Day: May 14, 2020

U.S. says it condemns China-linked ‘cyber actors’ trying to steal COVID research

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a media briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday condemned attempts by China-linked “cyber actors and non-traditional collectors affiliated” to steal U.S. intellectual property and data related to coronavirus research, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

“The PRC’s behavior in cyberspace is an extension of its counterproductive actions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“While the United States and our allies and partners are coordinating a collective, transparent response to save lives, the PRC continues to silence scientists, journalists, and citizens, and to spread disinformation, which has exacerbated the dangers of this health crisis,” he said.

Pompeo’s comments came a day after the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint statement

Read More

Amazon’s livestreaming platform Twitch announces safety advisory council

(Reuters) – Amazon Inc (AMZN.O)’s video game live-streaming platform Twitch is forming an advisory council of experienced users, online safety experts and anti-bullying advocates to help improve safety on the site, Twitch said in a blog post on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

The council’s eight members will advise on product and policy changes, focusing on areas such as harassment and protection of marginalized groups.

Twitch, which was used last October to stream footage from shooting attacks in Germany, said it had doubled the size of its safety operations team this year and added new tools to help its volunteer channel moderators.

The company said it also uses a combination of human moderators and automation to handle the moderation reports it receives.

Twitch, which says it has 15 million daily

Read More

France to impose digital tax this year regardless of any new international levy

PARIS (Reuters) – France will tax big digital businesses this year whether there is progress or not towards an international deal on a levy, its finance minister said on Thursday, adding such a tax had never been more legitimate or more necessary.

FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire speaks during a presentation of the details for the end of the country’s lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Hotel Matignon in Paris, France May 7, 2020. Christophe Archambault/Pool via REUTERS

Nearly 140 countries from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are negotiating the first major rewriting of tax rules in more than a generation, to take better account of the rise of big tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google that often book profit in low-tax countries.

Paris offered in January to suspend its digital tax

Read More

Factbox: The race to deploy COVID-19 contact tracing apps

(Reuters) – Technologists and health officials around the world are racing to develop smartphone apps to trace who has been in contact with carriers of the novel coronavirus.

FILE PHOTO: Healthcare workers wheel a patient to a triage area at the emergency entrance outside Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York city, New York, U.S., May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Contact-tracing, a disease control tactic that traditionally relies on patients’ memories of their movements, identifies people they might have infected so they too can be isolated.


Bluetooth is a short-range radio technology used for things like connecting wireless headphones to a smartphone. It detects when another Bluetooth signal is near and can estimate the distance between devices — making it a good tool for contact-tracing.

Singapore’s TraceTogether, launched in March, was the first Bluetooth-based

Read More