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A Feisty Google Adversary Tests How Much People Care About Privacy

The New York Times – “Gabriel Weinberg is taking aim at Google from a small building 20 miles west of Philadelphia that looks like a fake castle. An optometrist has an office downstairs. Mr. Weinberg’s company, DuckDuckGo, has become one of the feistiest adversaries of Google. Started over a decade ago, DuckDuckGo offers a privacy-focused alternative to Google’s search engine. The company’s share of the search engine market is still tiny — about 1 percent compared with Google’s 85 percent, according to StatCounter. But it has tripled over the past two years and is now handling around 40 million searches a day. It has also made a profit in each of the last five years, Mr. Weinberg said. Mr. Weinberg, 40, is among the most outspoken critics of the internet giants. DuckDuckGo’s chief executive has repeatedly called for new privacy-focused legislation and has warned at hearings and in newspaper opinion pieces about the problems that big companies can cause by tracking our every move online. But the challenges faced by DuckDuckGo reflect just how difficult it is to take on the giants and build an internet business that is focused on the privacy of its users. After a decade, the private company’s modest success is an indication that, even as regulators around the world consider tougher rules for the data-tracking methods of big tech companies, selling consumers on privacy-focused services is still an uphill battle. Like other search companies, DuckDuckGo displays ads at the top of each search page. But unlike others, it does not track the online behavior of its users to personalize the ads…”

The Essential Guide to Legislation

PoliticoPro – “During a single Congress, hundreds of bills are enacted into federal law – but the initial legislation proposed by lawmakers in the House and Senate can number well over 10,000 bills per session of Congress. With so much proposed legislation flowing through the standard processes, tracking can quickly become difficult. This guide breaks… Continue Reading

A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World

Tenth annual report dives deeper into the ways government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion have changed, from 2007 to 2017: “Over the decade from 2007 to 2017, government restrictions on religion – laws, policies and actions by state officials that restrict religious beliefs and practices – increased markedly around the world. And… Continue Reading

Casting the Dark Web in a New Light

MIT Sloan Management Review – By examining cybercrime through a value-chain lens, we can better understand how the ecosystem works and find new strategies for combating it. “…Attackers always seem to be one or two steps ahead of the defenders. Are they more technically adept, or do they have a magical recipe for innovation that… Continue Reading

The 100 Most Sustainable U.S. Companies

Barron’s – How much of a company’s journey toward sustainability is driven by the personal passions of its CEO? Based on the conversations Barron’s had recently with several corporate chieftains, quite a lot. That’s one of the insights from our second annual sustainability ranking of public companies… To create the rankings, Calvert Research and Management… Continue Reading

But You Look Fine: A Reading List About Disabilities, Accommodations, and School

Longreads – Jacqueline Alnes – “…I did not request accommodations until the second year of my PhD. For seven years of school, whenever I experienced a flurry of episodes, I’d spend an inordinate amount of time trying to read passages that had once felt joyful to engage with and arrive at class with blurred vision… Continue Reading

Is Wikipedia the last internet refuge if you ditch Big Tech?

Quartz Obsession: “Google-owned YouTube has a radicalization problem. So does Reddit. Twitter is full of fake news. Facebook is flooded with disinformation. The low-paid moderators hired to stem the tide of false and vile content are burning out. And even if you want to ditch the tech giants altogether, good luck with that—their ad reach… Continue Reading

Craigslist’s Craig Newmark: ‘Outrage is profitable. Most online outrage is faked for profit’

The Guardian – The founder of the online classifieds site is a survivor from the era of internet optimism. He has given significant sums to protect the future of news – and rejects the idea his website helped cause journalism’s financial crisis …Newmark, who has previously observed “a trustworthy press is the immune system of… Continue Reading