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Facebook finds a way to secure its users’ communication

Facebook message, Facebook conversation

The American social network operator may now encrypt its users’ conversation on Facebook Messenger

 

Facebook might be developing its Messenger application encrypted version, a report by The Guardian has disclosed. The publication, after talking to sources near Facebook venture, stated an app opt-in version would be launched in the “coming months”. Instead of launching out an end-to-end encryption to 900 million Messenger users, it is reported that the American social networking company will be requiring users to turn on the feature.

That’s because switching on the encryption would stop the working of its artificial intelligence (AI)Messenger bots. End-to-end encryption, which is frequently dubbed ‘strong encryption’, tells us that messaging networks as well as their owners cannot read messages sent through their platform; the receiver as well as the sender can only access the content.

Apple’s Face Time and iMessage are already using an end-to-end encryption method and secure messaging applications like Signals and Telegram. If the measure taken by the social networking service provider goes ahead it would contribute to a very high profile encryption launches ever seen. In April 2016, WhatsApp, which was bought by the social network platform operator 2 years ago launched end-to-end encryption for its 1 billion users by default.

The Ex NSA contractor Edward Snowden-backed end-to-end encryption method Open Whisper Systems was used by WhatsApp. In May this year, the US search company Google added an option in its own messenger application Allo that lets users enable end-to-end encryption – also with the use of the method Open Whisper Systems.

As suggested by the networking organization’s development, the Mountain view based organization’s opt-in function is stated, by the Guardian, to be there to ensure that the Messenger’s AI functions are not limited by the organization not getting user data. The search engine operator’s video calling application Duo backs the powerful encryption technique by default.

The reports regarding an encrypted Facebook Messenger encrypted version comes in context of the public battle between FBI and the American smartphone maker regarding the access to the content on terrorist Syed Farook’s locked iPhone.

Up till the FBI, by seeking the help of an anonymous third party, discovered a method to crack Farook’s iPhone 5S, the consumer electronics maker refused to develop new software to permit the smartphone to be accessed.

During that disagreement the Cupertino based organization’s claim that developing a “backdoor” for law enforcers to crack into the iPhone would undermine its encryption techniques was backed by huge tech organizations including WhatsApp, Facebook as well as Google.

The tech industry is highly caught between 2 conflicting patterns. Customers look to be demanding that organizations share less data with them– but are also interested in companies making an improvement in their facility through the integration of more of their private data.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Facebook

 

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Facebook Introduces New Systems To Provide Cheap Internet Access

Facebook price, Facebook web

Facebook launches new systems to offer inexpensive internet access to underdeveloped and developing areas.

Facebook has taken new measures in its struggle to connect the entire globe to its social platform and the internet. On April 13, 2016, the American social network announced two new terrestrial systems developed to enhance the quality, efficiency and speed of internet connectivity across the globe:  ARIES for the underdeveloped states and Terragraph to offer internet access to dense urban locations.

The company announced both new systems at its yearly F8 conference in San Francisco, which was attended by around 2500 developers. Terragraph is a 60-gigahertz wireless system intended to bring fast internet to dense urban locations. Facebook is currently testing the tech system at its head office and aims to test-launch it soon in San Jose, California. The organization’s VP of Engineering Jay Parikh laid an emphasis upon the system’s cost efficiency at the F8 conference.

The company told that developed countries are hampered by LTE and WiFi infrastructure that cannot keep up with internet users’ consumption of video and photos at higher resolutions.

Facebook pointed out that alternatives, such as optical fiber, which can offer many gigabytes of capacity, are too much costly for many countries. It said Terragraph offers speed in GBs to dense urban locations at a fraction of fiber cost by placing tiny boxes known as nodes, made up of off-the-shelf parts, across the region around 200 to 250 meters apart from light poles.

The Terragraph network design uses an antenna, which can communicate over a huge region. It is able to navigate across obstructions like buildings and manage Internet congestion, which is caused by a high number of visitors.

