Sunday, March 18, 2018

I wonder. Is this “Oh look, we’re victims too!” or is this a few countries letting Russia know they could tamper with their elections, if Russia actually had elections?
Russia claims foreign hackers are trying to interfere with its election
Russia, a country which has been accused numerous times of attempting to interfere with elections overseas, has claimed that its own presidential contest is under attack from foreign hackers.
Officials in Moscow said that the Russian Central Election Commission's website was hit by a coordinated attack by IP addresses from 15 different countries on election day.
It said that a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which bombards a website with data requests in an attempt to overwhelm it, hit between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. on polling day.

Maybe all that ‘fake news’ didn’t come from Russia…
Facebook and its executives are getting destroyed after botching the handling of a massive data 'breach'
Facebook and its executives faced a torrent of backlash on Saturday following news reports that the data firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on the Trump campaign in 2016, improperly harvested private information from 50 million Facebook users.
The company quickly faced calls for increased regulation and oversight, and Massachusetts' Attorney General, Maura Healey, even announced an investigation.
… Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also excoriated the company, demanding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg face the Senate Judiciary Committee for questioning.
… But much of the online outrage came after multiple Facebook executives took to Twitter to respond to the news reports, insisting the incident was not a "data breach."
… In a series of tweets that have since been deleted, Facebook's chief security officer, Alex Stamos, insisted that although user's personal information may have been misused, it wasn't retroactively a "breach."

Cambridge Analytica and Facebook accused of misleading MPs over data breach
The head of the parliamentary committee investigating fake news has accused Cambridge Analytica and Facebook of misleading MPs in testimony, after the Observer revealed details of a vast data breach affecting tens of millions of people.
After a whistleblower detailed the harvesting of more than 50 million Facebook profiles for Cambridge Analytica, Damian Collins, the chair of the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee, said he would be calling on the Facebook boss, Mark Zuckerberg, to testify before the committee.
He said the company appeared to have previously sent executives able to avoid difficult questions who had “claimed not to know the answers”.
Collins also said he would be recalling the Cambridge Analytica CEO, Alexander Nix, to give further testimony.

Here’s how Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to get data for 50 million users
Facebook says it isn’t at fault.

I’ll skip the long list. I’m sure they each feel justified, if not just.
Compiled by the Daily Record, where you can read more, the following is what they report as the full list of organizations and agencies that can ask ISPs for any UK citizens browsing history for the prior 12 months:

More fuel for the ongoing AI debate my students are having.
When an AI finally kills someone, who will be responsible?
Here’s a curious question: Imagine it is the year 2023 and self-driving cars are finally navigating our city streets. For the first time one of them has hit and killed a pedestrian, with huge media coverage. A high-profile lawsuit is likely, but what laws should apply?
… At the heart of this debate is whether an AI system could be held criminally liable for its actions. Kingston says that Gabriel Hallevy at Ono Academic College in Israel has explored this issue in detail.
Criminal liability usually requires an action and a mental intent (in legalese an actus rea and mens rea). Kingston says Hallevy explores three scenarios that could apply to AI systems.
The first, known as perpetrator via another, applies when an offense has been committed by a mentally deficient person or animal, who is therefore deemed to be innocent. But anybody who has instructed the mentally deficient person or animal can be held criminally liable. For example, a dog owner who instructed the animal to attack another individual.
… The second scenario, known as natural probable consequence, occurs when the ordinary actions of an AI system might be used inappropriately to perform a criminal act. Kingston gives the example of an artificially intelligent robot in a Japanese motorcycle factory that killed a human worker. “The robot erroneously identified the employee as a threat to its mission, and calculated that the most efficient way to eliminate this threat was by pushing him into an adjacent operating machine,” says Kingston. “Using its very powerful hydraulic arm, the robot smashed the surprised worker into the machine, killing him instantly, and then resumed its duties.”
The key question here is whether the programmer of the machine knew that this outcome was a probable consequence of its use.
The third scenario is direct liability, and this requires both an action and an intent. An action is straightforward to prove if the AI system takes an action that results in a criminal act or fails to take an action when there is a duty to act.
The intent is much harder to determine but is still relevant, says Kingston. “Speeding is a strict liability offense,” he says. “So according to Hallevy, if a self-driving car was found to be breaking the speed limit for the road it is on, the law may well assign criminal liability to the AI program that was driving the car at that time.”

Who said the our legal system always makes sense?
A $1.6 billion Spotify lawsuit is based on a law made for player pianos
Spotify is finally gearing up to go public, and the company’s February 28th filing with the SEC offers a detailed look at its finances. More than a decade after Spotify’s launch in 2006, the world’s leading music streaming service is still struggling to turn a profit, reporting a net loss of nearly $1.5 billion last year. Meanwhile, the company has some weird lawsuits hanging over its head, the most eye-popping being the $1.6 billion lawsuit filed by Wixen Publishing, a music publishing company that includes the likes of Tom Petty, The Doors, and Rage Against the Machine.
… Spotify is being sued by Wixen because of mechanical licenses — a legal regime that was created in reaction to the dire threat to the music industry posed by player pianos. Yes, the automated pianos with the rolls of paper with punch holes in them.
But that’s not actually the weird part. The weird part is that Spotify is fundamentally being sued for literal paperwork: Wixen says Spotify is legally required to notify songwriters in writing that they’re in the Spotify catalog — a fact that escapes probably zero songwriters today. A paper notice requirement made sense in the age of player pianos when songwriters could hardly be expected to keep track of every player piano roll in the country. It makes no sense in the age of Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music.

Dilbert again is not talking about the White House. Honest!

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