This Week in Tech Episode 925 Transcript
Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.
Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for TWiT this week in Tech. Boy, is this a show you're gonna want to stay tuned for? What a panel Jeff Jarvis is here from this week in Google. Brianna Woo, founder of Rebellion Pack, former congressional candidate Alex Stamos, who has had gigs at Facebook and Google and Zoom and is now a security and trust expert professor at Stanford, and the director of Stanford's Internet Observatory. We're gonna talk about the rise of the Twitter replacements, particularly about blue sky trust and safety issues across the board, the disaster that is looming with the 2024 election. And then we're gonna celebrate the 30th birthday of the worldwide web. All that and more. Coming up next on twit
TWIT Intro (00:00:44):
Leo Laporte (00:00:45):
TWIT Intro (00:00:46):
From people you trust. This is Twi Twi Twi. This
Leo Laporte (00:00:56):
Is twit this week in Tech. Episode 925 recorded Sunday, April 30th, 2023.
Gradually, then suddenly this week in Tech is brought to you by stamps.com. Set up your business for success when you start today. Sign up with a promo code TWIT and you'll get a special offer that includes a four week trial free postage, and a free digital scale. Just go to stamps.com, click the microphone at the top of the page, and enter the code twit and by ACI Learning, or if you love it pro, you will love ACI Learning aci Learning offers fully customizable training for your team in formats for all types of learners across audit, cybersecurity, and it from entry level training to putting people on the moon ACI Learning has you covered. Visit go dot aci learning.com/twit to learn more and by noom, stop chasing health trends and build sustainable healthy habits with noom psychology based approach. Check out Noms first ever book the Noom Mindset, a deep dive into the psychology of behavior change, available to buy now. Wherever books are sold. Don't forget to sign up for your trial at noom.com/twiz. And by lookout, whether on a device or in the cloud, your business data is always on the move. Minimize risk, increase visibility, and ensure compliance with lookouts Unified platform. Visit lookout.com today.
It's time Forwe. This week at Tech, the show. We cover the weeks tech news. I have the best panel ever. I'm so excited to say hello to Alex Stamos, who is here from the internet Observatory. <Laugh>. Sounds like you got a telescope and you're looking at the it's the Stanford Internet Observatory. What do you observe there, Alex? We are a multidisciplinary group that looks at the abuse
Alex Stamos (00:02:58):
Of the in different kind of technical policy
Leo Laporte (00:03:01):
Obligations. Abuse, abuse. Alex is a very well-known security guru. We, we had so much fun with you on this week in Google a few months ago. We said, we gotta get Alex back in, and if we're gonna get Alex back in, we better have Mr. Jeff Jarvis here to join him. Hello. Jeff buzz machine.com. Well,
Jeff Jarvis (00:03:20):
Alex is wearing a real, you know, man's t-shirt. I, however,
Leo Laporte (00:03:26):
And we Oh, a twit 10 T-shirt. Well, that was a almost a decade ago. The 10th anniversary Twit. It was a long time ago. We are now in the, oh, was this, how old is this set prize? We had our 18th birthday while I was gone a couple of weeks ago.
Jeff Jarvis (00:03:40):
Old enough to drink?
Leo Laporte (00:03:41):
Yeah, two years. We'll do the 20th and I'll get you a T-shirt. How about that, <laugh>? How about that? And yeah, Alex, we should mention is wearing a, a gold I'm sorry, Sacramento King's shirt because, and we have a big screen just for Alex. One of the conditions of his appearance here was that he could watch the final game, seven of the N B A semi-finals, the Warriors and the Kings. It's a, it's a Bay Area. X Trahan. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (00:04:06):
Leo Laporte (00:04:08):
And you know, frankly, we're not much farther from the Kings than we are from the Warriors. I could go either way on this. Yeah,
Alex Stamos (00:04:13):
No. And here in Petaluma. Yeah, no, it's beautiful. Yeah, I grew up in Sacramento. My dad had season tickets since like 1987 or so. So that means I've seen about 150 wins, 300 losses. <Laugh>.
Leo Laporte (00:04:24):
Hey, the Warriors were, the Warriors went through that period too, didn't
Alex Stamos (00:04:27):
They? Yeah. Which I, I saw too when I was at college. We go to Warriors games, which was like 10 bucks. Yeah. Cash.
Leo Laporte (00:04:31):
Alex Stamos (00:04:32):
Terrible. Yeah. Terrible. Yeah. Terrible. But, you know, it was a good time. It's great to see that. And it's great to see that they're gonna go play. Whoever wins plays the Lakers, I knower, one of these teams will wants together to beat the
Leo Laporte (00:04:41):
Lakers. Right? We, we could take go. Let's both go down. Yeah. Beat the heck at him. So if Alex leaps to his feet at any point, you'll know. <Laugh>.
Alex Stamos (00:04:48):
I I have a victory hat, so you'll see.
Leo Laporte (00:04:50):
Oh, good. No spoilers. No spoilers. Also. Hey, that's not as, if that weren't enough. We've also got Brianna Woo with us, executive Director of Rebellion Pack a game des developer, a speed runner, and now a, an advocate for Blue Sky. It's good to see. There we go. It's
Brianna Wu (00:05:09):
Good to be on the show. I'm the one causing all the problems on the internet that Alex has to investigate and work professionally.
Leo Laporte (00:05:16):
Conquer. I I woke up today. Appreciate the help, Brianna. I woke up today to post from Brianna blue sky saying, I'm a guest on Twit today. I'm sure Blue Sky will come up. I want to convince him and his massive audience at Blue Sky is a place worth spending time. Can you help by following him and saying, hello, I'm affair
Jeff Jarvis (00:05:34):
With you, Brianna. He already, I asked him he needed an invite. No, no. I've been there. It's nothing.
Leo Laporte (00:05:39):
Wrong. The usual thing. All right, what is blue? So, Brian, explain what Blue Sky is before we go too much to farther down the road. Blue
Brianna Wu (00:05:46):
Skies mastered on. Let's just admit it. It's mastered
Alex Stamos (00:05:49):
On that. No,
Leo Laporte (00:05:49):
It's not. I, oh, you know, and I have to say, one of the things that, that hurts me a little bit is all of this, this week, it was all blue sky. Every, because I think it, it was a, it was a, the, the Blue Check thing finally set off a number of well-known Twitter users to the point where they said, I'm outta here. Blue Sky, which was created by Jack Dorsey year a few years ago as a federated replacement in effect for Twitter attracted them. And all of a sudden all the conversations about Blue Sky. And here I am on our little Mastodon instance. I'm a big Mastodon user and fan. I still love Mastodon Leo, and I'm saying, what, how come all of the love going to Blue Sky all of a sudden? But Blue Sky isn't Mastodon. I think it's important to say Blue Sky's not the same.
Brianna Wu (00:06:35):
Sure. I I hear what you're saying. I feel like, but the experience is very similar to it. Like, the one thing that Blue Sky does better is it's not asking you to choose between 9 trillion different server. Not yet
Leo Laporte (00:06:47):
Brianna Wu (00:06:47):
Not yet, but
Alex Stamos (00:06:48):
It will won't Brianna.
Brianna Wu (00:06:50):
You, you will have to choose eventually between like what you want your metadata data to be as far as how trolls get labeled. And what the moderation you want is. They're basically the way they are gonna offboard moderation is very similar to maam, right? You're gonna leave it up to individuals. They go through and label like, we approve this person. This is a troll, this is a harasser. This person is banned. And you can subscribe to whichever one you find best. So I think that when it comes to Blue Sky, it's a really, really, really great conversation right now. I don't think it's gonna be a great conversation a year from now with the approach that they're taking to moderation. In my view,
Leo Laporte (00:07:34):
They just added blocking on Friday. So at least you can block somebody who's really annoying. They
Alex Stamos (00:07:39):
Launched with no trust and safety features, no trust and safety team, right? It was, they kind of were three people, bass wards. Right? which in which the CEO has now admitted that she understands that what you're really getting when you buy a buy into a social network, the product is the moderation. Right? It is the community you create. Yes. It is. Not anybody can put up a nice little white sheet that random people can comment on. And that you consolidate all of these different tweets or skeets or whatever you want to call them. The hard part is making it a community. People wanna actually stick around.
Leo Laporte (00:08:09):
So one of the reasons it's a, a hot I right now is cuz it's invite only still. Yes.
Alex Stamos (00:08:14):
That's, it's just like Clubhouse the early
Leo Laporte (00:08:15):
Days. Yeah. It's like, and Google Gmail in the early days we're enough to remember that. Yeah. Yeah. That's a good way to get people wanting in. Yeah. you no, Nope. You gotta have an invite. It also I think wins because it looks a lot like Twitter, right? I mean mm-hmm.
