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MessagePosté le: Sam 12 Aoû - 03:39 (2017)    Sujet du message: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HAS THE POWER TO DESTROY OR SAVE DEMOCRACY Répondre en citant

from Net Politics and Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program

Artificial intelligence has helped politicians get elected, but what effect is it having on democracy?

Blog Post by Guest Blogger for Adam Segal
August 07, 2017

The Twitter logo in front of 0s and 1s. Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Vyacheslav Polonski is a PhD student at the Oxford Internet Institute and the co-founder of Avantgarde Analytics. You can follow him @avantanalytics.

It’s a great time to be a politician and an even better one for engineers that specialize in machine learning that work for them.

Throughout history, candidates for office have always had limited tools to hone their message and secure votes (aside from outright bribing). Anecdotal evidence is not representative and surveys are imperfect. More often than not, politicians relied more on instinct rather than insight when campaigning.

Today, campaigns have the ability to comb large swaths of data to micro-target specific categories of voters, and develop messaging that will resonate most with them. These efforts began in earnest with the 2008 U.S. presidential election and were honed in 2012 and 2016.

What is good for a politician and their engineers, however, is not necessarily good for a democracy. There is evidence to suggest that artificial intelligence-powered technologies have been systematically misused to manipulate citizens in recent elections.

One example of such manipulation is the use of political bots to spread right-wing propaganda and fake news on social media. Bots are autonomous accounts that are programmed to aggressively spread one-sided political messages to manufacture the illusion of public support. This is an increasingly wide-spread tactic that attempts to shape public discourse and distort political sentiment.

Typically disguised as ordinary human accounts, bots have been responsible for spreading misinformation and contributing to an acrimonious political climate on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. They are very effective at attacking voters from the opposing camp and even discouraging them from going to the voting booth.
For example, Pro-Trump bots regularly infiltrated the online spaces used by pro-Clinton campaigners to spread highly automated content, generating one quarter of Twitter traffic about the 2016 election.

Bots were also largely responsible for popularizing #MacronLeaks on social media just days before the French presidential election. They swarmed Facebook and Twitter with leaked information that was mixed with falsified reports, to build a narrative that Emmanuel Macron was a fraud and hypocrite—a common tactic used by bots to push trending topics and dominate social feeds while giving the impression that the messages promoted are from genuine people.

In addition to shaping online debate, AI can also be used to target and manipulate individual voters: during the U.S. presidential election, the data science firm Cambridge Analytica rolled out an extensive advertising campaign that targeted persuadable voters based on their individual psychology. This highly sophisticated micro-targeting operation relied on big data and machine learning to influence people’s emotions.

The problem with using AI in political campaigns is not the technology itself, but rather the covert nature of its use and the targeted messages that preyed on individuals’ psychological vulnerabilities. Different voters received different messages based on predictions about their susceptibility to different arguments. The paranoid received ads with messages that were mostly fear-based. People with a conservative pre-disposition received ads with arguments based on tradition and community.

The micro-targeting was possible thanks to voter data available from social media and data miners, which can often include lifestyle attributes, consumption patterns and social relationships. Every click online generates signals that could be readily accessed and analyzed to build unique behavioral and psychographic profiles.

A presidential candidate with flexible campaign promises like Donald Trump was, of course, particularly well-suited for this tactic. Every voter could receive a tailored message that emphasised a different side of the argument. There was a different Trump for every voter—the Trump campaign just needed to find the right emotional triggers for each person to drive them to action.

This is a disquieting trend. A representative democracy depends on free and fair elections in which citizens can vote their conscience, free of manipulation. Yet AI and related technologies threaten to undermine fair elections if it continues to be methodically used to manipulate voters and promote extreme narratives.

All is not lost. AI itself is not harmful. The same algorithmic tools used to mislead, misinform and confuse can be re-purposed to support democracy and increase civic engagement. An ethical approach to AI can work to inform and serve an electorate. New AI startups like Factmata and Avantgarde Analytics are already providing these technological solutions. For example, political bots can be programmed to spread information debunking known falsehoods, like the infamous WTOE 5 News article that falsely claimed the pope had endorsed Donald Trump. Similarly, micro-targeting campaigns can educate voters on a variety of political issues to help them make up their own mind. And most importantly, AI can be used to listen to an electorate to ensure their elected representatives can hear them.

