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A new survey of internet users suggests that people who use the internet excessively may have more mental health problems. Using two scales to evaluate internet use, researchers have found high rates of problematic internet use in a group of primarily college-aged students.  The researchers evaluated internet addiction using the Internet Addiction Test, as well as newer scale of their own design, based on updated addiction criteria. This work may have implications for how psychiatrists approach excessive internet use.

A new survey of internet users suggests that people who use the internet excessively may have more mental health problems. Using two scales to evaluate internet use, researchers have found high rates of problematic internet use in a group of primarily college-aged students. The researchers evaluated internet addiction using the Internet Addiction Test, as well as newer scale of their own design, based on updated addiction criteria. This work, which is presented at the ECNP conference in Vienna, may have implications for how psychiatrists approach excessive internet use.

 

The unstoppable rise of the internet has given rise to fears that increasing numbers people are becoming unable to cope without regularly going online. The Internet Addiction Test (IAT) is the standard test used to measure excessive reliance on the internet, but as Chief Researcher Michael Van Ameringen pointed out: "The IAT was developed in 1998, prior to the widespread use of smartphone technology. In addition, internet use has changed radically over the last 18 years, through more people working online, media streaming, social media, etc. We were concerned that the IAT questionnaire may not have been picking up on problematic modern internet use, or showing up false positives for people who were simply using the internet rather than being over-reliant on it."

Professor Van Ameringen's group, from McMaster University in Canada, surveyed 254 students and correlated internet use with general mental health and wellbeing. Thirty-three of the students met screening criteria for internet addition according to the Internet Addiction Test. However, 107 students met criteria for problematic internet use using Professor Van Ameringen and colleagues' new screening tool. The research team also administered a further series of self-reported tests to see how the internet addicts compared to the others in the survey on areas such as symptoms of depression and anxiety, impulsiveness, inattention and executive functioning, as well as tests for ADHD.

Professor Van Ameringen said: "We found that those screening positive on the IAT as well as on our scale, had significantly more trouble dealing with their day to day activities, including life at home, at work/school and in social settings. Individuals with internet addiction also had significantly higher amounts of depression and anxiety symptoms, problems with planning and time management, greater levels of attentional impulsivity as well as ADHD symptoms. This leads us to a couple of questions: firstly, are we grossly underestimating the prevalence of internet addiction and secondly are these other mental health issues a cause or consequence of this excessive reliance on the internet?

This may have practical medical implications. If you are trying to treat someone for an addiction when in fact they are anxious or depressed, then you may be going down the wrong route. We need to understand this more, so we need a bigger sample, drawn from a wider, more varied population."

Commenting Professor Jan Buitelaar (Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre) of the ECNP Child and adolescent disorders treatment Scientific Advisory Panel said: "Excessive use of the internet is an understudied phenomenon that may disguise mild or severe psychopathology; excessive use of the internet may be strongly linked to compulsive behaviour and addiction; as the authors say, further study is needed in larger populations."

Sourcehttps://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160918180002.htm

Categorized in Online Research

Those of you who frequent the darkweb should be familiar with VPN (Virtual Private Network) services and have done some research to find a trustworthy provider. For readers who are just starting to explore the darker catacombs of the Internet a VPN is a mandatory tool for online anonymity.

But not all VPN services are created equal.

>>>Click for DeepDotWeb’s Chart of Best VPN services<<<

For n00bs

A VPN provides a secure connection between your computer and the VPN servers. All communications between your computer and the VPN are encrypted and sent through a secure tunnel over the Internet, preventing outsiders from spying on your web activity. You can securely connect to a VPN service and surf the web from their servers, using their IP addresses.

There are lots of reasons to use a VPN service such as establishing a secure connection over an insecure network, accessing censored or region specific web content, or hiding p2p sharing activity that is often frowned upon in the US. But if you’ve made it to DDW you’re probably starting to understand that there are parts of the web where more nefarious things happen (which DDW acknowledges but does not condone) and anonymity is of the utmost importance.

The connection between your computer and the VPN is secure, but the connection between the VPN and the rest of the web isn’t. Your activity on the web can be monitored and traced back to the VPN IP addresses, but cannot be traced back to your own IP address. When you use a VPN no one can trace your web activity back to you (insert obligatory meme).

In theory.On the internet

For Everyone

A VPN service’s main selling points are security and privacy, but privacy is interpreted differently among VPN providers. Just ask former lulzsec member Cody Kretsinger (a.k.a. recursion), how private his VPN service was.

