DDoS-for-Hire website taken down in global collaboration of law enforcement agencies

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Webstresser.org, a popular DDoS-for-Hire website service on Wednesday was taken down by authorities from the US, UK, Netherlands, and various other countries in a major international investigation and arrests have been made. The website is blamed for more than four million cyber attacks globally in the past three years and had over 134,000 registered users at the time of the takedown. The operation, dubbed "Operation Power OFF," targeted Webstresser.org, It involved law enforcement agencies from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Serbia, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, Hongkong, Canada, and United States of America, coordinating with Europol. The domain name was seized by the US Department of Defence.


This startup's racial-profiling algorithm shows AI can be dangerous way before any robot apocalypse

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The biggest danger AI poses today isn't the potential of killer robots or Roko's Basilisk--it's the potential to scale bias and racism to the size of the internet. The latest example of this is an "ethnicity detection" algorithm marketed by Moscow-based NtechLab as an "upcoming feature" to the facial recognition technology it sells. The new algorithm which promises to accurately look at images of people and determine their ethnic background; an image that was on the site, but has since been removed due to public backlash, showed classifications like "European," "African," and "Arabic." While the image has been removed, ethnicity recognition is still listed as an upcoming product on the NtechLab site. Privacy advocates like the American Civil Liberties Union already decry the use of facial-recognition AI in most cases, making the case that widespread adoption of the technology would mean we would live under constant surveillance by police or large tech companies.


Facial Recognition Used by Wales Police Has 90 Percent False Positive Rate

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Thousands of attendees of the 2017 Champions League final in Cardiff, Wales were mistakenly identified as potential criminals by facial recognition technology used by local law enforcement. According to the Guardian, the South Wales police scanned the crowd of more than 170,000 people who traveled to the nation's capital for the soccer match between Real Madrid and Juventus. The cameras identified 2,470 people as criminals. Having that many potential lawbreakers in attendance might make sense if the event was, say, a convict convention, but seems pretty high for a soccer match. As it turned out, the cameras were a little overly-aggressive in trying to spot some bad guys.


Venezuela activist's 'jumped out of the window' death reminiscent of Franco times: Spanish minister

The Japan Times

MADRID – Spain's foreign minister on Thursday compared the death of a Venezuelan activist in government custody with cases that took place during his country's fascist dictatorship when prisoners being interrogated suddenly "jumped out of the window. Fernando Alban, a Caracas city council member accused of taking part in a failed drone attack on President Nicolas Maduro, died on Monday while in pretrial detention in an incident that has sparked international outrage. Authorities say the 52-year-old committed suicide by jumping out of a 10th-floor window of the state intelligence service headquarters, but his supporters counter that he was murdered. "It brings to memory events during the last years of (dictator Francisco) Franco's regime when prisoners who were being interrogated in police departments also jumped out of the window," Foreign Minister Josep Borrel told reporters. One case that shook Spain during the 1939-1975 dictatorship was that of leftist student Enrique Ruano, whom authorities said committed suicide by throwing himself from the seventh floor while in police custody. His family has always maintained he was murdered. Borrell stressed that such incidents in Spain toward the end of Franco's regime could not be compared to what is happening in Venezuela. But he added the Venezuelan government would have to "give explanations, just like any country would have to if this kind of event took place." "People don't jump out of windows from a tenth floor, something must have happened for this to take place," he said. The United Nations, European Union and several countries -- including Spain -- have asked for an independent investigation into what happened in Caracas. Borrell was speaking after meeting his Brazilian counterpart Aloysio Nunes in Madrid. Both said they would not join a call by multiple countries for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Maduro's government for crimes against humanity. The request was made at the end of September by Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru, and is supported by France. Both ministers said the ICC had already started its own probe and the legal basis for accusing the Venezuelan government of crimes against humanity was "not very clear.