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What we've been reading - w/c 1st August

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

Each week, Alice puts together a round-up of interesting articles from the world of technology ethics. We post these on our social channels as well as sharing them on our blog.

Here’s her pick from w/c 1st August:

👉Indonesia bans access to Steam, Epic Games, PayPal, and more


This is because they have not complied with an Indonesian content moderation law.

“As noted by Reuters, the laws give the Indonesian government the ability to obtain data about specific users, as well as coerce companies into removing content that “disturbs public order” or is considered illegal. Platforms have four hours to take action on “urgent” removal requests, or 24 hours in the case of any other content.

A 2021 report from the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls Indonesia’s laws “invasive of human rights,” as it puts platforms at the mercy of the Indonesian government, which will ban them if not in compliance with local laws.”

Read more from here

August 2022 - 1

👉Chess robot grabs and breaks finger of seven-year-old opponent


It appears that the child acted in an unexpected way, which was outside of the rules learned by the robot.

Read more from here

August 2022 - 2

👉The recession debate is so intense that Wikipedia has blocked new users from editing its recession page because people keep changing the definition


In a digital age, we are more and more aware that certain definitions have key political power. This is playing out on the ‘recession’ page of Wikipedia right now as economic uncertainty grips English-speaking nations.

Read more from here

August 2022 - 3

👉Google tools used to aid Palestinian occupation?


“Training materials viewed by The Intercept confirm that Google is offering advanced artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities to the Israeli government through its controversial “Project Nimbus” contract. The Israeli Finance Ministry announced the contract in April 2021 for a $1.2 billion cloud computing system jointly built by Google and Amazon. “The project is intended to provide the government, the defense establishment and others with an all-encompassing cloud solution,” the ministry said in its announcement.”

“Given Human Rights Watch’s conclusion that the Israeli government is committing ‘crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution’ against Palestinians, it is critical that Google and Amazon’s AI surveillance support to the IDF be documented to the fullest.”

Read more from here

August 2022 - 4

👉TikTok Owner ByteDance Used A News App On Millions Of Phones To Push Pro-China Messages, Ex-Employees Say


“For years, lawmakers and commentators have feared that the Chinese government could use TikTok — which is owned by a Chinese parent company, ByteDance — to secretly distribute content sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party in order to shift public opinion in the United States.

According to new claims by four former employees of the company, ByteDance already has used one of its apps to push pro-China messages to Americans: its now-defunct English-language news app, TopBuzz. ByteDance forcefully denies the claims.”

Read more from here

August 2022 - 5

👉Google’s Nest Will Provide Data to Police Without a Warrant


“A provider like Google may disclose information to law enforcement without a subpoena or a warrant ‘if the provider, in good faith, believes that an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires disclosure without delay of communications relating to the emergency,'” a Nest spokesperson tells CNET.”

This article looks like it’s just referring to the US - the question is whether Google should be making decisions about ‘good faith’ at all.

Read more from here

August 2022 - 6

If you think we should be reading anything else please email, and finally, thank you for reading, Sophie Ryan.

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