Facebook told it is among very cheap options to attain street-level coverage of 100% with GB WiFi and can be used to connect entire buildings. For developing states, the company launched ARIES (Antenna Radio Integration for Efficiency in Spectrum). The technology can cover a larger number of users across rural, large regions by using many receivers and transmitters.

ARIES is a base station equipped with 96 antennas, which can provide support to 24 streams or devices simultaneously across the same radio spectrum. A study by the social network company across 20 states, over 90% of people reside within 40km away from a significant city.

Usually in least developed countries, web connections are improved by installing a large number of base stations or by giving licenses to bigger radio frequency spectrums, which is difficult and costly.

Facebook said ARIES could be used as a way to expand the social network platform from nearby such areas to city centers in an efficient manner, while still offering fast internet connections.

The Menlo Park based organization told it aims to offer its new technologies to academic communities and wireless research.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2016 in Facebook, Technology

 

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Facebook Partners With Automattic To Introduce Instant Article WordPress Plugin

Facebook publication, Facebook advertisement

Facebook has collaborated with Automattic to launch Instant Article WordPress plugin to attract a larger number of marketers towards its platform.

As Facebook gets ready to launch Instant Articles to all publications in April 2016, it says on Monday that it is collaborating with the parent of WordPress.com, ‘Automattic’ to launch an Instant Article Word Press plugin.

The plugin develops a special RSS feed that optimizes posts automatically so they can be presented as Instant Articles. The plug-in is customizable and open-source. One could get its documentation on Github.

The networking giant said it tried with “a small group of publishers” that are running on WordPress, including Zap2it of Tribune Media and Foreign Policy to test the plugin. From April 12, 2016, the new feature will be offered to everyone, when the company’s annual F8 developer conference will be held in San Francisco. A large number of publishers are currently publishing on Instant Articles.

The move by the social network to help outlets to easily use Instant Articles followed the launch of its rival ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’ by Google, in the last month. The publisher-friendly feature of the American search engine is open-source, says Richard Gingras, head of Google’s social and news products, to Shan Wan of Nieman lab. He also said more than 80 developers contributed to the code to GitHub AMP repo since the announcement of AMP in last fall.

Google persuaded developers to play their role in making the plugin on Github. Similarly, Facebook did the same. It has kept tweaking Instant Articles as feedback is received from news companies currently using the feature. Now, the social media service provider permits publishers to ask for email newsletter signups in the feature

In December 2015, the organization improved advertising revenue generation from Instant Articles for publishers. Facebook revealed that over 25% of the webpages (not just publications) are powered by Word Press, so helping Word Press users log up for Instant Articles looks quite logical, particularly if the social media giant is interested in turning itself into a user’s all-in-one news source.

According to Business Insider, Facebook declared that it has backed away from its plans to develop a demand-side platform in Atlas. It started to test platform inside Atlas in 2015, permitting only a few advertisers to use its “people-based” targeting abilities to programmatically bid on advertisements on other applications and websites, or one can say in real-time with automated software.

Facebook posted on its blog that platform did not delivered enough value as the quality of advertisements on the open internet were too low, often selling advertisements to bots not human beings.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2016 in Facebook, Technology

 

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Facebook Allows Publishers To Distribute Content Through Messaging Service

Facebook publication, Facebook distribution

Facebook intends to provide an opportunity to publications to use Messenger to distribute their content so that it could further penetrate into the print media industry.

Facebook intends to launch a publisher friendly application. Mobile messaging applications are usurping social networks as a new platform through which publications are provided an opportunity to distribute their content.

Now Facebook looks to join them with its own popular messaging application. Soon Messenger will soon let publications automatically distribute their own content through its messaging service. The company aims to announce the measure with many participating publishers in April during its annual developer conference, F8, sources stated.

At F8 2015, Facebook announced that Messenger was extended by it beyond a chatting application to turn into a platform within itself as the social network of its parent company has turned into. At that time, people used applications such as Giphy to send GIFs from that application through Messenger and businesses that could use Messenger as a new customer service channel.

