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


The Unexpected Fallout of Iran's Telegram Ban
From ACM News

The Unexpected Fallout of Iran's Telegram Ban

Seven weeks after Iran's conservative-led judiciary banned the secure communications app Telegram inside the country, Iranians are still reeling from the change...

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI
From ACM News

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI

One day last summer, Microsoft's director of artificial intelligence research, Eric Horvitz, activated the Autopilot function of his Tesla sedan.

House Democrats Release 3,500 Russia-Linked Facebook Ads
From ACM News

House Democrats Release 3,500 Russia-Linked Facebook Ads

On Thursday, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee published more than 3,500 Facebook and Instagram ads linked to the Russian propaganda group Internet...

Cracking the Crypto War
From ACM News

Cracking the Crypto War

On December 2, 2015, a man named Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on employees of the Department of Public Health in San Bernardino,...

A Long-Awaited IoT Crisis Is Here, and Many Devices Aren't Ready
From ACM News

A Long-Awaited IoT Crisis Is Here, and Many Devices Aren't Ready

You know by now that Internet of Things devices like your router are often vulnerable to attack, the industry-wide lack of investment in security leaving the door...

A 200-Year-Old Idea Offers a New Way to Trace Stolen Bitcoins
From ACM TechNews

A 200-Year-Old Idea Offers a New Way to Trace Stolen Bitcoins

Researchers are using an 1816 legal precedent to track down stolen bitcoins.

The Next NSA Chief Is More ­sed to Cyberwar Than Spy Games
From ACM News

The Next NSA Chief Is More ­sed to Cyberwar Than Spy Games

After sailing through two friendly Senate hearings—one so uncontroversial that only six senators tops bothered to even show up at any given point in the hour—Lieutenant...

Emmanuel Macron Talks About France's AI Strategy
From ACM News

Emmanuel Macron Talks About France's AI Strategy

The French government will spend €1.5 billion ($1.85 billion) over five years to support research in artificial intelligence, encourage startups, and collect data...

Facebook's New Data Restrictions Will Handcuff Even Honest Researchers
From ACM News

Facebook's New Data Restrictions Will Handcuff Even Honest Researchers

Last week, when news broke (again) that Cambridge Analytica had allegedly misused 50 million Facebook users' data, it immediately raised a difficult question: When...

Europe's New Privacy Law Will Change the Web, and More
From ACM News

Europe's New Privacy Law Will Change the Web, and More

Consumers have long wondered just what Google and Facebook know about them, and who else can access their personal data. But internet giants have little incentive...

AI Has a Hallucination Problem That's Proving Tough to Fix
From ACM TechNews

AI Has a Hallucination Problem That's Proving Tough to Fix

Deep neural network software driving innovation in consumer gadgets and automated driving is vulnerable to sabotage by hallucination, experts say.

The Decentralized Internet Is Here, With Some Glitches
From ACM News

The Decentralized Internet Is Here, With Some Glitches

I usually write in Google's online word processor Google Docs, even when noting the company's shortcomings.

Microsoft's Supreme Court Case Has Big Implications For Data
From ACM News

Microsoft's Supreme Court Case Has Big Implications For Data

Five years ago, US law enforcement served Microsoft a search warrant for emails as part of a US drug trafficking investigation. In response, Microsoft handed over...

Inside the Two Years that Shook Facebook, and the World
From ACM News

Inside the Two Years that Shook Facebook, and the World

One day in late February of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg sent a memo to all of Facebook's employees to address some troubling behavior in the ranks.

Mind the Gap: This Researcher Steals Data With Noise, Light, and Magnets
From ACM News

Mind the Gap: This Researcher Steals Data With Noise, Light, and Magnets

The field of cybersecurity is obsessed with preventing and detecting breaches, finding every possible strategy to keep hackers from infiltrating your digital inner...

Your Sloppy Bitcoin Drug Deals Will Haunt You For Years
From ACM News

Your Sloppy Bitcoin Drug Deals Will Haunt You For Years

Perhaps you bought some illegal narcotics on the Silk Road half a decade ago, back when that digital black market for every contraband imaginable was still online...

Meet Antifa's Secret Weapon Against Far-Right Extremists
From ACM TechNews

Meet Antifa's Secret Weapon Against Far-Right Extremists

Computer science professor Megan Squire  has created an array of programs that monitor approximately 400,000 accounts of white nationalists on Facebook and elsewhere...

A New Way to Track Down Bugs Could Help Save Iot
From ACM News

A New Way to Track Down Bugs Could Help Save Iot

On a clear day this summer, security researcher Ang Cui boarded a boat headed to a government biosafety facility off the northeastern tip of Long Island.

A Critical Intel Flaw Breaks Basic Security For Most Computers
From ACM News

A Critical Intel Flaw Breaks Basic Security For Most Computers

One of the most basic premises of computer security is isolation: If you run somebody else's sketchy code as an untrusted process on your machine, you should restrict...

The Hard Math Behind Bitcoin's Global Warming Problem
From ACM TechNews

The Hard Math Behind Bitcoin's Global Warming Problem

A recent report calculated that the global electricity consumption of bitcoin mining would exceed that of the U.S. by July 2019, and of the entire world by November...
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