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tv   [untitled]    October 5, 2021 8:30pm-9:01pm AST

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yes, locations, and what these people have done is to have been able to select the right parameters within very, very complicated system by which you can predict you can really measure inside of the system if your systems are working here, lights, scammer and action on the international space station russian actress julia parasite, then film director, claim ship, ankle on board. the i assess, they blasted off in a so use spacecraft to shoot the 1st ever feature film in space, the movies about a surgeon who has to perform surgery and save the life of an astronaut. ah, again, i'm fully about to go with the headlines on al jazeera. facebook whistleblower francis hogan has told a u. s. senate committee that social media giant is
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a threat to uses around the world. she specified that facebook repeatedly prioritized profit over the safety of its uses. facebook and change is clearly not going to do so on its own. my theory that without action, divisive and extremist behaviors, we see today are only the beginning, what we saw me and mar and are now seen. and ethiopia are only opening chapters of a story. so terrifying. no one wants to read the under, but congress can change the rules the facebook plays by and stop the many harms. it is now causing the secretary of state antony blank in is in france to patch up ties after weeks of strained relations because of a cancelled submarine deal both sides of agreed. there is an opportunity to deepen corporation e leaders are meeting in slovenia to talk about the unions relationship with the u . s. and china also on the agenda is a proposal to set up an e u gas reserve for the block. and the economic collapse in afghanistan,
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venezuela has reopened its land border crossing with colombia after it was closed nearly 3 years ago. it was shut down after the village. venezuelan opposition attempted to bring in humanitarian aid from columbia. present. nicholas, my daughters said the shipment was part of a u. s. blonde to overthrow his government. nearly $330000.00 children were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the french catholic church over 70 years as the finding of an independent commission, which as the church showed cool indifference to victims and british envoy is the 1st official from europe to meet with the taliban in cab or since their takeover of afghanistan. salmon gas discuss how britain could help of gunnison addressed to humanitarian crisis. and authorities on the spanish island of la palmer is stepping up surveillance of the routine volcano after part of the crater collapse. eruption is becoming more explosive, causing significant damage to property and farmland. those are the headlines next
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on on to sierra inside story. ah no facebook instagram or whatsapp for 6 hours. facebook blames a technical glitch for its worst global outage in years. are we too reliant on social media to communicate and do business, and has facebook become too powerful? this is inside story. ah . hello, welcome to the program. i'm adrian finnegan. facebook is the world's biggest social
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media network. by far, it connects 3000000000 people. that's 3040 percent of the global population. many use instagram and whatsapp as well, both owned by facebook, but the several hours on monday, no one could communicate or share content on the company's platforms. facebook apologized and blamed a technical glitch. the outage is the latest trouble for the us based tech giant, a former employee, as accused of putting profits. i had concerns about health safety, privacy, and misinformation. we'll bring in our guests in just a moment, but 1st a report from out there as was land. jordan in washington for billions of facebook customers, no likes, no insta moment. no world wide phone calls are messaging. facebook's chief technology officer needed twitter to tell customers it was having massive technical difficulties. and then he apologized. facebook services coming back online now may take some time to get to 100 per cent,
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to every small and large business family. an individual who depends on us. i'm sorry. the outage also shut down operations at facebook's california headquarters. no phones, no computers. some workers reportedly using zoom to hold meetings. it's a good reminder. the internet is incredibly fragile. it actually can have problems like this arise and not work for long periods. typically we don't really experience it much anymore. it used to be a lot more common, like a decade ago. some found the outage at facebook, instagram and what's app funny. but for whatsapp users, analysts say the disruption could have been catastrophic. whatsapp is tremendously important for communication in a lot of parts of the globe. and it does raise questions around, you know, how important it is for there to be redundancy, but also questions around, you know, should private companies be solely in control of infrastructure. so critical to
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communications. and the outage comes as facebook is under fire, for how it does business. us regulator say facebook is a monopoly and should be broken apart. a move, the company opposes a spoke note last week. the senators grilled a facebook official about a whistle blowers allegations the company refuses to block hate speech bullying, and other forms of harmful messaging from its sites that whistleblower just gave her 1st tv interview explaining why she thinks this is the case. thing i saw facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was gay for facebook. and facebook over and over again shows to optimized for its own interests, like making more money. facebook denies francis hawkins allegation saying quote, to suggest we encourage back content and do nothing is just not true. rosalyn jordan elses era washington. ah,
