Facebook (Finally) Bans Holocaust Denial; Microsoft & Others Seize Ransomware Botnet With Court order; Spy Agencies Demand Back Door (Again); Twitter Flags Trump ‘Immune’ Tweet

Facebook has started banning posts that deny the Holocaust r distort facts about it. According to the Associated Press, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he had ‘struggled with the tension between standing for free expression and the harm caused by minimizing or denying the horror of the Holocaust,” and continued with “My own thinking has evolved as I’ve seen data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech.” A number of groups have been calling for this policy change by the social network for at least 2 years. Zuckerberg defended his former position by stating that while he personally found “Holocaust denial deeply offensive” he believed that “the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech.” Since that hasn’t worked, and Facebook has served to amplify lies about the existence of the Holocaust, the change in policy is a welcome one. 

Microsoft today took control of computers that a had been installing ransomware and other malicious software on local government networks, and threatening to disrupt the November election. According to reuters.com, the action was done under a court order, and was done with the help of Broadcom’s Symantec, security firm ESET, and others. Together they track down a series of IP addresses that were directing activity on computers infected with Trickbot. The malicious software was installing ransomware and other malicious programs for both criminal rings and national governments. Trickbot has been used to inject Ryuk ransomware on a number of cities’ computers and also numerous hospitals. The unfortunate thing is that Trickbot has control points in 20 different companies, so they will be able to regroup and attack again. 

They never give up! The ‘Five Eyes’ government spy agencies, along with India and Japan, have again called for an encryption backdoors. ZDnet.com notes that the ‘Five Eyes’ is made up of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. They have been demanding back doors for at least 2 years so they can break into end-to-end encrypted conversations. While they claim such encryption creates ‘a haven for criminal activity,’ the reality is that any back door can be hacked by bad guys. Something tech firms have repeatedly pointed out. 

Twitter yesterday disabled some sharing options for a Tweet Donald Trump posted, and labeled it for violating their rules against spreading lies about the coronavirus. Theverge.com reports that in it, Trump claimed he had “A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday. That means I can’t get it (immune) and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!” A Twitter spokesperson said it was not the first time the platform has disabled sharing on a tweet by the president containing incorrect information.


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