 

Kretsinger used a popular VPN called HideMyAss and engaged in activity that linked him, and his online persona “recursion,” to several high profile hacks, including unauthorized access to servers controlled by Sony Pictures. As it turns out HMA keeps logs of users’ IP addresses and logon/off times. A UK court order was issued to HMA to turn over the logs related to the offending account, which were then used to identify and arrest Kretsinger.

VPN providers can log web activity over their network, but it is more common to see VPN providers log users’ IP addresses, logon/off times and bandwidth usage. This logging activity allows providers to identify individuals abusing the service for fraud and spam, but in doing so they acquire information that can be used to identify individual users.

You can be absolutely sure if a VPN provider is pressured to cooperate with authorities and they have any information to identify you as the suspect you will be up shit creek and you will be there without a paddle. No one is going to go to jail for you.

This is why some VPN services go out of their way NOT to log any information that could possibly identify their customers. They cannot be forced to hand over incriminating information that they do not have.

The Devil is in the Details

It is mundane but it is so incredibly important when considering a VPN to read the company’s Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy, and these documents need to be in plain English not lawyer-eese. A VPN provider who legitimately cares about customers’ privacy will lay it out in black in white what information, if any, is recorded and for how long.

Good VPN providers state that they store “personal information” necessary to create an account and process a payment (for example: name, e-mail address, payment data, billing address), but state that they do NOT log users’ IP addresses, logon/off times, or bandwidth usage.

Great VPN providers go a step further to minimize the amount of “personal information” required by accepting bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, eliminating the requirement for billing information. This further insulates the user’s true identity by requiring an as little information as an e-mail address to create an account.

An honorable mention must go out to VPN provider MULLVAD who do not even require an email address. Visitors to the website click “create account” and they are given an account number without entering any information at all.

VPN Providers to Avoid

If you intend to use a VPN to hide your p2p activity on the web or go to the other side of the great virtual divide we recommend that you steer clear of these VPN providers. We want to be fair, VPNs who make this list are not “bad” VPN providers but they do participate in logging activities that put their users at risk. These VPNs do not provide true privacy on the web.

Bad vpn Providers

Privacy Focused VPN Providers

The following is a list of ten VPN providers who openly state that they do not log any information that may be used to identify anyone using their VPN service. To be considered as a privacy focused VPN provider the service must have the following qualifications:

  1. Does NOT log any information that could be used to identify the user.
  2. Requires minimal personal information to sign up.
  3. Accepts cryptocurrency.

 

You will note that there are VPN providers based in the USA on this list. It is a common misconception that US VPN services are legally required to log activity on their network. This simply isn’t true, but they are still required to cooperate with US law enforcement while other countries are not. Required cooperation is partly the reason they dutifully do not log activity on their networks. These companies cannot be held liable for withholding information they do not have. Choosing a VPN service, and which country it is based in, is up to you, but we do not want to discourage people from supporting small businesses in the US based on hearsay

Anyone concerned with their privacy for any reason should consider one of the following VPN services. As a DDW Disclaimer: You shouldn’t rely on a VPN provider to protect you from the authorities. It’s really best if the authorities don’t have a reason to be looking for you at all.

>>>Click for DeepDotWeb’s Chart of Best VPN services<<<

Best Vpn Providers

Author:  IBURNEZ

Source:  https://www.deepdotweb.com/2014/07/08/is-your-vpn-legit-or-shit

Categorized in Internet of Things

Every day, brand new online businesses start up, but many times they fail just as swiftly, leaving only a small percentage that succeed. How can you ensure that you are one of the select few that will see success? Follow these tips and watch your online business flourish.

1. Respond to Visitors Quickly and Engage with Them

Don’t let potential customers have the time to slip through your fingers through a lack of contact, get back to all inquiries as soon as possible. Even if you are away for an extended period of time, make sure that there is someone available to answer inquiries, even if it is just to say that a clearer response will be given soon.

Social media platforms are the best way to engage with customers. Not only can you quickly post any type of information, you can also comment back just as swiftly.

2. Outsourcing

Outsourcing some of your tasks allows for you to reach customers with compelling tactics and strategies more quickly and more effectively than your competitor can. When you spend less time on a multitude of small tasks to focus on the larger tasks, you will be able to spend your energy working on the things that will grow your business. Outsourcing for marketing will allow your brand to approach a problem with a fresh and new perspective, and will be able to go forward with an innovative campaign.