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i last spring in august for today in brussels. asked l. mossop, who is europe, legislative manager, and global data protection lead at access now in london. joining us sir is alto, co founder and director of the internet monitoring organization net blocks. and from that up city of ma, strict, catalina, go on to who is assistant professor and private door and technology maastricht university. welcome to you all, al, pumpkin to start with you. it's, it's interesting. the facebook's statements on the outage on monday have said nothing about potential mal intent, was this just human error a technical failure or could it have been sabotaged? well aging, the timing was very unfortunate to say the least. this outage was very serious, perhaps unprecedented lasting. some 6 hours and having global impact. and it came just as these hearings are being made. the select committee and in the u. s. got
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congress and there's all there, these whistle, the complaints about practice at the company. so this exactly when the company needs to have it stuff together yet suddenly we see this a full impact outage affecting not only the company's main product, facebook, but also instagram whatsapp and its messenger service. so the timing is awful. it will have raised a lot of questions, is this a coincidence? but ultimately there is a technical explanation for what happened. so at the moment that's what the company has gone with and, and that is consistent with what we've seen as well on the wire as so whatever the cause, what does it tell us about facebook's critical infrastructure? the fact that most of it appears to be located at or near facebook's headquarters in the u. s. ls solid technical reasons for doing that with, with hindsight, is there a better way? would it have made any difference in this case?
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it's a this how much the incident shows that infrastructure means power and how much of this power is in the hand of facebook. and as it was mentioned, the outage was over different services that the company owns, but he was also affecting some of the hardware that the company offers. and people were not able to connect to their uncle a system, for instance, or to build a newly launch products ribbon glasses. it just show that facebook is not really helping building the internet in a decentralized manner that would help in case of incident like that to have back up plans to maintain communication and meeting communication and how people get access to services. but it's created wall garden around all of their services to keep users inside. and when there is an issue, it almost isn't equivalent as if the whole communication system fall down. a lot of people were saying like, oh my god, i'm here by using s m s. so having to merge 2 to different services of learning that there are indeed alternatives that exist. it just goes to show how much power
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is single company have and the impact it has on the internet and on users are large, which i, i'm hoping this is also wake up call from many to show that no matter which company it is, they shouldn't hold that much for over the infrastructure, catalina, what are the potential legal ramifications for facebook over this 6 out? whose could it be sued a if so, by whom? yeah, so as we have heard before, there are going to be ramifications right now. it is very early to say how deep and how wide these ramifications will be. but let me just take you through to very specific examples. the 1st of all, we have seen that in the past 5 years or so, there has been a blossoming content creator economy. imagine that you had to upload an episode of your show tonight, and perhaps on facebook or, or on instagram, you have to go and allies and do a give away as a content creator you have perhaps missed out on these possibilities and you haven't heard serve losses the same goes for the example of all the many companies
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that are now really creating customer content and customer care on whatsapp and on facebook messenger. and all of these companies perhaps had to go through finding alternatives and that those alternatives might cost. so these are damages that would indeed, depending on the jurisdictions give these companies and individuals freelancer's a, give them the opportunity to suit facebook brochure out. in hindsight, was facebook naive to have had all its platforms using the same critical infrastructure. do integrated digital businesses need to be structured in that way? why does facebook do it live? but will to understand this, we need to look back a little to our 2019 when facebook announced that it would merge it that formed a product that forms. so this meant essentially taking together old technology that had a quiet when it bought whatsapp. when it bought instagram and putting them all behind
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the unified technical infrastructure. now for the company, this has a huge benefits. this means maintenance overhead can be reduced because you now have one developed steam operations team maintaining these services. it also has an advantage for advertising technology and understanding your customers. this means facebook can accumulate more data about users and unify that date or correlated between platforms, if necessary, are to actually understand the behavior of the user. so there is a business benefits for facebook, but they come with this great negative attached that to you. now have much more centralization and you have more single points of failure. so that means if one thing breaks in one place, you suddenly lose all your platforms, they all go offline, you've all your eggs in one basket. so depending on where you look at this, from that, so a lose lose. because that's both losing uses data privacy and having that over to
