ACMA now has the power to demand ISPs block overseas gambling sites
Apple accused of having a gender-biased credit limit algorithm for its US-only credit card
Microsoft isn’t using its own child porn detection service on Bing
Algo-Pihole lets you deploy Algo VPN and Pi-Hole ad blocking in the one script
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There's a new category of websites joining pirated TV shows and movies, kiddie porn and sites deliberately hosting malware in the DNS block list of Australian ISPs - overseas gambling dens. According to communications and cyber safety minister Paul Fletcher, overseas gambling sites are being added to the block list because "$400 million is spent annually by Australians on illegal gambling websites, accounting for around $100 million in lost tax revenue each year". Unlike blocking copyrighted material, no court order is required to block gambling sites. If ACMA doesn't want a certain gambling site accessible in Australia, ACMA will order ISPs to block it. I'm no fan of gambling, but if this isn't a prime example of scope creep, I don't know what is.
David Heinemeier Hansson (aka the Ruby on Rails/Basecamp guy) went on a Twitter rant yesterday that Steve Wozniak joined in on, regarding Apple's lack of insight regarding how the algorithm that determines credit limits for the Apple Card works. DHH reckons the algorithm has some gender bias either deliberately or accidentally, as there's a massive discrepancy between what his wife was given as a credit limit (modest) compared to what he was given (huge) despite almost identical variables provided. Apple were totally unable to tell him why and when the tweets went viral, his wife's credit limit was given a significant bump. The New York Department of Financial Services has since decided to investigate the Apple Card's credit algorithm to see if it breaks the law regarding equal treatment regardless of sex.
Microsoft's Bing search engine is serving up kiddie porn their own PhotoDNA service is aware of, according to a series of tests conducted by the New York Times. Yahoo and DuckDuckGo suffer the same problem as they use Bing for search results. Dropbox and OneDrive are in a similar boat, allowing users to store known child porn because they're reluctant to go "snooping" into user's accounts - yet willingly do it for copyrighted TV shows and movies. In the same article there are stories from the Canadian Center for Child Protection who reported various images of child abuse to Google and Google either dismissing the images as not a problem or taking months to respond and only after constant requests and demands. Every tech company looks bad here.
Massive thanks to Kim who emailed me last week and let me know about about this combination of Pi-Hole (the adblocking software we all know and love) and Algo (the VPN installer package we all know and love) up on GitHub. This set of Ansible scripts takes Algo and installs Pi-Hole within it, so when you connect to your Algo-installed VPN, you also block ads & tracking scripts with Pi-Hole. Win-win! I personally use Algo configured for Wireguard, with a Vultr server hosted in AU. Mostly for the Pi-Hole blocking stuff, not so much the VPN stuff as I use 4G 99% of the time (public wi-fi sucks).
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