 

3. Maintain Your Mailing List

Take the leap and ask your visitors to sign up for your newsletter. Provide an incentive such as a free online course or e-book that is related to your brand. You will need to respect these individuals that sign up for the mailing list by sending out a newsletter consistently, but not too often. The newsletter should only contain quality content that is relevant to readers, while providing an easy way for them to opt out if they need to. Always include sales, specials, and discounts to those on your mailing list ‒ this will ensure that they feel like they should stay on the mailing list to receive the exclusive offers.

4. Try Not to Over Optimize Your Website

Search engine optimization is how a webmaster manipulates a website to rank better in search engines. Some websites go way too far with this and will end up banned from the search results. Over-optimization will make a brand less likable and harder to read. Aim to be straightforward and direct, without a lot of fluff. Potential customers can see right through that and it will even make your brand appear less trustworthy when you over-optimize.

5. Keep Your Website Simple and Organized

Often times, in an effort to make their website stand out, businesses will over-design it ‒ which is a huge mistake. Too many flashy elements or loud music will hurt a website’s traffic. The text should be easy to read, and the website as a whole should be easily navigated. The safest choice is dark text backed by a lighter color background.

 

6. Social Media Marketing

Marketing through social media has the ability to reduce a brand’s overall marketing cost, it will create a voice for the brand, allow for better customer service, and build trust between the customer and the brand. It is a lot easier for a customer to visualize a person behind a brand when they are being communicated to in a casual manner. This will humanize your online business and make it easier for visitors to connect with you, and then develop loyalty.

7. Discover Your Specialty

Find out what it is about your brand that sets you apart from other businesses that are similar. Is it the type of product that you offer, or the quality of service that you provide? Whatever it is, nurture it and let your customers know that you care about it just as much as they do.

Author:  Sasha Brown

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/423306/7-ways-to-successfully-run-a-business-off-the-internet

Categorized in Business Research

I wasn’t the only one to check my router on the morning of Friday, Oct. 21. The internet was down, and our digital infrastructure was reportedly under attack. To some, this meant the end; to others, it was just a morning without music in the background. But the outage felt strangely universal, affecting the most intimate parts of our lives—Spotify, Airbnb, Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, PayPal, Reddit, the New York Times, and Fox News were all affected. The internet, as parts of the US learned in a few short hours, is everywhere.

The hackers targeted the Domain Name System (DNS), which is essentially the internet’s phone book. While most people were compulsively refreshing their screens, I was imagining the chaos playing out in a sprawling glass structure in Playa Vista, California. This monolith not far from LAX belongs to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the proudly omnipresent organization that basically governs the internet’s framework. I didn’t know they existed until I interviewed for a job with them last fall.

Admittedly, my understanding of everything under the hood was slim when we first met. The position—a technical writer with marketing-communication chops—was unlike anything I’d come across in my ten years as a self-described copy mechanic. But I prepared by finding every answer to every question out there. What was this place? What did they do? What was I signing up for? I recognized the acronym from owning small domains over the years, but not much else. Despite a thorough search and plenty of public chatter, I was no closer to understanding: On one hand, the nonprofit sounded like a mysterious NGO; on the other, a sci-fi federation of planets.

 

So I dug a little deeper. By 1999 the web was exploding in scale and scope, and the US government needed someone to manage its unwieldy phonebook. The internet needed order, not to mention maintenance and a few basic rules. That’s where ICANN came in, and they paired up with the US government. The decision gave us search functionality as we know it in the form of a safe, stable system of IP addresses. Some praised the formation between a private company and political forces, while others argued the DNS switchboard should remain open and unregulated.

Fast-forward to last month, and ICANN’s contract with the US Department of Commerce finally expired. (But don’t worry, the internet is still running as usual—well, nearly.) It arguably wasn’t the best time to enter the private sector, what with cyber-warfare and accountability on the rise. But the internet remains free and open with a framework that is utterly unprecedented, US-government relationship or not.

My interview experience was pretty banal: a phone conversation to start, a few written items, and finally multiple Skype sessions with personalities in far away places. Prepare for lots of time zones, I was told. (The irony of working for the very technology responsible for flattening time and space wasn’t lost on me.) The discussions were serious and thoroughly welcoming, like a college admission interview. They also carried all the weight of a should you choose to acceptultimatum, driven home by the fact that ICANN meets annually in exotic locales, from Marrakech to Hyderabad.

