The Switchboard: Syrian hackers went after Facebook — and hit a wall


(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

Turkey lawmakers adopt 'Orwellian' Internet curbs. "The text notably permits a government agency, the Telecommunications Communications Presidency (TIB), to block access to websites without court authorization if they are deemed to violate privacy or with content seen as 'insulting,'" AFP reports.

Twitter CEO points to product shake-up "Twitter is going to get serious about messaging and presenting content outside the boundaries of the reverse chronological stream so characteristic of the service," CNET writes.

Apple removes Blockchain bitcoin wallet from app store. "Apple has removed the Blockchain wallet app from its iOS App Stores, leaving iPhone and iPad users with no native bitcoin wallet options for their devices," Coindesk reports. "Apple offered no explanation for the action and no option to appeal, other than saying the removal was due to “an unresolved issue."

Syrian hackers mess with Facebook's domain. Nothing happens. "Facebook has put in place 'registrar locks' that prevent changes to domain names from being carried out without manual checks with real live humans," Re/code reports. "So while the hackers were able to edit a little bit of information on MarkMonitor’s database, it had no effect on where traffic to facebook.com was directed."

Former NSA chief explains how Snowden gained high-level access. "After the NSA offered him a position, he turned it down because he thought he should have a higher-ranking position," writes BGR. "Instead, he went to work at national security contractor Booz Allen in early 2013. Booz Allen hired Snowden because the NSA had already vetted and approved him."

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.

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Brian Fung · February 5, 2014