The MIDAS Trawler

There is no March 2020 edition of MIDAS Trawler due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak being the most dominant news story.
For official updates on the virus please visit the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

MIDASearch’s monthly trawl through the Internet to find trends and news relevant to online investigators.

February 2020

UK will not implement controversial EU copyright law.

The UK Minister for Universities and Science, Chris Skidmore, has confirmed the UK will not be implementing the EU Copyright Directive ‘article 13’ which EU countries must implement by the end of 2021.

article13

The incoming EU law has been fiercely criticised by website owners as it will hold them accountable for not removing copyrighted content uploaded by users.

When Article 13 was originally proposed it prompted fears over the future of using memes as they invariably rely on copyrighted scenes from TV and film. These concerns were nullified when the proposed law was amended in 2019 to exclude copyright material that is “for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche”.

However, there is a significant chance that article 13, in its current form, will impact distribution of ‘knowledge’ and academic processes that are vital to all Intel specialists. It is hoped that The UK governments’ stance will lift potential restrictions of knowledge sharing when dealing with non-EU countries.

The first ‘open’ social network revealed in the latest battle against big tech.

In January the not-for-profit DFINITY foundation demoed their Open Source version of LinkedIn (named LinkedUp) at the ‘2020 World Economic Forum’.

LinkedUp

Image: DFINITY

The foundation was formed in 2016 by Dominic Williams, a King’s College graduate, to develop a way of reversing the monopolisation of big tech companies who have taken over the internet.

To achieve their aim DFINITY have created the ‘Internet Computer protocol’ which they claim is unhackable as the software is hosted on an extended internet and therefore there is “nothing to hack”. The code for the protocol is set to be made available for developers later this year.

dfinity

DFINITY founder Dominic Williams – source: https://dfinity.org/

Wired Magazine recently included Mr Williams in their article of ‘Stories of People Racing to Save Us as an acknowledgement to his foundations work.

Mr Williams said “Startups rely on application programme interfaces (APIs) for their systems to operate, but the big tech companies can revoke or tamper with this access at their free will. We’ve seen it with the likes of Farmville creator Zynga, which had its valuation wiped out by permission changes imposed by Facebook.”

“As a result a handful of for-profit companies have created a monopolistic and closed internet. The DFINITY foundation is essentially extending the original internet with a more advanced protocol….this will extend the internet and allow it to host those services and software itself, thereby removing the ‘ownership’ of the current systems from the very large tech firms”.

Apple is reportedly preparing to launch a Smart Tag product.

According to reports from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Apple are set to release AirTags, a ‘smart tag’ that can attach to any object and be tracked with an iPhone through the ‘Find My..” app, in the first half of this year.

tag

Image Source: Pressform.info

It is anticipated that the tag will be a ‘Tile-like device’ that can be attached to any item (such as keys, purses and wallets etc.) and then will send a signal to the connected iPhone / iCloud account.

Ming-Chi Kuo is an analyst for TF International Securities, and he has previously provided accurate reports concerning Apple products.

Instagram is failing to attract older people to their platform.

Instagram is failing to attract older people as quickly as anticipated, according to new figures from the analysis firm eMarketer.

The social networks UK growth fell from 34% (2017) to just 7% (2019). This is the first time user growth has gone into single figures. In 2019 world user growth rate for Instagram fell from 18% (in 2018) to 12% and is expected to fall further in 2020 to around 8% growth.

Instagram bubbles

eMarketer’s principle analyst, Debra Aho Williamson explained: “Instagram is still very popular with teens and young adults – this year [2020] there will be more Instagram users than Facebook users in both the 18-25 and under-18 age groups.

 “A big reason why Facebook has remained so large in the US is because people who are middle aged and older continue to use it, and that’s where the growth is happening.

“But for [Instagram] to grow more substantially, you want to see people who are maybe the parents of those teens and young adults…they are, but it’s just not happening as fast as we thought.”