This is the final issue of The Sizzle for 2019! It’ll return on the 6th of Jan, 2020. There might be a year in review Sizzle or two sent out between now and then, but I haven’t written them yet and my desire to relive 2019 is very, very low. Throw your computer out the window for two weeks like I am and enjoy life away from a screen. Thanks for subscribing in 2019 and see you in 2020!

In This Issue


Mobile internet shut down in Delhi in response to massive protests against government

The Indian government has shutdown mobile voice, SMS & data in Delhi, thinking it’ll do something to quell massive protests against a new citizenship law (something about fast-tracking citizenship for all "illegal" immigrants as long as they're not Muslims). India loves doing this stuff in more remote cities when there’s a WhatsApp lynch mob, but this is the first time they've done it in a capital city. Court orders were sent to the mobile telcos telling them to turn off towers in the areas protests were planned - presumably so police could bash protestors without people live streaming it. Imagine if during anti-offshore detention protests in Sydney or Melbourne, the government told Telstra, Vodafone and Optus to disable services in the CBD - that's essentially what India has done.

Facebook decides to stop using mobile numbers provided for 2FA for stuff other than 2FA

A few months ago it was revealed that Facebook was using mobile numbers users provide for two factor authentication to power the "find my friends" feature. They would beg for your mobile number under the pretense of improving your account security, but they also used it as a way for others to find you on Facebook even if you didn't want that to happen. Today, Facebook said they're going to make it work how users expect (the mobile number given for 2FA is only for 2FA) in Ecuador, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Libya and Cambodia this week and the rest of the world early 2020. According to Reuters, "existing users of the tool will not be affected, but can de-link their two-factor authentication numbers from the friend suggestion feature by deleting them and adding them again". Facebook supports 2FA codes (i.e: Google Auth/Authy) and security tokens, so you should use those instead of a mobile number anyways.

Judge says all financial proceeds from Snowden’s memoir belong to US government

Bad news for patriot and hero Edward Snowden - a US federal court has ruled that every cent he earns from his memoir, Permanent Record (on my list of things to read over the break!), belongs to the US government. Apparently whilst working for the CIA and NSA, Edward signed a contract "promising to seek pre-clearance from those agencies before publishing any book or other publication containing classified materials. If he failed to do so, the contracts said, Snowden would forfeit any proceeds to the federal government". I figure the reason he wrote the book wasn't to make a quick buck and I'm sure if he was hard up for cash there's hundreds of thousands of people who would donate to make sure he doesn't starve and has a roof over his head. But it's still gotta sting to have the government act like this.

Not News

Stuff for you to waste time with over the next two weeks

Because it'll be a while since we meet again, here's 5 interesting links to fill the gap between our next encounter:


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😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​