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Simon Beardow - Deputy Director, British Council, Vietnam

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Short Takes: Would You Like Skype With That?

The scenario goes likes this: Microsoft buys Skype and becomes a major shareholder in Facebook, Google tries gazzump Facebook by announcing the launch of Google+ which has integrated video chat, Facebook counters by announcing that it will be incorporating Skype video chat.

Not that this pairing should surprise folks as Facebook and Skype already share some of the same instant messaging tools.

Where Google+ still has the edge is its ability for group video chat whereas Facebook's video service will only be able to connect two users face-to-face.

The biggest winner out of all of this would appear to be Microsoft.
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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Social Media and Cyber Warfare

Security threats have been on the rise ever since the death of Osama bin Laden. These threats vary from spam attacks to very serious politically motivated, foreign nation attacks. According to Charles Dodd, a government consultant for cyber defense, social networks are adding to this string of attacks because terrorists are using them to find information and recruit others to join their cause.

He also points out that these terrorist camps are "well-versed in how to get past our good senses," which is why they are reaching out on places consumers are comfortable, such a social networks. Another challenge involved is privacy concerns, which creates a two-sided problem.
Source: WebProNews

Not that governments can count upon the accuracy of what they are viewing in social media. As Paolo Passeri in his article on the Consumerization of Warfare states:

The main security concern relies in reputation, a bless and a curse for Social Networks. As already mentioned, in the specific circumstance the tweets of war were checked with “traditional” methods (anyway this is already an advantage since it is easier to check the veracity of a received information, rather than probing satellite images search for enemy outposts), but, generally speaking in absence of verification means, there is no guarantee concerning the truthfulness of a tweet, which, for instance might have been modified or manipulated up to the point of reversing the original content.
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