Issue 1299 - Monday 8th February, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

US government starts to regulate the tech industry, starting with section 230 & mergers

The SAFE TECH Act is one of the first attempts by the US Democrats to overhaul Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Right now Section 230 of that law protects "protects large tech platforms from liability over the content posted by their users". These new changes will remove immunity to lawsuits alleging stalking, harassment, or intimidation on social media posts or advertisements online. A seperate bill, the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act, was also run up the flagpole. This one is aimed at raising the bar for tech company mergers and making it easier for the FTC and DoJ to reject a merger if the merger would hurt competition in that market.

Plex Media Servers enlisted as soldiers in DDoS army

Tighten the screws on your Plex Media Server folks, it looks like naughty people are hunting them down and using a flaw to enlist the servers in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. According to Plex, "this issue appears to be limited to a small number of media server owners who have misconfigured their firewalls by allowing UDP traffic on device-discovery ports from the public internet to reach their servers, and our current understanding is that it does not allow an attacker to compromise any Plex user's device security or privacy". They're working on a "simple patch that adds an extra layer of protection for those servers that may have been accidentally exposed and will release it shortly".

60% of electricity in South Australia came from renewables over the past 12 months

South Australia managed to produce 60% of its electricity from wind and solar the last 12 months. This is an amazing feat considering that in that 12 month period there were times when "wind and solar farms were forced to switch off for either economic reasons (prices were too low), or because of network limits (there was simply too much wind and solar in the system)". South Australia also has the cheapest wholesale electricity pricing in Australia thanks to renewables (the the retailers waltz in a murder ya). Here's a big fuck you to every gormless sack of shit that said and continues to say that transitioning to renewable energy is too hard or impossible.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Nevada wants to let tech companies make their own branch of government

The US state of Nevada is proposing a law that'll set up "Innovation Zones" - areas where companies can turn large swathes of undeveloped land into their own local government. Aimed at tech companies wanting to break free of the stifling rules and laws in California or Seattle, this law pretty much lets companies set themselves up in the desert and do whatever they like as long as it's done under the guise of "groundbreaking technologies" and "innovative technology". I couldn't think of anywhere worse to live, constantly in the shadow of your employer, your life so tightly bound to them.


The End

📻 Neon Baby - The Comet is Coming

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

💬 Did you know that The Sizzle has a Slack group? Join in and chat with other subscribers like you.

💳 Paid subscriber looking to manage your billing info? Visit the customer portal.

🌐 Use my affiliate link to purchase a subscription to NextDNS. It's basically all the ad-blocking and logging of Pi-Hole, combined with the fancy protocols and security of Cloudflare's DNS service all rolled into one! I don't use the internet without it.

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.‚Äč