Friday, November 22, 2019

Cloudflare’s CEO has a plan to never censor hate speech again

Matthew Prince, cofounder and chief executive officer of CloudFlare.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images reader comments 40 Share this story Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince hated cutting off service to the infamous neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer in August. And he's determined not to do it again. "I'm almost a free-speech absolutist." Prince said at an event at the New America Foundation last Wednesday. But in a subsequent interview with Ars, Prince argued that in the case of the Daily Stormer, the company didn't have much choice. Cloudflare runs a popular content delivery network that specializes in protecting clients from distributed denial-of-service attacks. The Daily Stormer published a post mocking a woman who was killed during the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in August. That had made a lot of people angry at the Daily Stormer, attracting massive attacks on the site. The Stormer was a Cloudflare customer. Cloudflare had ample tec..

Bitcoin, a beginner’s guide

No, these aren't actually bitcoins.fdecomite reader comments 0 Share this story Bitcoin's price hit a new record this week, soaring above $11,000 on Wednesday morning. The price has been a roller coaster since then, with the price briefly dropping to $9,000 later on Wednesday before regaining much of its lost value in recent days. Further ReadingHow bitcoins became worth $10,000 The currency's astonishing gains—it was worth less than $1 in early 2011—has caused a lot of people to wonder if they should be paying attention to the technology. Coinbase, a popular service for trading dollars and bitcoins, now says it has more than 13 million users. While almost everyone has heard of Bitcoin at this point, many people are fuzzy on the details: what is a bitcoin, exactly? How do I buy some? What would I use it for? We're here to help. Read on for a beginner's guide to bitcoin. We'll explain what Bitcoin is, how it works, and what ordinary people should know abo..

DOJ: We want Martin Shkreli’s Enigma machine, Wu-Tang album, and $7.3...

Enlarge / Martin Shkreli outside federal court in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday, June 29, 2017. Getty | Bloomberg reader comments 37 Share this story Further ReadingMartin Shkreli is headed to jailLate Thursday, federal prosecutors submitted a formal notice that they plan to seek civil forfeiture of many of Martin Shkreli’s assets, including the rare Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, only one of which was ever produced. In a 10-page court filing, prosecutors told the judge in the case that they will also try to seize $5 million of his money, his share of Turing Pharmaceuticals, a Lil Wayne album, a Picasso painting, and an Enigma machine. In September 2017, Shkreli, who relishes the nickname "Pharma Bro," was ordered to jail after a federal judge in Brooklyn agreed with prosecutors’ assessments that his online antics justified his incarceration. He previously had been out on bail, awaiting sentencing following his August 2017 conviction on securities fraud charges. Fu..

AT&T says it never blocked apps, fails to mention how it...

Aurich Lawson reader comments 19 Share this story AT&T's push to end net neutrality rules continued yesterday in a blog post that says the company has never blocked third-party applications and that it won't do so even after the rules are gone. Just one problem: the blog post fails to mention that AT&T blocked Apple's FaceTime video chat application on iPhones in 2012 and 2013. Policy Director Matt Wood of advocacy group Free Press pointed out the omission in a tweet: I guess you can credit Bob Quinn & @ATTPublicPolicy for having the guts to lie so confidently. But when it says @freepress's 2010 #NetNeutrality predictions about mobile blocking were wrong, AT&T conveniently omits blocking FaceTime on cellular in 2012. — (((Matt Wood))) (@mattfwood) December 1, 2017 In AT&T's new blog post, Senior Executive VP Bob Quinn refers back to a prediction Free Press made in 2010 when the first version of the Federal Communications Commission&#..

Net neutrality activists just took over Reddit with protest posts

Enlarge / Reddit's home page around 1pm Eastern time on Friday. reader comments 40 Share this story If you visit the home page today expecting to see the usual mix of news stories and entertaining cat memes, you're likely to see something very different: a wall of posts naming and shaming members of Congress—mostly Republicans—who have taken money from the telecommunications industry. "This is my Senator, Ron Johnson," reads the headline for the top post when we checked on Friday afternoon. "He sold me, my fellow Wisconsinites, and this nation, to the telecom lobby for the price of $123,652." Posts further down shame John McCain (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Todd Young (R-IN), and other members of Congress using virtually identical language. It's a clever campaign because most people will assume these senators "sold me out" by voting against network neutrality. But Congress hasn't voted on net neutrality recently. Rather, the targets of the pr..