Previously this year, according to reports of Tech Crunch, the Californian organization started to test tool to help other developers in developing chat bots, which are plugged into Messenger so that users could take actions such as requesting Uber from conversation thread found in Messenger.

Technology firm Imperson used the tool to develop a Miss Piggy chatting bot for the “The Muppets” of ABC so that persons could have a conversation with the fictional character, whose respond with the help of computer algorithms that used to analyze what anyone stated to the chat bot and chose the most relevant reply out of a predefined list.

German publication Bild looks to be the first publisher to utilize the still-private high-tech tool to distribute articles through Facebook Messenger when it started to do so in last month. A spokesperson of Bild‘s parent company Axel Springer did not gave a response to a request for sharing views.

The use of Messenger by Bild seems to be an initial example of what more publications will be able to do by using Messenger when the social network operator officially opens the service. After people started conversation using Messenger with BILD ticker which used to just communicate in German – the chat bot of the publication would send messages to them.

Those messages briefly described a news article with the link to the site of Bild to find out the entire article, revealed by the screenshot inside the report of NiemanLab.In other news. According to Guardian, millions of British pounds will be paid by Facebook in Britain tax after fundamentally changing its European corporate structure. Beginning in April 2016, the company will alter its policy to rout the revenue earned from its biggest marketers showing content on its platform through the United Kingdom instead of Ireland.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Facebook, Technology

 

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Facebook Top Executive Released From Jail In Brazil

Facebook messaging, Facebook Brazil

Facebook’s official, arrested for not complying with an order to share requested information from WhatsApp, has been released.

Facebook received good news from South America. An executive of the American social networking company was previously arrested for declining to provide details about Facebook users to law enforcers. He has now been released from jail.

The most senior official of Facebook in Latin America, Diego Dzodan, was released from jail in Sao Paulo on March 2, 2016 after spending a night in police custody due to the issuance of a warrant by a judge in Sergipe. The judge gave a ruling that his detention was wrong because he was personally not named in the court’s proceedings.

In Sergipe, another judge issued an arrest warrant by alleging Diego of his repeated failure to act according to a ruling to collaborate with a criminal investigation into organized crime and drug trafficking. Federal police’s spokeswoman in Sergipe Monica Horta said investigators asked for content from Facebook’s messaging app ‘WhatsApp’ and other data, including geo-location.

Investigators initially communicated with WhatsApp, which was purchased by Facebook in 2014, around four months ago but they have not responded yet, Monica stated. Starting two months ago, fine of $12,700 was imposed on WhatsApp on each day it ignored the order. Organization has not paid a fine up till now, which has increased to $250,000 recently, she stated.

Brazilian police claims that the company’s stance differs from Google, Yahoo and local telecoms that are always ready to share user details to aid investigations. Facebook’s WhatsApp has been launching out a so-called end-to-end encryption technology according to which only the recipient and sender can reach the message content. It claims it does not have the requested information.

The battle of Brazilian authorities with the social media service provider is similar to the FBI’s battle with Apple after its request that the smartphone maker crack the iPhone of a terrorist who killed people in San Bernardino.

The country casted itself as defender of internet freedom since the news sprouted that US National Security Agency was spying on President of Brazil, Dilma Rouseff, her close aides and  commercial interests in Brazil, including the state controlled company, Petrobas.

Dilma cancelled her official tour to the United States during a diplomatic battle over the revelations, the outcome of leaks by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden. Dilma also promised to offer more local internet facilities to not depend on the US.

In December, Brazilian authorities also battled with the social network when a ruling compelled the telecommunication service providers of the country to suspend the American messaging service due to its refusal to help a police investigation.

This shut down communications for most of its users, almost 100 million, in the country for half a day. CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the move by stating he was “stunned” by the “extreme decision”.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2016 in Facebook, Technology

 

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Facebook Introduces Reactions To Platform

Facebook added Reactions for users to express emotions.

Facebook added Reactions for users to express emotions.