The use of AI techniques in politics is not going away anytime soon—it is simply too valuable to politicians and their campaigns. However, they should commit to use AI as ethically and judiciously as possible to ensure that their attempts to sway voters do not undermine democracy as a whole.


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MessagePosté le: Sam 12 Aoû - 03:39 (2017)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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MessagePosté le: Dim 13 Aoû - 03:11 (2017)    Sujet du message: GOOGLE’S NEW POLICIES ARE STRAIGHT OUT OF ORWELL’S 1984 / THE YouTube PURGE AGAINST INDEPENDENT NEWS IS HERE Répondre en citant


Aug 9, 2017
Melissa Dykes

Aug 9, 2017
Melissa Dykes

Remember 1984? In Orwell’s dystopic vision of the future, there was a huge difference between “truth” — what actually is — and “facts” — what a consensus has been led to believe.

Now the search engine giant Google will be delisting and censoring content that doesn’t follow “well-established” scientific, medical, or historical “facts”. Check out the company’s newly updated quality raters guidelines.

While you may think of all the links returned to you in a Google search as “information choices,” Google’s Eric Schmidt (annual Bilderberg attendee) thinks of them as “bugs” that need to be eradicated from their system, and that users should be given one “right” answer. In that case, these new guidelines are the extermination squad.

On one page, it refers to “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT)” regarding on what constitutes “expertise” on a topic in the eyes of Google, then proceeds to link to the BBC and USA Today as “high quality news sources”.

It also notes, High quality information pages on scientific topics should represent well-established scientific consensus on issues where such consensus exists.” Medical information will be ranked and listed the same way. Take a guess what the prescribed “consensus” is there…

The guide also specifically mentions giving the lowest rankings to what they deem “conspiracy theories”.

VIDEO : http://truthstreammedia.com/2017/08/09/googles-new-policies-straight-orwell…

Welcome to 1984. Is anyone going to say anything?

And if they do, will anyone hear us?

(Some in the comments have suggested DuckDuckGo which claims not to track and Startpage. At least there are alternatives out there, but more people need to start using them en masse to really effect change.)



VIDEO : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOkeJo2Tye8

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MessagePosté le: Ven 18 Aoû - 05:59 (2017)    Sujet du message: ‘EVERY COUNTRY SHOULD HAVE A CYBER WAR’: WHAT ESTONIA LEARNED FROM RUSSIAN HACKING Répondre en citant


August 14, 2017
Markus Schreiber/AP

Estonia’s steps have certainly been radical, and other countries can learn lessons from them about how to defend themselves.

In 1991, Estonia was part of the dying communist empire. Its economy was run by central planners in Moscow, less than half of all households had a phone line, and goods were so scarce that people had to line up for food.

Skip ahead 26 years, and Estonians don’t even have to queue to vote. They do that online.

In just over two decades, Estonia has become one of the world’s most digitally innovative and efficient countries. In fact, Estonians conduct all their civic responsibilities online.

Offices and paper forms have become obsolete as state-issued digital identities allow all citizens to carry out any financial or government transaction from their laptops or cellphones. And that gives them an edge when it comes to cybersecurity.

Estonia’s journey down the digital road has been astonishingly fast. When it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, it had almost no money and few natural resources. But it did have one advantage: It was the designated center for software and computer production for the USSR. After achieving independence, the country had a pool of tech expertise for them to build on.

During these early years of independence, Estonia needed to create the means for a new economy. And it wasn’t going to be easy. The country’s tiny population of just 1.3 million is spread over a relatively vast countryside. Outside the capital Tallinn, there’s an average of just four people per square kilometer. The new government didn’t have the resources to extend government offices or banking facilities to small towns and villages, so it decided to encourage self-service, and spread internet access across the country in order to do so. :roll:

To achieve this, the government set up an investment group to build computer networking and infrastructure. By 1997, almost every school was connected to the internet, and by 2004, 300 wifi access points had been established, bringing the internet even to small villages—and mostly for free.

But this was just laying the groundwork. Estonia’s biggest turning point was 10 years ago, when the country came under sustained cyberattack.

In 2007, Estonia was in the middle of a political fight with Moscow over plans to remove a Soviet war memorial from a park in Tallinn. Suddenly, it was hit with three weeks of D-DoS (designated denial of service) attacks. When this happens, multiple sources send multiple online requests, flooding a service or system and making it unable to function. It’s the digital equivalent of crowding an entrance to a building so that no one can come in or out.

