Feb. 10: US digital border, Cyber @ Trump, trolls

Wanna come in? Give us your data

Companies have long offered travel rules for sensitive data employees took while crossing borders – offering burner phones and computers to staff when they traveled abroad. In a move that sparked uproar, “DHS is considering requiring refugees and visa applicants from seven Muslim-majority nations to hand over their social media credentials from Facebook and other sites as part of a security check” (Ars Technica). It had already started asking people applying for an ESTA (online visa) their social media handles, but that was merely optional: what’s new here is that people might get rejected if they don’t comply. Here’s a cybersecurity best practices guide to travelling with data by @thegrugq. One obvious limit of this is that identity online is more fluid than identity offline. You can make sure I’m the one and only Hugo Zylberberg crossing the border, but how can you make sure that this is my only Twitter account?

Cyber Executive Order and cyber under Trump

Lawfare has published a new draft of the one-week-old-coming-soon cyber Executive Order that the White House is preparing. Who knows when it will come out? In the meantime, you can read Lawfare‘s analysis on the first draft: “while the intent of the executive order represents a reasonable start to getting a handle on the cybersecurity challenges that await this administration, this appears to be another case where an executive order has not been coordinated with federal departments and agencies.” The question many are asking is: who’s in charge of cyber under Trump? After Trump’s meeting last month with cyber experts including Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert and former NSA Director Keith Alexander, WIRED has a story on how Bossert could be one of the cyber figures in Trump’s administration – together with National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Taking on trolls

Tech companies might be starting to understand that “they can’t really stay neutral when it comes to harmful content on their platforms” and especially when it comes to abuse and trolls (WIRED). It took many high-profile scandals around trolling (and reporting on #GamerGate and the alt-right, such as The Guardian or HuffPost) as well as more publicity for the long-time abuses experienced by women online (Pacific Standard) but users are increasingly convinced that platforms have a duty to police their own platforms instead of claiming they want to remain neutral – which they never were in the first place. We discussed CrossCheck, Facebook’s, Google’s and the French media’s effort to fight fake news in advance of the French election (TechCrunch). But the big problem for efforts against trolling might be fighting against bots developed specifically for spamming and trolling (Mic). How can we automate our defenses against trolls?

Have a blame-it-on-UberFriday!



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