Facebook has finally introduced emoji “Reactions” after a year of hard work to establish alternates of its trademark “like” button. Users still have the opportunity to give a response to comment or post with conventional “like” button moving at the top of the icon found on the desktop or mobile, providing an extended menu to users displaying six various animated emoji “Reactions”, including Angry, Like, Haha, Angry or Wow Sad.

The most recently introduced option are made as the extension of “like” button in opposition to a full replacement. Notifications will be sent to users when the latest feature is received on their posts as they are sent notifications about “like”.

The social network platform said it is interested in providing users with more authentic means to easily and quickly send responses to posts, whether they’re happy, serious, sad or funny. Prior to the launch of the latest feature users were frequently put in resorting to “liking” a post about a death or one that expressed disappointment or frustration, without differing from how a user would “like” an engagement picture. This problem should be solved by the latest addition.

The new feature must also let the networking giant boost clicks. Product manager of Facebook Sammi Krug said initially, team was concerned that with the update behind the “like” button it could turn the feature into a difficult one for users to find, but that has not been the case.

Users who have the option currently respond more often to posts than users who do not have them. Investors and advertisers would well receive a bump in the company’s already steady engagement.

Before February 24, 2015, the new feature was offered in only seven states: Japan, Chile, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Columbia and Philippines. Krug said results from those states have continued to be highly positive. Individual users are utilizing “Reactions” more often. In Spain, for instance use of it by people has grown by two times since October.

Love has remained to be the most famous “Reaction” across states so far. Krug told the countries were chosen to represent a range of languages and cultures to ensure “Reactions” would be universally understood. The social media service provider used feedback for fine-tuning the feature.

The most noticeable change in those countries from the original trials was the deletion of the “Yay” emoji, which was less appealing with less usage, in the recently made update. Now, the organization is introducing “Reactions” without “Yay”.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2016 in Facebook, Technology

 

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France Orders Facebook To Stop Tracking Non-Users

Facebook data, Facebook France

The French regulatory body ordered Facebook to stop transferring and using personal data of non-users without informing them.

Facebook has been challenged in Europe. Yesterday, the French data protection authority gave almost 90 days to the social networking organization to discontinue the practice of keeping non-users’ activity across on the Internet without their consent and ordered it to halt transferring personal data to USA.

The order given by France is the first important initiative taken against Facebook for transferring data of Europeans to the United States. The order has followed a ruling given by the European Union court last year that succeeded in striking down a contract on which thousands of organizations had been relying, including Facebook for avoiding cumbersome data transfer regulations of the EU.

In 2015, the transatlantic Safe Harbor pact was declared illegal amidst concerns regarding mass snooping by the American government and EU’s data protection agencies stated companies had 90 days to make alternate lawful arrangements for getting data transferred.

Deadline expired recently, which means that regulatory bodies are now eligible to take lawful action against businesses that still rely on the agreement to approve the transfer of data. The American social media service provider earlier said it does not use Safe Harbor for transferring data to the US and established alternate legal structures to continue its transfers according to the EU law.

Whereas the E.U. and U.S. agreed to get Safe Harbor replaced with a new pact, it is not operational up till now and the data protection authorities of Europe have stated more time is needed by them to determine if transatlantic transfers of data must be restricted.

Facebook was confident that it had complied with the European Union’s data protection regulation. It tracks non-users by a cookie placed in their browser without notifying them when they visit a page on Facebook. However, this practice is not according to the privacy law of France.

It also told that the company use cookies to gather information, which is then used to advertise without the consent of internet users. Users of Facebook must be provided the option to prevent the company from using their profile data for serving them personalized advertisements.

In 2015, the organization was previously compelled to stop tracking non-users residing in Belgium after a regulatory body of Belgium fought a legal battle with it in the court. The changes made by Facebook to its privacy policy has prompted the Spanish, Belgian, Dutch, German and French authorities to initiate  investigations  to discover more about its practices.

If it does not act according to the order within 3 months, a fine could be imposed on it, the regulatory body stated.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in Facebook, Technology

 

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