Trump move creates United States internet censorship like his geopolitical rival, China: this is how the 'Clean Network'works - Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the deployment of Clean Network, the government's private commercial offensive against Chinese technology companies.
Before a population more concerned about coronavirus than anything else could stop to understand this plan, Trump signed two executive orders to ban TikTok and WeChat in U.S. App Stores, block their cloud servers, and force TikTok's parent company in China, ByteDance, to sell its assets in the country.
Overall, the idea of a Clean Network as proposed by the Trump-Pompeo tandem resonates for more than one as a new Great Firewall in the US similar to that used by China against foreign internet services. To sum it up quickly, it is a system of filters, algorithms and a team of officials that will prevent certain information from being published on the internet that comes to your home.
Although the comparison may sound (still) exaggerated, the truth is that certain attitudes of the U.S. government this year indicate that it may not be so misguided.
Whether or not a global pandemic has the US as its main victim, 2020 has become an electoral breeding ground for the Trump administration, fearful of its renewal in the face of a complicated November election. Both disinformation networks and conspiracy theories have proven to play in their favor in the past, and Clean Network may serve exactly the same purpose.
The executive orders, which were initially only isolated proposals from the Secretary of state, prohibit U.S. companies from doing business with applications, but TikTok's initial order also leaves room for a forced sale of TikTok's U.S. arm to a home-based company, probably Microsoft or Twitter. WeChat's order, by contrast, offers less room for manoeuvre, as it focuses on banning all transactions with the app itself, regardless of who owns it.
Trump's argument, in this case, is that both applications pose risks to the US administration, as the Chinese government can wield the national security order and force companies to hand over their users ' personal data. All this is true, as it is also that the US, for its part, can also execute exactly the same actions to claim data from Google, Amazon or Facebook, to name a few well-known companies.
Trump move creates United States internet censorship
In the administration's speech, all focuses on a single goal — "the Chinese Communist Party— - to which they attribute all ills, including threatening" our privacy, viruses proliferate and spread propaganda and disinformation." The latter, by the way, has been used by Trump both to talk about Clean Network and illegal immigration, especially in pre-election periods such as the current one. Thus, the firewall could be used as a tool for the upcoming November elections, as the candidate already did with immigrants in 2016.
Thus, from the first strokes to the imminent law we know only its most immediate applications. Namely: disconnect Chinese operators from US telecommunications; remove Chinese apps from us app stores —and vice versa, remove us apps from Chinese stores -; remove US data from cloud storage provided by Chinese companies; and finally, monitor and reconfigure submarine cables that connect the country's internet.
This is not the first time Trump has dealt with freedom on the net. In 2018, his government anticipated what it planned by eliminating the Open Internet Order, a mechanism resolved by the Bush administration and amplified by Obama's that guaranteed internet neutrality.
Until Trump came to power, the network of networks was characterized by being nobody's (or everyone's) and treating the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak alike; at least on paper. Now, in the Trump era, the internet responds to commercial interests and operators will be able to slow or block pages that do not match their business trends. Perhaps a coincidence perhaps preamble of what would then be Clean Network.
If it was by chance, he certainly was lucky. By removing this order, the executive obtained a clear path to reverse the rights of law 230 on decency in Communications, which frees non-publishing platforms from responsibilities for the content that users create on them. This means that everyone is responsible for what they publish, not the owner of the site.
The rule is not Turkey snot, as it allows resources such as Wikipedia, any social network and even comments on forums and media. The initiative, which for the moment seems stalled, was born as a response from Trump to Twitter after being suspended from the platform for spreading false information. Piece by piece, revocation after revocation, the firewall could take years to form in secret.
To understand how important this great version Trump firewall would be, first you need to see how it works. Let's give an example.
In order to read this news, your computer or mobile phone connects to a DNS root server. This system serves to convert 'businessinsider.es' in an IP address, which is a string of numbers that your computer interprets and materializes with the way you're seeing it.
What's China doing? Since the state owns its own DNS servers, it is able to block IP addresses, return an incorrect address, and block search terms like Winnie The Pooh, the popular animated bear, for being used as an insult to President Xi Jinping. In addition, this" computer police " that forms the firewall can censor and monitor suspicious or illegal behavior, such as visiting certain web pages. In the West, on the other hand, to access this type of content you have to refer to the Deep Web.
The Chinese model, by definition, would not stand in the United States because it is contrary to the First Amendment —which allows freedom of the press and expression— and, above all, because root servers in the United States are not owned by a single government entity.
However, in the past the government has already managed to cheat the amendment to shut down websites through FOSTA-SESTA, a package of bills that banned the operation of websites perceived as facilitators of sex trafficking. In order to do so, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act mentioned above had to be amended.
Even so, the US internet infrastructure is much more convoluted than that of China, and building an information "Wall" would require tearing down and rebuilding the network, which would be an economically disastrous effort, especially in a crisis situation like the current one.
