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What Interests Children Online

As part of this report, we analyze the collected data in our quest for the answer to the question of what interests the current generation of children online.

Report: Ban on laptops in planes may expand to Europe

A no-laptops rule might be imposed on flights from Europe to the US.

ALTV launches hit prank show from the streets of Cairo

Hit show ‘Khod Aqolak’ extends ALTV’s presence as the fastest growing digital platform for current entertainment across the Middle East and North AfricaCairo, Egypt, 18th April 2017: ALTV, one of the fastest growing free streaming services recently launched in the Middle East and North Africa, has found further success in providing exciting and locally relevant content with ‘Khod Aqolak’ after the platform attracted the attention of the show’s star, Ibrahim Farouk.The show’s title comes from... Source: RealWire

Orange Egypt integrates Openet’s Real-time Offer Manager to improve subscriber experience

Openet enables Orange Egypt to stimulate data usage through real-time offers to create new revenue streamsDUBLIN, Ireland – 12th April, 2017 – Openet, a global leader in the supply of real-time BSS (business support systems) and customer engagement systems, today announced that Orange Egypt, a leading Egyptian operator, has deployed Openet’s Real-Time Offer Manager (RTOM) solution plus reporting tools to improve subscriber experience and increase data revenues. Orange Egypt is using Openet’s RTOM solution to... Source: RealWire

Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six...

Hit list: Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia The UK has banned airline passengers on direct inbound flights from six countries in the Middle East and North Africa from taking a range of electronic devices into the cabin due to fears of a terrorist attack.…

ALTV launches first ever user-generated daily current events show in Egypt

The digital video community’s new show ‘Street’s Point of View’ proves a hit with audiences hungry for relevant local contentCairo, Egypt, 15 March 2017: ALTV, one of the fastest growing free streaming services recently launched in the Middle East and North Africa, is breaking new ground in the Egyptian broadcast arena with the success of the region’s first ever user-generated current events show.ALTV’s mission to turn viewers from across the MENA into digital content creators... Source: RealWire

Man gets three years in prison for laser strike on police...

Enlarge / Jordan Clarence Rogers fired a laser similar to this one, which was aimed upward in Egypt in 2012.Ed Giles / Getty Images News reader comments 61 Share this story A Kansas City man was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty in September 2016 to pointing a laser at a local police helicopter. Jordan Clarence Rogers has now joined the ranks of people who have been convicted of laser strikes relative to the thousands of incidents that are reported to the Federal Aviation Administration every year. The federal government takes such laser strikes very seriously and prosecutes cases when and where it can. The Department of Justice told Ars that more than 28,000 laser illumination incidents in the United States have been reported to the Federal Aviation Administration between 2011 and 2015. But as of 2014, only 134 arrests were made, and there were only 80 convictions. As of October 22, 2016 the FAA reported 5,564 incidents nationwide. That’s more than 22 laser strikes reported in the United States every day. However, in 2015, just 12 were reported in Kansas City, Missouri, where Rogers fired his laser. According to federal prosecutors, Rogers was “generally aware” that firing a laser at a car or an aircraft was potentially dangerous. In a pre-sentencing memorandum, the government asked the judge to impose a sentence of four years.  “It creates a danger not only to those in the aircraft but also to those on the ground,” Brian Casey, an assistant United States Attorney, wrote in that filing, referring to Rogers' 2013 laser strike. “In this case, the defendant struck the aircraft over a residential neighborhood. Thankfully the pilot was able to remain in control, but this defendant created a real and entirely unnecessary risk of tragedy. This is a serious offense and the defendant’s punishment should reflect that fact.” Casey also pointed out that Rogers had a "horrendous" criminal history that includes prior drug and property crimes. Carrie Allen, who served as Rogers’ public defender, had asked the judge to impose a lesser sentence than what the government was asking for. “Mr. Rogers did something that many young people might impulsively do: impulsively attempt to hit an object with a laser pointer,” she wrote in her own pre-sentencing memorandum. “Unfortunately, a helicopter is an enticing target in these circumstances. Mr. Rogers did not go to an airport and intentionally point a laser pointer at planes carrying hundreds of people. Yet, the guidelines would not distinguish between that sort of thought out action, endangering large amounts of innocent civilians, and this impulsive behavior.” In December 2016, Ars reported on the case of Barry Bowser, a California man who went to trial after the government accused him of the same crime. He was found guilty and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

