Weekly Axis Of Easy #11
To our fellow Canucks: Happy Belated Canada Day, eh
To our American friends: Have a great 4th of July!
In this issue:
- Freedom of speech ends where criminal law begins – German homes raided over Facebook posts
- Canadian Supreme Court orders Google to ban search results
- New device allows police to download your smartphone activity
- Petya – the global cyber-attack using leaked NSA exploits.. for this week
- Ethereum founder uses Ethereum to provide proof-of-life after death rumour
Germany has passed new “anti-hate speech” legislation, giving it the ability to fine social networking sites like Facebook $50 million euro per week for failure to take down offending hate speech. Human rights experts have weighed in that these types of law run the risk of enabling censorship and having a “chilling effect” on free speech. German justice minister Heiko Maas’ response? “Freedom of speech ends where criminal law begins”.
In itself, interesting enough, however German authorities have followed through, commencing police raids on homes of people who left offending comments on social media. The bulk of the raids were against “right wing extremist” speech, two were against left-wing extremists, and one was against someone posting comments attacking somebody else’s sexual orientation.
The Canadian Supremes are on a roll, after smacking down Facebook last week for attempting to contract out of BC Privacy Law, they’ve now ordered Google to suppress search results in a complaint from a BC company attempting to suppress a defendant selling counterfeit products. What makes this case far reaching in its implications is that the court ordered Google to suppress the search results of the infringing company worldwide.
Thought you outsmarted that cops when you threw your smartphone into the back seat after they saw you tweeting in the fast lane? Think again, a new device being sold to law enforcement agencies enables them to vacuum up the complete history of your smartphone in seconds. Described as “a breathalyzer for texting”, the “Textalyzer” can definitively show if you’ve been texting (and what, and to whom) in the moments before the police nab you.
And the fast spreading, global cyber-attack using leaked NSA exploits for this week is… Petya. It started about a week ago when the Ukrainian central bank and airport were forced offline and then spread quickly, Germany, Russia, Denmark. The Petya worm uses the same framework as the recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak a few weeks earlier.
The most recent development in all this is NATO is attributing the Petya worm to a nation state actor designed to cause disruption and may thus warrant a military response. (I’m guessing that the “North Korea” card will be thrown at the wall to see if it sticks )
Remember folks, all of these worms are monsters that came out of our own governments’ bag of dirty tricks which they’ve been using to hack us, and are now irrevocably loose and in the wild and being weaponized by who knows who now.
It’s not known if this was the cause of Ethereum’s recent price pullback (from ~ $350 to as low as $230) was in part owing to the spurious rumour that Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin had been killed in a car crash. Never mind proof-of-stake, Buterin resorted to using the blockchain to provide proof-of-life, dispelling the rumours and assuring the world that he is indeed, still among the living.
Previously on #AxisOfEasy
If you missed the previous issues, they can be read online here:
• June 26, 2017: Hackers Target Email Accounts Of UK Parliament
• June 19, 2017: Failure To Renew A Domain Put Millions At Risk
• Jun 12, 2017: Does easyDNS Know Your Passwords?
• Jun 5, 2017: Discover Your Odds Of Being Replaced By A Robot
• May 29, 2017: Google Now Tracks Your Offline Credit Card Purchases, Linking Them To Your Online Profile