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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2013-08-18

Tibetan activists hit by a wave of cyberattacks

Today on the net, the Chinese authorities accused of spying on Tibetan activists. Vladimir Putin finds himself yet again the butt of online jokes. And the Hyperloop project has aroused much curiosity …

Tibetan activists hit by a wave of cyberattacks

According to Kurt Baumgartner, a researcher at internet security and antivirus software company Kaspersky Lab, hackers attacked the Chinese language version of the Tibet government in exile’s website and infected it with malware. Spyware he says that then infects the computers of web users visiting the site, in order to gather information on them, without them knowing. 

The site was soon restored, and China was soon singled out for being behind the cyber-attack. In an interview with British daily The Telegraph, Lobsang Sither accuses Beijing of running an espionage campaign to intercept communications between Tibetan activists and opponents of the Chinese regime.

And so the cyber security consultant, who is based in India, teamed up with other activists to launch an awareness campaign. It features a series of short sketches aimed at teaching Tibetans in exile how to protect themselves and their online activity from espionage programs.

Advice that largely focusses on Chinese app WeChat, an instant messaging service for smartphones that is becoming increasingly popular among members of the diaspora who use it to stay in contact with their friends and family back in Tibet. But using this online chat program makes their mobile phone vulnerable to Chinese intelligence agencies.

A monk was given a suspended death sentence at the start of the year, accused of inciting others to commit suicide. He was arrested after sharing information WeChat about the wave of self-immolations in the region. Since 2009, at least 121 people have reportedly resorted to setting themselves on fire in protest of Beijing’s policies in Tibet.

Web users mock Vladimir Putin’s solitary PR stunt

He’s a great fan of staging television appearances to make him look good, and last Friday Vladimir Putin’s latest PR stunt saw him attending his former judo instructor’s funeral. As we can see in these images aired on government backed TV channel Russia Today, after the ceremony, the Russian president was filmed walking alone, looking sad and forlorn, through the streets of Saint-Petersburg: scenes intended to show his more human side, but have however set up him up for more than a spot of online ridicule. 

Countless social networkers think this is just another of Vladimir Putin’s attempts at winning over public opinion, apparently dramatizing his grief to do so. Web users from Russia and abroad have pointed out that the cameras were extremely well positioned to follow his supposed spontaneous walk, sarcastically adding they have never seen the usually busy streets of Saint Petersburg as empty as they were the day the President went on his touching stroll

One of the extracts broadcast shows Vladimir Putin ignoring the pedestrian crossing to cross the street, and so he’s also facing criticism for this. He is in fact violating road safety rules, and as many have been quick to point out this is something which would normally carry a fine of 500 rubles, and so the President should have to pay the price, just like everybody else… 

Kenneth Goldsmith wants to print the entire Internet

American poet Kenneth Goldsmith set out to print the entire Internet. His exhibition, which is at an art gallery in Mexico City, features 10 tons of paper printed out by himself or sent in from hundreds of web users the world over, and it also has volunteers reading out contents of the display. The artist, who has assured people that the paper will be recycled at the end of the exhibition, says he wanted to pay tribute to computer programmer Aaron Swartz, who campaigned for a free and open Internet up until his suicide in January.

Now trending on social networks

The futuristic ultra-fast travel system the “Hyperloop”, has been trending heavily on social networks ever since the mysterious project was unveiled by its inventor, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Monday. The idea, which has already won over web users the world over, would see passengers reclined in capsules catapulted through a large, nearly air-free tube at speeds of up to 1200 km per hour. But no-one will be boarding the new transport system in the near future however as it will cost an estimated 6 billion dollars plus to build. 

Video of the day

In this video, recently uploaded by YouTube regular Devin Supertramp, we see him follow four pro long boarders speed down a mountain road in the US… spectacular viewing indeed …

By Electron Libre




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