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Tech consortium flags more than 800 versions of New Zealand attack video

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A consortium of global technology firms has shared on its collective database the digital fingerprints of more than 800 versions of the video of New Zealand’s mass shootings that killed 50 people, it said on Monday.

While it was not the first internet broadcast of a violent crime, the livestream of the massacre showed that stopping gory footage from spreading online persists as a major challenge for tech companies despite years of investment.

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Last Friday, social media users intent on sharing the mosque shooting video were said to have used several methods to create a new version with a digital fingerprint different from the original, so as to evade companies’ detection systems.

“This incident highlights the importance of industry cooperation regarding the range of terrorists and violent extremists operating online,” the grouping, which includes Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter Inc, said of the attack.

The gunman who attacked the two mosques in New Zealand live-streamed the attacks on Facebook for 17 minutes using an app designed for extreme sports enthusiasts, with copies still being shared on social media hours later.

Late on Saturday, Facebook, the world’s largest social media network with around 2.3 billion monthly users around the world, said it had removed 1.5 million videos within 24 hours after the Christchurch attack.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she wants to discuss live streaming with Facebook, and some of the country’s firms are considering whether to pull advertising from social media.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) was created in 2017 under pressure from governments in Europe and the United States after a spate of deadly attacks.

It shares technical solutions for the removal of terrorist content, commissions research to assist its efforts to fight such content and works more with counter-terrorism experts.

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Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandezre


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Lewandowski’s testimony will let Democrats build Nixon-like articles of impeachment: Ex-prosecutor

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As President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski combatively testified before the House Judiciary Committee, he admitted that Trump asked him to communicate to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation must be shut down. Aside from that revelation, most of the testimony was unproductive, with Lewandowski lashing out at members of Congress and running interference for the president.

But as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter, these outbursts — and the fact that Trump sanctioned the way that Lewandowski behaved in the hearing — could be the basis for Democrats to write up articles of impeachment against Trump similar to those drafted against Richard Nixon in 1974:

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Zuckerberg: new Facebook panel can overrule him

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Facebook said Tuesday it has finalized its charter for its "independent oversight board," giving the panel the authority to overrule chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on questions of appropriate content.

The new entity, based on Zuckerberg's call for a "supreme court" that would make difficult calls on what is suitable content for Facebook, is moving closer to reality with the charter released by the social network.

Zuckerberg said in a statement the independent panel would have the final say on these matters of what belongs on the social platform.

"If someone disagrees with a decision we've made, they can appeal to us first, and soon they will be able to further appeal to this independent board," he said.

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Human Rights Watch accuses Brazil’s Bolsonaro of giving a ‘green light’ to illegal loggers to destroy the Amazon

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Human Rights Watch on Tuesday accused Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro of giving a "green light" to illegal loggers to destroy the Amazon and failing to protect those defending the world's largest rain forest.

Bolsonaro, whose anti-environment rhetoric and policies have been widely blamed for a spike in fires and land clearing in the Amazon this year, has promised to open up the remote region to more development even as he faces growing international criticism.

Official figures show Amazon deforestation nearly doubled in the first eight months of this year, compared with the same period in 2018, to 6,404 square kilometers (2,472 square miles) -- more than twice the size of Luxembourg.

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