All in all, I learned a lot about the US’s digital governing body—but I learned even more about what it takes for someone to work at the internet.

 

Work with devices—but don’t be one

Whether it’s a hot startup or a heritage brand, working in digital is basically part and parcel to any career path today. But think about the people, where and how you see yourself engaging. I now work in the tech industry—for one of the giants. Working at one of those pace-making companies is like being in a self-contained ecosystem in many ways, and it’s a rite of passage to see your first engineer walk into a glass door while looking at their phone. But I was surprised to learn so many at ICANN came from traditional media, such as print and television. Very few of them were serial entrepreneurs, and very few were tech bros. These weren’t digital natives—they remember pre-internet times, and our conversations reflected that experience. So consider your coworkers and how you like to communicate: Are you pinging colleagues? Meeting for coffee? Sitting in silence? It sounds obvious, but choosing the types of people you want to work with can be woefully overlooked when you get caught up with the free almonds and beer.

The internet is made of people

And that’s a huge responsibility. This fact was stressed more than once: As much as our culture is created on and by this thing called the internet, it’s still ultimately a community. ICANN’s official language is English, but its bylaws state at least six translations be made at all times: Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, and Spanish, plus more online. If nothing else, this was a great reminder that people exist—both on and off the internet. From product development to press relations, the audience for anything in this nebulous landscape will always be a living, breathing community.

The internet never sleeps—and you probably won’t either

It might as well be a casino: no clocks, no time, no real place. Plenty of freelance professions are used to keeping strange hours for clients with timely needs, but for a copy guy, I wasn’t used to such extremes. I’ve since learned to adapt, and I’ve updated my CV to purposefully denote flexibility by including cities and time zones where you can find me. For example, I’m currently based in New York on Eastern Standard Time—that doesn’t mean I can’t take a call in Paris, but you know that it’s not ideal. Time doesn’t exist in certain industries anymore, so prepare to take that meeting when some of us are still sleeping.

Don’t sweat the tech

I was skeptical about handling the massive amounts of data and localization work at ICANN—I worried about it even more than the bureaucracy. But we all worry about learning new skills, whether it’s a content management system or, in my case, distilling copy about wonky scripts and root zones into clear nuggets of text. I consider myself a copy mechanic. Recruiters and HR types seem to like that phrase too—it suggests a willingness to embrace ambiguity and rise to the challenge with only your took kit in tow. Action begets action, and experience is no different.

In the end, the internet wasn’t for me. Or maybe I wasn’t for the internet.

For now, I’m back to managing copy and grabbing whatever interesting jobs it has to offer. But ask anyone in this line of work: Don’t dwell on the rejections. Keep sending those pitches, exploring those opportunities. (That is, until you wake up and can’t check your email one morning.)

Watching the news of internet outage unfold two weeks ago, I couldn’t help but think about ICANN and the people cranking the gears one more day. The nature of 9-to-5 work is changing, clearly: You might not hold the same hours as your colleagues, come with the same background, speak the lingo, or embrace your team’s Slack channel with the same gusto as that guy sending all those GIFs. But we should all remember: However this thing turns out, the internet is proving to be the one great equalizer, everywhere and everything at once.

Author:  Jason Orlovich

Source:  http://qz.com/827186/so-you-want-to-work-for-the-internet-what-i-learned-interviewing-with-the-gatekeepers-of-the-web/

Categorized in Social

Do you know: There is a vast section of the Internet which is hidden and not accessible through regular search engines and web browsers.

This part of the Internet is known as the Deep Web, and it is about 500 times the size of the Web that we know.

What is DEEP WEB?

Deep Web is referred to the data which are not indexed by any standard search engine such as Google or Yahoo.

The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find, such as user databases, registration-required web forums, webmail pages, and pages behind paywalls.

Then, there's the Dark Web or Dark Net – a specific part of that hidden Deep Web.
Deep Web and Dark Web are the intriguing topics for the Netizens all around. But when you hear the term 'Deep Web' or 'Dark Web,' you usually categorize them into one.
 
If yes, then you are wrong.
 

 

 

What is DARK WEB?

Dark Web is where you can operate without been tracked, maintaining total anonymity.
The Dark Web is much smaller than the Deep Web and is made up of all different kinds of websites that sell drugs, weapons and even hire assassins.

These are hidden networks avoiding their presence on the Surface Web, and its URLs are tailed up with .onion.

These [websitename].onion domains are not indexed by regular search engines, so you can only access Dark Web with special software -- called 'The Onion Browser,' referred to as TOR.

