MED 8.1.18



Connected Learning Summit Create. Play. Mobilize.  August 1-3, 2018 | MIT Media Lab

 Watch the live stream

On the Hunt for FIN7: Pursuing an Enigmatic and Evasive Global Criminal Operation [Fireeye]

On Aug. 1, 2018, the United States District Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington unsealed indictments and announced the arrests of three individuals within the leadership ranks of a criminal organization that aligns with activity we have tracked since 2015 as FIN7. These malicious actors are members of one of the most prolific financial threat groups of this decade, having carefully crafted attacks targeted at more than 100 organizations

National newspapers in UK enjoy first print advertising rise since 2010, research finds []

Advertiser backlash against tech giants has been cited as a factor in the spending reversal  Print display advertising in the national newspaper market rose 1% to £153m in the first quarter of 2018, the first time there has been an increase since the last quarter of 2010. To put this in context, in the 29 quarters since the 2010 rise, more than half of national papers – 15 – have seen double-digit declines in advertising spend of up to 22%.

What Is QAnon?  [DailyBeast]   

QAnon springs from a series of cryptic clues that started to be posted online in October 2017. Starting on 4Chan before migrating to the even more fringe 8Chan, the anonymous person behind the clues  goes by “Q,” a reference to a high-level government security clearance. The “Anon” in “QAnon” refers to both Q himself, and to Q’s nameless supporters, the “anons.”

Q is supposed to be revealing this top-secret information via the clues, which QAnon fans have dubbed “breadcrumbs.” They’re written in a short bursts, in a reference-heavy style that’s part poem, part ransom note. Here’s one example from June:

Political Ad Collector [ProPublica]

Political campaigns spend a lot of money to reach voters on Facebook. Are they telling the truth? Are they saying different things to different people? Help hold them accountable by installing our browser plugin, which sends us the ads you see on Facebook.

Transcript: The future of online privacy: To legislate or not   [pdf]  Video [YouTube]

On July 26, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a panel discussion to explore a comprehensive framework for U.S. privacy legislation.

China’s battle with the ‘internet water army’ [FT]

“water army”. That’s the name given in China to the hordes of fake online accounts used by companies and celebrities to inflate their social media followings or criticise rivals — so-called because they “pour water” into the online discourse.

Apple Q3 Earnings & Revenue Estimates, Services Up 31% [Yahoo news]

Apple’s growing Services business, which features iTunes, AppleCare, Apple Pay, and Apple Music, saw its revenues climb by 31% to hit $9.548 billion.  (be the razor and the blade -ed)

This data was used in the FiveThirtyEight story Why We’re Sharing 3 Million Russian Troll Tweets.  This directory contains data on nearly 3 million tweets sent from Twitter handles connected to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll factory” and a defendant in an indictment filed by the Justice Department in February 2018, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The tweets in this database were sent between February 2012 and May 2018, with the vast majority posted from 2015 through 2017.

Congress Members Demand Answers From, Investigation Of Federal Facial Rec Tech Users [Techdirt]

Congressional reps have also sent one to the Government Accountability Office, asking it to open an investigation into facial recognition software use by federal agencies.

“Given the recent advances in commercial facial recognition technology – and its expanded use by state, local, and federal law enforcement, particularly the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – we ask that you investigate and evaluate the facial recognition industry and its government use,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter, signed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Sens. Ron Wyden, Cory Booker, Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), asks the GAO to examine “whether commercial entities selling facial recognition adequately audit use of their technology to ensure that use is not unlawful, inconsistent with terms of service, or otherwise raise privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties concerns.”

Klaus Biesenbach Named Director of MOCA Los Angeles [Art News]

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles has named Klaus Biesenbach, who is currently director of MoMA PS1 in New York and chief curator at large of the Museum of Modern Art, as its new director, the Los Angeles Times reports. The much-anticipated announcement follows news in May that Philippe Vergne would step down as MOCA’s director in March of next year.

After Top Executive Leaves, Billboard Confronts Its Internal Culture [NYT]

It has been a bruising time for Billboard and its parent company, Valence Media. In May, The Daily Beast published a detailed article focused on Billboard’s top executive, John Amato. In the article, he was accused of interfering with editorial decisions regarding articles about Charlie Walk, a high-ranking record executive — and longtime friend of Mr. Amato’s — who had been accused of sexual misconduct. Faced with questions about its journalists’ independence, Billboard initiated an internal investigation into the matter.

(The only thing missing from this story is a soundtrack Suggested: Bush Tetras – Too Many Creeps -ed)


Date & Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 – 9:30am Location: Hart 216

Witnesses Statements

Dr.Todd Helmus Senior Behavioral Scientist RAND Corporation
Opening Statment

Ms. Renee DiResta Director of Research New Knowledge
Mr. John Kelly Founder and CEO Graphika
Opening Statment
Ms. Laura Rosenberger Director Alliance for Securing Democracy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Opening Statment / Appendix A
Dr. Philip Howard Director Oxford Internet Institue
Opening Statment