Alex Stamos (00:08:29):
<Affirmative>. Yes. One, it's got two things that Masson has intentionally kept out, which is really good search, full tech search. Yeah. Not just based upon hashtags and basically quote tweets,
Leo Laporte (00:08:37):
Right? Yeah. If I, if I press the repost button, I either get a choice between Real Post, right?
Alex Stamos (00:08:43):
Which is the decision. Like, it's this religious thing among some of the founders of Macedon, of the, the key developers. They, they say that quote, tweeting is drives abuse, which is true, but it's a feature that lots of people want. And they, they say the same, same thing about full Tech search, which I think is actually pretty foolish. He Macedon changing his mind on both. Yeah, he's gonna have to Right on. He's gonna have to, because Blue Sky's about to eat their lunch on them. I
Leo Laporte (00:09:07):
Gotta, I gotta give people a crib sheet. Orgon is the creator of Macedon. Mastodon does not stand alone on, sits on a protocol called activity Pub which many other apps use as well. And Activity Pub is, is the backbone of something called the Fed Averse, which is a federated universe of social apps, which include Pixel Fed, which is for pictures. There's a Peer tube, which is a, a YouTube clone. So there are a variety of things that use this activity. Pub Blue Skies following the same road. In fact, it was a little weird. Jack Dorsey gave them I think 10 million a couple of years ago to start as a public benefit corporation. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> not owned by Twitter. Jack is on the board fully independent, but it's fully independent. So again, it's a public benefit corporation. And his walking papers, his mandate was create a federated Twitter, something decentralized that no one can own. And he was kind of prescient. Actually, the most interesting story about Blue Sky this week is Eject Dorsey went on Blue Sky to retract his, his statements about Elon Musk. When Elon first bought Twitter, he said the push best possible person to own it.
Alex Stamos (00:10:21):
Standing the light of consciousness.
Leo Laporte (00:10:22):
Alex Stamos (00:10:24):
A little, the light of consciousness did not totally penetrate the deepness
Leo Laporte (00:10:28):
In this case. Yeah. He was, Jack was probably as disappointed as everybody else was by Elon Stewardship and was fairly outspoken on Blue Sky. About that. I'll see if I can find that tweet, because Blue Sky does have search <laugh>.
Alex Stamos (00:10:41):
Brianna Wu (00:10:44):
So Leo, I do wanna push back a little bit and look, I really like, I think for those of us that have been out here enjoying Blue Sky, we're definitely getting a lot of pushback from Mastodon people. And I get it. I love Mastodon. I've got 15,000 people there. My engagement is roughly equal to what I get on Twitter with 10 times that amount. I enjoy Mass Chaan. I think what you're seeing with Blue Sky is not just this ephemeral love for it because it is invite only. I think the reality is a ton of people that are just at their wits end with harassment have moved over to Blue Sky and have made it their home. And I think it doesn't take, I think there's a critical mass of journalists that can leave Twitter and make Blue Sky their home and start posting there. That's going to have a really negative impact on you know, Twitter as a a vehicle to experience news actively.
Leo Laporte (00:11:40):
But Alex, it sounds like you disagree that this is the place to go if you're being harassed on Twitter. Well,
Alex Stamos (00:11:45):
I think Blue
Brianna Wu (00:11:46):
Sky has been, I have not sold on their long-term vision. Right.
Alex Stamos (00:11:48):
I mean, blue Sky's been better because it is invite only, it has had a much network of people on
Leo Laporte (00:11:54):
It. There hasn't yet been a lot of herbs. Right.
Alex Stamos (00:11:55):
The trolls have not been for the most part. So Blue Sky invite codes are going for like 300 bucks on day. Yeah. So, you know, it's a big investment to go buy a invite code and then go burn it after just to get a couple of nasty right. Tweets at you. Right. but structurally there's nothing about Blue Sky that makes it better than Mastodon. In fact, I would say, I mean, activity Pub there has a longer history of the at protocol and people have been working on it in both cases, Mastodon and Blue Sky, people have not figured out how are you gonna do moderation in a distributed fashion. Right? Like the, the protocols themselves don't do a lot about the kind of metadata around moderation that is actually used inside of the big companies. And if you're a maid on owner right now, moderation's a big pain in the butt. And the tools do not really exist to do almost anything from an automated perspective. And so I I think yes, it feels a little better right now. It's because the trolls have bought their blue checks on Twitter and they're running rampant on Twitter. But there's absolutely nothing that says that you won't end up with fully abusive instances federating with Blue Sky, just as you've had with Mastodon.
Leo Laporte (00:12:58):
The good news on Mastodon is whoever runs the instance, and I run a Mastodon instance called twit.social. Right. Has kind of infinite control to moderate it. You don't have the tools, but I, with a small instance like mine, it's, it's about five or 6,000 people. I rely on the users to report mm-hmm. <Affirmative> when they report, I review and I Boo Boot 'em. Usually that's no more than a few a day. And it's invite only so you have to apply to get in and it's not invite Exactly. It's, but you have to apply to get in. You're approved approval. Yeah. And so it hasn't been an issue. Yeah. and then we also, so, and then I also have to remind users, you can block anybody on Macedon, which is nice. Block 'em on any instance, anywhere you as a user can block any instance.
Yep. And as an administrator, I can block an instance. So if there is an instance, and there are quite a few unmasted on, that's a, there are nasty Nazi incidents instances, or that's hard to say. Nazi instances you can block them whole hog, which I do. Yeah. and so, so right now if you're on twit social, your experience is probably very benign. Probably. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe not on masks, on social, one of the big instances. Right. But that's the argument for Federation of Small Instances. Right. That can be handled by individuals and moderators. Right.
Jeff Jarvis (00:14:15):
I'm Leo. I'm not, I don't use, as long as I don't use the the instances feed, I'm a masked on social. Cause I was, you know, a dork and went to the first place available. It's not bad at all. What's really interesting that I've noticed, and in my long experience of two days on blue Sky, is that black Twitter has adopted Blue Sky far more than Mastodon. Yep. that's good. I think it was
Leo Laporte (00:14:41):
A very smart, I mean, that's not good for Mastodon, but I'm glad that they've found out that, that, that there's a home. Well,
Jeff Jarvis (00:14:45):
We'll see. But it was a smart thing where the devs valued that and they, and they found some people to give the invites to, to give the invites to the people who matter. And, and there's a lot of people there Cade's there. Dr. Ray is there. A lot of folks are there who were not on Mastadon. And Mastadon didn't give the best reception. When I held the black Twitter summit in February you know, one of the things we talked about was that the geeks of Bas Don said to black Twitter, well, these are our rules and make your own instance. And, and, and, and it was their way to say F you to a community. They weren't valuing sufficiently. So we'll see what happens on Blue Sky, but it's, I think, a very positive sign because the, you can make I think a very good argument that the social things that work are the ones that are pushed into new uses by communities like black Twitter.
Leo Laporte (00:15:42):
If I channel the founders of Blue Sky, and I'll let you respond to this, Alex, they said, well, we've gotta solve the issues of distributed id. We've gotta solve these issues of federation before we start putting in moderation tools before we start putting in blocking. Because of course, if you don't have a solid framework for federation, then you don't even know what blocking means is blocking local is blocking federated. How do you federated put this up? Yeah. And so one of the things they, they have done that is I think probably better, their protocol is called at Proto. One of the things they have done better is it's, it's very easily portable. Your identity on blue sky. Mines Leo laport me. It doesn't say blue sky. And I can easily move that because it's a, it's a public key crypto. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> backed d i d to another instance if I don't like an instance. So I think that it, that, you know, it mask on. You can move, but it's a manual process. It's not
Alex Stamos (00:16:39):
A, it's a real pain and you, you need the server to do the work for
Leo Laporte (00:16:42):
You. That's right. Yeah. And that's a big issue. Cause if the server goes dark,
Alex Stamos (00:16:46):
Right. Which there's been a bunch Yeah. Which I think both blue sky, all of these federated platforms are going to end up in, in really serious moderation politics. Right. That you see, if you look at admin block or feta block hashtags and Macedon, it is full of people turning their little personal fights into folks into blocking entire instances. And then mm-hmm. <Affirmative> hundreds or thousands of people complaining, why can't I follow my friends anymore? Because these two people, and then also well-meaning people who, who are trying to run communities that are open and helpful and that don't have the kind of CC on Twitter are being driven away from hosting Macedon because of the, the abuse they get if they, if they slightly deviate from Right. The conventional wisdom of what, of what, you know, people want or the most maximal kind of
Jeff Jarvis (00:17:30):
So how would you architect it now? And
Leo Laporte (00:17:32):
We should say, Alex says trust and sta standings you've done. Yeah. Yeah. You've done this. That's, I'm asking before you are, you are the guy. If anybody could talk about on this.
