updated 9:59 PM MDT, Apr 25, 2017
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Facebook Inc says government requests for user data rises 24 percent

 

© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Facebook Inc said requests by governments for user information rose by about a quarter in the first half of 2014 over the second half of last year.

Facebook Inc said requests by governments for user information rose by about a quarter in the first half of 2014 over the second half of last year.

In the first six months of 2014, governments around the world made 34,946 requests for data.

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INTERVIEW- Djibouti Data Center start-up aims to boost broadband speeds across east Africa



* Djibouti Data Center connects to 8 fibre broadband cables

* Tech firms house data at DDC to cut costs, up Internet speeds

* DDC to expand into Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia

By Matt Smith

DUBAI, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Internet access in east Africa is still relatively slow and costly but a Djibouti-based technology start-up company has ambitions to help change that.

Djibouti Data Center (DDC), set up by a group of local and international investors 18 months ago, is the first data centre and Internet exchange in east Africa connected to eight fibre optic cables that are part of the main Internet route from Europe to Asia.

The Internet route travels through the Mediterranean, Red Sea and into the Indian Ocean, passing by tiny Djibouti, which is sandwiched between Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia.

African Internet users have typically enjoyed little benefit from these cables passing along its coast because connectivity to them has been limited, something DDC aims to correct as it plans to expand from its home base into Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Somalia, which are all at varying stages of Internet development.

"The Djibouti market itself may be small, but the DDC serves as a unique gateway hub to the many millions of customers in these neighbouring east Africa countries," said Anthony Voscarides, chief executive of Djibouti Data Center.

The company launched services in March 2013 in partnership with Djibouti Telecom and will connect to at least three more cables on the Europe/Asia route next year.

"Africa has historically been challenged by high Internet costs," Voscarides, an Australian former telecoms industry executive, said.

According to The Internet Society, 15.7 percent of Kenya's average GDP per capita is required for broadband access, compared to 6.1 percent in South Africa and less than 2 percent in most of Europe.

In Ethiopia the figure rises to 60.4 percent while in Uganda it is 31 percent in Uganda and 7.4 percent in Sudan.

Less than 2 percent of Ethiopia's 97 million population use the Internet. But Sydney-based consultants BuddeComm, in a report published last month, said the country's "broadband market is set for a boom following massive improvements in international bandwidth, national fibre backbone infrastructure and 3G mobile broadband services."

Kenya is the biggest market in the region with Internet penetration of 39 percent, the fourth-highest in Africa, according to the International Telecommunications Union.

In terms of median download speeds, however, Kenya is ranked 105th globally, while Ethiopia is 94th, Sudan 154th and South Africa is 116th, according to the Internet Society. Madagascar is the highest ranked African country at 61.

FASTER CONNECTIVITY

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DDC's goal is to expand into neighbouring east African countries with small data centres which would then allow telecom operators, cable companies and others in those countries to access the submarine cables off Djibouti via its main data centre.

Access to more cables should spread the load, reduce the impact of cable cuts or other problems in those countries and also increase capacity as Internet penetration and usage rise.

"The results are reduced latency, faster connectivity, and lower costs for network operators and Internet users in East Africa," said Voscarides.

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Whisper CEO tells users to Email him if they are worried about being tracked

 

© Provided by Business Insider

Last week, newspaper The Guardian published a story saying that the people who run Whisper, an app for sharing thoughts anonymously, track the whereabouts of the apps users, whether those users have opt-in to location tracking or not.

Whisper immediately responded to the story with a 5 page statement. Now it's responding again.

CEO Michael Heyward just published this on Medium, the blogging platform:

What Whisper Is All About

Brad and I founded Whisper to give people a safe place to be authentic. For that reason our top priority is to ensure people feel comfortable sharing their most intimate and personal thoughts. So you can imagine our dismay when one of our media partners, the Guardian, published a series of stories questioning our commitment to your privacy.

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Mass electronic surveillance killing Internet privacy-UN report

In the UN’s most sweeping report targeting mass electronic surveillance, counter terrorism envoy Ben Emmerson says widespread use of the technology by intelligence agencies signals the death knell of privacy on the Internet.

“The hard truth is that the use of mass surveillance technology effectively does away with the right to privacy of communications on the Internet altogether,” says the 22-page document, which was tabled this week.

It warned of “purpose creep” that allows authorities to justify scooping of data on grounds of counter-terrorism, when the information is actually used for “much less weighty” purposes.

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