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companies and it's reducing the residence of that infrastructure. but perhaps if you're at the company it's, it's more of an even battle we're trying to solve. how can we bring together the services and, and collect more data without necessarily ruining that resilience? so overall, it's going to be difficult for facebook to fight this one, especially after what happened on monday, because it's really shown what the problem is with bringing together so many major platforms under one roof, estelle picking up or what you were saying, just a few moments ago about the company becoming too big, too powerful, too important to too many people and this is, this is got a fuel further the argument for breaking facebook up, isn't it potentially yes, but if the conversation we should be having and what regulator needs to be looking at is whether or not breaking up is the solution and what really is the solution
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looking at the, the power that facebook olds and i think at the moment globally, so whether it's in europe, in other part of the world. when we look at those companies, we tend to look at the markets where they operate or try to fix a specific issue. for instance, in your opinion, have it up to the really strong data protection regulation that is largely being or by the company. and it's one of the problems that we have and so we need to understand how all of the different pieces of that puzzle need to work together in order to address all of the socio alicia basically that facebook having so much higher is crating on it is creating on the infrastructure as we've seen yesterday is creating of privacy every same time and time and time again is creating on discrimination issue, etc, etc. and so there's probably maybe not a single solution to all of those different issue. and we need regulators to from who work on anti trusting competition to work with previous to regulator, to work with media regulators to work altogether and understand the, the breath and extent to which this platform has being. and so, because i do think some of the current tools that we have in terms of regulation
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and regulatory response, are probably inadequate to address the, the market power or facebook and other actors like amazon and cool in the sense that they're all over the place. you know, there is no such thing as an internet market, there, superpower is in the ad market, in social media, in communication, etc, etc. see, you need to look at all of it holistically. and perhaps one of the conclusion might be to break them up or to break different services, or make sure that those different services are integrate or not integrated together . which by the way, it was one of the ask a party of the european commission when facebook. but what's that? one of the condition was that they would not be sharing of information between the 2. the problem is that facebook date and break. so there is a lot of looking back that needs to happen on the company's practices and what happened. but there is also larger consideration on the different tools that we have. and if none of those tools are sufficient altogether, then perhaps we should be having the conversation of whether or not it should be broken out yet. i'm not sure rear. where even there. yeah. then there is so many
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stuff that needs to happen there, but we shouldn't be afraid of putting that option on the table. in fact, kathleen, did you do you agree with that? should private companies like facebook be solely in charge of infrastructure that is so critical to global communications of the so many people i completely agree what estelle has mentioned. so in legal literature, especially from north america, that an author, frank pasquale has been calling these platforms as functional sovereigns. so there is this debate of is facebook as powerful as a country. on the one hand, it is a company, just like many others we have seen in the history of capitalism. but at the same time, what we see with this entire facebook downtime is that it has been the equivalent of of an electricity outage because it has been providing facebook as a platform, critical infrastructure that a lot of the public depends on. so in the words of linda taylor, dutch scholar has got it from the netherlands. basically,
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these are public actors without public values. and this is the emphasis that we need to take what exact public values do we want to enforce on these platforms. what we also see is that to compliment what was mentioned before, what do we see that one solution could be more harmonization? so far we have, we don't have the cyber space, but we have cyber spaces. the rules that are applicable to facebook and european union are one assigned the rules that are applicable in india and china, in the united states are different sides of this story. so the question is, do we want to have just one set of rules that are going to be applicable to such a giant company that really operates trans national and that's, that's also food for thought. it's conservative is platforms a public actors without public values? what does the, the outage that we suffered on monday to tell us about the public's reliance upon them? is there any way in which social media could exist without a social media company facilitating it?
