News

France’s Le Maire Urges Germany to Support EU Internet Tax

France’s Le Maire Urges Germany to Support EU Internet Tax

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire recently commented that the trust between France and Germany will be strained if Germany fails to back the proposed EU tax on tech giants. Le Maire added that he cannot imagine that Germany will not stick to its commitments and not adopt the directive at the meeting of EU finance ministers this December. Le Maire has long backed the plan to tax tech companies such as Google and wants to put the rate at 3 percent of the total digital revenue. Source: Reuters

Germany Must Close Digital Tech Gap Between, Merkel Chief of Staff Says

Germany Must Close Digital Tech Gap Between, Merkel Chief of Staff Says

Chancellery chief Helge Braun said this week that Germany has to bridge the digital technology gap between it and leading economies. Merkel’s chief of staff also said that Germany has to promote and not impede the use of artificial intelligence. The Chancellor’s cabinet will reportedly be presenting an AI strategy sometime next week that will help Europe’s biggest economy to adjust to the internet era. Braun revealed that the government would focus on improved data gathering, AI research, retain skilled workers, encourage startups, and how to position digital regulation that does not impede technology. Source: Reuters

Vietnam Moves to Get Social Media Users on Domestic Platforms

Vietnam Moves to Get Social Media Users on Domestic Platforms

Vietnam’s information ministry said this week that it wants to get at least 50 percent of the country’s social media users on domestic platforms by 2020. The ministry has reportedly been drafting a internet code of conduct for to “build a healthy and safe network environment”. The ministry is also conducting research into measures which would prevent the spread of “negative and toxic information” on Facebook and Google. The government also released last week a draft decree on guidelines to implement a cybersecurity law that tech companies and right group fear could undermine development and stifle innovation. Source: Reuters

Cambodian Providers Hit by Massive DDoS Attacks

Cambodian Providers Hit by Massive DDoS Attacks

Cambodian telecoms EZECOM, SINET, Telcotech, and Digi were reportedly hit by large-scale DDoS attacks last week. The DDoS attacks, which totalled nearly 150Gbps, caused a downtime that lasted for around half a day. A number of smaller attacks persisted throughout the week, significantly slowing down internet speeds. The reasons behind the attacks were unclear as there were no political or civil unrest in the country and the affected ISPs have not reported ransom demands. There were also no chatter on social media about any hacktivist campaigns, but it is being suspected that inter-ISP sabotage may be the reason based on […]

Apps to Force Updates on Android Users

Apps to Force Updates on Android Users

Google has reportedly given app developers a new API that will allow them to force users to install updates. The new In-app Updates API, which was unveiled at Google’s Android Dev Summit, will give developers the choice to suggest or force users to install updates to their app.   Google says that the API should help developers if they ever they roll out an app with a critical bug. The search giant also announced that it has provided some updates to Kotlin, considered to be one of the fastest-growing language in terms of contributors. Source: ZDNet

Narita Airport to Trial Facial Recognition Tech to Clear Customs

Narita Airport to Trial Facial Recognition Tech to Clear Customs

NEC senior vice president Ryouji Hayashi recently revealed that his company will be providing Japan’s Narita International Airport with facial recognition technology which will be used to confirm the identity of passengers in lieu of physical identification documents. NEC says that an “electronic procedure gate” will be used to move passengers as the customs inspection area. Travelers can confirm their identity at a kiosk terminal while a smartphone app will also be made available to help passengers register baggage contents and passport information. The Japanese tech company added that they have already provided biometric identification systems to around 50 airports […]

Singapore Uses Blockchain for Renewable Energy Trading

Singapore Uses Blockchain for Renewable Energy Trading

Utilities provider SP Group recently revealed that Singaporean companies can now buy and sell renewable energy certificates (RECs) using a blockchain-powered system. SP Group says that similar to carbon trading, the new platform allows for better transparency and lower cost since it reduces the need for a centralized entity to verify transactions, and can eventually be used for cross-border energy credit trading. Lars Kvale of APX, a global issuer of RECs, says that blockchain and DLT in the context of environmental commodity platforms can be used to establish trust relationships with upstream information sources without having to revalidate it.     […]

UK Data Watchdog Asks EU Regulator to Probe Facebook

UK Data Watchdog Asks EU Regulator to Probe Facebook

UK’s Information Commissioner has reportedly asked Ireland’s Data Protection Commission to investigate how Facebook targets, shows, and monitors the ads it serves to users, saying that there were fake political ads being shown on the platform. The lead supervisor for Facebook in Europe said that it would assess the information and decide what actions should be taken. Meanwhile, Facebook said that it regularly engages with regulators on its advertising tools which it says are compliant with EU’s GDPR. Source: Reuters

China’s Xi Urges Global Cooperation for “Fair and Equitable” Internet

China’s Xi Urges Global Cooperation for “Fair and Equitable” Internet

In his speech this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that greater global cooperation is needed in developing a fairer and more equitable internet. The message, which was read at an internet conference in the northern city of Wuzhen, follows the recent troubles of Chinese tech firms brought by trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. However, Xi had been pushing for a bigger role in global internet governance and is calling on nations to recognize Beijing’s “cyber sovereignty” and let countries control and censor their internet as they see fit. Source: Reuters

Facebook, Google Unveil Public Database on Political Online Ads

Facebook, Google Unveil Public Database on Political Online Ads

It was reported that the public databases of online political ads that Facebook and Google unveiled this year were able to provide the public, as well as campaigns, a broad view of how companies conduct their online political marketing. The data was able to show how quickly ad buyers remove ads that break platform rules. According to Reuters, of the 258 removed ads with start and end dates, ads remained an average of eight days on Google and 15 days on Facebook.      It was also revealed that in some cases, banned material such as hateful speech or images of […]