Had a bad week? Facebook's was worse...
by Soda Says
2 weeks ago
The US, UK, and Australian governments are furious about Mark Zuckerberg's new privacy plans
All three sent an open letter to Zuck calling on him to rethink his plans to encrypt all messages on its platforms. He's been having privacy problems don't you know - have a read - and believes end-to-end encryption on all his platforms - Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp - is the answer.
What did the letter say?
They feared Facebook's privacy moves could stop pedophiles and terrorists from being caught. Signed by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, US Attorney General William P Barr, Acting US Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and the Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton, it claimed the new policy threatened "lives and safety of our children." It also added: "So far nothing we have seen from Facebook reassures me that their plans for end-to-end encryption will not act as a barrier to the identification and pursuit of criminals operating on their platforms."
Governments want the Big Tech equivalent of the failsafe Irish backstop so they can peak into criminals' messages
Only they call it a "backdoor", and they hope it will provide "a means for lawful access to the content of communications to protect our citizens". Basically a sneaky way into these encrypted messages beloved by the criminal fraternity because ATM no-one can see what they are up to. A problem for Facebook.
The letter comes off the back of a new data access agreement between the US and the UK designed to nail cross-border surveillance
Signed last week, it allows British law-enforcement agencies to demand US tech firms hand over data relating to terrorists, child-sexual abusers, and other serious criminals. Requests that previously took up to two years could be cut to a matter of days. One big problem - messages or images sent over services using end-to-end encryption, such as WhatsApp, remain unreadable. Hence last week's stern letter and backdoor demands.
Facebook also came under attack from the EU's Supreme Court
OK stay with me here because this is important too - in a landmark ruling last week, Facebook and similar apps and websites can now be ordered to take down illegal posts worldwide. What's more, platforms might have to seek out similar examples of the illegal content and remove them, instead of waiting for each to be reported. The case bizarrely originated from an insult made on Facebook about an Austrian politician called Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, that ended up with Austria's Supreme Court asking Europe's highest court to clarify who was responsible for what. It did. Big Tech was. Facebook said the judgment raised "critical questions around freedom of expression" - that old chestnut).
More bad news for Zuck - dreams of this global digital currency Libra lie in shreds
Last Thursday PayPal pulled out of a key meeting in Washington where all 28 backers of Facebook’s plan for a new global digital currency were due to meet. Visa and Mastercard are also having second thoughts. All are nervous about regulatory scrutiny and money-laundering concerns. None of the members of the "Libra Association" have stumped up their $10m, despite Zuck's hopes to launch the digital currency in June next year. Also, Trump is not a fan. FYI Libra aims to make it nearly free for users to send each other money. (My bank does that already, thank you)
To cap it all, scientists warned that to be happy we need to ditch Facebook
Research out last week proved that those who switched off Facebook become less depressed, more productive and better with money. Researchers studied 1,765 social media using university students in Texas and got half to quit Facebook for a week. The result? They felt much better! They engaged in healthier activities and even made fewer impulse purchases and ate out less. Facebook has significant effects on important aspects of life not directly related to building and supporting social networks,' the researchers wrote. No kidding. Delete now.
Mark Zuckerberg is so fed up with being called robotic in the press that after an intern leaked his weekly private Q & A session, he decided to livestream it. Have a look at Zuck unfiltered. He's not altogether charmless after all - though his wardrobe remains a shocker.
Don't feel too sorry for him. He is only 35 and as of last week was worth $35.3 billion.