Alex Stamos (00:17:39):
Well, yeah, I mean, I, you wouldn't know, but, you know, I'm actually 22 years old. This is just
Leo Laporte (00:17:42):
What you look <laugh>
Alex Stamos (00:17:44):
I I, I wouldn't tell myself, like I've, I've done a lot of trust and safety work. I'm teaching trust and safety class at Stanford right now. I kind of wish the blue sky folks had taken my class because this is exactly why I teach a class at Stanford, is you should not be launching any kind of social product without having done a lot of the basic stuff. It just feels blue sky. They've launched, they're probably, I think they've launched six months early based upon what's going on.
Leo Laporte (00:18:05):
That's the feeling I get as well. This is so early, but have they launched it still? Invite only?
Alex Stamos (00:18:11):
Yeah. Well, I, yeah,
Leo Laporte (00:18:12):
It would be better to be a little under the radar for a little longer, but,
Alex Stamos (00:18:14):
Well, what happened is the invite only wasn't working. The reason all this abuse came up is the initial invites didn't have enough entropy. Oh. And so you ha and it looks like there's no rate limiting on the api. Ah, so you had trolls just brute forcing in the invites and then w walking themselves in so they didn't have to really burn anything of consequence to go abuse people. So yes, I, I think there's a, a number of interesting security and, and safety issues in blue sky. But in the long run, even if they build out a team, w how do you do community management of rules in a federated world is going to be a fascinating problem. I also think we're going to need better tools for folks because our team's doing a bunch of work on this. I, I don't wanna preview it too much, but we'll be publishing a paper probably in two, three weeks from now where we talk about child safety issues on Macedon. And it's a really serious issue. Oh boy. It's a serious issue that asks Alex that you have to think about if you are a Macedon you owner. Yeah. Because when your people subscribe to other folks content, that content gets pulled down and stored on your server.
Leo Laporte (00:19:10):
Yeah. We should explain how this works. So here's my masin on instance, there's a number of timelines. There's the local timeline, which is just people posting on TWI social. There's the people I follow, kind of like your normal Twitter timeline. But there's this federated timeline. This is a timeline of everybody followed by anybody on my server. Yeah. Which means if somebody on my server follows an ins somebody that has child porn, that is now on my server,
Alex Stamos (00:19:34):
Right? It gets fetched by your server and stored in your blob storage,
Leo Laporte (00:19:37):
Which means I'm responsible,
Alex Stamos (00:19:39):
Which you're responsible for, and, and you don't have the tools that Twitter has, that Facebook has and such to go automatically check that image against known hash list and such. Right. It, that's, it's a solvable problem. But the, there's so much thinking about the fun parts and not a lot of people are, are spending a lot of time on, well, this is, this
Leo Laporte (00:19:55):
Is Silicon Valley writ large. Right. I mean, we, it's, you know, move fast and break things. And you know, this comes up a lot in the crypto field as well, which is if they just consulted crypto experts, they wouldn't have done it this way. If they just consulted trust and safety experts, they wouldn't have done it. But they would never
Alex Stamos (00:20:12):
Would've launched. I mean, this is the, the flip. You shouldn't, that's the problem they would never launch. And safety people is we don't want you to do anything.
Leo Laporte (00:20:17):
You're like lawyers. If you, if lawyers ran the world, nothing would ever happen.
Alex Stamos (00:20:21):
Wow. <laugh>, that's
Leo Laporte (00:20:22):
Brutal. Okay. You're not that bad. Shots fired <laugh>. Yeah. But
Brianna Wu (00:20:26):
If, if I could just chime in on here for a second. Yes. I really wanna back up what you're saying, Alex. And I think that is the fundamental flaw that I see with Blue Sky, because their vision of the future is someone who does not have any resources behind them from Blue Sky. Someone apparently is going to go out there, they're gonna be writing all this metadata that you or I or some user can subscribe to, to basically put a label on users and put a label on activity. Like put a label on skits. Right? This is not funded. And I was talking you know, I was talking to the former head of Twitter trust and safety about this yesterday on, on Blue Sky where, you know, this is incredibly expensive work to do correctly. This is the entire reason Elon Musk has like, automated a lot of this because it is so expensive to do trust and safety.
Well, you do have to have oversight. You have to have transparency. You have to have the ability to appeal. Right. so this is the part of it that I am deeply, deeply, deeply skeptical with Blue Sky. I mean, I suppose theoretically that you get enough users over there, enough of the, you know, major users of Twitter and someone comes along and they offer to do trust and safety as a product that I can subscribe to for $8 a month. Maybe that works. Like I could kind of see that working, but it's just their, their entire paradigm here in my view, is solving the wrong problem. What I do think they've done right, is they've gotten all the right people from Twitter off Twitter talking to each other on this service, enjoying what it's like to have a conversation without endless harassment and death threats with adults there. And we're really getting emotionally invested in it. So, you know, maybe they can turn the ship around by share Alex's appraisal that this is work, this should have been done, you know, six months ago. And really ideally prior to the M V P.
Jeff Jarvis (00:22:25):
I didn't. That's all,
Leo Laporte (00:22:26):
I didn't plan it this way, but I have somehow put together the perfect panel <laugh> for this, for this topic. Brianna Woo, one of the victims of Gamer Gate and of still a very, despite that very active Twitter user Alex, who's obviously the, the guy to talk to for trust and safety, Jeff is also very active in Twitter, has reached out to various Twitter communities. You just did a seminar for school on on black Twitter. So this boy I couldn't have put together. Now, I didn't know Blue Sky was gonna be the topic of the day, but it sure ended up being the perfect panel to discuss. A lot
Jeff Jarvis (00:22:59):
Of invites went out. I saw I to both Brianna and Alex's point, I, before we got on, and I lost it, there was a, whatever we're gonna call a thread, a Skeete thread, a I don't know, a do
Leo Laporte (00:23:09):
They spread, do they have threads, needles spread? Okay, I like spread. We're gonna go with spread.
Jeff Jarvis (00:23:14):
I saw, I saw a spread saying that, and I'm sure Alex, you'll know a lot more brothers than I will. The, the intelligence on some of the bad places where the bad people go. They're, you know, arming on the border of Crimea here at Blue Sky planning to come in and attack trans people. Yeah. And when they come in, they're gonna have searched to be able to do that. They're gonna have quote tweets to be able to do that. And they're, and that blocking is gonna be fairly limited. And so how, with no staff, how does Lou Sky and, and very importantly, how does the community of Blue Sky react? How do we, well, who do we, who do we report to? What do we do? What happens when we see it happening? It's gonna be a very crucial moment that I I I'm rooting for Blue Sky, but I'm worried for them at this moment. Yeah,
Brianna Wu (00:24:00):
Alex Stamos (00:24:01):
Yeah. Well, and, and the problem they have versus Macon is the, the at network right now is 99% one company. Right. So, you know that
Leo Laporte (00:24:09):
In a handful of people, it, it's not even a big company.
Alex Stamos (00:24:12):
Right. And so that kind of attack has happened multiple times in the Fed averse, but the responsibility for dealing with it is distributed across it. You know, Macon and social is the biggest, but not anywhere near 99% of the user base. Right. and so I, I do think they're cruising for a bruising. They're gonna have to hire some folks pretty fast. Fortunately for them, it, unfortunately, Google and Facebook and a bunch of other companies have been hired, have been firing really good trust and safety people. Yeah. <laugh> Twitter, it's
Leo Laporte (00:24:37):
A be hiring.
Alex Stamos (00:24:38):
It is a great time to build a trust and safety team. <Laugh> money folks who you have money you could never have hired out of these companies before because they would've been way too expensive. Are are totally
Leo Laporte (00:24:47):
Available now. Message firstname.lastname@example.org on I'm not leaving. He's got some record. No, but you, I'm sure you know some names. Well, yeah, I'm sure you,
Jeff Jarvis (00:24:54):
<Inaudible> is Yoel who came to my, my black Twitter or something. He's been talking since then and others have been talking about the need to create these structures for Mastodon and Activity Pub. Yeah. But now there's gonna be pulling in both directions because I think there's gonna be an urgent need for Blue Sky as well.
Leo Laporte (00:25:11):
Let me step back as a user. So I'm watching all this with, with interest, but but kind of, I guess cuz I run a mast on instance, I'm not, I do have a little dog in this hunt, but as a user looking at the culture, looking at the content and so forth, let me ask, is it over for Twitter, first of all? Or is Twitter worth trying to save? Oh, I mean, what we're acting as if Oh yeah, what Twitter's done, what's next? But is it over?