Read more Which Cyberattacks Should the United States Deter, and How?

See also US Cyber Diplomacy Has Bigger Problems Than the Closure of its Coordination Office

And Counties Are on the Front Lines of Cyber War

As a result, the internet shut down as websites were bombarded with traffic. Russia denied any involvement, but Estonia didn’t believe it.

“War is the continuation of policy by other means,” Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid told a NATO cyber-conference in Tallinn in June 2017. “Ten years on, it is clear that the decision made by Estonia not to withdraw but stay and fight for the security of our cyberspace was indeed the right one.”

The attacks made Estonia more determined than ever to develop its digital economy and make it safe from future attacks. “I think every country should have a cyber war,” says Taavi Kotka, the government’s former chief information officer. “Citizens get knowledge about what an attack means, about how phishing works, how D-DoS works, and they start to understand and live with that. People aren’t afraid if they know they can survive something. It’s the same thing as electricity going off: Okay, it’s an inconvenience, but you know how to deal with it.”

In Estonia, people are not afraid of cyber warfare, nor are they afraid of sharing personal data across public and private institutions. Go to a hospital, and the nurse or doctor can call up your entire health records from any doctor you ever visited without the need to call their offices and asking them to send files.

Full marks for convenience, simplicity, and efficiency. But what about the dangers of nameless bureaucrats accessing your personal data? Isn’t there a risk of future governments abusing the system and using your intimate details against you? Isn’t this inviting an Orwellian nightmare?

Estonia says no. Unlike an authoritarian state like the old Soviet Union, government transparency is built into the system. While all your private data is online, only you can give permission for any data to be accessed. And you can check who has accessed what. If a doctor you don’t know has viewed your records, it will be traceable, and you can have them sacked. As one software developer Quartz spoke to said, “You become your own Big Brother.” = Lies. We don't have any control about our data and we can't see it and they don't ask to us permission who should be access to our data.

Data is protected through a framework known as X-road, which helps exchange decentralized data between big government databases. X-road has built-in security measures that encrypt traffic and time-stamps so that the data cannot be manipulated. = Lie, they can change and manipulate anything they want in our data and be use against us if we don't submit to their agenda.

Taimar Peterkop, from Estonia’s Information System Authority, says that the security measures built into E-identity databases are all but impenetrable by outsiders. “Estonia takes data integrity very seriously because our society is so digitized,” he says. “If someone manipulates citizens’ data, that’s a challenge for us. We use blockchain-based technology to ensure the data is as it should be.”

When it comes to security, Peterkop says humans are usually the weak link. “Cybersecurity starts with us. If you have weak cyber hygiene, that’s a problem. We need to raise awareness and educate people about using strong authentication methods,” he says. For example, Estonia has public-education campaigns about how to use your smart devices wisely.

It seems like glaringly obvious advice, but a look at the recent US election shows that basic cyber hygiene has been an after-thought, even for the powerful. When Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta’s Gmail account was hacked, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claimed Podesta’s password was simply the word “password.” The campaign denied this claim and said they fell victim to a phishing scam. Whatever the case, it was an avoidable security breach that should never have occurred.

Peterkop also says that consumers need to ask more questions about the Internet of Things, especially when it comes to everyday household products and devices. “There is so much pressure to come up with new products in a hurry, so security measures are an after-thought,” he says. “As consumers, it’s essential that we start paying attention to it. We don’t do enough risk mitigation. Basically every TV is a computer now.” These issues are present already: recent document dump from Wikileaks points to hacking tools that directly relate to Samsung televisions.

Estonians don’t see cybersecurity as a phenomenon, and they know that good cyber hygiene isn’t just about strong passwords: It’s about being empowered by technology, not controlled by it.

Estonia’s steps have certainly been radical, and other countries can learn lessons from them about how to defend themselves. As well as creating a paperless public service,

Estonia is now backing up government data on secure servers offsite in Luxembourg. It has also prioritized tougher international action for cyber-crime and encouraged private companies to review security measures and have stronger agreements with server providers.

The shock of a cyberwar united the community to take action. The challenge for other countries is to take action without one.