How to Install TOR on Android and iOS Devices

TOR is free, and anyone can download it.

Many of us heard about the Dark Web when the largest online underground marketplace Silk Road was taken down following an investigation by United States federal authorities.

But, what if, you can still be able to dig the Darknet contents with your regular browsers, without the need of TOR?

Here's How to Surf & Search the Deep Web without TOR

Solution: Deep Web Search Engines

Search engines like Google are incredibly powerful, but they can't crawl and index the vast amount of data that is not hyperlinked or accessed via public DNS services.

However, there are Deep Web Search Engines that crawl over the TOR network and bring the same result to your regular browser.

Some of such Dark Web Search Engines are:

Here are some Deep Web Search Engines:

These Deep Web search engines talks to the onion service via Tor and relays, resolve the .onion links and then deliver the final output to your regular browser on the ordinary World Wide Web.

However, there is one consequence of browsing Deep or Dark Web on a regular browser. Working this way will make these .onion search results visible to you, me, and also, for Google.

Moreover, tracker-less search engines are also popular in the TOR culture – like DisconnectDDGIXQuick– which ensures your privacy searches.

Importance of TOR

It is worth noting that mere access via TOR is not considered as an illegal practice but can arouse suspicion with the law.

TOR has long been used by Journalists, Researchers, or Thrill seekers in heavily censored countries in order to hide their web browsing habits and physical location, crawl the Deep Web and exchange information anonymously.

 

However, one of the main reasons behind the rise of TOR is NSA's Surveillance Programs.

After the Assange-Snowden revelations in the past years, public fears about their privacy getting compromised over the Internet.

The reliability of the Internet had been lost that demanded the Ciphers come into action to thwart the Federal Agency's efforts. So comes the need of TOR.

With the help of TOR, the web users could roam around the Internet beyond any fear, keeping themselves and their real identities hidden from federal and intelligent agencies.

This is why TOR is being one of the favorite targets of federal agencies.

Since Tor has long been a target of the government intelligence agencies, most online users do not feel safe to use Tor anymore.

To known how easy it is for government agencies to unmask Tor users, you can read these articles:

Who lurks in the 'Dark Web'?

According to the recent survey conducted by researchers Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid (in their book Cryptopolitik and the Darknet), it is found that 57% of the Dark Web is occupied by unauthorized contents like Pornography, Illicit Finances, Drug Hub, Weapon Trafficking, counterfeit currency flow and many more.

The netizens had given the shade of illegalities to Dark Web. This is why today Dark Web is being defined as something that is illegal instead of a 'Pool of Information.'

However, there are countless reasons to use Dark Web. But, ultimately, it depends on the surfer what to surf?

Sidelining Darkweb for criminal offenses often gray out the legitimate purposes inside Dark Web.

In the end, I just want to say:

Knowledge is Free! Happy Surfing!

Author : Rakesh Krishnan

Source : thehackernews.com

Categorized in Deep Web

Who is Legion?

(All information is based on media interviews that the hacker group has given. None of this has been corroborated independently by The Quint.)

  • Legion is a group of hackers based in multiple parts of the world.
  • They’re connected to India, though some of them may not have an Indian passport.
  • They’re behind at least four high profile Indian Twitter account breaches and two data dumps.
  • They’re difficult to trace as they use secure servers and apps for communication and hacking.
  • They’re addicted to crime and drugs, or so they claim.

Legion’s modus operandi so far has been breaching high profile Twitter accounts to deface them and warn about future attacks. (Photo: The Quint)

Legion’s modus operandi so far has been breaching high profile Twitter accounts to deface them and warn about future attacks. (Photo: The Quint)

 

A quick Google search of the word shows up a Wikipedia definition: ‘Legion’ is a group of demons referred to in the New Testament, in an incident during which Jesus performs an exorcism.

Biblical references aside, Legion is the latest hacker group to take centre-stage in India’s cyber-security landscape. In the last couple of weeks, Legion has hacked four high profile Twitter accounts and dumped a couple of gigabytes of sensitive personal information on the internet.

Everything you read about Legion is what they are projecting to the world. Nobody has met them, no one knows where they live or work out of, and hence it is extremely difficult for law enforcement agencies to pin them down and interrogate them. Their media interviews have all taken place on a secure chat app called Signal. Messages sent through Signal are end-to-end encrypted and the user cannot be tracked based on geo-data or IP.