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hello. see is that uses use? so like what's up as though they're part of the platform as though they are built into the phone. so you don't necessarily see this distinction between the device that they hold and services that run on the platform. and that, that becomes a huge problem because you've got this blurred lines. who controls the infrastructure. now, is this inherent to the technology itself, or is it, is it just due to the structure of the business? that is a good question and it seems that it is possible to decentralize these platforms more it's not necessary to have such a centralized design such a centralized model to communications networks. now, what is possible is sometimes the limited by the device. so apple for example, may limit what an application can do in terms of communicating peer to peer
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connecting to other devices to other phones. and that would then prevent you from creating perhaps a global mesh network application. and that 3, the barrier mode is not the technology is not the physical hardware. it's on the one hand, some of these limitations are in these devices imposed by the vendors. but also the companies themselves, which do want to hold on to power. for example, there been efforts to federated networks to link them in past, and those will fail because companies essentially want to hold on to their uses. they didn't want to let go. so yes, the internet is a network of interconnected computers. but there's interconnections, the still governed by the companies, estelle picking up on something you were saying a few minutes ago. we've heard that facebook uses it's platforms to harvest data from it's for it's uses which it then uses to sell advertising. one of its applications though it whatsapp or at least has end to end encryption, something which is long bogged government's intelligence and security agencies who
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want it. i have argued for back door access to these encrypted chats. if facebook is broken up and there is some sort of state involvement in the infrastructure of its platforms, doesn't that have implications for privacy? and that's a very important question. so 1st it facebook is broken out for the state doesn't have to become the owner necessarily of the, of the company. you know, what's up in facebook used to be 2 different companies. it happens differently, but it doesn't really matter in did what condition, for instance, what's up encryption model would remain if it was to be separated from the facebook ecosystem. now there is a lot of other services communication services that exist currently that don't belong to facebook. that are other private company or decentralized company that offers enter and compete in 10 encryption as well on communication. so it can happen and it can be done in this way. we need to have the larger conversation on
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what or so facebook is doing still with some what's up data and on the content of the messages, but other of their data around communication. because, and i think facebook themselves has made a lot of commitment toward staying on encryption, but it's not because it says on facebook that those commitment will continue to be there. but the value that encryption brings to safe communications for many of us around the world and for, for many, for many sectors to be honest like encryption is not just about communication. it's also the foundation of banking sectors to avoid fraud, etc, etc. so you don't, you don't break encryption into a system without breaking a whole infrastructure as well. so it's, it's, again, often a larger conversation that needs to happen. but to your point, you can separate system and make sure that privacy safeguards apply strongly and to be completely honest. and it's not that facebook is the poster shy for privacy. and so potentially the crating with up from facebook could also bring more privacy for previous. the future christy by design future and stronger development around that
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in the products that later on monday, facebook asked a judge to dismiss the federal trade commission's anti trust lawsuit against it, which seeks to force it to sell. instagram walks up the f t c says that facebook has monopolies power in social networking. facebook lo says the f t. c is ignoring reality that it competes vigorously with some of the companies that sell was talking about the tick tock i message twitter snapshot, linkedin signal youtube, who's right, we have to see a facebook that's a very tough call, adriane. so i think we're going to have to wait and see, but the problem is that this entire outage that facebook has been going through has actually not made its own case stronger. because indeed, if we look at instagram and if we look at all the products that have been developed, including reels as a way to mimic tick tock. and the different types of products that are available on instagram are really testament to what you were mentioning earlier. that indeed,
