Concerned with technology, media and democracy. Opinions mine.
Oct 8, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
The New Yorker digs deep on the Russian Alfa Bank - Trump campaign data connection: “Is it possible there is an innocuous explanation for all this? Yes, of course. And it’s also possible that space aliens did this. It’s possible—just not very likely.” newyorker.com/magazine/2018/…
"And why were computers at Alfa Bank and Spectrum Health trying to reach a server that didn’t seem to be doing anything? After analyzing the data, Max said, 'We decided this was a covert communication channel.'”
Sep 26, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
The Crisis of Election Security: As the midterms approach, America’s electronic voting systems are more vulnerable than ever. Why isn’t anyone trying to fix them? The right question, @KimZetter: nyti.ms/2N3hoAh
"The Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community and election officials have all insisted that there is no evidence that Russian hackers altered votes in 2016. But the truth is that no one has really looked for evidence."
Sep 26, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
America's opioid crisis, as advertised on Zuckerberg's websites: Instagram has become a sizable open marketplace for advertising illegal drugs, with personalized drug-related content aimed directly at folks who show an interest in buying, per @lizzadwoskin washingtonpost.com/business/econo…
Eric is right, this is outrageous: “They are playing whack-a-mole here. They take them down, and then they come back again,” Feinberg said. “If [the tech companies] were really doing a full-court press, we wouldn’t keep finding what we are finding.”
Sep 24, 2018 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
A meticulous analysis of online activity during the 2016 campaign makes a powerful case that targeted cyberattacks by Russian hackers and trolls were decisive in the election, reports @JaneMayerNYer: newyorker.com/magazine/2018/…
“Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President—What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know,” by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is available next week. amazon.com/Cyberwar-Russi…
1/ At tomorrow's @nycmedialab Summit, we'll discuss everything from neural interfaces to synthetic media to digital equity. Here is a brief run down of what to expect at #NYCML18summit.nycmedialab.org2/ We'll kick the morning off bright and early with a talk from Thomas Reardon, the CEO and co-founder of neural interfaces startup @CTRLlabsCo , on a new generation of human-computer interaction ctrl-labs.com
Sep 15, 2018 • 8 tweets • 5 min read
1/ As a former employee of @TheEconomist- I worked there on the publishing side for ~12 years- I bought a ticket to its #OpenFuture event, but am leaving my seat empty to join the @riseandresistny protest outside against Steve Bannon's role in the event. 2/ You can read @zannymb's statement on why the newspaper chose to host Bannon at this event. I know this statement was the product of a great deal of discussion and debate in the editorial department, and included perspectives from outside it. economist.com/open-future/20…
Sep 14, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Florence is making landfall in North Carolina; flooding looks intense in some areas.
If you follow me, you know I tend to tweet about a variety of things- technology, media & disinformation; immigration; racial justice; international affairs; and general science and cultural ephemera. But I also spend a lot of time on the Russia investigation. Here's why.
Donald's election- with a minority of the popular vote- was based on a series of lies. We're learning about more- such as the recent Cohen revelations- but the cooperation between his campaign and Russia's interference is chief amongst them. But it's not just about the past.
Aug 27, 2018 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
I'm watching The Future of Fakes, the 17 minute @BuzzFeedNews documentary on @netflix covering misinformation, featuring @cwarzel.
Okay I feel bad for Charlie's mom. He used lyrebird to mimic himself on a call with her. Effective. I'm hoping she shows up later on and we find out how she feels about that.
Landmark study in Germany scrutinized every anti-refugee attack in the country, 3,335 in 2 yrs, concluded that wherever per-person Facebook use rose to one standard deviation above the national average, attacks on refugees increased by about 50 percent. nytimes.com/2018/08/21/wor…
Estimates "...this effect drove one-tenth of all anti-refugee violence. The uptick in violence did not correlate with general web use or other related factors; this was not about the internet as an open platform for mobilization or communication. It was particular to Facebook."
Aug 18, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
White House counsel Don McGahn has cooperated extensively with Mueller, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether Donald obstructed justice, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise: nyti.ms/2ONyPWZ
"It is not clear that Mr. Trump appreciates the extent to which Mr. McGahn has cooperated with the special counsel. The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and solely defend his interests to investigators...."
Aug 15, 2018 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
The information environment in America is only going to get worse. Left & right are building more weapons, recruiting more soldiers and irregulars, pumping more money & time into civil information warfare. Gaming the platforms, diminishing traditional media, fighting one another.
The media center of gravity on the left has it moored closer to traditional gatekeepers and fact based journalism. But that won't hold forever. Those on the left admire the tactics of the right, and seek them out. "It's okay when we do it."
Aug 9, 2018 • 13 tweets • 5 min read
1/ Trump transition team member @DevinNunes, December 2016: “I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence—even now.”
2/ In January 2017, @DevinNunes publicly said Congress shoudn't investigate possible contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign, claiming, “House committees don’t go operational like that, that I know of.”
Aug 8, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Twitter's CEO admits his platform spreads disinformation, but puts the onus for confronting it on the dwindling ranks of journalists. This is why democracies are so challenged: tech companies create golems they expect someone else to slay; meanwhile real monsters plunder nations.
The implications of this perspective are tragic. The business model of technology companies has decimated journalism, but here a tech CEO admits we need that same journalism to save us from the worst side effect of those very same technology companies: a polluted discourse.
Aug 7, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Quite the economy emerging around Q Anon. Amazon lists 916 items for the search term "Q Anon," including this delightful romper for the rugrat in your life.
Of course, there are books, including some that round up Q posts and some that present images- 'maps'- shared by Q. This one is in Amazon's "Education & Teaching" section for Kindle books.
Aug 5, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Headlines are suggesting a Venezuelan 'drone assassination' attempt, but:
"Three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case say the incident was actually a gas tank explosion inside an apartment."
Also, remember Gordon is known for personally advocated for softening party platform language on Ukraine because "this was the language Donald Trump himself wanted," as he later said.
Aug 3, 2018 • 11 tweets • 4 min read
My latest piece on tech + policy is at the top of @just_security today- looking at the parallels between two documents released this week. One, a policy paper from Senator @MarkWarner; Two, the interim report from the UK @CommonsCMS inquiry into misinfo: justsecurity.org/59950/lawmaker…
These two reports- both first drafts of policy recommendations from the MPs involved in the UK inquiry led by @DamianCollins and Senator Warner in the US- are the result of an extraordinary transatlantic inquiry into questions at the intersection of tech, media and democracy.