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It's pretty much an established truth that Mark Zuckerberg and his senior team cannot be trusted but their latest wheeze is of such monumental importance to everyone that's it's time every one left each and every one of various parts of the Facebook empire. Some parts will be more difficult than others, some things will involve value judgements as to the lesser evil but, at the end of the day, one keeps coming back to the fact that Facebook cannot be trusted and it's about to get worse. Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp are to become a unified surveillance and reporting tool and every user is the target.

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It's the American dream: little lonely kid with only a handful of people who appear to like him talks with one or two of them and they come up with a geeky idea : let's put our college yearbook (a curiously American thing) into a database and let everyone in it tell everyone in it what they are doing, and let them read what everyone else is doing. Then, as the others, one by one, find out that the reason he's the little lonely kid is that he's a sociopathic egotistical self-absorbed autocrat, he ends up alone and somehow sitting on something that generates thousands of millions of dollars in share value. Then someone spills the saucer full of secrets and Americans are shocked out of their stupor and they don't like it.

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There's a lot of dispute over exactly what constitutes "spam" with legislation influenced by the advertising and marketing industry often defining the term far more narrowly than the public at large. Whether it's legally spam or not, one thing happens far more than it should in unsolicited advertising. That thing is where the e-mail is dishonest in some respect ranging from fake senders through misleading content to out and out lies. The basic rule for recipients is simple: if a mail fails a simple test - "is it true?" - the only safe option is to bin it and block the sender.

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When was the last time you logged onto Google +? With even Google's own search engine prioritising members' pages on Facebook, and G+ pages listed far, far away, if at all, one has to wonder if it's still there at all. But, apparently, it's not dead and it's not dying. It's just hovering in that netherland where MySpace, AoL and a handful of others still function at a viable level but will never (again) be stars. But it raises the question - why not run a niche service? And if you do, can you make it relevant to users instead of becoming a totalitarian environment?

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Two days ago, the New York Post published here an article reporting that Google had demanded the removal of an article critical of its policies and then, seemingly, removed all search entries relating to it. Yesterday, we received a threat from Google to remove advertising from PleaseBeInformed.com because, they allege, an article "violates" their terms of service. But it's a dictionary listicle showing five differences between English and American terms.

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Like so many developers of so-called artificial intelligence, Google is proud of its efforts and, yet, once again AI has proved that it is often a failure waiting to happen. But this example is ever funnier - and more worrying. Someone has manipulated it and the target, amazingly, is people working in e.g. banks. Should banks, etc. now ban Google Alerts?

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The benefits that flow to Google, Bing, etc. from linking to illegal websites are substantial. So are the benefits gained by internet hosts, especially those providing anonymous or anonymising services for a fee (e.g. Cloudflare) and the internet domain registrars that facilitate the purchase and anonymisation of domains by criminals. In this article, we start the list of domains and those who benefit from providing services to them. Registered users can add their own examples of genuinely illegal websites in the comments.

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in Understanding Suspicion in Financial Crime Nigel Morris-Cotterill* says that only three facts are needed for the genesis of suspicion.

Now, with the acquisition of LinkedIn by Facebook, three US companies know far more than three facts, actually almost everything, about you, wherever you are in the world. Move over NSA: the Google-Microsoft-Facebook axis of evil is the real threat to personal privacy and security.

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Editorial Staff

It's a double edged sword: if your brand makes it into common use as a verb or a common noun, then that's great coverage.

But it comes with a price.

 

abhi.garg126@outlook.com. Spam him, please. All website scrapers, email harvesters, even those who engage dozens of people in dark rooms in Delhi, get that address. Put it on every mailing list you can find. Bomb it. Block the mailbox. Make Microsoft...

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