Facebook, Google, & Twitter Sign to Cull Terrorist Content; Apple iPhone 6S-Made in India; Exploitable Intel Chip Flaw; FCC Rule Proposed-Carriers Can Block Robocalls

In a summit in Paris, Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, & Microsoft…along with 17 national governments and the EU, signed the so-called ‘Christchurch Call.’ Cnet.com reports that its a 9 point plan for them to work more collaboratively to ensure terrorist content is stopped. This deal is on the heels of the horrifying mass killing in New Zealand that was live streamed on Facebook, and viewed some 4000 times before it was taken down. Strangely absent….the US. The White House announced Tuesday that they would not be signing due to free speech concerns. (This, in spite of the fact that free speech in the Constitution is about government restriction of speech, not that of commercial companies.)

The iPhone 6S is apparently the Energizer Bunny of iPhones now. Apple has launched a new marketing campaign trumpeting that the handset is still made…and in India. According to theverge.com, Apple started making the phones in India in 2017 after a tariff hike there. Although Apple is having moderate success with the iPhones there, they will probably have to start making the higher line phones there. Of note….the 6S is the last remaining iPhone to have a headphone jack!

A new class of vulnerabilities has been found by security researchers in Intel chips that goes back to 2011! Techcrunch.com says the bugs are similar to Meltdown and Spectre, which exploited a weakness in speculative execution. This one is called ‘ZombieLoad,’ and it is a side-channel attack…allowing hackers to effective exploit design flaws instead of injecting malicious code. The ZombieLoad is made up of 4 bugs, which were apparently reported to Intel only a month ago. AMD and ARM chips aren’t affected by the exploit…but again, all Intel chips from 2011 on are! The good news is, this new exploit is fairly hard to use, and Intel is rolling out patches today. Use those patches!

The FCC has proposed a new rule that would allow mobile carriers to block robocalls. Theverge.com reports that the rule would require carriers like AT&T, Verizon, & T-Mobile to automatically register their customers for call-blocking technology. The Commission will vote on the rule June 6th. Once fully launched, the protocols would notify customers when a call is coming from a legitimate source and not a spoofed number. The FCC is also looking to provide a safe harbor for carriers to block unauthenticated calls.

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