Reporting Robocalls, Twitter, Google Voice, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 31, 2022


In Compliance Magazine: FCC Opens Portal for Reporting Illegal Robocalls. “The FCC’s new Private Entity Robocall and Spoofing Portal allows privately-held enterprises, such as small businesses or private hospitals, to seek support from the Enforcement Bureau to cut off massive influxes of robocalls or efforts to spoof the enterprise’s legitimate phone number with its customers.”


BBC: Twitter in data-protection probe after ‘400 million’ user details up for sale. “A watchdog is to investigate Twitter after a hacker claimed to have private details linked to more than 400 million accounts…. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) says it ‘will examine Twitter’s compliance with data-protection law in relation to that security issue’.”

The Verge: Google Voice will now warn you about potential spam calls. “Google has announced that it’s adding a red ‘suspected spam caller’ warning to Google Voice calls if it doesn’t think they’re legitimate. In a post on Thursday, the company says it’s identifying spam ‘using the same advanced artificial intelligence’ system as it does with its traditional phone app for Android.”


Techdirt: Some Tricks To Making Mastodon Way More Useful. “A couple of quick things to note: these are unlikely to be universal. It’s just a few of the things that I’ve found that take the Mastodon experience to a new, better, more useful level. In other words, yes, this is highly subjective. Also, some of the tools I’m discussing are relatively new, often developed by users who saw the need and decided to build something (again, this is something that’s nice about the open platform that enables anyone to see something that they feel can be improved… and improve it).”


AccuWeather: Social media becomes lifeline during historic Buffalo snowstorm. “During the duration of the storm, social media has played a crucial lifeline not only for [Sha’Kyra] Aughtry but also for countless other Buffalo residents. A Facebook page, created in 2014 after Buffalo was buried under deep snow, regained popularity during this most recent event. Residents could post what they were looking for, whether it was food, medicine or shelter, and neighbors could look out for one another.”

Boing Boing: Chef rates TikTok cooking videos with a “side of salt and extra sarcasm”. “If, like me, you harbor a deep disdain for those ubiquitous cooking videos that are all over social media, TikTok user Chef Reactions is for you. He keeps his identity a secret, but some folks on Reddit have speculated that he might be Canadian. Whoever he is, and wherever he’s located, he’s definitely made watching cooking videos way more fun.”


CBS Denver: State archives soaked after pipe bursts in government archive building. “In the basement of an unassuming building, just a block from the Colorado State Capital sits a paper trail that tells the story of the state’s history. It’s the Colorado State Archives, and there are three basement levels of boxes containing documents that are part of Colorado history. One week ago, during the historic cold snap that rolled through the State, a pipe burst and leaked water all over the documents.”

Bleeping Computer: Google Home speakers allowed hackers to snoop on conversations. “A bug in Google Home smart speaker allowed installing a backdoor account that could be used to control it remotely and to turn it into a snooping device by accessing the microphone feed. A researcher discovered the issue and received $107,500 for responsibly reporting it to Google last year. Earlier this week, the researcher published technical details about the finding and an attack scenario to show how the flaw could be leveraged.”

WRAL: Cyber attack leaves 6 NC counties locked out of their online records. “From birth certificates to death certificates, your most important records are stored with your county register of deeds; This week, at least six North Carolina registers are in limbo. Nash, Halifax, Edgecombe, Greene, Pamlico and Jones counties were all locked out of their online records after Cott Systems was hit with a cyber attack on Christmas Day.”


TO BHMA: Artificial intelligence in the service of Greek foreign affairs. “A modern artificial intelligence tool will put the Diplomatic and Historical Archive of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a digital highway. Through the project announced by the Information Society to transform the physical archive into a digital record, the practice of diplomacy and foreign policy will enter a new era. The digital archiving and microphotographing of 65 million pages of documents will turn a new page in the operation of the historical archive of Greek diplomacy.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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