8th June 2019

Blacklisted Huawei Loses Facebook, Instagram And WhatsApp Preinstalled Apps

Zak Doffman Contributor CybersecurityI write about security and surveillance. The impact of the U.S. blacklisting on Huawei’s smartphone business continues to increase. Facebook is the latest major U.S. technology player to withdraw support for Huawei smartphones. Reuters was the first to report on June 7 that “Facebook is no longer allowing preinstallation of its apps on Huawei phones… Customers who already have Huawei phones will still be able to use its apps and receive updates, Facebook told Reuters. But new Huawei phones will no longer be able to have Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram apps preinstalled.” A week ago, there were reports that Huawei […]
8th June 2019

China social media: WeChat and the Surveillance State

By Stephen McDonellBBC News, Beijing China’s WeChat is a site for social interaction, a form of currency, a dating app, a tool for sporting teams and deliverer of news: Twitter, Facebook, Googlemaps, Tinder and Apple Pay all rolled into one. But it is also an ever more powerful weapon of social control for the Chinese government. I’ve just been locked out of WeChat (or Weixin 微信 as it is known in Chinese) and, to get back on, have had to pass through some pretty Orwellian steps – steps which have led others to question why I went along with it. […]
29th May 2019

End of WhatsApp? Users threaten to quit over Zuckerberg’s latest money-making ad plan

Mark Zuckerberg talks a big game when it comes to giving users what they want and serving the ‘community’ — but when push comes to shove, the Facebook CEO always follows the dollar signs in his eyes over user satisfaction. When Facebook bought WhatsApp for a cool $19 billion in 2014, Zuckerberg was acquiring a company that had famously promised never to introduce advertising or gather massive amounts of data from its users. “Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product,”the company wrote in a blog post, declaring that it didn’t want WhatsApp to become “just another […]
27th May 2019

“Either You F–k Me, or I’ll F–k You”: How Zuckerberg’s Billionaires Club Can Atone for Facebook

The Facebook co-founder has made enemies—very rich enemies—of many of his former partners, who are now speaking out. Chris Hughes and the others should put their money where their mouth is. By Nick Bilton May 27, 2019 Over the past several years, Facebook has created a new species of technology skeptic with two common traits. Brian Acton, Sean Parker, Chamath Palihapitiya, Chris Hughes, Alex Stamos, Roger McNamee, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger: all are worth millions, and, in some cases, billions of dollars, thanks to Facebook and its cybernetic C.E.O., Mark Zuckerberg. And yet, publicly and privately, all have expressed concern […]
26th May 2019

WhatsApp hack: are our messages ever truly private?

You’ll probably be aware that last week, WhatsApp was at the center of a storm of controversy following the exposure of a major vulnerability in the messaging app. The security flaw in question leverages what’s known as a ‘buffer overflow’ to give an attacker the ability to install spyware on the target device, and subsequently gain access to a vast swathe of personal data; calls, texts, photos, location and other data on the handset, along with the possibility of activating the phone’s camera and microphone for real-time surveillance activities. This attack reportedly utilizes spyware known as Pegasus – more on […]
25th May 2019

CrossFit quits Facebook, Instagram, accuses social media giant of censorship, being ‘utopian socialists’

The company provided eight “publicly sourced complaints” as the reasons for quitting. “Facebook collects and aggregates user information and shares it with state and federal authorities, as well as security organizations from other countries,” the first reason read. “Facebook collaborates with government security agencies on massive citizen surveillance programs such as PRISM,” CrossFit said in the second reason. “Facebook censors and removes user accounts based on unknown criteria and at the request of third parties including government and foreign government agencies,” it continued. “Facebook collects, aggregates, and sells user information as a matter of business. Its business model allows governments […]
23rd May 2019

Whatsapp Is Introducing Ads, Removing End-to-End Encryption

By Jeff Yeung Whatsapp co-founder Brian Acton recently revealed during an interview that Jan Koum — the other co-founder of the instant messenger — and he both left Facebook due to differences in opinion on how to monetize the service. Mark Zuckerberg, who acquired Whatsapp in 2014, has been working on its monetization strategy ever since the app belonged to Facebook, but his plans were never made concrete due to the initial agreement with Acton and Koum, which promised that Zuckerberg would not monetize the app for at least five years. That is all coming to an end as the […]
22nd May 2019

Indonesia restricts WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram usage

Indonesia is the latest nation to hit the hammer on social media after the government restricted the use of WhatsApp and Instagram following deadly riots yesterday. Numerous Indonesia-based users are today reporting difficulties sending multimedia messages via WhatsApp, which is one of the country’s most popular chat apps, and posting content to Facebook, while the hashtag #instagramdown is trending among the country’s Twitter users due to problems accessing the Facebook-owned photo app. Wiranto, a coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, confirmed in a press conference that the government is limiting access to social media and “deactivating certain features” […]
18th May 2019

EU fines Facebook $122mn over ‘misleading’ WhatsApp takeover information

Facebook has been fined $122 million by an EU commission for providing “misleading” information to Brussels about its takeover of WhatsApp, once again rousing debate about the social media giant’s ongoing data privacy issues. Facebook was found to have knowingly disclosed false information about the possibility of merging Facebook and WhatsApp user identities, during the merger process of the two social platforms in 2014 at a cost $19 billion. “Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of EU merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge […]
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