updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017

Mass electronic surveillance killing Internet privacy-UN report

In the UN’s most sweeping report targeting mass electronic surveillance, counter terrorism envoy Ben Emmerson says widespread use of the technology by intelligence agencies signals the death knell of privacy on the Internet.

“The hard truth is that the use of mass surveillance technology effectively does away with the right to privacy of communications on the Internet altogether,” says the 22-page document, which was tabled this week.

It warned of “purpose creep” that allows authorities to justify scooping of data on grounds of counter-terrorism, when the information is actually used for “much less weighty” purposes.

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US says no single entity or Nation will control the Internet

The U.S. reiterated its stance in favor of a multistakeholder model for Internet governance today. Speaking before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said that the United States will “not allow the global Internet to be co-opted by any person, entity, or nation seeking to substitute their parochial worldview for the collective wisdom of this community.” At a minimum, the United States appears cognizant of the risks at hand.

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Wary of Privacy Issues? Ditch Dropbox and avoid Google, says Edward Snowden


© Maxim Shemetov/Reuters Fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden's new refugee documents granted by Russia is seen during a news conference in Moscow August 1, 2013. Government whistleblower Edward Snowden gave the public a few words of wisdom, and caution, during a Saturday night video interview for The New Yorker Festival. During the hour-long conversation with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, Snowden advised viewers to get rid of Dropbox, and to avoid using high-profile online services such as Facebook and Google, if they wanted to protect their privacy in the ever-more-informed Information Age.

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Faster internet expected to shake up health and education by 2025

A new report published by the Pew Research Center and Elon University aims to predict how the advent of gigabit-speed internet connections will affect our lives by 2025.

The Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age research involved asking 1,464 “experts and internet builders” what they think humans will be doing once they have access to broadband 50-100 times faster than the average home connection now, and collating their thoughts.

The report is based on the premise that just as dial-up internet access drove email and web surfing into the mainstream; and broadband internet spurred music downloads, video streaming and social networking; so gigabit-speed internet will spur a new set of technologies and services.

The predictions include some familiar futurology themes: holograms and virtual reality, wearables and the internet of things, 3D printing and ever-more sophisticated artificial intelligence.

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