Brianna Wu (00:25:38):
I I think that I, I actually do, I think it, what's the quote where you go bankrupt slowly and then quickly. I I do think that's Twitter's fate. I mean, you know, under Elon Musk, I, I, I don't think I'm the only person that has this experience. Twitter is a remarkably bad place to spend time. And I was there for Gamergate. Y'all <laugh>.
Leo Laporte (00:26:00):
So it's gotten worse, right? It's like, it's worse now than
Alex Stamos (00:26:03):
Every, every Tuesday is like Gamergate now, right? <Laugh>
Leo Laporte (00:26:05):
Brianna Wu (00:26:06):
It's is so bad. You know, the the thing is, you can't tell anyone who's real in every single conversation. You've got a bunch of crypto jerk stores warming their way in there. Harassment is crazy. You know, death threats, rape threats they're just not
Leo Laporte (00:26:24):
Even, here's the argument people would use that I've heard people use. Well, don't ever look at the four uab just following just the people you follow. That's not full of fit. It doesn't, it doesn't solve them. It doesn't
Brianna Wu (00:26:35):
Help because they raise to the top of your mentions, like even when I'm looking through my individual users, it's all the blue checks that are there. So
Leo Laporte (00:26:43):
Yeah, I stopped looking at replies about 10 years ago though. So, I mean, fair
Brianna Wu (00:26:47):
Enough. That's a problem. The point is, I think that Elon made a really fatal mistake here with de-certify all the journalists. The only value that Twitter has in my mind is it is the best place to talk about crazy events as they're happening. Like the Will Smith slap. Right? Right. So if you have a place with a critical mass of those journalists to talk about this stuff, that is something Blue sky can definitely become the home up. So Twitter doesn't have to get all the, like Twitter doesn't have to hemorrhage all their users. They just have to hemorrhage the most important power users and, and tons of
Jeff Jarvis (00:27:24):
Journalists are already
Leo Laporte (00:27:25):
On blue screen. Well, okay, so wait a minute. You've conflated two different things. So one of the reasons Twitter was good is so that you could see the, what people were saying about the slap, not just journalists. You could see what the zeitgeist was, what people were saying then. So that's one thing. Then there's also the, the important, important voices. The, the, the, the, I don't know what the VA verified voices. That's another thing. People aren't leaving Twitter or are they mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, some verified voices have, I mean, that's what happened this week in Blue Sky was a lot of well-known people said, that's it, I'm done. Right. If, if, if all of the, but I also noticed a O c Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the member of Congress from New York was on Blue Sky. But she said, but this is my personal account because I can't move my account as a o C rep, a o c over yet my government account over yet it's still on Twitter. Mm mm-hmm. <Affirmative> because it hasn't, I don't know, hasn't been approved. There's some sort of process.
Alex Stamos (00:28:27):
Well, she was saying, I mean, one of the problems is there's not basic security stuff on Blue Sky. Right? So it doesn't have multifactor authentic, there's
Leo Laporte (00:28:33):
No two factors. Doesn't have
Alex Stamos (00:28:34):
Yeah. It doesn't have verification itself. So the, the problem that Twitter has created for themselves, the problem that Blue Sky and ma on are facing,
Leo Laporte (00:28:41):
They just embraced it <laugh>, right.
Alex Stamos (00:28:43):
From a, from a historical perspective, Twitter had the best understood the most recognized brand value in the blue check mark of what it meant to be verified. And they threw that away. Yeah. They burned all of that brand value. They burned it down to the ground at the moment. That
Jeff Jarvis (00:29:01):
Worse, worse, Alex, it became a negative.
Alex Stamos (00:29:03):
Right? It became a negative. Yes.
Jeff Jarvis (00:29:05):
It's the mark of the eight bucks schmuck. If you have the blue check, not just meaningless, it says that you are an idiot.
Alex Stamos (00:29:10):
It says you're an idiot or, or you're a faker. And at we're at a historical moment. We're, we're about, we're entering a time in which any kind of thing that human beings can generate, text, video, audio, all of that stuff is now easily fable using large language model. Oh
Leo Laporte (00:29:27):
Alex Stamos (00:29:28):
And as a result, like from a, to throw away identity as something that you can use that as trustworthy on your platform at the moment that it has actually become economical to run really good point. Tens of thousands of accounts that look like they're legitimately human is incredibly stupid. And I think this is going to be the story over the next two years or so is I agree, what platform is going to be able to give you trust in the identity to people who are, who are joining as well as the possibility that they're not. There's the positive identity is this Leo Laport who's saying this? And there's also kinda the negative identity of, well, if I'm talking to somebody, is it unlikely that they're part of a botnet of 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 fake accounts that are being driven outta St. Petersburg or Tehran or you know, Saudi Arabia or a variety of other places that love to manipulate the internet. And that's what's gone away at Twitter Partially cuz the Blue Check thing partially cuz all of the people who do anti influence operation stuff have either been fired or quit. And so I think one of the things Brianna is talking about here is you do not know when you're interacting with people whether or not they're part of massive manipulatory Okay. Networks
Leo Laporte (00:30:33):
Network. But you all know about that. But I would submit that the average user doesn't, neither knows nor cares. Well,
Alex Stamos (00:30:39):
They don't know whether it's fake or not. I mean, they're not all, they all, they don't care all the, the literature on what the no Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is doing on Twitter. Right. But what they do feel is that if they make a political statement that is disagreeable by somebody, they will end up with 500 people sending them what looks like death threats are calling them a schmuck.
Leo Laporte (00:30:53):
That's pretty bad. Right.
Alex Stamos (00:30:54):
And, and that, that experience that everybody is now having the gamer gate experience,
Leo Laporte (00:30:59):
Everybody gets it. Yeah. Makes
Alex Stamos (00:31:00):
The the value of the platform go.
Leo Laporte (00:31:02):
But so maybe you don't say anything that's cha that's political and just talk about the Warriors game. Yes. And then it's okay. Right. Is it good for something like that? You wanna talk about the King's warriors? Is it a good place to something like
Alex Stamos (00:31:14):
That's not, that's not what people are on Twitter on, right? I mean that's, that's the Pinterest model, right. Is like, this is a fun place where people don't have serious conversation. But Twitter was a place for a serious political conversation.
Leo Laporte (00:31:22):
Yeah. That's out and,
Alex Stamos (00:31:23):
And, and it's not useful.
Leo Laporte (00:31:24):
Clearly that's out. Right? That's gone. Can you go there to get news,
Alex Stamos (00:31:29):
Not trustworthy news? Right. Like,
Leo Laporte (00:31:31):
Again, though, I think most people don't know whether it's trustworthy or not, right? Yeah. I think most people aren't aware of that. Yeah. I, which is a problem for the polity, obviously. I think it's
Alex Stamos (00:31:39):
A problem. I, I, 2024 is gonna be a disaster the
Leo Laporte (00:31:43):
Alex Stamos (00:31:44):
Year. It is gonna be by far worse than 2016 in
Leo Laporte (00:31:46):
That only because all the troll farms are gonna be out in force. Troll
Alex Stamos (00:31:49):
Farms are out in force. They're going to have large language models behind them. Not the ones that are being hosted at Google
Leo Laporte (00:31:54):
Or No, but that automates their process. Right. So they can create a ma an onslaught. They have an army net. Yes.
Alex Stamos (00:32:01):
And Twitter has completely given up on preventing these kinds of, of botnets. Right. you or it's encouraging or it's encouraging them. It, for eight bucks, you can verify all these accounts and get yourself raised up. That is totally economically viable for the professionals who manipulate
Leo Laporte (00:32:15):
Social media for Russia or China for
Alex Stamos (00:32:17):
Russia, China or Korea or domestic groups who are renting out their cap. This capability, it's not clear, it's illegal for an American politician to hire a, a local troll farm to go troll their
Leo Laporte (00:32:27):
Opponents. Oh. MG it's not, huh? Are there, you
Alex Stamos (00:32:30):
Probably can't use campaign funds for it, but it, it's an interesting question. <Laugh>,
Leo Laporte (00:32:34):
Can you use PAC funds? One of the things that one of the, that's a good question. Can you use that funds, you know, that might so who do we know <laugh> well I've lost the, the train of thought. One of the things that became an an issue on Twitter. Well, so is Elon just gonna run it into the ground? And I mean, he's gotta be close to bankruptcy at this point already, right? Right. So have we, can we just grieve Twitter and move on? Is that what we should do?
Alex Stamos (00:33:10):
Well, I, I, right now, I mean, Twitter isn't the best position company to take advantage of the,
Leo Laporte (00:33:15):
He could just switch it all back on.
