Great Fire Wall

The Great Firewall of China — web of control [ft /7 /paywall] China learnt from the best to build its firewall: US tech companies, such as Cisco, that had developed basic internet traffic-filtering tools that gave corporations control over their employees’ browsing. But Beijing took these tools to a new level and scale, and today operates the world’s most sophisticated censorship and surveillance system. To stop people from connecting to websites or services the Communist party does not like, the Great Firewall blocks website names, misdirects traffic and can even shut off encrypted communications by figuring out to what kind of service the user is trying to connect.

Facial recognition’s ‘dirty little secret’: Millions of online photos scraped without consent [NBC / 12] To see if your Flickr photos are part of the dataset, enter your username in a tool NBC News created based on the IBM dataset:

Amazon’s Alexa Has 80k Apps–and No Runaway Hit [bloomberg /3] “This platform is almost four years old, and you can’t point me to one single killer app,” says Mark Einhorn, who created a well-reviewed Alexa game that lets users operate a simulated lemonade stand and is one of 10 developers interviewed for this story.

OpenAI LP [ /3] We’ve created OpenAI LP, a new “capped-profit” company that allows us to rapidly increase our investments in compute and talent while including checks and balances to actualize our mission. Our mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity, primarily by attempting to build safe AGI and share the benefits with the world. (Thiel + Hoffman (once Musk) backed safe AI company – ED)

Web inventor urges users to seek ‘complete control’ of data [japantimes / 34] “You should have complete control of your data. It’s not oil. It’s not a commodity,” he told a small group of journalists gathered at Europe’s physics lab CERN, where he first came up with the idea for the web 30 years ago. When it comes to personal data, “you should not be able to sell it for money,” he said, “because it’s a right.

More on Kate Klonick privacy class project from NPR Googling Strangers: One Professor’s Lesson On Privacy In Public Spaces Her students, who scattered across the country for break, started writing to her in astonishment. Some of the most outspoken skeptics of privacy protections in her class — the ones who once suggested that they didn’t need privacy because they had nothing to hide — were stunned at how quickly they’d found out details of the lives of strangers who happened to cross their paths.