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Technology 9 August 2021

The Week in Internet News: Apple Plans to Scan U.S. iPhone Photos

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Concerns over scanning iPhone photos: Apple has announced that it plans to scan iPhones in the U.S. for nude photos, in the name of combating child pornography, The Associated Press reports via NPR. The photos will be scanned by an automated tool called neuralMatch before they’re uploaded to iCloud, but if a match to known child pornography is found, a human will also review the photo in question. The announcement has prompted objections from both privacy advocates and security experts, who say the system could be tricked in several ways.

No more Zoombombing: Zoom has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a privacy lawsuit. The video conferencing was accused of sharing users’ personal data with companies like Facebook and Google and of having lax security practices that allowed uninvited users to crash others’ video meetings, a practice called “Zoombombing.” Most Zoom subscribers will receive a small refund of $25 or less, CNBC reports.

Banning Chinese hardware: A bill in the U.S. Senate to restrict the sale of telecom equipment made by Chinese companies has passed a Senate committee and is headed to the full chamber for a vote, the South China Morning Post notes. The bill would extend the current ban on Chinese telecom equipment used by U.S. government agencies to the wider U.S. market.

Breaking the language barrier: An Olympic sprinter from Belarus used Google translate to talk to Japanese police as Belarusian authorities were trying to force her onto a plane to return to her home country, The Associated Press on Euronews says. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya had been critical of Belarus authorities and asked to be sent to Poland instead.

More U.S. broadband funding: The U.S. Congress is debating a huge infrastructure funding bill that includes $65 billion for rural broadband, Consumer Reports says. The bill would give large grants to pay for Internet improvements, and it would extend a federal discount on Internet service for low-income families. It also requires clear and uniform labeling of Internet pricing.

In the past few months, trillions of dollars have been proposed by the House, Senate, and White House to expand access to broadband in the U.S. Let’s work together to get it right.
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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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