Comcast to customers: Just trust us about changed net neutrality pledges

Comcast reader comments 28 Share this story Comcast is defending its changed net neutrality pledges in the face of criticism from Internet users. The deletion of a net neutrality promise immediately after the Federal Communications Commission started repealing its net neutrality rules is just a "language" change, the company says. Comcast is telling customers that it still has no plans to institute paid prioritization—while avoiding a promise that it won't do so in the future. We wrote a story Monday about recent changes to Comcast's net neutrality promises and followed up on Wednesday with further details. Further ReadingComcast deleted net neutrality pledge the same day FCC announced repealUp until April 26 of this year, Comcast's net neutrality webpage said that "Comcast doesn't prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes." April 26 is when Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the first version of his plan to eliminate net n..

North Korea can hit all of US with its new ICBM....

Enlarge / Deal with it.Korean Central News Service / Sean Gallagher reader comments 57 Share this story North Korea's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test demonstrates a number of things that are not good news for anyone hoping to prevent the country from becoming a global nuclear power. The missile, called the Hwasong-15, flew high enough (more than 4,400 kilometers, or 2,700 miles—more than 10 times the altitude of the International Space Station) and long enough (54 minutes) to demonstrate that it was capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to anywhere in the United States. The Hwasong-15 is essentially equivalent to the US' Titan II. It is an immense, liquid-fueled missile, much larger than North Korea's Hwasong-14 ICBM. The 15 appears to use two engines on its first stage as well as an enlarged second stage, according to Kim Dong-yub, an analyst at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul. While it only flew about 960 kilometers (600 miles) over the..

Get ready for a wave of Bitcoin forks

EnlargeAurich Lawson reader comments 5 Share this story On August 1, a dissident faction of the Bitcoin community created a new payment network called Bitcoin Cash. There are lots of Bitcoin-derived spinoff currencies, of course, but this was unusual because it branched off from the existing Bitcoin blockchain. The result was the cryptocurrency equivalent of a stock split: everyone who owned one bitcoin before the split suddenly owned a "cash" bitcoin after the split. Today, the value of Bitcoin Cash in circulation is about $20 billion. That makes it the third most valuable currency, after only the original Bitcoin and Ethereum. And this appears to be newly created wealth. The value of vanilla bitcoins didn't fall significantly on the day of the split, and it has since zoomed upwards so that the value of all conventional bitcoins is now around $150 billion. With that kind of money on the table, it was inevitable that others would try the same trick. In early November, another gr..

Justices hear case that could reshape location privacy in the cellular...

Enlarge / A man walks up the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC.Mark Wilson/Getty Images reader comments 17 Share this story Supreme Court justices on Wednesday wrestled with how to apply Fourth Amendment privacy protections to cell phone location records. Cell phones produce a "minute-by-minute account of a person's locations and movements and associations over a long period regardless of what the person is doing at any given moment," the ACLU's Nathan Freed Wessler pointed out in an argument before the Supreme Court. The ACLU is urging the Supreme Court to rule that the government can't access these records without a warrant. But the government pointed to a 1979 Supreme Court ruling called Smith v. Maryland. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that the government doesn't need to get a warrant to obtain a customer's dialing history because they are merely the business records of the phone company. The government argues th..

Comcast deleted net neutrality pledge the same day FCC announced repeal

EnlargeMike Mozart reader comments 26 Share this story We wrote earlier this week about how Comcast has changed its promises to uphold net neutrality by pulling back from previous statements that it won't charge websites or other online applications for fast lanes. Comcast spokesperson Sena Fitzmaurice has been claiming that we got the story wrong. But a further examination of how Comcast's net neutrality promises have changed over time reveals another interesting tidbit—Comcast deleted a "no paid prioritization" pledge from its net neutrality webpage on the very same day that the Federal Communications Commission announced its initial plan to repeal net neutrality rules. Starting in 2014, the webpage,, contained this statement: "Comcast doesn't prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes."Further ReadingComcast hints at plan for paid fast lanes after net neutrality repeal That statement remained on the ..

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