The whole persona building with typical vocabulary of 4Chan and other online forums and overemphasis on drugs seems pretty forced. Perhaps this is done to allude to pop culture imagery of hackers portrayed online and in shows like ‘Mr. Robot’. 
‘Mr. Robot’ is the most popular and accurate depiction of the hacker culture in mainstream entertainment so far. (GIF courtesy: GIPHY)
‘Mr. Robot’ is the most popular and accurate depiction of the hacker culture in mainstream entertainment so far. (GIF courtesy: GIPHY)

Legion is quite media-savvy and their choice to hack Twitter accounts is a clear indication of that. Vijay Mallya, Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar are all extremely popular online personalities and have garnered immense chatter among relevant circles. Legion wants to establish their existence in people’s consciousness and in that endeavour they seem to have had some success.

 

They may also be aligned with the establishment or seem inclined towards it as there have been no direct hacks on the government or the BJP yet.

However, it seems Legion’s eyes are now set on releasing a big data dump of mails from sansad.nic.in. Nic.in is the official mail server used for all bureaucratic purposes and breaching this will give anyone easy access to official mail exchanges between some “Big Fishes” from the government.

Can the Indian Establishment Prevent Hacks?

Indian online defence systems are not equipped to handle a large-scale cyberattack. (GIF courtesy: GIPHY)

Does the Indian establishment have adequate and intelligent online defence systems in place to avert a large-scale cyberattack? Technology expert Prasanto K Roy doesn’t think so.

“While CERT works to secure critical assets of national importance such as the PMO office like a fortress, the general approach towards any other cyberattack seems to be a rather unscientific ‘Shut Down the Internet’.”

Prasanto also points out that ministers, bureaucrats and other government officials have an extremely lackadaisical mindset towards online security.

Most babus have an ‘armchair mail’ on the sarkarinic.in mail service but choose to use private mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail, even for official work. Some aren’t aware of Phishing and, hence, keep falling prey to these attacks. Till a couple of years ago, Gmail IDs were flashed on the IT ministry website as the official way to contact them. Fortunately, most departments have now switched to secure government IDs.Prasanto K Roy, Technology Expert

India has one of the most comprehensive cybercrime laws, but all that falls apart when it comes to enforcement. While high profile attacks by hackers such as Legion may not affect the average person on the street, even a small attack on digital financial services will put millions at risk. The government and private stakeholders need to ensure airtight security for financial tech if they really want to make good on the promise of Digital India.

Author : Ankit Vengurlekar

Source : https://www.thequint.com/technology/2016/12/13/drugs-hacks-and-internet-anarchy-who-is-legion-twitter-hack-rahul-gandhi-barkha-dutt-narendra-modi

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Once upon a time, when newspaper websites were still in relative infancy, I received a call from a reader about an online article we had written.

She had just been married, and wanted us to remove an article about her new husband from our website. Its continued presence on the Internet, she said, was harming his ability to get work.

It seems the man had served time in prison for randomly shooting at people from the balcony of his downtown apartment building.

"That was all in the past," she told me.

I tried to tell her removing such a story would be unethical, to say the least.

It was not the first call of its kind, and it was certainly not the last. In fact, calls like this are multiplying. Not a day goes by when an editor somewhere doesn't get such a request.

 

People are increasingly concerned about their Internet profiles, and want editors to help them clean it up. We rarely, if ever, acquiesce. We fix errors or will make amendments when necessary.

And so increasingly the job is left to so-called "Internet scrubbers" – a new and growing industry wherein people pay tens of thousands of dollars to have companies do what news editors will not.

If they cannot exactly remove such articles from the public record, they can bury them in a haystack of shiny, new articles, positive recommendations, or even fake news, expertly designed to rise up to the top of the Google class system, er, results lineup, and outshine to the point of obscurity everything that falls below it.

It is another example of how the truth can be manipulated, obscured, or whitewashed to reflect an alternate reality, and a reminder to all of us to be careful what we read, check the sources of our information, and always remain skeptical of first impressions.

One high-profile example of Internet scrubbing was uncovered earlier this year by reporters at the Sacramento Bee, who acquired documents that show "an aggressive effort to counteract an avalanche of negative reporting" after student protesters at the University of California Davis were pepper-sprayed in 2011.

 

The newspaper called it an effort "to scrub the Internet of negative online postings."

Some call it search engine optimization, or search engine results management. Or online reputation management. Or, as the Bee article noted, quoting one of the documents, "a more involved relationship with Google platforms."

