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April 15, 2019updated 12 Apr 2019 3:24pm

India considers ban on Bytedance’s TikTok app / Tech experts take to TED2019 stage / Mar-a-Lago malware case continues

By Luke Christou


Good morning, here’s your Monday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

India considers ban on Bytedance’s TikTok app

India’s Supreme Court will hold a hearing today to consider an appeal for the popular video-sharing app TikTok to be banned.

The Chinese app claims to have more than 500 million monthly active users, many of which are based in India where the app has been downloaded more than 240 million times. TikTok’s success helped to make its parent company ByteDance the world’s most valuable startup last year.

However, an Indian court has asked the government to ban the app over fears that it encourages the sharing of sexual content and is being exploited by sexual predators hoping to target its young user base.

ByteDance has since responded to the claims, insisting that a ban would be a violation of free speech laws.

Tech experts take to TED2019 stage

Non-profit organisation TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) will hold its annual conference over the next week, offering talks from a range of industry experts.

Today’s list of speakers includes Claire Wardle, Executive Chair of journalism education non-profit First Draft and an expert on digital misinformation. Attendees will also hear from Doug Roble, Senior Director of Software R&D at Digital Domain.

Later in the week, the likes of Jack Dorsey, CEO of social media platform Twitter, rocket maker Peter Beck, and robotics expert Jamie Paik will take to the stage.

TED2019 will run until Friday, 19 April, at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Center Vancouver, Canada.

Mar-a-Lago malware case continues

The United States District Court will today hold an arraignment for Yujing Zhang, who was detained after illegally gaining entry to a restricted area of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

Zhang was found to be in possession of two Chinese passports, four phones, a laptop and a USB stick that contained malware. According to reports, authorities also discovered a signal detector and thousands of dollars in her hotel room, adding to fears that she was working on behalf of the Chinese government.

Trump has brushed off the breach as a “fluke”. However, it has raised serious concerns about the security in place at the resort, as well as the cybersecurity practices of the US Secret Service. According to reports, upon discovery an agent plugged the USB device into their computer, which immediately began installing potentially malicious files.

The hearing will take place at the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, starting at 10am local time (3pm London time).

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