Clubhouse says it will improve security after researchers raise China spying concerns

  • The developers of audio chat room app Clubhouse plan to add additional encryption to prevent it from transmitting pings to servers in China, after Stanford researchers said they found vulnerabilities in its infrastructure
  • In a new report, the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) said it confirmed that Shanghai-based company Agora Inc. which makes real-time engagement software, “supplies back-end infrastructure to the Clubhouse App”
  • The SIO further discovered that users’ unique Clubhouse ID numbers —not usernames— and chatroom IDs are transmitted in plaintext, which would likely give Agora access to raw Clubhouse audio
  • This means that anyone observing internet traffic could match the IDs on shared chatrooms to see who’s talking to each other, the SIO tweeted, noting “For mainland Chinese users, this is troubling”
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President Biden stalls TikTok and WeChat Ban 

  • US President Joe Biden has paused legal action against TikTok and WeChat, which could have seen the apps banned in the United States 
  • While president, Donald Trump had sought to ban both apps, claiming they were a national security threat 
  • Both companies had taken legal action against the proposed bans 
  • The new administration has now asked for an “abeyance” – or suspension – of proceedings while it revisits whether the apps really pose a threat 
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Football players call out social media on inaction over online abuse 

  • The Swansea City midfielder Yan Dhanda has expressed his anger at Facebook for providing “more fuel for hate” by failing to ban the individual who racially abused him
  • The account holder has been prevented from sending direct messages “for a set period of time” but Dhanda believes the punishment is inadequate, akin to a “slap on the wrist” and offers no firm deterrent to individuals wishing to send repugnant abuse to players and officials
  • Football’s governing bodies continue to lobby social media companies to crackdown on discriminatory abuse and last week sent an open letter to Facebook and Twitter, criticising their “inaction”  
  • After Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at West Brom on Sunday, Anthony Martial received abuse via Instagram, with a number of users posting racist messages and symbols on his photos 
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