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Weekly Briefing: 18-25 April 2019

Sri Lanka bans social media to stop 'false news reports' after terror attack

The Sri Lankan government has banned Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat and Viber after “false news” was spread about the terror attack that killed 300 on Sunday, according to the BBC. Some welcome the move as correcting the failures of social media sites, while others see it as state infringement on free speech. 

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Facebook expects $5bn fine from the U.S. Government for privacy practices

Facebook expect to be fined between $3bn and $5bn by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, according to their financial reports for the first quarter of the year, as stated in The Guardian. The FTC have been investigating Facebook’s privacy practices as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, since March 2018. 

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Apple CEO 'advocates strongly' for tech regulation by governments

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has said the company is “advocating strongly for regulation” to protect data privacy. Referencing Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), he said regulation was required to stop the “no rails” attitude that had resulted in “great damage to society” up to this point.

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Half of all child exploitation images hosted in the Netherlands, says IWF

47% of the 105,000 web addresses connected to illegal images in 2018 were hosted in the Netherlands, the Internet Watch Foundation has found, as stated by the BBC. Warning the country has become “a safe haven for child sexual abuse”, the Dutch government acknowledged the problem and promised to tackle it. 

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Changes to internet browsers could make it harder to block harmful material

A new technical development 'DNS over HTTPS' (DoH) that is being introduced into web browsers may put children at risk as it will allow users to bypass filters and may break existing protection mechanisms. Internet safety expert John Carr explains more in his blog. 

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