tech, cybercrime, AI deepfake software, scam calls, new defense tool
© Sebastian Willnow/dpa via ZUMA Press

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This Free Tool Stops Deepfake Grifters From Stealing Your Voice (Maria)

The author writes, “In the past year, [AI] voice scams have exploded as deepfake technology becomes more powerful and widespread. It’s staggeringly simple to pull off too: All a scammer needs is a short clip of someone’s voice. … As AI technology advances at a breakneck pace, these tools will only become even more powerful — and dangerous. That’s why researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a tool called AntiFake that they say is capable of preventing even the most common AI deepfake software from replicating your voice.”

Ohio Voters Just Passed Abortion Protections. When and How They Take Effect Is Before the Courts (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Ohio’s new constitutional protections for abortion access and other reproductive rights take effect Dec. 7, a month after voters resoundingly passed them. How and when their impacts are felt remains unclear. Existing abortion-related lawsuits are moving again through the courts now that voters have decided the issue, raising questions about implementation. The amendment declared an individual’s right to ‘make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions’ and passed with a strong 57% majority. … But the amendment voters approved Nov. 7 did not repeal any existing Ohio laws, prompting some anti-abortion activists to step up pressure on Republican elected officials to extend their efforts to halt, delay, or significantly water it down.”

Different Tactics, Same War: The Perils of Treating Israel’s West Bank Offensive as Separate From Gaza (Laura)

From The Intercept: “On November 10, a couple of Israeli settlers, accompanied by a soldier, entered the Palestinian village Tuba in the rural south of the occupied West Bank, opened the residents’ water tanks — their only source of water — and watched the water spill to the ground before leaving, unfettered. A few weeks earlier, in the Bedouin shepherding community of Wadi al-Seeq east of Ramallah, an armed group of settlers assaulted and threatened the community, as they have been doing for months. The next day, the residents of the West Bank community, about 100 Palestinians, packed up their belongings and left. On October 28, an armed Israeli settler shot and killed Bilal Muhammad Saleh while he was harvesting olives near Nablus. These are the kinds of incidents that typify life in the occupied West Bank and have only intensified and increased since the October 7 Hamas attack.”

In U.S.-China AI Contest, the Race Is on To Deploy Killer Robots (Russ)

The author writes, “Alongside Sydney Harbour, engineers are working on a submarine that will be powered by artificial intelligence and will have no human crew. The project is being driven by a contest between the U.S., its allies, and China to develop AI-controlled weapons that will operate autonomously, including warships and fighter jets. The outcome of this competition could determine the global balance of power.”

Countries Are Starting To Give Wild Animals Legal Rights. Here’s Why. (Gerry)

From The Washington Post: “Panama is part of a growing list of countries and communities around the world latching on to the Rights of Nature movement, which seeks to grant wildlife a similar legal status to that of individuals and companies. While the strategy has so far been mostly used to protect whole ecosystems, such as forests and rivers, advocates of wild animals are starting to deploy it as well, hailing it as an essential tool to combat the biodiversity crisis. Despite existing environmental protections, the world continues to lose animal species at an alarming pace.”

‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Eternal No More Thanks to a Pollution Destroying Device From Tacoma Startup (DonkeyHotey)

From Geekwire: “It would be fair to expect the destroyer of toxic ‘forever chemicals’ to be a massive, intimidating device. In which case it’s either disappointing or delightful to discover that a startup called Aquagga has successfully deployed a PFAS destruction unit nicknamed ‘Eleanor’ that’s housed inside a modest 10-feet-long by 8-feet-wide shipping container. The system recently returned from an airport in Fairbanks, Alaska, where it put a dent in 20,000 gallons of toxic, PFAS-contaminated wastewater that had accumulated for 40 years.”


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