Categories
Technology

The Week in Internet News: AI Goes to the Dogs

Do you trust this documentary? Do You Trust This Computer? is a new documentary from filmmaker Chris Paine that’s dedicated to the dangers of artificial intelligence. Elon Musk, who’s been vocal about the potential downsides of the technology, appears in the film and has promoted it. But The Verge finds the film a bit overly dramatic, saying “feels more like a trailer for a bad sci-fi movie than a documentary on AI.”

Or you could just get a dog: Speaking of AI, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle are using canine behavior to train an AI system to make dog-like decisions, reports MIT Technology Review.  The researchers are using dog behavior as a way to help AI better learn how to plan, with hopes of helping AI better understand visual intelligence, among other things.

News apps meet the Great Firewall: The Chinese government has temporarily blocked four news apps from being downloaded from Android app stores, ZDNet reports. The apps, with a combined user base of more than 400 million, have been suspended for up to three weeks in an apparent government media crackdown. Meanwhile, Chinese regulators have permanently banned a joke app for supposed vulgar content.

Mr. Zuckerberg goes to Washington: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress last week after recent reports of data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica taking personal data from the social media giant to profile potential voters for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Zuckerberg apologized and promised to abide by strict European data standards worldwide, while some lawmakers called for new U.S. privacy regulations. Here’s a New York Times roundup of his appearance before Congress.

EU presses websites about fake news: One of the big criticisms of Facebook among lawmakers was the way it assisted the spread of so-called fake news during the 2016 presidential election. Meanwhile, the European Union is looking at ways to force tech giants to do more to stop the spread of fake news, according to Reuters. The EU plans to release a “Code of Practice” by July that would require online platforms and advertisers to take a number of steps to prevent fake news.

Encryption backdoor only for feds? U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, has proposed a government-only encryption backdoor, reports The Register. Like in the past, many encryption experts have questioned whether the U.S. government could keep that backdoor to itself.

Want to learn more about AI? Read the Internet Society’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning policy paper and explore how it might impact the Internet’s future.

Categories
Growing the Internet Technology

INET Kathmandu: Three Key Lessons from Nepal Earthquake

Last year a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck various parts of Nepal, leaving nearly 9,000 people dead and destroying over half a million homes. Relief and recovery efforts in affected areas went on for several months, involving multiple agencies, and the re-building continues. In March, our INET Kathmandu conference brought together International agencies, local stakeholders involved in emergency planning, services and relief work discuss the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in disaster management and what lessons can we learn from Nepal. The conference was the first of such deliberations focusing on the use of the Internet and ICTs after the last year’s earthquake, and had very good response from both the local community and international organisations. 

Here are the three key lessons that we learnt from the discussions:

Power Supply

During the Nepal earthquake, the electricity network was damaged, leading to power outages that created further panic and insecurity among the people. With no power available to charge their mobile phones, people were not able to communicate inwards / outwards on their location, emergency needs and ascertain if their loved ones were fine. Solar panels and Generators did help but it took much time to transport and install them in affected communities. Keeping the fuel supply intact for generators was also an issue. Speakers concluded that power supply management, its distribution and availability needs to be kept on high priority for both Pre and Post Disaster Management Strategies.

Radio Stations

Radio station networks still play a vital role in providing information to communities affected by a disaster. In case of the Nepal earthquake, radio stations helped tremendously in broadcasting first-hand information. It should be noted that remote communities in developing countries still depend on information based on local languages(s). Community based radios in Nepal provided that critical link during early stages of the disaster. INET Kathmandu concluded that radio stations – and well-informed community radio in particular – can play a vital role during disaster response work and thus is important to ensure their operations are up and running. 

Role of Social Media

Statistics show clearly that people are already engaging in disaster relief management on social media, likewise government departments and agencies can use social media to directly inform people about natural hazards and disaster warning. Social media was widely used during the Nepal Earthquake not only by individuals, but also by organizations such as the Nepal Police and Nepalese National Emergency Operation Center. According to Nepal police official, there were more ‘person location finding’ requests received via social media than SMS. Social media also helped Nepal police to collate ‘what is needed where’ information from the ground and to mobilize collection and distribution of relief supplies like food, shelter etc. There were many incidents of immediate rescue of people stuck after the earthquake after such messages were sent to Nepal Police through social media channels. Experts at the conference suggested that Governments should now consider implementing their own social media strategy especially for disaster management operations.

It is not possible to stop natural disasters from taking place. What we can do is ensure that rescue and relief services are efficient and able to provide timely response – ICTs at all levels, are a significant tool in getting the right information to the right people at the right time to save lives and reduce losses.

Categories
Human Rights

AIS Dhaka reflects on responsible use of social media in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh government estimates that 80% of the total Internet population of Bangladesh use Facebook, and almost 60% are 13 to 22 years old. The Asia Internet Symposium Dhaka invited representatives from the government, businesses, civil society, academia and social media activists to deliberate on issues related to responsible use of social media in Bangladesh.

Abuse over social media is on the rise in Bangladesh. A  recent number of incidents show fake account holders trolling other Internet users, uploading objectionable pictures and videos, and even posting hate messages. The Bangladesh Computer Security Incident Response Team (BD-CSIRT) is said to have received around 2,000 such complaints over the last 18 months. The symposium arranged discussions to find answers on:

-       What should we be most concerned about when it comes to mistreatment of social media in Bangladesh?

