China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country’s information technology authority, as Beijing continues to tighten cyberspace controls. https://news.yahoo.com/china-introduces-mandatory-face-scans-phone-users-091042257.html In September, China’s industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on “safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online”, […]

A protester was shot in the chest during protests on Hoi Pa Street in Tsuen, Hong Kong. Video captured by student journalists at HKUSU’s Campus TV show an officer in riot gear firing a pistol at a protester during clashes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2019/10/01/hong-kong-police-shoot-protester-as-clashes-marr-chinas-national-day/ Other photos and videos shared from social media show first aid medics tending to […]

When you search on Google, they keep your search history forever. That means they know every search you’ve ever done on Google. That alone is pretty scary, but it’s just the shallow end of the very deep pool of data that they try to collect on people. https://www.quora.com/What-does-Google-know-about-me/answer/Gabriel-Weinberg What most people don’t realize is that […]

Rwanda has proposed the world’s first country-wide DNA database, a project that will involve collecting samples from all of the country’s 12 million citizens in an effort to crack down on crime. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/rwanda-dna-database-human-rights-privacy-a8832051.html The scheme has prompted concerns from human rights campaigners who believe the database could be misused by the government and violate international […]

A federal jury in California found that a Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused a 70-year old man’s cancer, the second major blow for the company in a year. https://drudgetoday.com/article/?u=https://abcnews.go.com/Health/us-jury-finds-roundup-weed-killer-caused-cancer/story?id=61809259&n=0&s=2&c=1&pn=Anonymous The six-member jury in San Francisco federal civil court unanimously concluded on Tuesday that glyphosate — Roundup’s key ingredient — was a “substantial factor” in Sonoma […]

Often touted for being highly nutritious, kale has joined the list of 11 other fruits and vegetables known to be “dirty,” according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/20/kale-is-now-one-of-the-most-pesticide-contaminated-vegetables.html The watchdog group publishes its “Dirty Dozen” list annually, in which it ranks the 12 produce items that contain the highest amount of pesticide […]

Can two versions of reality exist at the same time? Physicists say they can — at the quantum level, that is. https://www.livescience.com/65029-dueling-reality-photons.html Researchers recently conducted experiments to answer a decades-old theoretical physics question about dueling realities. This tricky thought experiment proposed that two individuals observing the same photon could arrive at different conclusions about that […]

A South Carolina inmate sued the state prisons department with claims that the agency violated his religious freedoms by not allowing him to keep dreadlocks or smoke marijuana. https://www.newsweek.com/inmate-claims-religious-freedoms-were-violated-after-being-denied-marijuana-1261458 In a federal lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Corrections, James Rose claimed that the agency unlawfully shaved off his dreadlocks in April 2017. He […]

The United States Air Force missed six opportunities to alert law enforcement authorities about an airman’s history of domestic abuse that would have stopped him from legally buying firearms that he used to kill 26 people in a Texas church in 2017, according to a government report released this week. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/us/devin-kelley-sutherland-springs.html The 131-page report, by […]

A Chinese researcher states that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies this month whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life. https://www.yahoo.com/news/ap-exclusive-first-gene-edited-023839746.html A U.S. scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is […]

The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari worries about a lot. He worries that Silicon Valley is undermining democracy and ushering in a dystopian hellscape in which voting is obsolete. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/09/business/yuval-noah-harari-silicon-valley.html He worries that by creating powerful influence machines to control billions of minds, the big tech companies are destroying the idea of a sovereign individual […]

During the Cold War, Washington feared that Moscow was seeking to turn microwave radiation into covert weapons of mind control. More recently, the American military itself sought to develop microwave arms that could invisibly beam painfully loud booms and even spoken words into people’s heads. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/science/sonic-attack-cuba-microwave.html The aims were to disable attackers and wage psychological […]

Top technology companies erased most of the posts and videos on their services from Alex Jones, the internet’s notorious conspiracy theorist, thrusting themselves into a fraught debate over their role in regulating what can be said online. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/06/technology/infowars-alex-jones-apple-facebook-spotify.html Apple, Google, Facebook and Spotify severely restricted the reach of Mr. Jones and Infowars. Mr. Jones and […]

The State Department has evacuated at least 11 Americans from China after abnormal sounds or sensations were reported by government employees at the United States Consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou, officials said. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/30/world/asia/china-sonic-guangzhou.html At least eight Americans associated with the consulate in Guangzhou have now been evacuated, according to one official, who spoke […]

Seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope, India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes and faces of its 1.3 billion residents and connecting the data to everything from welfare benefits to mobile phones. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/07/technology/india-id-aadhaar.html Civil libertarians are horrified, viewing the program, called Aadhaar, as Orwell’s Big Brother brought to life. To the government, it’s […]

The Department of Homeland Security wants to track the comings and goings of journalists, bloggers and other “media influencers” through a database. https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/homeland-security-to-compile-database-of-journalists-and-media-influencers/ The DHS’s “Media Monitoring” plan, which was first reported by FedBizOpps.gov, would give the contracting company “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers […]

The Arlington County Police Department arrested Kevin Doherty, 46, after authorities say he used a firearm and wounded lobbyist Jack Burkman last week. Doherty once worked for the Profiling Project, an effort that Burkman started to investigate Seth Rich’s murder. http://www.newsweek.com/seth-rich-jack-burkman-kevin-doherty-arrested-854309 On March 13, as Burkman was retrieving what he said were materials from a source […]

Amazon ran a commercial on this year’s Super Bowl that pretended its digital assistant Alexa had temporarily lost her voice. While the ad riffed on what Alexa can say to users, the more intriguing question may be what she and other digital assistants can hear. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/31/business/media/amazon-google-privacy-digital-assistants.html Amazon and Google, the leading sellers of such devices, […]

China said it will begin applying its so-called social credit system to flights and trains and stop people who have committed misdeeds from taking such transport for up to a year. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-credit/china-to-bar-people-with-bad-social-credit-from-planes-trains-idUSKCN1GS10S People who would be put on the restricted lists included those found to have committed acts like spreading false information about terrorism and […]

Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker best known for passing on information that led to the arrest of Chelsea Manning, has died aged 37.http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43438352 In online messaging conversations, Manning confided in him, describing confidential military material Manning had sent to Wikileaks. Wikileaks published the video of a US helicopter strike that killed seven people, including a […]