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MessagePosté le: Hier à 23:34 (2017)    Sujet du message: FOCUSED ON SECURITY, TRUMP ELEVATES CYBERCOM Répondre en citant


VIDEO : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU4aKdbvkoA

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MessagePosté le: Aujourd’hui à 01:50 (2017)    Sujet du message: WEEKEND READ : IT TOOK CHARLOTTESVILLE FOR SILICON VALLEY TO STAND UP TO HATE Répondre en citant


August 19, 2017

Silicon Valley has a reputation as a liberal place, but it was a critical partner in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally that cost a counter-protestor her life.

Hate groups of all stripes used their websites to advertise their participation in the rally. They turned to social media to urge their followers to join them. And they used services like PayPal and Patreon to fund their invasion of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Such partnerships may soon be a thing of the past. By Monday morning, service providers had begun to pull the plug on hate groups and individual extremists alike.

“I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the internet,” Cloudflare Chief Executive Matthew Prince wrote in an email to employees announcing his suspension of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.

The Daily Stormer became the top hate site in America last year, but it struggled to stay online this week after its long-time host, GoDaddy, delisted its domain on Monday.

Over the course of the week, The Daily Stormer transferred its registration to Google and even to the Russian Network Information Center, only to be kicked off each provider.

“Charlottesville has definitely lit a fire under some people,” SPLC Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich told USA Today. “I wonder if the violence marks a sea change.”

Beirich is right that tech companies have been stubbornly hands-off in the past. Despite policies that are ostensibly “anti-hate,” they have rarely taken action to remove hateful content or users from their platforms.

But as the nation grapples with the violent coordination of hate groups across the far-right spectrum in Charlottesville, Facebook has shut down at least nine pages connected to the rally; Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn have suspended several extremist accounts; Reddit has eliminated one discussion community that supported “Unite the Right,” and even OKCupid has kicked white nationalist Christopher Cantwell off the dating site.

By far, the biggest sweep came from PayPal, which agreed to block at least 34 organizations from using its services after an SPLC report highlighted how extremists used the platform to fund the rally in Charlottesville.

“For the longest time, PayPal has essentially been the banking system for white nationalism,” the SPLC’s Keegan Hankes told The Washington Post. “It’s a shame it took Charlottesville for them to take it seriously.”

It is good news that PayPal, Pateron, and other tech companies are finally taking steps to curb the hate on their platforms. But to truly make a dent in the hate and bigotry online, tech companies must be more cognizant of the role their services play in spreading hate.

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” Heather Heyer, 32, posted on Facebook before she was killed by an alleged Nazi sympathizer in Charlottesville.
It's wise advice for tech firms in Silicon Valley and beyond.

The Editors.

PS Here are some other pieces we think are worthwhile:
SPLC’s Weekend Readings are a weekly summary of the most important news reporting and commentary from around the country on civil rights, economic and racial inequality, and hate and extremism. Sign up to receive Weekend Readings every Saturday morning.


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MessagePosté le: Aujourd’hui à 01:56 (2017)    Sujet du message: GOOGLE CENSURE-T-IL LES SITES SOCIALISTES ET ANTI-MILITARISTES? Répondre en citant


il y a 15 heures
19 août 2017

19/08/2017 – 08h00 San Francisco (Breizh-info.com) – Un certain nombre de sites ont confirmé que leur fréquentation en provenance de Google a chuté très fortement ces derniers mois. Leur point commun ? Etre de gauche et anti-militaristes. Ils accusent Google de mettre en place, sous couvert de lutter contre les fake news, une censure politique qui a pour effet de les effacer des premiers résultats de recherche.

 « Quelque chose s’est passé avec Google à tous les niveaux qui affecte grandement les médias de gauche », a déclaré Scott LaMorte, le développeur de sites web pour Truthout et The Real News. Il constate une « baisse inédite » de l’audience des deux sites, depuis mai 2017, ce qui n’a jamais été le cas auparavant.

Robert Epstein, expert de Google et ancien rédacteur en chef de Psychology Today, relaie ces accusations en déclarant : « C’est le pire des cas de la censure politique ; c’est juste une excuse pour supprimer des points de vue politiques ».

Justement, le 25 avril dernier, Ben Gomes, vice-président de l’ingénierie de Google, a déclaré que la mise à jour du moteur de recherche Google bloquerait l’accès à des sites «offensants» tout en s’efforçant de faire ressortir le «contenu faisant autorité».