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there is a competition on a market. and at the end of the day, a lot of social media companies will end up going and developing the same product. however, this is exactly what a cell was mentioning the inter relation of all of these companies that the f t c has also taken a lot of concern with. so we have seen that not just facebook was down, we've seen that instagram was effected, whatsapp was effected and even oculus b r. so one of the other companies that facebook holds, and that is the main concern there. and i just wanna get some comments from, from all of you own, the facebook whistle blow of francis huggins testimony that facebook executives chose profits over safety, and that it needs to be regulated like big tobacco allegations. of course, the facebook strenuously denies up. what do you like about facebook we desperately trying to avoid being regulated because it operates an environment where once make decisions isn't the 1st time the company has faced with obligations. and we know
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that they're going to oppose these allegations rigorously, in the sense the outage could make a difference because it raises the initial set of questions over the centralization company and add up with the new claims that have come out. and you have this very toxic set of claims that allegations about the company that all come together that really call for some form of regulation as told what are your thoughts thing the conversation will be very important because it's not the 1st candle that a facebook and he's facing not even just this year, and to be honest, we kind of know by now that facebook is misleading its users because their commitment doesn't match their practices. we've kind of knew also that some of the statement or vague statement that were made to go run and run a complete 9 and, and facebook was trying to just use some,
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some regulators to not be more regulated. but now it would also seem that facebook has misled their own investors. i think there is a lot of question i need to be asking, not just to facebook, but to be a closed system. the government's facebook twigs is the way it does right now. is this should really help facebook maintaining this current business model that is harmful for users that is potentially harmful for even for their investors, for advertiser, and really only working for them. and so really need to dig into this question because at the moment we only get health through our misleading statement from facebook that is there to reinforce their current state power, but there is a lot more that could be done if we just cross reference the impact that he has on all of us collectively, catalina to compliment what has been said before, i think what is very important is to acknowledge also the novel business models that facebook has been coming up with. all. so just as social media platforms in general. and here i would like to stress, very importantly,
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content monetization. so in addition to the platform ads that we have been already talking about, these are the ads that facebook is going to get money from different platforms and from different brands to, to simply use their targeted advertising parameters. and therefore build on the kind of data that they gather from their users. in addition to this, we also see this rise of content monetization on social media and is creates and brings with new incentives to participate commercially in this echo system. so not just the advertisers and all of the intermediaries that have been involved in the platform and accurate system, but now also the advertising and any kind of monetization, including through social commerce that social media is going towards. so i think that this should be on our agenda because this can also help us understand better the kind of issues that have been getting more and more more light in the press a chest, for instance, the teenager issue on probably on health and instagram. but out, very briefly,
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because we're, we're almost out of time here. but as, as all 3 of you have said, as far as the francis hogans test, somebody we've, we've been here before, they've been about facebook whistleblowers, but given yesterday's out for outage and the severity of it. could this be the beginning of the end for facebook or at least facebook, as we know it being such a job conglomerate? well, it may not be the beginning of the end for facebook itself, but it does appear to signal something new when that's realization. that, that it's time for change that the world needs alternatives as well. need studying are in t, into alternatives, decentralized options. but also this is ways to perhaps make the company i work more effectively in the public interest and lower on say, yes, it is a turning point barracks. we'll see. and there we've got to leave it. betty, thanks indeed. as tell nasa out, ciocca and catalina go into as always,
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thank you for watching. don't forget you can see the program again any time just by going to the website at al jazeera dot com for further discussion join us. ironically, at our facebook page, you'll find that at facebook dot com forward slash ha inside story. and you can join the conversation on twitter. we are at a j inside story from me, adrian finnegan on the whole team. here it though, i'll, thanks vague with us. i'll see you again. i thought, ah ah, most people will never know what's beyond these doors. the deafening silence of
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