Alex Stamos (00:33:18):
So one option is you can just give, I mean, I don't think as long as he's running it, it, the people are gonna come back. Right. But if he said sold it for a humongous loss, or if he let it go into receivership and it's being run by the banks to which by the banks, that's, I think Twitter could turn it all
Leo Laporte (00:33:31):
Around. Right. Rehire those trust and safety team. Get y'all Ralph back in. They've got all the software that they had before. Right. He, you know, Mike Masick, Mox Elon saying he's speed running the moderation curve and doing a bad job of it. Yeah. But you can rewind it. Right? You could. And Twitter had over 16 years kind of a refined, they'd certainly gone through this long enough that they had pretty refined. You think their system was good enough?
Alex Stamos (00:33:55):
It was, it was rough. I mean it, Twitter, mark Zuckerberg's, you know, a clown car that drove into a gold mine. Certainly
Leo Laporte (00:34:03):
Alex Stamos (00:34:03):
Is it like an accurate description of Twitter? And from just the same direction Twitter had like, some of the best people, but they were never well resourced compared to YouTube and, and Facebook and other companies like
Leo Laporte (00:34:13):
Brianna Wu (00:34:15):
So let's talk like pragmatically, like
Leo Laporte (00:34:18):
Let's take a break and then we're gonna talk pragmatically. I love this. This is a great conversation. I'm sorry if you have no interest in this, but honestly the future of social is kind of hanging by a thread at this point. A lot of got all the issues. A lot of people have said social's over, you know, like it's over. It's just forget about it. I I hate to give it up because it's been a valuable way to communicate, to have people be heard. But we, if we can't solve these trust and safety issues, if we can't solve the troll farm issues, maybe it is over. Maybe it's too potent a weapon. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (00:34:49):
Be very sad that actors or if we go back to you have to own a television station or a newspaper.
Leo Laporte (00:34:54):
Yeah. We don't want go back to that. Yeah. Only
Alex Stamos (00:34:57):
The television station owners and the newspaper publishers
Leo Laporte (00:34:59):
Want that. They love that idea. Yeah, they do like that. Yeah. what about podcast network owners? What about them? Nobody ever mentions <laugh>
Alex Stamos (00:35:08):
Big podcast. Think
Leo Laporte (00:35:09):
Big. It's gonna be big someday, I promise you. Well, great panel for this Brianna Wu, it's wonderful to see you, wonderful to have you back rebellion pack.com where that is your Frank Wu memorial mug. I love it. It's beautiful. You, you, you married him for his mug.
Brianna Wu (00:35:26):
I married him just for this mug.
Leo Laporte (00:35:28):
Right? That is a great mug. That's my evil. I love that. 15
Brianna Wu (00:35:30):
Years. But it was
Leo Laporte (00:35:32):
<Laugh>. She got the mug. <Laugh>. Say hi to Frank. Will you? I think some of those illustrations we'll out there. Are they? No, they're, are they woos?
Brianna Wu (00:35:42):
No, that's all cap com CBS two Art. But we're gonna be out there for a live show in a month. So maybe we can all go get dinner
Jeff Jarvis (00:35:48):
Leo Laporte (00:35:48):
A live. Twi and Frank. Fantastic. Can't wait. Great to have Alex Stamos in studio. We don't see people in studio very often. I'll try not to breathe on you, Alex. Alex works with Chris Krebs, the legendary, two great names with the Krebs Stamos group. Yeah. what do you do at the Krebs Stamos Group?
Alex Stamos (00:36:09):
We work with companies to help them deal with their big picture cyber risk, mostly geopolitical
Leo Laporte (00:36:14):
Cyber risk. So, so again, I couldn't have put together a better panel for this dang show. Completely un inadvertently. And Jeff Jarvis, I think you all know him from buzz machine.com and his new book, the
Jeff Jarvis (00:36:26):
Grownups Table today. I've always,
Leo Laporte (00:36:28):
When that happened, you see him of course every Wednesday on the what is that show, twig? It's called Twig this weekend. Twig.
Jeff Jarvis (00:36:36):
Yeah. Yeah. Soon. You forget. <Laugh>
Leo Laporte (00:36:38):
<Laugh>, he's also the author of the Gutenberg parenthesis. We're getting closer and closer to the release.
Jeff Jarvis (00:36:46):
Leo Laporte (00:36:48):
But you can
Jeff Jarvis (00:36:48):
Order it now for discounts. Let's
Leo Laporte (00:36:50):
Add go. I'm giving you a chance to plug it. Gutenberg parenthesis dot parent sis com. It's hard to spell. I got it. <Laugh>, there's a lot of letters. The age of print and its lessons for the age of internet. It couldn't be better. All three of you. It's wonderful. Bloomsbury, by the way, publishes this. And is that an, is that deal? The Barnes and Noble deal? Still good?
Jeff Jarvis (00:37:16):
No, it was to Friday. Oh,
Leo Laporte (00:37:17):
Jeff Jarvis (00:37:18):
But you, but you get a discount on Bloomsbury. Also my favorite for, for Blackwells in the UK. I love cuz I can buy English British books and American books. Add a discount with free shipping
Leo Laporte (00:37:30):
To the US course. We
Jeff Jarvis (00:37:31):
Put a link to indie books as well.
Leo Laporte (00:37:33):
Yeah, let's give 'em all, we wanna keep those independent bookstore alive. It's good to have all three of you here. You know, who else I'd like to keep alive? The United States Postal Service <laugh> Friends. <Laugh>, you always, you never know what's gonna happen to the U s Ps, but gosh darn. It's an important part of democracy. Ben Franklin started it and it's still going, but I gotta tell you one thing. You do not have to actually go to the post office to get the services of the US Postal Service. In fact, here at TWIT for the last, I don't know, 15 years, we've been using stamps.com for the last 25 years. Stamps.Com has been helping businesses save time and money because with stamps.com you can print real us postage from your computer with your printer, no postage meter necessary. You can even, you know, tell stamps.com, have 'em come and get it in.
The uniformed employee of the federal government will come and pick up your package and send it on its way. You could focus on your business cuz stamps.com has your postage needs covered. Plus you get discounts you can't get at the post office. Great rates too. They've been a partner here. We, they've been advertising on our shows since 2012. That's 11 years now. I gotta ask if you haven't tried 'em yet, what are you waiting for? Oh, I know. How about if I make sweeten the pot? Because now stamps.com also works with up s. Yes. So now really all your shipping needs are handled. Stamps.Com has huge carrier discounts up to 84% off US Postal Service and u p s rates. They've negotiated a very sweet deal with u P s. It'll save you a lot of money. And again, you use your computer, print those labels, they'll even send you a free scale so you get exactly the, you don't pay one penny more for shipping than you need to.
They'll suggest if you, you know, you put a book on there, they'll say, you know, have you thought about media rates? They'll suggest better rates. It's so great. And if you sell products online, it is the most professional way. If you're an Etsy or eBay or Amazon seller, it seamlessly connects with every major marketplace and shopping cart. So it automatically, you don't know typos cuz it's gonna take that address directly from the site. Your return dress is automatically filled in your logo to, if you wanna look so professional, you'll always have exactly the right cost. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten packages from Etsy, brown paper twine, licked stamps placed on the package. And, and it's not unusual for it to be postage due. See, that's a bad impression. Do it right with stamps.com. They automatically tell you your best, cheapest, fastest shipping options.
You save money for 25 years now. Stamps.Com has been indispensable for over 1 million businesses, including ours. You get access to the postal service, you get access to u p s, no lines, no traffic, no waiting any time of the day or night. Set your business up for success. Get started with stamps.com. We have a really great offer for you. Use the promo code twit, the special offer, the twit offer. Just click the link up in the right, the microphone at our t w i t. You get four weeks, a four week trial. You get free postage to use over a period of time. And that digital scale, no long-term commitments, no contracts, stamps.com. Just click that microphone at the top of the page. Remember the offer code twit though, that's very important so they know you saw it here. Thank you. Stamps for supporting twit. Thank you for supporting twit stamps.com. All right. I I, I didn't say put a pin in it, but I probably should have Brianna cuz I, I interrupted you, we were talking. No worries. And we, and, and this is, man, there couldn't be a better time to talk about the future of Twitter, the alternatives to Twitter. And there couldn't be a better panel to do this. So continue with your thought.
