Showing 31-40 of 99 results


    Facebook's new mission looks well nigh impossible

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 17/01/2018

    » If Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is sincere in a recent post about gradually taking the media element out of "social media", he's striking a powerful blow for tech self-regulation, as well as preparing to pay a heavy price for the evolution of his vision. But getting the genie back into the bottle may be too difficult even for Mr Zuckerberg, and, in any case, his creation's problems go far beyond his proposed fix.


    Welcome to the year of censored social media

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 04/01/2018

    » This year, don't count on the social networks to provide its core service: an uncensored platform for every imaginable view. The censorship has already begun, and it'll only get heavier.


    The cyber whodunnit and the global blame game

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 21/12/2017

    » The US government has officially attributed to North Korea the WannaCry ransomware attack, which encrypted hundreds of thousands of computer drives around the world in May, 2017. And yet as with a series of other highly public cyberattack attributions, little evidence for the claim was made public. It's time for the cybersecurity world to follow the advice of the Rand Corporation and set up an unbiased international consortium that would seek to attribute attacks based on a common set of rules.


    Digital currencies can hurt the US

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 06/12/2017

    » Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's announcement that the Latin American country will issue a cryptocurrency called the petro to overcome a "financial blockade" by the US probably mirrors the thinking of other maverick regimes. The possibility of sanctions-busting, and generally finding a way to work outside the Western-dominated global financial system, makes cryptocurrencies attractive to non-Western nations, and the more so to rogue regimes.


    Until it gets hacked, e-government sounds just great

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 23/11/2017

    » A group of Czech security researchers earlier this year discovered a way to steal identities from electronic ID cards used in a number of countries, known in the cryptography industry as a ROCA vulnerability. So far, the vulnerability has caused problems in Estonia -- the country with perhaps the most comprehensive e-identification and e-government system in the world -- and in Spain. Former Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, a tireless promoter of his country's e-democracy, has said that other countries and institutions have the same problem, too; they're just not talking openly about it. He's very likely right.


    Outrage is no tool to bring change

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 29/11/2017

    » Tony Hovater, the Ohio man whose profile in The New York Times caused much indignation last weekend, would have been in jail or at least under close police surveillance if he lived in Germany. In the US, Mr Hovater is free to keep posting swastika-filled pictures on Facebook -- but the writer and editors who published a piece about him that was bleakly neutral in tone face ferocious anger for "normalising" the Nazi sympathiser.


    Coup against Mugabe is really nothing to celebrate

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 17/11/2017

    » As leader of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has survived longer than Stalin in the Soviet Union and Mao in China. If it's coming to an end -- which seems likely given his apparent inability to emerge from house arrest after the military took charge -- it's worth reflecting on the mistakes he made to end such a remarkable run.


    No, separatism isn't the continent's next major crisis

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/11/2017

    » Those who are always on the lookout for the next European crisis -- Brexiters not least among them -- have latched on to Catalonia's symbolic "secession" as another sign that Europe isn't working well. The Catalan events, however, merely confirm that today, Western European countries are secession-proof -- too fat to fail. Belgium, the country where ousted Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont is hiding out from prosecution (or, to Catalan secessionists, leading a government in exile) is another example.


    Authoritarian cryptocurrencies are on the march

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 18/10/2017

    » With Russia and China both embracing the idea of sovereign cryptocurrencies, it's time to ask a simple question: Why is a technology threatening to decentralise money so attractive to highly centralised, authoritarian regimes?


    Merkel's lacklustre win is good for the nation

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 26/09/2017

    » The sour faces of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's allies after the first exit poll results for the federal election were announced on Sunday night will prompt much talk of a Pyrrhic victory for Ms Merkel. But the outcome of Sunday's election could be good both for her and for German democracy: It has clarified the options for the next governing coalition, and it has made sure there will be vocal opposition to the government from both the left and the right.

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