-       Are we doing enough to emphasize to the younger generation that using social media comes with great responsibility?

-       How do we balance freedom of expression with spreading false information and abuse through social media channels?

-       How do we educate the end-user, and what are the useful approaches to doing this?

Event speakers stressed the need to educate end-users on healthier and more constructive use of social media. This will help to address the growing problem of fake Facebook IDs used to damage personal lives, the role of public institutions in introducing policies promoting the effective and responsible use of social media, and greater consciousness among bloggers on how their postings might affect their readers. Some participants also noted that social media tools are so pervasive today that many individuals don’t even think before publishing or posting, with others noting that the moral and ethical use of social media is a collective responsibility.

Categories
Deploy360 IPv6

Yea! LinkedIn Joins Facebook And Google In Permanently Enabling IPv6

We were delighted to read today that LinkedIn has now permanently enabled IPv6 for their website.  I proved it myself by visiting the LinkedIn site moments ago using a Google Chrome browser with the IPvFoo extension installed:

LinkedIn goes IPv6

As my colleague Phil Roberts writes on the Internet Technology Matters blog:

As they say, “The transition to IPv6 is invisible for our members.” So if you’re a member who has looked at your LinkedIn profile today, you did this over IPv6 and probably weren’t aware. I’m also encouraged that in their trial run before the full launch, they saw about 3% of their members using IPv6 to reach them.

Given that I have native IPv6 in my home office, presumably my connections to LinkedIn from my various devices will now start to all be over IPv6… which is excellent for the growth of the Internet!

Personally, given how much I do with social media, I’m pleased because this now means that with one exception the major social networks I use will all work over IPv6:

  • Facebook
  • Google … both for Google+ and for YouTube
  • LinkedIn

… which just leaves Twitter as the major social media laggard still stuck on legacy IPv4  (of the social networks I use).

When you consider that other major sites like Yahoo, Wikipedia, AOL, Netflix and thousands of other web sites are now available over IPv6, adding LinkedIn to those sites is a great addition.

Particularly when LinkedIn has a major focus right now of aiming to recruit people to publish content on their platform – this move means that all that new content will now be accessible to all the new networks that are coming online via IPv6.

Congratulations to Zaid Ali Kahn and the rest of the LinkedIn team that made this happen!  As he notes in his post:

Rolling out IPv6 at scale was not a trivial task. Our IPv6 task force has worked for a year to ensure today’s smooth addition of IPv6 connectivity. We did many code changes and a series of production tests along the way, including a recent 42-hour global test where we saw approximately 3 percent of members visiting LinkedIn services via IPv6. The IPv6 task force was a collective effort of many talented individuals across engineering and operational teams.

Congrats!  And we look forward to many other content providers and web sites joining the production version of the Internet running over IPv6!

If you want to get started with making the move to IPv6, please see our Start Here page to find resources most appropriate to your type of organization.   If you operate a web site like LinkedIn, you may find our “IPv6 for content providers” page the easiest place to start.  And please do let us know if you need more help!

Categories
IPv6

Yea! LinkedIn Joins Facebook And Google In Permanently Enabling IPv6

We were delighted to read today that LinkedIn has now permanently enabled IPv6 for their website.  I proved it myself by visiting the LinkedIn site moments ago using a Google Chrome browser with the IPvFoo extension installed:

LinkedIn goes IPv6

As my colleague Phil Roberts writes on the Internet Technology Matters blog:

As they say, “The transition to IPv6 is invisible for our members.” So if you’re a member who has looked at your LinkedIn profile today, you did this over IPv6 and probably weren’t aware. I’m also encouraged that in their trial run before the full launch, they saw about 3% of their members using IPv6 to reach them.

Given that I have native IPv6 in my home office, presumably my connections to LinkedIn from my various devices will now start to all be over IPv6… which is excellent for the growth of the Internet!

Personally, given how much I do with social media, I’m pleased because this now means that with one exception the major social networks I use will all work over IPv6:

  • Facebook
  • Google … both for Google+ and for YouTube
  • LinkedIn

… which just leaves Twitter as the major social media laggard still stuck on legacy IPv4  (of the social networks I use).

When you consider that other major sites like Yahoo, Wikipedia, AOL, Netflix and thousands of other web sites are now available over IPv6, adding LinkedIn to those sites is a great addition.

Particularly when LinkedIn has a major focus right now of aiming to recruit people to publish content on their platform – this move means that all that new content will now be accessible to all the new networks that are coming online via IPv6.

Congratulations to Zaid Ali Kahn and the rest of the LinkedIn team that made this happen!  As he notes in his post:

Rolling out IPv6 at scale was not a trivial task. Our IPv6 task force has worked for a year to ensure today’s smooth addition of IPv6 connectivity. We did many code changes and a series of production tests along the way, including a recent 42-hour global test where we saw approximately 3 percent of members visiting LinkedIn services via IPv6. The IPv6 task force was a collective effort of many talented individuals across engineering and operational teams.

Congrats!  And we look forward to many other content providers and web sites joining the production version of the Internet running over IPv6!

If you want to get started with making the move to IPv6, please see our Start Here page to find resources most appropriate to your type of organization.   If you operate a web site like LinkedIn, you may find our “IPv6 for content providers” page the easiest place to start.  And please do let us know if you need more help!