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Social Networking Giant Facebook Wants Your Views on Content Oversight Board

“In June, we’ll publish a report summarising what we’ve learned through these submissions and in the broader conversations we’re having,” Harris said

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Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Facebook is inviting inputs from people around the world to build an independent body that will be able to reverse the social networking giant’s decisions about allowing or removing certain posts on the platform.

Given the size of its community — over two billion globally — Facebook felt that it should not alone be making all the decisions about what content should stay up and what should come down, based on its community standards.

In November 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a plan for a new way for people to appeal content decisions to an independent board.

“Today, we’re opening a public consultation process to help us answer questions around the design for this Oversight Board,” Brent Harris, Facebook’s Director of Governance and Oversight Board, wrote in a blog post on Monday.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

“This is another part of our ongoing, global engagement with a wide range of organisations, think-tanks and researchers to determine how best to empower this entity to render independent judgment on some of Facebook’s most important and challenging content decisions,” Harris said.

There are two sections of this consultation. The first section is a questionnaire and the second section includes three essay questions, which will ask for open-ended perspectives on board membership, decisions and governance.

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“In June, we’ll publish a report summarising what we’ve learned through these submissions and in the broader conversations we’re having,” Harris said. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

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WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)