Russia didn’t hack the U.S. election. It didn’t need to.
Image: Element 5 Digital
Good morning! This Wednesday, the final report on 2020 election interference is in, Wikipedia's looking for new ways to make money, Google's lowering its cut of developer fees and apparently "physical NFTs" are a thing now.
Also, we have a new episode of the Source Code podcast! We talked with Dylan Field, the CEO of Figma, about his experience in the crypto art world and why he sold his favorite CryptoPunk (and former Twitter avatar) for $7.5 million last week.
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its official report on foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. election. It found that lots of foreign governments tried to influence the election, and that they didn't need to use hackers to do so. Those two things should feel like a paradox, but they're not. And that's scary.
Other parts of the U.S. intelligence world disagree with a few of the report's characterizations, but here's essentially what the ODNI found:
Russia seems to have been the biggest player here, trying to influence the election without directly trying to hack it. But Iran seems to have used the internet the most cleverly:
At least when it comes to elections, most foreign governments seem to think actively hacking the U.S. is too risky to be worth it. (Obama's retaliations in 2016 may have helped scare them off.) And they figure they can cause enough trouble through social media anyway. But when the election's over, the hacking commences: Just look at SolarWinds and Hafnium. It's simply different tools for different jobs.
Wikipedia is ready to get paid. And not in the "Jimmy Wales in a pop-up begging you for donations once a year" way, either. In an attempt to monetize its unique place in the internet world, Wired reported, Wikipedia is becoming something a lot like a SaaS company.
Its new arm is called Wikimedia Enterprise, and it "provides paid developer tools and services that make it easier for companies and organizations to consume and re-use Wikimedia data."
How big this will get is hard to say. Wikipedia's still going to make all those free tools freely available, it's just hoping companies like Google eventually decide they'd rather pay to get good data than do the work themselves. And Wikimedia told Wired it expects donations to still make up most of its revenue, so those Jimmy Wales pop-ups aren't gone just yet.
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Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the most-discussed and least-understood law governing the modern internet. This event will delve into the future of Section 230 and how to change the law without compromising the internet as we know it. Join Protocol's Emily Birnbaum and Issie Lapowsky in conversation with Senator Mark Warner. This event is presented by Internet Association.
Platforms should have clear rules but shouldn't be held responsible for the whole stack, Patrick Collison said:
In leaked internal audio from Parler, Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff revealed the company's approach to misinformation:
Australia is going to keep being an early test for all kinds of tech regulation, Atlassian's Scott Farquhar said:
Turning broadband into a public good is an increasingly popular idea, Rep. Jamaal Bowman said:
Samsung co-CEO Koh Dong-jin said the chip shortage is going to hurt business, as the company said it might skip the Galaxy Note this year:
Jade Raymond is starting a new game studio called Haven. She had been running Google's Stadia studio but left when that was shut down.
Lucas Moody is Twitter's new head of security technology, joining from Rubrik.
Megan Clasen is starting a digital ad firm after running a huge campaign that helped President Biden get elected.
Laércio Albuquerque is Cisco's new VP of Latin America after running operations in Brazil for the last few years.
It's called "F.or Y.our R.eal E.ntertainment," Ja Rule commissioned it, and it was made to commemorate the Fyre Festival, which absolutely no one on Earth would ever want to commemorate. It's not a digital object, but rather a 48" x 60" oil-based artwork. We used to call these "paintings," but now apparently we're going with "physical NFT?" All I know is it's currently $50,000, and I'd rather pay that much for an NFT of that picture of the sandwiches.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Anna Kramer and Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com, or our tips line, firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your day; see you tomorrow.