Articles and Columns for December 2022
- Inventing the Dark Web – This paper by Thais Sardá, Simone Natale, and John Downey examines how the deep Web, i.e., Web sites that are not indexed and thus are not accessible through Web search engines, was described and represented in British newspapers. Through an extensive content analysis conducted on 833 articles about the deep Web published between 2001 and 2017 by six British newspapers, the authors demonstrate that these technologies were predominantly associated with crime, crypto markets and immoral content, while positive uses of this technology, such as protecting privacy and freedom of speech, were largely disregarded. The consistent association by the British press between the deep Web and criminal and antisocial behaviors is exemplary of a recent “apocalyptic turn” in the imaginary of the Web, whereby Web-related technologies are perceived and portrayed in more negative ways within the public sphere. The authors argue that the use of such negative concepts, definitions and associations engender distrust about uses of the deep Web, propagating user stereotypes that reflect what the authors argue to be an overall criminalization of privacy.
- Going Grey and Facing Age Discrimination: Moving Towards an International Treaty on the Rights of Older Persons – For more than two decades attorney Catherine Morris has conducted research, education, and advocacy in the field of international human rights. Her article illuminates an issue that impacts vast numbers of people regardless of nationality. Concerns for the well being of older persons are rarely framed as human rights issues entrenched in age discrimination. This may now be changing after the shocking revelations of maltreatment and excess deaths of older persons in Canadian care homes in 2020. In the United States, the CDC continues to report that 90% percentage of COVID-19 deaths compromise those 65 and older. In both Canada and the U.S. the epicenter of the mortality burden of Covid is among those referred to as “elderly.” Morris states the abuses exposed in 2020 were predictable consequences of Canada’s longstanding neglect of older persons’ fundamental rights. Decades of efforts by Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) along with international CSOs, and UN human rights bodies may now be gaining traction in a drive for a United Nations (UN) treaty to spell out and guarantee the fundamental human rights of older persons around the world. But efforts may continue to stall until leaders in Canada and other countries come to grips with the root cause of the abuses – endemic ageism.
- What social media regulation could look like: Think of pipelines, not utilities – Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, and his controversial statements and decisions as its owner, have fueled a new wave of calls for regulating social media companies. Elected officials and policy scholars have argued for years that companies like Twitter and Facebook – now Meta – have immense power over public discussions and can use that power to elevate some views and suppress others. Critics also accuse the companies of failing to protect users’ personal data and downplaying harmful impacts of using social media. As an economist who studies the regulation of utilities such as electricity, gas and water, Theodore Kury, Director of Energy Studies at the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, wonders what that regulation would look like. There are many regulatory models in use around the world, but few seem to fit the realities of social media. However, observing how these models work can provide valuable insights.
- Should Firm Leaders Take the Lead on Their Own Performance Review? – Patrick J. McKenna, an internationally recognized author, lecturer, strategist and seasoned advisor to the leaders of premier law firms discusses why and how strong leaders should voluntarily initiate their own performance feedback. McKenna’s detailed and actionable guide identifies the enormous benefits of doing so.
- As viral infections skyrocket, masks are still a tried-and-true way to help keep yourself and others safe – The cold and flu season of 2022 has begun with a vengeance. Viruses that have been unusually scarce over the past three years are reappearing at remarkably high levels, sparking a “tripledemic” of COVID-19, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. This November’s national hospitalization levels for influenza were the highest in 10 years. Emily Toth Martin and Marisa Eisenberg are infectious disease epidemiologists and researchers, and have spent our careers focused on understanding how viruses spread and how best to stop them. To respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health colleagues have had to quickly revive and apply decades of evidence on respiratory virus transmission to chart a path forward. Over the course of the pandemic, epidemiologists have established with new certainty the fact that one of our oldest methods for controlling respiratory viruses, the face mask, remains one of the most effective tools in a pandemic.
- Jan. 6 committee tackled unprecedented attack with time-tested inquiry – Claire Leavitt, Assistant Professor of Government, Smith College, presents an overview of the broad investigative powers of the Congress from the 1920s to the present. The latest investigation may be its most consequential to date. After 18 months, more than 1,200 interviews and 10 public hearings that presented 70 witnesses’ testimony, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack released its 845-page final report late on Dec. 22, 2022. The report recommended that the Department of Justice prosecute former President Donald Trump on four criminal charges, including conspiracy and incitement of insurrection. The committee’s recommendation to prosecute a former president was unprecedented. But its investigation of the events of Jan. 6, 2021 fell squarely within Congress’ power, and added a new chapter to a centuries-long history of congressional investigations into government scandals and failures.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, December 31, 2022 – Four highlights from this week: How to Wipe a Computer Clean of Personal Data; AI paper mills and image generation require a coordinated response from academic publishers; US House boots TikTok from government phones; and How to Use ChatGPT and Still Be a Good Person.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, December 24, 2022 – Four highlights from this week: The Trojan House Source: The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project; Google Takes Gmail Security to the Next Level with Client-Side Encryption; Hunting for Mastodon Servers; and ByteDance [aka TikTok] employees spied on U.S. journalists, audit finds.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, December 17, 2022 – Four highlights from this week: Tricking antivirus solutions into deleting the wrong files on Windows; DOJ Seizes Dozens of Websites as Part of Cyberattack-for-Hire; TikTok pushes harmful content promoting eating disorders and self-harm into young users’ feeds; and FCC May Mandate Security Updates for Phones.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, December 10, 2022 – Four highlights from this week: Apple Commits to Encrypting iCloud, Drops Phone-Scanning Plans; Darknet Markets Generate Millions in Revenue Selling Stolen Personal Data, Supply Chain Study Finds; Top EU court rules Google must delete inaccurate search results; and Who Is Collecting Data from Your Car?
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, December 3, 2022 – Four highlights from this week: 5 cybersecurity predictions for 2023; Cops Can Extract Data From 10,000 Different Car Models’ Infotainment Systems; A Peek Inside the FBI’s Unprecedented January 6 Geofence Dragnet; and Thinking about taking your computer to the repair shop? Be very afraid.
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