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Policy / Civilization & Discontents

  1. Trump vetoes $740B defense bill, citing “failure to terminate” Section 230

    Congress already scheduled veto override votes for after Christmas.

  2. Trump admin. agrees to pay Pfizer $1.95B for 100M more vaccine doses

    Agreement means Pfizer will provide a total of 200M doses, with option for 400M more.

  3. For Biden administration, Fauci’s in, but Birx is not

    Birx was widely seen as too accommodating to Trump but got sidelined anyway.

  4. Congress creates new copyright court that could make trolling easier

    Congress also made streaming pirated works a felony.

  5. Google, Facebook reportedly agreed to work together to fight antitrust probes

    The law doesn't love it when competitors promise to cooperate in certain ways.

  6. $50-per-month emergency broadband subsidies approved in pandemic stimulus

    Congress creates $3.2 billion fund for people with low incomes or who have lost jobs.

  7. Pornhub squarely targeted in bipartisan bill to regulate sex work online

    The bill would cause more harms to sex workers than it would fix, critics argue.

  8. Zero-click iMessage zero-day used to hack the iPhones of 36 journalists

    Malicious messages installed spyware that recorded audio and pics and stole passwords.

  9. Kazakhstan spies on citizens’ HTTPS traffic; browser-makers fight back

    Kazakhstan gov required citizens to install self-signed root certificate.

  10. Second COVID vaccine approved for use in the US

    More vaccines will help ease shortages, work through priority list.

  11. US government bans tech exports to top drone maker DJI

    Chinese smartphone firms Huawei and ZTE have been on the list for several years.

  12. Law banning “rental” fees for customer-owned routers takes effect Sunday

    New law also targets hidden cable-TV fees and lets users cancel without penalty.

  1. Finger-pointing abounds as states get fewer vaccines than planned

    Pfizer: We have "millions more doses" with no shipping instructions from Feds.

  2. Microsoft president calls SolarWinds hack an “act of recklessness”

    Of 18,000 backdoored servers, hackers followed up on only a few dozen.

  3. Microsoft is reportedly added to the growing list of victims in SolarWinds hack

    Other reported victims include the Energy Department nuke security administration.

  4. Moderna vaccine gets the thumbs-up for emergency use

    A daylong meeting results in a decisive vote: 20 for, none against.

  5. Google committed “antitrust evils,” colluded with Facebook, new lawsuit says

    The AGs of 52 US states and territories are joining the feds to sue Google.

  6. SolarWinds hack that breached gov networks poses a “grave risk” to the nation

    Nuclear weapons agency among those breached by state-sponsored hackers.

  7. Twitter repeals retweet roadblocks, Facebook follows suit

    Both Twitter and Facebook are winding down some temporary emergency measures.

  8. MindGeek: The secretive owner of Pornhub and RedTube

    Porn is everywhere, but the company that owns the most popular sites is out of sight.

  9. 40 GirlsDoPorn victims sue Pornhub for hosting “sex trafficking” videos

    Pornhub owner "knew GirlsDoPorn was trafficking its victims," lawsuit alleges.

  10. Bitcoin price passes $20,000, setting new record

    The value of the world's bitcoins is around $380 billion.

  11. Uber defends sexual assault victims’ privacy, gets fined $59 million

    Victim rights group RAINN said Calif. request risks "re-traumatization of victims."

  12. Senator tries to block Frontier’s FCC funding, citing ISP’s various failures

    Senator: Frontier mismanaged previous funds and shouldn’t get new gigabit money.

  1. Pinterest agrees to $22.5 million settlement in discrimination lawsuit

    Settlement is one of the largest ever in this kind of case, Brougher's lawyer said.

  2. EU warns that it may break up Big Tech companies

    Repeat offenses under new rules will trigger action to force divestments.

  3. SolarWinds hackers have a clever way to bypass multi-factor authentication

    Hackers who hit SolarWinds compromised a think tank three separate times.

  4. FTC kicks off sweeping privacy probe of nine major social media firms

    Consumer privacy has fallen into the FTC's purview, so it's digging deep.

  5. SpaceX won “rural” FCC funding in surprising places, like major airports

    Starlink and other ISPs took advantage of broken FCC system, researcher says.

  6. ~18,000 organizations downloaded backdoor planted by Cozy Bear hackers

    Russia-backed hackers use supply chain attack to infect public and private organizations.

  7. Millions of videos purged from Pornhub amid crackdown on user content

    Almost 2/3 of content “suspended” as Pornhub scrambles following NYT report.

  8. Zodiac Killer cipher is cracked after eluding sleuths for 51 years

    Northern California serial murderer sent encoded messages that went uncracked until now.

  9. Oracle joins Silicon Valley’s Texas exodus

    Elon Musk revealed he had moved to Texas earlier this week.

  10. Copyright law is bricking your game console. Time to fix that

    Op-ed: An exemption to the DMCA could make DIY console repairs possible—and legal.

  11. The Christchurch shooter and YouTube’s radicalization trap

    Researchers say YouTube's policies and algorithms are still too opaque.

  12. Apple’s app store is an illegal monopoly, rival Cydia claims in suit

    Apple argues the iPhone and its app store are part of the same product.