Apple, Google, Microsoft, WhatsApp sign open letter condemning GCHQ proposal to listen in on encrypted chats

An international coalition of civic society organizations, security and policy experts and tech companies — including Apple, Google, Microsoft and WhatsApp — has penned a critical slap-down to a surveillance proposal made last year by the UK’s intelligence agency, warning it would undermine trust and security and threaten fundamental rights. “The GCHQ’s ghost protocol creates […]

Alibaba-backed facial recognition startup Megvii raises $750 million

One of China’s most ambitious artificial intelligence startups, Megvii, more commonly known for its facial recognition brand Face++, announced Wednesday that it has raised $750 million in a Series E funding round. Founded by three graduates from the prestigious Tsinghua University in China, the eight-year-old company specializes in applying its computer vision solutions to a […]

Facebook won’t store data in countries with human rights violations — except Singapore

As soon as Mark Zuckerberg said in a lengthy 3,225-word blog post to not build data centers in countries with poor human rights, he had already broken his promise. He chose to ignore Singapore, which the Facebook founder had only months earlier posted about, declaring the micro-state home to the company’s first data center in […]

Facebook is not equipped to stop the spread of authoritarianism

Yael Grauer Contributor Yael Grauer is an independent tech journalist and investigative reporter based in Phoenix. She’s written for The Intercept, Ars Technica, Breaker, Motherboard, WIRED, Slate and more. After the driver of a speeding bus ran over and killed two college students in Dhaka in July, student protesters took to the streets. They forced […]

Egypt and Thailand: When the military turns against free speech

Wael Abbas, a human rights activist focused on police brutality in Egypt has been under arrest since May on charges of spreading fake news and “misusing social media.” Andy Hall, a labor rights researcher, has been fighting charges under Thailand’s computer crime laws because of a report published online that identified abuses of migrant workers. […]

Facebook is hiring a director of human rights policy to work on “conflict prevention” and “peace-building”

Facebook is advertising for a human rights policy director to join its business, located either at its Menlo Park HQ or in Washington DC — with “conflict prevention” and “peace-building” among the listed responsibilities. In the job ad, Facebook writes that as the reach and impact of its various products continues to grow “so does […]