In short, little is clear around Clean Network, but only time will tell. Whether it's a censorship trainer or an electoral maneuver, the only sure thing is that nothing is safe when it comes to Donald Trump.
End of Trump move creates United States internet censorship
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, The Jew-shaped headphones, have become one more part of my day to day life and are ready to face whatever lies ahead
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are the latest TWS (True Wireless Stereo) Headset from the Korean company. When they were introduced a couple of weeks ago, what most caught the attention of users was their design. And I don't remember a device that created so many comments around it since the first Apple Airpods —presented almost two years ago—.
But even though the multinational has launched this device with a most striking exterior, it has not neglected its 'interior'. After having tried it for a few days, I can say that this gadget is especially comfortable, besides that the audio quality and noise cancellation stand out positively.
This is not surprising, since Samsung has very good products related to audio —do not forget that since 2016 has been acquiring renowned firms such as Harman, owner of JBL, whose purchase was closed for no less than 8,000 million euros—.
But are they worth the almost 200 euros they cost? Do they outperform other alternatives on the market? Are they the perfect companion for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20? I reveal all these doubts in this analysis.
As far as the visual section is concerned, they are headphones that attract attention: either because they have a shape in the form of Jew, kidney or faba-depending on who you ask—. In this case I had the opportunity to try the Mystic Bronze color, and the truth is that, personally, I find them pretty. It is a much more striking and less conventional color than the classic white or black, colors in which you can also purchase these Galaxy Buds Live.
It is true that they are quite dirty and leave a lot of fingerprints on the headphones, something that in the end is inevitable because they have a touchpad large enough and mirror finish-although I have to say that when you wear them hides great, because you do not notice the fingerprints—.
As you can see in the photo below, at first glance you can see the two microphones on the back and an air outlet.
On the inside of the headset are housed the two charging pins embedded in a small pad showing which side it belongs to, another air outlet, a voice pickup unit, an internal microphone and, finally, a proximity sensor that will detect when we have or not the headphones.
The carrying case houses the Samsung logo and a phrase displaying 'Sound by AKG'. Just below the case closing system, the LED indicates the condition of the case.
At the back is housed the hinge which is really solid, which denotes good quality and durability. In this part there is also the USB Type C through which both the headphones and the case are recharged.
There are no fingerprints on the case, but in this color it is very easy to notice imperfections of use.
If I turn the box around, the different certifications and capabilities of the different elements are appreciated.
Samsung headphones always have a very good quality —and even include an app that I'll talk to you about later with which you can choose the sound—. By itself, the Galaxy Buds Live sin slightly bass, not gargantuan, but that makes the music is heard in a much more peculiar way.
The noise cancellation is just as good as the Samsung Galaxy Buds+, although Samsung always does a lot of work in these sections —I usually experience a feeling very similar to what it feels when you climb a mountain or a plane, like that you plug your ears—. It's something you get used to and it's much more noticeable when you're not listening to music. In fact, when you are in situations with a lot of noise, such as public transport or on the street, they isolate very well and surprise quite a lot.
They are very comfortable headphones, which at first are something rare to use and put on, but as soon as you get used to are a real auditory delight. It is true that after 2 or 3 hours they start to bother, but much less than other similar TWS.
The volume to which I took them was between 50 and 60% , as the noise cancellation technology did the rest of the work. It is a sound that is below average, which makes you take care of your hearing health for the future.
As I have commented, It is a device that integrates 3 microphones in each headset. When it comes to making use of them the experience is quite satisfactory: the Google Assistant understands the commands at first and, usually, when talking on the phone pick up a good sound —although perhaps too broad, since I have commented that they even heard my steps when walking—. Phone calls sometimes get jammed, but you'll probably end up fixing it with an update.
If there is something I value a lot in every gadget that passes through my hands is that it is customizable, that suits my taste. In this case, Buds Live have many sections that configure them according to the user who uses them: from sound, to gestures, and even be able to block touch controls in certain situations.
The reduction of ambient noise is activated through the app, although it is also possible to activate it, if you configure it, from the devices themselves. There are also some experimental features that you can try and change, so that Samsung knows how it works and whether or not to include it in the future.
As with the vast majority of these types of products, as soon as you start using them you start testing to see what gestures they have. In this case the hold down is customizable and is configured independently each of the two headphones. It has been rare the time I have not hit the first —and it is really easy to find—.
I rarely have that feeling that I don't have to be on the lookout for the battery of an electronic device, but in this case it has happened to me. I have been using them a lot and, still, they have offered me an autonomy of 6 and a half hours without making use of noise cancellation —and around 5 with it activated -. It is true that I have not been exposed for too long to environments with a lot of noise, but I have had it activated for quite some time when walking down the street.
The values are approximate, although I have managed to end the battery of them after many chapters in a series.
The case gives for three or four refills. Keep in mind that all TWS headphones are designed to be worn at times (and not to be 6 hours, as it has become a server during the test time of the Galaxy Buds Live).