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IT & Communications

Recently, airbnb angered both "hosts" and "guests" by its decision to prevent the making or rejection of bookings on e.g. religious grounds. Then it started to upset "hosts" by delisting properties based on apparently arbitrary criteria. Next, it decided that, in some cities, it would not accept bookings for a property for more than 90 days each year. And within the past few days, a woman has been fined in California because airbnb has entered into an agreement with a California state department. All of this is in addition to long and complex agreements between "hosts" and "guests." The big question is ... how much control is so much control that it turns airbnb from broker to manager?

CoNet Section: 

The US government's CERT division of the Department of Homeland Security has issued a statement that explains the risks and problems associated with the Petya ransomware virus and details of it.

CoNet Section: 

We are all internet users and the internet is supposed to be a broadly free medium (albeit one we pay for) but there was one piece of regulation that militated against all good sense in the cause of supposed equality for all. So-called Net Neutrality is a flawed interference in the freedom of commercial concerns to enter into agreements with individual customers and, more than that, it risks damaging commerce. Now the USA is proposing to reverse the position taken under the Obama government. This is why it should do so. But equally, this is why one major element of it must remain.

CoNet Section: 

We know that companies gather data when you interact with them (even we do, but it's very, very little and what we do with it is mostly for our protection) but do you know what they collect?

Here's an example from search engine Ask.Com

CoNet Section: 

The wording says "If you'd like to cancel just part of your order... please contact us and quote your order number." So, like the obedient chap I am, I did.

This is my exchange with Marks and Spencer's Chatbot.

And you think AI will protect your bank?

CoNet Section: 

We are not pretending to be making any contribution to the story about this spectacularly successful virus - we're just helping spread information about it. This is from the USA Government's information service about cyber-threats, US-CERT which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

17 May 2017

CoNet Section: 

The conviction of a resident of California for distributing illegal content over a peer-to-peer computer network is the latest strike against supposedly untraceable material on the internet. It's a "tip of the iceberg" moment but it shows that there are ways of investigating and securing convictions across apparently secure and secret methods of content distribution.

CoNet Section: 

It's been around since the latter stages of the US election, first being reported in October 2016 and it's a hoax.

CoNet Section: 

A form of scam spam has come to our notice this morning. It is unusually convincing and clever.

It purports to come from Scotia Bank's secure e-mail service but, obviously, it does not.

Details below.

CoNet Section: 

It's proof that no one, no matter how good, can guarantee that there are no IT security risks in their products. US-CERT, the US government body that reports risks discovered in products, has its usual raft of Adobe and Microsoft products in this week's list but there is a surprising entry: data security company F-Secure, a recognised leader in the field, has made an appearance, too.

CoNet Section: 

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