Brianna Wu (00:41:19):
So I, I would love to get some consensus from everyone here. Like I think we all agree that Blue Sky has a better chance to make it than most social media networks like I think if you want to run the numbers, it's safest bet on failure for all of these <laugh>. But, but I think they have a better chance than average. So if they did want to win in the long run, Alex, I'd really love to know your opinion here. This is what I think they need to do. I know they wanna do the master done thing where like you add some metadata to your server and like verify yourself that way. I think this is a losing idea. I think they should just commit to like identifying and manually reviewing and re-verifying everybody that was formally verified at Twitter. I think especially going into an election, I think that would be a huge draw for all of those users.
And I think it would very much be worth the money because the users you want are the power users. I saw one study that said it was like one 100th of a hundredth of the Twitter users that generated like 90% of the content. We are the nut jobs that are on their Twitter. That's right. Hours of the day they want us over there. Right. So I think that's the first thing. The second thing is, look, I understand that Jack and like, you know, Jay and the crypto people, they've got this idea for like a, a federated you know like modular idea to harassment and trust and safety. If they're gonna stick with that, I think at the very least they need to invest in a very strong default option that they themselves are funding. If you have a problem with the way they run it, I think you should be able
Alex Stamos (00:43:02):
Leo Laporte (00:43:02):
So like a main site, what else's a mean a Mass Masson social or a main Blue sky.app, that kind
Brianna Wu (00:43:09):
Of thing. Correct. With their own moderation policies.
Leo Laporte (00:43:12):
That's gonna happen anyway. Create, that's what happened at Mass. Exactly. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (00:43:15):
So create a baseline, like really go out there, add the transparency that really ended up biting Twitter in the butt but really commit to that. But
Leo Laporte (00:43:24):
Does that solve anything? Sure. I think if anything we've learned I hope we've learned that, you know, I look at T2 and a bunch of other Twitter clones. We don't wanna go with a centralized site anymore. Right? A single owner centralized site, or is that easier and better for trust and safety?
Alex Stamos (00:43:40):
Nobody has figured out a good way to do a truly distributed trust and safety. I mean, the best example would be email, right? Email is truly federated. And the way that works is you reply, you rely upon whoever holds your mailbox to effectively do the trust and safety work. Spam filtering, filtering out anything horrible that happens. That being said, you know Brianna knows this as as much better than I do If you're at all in the public.
Leo Laporte (00:44:02):
Oh, we get har we get horribly, we all get horribly harassed by Right.
Alex Stamos (00:44:05):
You get horrible harassment on email.
Leo Laporte (00:44:07):
Yeah. But you can ignore it
Alex Stamos (00:44:08):
And you can ignore it. But that, you can make that same statement around social.
Leo Laporte (00:44:11):
The difference is that nasty poison pen letter that comes to me is not public. Right. Somebody does that on Twitter. It's public.
Alex Stamos (00:44:18):
Right. That's a good point. And that, that does bring in lots of other people. I I think Brianna's plan is good. I I think one B Sky is going to have to have the, the main kind of B sky.app. They're gonna have to do trust and safety. They cannot wash their hands and say we're distributed and it's not our, our responsibility. And second, you, somebody's gonna have to step and, and do verification. Verification is expensive, right? So to to take photographs of people's IDs and to say, this account belongs to this in real life person. Either you have to pay a decent amount of money and I think it's like something like three to $4 per account that you're trying to get verified through a service or you have to build that in-house or buy it. When I was at Facebook, we bought a company that did ML verification of identifiers. And that was like, I think a 400 million or something purchase in that, in that range, right? So somebody's going to have to do that and, but I think people who do that are going to be in a good place for the next couple of years.
Leo Laporte (00:45:11):
What about the way Mastodon does verification where it's kind of the burden is on the user? You know, I've verified my a few of, if you go to my profile on MAs on, you could see the green highlight says, well he owns twit, he owns leo.fm and I'm using K oxide to verify the other sites. I, that's one way of doing it, right? That's distributed is no burden on the Macedon.
Alex Stamos (00:45:30):
I think like almost instant owner, just like every other product feature of Macedon, it works great for nerds, right? <Laugh>. Yeah. Like it is not a feature that I think is realistic. I the the nerdy solution, you're talking to the king of nerds here, but Yes. <Laugh>. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:45:43):
I thought it was really easy. Yeah,
Alex Stamos (00:45:45):
It's pretty easy for you. But like realistically, I mean, how many people are gonna be able to verify here's to the, here's my well known domain
Leo Laporte (00:45:51):
Thing. Well, as an example, Washington Post had been trying to deal with how do I verify our journalists Yes. Using rel.me and it's, you know, it's not obvious. It's complicated. And
Alex Stamos (00:46:00):
Yeah, Keybase had like a really cool thing. I back in the
Leo Laporte (00:46:02):
Day. That's why I'm on key side is I miss Keybase. Yeah. And
Alex Stamos (00:46:06):
So if, if I think there is a product opportunity here for one of these companies to do a keybase level strength of verification. Keybase
Leo Laporte (00:46:15):
Is still around. You hired away, you hired away host the Keybase people at Zoom. It was
Alex Stamos (00:46:19):
My my fault. Your fault. I helped zoom by Keybase <laugh>. You're right. The, the Keybase service is still running. Effectively. They run it as a charity. I it would be a cool thing for Zoom to do to like donate the source code. I think that would be a neat thing for them to do. Cuz then somebody else, maybe Apache or you know, Mozilla or somebody else could pick up that, that code and and
Leo Laporte (00:46:37):
Use it needs to be somebody we trust.
Alex Stamos (00:46:39):
It's gotta be something you trust. I mean the whole idea of that, it's
Leo Laporte (00:46:42):
Like the certificate authorities and that has had its own problems as, as well. Right?
Alex Stamos (00:46:45):
Right. But the idea of a keybase like system is that the level of trust you have in that intermediary is limited. It is not infinite with the certificate authorities. It is close to infinite based upon how it works right now. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:46:55):
Right, right. Right. Leo, can I, can I add into Brianna's challenge here? By the way, Keybase is at least as geeky as rel.me. Yeah. I mean it's worse. Oh
Alex Stamos (00:47:03):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not saying it's, it's, it's a usable solution right now you might as well do
Leo Laporte (00:47:06):
Noster. Somebody could make up something. Right. That would be easy to do that would somehow verify your identity. It's, but you have to submit documents because it's, I have to say that's a showstopper for some people as well. I don't wanna send anybody my for the, for the vulnerable driver's license.
Alex Stamos (00:47:21):
Right. It is, and that is the flip side here, right? Like it, you can have an i you can have a, a verification of a pseudo identity of this is the real drill. Right? Right. That doesn't have to be, but with the breaking up of Twitter, a lot of that's gone away.
Leo Laporte (00:47:34):
A shame. Twitter. That's, that is a real loss actually. Yes. Neil Stevenson talked about that in his book fall. He had a similar system because he realized people were gonna want to have multiple identities. No one should have to have, I shouldn't just have to be Leo LaPorte. I could be a dev null as well and other characters and it would be verified and the root cert would be Leo LaPorte. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But maybe it would be anonymous so that I could have some anonymous Anonymous but it would somehow verify out there and then we need something like that. That's
Alex Stamos (00:48:02):
Sure. I mean, yes, you could build like some kind of incredibly complex system like that <laugh>.
Leo Laporte (00:48:07):
It's easier if you're science fiction author. This is where
Alex Stamos (00:48:09):
Blue Sky has an opportunity over Macon is because Blue Sky is mostly in house right now, it is not really federated.
Leo Laporte (00:48:17):
Does the d i d help with that? The distributed identity?
Alex Stamos (00:48:20):
Might, I'd have to look into it more. Yeah, I, I would ask Brianna cuz I think she spent a lot more time looking at this, the,
Leo Laporte (00:48:26):
The two, the two things of the AT protocol that really distinguish it are this decentralized database. But it is a common form, unlike Macedon, where it's some sort of message passing thing. There is a standard for how your data is stored. And then this distributed identity, which is across all instances. Have you looked into at proto Brianna?
Brianna Wu (00:48:46):
I have not. I have not. Okay. another goal, one of the downsides with the way that they're doing it is you have to basically your block list becomes public. There's a whole lot of information that becomes public just by the nature of how they're doing it. Right. So they're, they're committed to full transparency. I did wanna hear from Jeff, though. I know you had some thoughts about that. Thank. Yeah.
