Weekly round-up of cognitive security-related articles from the New York Times.
House Republican Campaign Committee Says It Was Hacked This Year
New York Times, David E. Sanger and Emily Cochrane – December 4th, 2018
The campaign committee for House Republicans discovered in April that the email accounts of several of its senior officials had been hacked by what analysts later concluded was a “foreign entity,” people who have been briefed on the case said on Tuesday, highlighting the continued vulnerability of the United States to interference in its elections.
Special Report: How Iran Spreads Disinformation Around the World
New York Times, Reuters, November 30th, 2018
Website Nile Net Online promises Egyptians “true news” from its offices in the heart of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, “to expand the scope of freedom of expression in the Arab world.” Its views on America do not chime with those of Egypt’s state media, which celebrate Donald Trump’s warm relations with Cairo. In one recent article, Nile Net Online derided the American president as a “low-level theater actor” who “turned America into a laughing stock” after he attacked Iran in a speech at the United Nations. Nile Net Online is part of an influence operation based in Tehran.
The Week in Tech: Facebook’s Three Big Problems
New York Times, Kevin Roose, November 30th, 2018
The third bucket of Facebook problems are product problems — issues with Facebook’s apps themselves. These include the way Facebook’s News Feed algorithm puts a priority on sensational content and gives oxygen to viral hoaxes, the way products like WhatsApp can be used to broadcast misinformation over end-to-end encrypted channels, and the behaviors encouraged by the design of apps like Instagram, which has created a culture of bullying and harassment… I’m also not the first to point out that many of the worst examples of Facebook’s influence around the world — the way it has facilitated genocide in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, led to deadly riots in India and Nigeria, and helped destabilize democracies around the world through the spread of disinformation and false news — are a direct result of the way its products are designed to maximize engagement.
Are Civics Lessons a Constitutional Right? This Student Is Suing for Them
New York Times, Dana Goldstein, November 28th, 2018
Many see the lack of civics in schools as a national crisis. A federal lawsuit says it also violates the law.
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