How blockchain could help block fake news

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 03:00:00 -0800

In 2018, a video of former President Barrack Obama surfaced on YouTube explaining how easily technology could be used to manipulate video and create fake news. It got more than 7.2 million views.

In the video, Obama explains how we live in dangerous times when “enemies” can make anyone say anything at any point in time. Moments later, it’s revealed that the video was itself faked.

Whether its news articles, images or video, fake and misleading content has proliferated across the internet over the past five or so years. One possible solution to the problem now being proposed would standardize how content is delivered online, with anything outside those standards not trusted.

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MIT researchers say mobile voting app piloted in U.S. is rife with vulnerabilities

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2020 13:30:00 -0800

Elections officials in numerous states have piloted various mobile voting applications as a method of expanding access to the polls, but MIT researchers say one of the more popular apps has security vulnerabilities that could open it up to tampering by bad actors.

The MIT analysis of the application, called Voatz, highlighted a number of weaknesses that could allow hackers to “alter, stop, or expose how an individual user has voted.”

Additionally, the researchers found that Voatz’s use of Palo Alto-based vendor Jumio for voter identification and verification poses potential privacy issues for users.

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Why the Fed is considering a cash-backed cryptocurrency

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2020 03:00:00 -0800

The Federal Reserve is investigating the potential of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as the backbone for a new, secure real-time payments and settlements system.

The move toward a form of government-backed digital currency is being driven by Fintech firms and a banking industry already piloting or planning to pilot cash-backed digital tokens, according to Lael Brainard, a member of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

“Today, it can take a few days to get access to your funds. A real-time retail payments infrastructure would ensure the funds are available immediately – to pay utility bills or split the rent with roommates, or for small business owners to pay their suppliers,” said Brainard, who serves as chair of the committees overseeing Financial Stability and Payments, Clearing and Settlements.

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U.S. Air Force to pilot blockchain-based database for data sharing

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2020 13:23:00 -0800

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is planning to test a blockchain-based graph database that will allow it to share documents internally as well as throughout the various branches of the Department of Defense and allied governments.

The permissioned blockchain ledger comes from a small Winston-Salem, N.C. start-up, Fluree PBC, which announced the government contract this week. Fluree is working with Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research AFWERX technology innovation program to launch a proof of concept of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) later this year.

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Iowa Caucus chaos likely to set back mobile voting

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2020 12:51:00 -0800

A coding flaw and lack of sufficient testing of an application to record votes in Monday’s Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus will likely hurt the advancement and uptake of online voting.

While there have been hundreds of tests of mobile and online voting platforms in recent years – mostly in small municipal or corporate shareholder and university student elections – online voting technology has yet to be tested for widespread use by the general public in a national election.

“This is one of the cases where we narrowly dodged a bullet,” said Jeremy Epstein, vice chair of the Association for Computing Machinery’s US Technology Policy Committee (USTPC). “The Iowa Democratic Party had planned to allow voters to vote in the caucus using their phones; if this sort of meltdown had happened with actual votes, it would have been an actual disaster. In this case, it’s just delayed results and egg on the face of the people who built and purchased the technology.”

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