Jeff Jarvis (00:49:06):
Well, I, I, I, I, I like your, your view of just wholesale, take the Twitter verifications as a starter kit. I think that's brilliant. Yeah. But
Leo Laporte (00:49:14):
That's long. We've lost
Jeff Jarvis (00:49:15):
That, won't we? Well, no. No. Cause they, no people there, there were services that, well, you, you bought the the plaque Leo that said, you I have a plaque verified. I have
Leo Laporte (00:49:23):
Jeff Jarvis (00:49:24):
Yes. Some, some verified Right. That Right. That's 0.1. Point two is that I think we might have to enter into capitalism here. And, and, and what I see is a WordPress like model, and this is where I think Jack was headed, that the base unit of either activity pub or at as protocols are open. Cuz they're protocols, but then there are commercial entities on top. And this is where it goes to what Alex was saying, that I can pay someone for a moderation service. I can pay someone for a verification service. I can pay for the Disney five view of, of the web or whatever that, that I think we're gonna have like wordpress.com, a top wordpress.org. I think we're gonna have to see investment in here. Cause Blue Scott does not have the money right now to build a trusted safety team like Twitter had.
Yeah. Just, just, it's not there. So how do we get, and neither does master done. So how do we get the investment in there? I think we've gotta find ways to bring in some commercial entities. Now, is that ad supported? We get back into that whole mess of attention based economies and all that crap. Is it paid for by users and then it's a matter of privilege. That's a problem too. And by the way, one other thing that came out at, at the Black Twitter summit, Leo know, to your point a minute ago, wa with verification, was that we had a couple of sex workers there who are the leading edge of harassment online by Officialdom and the world. And they don't want their names verified. Right. They don't want their names out there for very good reason. And, and so you've gotta have ways, I think, as Alex said, where you can verify an identity that isn't a, an official identity a government identity. And that's important as well.
Leo Laporte (00:51:10):
We, it's ironic cuz we need it now more than ever. Yeah. You know, and it's also harder, Twitter
Alex Stamos (00:51:17):
Blue. Yeah. Now more than
Leo Laporte (00:51:18):
Ever, now more than ever. <Laugh>, gosh darn Elon, if you're listening, it's a, it's an opportunity. Yeah. But
Alex Stamos (00:51:24):
Back to maybe we could get some people together to buy, to
Leo Laporte (00:51:27):
Alex Stamos (00:51:28):
From back, you know. Yeah. Get a couple of billionaires because it, they've got all that data still. They could just turn back. They haven't
Leo Laporte (00:51:34):
Alex Stamos (00:51:34):
Out. They haven't thrown away. They
Jeff Jarvis (00:51:35):
Alex Stamos (00:51:37):
Right. They blue could, they could re-verify all the people who they've actually looked at IDs and create a new color. You can let Twitter blue people keep their blue check mark and you go upgrade to the gold or whatever you want to call it. But Musk would have to admit that he was wrong. And, and that does not seem something that he does too often.
Jeff Jarvis (00:51:53):
Las I go bankrupt. Who are, because cuz if it goes bankrupt, the bankers get it. Not the shareholders. Right. Who are the, do you know who are the bank holders? The, the, the, the, the, the debt holders.
Leo Laporte (00:52:04):
Well, there's the Saudi the Saudi that is sovereign fund, which is a it's a significant stake. I don't know where their where their allegiances lie. <Laugh>.
Alex Stamos (00:52:13):
Yeah. Yeah. We'd have to look up. I I don't know if it's public. What Yeah. What would happen? And who would, who who's like the, the food
Jeff Jarvis (00:52:21):
Alex Stamos (00:52:22):
Yeah. Who would've control. But yeah, I mean, you could see it going. I mean, that's one of his ways out is he can just miss a payment or two. I'm not sure how many payments he has to miss before they're able to effectively foreclose. Yeah. allow the company to go into receivership in those banks. And the banks hire a professional manager.
Jeff Jarvis (00:52:38):
What does that do to his Tesla stock since so much of that is intertwined now?
Alex Stamos (00:52:42):
Well, it's probably better for his Tesla stock in that if he wants Twitter to continue to exist now he has to sell Tesla stock to take that cash and pour it into Twitter to pay off the banks. Uhhuh, Uhhuh <affirmative>. Right. and so I expect that Tesla's sh shareholders would be happy to see him stopping to burn his reputation in this way. And, and to reduce the chance that he's gonna have to do future sales.
Leo Laporte (00:53:01):
So Larry Ellison has a billion <laugh> Coter Holding, which is the Qatar's sovereign Wealth Fund of cars. Prince Soloed Bintal he has 35 million shares, kept his shares 13 billion from bank loans, including Morgan Stanley B of A What? Shares, I'm
Jeff Jarvis (00:53:18):
Not asking about shares. I'm asking about debt holders.
Leo Laporte (00:53:21):
Debtholders Morgan Stanley B of a Debt. Mitsubishi, U fj Financial Group. Mizuho, Barclays, and two French banks. BNP Paraba and Society. Morgan Stanley, three and a half billion. So Morgan Stanley probably be the largest debtor.
Jeff Jarvis (00:53:38):
So if they have, if they have sanity and they come in and they hire Alex <laugh> and they hire some other smart people,
Leo Laporte (00:53:44):
I would say just hire this panel resurrect, just hire this panel. You'd be set.
Jeff Jarvis (00:53:48):
And you end up with Twitter for the cost of 13 billion, not 45 billion. And so it's a much better deal. I don't think it's worth 13 now either, but more closer to 13 than 45. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:53:59):
Would you? So, okay, so the, the lenders have first dibs. So you would just write off the
Alex Stamos (00:54:06):
I if he'd go into bankruptcy, there'd be a reshuffling and the shareholders would probably,
Leo Laporte (00:54:10):
They'd get lose, the shareholder would lose all their
Alex Stamos (00:54:11):
Jeff Jarvis (00:54:12):
Jack, Jack himself loses a billion bucks. Yeah. We left it
Leo Laporte (00:54:14):
There. Yeah. and the banks get control. I'm, we're planning the demise of Twitter <laugh>. Yeah. it seems unlikely. I mean, Elon's still the richest guy in the world. He probably can as figure, figure it out. I, the
Alex Stamos (00:54:28):
Numbers people have shown is that he can effectively run it indefinitely. Yeah. Depending on exactly what happens
Leo Laporte (00:54:32):
At his, at his cost. He just doesn't want it to be out of his pocket.
Jeff Jarvis (00:54:35):
Right. Brian, could you imagine trusting Twitter again? Could you imagine it being fixed
Brianna Wu (00:54:39):
Under Elon Musk? No. No.
Jeff Jarvis (00:54:41):
I know that that's stipulated, your Honor.
Brianna Wu (00:54:43):
So could there be a future version of Twitter that fixed these mistakes? I suppose. I think that's theoretically possible. Yeah.
Jeff Jarvis (00:54:52):
So where, where, where would you put your bets now? Cause I've heard you go back and forth a little bit here between Mastodon Sure. Slash Activity Pub Blue Sky and Twitter. Sure. Who has the best shot in the next two years? So I,
Brianna Wu (00:55:05):
I just wanna be honest and I know, look, I enjoy Mastodon a lot. I I I, Leo, if you get me an invite, I'm happy to change my instance over to Twitter. I would love to do that. I've really enjoyed it. I don't think there's a future where normal people sign up for Master on. I just don't think that's gonna happen.
Leo Laporte (00:55:23):
That would it help? Don't if I showed you this plaque <laugh>
Jeff Jarvis (00:55:27):
Leo Laporte (00:55:27):
That said that I am who I say I am cuz I have a plaque to prove it.
Alex Stamos (00:55:32):
This screenshot this and make that your Yeah. That should be your banner on every platform. It should be, now you're verified.
Jeff Jarvis (00:55:39):
How much did the plaque cost you, Leo?
Leo Laporte (00:55:41):
It was like 40 bucks. But it was worth every penny of it.
Jeff Jarvis (00:55:44):
Leo Laporte (00:55:45):
It says in honor of Leo Laport who had a verified Twitter account before they were available for purchase November, 2022.
Jeff Jarvis (00:55:53):
I love that <laugh>.
Brianna Wu (00:55:55):
I just took a video of my, my thing. So that's the whole thing. So I think Master and I is gonna continue to be of a an outsized impact in geek culture. But I think that you're gonna run up against like Discord, just being honest. Like I talked to more people on Discord on a daily basis than I do. I master on. And
Leo Laporte (00:56:15):
Actually I do too run up against, we have our own Discord server as well, but I do too.
Brianna Wu (00:56:19):
So, so I, I don't think Mastodon is gonna win. I do think it's gonna get a percentage of it. And I think Blue Sky has a lot of things like up against it. I think it's got a better shot than most of these social media networks. But I, I think like the, the reality is Twitter's gonna keep limping along in this broken state until like people settle on going somewhere else. I mean, I just don't think this is tenable. I'm not the only person on this panel that finds it a almost useless place to spend time in this forum.
