Facebook will verify the location of U.S. election ad buyers by mailing them postcards

 Facebook’s global director of policy programs says it will start sending postcards by snail mail to verify buyers of ads related to United States elections. Katie Harbath, who described the plan at a conference held by the National Association of Secretaries of State this weekend, didn’t reveal when the program will start, but told Reuters that it would be before the… Read More

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Special counsel Robert Mueller indicts Russian bot farm for election meddling

 Special Counsel Robert Mueller has just handed down a set of indictments, charging 13 Russian citizens and three Russian organizations with interference in the U.S. presidential election in efforts dating back to 2014. The indictment names the Internet Research Agency, a bot farm and disinformation operation based out of St. Petersburg as one of the sources of the fake accounts meant to… Read More

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Seattle says Facebook broke one of its campaign advertising laws

 Seattle’s election commission says Facebook broke a city law that requires it to disclose who paid for campaign ads. Reuters reports that the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission’s executive director, Wayne Barnett, said Facebook must reveal advertising spending information for last year’s city elections or potentially face fines of up to $5,000 per ad purchase. Read More

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At the State of the Union, Trump touts tax cuts and immigration deal

 With a president as mercurial as Trump, it was anyone’s guess what would happen during his first State of the Union address. The appearance is the president’s most high profile public speaking moment of the year and Trump was expected to touch on some of the issues of the moment, including funding for a border wall, infrastructure and an immigration deal. While less likely if… Read More

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The GAO will investigate potential fraud in the FCC’s net neutrality comments… in 5 months

 The Government Accountability Office has accepted a Congressional request to investigate the possibility of fraud and identify theft in the comments for the FCC’s net neutrality rollback. Several Members of Congress wrote asking for this in December, and the GAO will look into it — in five months or so. Read More

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Twitter updates total of Russia-linked election bots to 50,000

 Twitter has provided updated details on its investigation into Russian election interference on its platform in 2016. Its identification of more than 13,000 more Russian-linked bots that made election-related tweets puts the total over 50,000. In addition, about 3,800 (up 1,000 from Twitter’s data in the fall) were associated with the now-notorious Internet Research Agency. Read More

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With all 49 Democrats on board, Senate leaders sound off on plan to restore net neutrality

 Democrats in the Senate have achieved unanimous party support of the plan to undo the FCC’s recently passed order gutting net neutrality. All 49 Democratic Senators and one Republican are ready to officially disapprove the Restoring Internet Freedom rule, requiring only one more vote to send this bill to… its inevitable death on the floor of the House or at best the desk of the… Read More

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Twitter hits back again at claims that its employees monitor direct messages

 Twitter is pushing back against claims made by conservative activist group Project Veritas that its employees monitor private user data, including direct messages. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Twitter representative said “we do not proactively review DMs. Period. A limited number of employees have access to such information, for legitimate work purposes, and we enforce strict… Read More

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Twitter asserts that it won’t ban Trump because he’s a world leader

 Just days after President Trump’s tweets antagonized a foreign adversary over who would be first to start nuclear war, Twitter has addressed calls for the company to ban the chatty, often bellicose U.S. president. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime… Read More

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Researchers can now make neighborhood voting predictions from Google Street View images

 In a sign that computers will be able to perform image analysis as fluently as text analysis, a group of Stanford-based researchers were able to make accurate predictions about neighborhood voting patterns based on millions of pictures collected from Google Street View, reports The New York Times. While other academic projects have used artificial intelligence to mine Google Street View for… Read More

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