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Weekend Reads 062918

The Internet and related digital systems that the United States did so much to create have effectuated and symbolized US military, economic, and cultural power for decades. The question raised by this essay is whether these systems, like the Roman Empire’s roads, will come to be seen as a platform that accelerated US decline. @The Hoover Institute

Article 13 reverses one of the key legal doctrines that allowed the Internet to thrive: the idea that computer networks are not “publishers” and are therefore not liable for the actions or statements of their users. This means that you can sue an individual user for libel or copyright infringement, but not the e-mail service or bulletin board or social media platform on which he did it. This immunity made it possible for computer networks to open a floodgate of content produced by independent individuals, without requiring service providers to serve as editors or moderators. —Robert Tracinski @The Federalist

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the government needs to obtain a court-ordered warrant to gather location data on mobile device users. The decision is a major development for privacy rights, but experts say it may have limited bearing on the selling of real-time customer location data by the wireless carriers to third-party companies. —Krebs on Security

The need for an access model for non-public Whois data has been apparent since GDPR became a major issue before the community well over a year ago. Now is the time to address it seriously, and not with half measures. We urgently need a temporary model for access to non-public Whois data for legitimate uses, while the community undertakes longer-term policy development efforts. —Fabricio Vayra @CircleID

More and more companies, government agencies, educational institutions, and philanthropic organizations are today in the grip of a new phenomenon. I’ve termed it “metric fixation.” The key components of metric fixation are the belief that it is possible–and desirable–to replace professional judgment (acquired through personal experience and talent) with numerical indicators of comparative performance based upon standardized data (metrics); and that the best way to motivate people within these organizations is by attaching rewards and penalties to their measured performance. —Jerry Muller @Fast Company

I wish 5G, with its 490 Mbit/sec. speeds and download latency times of 17 milliseconds, was just around the corner. It’s not. I know, I know. AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, and the pairing of T-Mobile and Sprint are all promising 5G real soon now. They’re … fibbing. —Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols @IT World

Digital collaboration technologies are accelerating productivity in the post-phone-call workplace, but tools like Yammer, Workplace by Facebook, and Slack have their dark side. While these channels can help speed group decision-making, they also serve as an enterprise blind spot for insider threats to do their worst – not to mention being open conduits for spreading negativity and toxic behaviors among the ranks. —Ericka Chickowski @Dark Reading

We have reached a point in the evolution of cyber security where handsoff, behind-the-scenes cyber defense should be the norm. Clearly, the best solution would be to deploy less-vulnerable systems. This is a topic that has received great attention for approximately five decades, but developers continue to resist using tools and techniques that have been shown to be effective, such as code minimization, employing formal development methods, and using type-safe languages. —Josiah Dykstra, Eugene H. Spafford @ACM

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