ProtonMail launches Tor hidden service to dodge totalitarian censorship

Known oppressive regimes including Egypt, and er... the UK? Oh, the IP Act is law... ProtonMail, the privacy-focused email business, has launched a Tor hidden service to combat the censorship and surveillance of its users. The move is designed to counter actions "by totalitarian governments around the world to cut off access to privacy tools" and the Swiss company specifically cited "recent events such as the Egyptian government's move to block encrypted chat app Signal, and the passage of the Investigatory Powers Act in the UK that mandates tracking all web browsing activity". Speaking to The Register, ProtonMail's CEO and co-founder Andy Yen said: "We do expect to see more censorship this year of ProtonMail and services like us." First launched in 2014 by scientists who met at CERN and had become concerned by the mass-surveillance suggested by the Edward Snowden revelations, ProtonMail is engineered to protect its users' communications by using client-side encryption through users' browsers, meaning ProtonMail's servers never have access to any plaintext content. Combined with Switzerland's strong privacy laws, the freemium service has increasingly been seen as a popular destination for spooked citizens.
It has faced enormous DDoS attacks by assumed nation-state adversaries, and following the election of Donald Trump, sign-ups at the service doubled. Users can navigate to the Tor network through: https://protonirockerxow.onion Today, ProtonMail is announcing the introduction of a Tor hidden service, or onion site, which will allow users to directly connect to their encrypted email accounts through the Tor network at the URL https://protonirockerxow.onion, which ProtonMail said it expended "considerable CPU time" to generate for the sake of finding a hash that was more human readable and less prone to phishing. Additionally, the onion site also has a valid SSL certificate issued to Proton Technologies AG by DigiCert.

This is a reasonably novel innovation as the classical Certificate Authority system isn't compatible with Tor, where onion addresses are self-generated rather than purchased from a registrar. Yen told The Register: "The problem is, if you act as your own CA, you run the issue of not trusting that certificate authority by default." As such, ProtonMail reached out to the Tor Project, which suggested it get in touch with DigiCert, who had previously provided the CA service for Facebook. "Given ProtonMail's recent growth, we realize that the censorship of ProtonMail in certain countries is inevitable and we are proactively working to prevent this." said Yen. "Tor provides a way to circumvent certain Internet blocks so improving our compatibility with Tor is a natural first step." In the coming months, the Tor Project stated it would be "making additional security and privacy enhancements to ProtonMail, including finishing some of the leftover items from our 2016 Security Roadmap". ® Sponsored: Want to know more about Privileged Access Management? Visit The Register's hub

Hack reveals data company Cellebrite works with everyone from US cops...

Enlarge / Leeor Ben-Peretz is the executive vice president of the Israeli firm Cellebrite.JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images reader comments 38 Share this story On Thursday, Vice Motherboard reported that an unnamed source provided the site with 900GB of data hacked from Cellebrite, the well-known mobile phone data extraction company. Among other products, Cellebrite's UFED system offers "in-depth physical, file system, password, and logical extractions of evidentiary data," and is often the go-to product for law enforcement to pull data from seized phones and other devices. In a statement, Cellebrite called this hack "illegal" and noted that "the company is not aware of any specific increased risk to customers as a result of this incident; however, my.Cellebrite account holders are advised to change their passwords as a precaution." In addition, the trove of materials contains “customer support tickets” showing that the Israeli company sells its services to countries with questionable human rights records, including Turkey, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates. Cellebrite’s own website shows that the company works with numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, ranging from the Hartford, Connecticut police to the North Wales police in the United Kingdom. (The company reportedly aided the FBI to unlock the seized San Bernardino iPhone that became the center of a protracted legal battle.) However, little is known about the company’s business in many parts of the world. This would not be the first time that a digital surveillance company sold to unsavory regimes.
In 2015, data dumps from Hacking Team showed that it sold exploits to Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Similarly, in 2014, documents leaked online showing that software created by the controversial UK-based Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers that appeared to be located in the US, the UK, Germany, Russia, Iran, and Bahrain.

Sneaky chat app Signal deploys decoy domains to deny despots

Reasonably secure messenger has, for now, outwitted those who would block it The latest update of Signal, one of the most well-regarded privacy-focused messaging applications for non-technical users, has just been revised to support a censorship circumvention technique that will make it more useful for people denied privacy by surveillance-oriented regimes. In response to reports that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been blocking Signal messaging through regional ISPs, Open Whisper Systems has revised the Android version of Signal to implement a technique called domain fronting. "With today's release, domain fronting is enabled for Signal users who have a phone number with a country code from Egypt or the UAE," said company founder Moxie Marlinspike in a blog post. "When those users send a Signal message, it will look like a normal HTTPS request to www.google.com.

