Craig Timberg

Misinformation dropped dramatically the week after Twitter banned Trump and some allies

San Francisco-based analytics firm Zignal Labs has found that online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies.

Federal investigators find evidence of previously unknown tactics used to penetrate government networks

Federal investigators reported on evidence of previously unknown tactics for penetrating government computer networks, a development that underscores the disastrous reach of Russia’s recent intrusions and the logistical nightmare facing federal officials trying to purge intruders from key systems. While many details remained unclear, the revelation about new modes of attack raises fresh questions about the access that Russian hackers were able to gain in government and corporate systems worldwide. 

Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him.

Hours after President Trump’s incendiary post about sending the military to the Minnesota protests, he called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The post put the company in a difficult position, Zuckerberg told President Donald Trump. The same message was hidden by Twitter, the strongest action ever taken against a presidential post.

Biden campaign assails Facebook for 'haggling’ with Trump over his online posts

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign demanded that Facebook prevent misuse of its platform by President Donald Trump to spread “hateful content” and misleading claims about mail-in voting ahead of the November election. The letter, signed by Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, raised particular concern about revelations in a 

Your Internet is working. Thank these Cold War-era pioneers who designed it to handle almost anything

Despite some problems, the Internet overall is handling unprecedented surges of demand as it keeps a fractured world connected at a time of global catastrophe. The Internet, born as a Pentagon project during the chillier years of the Cold War, has taken such a central role in 21st Century civilian society, culture and business that few pause any longer to appreciate its wonders — except perhaps, as in the past few weeks, when it becomes even more central to our lives. “Resiliency and redundancy are very much a part of the Internet design,” explained Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf, whose passi

YouTube under federal investigation over allegations it violates children’s privacy

Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission is in the late stages of an investigation into YouTube for allegedly violating children’s privacy, in a probe that threatens the company with a potential fine and already has prompted the tech giant to reevaluate some of its business practices. The FTC launched its investigation after numerous complaints from consumer groups and privacy advocates.

Where 20 years of child online protection law went wrong

Two decades after Congress tried to wall off the worst of the Internet in hopes of protecting the privacy and innocence of children, the ramparts lie in ruins. Many popular online offerings maintain they are “not directed” at children. But the services also don’t ask users how old they are. This tactic, lawyers say, helps the companies sidestep the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a 1998 law that restricts the tracking and targeting of those younger than 13 but requires “actual knowledge” of a user’s age as a key trigger to enforcement.

Through email leaks and propaganda, Russians sought to elect Trump, Mueller finds

In what will stand as among the most definitive public accounts of the Kremlin’s attack on the American political system, the report of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation laid out in precise, chronological detail how “the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” The Russians’ goal, Mueller emphasized at several points, was to assist Donald Trump’s run for the White House and to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

Facebook is investigating the political pages and ads of another group backed by Reid Hoffman

Facebook said it is investigating whether an organization backed by Internet billionaire and Democratic megadonor Reid Hoffman violated the social media giant’s policies when it set up several misleading news pages in a bid to target US voters with left-leaning political messages. The probe focuses on News for Democracy, whose Facebook ads and affiliated pages about sports, religion, the American flag and other topics were viewed millions of times during the 2018 midterm elections, according to an analysis of the company ad archive conducted by New York University.