The effort cost more than $100,000.

Some people and organizations also try legal avenues, and threaten media organizations with lawsuits. This also happens daily, with mixed results.

After all, there is always the risk it too will all backfire, as it did at UC Davis.

There is even a term, apparently, for such a nightmare scenario: the Streisand effect. It is named after the famous singer attempted to have an aerial photograph of her mansion on the California coast removed from the Internet. Before the attempt, the photo of Barbra Streisand's house had been downloaded six times. After: 240,000.

Welcome – again – to the new and ever changing world of "news" in the Internet age.

Author:  Paul Berton

Source:  http://www.thespec.com/

Categorized in Online Research

Results of the “Web IQ” Quiz

American internet users’ knowledge of the modern technology landscape varies widely across a range of topics, according to a new knowledge quiz conducted by the Pew Research Center as part of its ongoing series commemorating the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. To take the quiz for yourself before reading the full report, click here.

The survey—which was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,066 internet users—includes 17 questions on a range of issues related to technology, including: the meaning and usage of common online terms; recognition of famous tech figures; the history of some major technological advances; and the underlying structure of the internet and other technologies.

The “Web IQ” of American Internet Users

Substantial majorities of internet users are able to correctly answer questions about some common technology platforms and everyday internet usage terms. Around three-quarters know that a megabyte is bigger than a kilobyte, roughly seven in ten are able to identify pictures corresponding to terms like “captcha” and “advanced search,” and 66% know that a “wiki” is a tool that allows people to modify online content in collaboration with others. A substantial majority of online adults do not use Twitter, but knowledge of Twitter conventions is fairly widespread nonetheless: 82% of online Americans are aware that hashtags are most commonly used on the social networking platform, and 60% correctly answer that the service limits tweets to 140 characters.

On the other hand, relatively few internet users are familiar with certain concepts that underpin the internet and other modern technological advances. Only one third (34%) know that Moore’s Law relates to how many transistors can be put on a microchip, and just 23% are aware that “the Internet” and “the World Wide Web” do not, in fact, refer to the same thing.

 

Many online Americans also struggle with key facts relating to early—and in some cases, more recent—technological history. Despite an Oscar-winning movie (The Social Network) about the story of Facebook’s founding, fewer than half of internet users (42%) are able to identify Harvard as the first university to be on the site; and only 36% correctly selected 2007 as the year the first iPhone was released. The Mosaic web browser is an especially poorly-remembered pioneer of the early Web, as just 9% of online Americans are able to correctly identify Mosaic as the first widely popular graphical web browser.

When tested on their recognition of some individual technology leaders, a substantial 83% of online Americans are able to identify a picture of Bill Gates (although 10% incorrectly identified him as his long-time rival, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs). But just 21% are able to identify a picture of Sheryl Sandberg, a Facebook executive and author of the recent best-selling book Lean In.

Americans also have challenges accurately describing certain concepts relating to internet policy. Six in ten internet users (61%) are able to correctly identify the phrase “Net Neutrality” as referring to equal treatment of digital content by internet service providers. On the other hand, fewer than half (44%) are aware that when a company posts a privacy statement, it does not necessarily mean that they are actually keeping the information they collect on users confidential.

Age differences in web knowledge

Younger internet users are more knowledgeable about common usage terms, social media conventions

Younger internet users are more knowledgeable than their elders on some—but by no means all—of the questions on the survey. These differences are most pronounced on the questions dealing with social media, as well as common internet usage conventions. Compared with older Americans, younger internet users are especially likely to know that Facebook originated at Harvard University and that hashtags are commonly used on Twitter, to correctly identify pictures representing phrases like “captcha” and “advanced search,” and to understand the definition of a “wiki.”

 

At the same time, internet users of all ages are equally likely to believe—incorrectly—that the internet and the World Wide Web are the same thing. There are also no major age differences when it comes to the meaning of phrases like “Net Neutrality” or “privacy policy,” and older and younger internet users correctly identify pictures of Bill Gates and Sheryl Sandberg at comparable rates.

Educational differences in web knowledge

College grads more familiar with common tech terms

College graduates tend to score relatively highly on most Pew Research Center knowledge quizzes, and also tend to have high rates of usage for most consumer technologies. As such, it is perhaps not surprising that this group tends to do relatively well when it comes to knowledge of the internet and technology.

