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The Week in Internet News: Broadband Project to Nowhere

Dead end: ProPublica has a story about Kentucky’s $1.5 billion broadband expansion program, which the story calls an information highway to nowhere. The program is behind schedule and over budget, with the state’s IT chief directing money to other projects and partnering with commercial ISPs.

Broadband billions: Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that bringing broadband to unserved areas of the country would generate $47 billion of new economic activity a year, according to a story at Talkbusiness.net. Broadband in rural areas would enable precision agriculture technologies, which allows high-tech crop management based on sensors and other connected data sources.

I can’t Google: Finally, our broadband access trifecta of stories concludes with a Cronkite News story about the lack of access in many U.S. tribal areas. “Just Google it” has become a bit of a joke among the Hopi tribe in Arizona because many areas don’t have Internet access.

The luxury of privacy: Consumer privacy online can’t be a luxury good that only the rich have access to, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said recently in an opinion piece at the New York Times. Speaking at a conference, Pichai also spoke in favor of privacy legislation because it would “help us work toward ensuring that privacy protections are available to more people around the world,” CNet reports.

You must encrypt: A new version of the Android operating system, called Q, will require every device using it, including smartphones and television sets, to encrypt user data, Android Police reports. This comes after Android parent Google, unveiled its new lightweight Adiantum encryption mode in February, allowing low-end devices to run encryption, Slashgear notes.

Marketplace goes dark: The U.S. FBI has shutdown the gateway to allegedly illegal marketplaces on the Dark Web, ABC News reports. A grand jury in Pittsburgh has indicted two Israelis on charges of money laundering conspiracy. They were accused of receiving more than $15 million from the operation, which began in late 2013.

The Internet is for everyone. Learn about the the Internet Society’s upcoming 2019 Indigenous Connectivity Summit!