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subjectPersonal Computing
authorThe Washington Post

An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


How WhatsApp, FaceTime and Other Encryption Apps Shaped the Outcome of the Mueller Report
From ACM News

How WhatsApp, FaceTime and Other Encryption Apps Shaped the Outcome of the Mueller Report

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III detailed multiple contacts among Russian operatives and associates of President Trump in the report made public Thursday....

Fewer than 200 People Watched the New Zealand Massacre Live. A Hateful Group Helped It Reach Millions
From ACM News

Fewer than 200 People Watched the New Zealand Massacre Live. A Hateful Group Helped It Reach Millions

As the New Zealand gunman live-streamed the massacre onto Facebook, fewer than 200 people watched. The social network said its moderators removed it sometime after...

How Social Media's Business Model Helped the New Zealand Massacre Go Viral
From ACM News

How Social Media's Business Model Helped the New Zealand Massacre Go Viral

The ability of Internet users to spread a video of Friday's slaughter in New Zealand marked a triumph—however appalling—of human ingenuity over computerized systems...

­.S. Cyber Command Operation Disrupted Internet Access of Russian Troll Factory on Day of 2018 Midterms
From ACM News

­.S. Cyber Command Operation Disrupted Internet Access of Russian Troll Factory on Day of 2018 Midterms

The U.S. military blocked Internet access to an infamous Russian entity seeking to sow discord among Americans during the 2018 midterms, several U.S. officials...

Here's What We Know about Google's Mysterious Search Engine
From ACM News

Here's What We Know about Google's Mysterious Search Engine

President Trump thinks Google's search engine is "rigged." By featuring more mainstream news outlets and relatively fewer conservative sites in the results he sees...

How Spies Can ­se Your Cellphone to Find You, and Eavesdrop on Your Calls and Texts Too
From ACM News

How Spies Can ­se Your Cellphone to Find You, and Eavesdrop on Your Calls and Texts Too

Surveillance systems that track the locations of cellphone users and spy on their calls, texts and data streams are being turned against Americans as they roam...

A Google Program Can Pass As a Human on the Phone. Should It Be Required to Tell People It's a Machine?
From ACM News

A Google Program Can Pass As a Human on the Phone. Should It Be Required to Tell People It's a Machine?

Google's artificial-intelligence assistant sounds almost exactly like a human when it calls the salon to book a woman's hair appointment.

Texas Gunman's Iphone Could Reignite Fbi-Apple Feud Over Encryption
From ACM News

Texas Gunman's Iphone Could Reignite Fbi-Apple Feud Over Encryption

The FBI and Apple are bracing for another potential fight over encryption, this time because of the iPhone of the dead gunman in Sunday's Texas church shooting,...

Russian Ads, Now Publicly Released, Show Sophistication of Influence Campaign
From ACM News

Russian Ads, Now Publicly Released, Show Sophistication of Influence Campaign

Lawmakers on Wednesday released a trove of ads that Russian operatives bought on Facebook, providing the fullest picture yet of how foreign actors sought to promote...

Twitter Bans Russian Government-Owned News Sites Rt and Sputnik from Buying Ads
From ACM News

Twitter Bans Russian Government-Owned News Sites Rt and Sputnik from Buying Ads

Twitter is banning two Russian government-affiliated news sites from advertising on its platform, the social network said Thursday.

Russians Took a Page from Corporate America By ­sing Facebook Tool to Id and Influence Voters
From ACM News

Russians Took a Page from Corporate America By ­sing Facebook Tool to Id and Influence Voters

Russian operatives set up an array of misleading Web sites and social media pages to identify American voters susceptible to propaganda, then used a powerful Facebook...

Russian Facebook Ads Showed a Black Woman Firing a Rifle, Amid Efforts to Stoke Racial Strife
From ACM News

Russian Facebook Ads Showed a Black Woman Firing a Rifle, Amid Efforts to Stoke Racial Strife

One of the Russian-bought advertisements that Facebook shared with congressional investigators on Monday featured photographs of an armed black woman "dry firing"...

How Apple Is Bringing US Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not
From ACM News

How Apple Is Bringing US Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not

A whiff of dystopian creepiness has long wafted in the air whenever facial recognition has come up. Books, movies and television shows have portrayed the technology...

Here's What You Need to Know About the Google E.u. Fine
From ACM News

Here's What You Need to Know About the Google E.u. Fine

The European Union's head of antitrust enforcement announced a record $2.7 billion fine against Google on Tuesday, accusing the search engine for illegally favoring...

FCC Votes to Start Rolling Back Landmark Net Neutrality Rules
From ACM News

FCC Votes to Start Rolling Back Landmark Net Neutrality Rules

The Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to begin undoing a key decision from the Obama era that could relax regulations on Internet...

Wikileaks: The CIA Is Using Popular Tvs, Smartphones and Cars to Spy on Their Owners
From ACM News

Wikileaks: The CIA Is Using Popular Tvs, Smartphones and Cars to Spy on Their Owners

The latest revelations about U.S. government's powerful hacking tools potentially takes surveillance right into the homes and hip pockets of billions of users worldwide...

How Hard Is It to Get an Intelligence Wiretap? Pretty Hard. 
From ACM News

How Hard Is It to Get an Intelligence Wiretap? Pretty Hard. 

Wiretaps on Americans in foreign intelligence investigations are not easy to get. And if you're a candidate for president, it's even harder. 

Trump Questions Quest For Cybersecurity: 'no Computer Is Safe' 
From ACM News

Trump Questions Quest For Cybersecurity: 'no Computer Is Safe' 

President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned whether critical computer networks can ever be protected from intruders, alarming cybersecurity experts who...

Can Alexa Help Solve a Murder? Police Think So—But Amazon Won't Give ­p Her Data.
From ACM News

Can Alexa Help Solve a Murder? Police Think So—But Amazon Won't Give ­p Her Data.

When police responded to a home in Bentonville, Ark., one Sunday morning last November, they discovered Victor Collins's dead body in the backyard.

China's Plan to Organize Its Society Relies on 'big Data' to Rate Everyone
From ACM News

China's Plan to Organize Its Society Relies on 'big Data' to Rate Everyone

Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you...
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