Compared with internet users who have not attended college, college graduates have much greater awareness of facts such as Twitter’s character limit, or the meaning of terms such as “URL” and “Net Neutrality.” Still, there are some elements of the technology world on which even this highly educated group rates poorly. For instance, just one in five correctly answered that the internet and World Wide Web are not the same thing, and only 12% know that Mosaic was the first widely available graphical web browser.

Author:  AARON SMITH

Source:  http://www.pewinternet.org/

Categorized in Internet Technology

SpaceX has announced plans to launch over four thousand satellites into low-Earth orbit to provide the world with super-fast internet, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Earlier this week, Elon Musk's SpaceX company outlined plans to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create global broadband network by launching 4,425 satellites into space. The first deployment will entail 800 satellites, intended only for connectivity in the US. The global remainder will be launched at a later date. Currently, some 1,400 satellites orbit the Earth, in varying stages of usefulness and repair.

"With deployment of the first 800 satellites, the system will be able to provide US and international broadband connectivity; when fully deployed, the system will add capacity and availability at the equator and poles for truly global coverage," SpaceX said.

The company has not announced a concrete date for its initial launch, but mentioned 2019 as a possibility.

SpaceX broadband satellites will weigh 386 kg each, and be about the size of a small car, making them smaller than existing telecommunications orbital platforms. They will also have a shallower orbit and are expected to have a service life of five to ten years.

 

"The SpaceX non-geostationary orbit (‘NGSO') satellite system (the ‘SpaceX System') consists of a constellation of 4,425 satellites (plus in-orbit spares) operating in 83 orbital planes (at altitudes ranging from 1,110 km to 1,325 km), as well as associated ground control facilities, gateway earth stations and end user earth stations," SpaceX wrote in its FCC filing.

The company detailed that the orbiting broadband network will reduce signal latency and dramatically improve bandwidth.

"Once fully optimized through the Final Deployment, the system will be able to provide high bandwidth (up to 1Gbps per user), low-latency broadband services for consumers and businesses in the US and globally," SpaceX wrote. "Subject to additional development work, SpaceX plans to design and manufacture its own satellites, gateway earth stations, and user terminals." Home internet customers would receive a "low-profile user terminal that is easy to mount and operate on walls or roofs."

If the ambitious SpaceX plan is realized, it would expand high-speed internet coverage globally, and greatly improve internet in rural areas that need it most.

Author:  Tech

Source:  https://sputniknews.com

Categorized in Internet Technology

Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft recently discovered that Apple’s mobile devices with enabled iCloud feature automatically transmit their users’ call logs to the company servers without any notification.

According to Elocomsoft the relayed information contains a list of calls made and received on the mobile device and also phone numbers, dates, times and duration of the calls. Furthermore, it is not only call logs that are sent to Apple’s servers, but calls made through WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and Facetime; with the data being stored by Apple for as long as 4 months.

Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft, told Sputnik that users are essentially left unaware of this feature because there’s no notification that call logs can actually be synched with iCloud. He also remarked that it’s hard to say exactly how legal this particular feature is in terms of privacy issues.

"To be honest, I haven’t read Apple’s privacy agreement completely – it is a very large document, about twenty pages or so. ofcourse it does mention that some of your information can be stored to iCloud. But there’s other document that shows and describes in detail what information stored in the iCloud can be shared by Apple with the law enforcement, by the legal request of course; and there’s no single mention of the call log synching there. Apple only says that they can provide law enforcement with iCloud backups, the information stored in the iCloud backups and some other data stored in the iCloud, but nothing about the calls," he said.

 

Katalov pointed out that such information could be of great interest to law enforcement agencies and that there are basically two ways for them to access that data.

"Law enforcement people can contact people directly and get all the information stored there; it is encrypted of course, but the thing is, everything stored in Apple’s iCloud (well, almost everything) is encrypted in the way that the encryption keys are stored along with the data, so there’s no problem for Apple to decrypt everything and provide the plain-text information. And the other way of course is to use the software like ours to get access to the information stored in iCloud, but in that case of course you will need iCloud credentials such as the Apple ID and password or the authentication token," Katalov explained.

He added that there are also two ways for iPhone users to protect their information, but each of these methods has its own drawbacks.

"The simplest, but probably not the most effective one is to disable iCloud completely; if you can't do that then at least enable th two-factor authentication for your account to make it harder for hackers to get at your information. But still, you have to know that law enforcement can access your information stored there regardless of whether the two-factor authentication is enabled or not," he surmised.

Author:  TECH

Source:  https://sputniknews.com

Categorized in Social

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