on Saturday, 15 June 2019
Browse Politics

The traffic crapflood resulted in the app, which is advertised as being "privacy-focused", going offline to users "in the Americas", according to the firm, as well as unspecified "other countries". Telegram claims to have around 200 million users and said the outage lasted for around an hour.

The timing of the attack, last night, came as Hong Kong residents staged large-scale protests against a Chinese extradition law being pushed through the territory's legislature.

So much for open-end discussions on the extradiction law.

Timely Trump tariffs tax tech totally: 25 per cent levy

Found on The Register on Saturday, 11 May 2019
Browse Politics

The ramping up of tariffs come in an apparent game of high-stakes chicken between President Trump and the Chinese government. Trade talks, soon coming to a conclusion between the two sides, may make for good TV but are causing concern for American businesses who will have to pay significantly more for essential imported components and equipment.

China responded to the latest tariffs this week by saying that it "deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures," and hopes that "the US and the Chinese side will work together and work together to resolve existing problems through cooperation and consultation."

Yes, global economy is so weak that a single person can put a dent into it. Countries should prefer to be less depending on others and support their own industry.

BMW for the People! German Coalition Politician Revives Marxism

Found on Bloomberg on Friday, 03 May 2019
Browse Politics

A leading politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partner took a page straight out of Karl Marx’s playbook, calling for the people to take control of large companies in the battle against profit-hungry capitalists.

“The distribution of profits must be democratically controlled,” Kevin Kuehnert, the leader of the youth wing of the Social Democratic Party, told Die Zeit newspaper in an interview published on international labor day. “That excludes that there is a capitalist owner at this business,” he said, using luxury-car maker BMW AG as an example.

Marxism and Communism has failed so very hard every single time it had been tried; and where it is still offically in place you do not want to live. At some point you just have to learn from history.

Huge Protests Across Europe Protest Article 13; Politician Lies And Claims They Were Paid To Be There

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 25 March 2019
Browse Politics

German MEP Daniel Caspary, who chairs the large CDU/CSU group in the EU Parliament told a German publication a completely made up lie -- reminiscent of the kind of "fake news" propaganda that has been used elsewhere, that all of the protesters were actually paid to be there.

A major political leader is so infatuated with his false belief that real people couldn't possibly be upset about the plan to fundamentally move away from an open internet, that he insists Google must have paid the protesters €450 each to show up.

Either way, no matter what lies politicians tell themselves, they might want to think about so many people coming out to protest over this issue, especially given that the next EU Parliamentary elections are in just a few months.

Big media pay politicians to make the laws they want. Usually that is the first step towards their downfall. However, when that happens, the same politicians will refuse to see the reasons and always blame the "enemy".

Axel Voss Says Maybe YouTube Shouldn't Exist

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 14 March 2019
Browse Politics

Last week, we pointed out that he was making provably false statements about Article 13, and wondered why he'd be doing that. But the more he talks, the more I'm wondering if he simply doesn't understand the basics of either copyright law or the internet.

So how is it that Axel Voss is considered an authority on this? He doesn't seem to understand that every new work is covered by copyright, so any website that hosts user-uploaded content -- audio, video, text, images, etc. -- is subject to this law.

Stupid people say stupid things. It's always been like that. The problem today is that stupid people can get jobs other than being the village idiot.

US tells Germany to stop using Huawei equipment or lose some intelligence access

Found on The Verge on Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Browse Politics

The Trump administration has been pressing allies to end their relationships with Huawei, but Germany, moving ahead with its plans, has not moved to ban the company from its networks.

According to the Journal, a letter sent from the US Ambassador to Germany warns the country that the US will stop sharing some secrets if it allows Huawei to work on its next-generation 5G infrastructure.

At least they are open and direct about it. The sad thing however is that there are not that many alternatives, considering that almost every major manufacturer produces in China; so every hardware could have backdoors.

Revealed: Facebook’s global lobbying against data privacy laws

Found on The Guardian on Sunday, 03 March 2019
Browse Politics

Facebook has targeted politicians around the world – including the former UK chancellor, George Osborne – promising investments and incentives while seeking to pressure them into lobbying on Facebook’s behalf against data privacy legislation, an explosive new leak of internal Facebook documents has revealed.

The documents, which have been seen by the Observer and Computer Weekly, reveal a secretive global lobbying operation targeting hundreds of legislators and regulators in an attempt to procure influence across the world, including in the UK, US, Canada, India, Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and all 28 states of the EU.

If that does not underline the need to make privacy and data protection an important issue, then what else? Facebook knows very well that its entire business model is about to collapse when other nations realize the dangers of total surveillance and come up with similar laws.