News Blues VII – Cyber edition

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Dear readers,

It is Friday again and this time I will share with you mostly “geeky/nerdy” articles and in-depth reportages. Why? Because cyber security, hacking, big data and similar matters are increasingly in the heart of debates, warfare as well as scandals. Thus it is also existentially important for journalists to cover these topics and have abasic understanding on facts, fiction and encryption. Happy reading to you all!

Kate Starbird writes in her article “Information Wars: A Window into the Alternative Media Ecosystem” on exactly that topic: “alternative facts” and how the ecosystem of these “alt-right” bubbles works: LINK

With regard to Wikileaks and the CIA-papers here a critical reading by Nicholas Weaver on the media and how WikiLeaks managed to spin their own story to them: LINK

Glenn Greenwald over at The Intercept debunks a conspiracy theory surrounding Snowden and his stay in Hong-Kong – as many pundits used fake information to claim that eleven days of Snwoden`s stay in the city are unaccounted for: LINK

But how is actual hacking – and the hunt for these hackers – going forward? Far away from mythical Hollywood screen parodies of hackers and law-enforcement this article from Garrett M. Graff at Wired reads like a thriller and gives an in-depth look into the actual hacking and counter-hacking world: LINK

Sharon Weinberger in the meantime dipps into even murkier waters in her article on DARPA, the Pentagon and how they tried to use Big Data and crowdsource information in Afghanistan for their counter-insurgency plans; and yeah, it is as crazy as it sounds: LINK

In the same vein this great article by Sheera Frenkel at BuzzFeed shows us that, similar to the US, Russia is stepping up its game in regards to Cyberwar – and how they are re-writing the playbook for it: LINK

Scams and hacking often go hand-in-hand. But there are some unlikely places for these kind of scams – or would you have thought that video game betting is a big thing and that scams are happening there on a regular basis? If not learn things from Maddy Myers her article on “Inside The Unregulated And Scam-Filled World Of Video Game Betting”: LINK

For journalists this day and age seems to be filled with new technology, the danger of being hacked as well as falling prey to wrong sources or “alternative facts”. Thus here three readings which every journalists should be aware of:

Matthew Green writes on “Secure computing for journalists” and the issue of “desktop computer vs. mobile phone” encryption via the example of Signal: LINK

Kate Krauss over at Wired (again this page – worthwhile to follow them all the time!) writes about “Time for Journalists to Encrypt Everything” – quintessence (since years) – yeah, you should encrypt everything, now! LINK

And Ian Burrell tries to tackle the vast question on “If news is to survive, we need to define what a journalist is” in face of “alternative facts” and “alternative journalism”: LINK

After all these readings you ought to be paranoid and probably sitting all night long over the weekend on your digital devices to encrypt them – besides that please do not forget to get some fresh air, clear you head with a stroll and live your life a bit… until we read each other again next Friday!

Yours sincerely,

Benjamin Hiller

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