To block Signal messages, these countries would also have to block all of google.com." As described in a 2015 paper by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, Psiphon, and Brave New Software, domain fronting relies on the use of different domain names at different application layers to evade censorship. In contrast to a typical HTTPS request, where the domain name is echoed across the DNS query, the TLS Server Name Indication (SNI) extension, and the HTTP Host header, a domain-fronted request includes a decoy domain and a real domain. The DNS query and SNI present the "front domain" while the HTTP Host header, inaccessible in transit thanks to HTTPS, contains the actual destination – presumably a domain that's disallowed or censored. When the front domain is something like "google.com," then blocking that domain would deny everyone on the censored network access to Google. According to Marlinspike, Open Whisper's goal is to make disabling the internet the only option for regimes that would disable Signal. Domain fronting requires a CDN, to receive the request on an edge server and forward the request to the domain in the HTTP host header, or a service that provides similar functionality, like Google's App Engine, through a reflection script. Such service typically isn't free.

The research paper cites costs ranging from $0.10–0.25 per GB among service providers like Google App Engine, Amazon CloudFront, Microsoft Azure, Fastly, and CloudFlare.

This may explain why Signal isn't making domain fronting a default everywhere. Marlinspike said an iOS version of Signal that supports domain fronting is available through Signal's beta channel and a stable version is expected soon.
Subsequent updates, he said, will improve censorship detection and circumvention and broaden the availability of domain fronting. ® Sponsored: Next gen cybersecurity.
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Report: Egypt Censors Encrypted Signal App

Developer Open Whisper Systems says the country is censoring its messaging and voice calling program.

Egypt has reportedly censored encrypted chat service Signal.

App developer Open Whisper Systems on Monday confirmed the transcontinental country is censoring its messaging and voice calling program.

We'll begin deploying censorship circumvention in Signal over the next several weeks. Until then, Tor or a VPN can be used to access Signal.

— Open Whisper Systems (@whispersystems) December 19, 2016

The issue surfaced on Saturday, when IT specialist Ahmed Gharbeia tweeted about "wide reports" of Signal failure in Egypt.

"Everything is functioning normally on our end," Open Whisper Systems wrote in response, suggesting "something might be up" on the local network.

The firm reached out to the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)—a global organization operating under the Tor Project to detect censorship, surveillance, and traffic manipulation on the Internet.

The project last week released two new software tests designed to examine the blocking of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, allowing anyone to monitor the accessibility of the apps and collect data as evidence.

Signal, a free app for Android, iOS, and desktop, is one of several messaging services to support end-to-end encryption—including Facebook's WhatsApp and Messenger. It is also one of several to come under fire from law enforcement officials who can't keep tabs on the conversations of suspected criminals.

Further details on the alleged censorship were not revealed; Open Whisper Systems did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

Constraints to encrypted social media are not new in Egypt: Facebook's free Internet service was shut down in December 2015 because the country's government could not spy on the browsing activities of local users.

The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology also did not respond to a request for comment.

Open Whisper Systems recently ruffled some more government feathers with added support for disappearing messages. Users can determine how long—from five seconds to one week—a chat message is available to recipients before it self-destructs.

Worried about US surveillance, Internet Archive announces mirror in Canada

EnlargeAlirod Ameri reader comments 41 Share this story In a Tuesday blog post, Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, announced plans to mirror the entire massive repository in Canada—largely over fear of the incoming Trump administration. “On November 9 in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change," he wrote. “It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private, and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions.” He continued, warning that government surveillance “looks like it will increase.” As such, the Internet Archive is “fighting to protect our readers’ privacy in the digital world.” Currently, the Internet Archive physically hosts all of its materials in data centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, with some materials mirrored offsite in Egypt and the Netherlands. However, there is no fully complete mirror as of now. "If we had five or six copies, I think I could sleep," Kahle said in a talk in 2011. The Internet Archive currently hosts not only webpages, but books, movies, pieces of audio, software, and more. The organization has not announced when or where the “Internet Archive of Canada” would come online. Kahle did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.