En l’occurrence, il y a plus d’une douzaine de sites impactés depuis cette date. Au premier plan, le Word socialist web site (WSWS), qui a vu sa fréquentation depuis Google chuter de 67% en provenance des recherches Google. Ce site dresse la liste des autres victimes : alternet.org (-63%), globalresearch.ca (-62%), consortiumnews.com et socialistworker.org (-47%), mediamattters.org (-42%), commondreams.org (-37%), internationalviewpoint.org et democracynow.org (-36%), wikileaks.org (-30%), truth-out.org (-25%), counterpunch.org (-21%), theintercept.com (-19%).

Ce sont bien les recherches Google qui sont en cause. Alors que le trafic n’a cessé d’augmenter depuis douze mois avant le printemps 2017, avec un point d’orgue en avril 2017, «fin mai, les modifications apportées à l’algorithme de Google ont eu une incidence négative sur le volume de trafic vers le site web Common Dreams provenant de recherches Google organiques», a déclaré Aaron Kaufman, directeur du développement au site d’actualités progressiste Common Dreams. «Depuis mai, le trafic de Google Search en pourcentage du trafic total vers le site Common Dreams a diminué de près de 50% ».

Le WSWS affirme de son côté que la stratégie de Google consiste à bloquer dans ses recherches le renvoi vers les articles du site pour les 45 premiers mots de recherche vers celui-ci. L’effet serait radical : « plus de 90 % des utilisateurs du moteur de recherche de Google ne cliquent pas sur les résultats après la première page, et plus de 99 % ne cliquent pas sur les liens après la 10ᵉ page. Cela signifie que si un résultat est refoulé au-delà des 100 premiers résultats, il est effectivement inaccessible », explique le WSWS.
Ainsi, le site a constaté que « les utilisateurs de Google pourront trouver le WSWS s’ils incluent spécifiquement le « World Socialist Web Site » dans leur demande. Mais si leur requête comprend simplement des termes tels que « Trotsky », « Trotskysme », « Marxisme », « socialisme » ou « inégalité », ils ne trouveront pas le site ». De même, les « termes « socialisme contre capitalisme », « soins de santé socialistes », « lutte des classes sociales » et « manifeste du parti socialiste », qui ont tous renvoyé vers des articles WSWS dès la première page dans le passé, ne renvoient maintenant pas vers le WSWS dans les 100 premiers résultats. Les termes « socialisme », « socialiste », « mouvement socialiste » et « conflit de classe », pour lesquels le WSWS apparaissait auparavant dans les quatre premières pages, ne renvoient plus vers des articles du WSWS ».

D’autres termes ont été mis sur liste noire, notamment « UAW » [United auto workers, syndicat de l’automobile], « Révolution russe », « Révolution d’octobre », « inégalités sociales dans le monde », etc. alors qu’ils pointaient auparavant vers le WSWS dans les 100 premiers résultats. Difficile de croire au hasard : « Le terme « Flint Michigan », qui avait amené la deuxième fréquentation la plus élevée au WSWS parmi tous les mots-clés a de même connu la suppression des articles du WSWS de ses 100 premières entrées ».

Le fonds de la culture stratégique, fondsk.ru (Russie) cite les recherches faites par Andre Damon et Niles Miemuth qui tendent à démontrer que l’effondrement des visites des sites socialistes et alter-mondialistes depuis Google présente un caractère organisé. Pour David North, président du conseil de rédaction international du WSWS « il n’y a pas d’explication innocente pour la chute extraordinairement forte du lectorat, pratiquement du jour au lendemain, en provenance des recherches Google. L’affirmation de Google selon laquelle il protège ses lecteurs contre les « fausses nouvelles » est un mensonge politique.

Google, un monopole massif, avec les liens les plus étroits avec les agences de l’état et du renseignement, bloque l’accès au WSWS et à d’autres sites Web progressistes et de gauche grâce à un système de recherches biaisé 

Entre censure d’État, grands monopoles et contrôle de l’information, l’utopie d’un web neutre et mondialisé continue de s’éloigner.

Louis-Benoît Greffe
Crédit photo : DR

[cc] Breizh-info.com, 2017, dépêches libres de copie et de diffusion sous réserve de mention et de lien vers la source d’origine


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MessagePosté le: Aujourd’hui à 19:14 (2017)    Sujet du message: RÉFORME DES MÉDIAS - MEDIA REFORM - CYBERTERRORISM & HUMAN CONTROL (PARTIE 2)

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