electronic frontier foundation

A regulatory body that oversees the address book of the internet has put the kibosh (at least for now) on a private equity firm's efforts to purchase control of all dot-org domains for more than $1 billion.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said late Thursday that its board had voted to reject the proposed change in ownership, which would have impacted 10.5 million registered domain names, including Farm Aid, The Sierra Club, Amnesty International, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Associated Press and ProPublica.

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Researchers at the University of Southern California, Emory University and the University of Texas Health Science Center have received a federal research grant to create a mobile app for contact tracing the novel coronavirus that hopes to track a person's real-time location and symptoms "for quarantine and decontamination." The project would use collected data to calculate a type of credit score of your COVID-19 risk and uses that to help calculate an aggregate risk score for locations like your neighborhood grocery store over time.

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As this novel coronavirus has rapidly spread through dozens of states this past week, the daily lives of Americans have been upturned to such an extent that many people have grasped for a comparable time in history to look back to in terms of its likely impacts on society as a whole.

For many Americans, that's Sept. 11, 2001.

The comparison comes with a worrisome dark side, which privacy advocates have started to sound the alarm on.

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