Alex Stamos (00:56:51):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's going to continue to exist. It is going to become the most important eight chan copy. Yeah. The 2024 election. Exactly. <laugh> It is becoming, it is becoming a troll site. And what you'll see is because the blue check marks, inevitably you have this cycle of you pay for the eight bucks, you get much better algorithmic reach, you get a lot more push that, that that's only coming from run side. So at least in the American context, it is gonna become more and more specifically political and radical. And the remaining trust and safety people there are gonna have to make a decision of whether or not, I think there's still a couple of good people who are hanging on cuz they believe it's better to try to make things not as bad as possible. <Laugh>. and they're gonna have to decide whether or not they wanna be part of that. Cuz it is, it is going towards a chan territory for sure.
Jeff Jarvis (00:57:38):
Do you know people, I I've seen a few people I know who actually bought the check and I'm, I'm kind of shocked and sad for them. And I Do you know, people who've actually bought it?
Alex Stamos (00:57:49):
Leo Laporte (00:57:50):
Do. Yeah. My wife,
Brianna Wu (00:57:52):
I do <laugh>.
Jeff Jarvis (00:57:53):
Well, business. Business, right. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (00:57:55):
For her it's different. I was like Joanna Stern, I I love Joanna. I was disappointed to see that she, she paid for it. So
Leo Laporte (00:58:02):
It has become the check of the kind of a, a <laugh> check of doom. It is not, it is not something you are proud
Alex Stamos (00:58:08):
Of. I don't wanna wear the cone of shame.
Leo Laporte (00:58:10):
Yeah. It's the cone of shame.
Jeff Jarvis (00:58:12):
Leo Laporte (00:58:13):
What a loss though. What a loss. I mean, I, we've said this before, but it it's a shame. And I, you know,
Jeff Jarvis (00:58:20):
We didn't, we didn't appreciate it enough when we had it.
Leo Laporte (00:58:22):
Yeah. And y'all, and now more than ever, we said,
Jeff Jarvis (00:58:25):
Oh, it's a cesspool. And now we know what a cesspool looks like. It. That wasn't a cesspool.
Leo Laporte (00:58:29):
Yeah. I, you know, I will always use Masin on until, you know, we get taken down for child porn. But until then, <laugh> and
Jeff Jarvis (00:58:37):
You, so you'll be in jail. So you can't, and I'll
Leo Laporte (00:58:38):
Be in jail, so I won't be able to use anything. But no, I will, I like Maidan as a community, but I'm not looking for it to replace Twitter and I don't think anything I've seen it, well actually Blue Sky comes the closest I've seen to replacing Twitter at this point. Well, post
Jeff Jarvis (00:58:52):
News one wanted to, but no.
Leo Laporte (00:58:55):
Well, yeah. If, let's say everybody see, it's not gonna happen though because of these trust and safety issues, which at, at first didn't rear their ugly heads. But increasingly will over time of Blue Skies only gonna get worse. They
Alex Stamos (00:59:10):
Understand the question is, can Blue Side, they've got money, right? Yeah. They have Packers. They could definitely raise more with the amount of, are they gonna be able to hire people quickly enough to deal with that? And it's possible. And it's not impossible. I I just haven't seen anything outta them that has indicated they understand how much of a how urgent it is for them to Well,
Leo Laporte (00:59:28):
They will soon. Yeah. Right. Because it'll happen and then they'll say, oh my God. I don't, let's hope it's not too late. Maybe Elon will sell them the blue check, the old Blue Check database
Alex Stamos (00:59:40):
Leo Laporte (00:59:41):
<Laugh>, how much you like, is this Leo outside? I think isn't that public? It must public information because Right. We saw that thing where only 28 people had signed up for the blue after the the, the apocalypse Mish means that those 449,000.
Alex Stamos (00:59:57):
Yeah. So we, we have a copy. We know who
Leo Laporte (00:59:58):
Alex Stamos (00:59:58):
Are. Like, that doesn't help you at all because it doesn't mean that an account on Blue Sky is controlled by the same point. Right.
Leo Laporte (01:00:03):
Alex Stamos (01:00:04):
You could use that to build some kind of bridge where somebody has to tweet something. I mean, that is one of the, the, the things that has not happened that Blue Sky hasn't tried yet, is you could do a keybase like verification of I am so and so on Blue Sky. I, I expect Elon, we very quickly to block any kind of immediately
Leo Laporte (01:00:20):
Verification, immediately block that. That's the thing about a centralized network owned by an individual is you can't, you can't use it. It's no longer in your control. And even though Twitter wouldn't exist without all of us posting on Twitter by, but it's no longer controlled by us. Never probably was, but it's certainly not now. So if you were gonna start from scratch, Alex, last question. You've probably been asked this before. What would you do if you were gonna start from scratch, presuming that we need somewhere, we need a some sort of public entity that is the you know, you know, the speaker's corner, the, I mean, there's a lot of different things that this fulfills. What would you do? Would you, how would you start such a thing? You would start with trust and safety, I guess.
Alex Stamos (01:01:10):
No, I you have to have functionality first. Yeah. But I think you have to take into account the, the community people join. Is the product not, not just the,
Leo Laporte (01:01:17):
The people are the product. The content is the best. Yes. And, and honestly, I think Blue Sky's doing the right thing by making it look like Twitter. Cuz that eases the adoption. Yeah. People know how to use it right out. It looks
Alex Stamos (01:01:29):
Exactly like Twitter. Yeah. It's,
Leo Laporte (01:01:30):
It's like if I go back and forth, the only difference is that little Blue Bird. Yeah. <laugh>. It's, otherwise it's pretty much the same exact thing. Which is fine
Alex Stamos (01:01:41):
To the point of if I, I'm sure Blue Sky has IP lawyers, but
Leo Laporte (01:01:44):
<Laugh>, I'm a little confused to be honest, when I go back and forth, I can't, I actually did lose track of which one I'm on the design be copyrighted certain things can be, this was the lawsuit between Microsoft and Apple over the trash. Can I, I can't <laugh>.
Alex Stamos (01:02:04):
Right. There's a trash can and Apple suit a bunch of people for like, making rectangular pieces of glass. Right?
Leo Laporte (01:02:09):
Yeah. Right. So there is certainly a case law on this. I can't remember exactly what it was.
Alex Stamos (01:02:14):
I I think it's patents. It's not copyright, but Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:02:16):
Yeah. yeah, you could patent a user who unlike
Jeff Jarvis (01:02:18):
Blue Sky to be serif type a nice syrup.
Leo Laporte (01:02:20):
Yeah. Make it a serif and then you're done.
Alex Stamos (01:02:22):
Well, that, that's post then, which I think it sounds like post is kinda, they've had their time in its past.
Leo Laporte (01:02:27):
Yeah. I think we're done on post. What about Noster? N O S T R? This is a decentralized network with a chance of working. Jack
Jeff Jarvis (01:02:34):
Is very active on, at Jack Jack's
Leo Laporte (01:02:36):
Also active on this.
Jeff Jarvis (01:02:38):
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:02:39):
So this is its own protocol, though. This is not ara
Jeff Jarvis (01:02:45):
Normal people are not gonna use that. I'm
Leo Laporte (01:02:47):
Sorry. I can tell you right now, I don't, I don't even know.
Jeff Jarvis (01:02:50):
Have you done
Leo Laporte (01:02:50):
It, Leo? No,
Jeff Jarvis (01:02:52):
But you're the only person I know who could probably figure it
Leo Laporte (01:02:54):
Out. Mike Masnick wrote a did a write up on all three Mastodon Noster <laugh> and blue Sky. He didn't pick one, but he talked about the pros and cons on each. But I think Alex is really the first to bring up this kind of intractable trust and safety problem. And, and I
Jeff Jarvis (01:03:15):
It's not techno. Yeah. I think, I think it's, Alex is so right. You, Alex, you're incredibly quotable. You're, you're you're born for Twitter at all. But, but you, you're right. It's the, you're buying into your trusting the moderation. You're trusting the community. It's the humanity. It ain't the technology. The technology is now as commodified as can be. It's how well are you protected? How well can you find people you care about? What kind of good conversation can you have there? That's everything. The technology helps that happen. But
Leo Laporte (01:03:50):
Yeah, here's MA's article six months in thoughts on the current post Twitter diaspora options. Woo, whatever the di diaspora speaking, speaking of which, <laugh>,
Alex Stamos (01:04:01):
How, how does Masnick write so fast?
Leo Laporte (01:04:03):
He's amazing, isn't he? He's, he's unbelievable and, but, and so fast and so accurately. I mean, I think he's, I always am very impressed by the way he writes off post news in this. It says it just focused too much on news content to be actually all that useful. T2 is nice and works and looks like Twitter, but it's just another centralized clone. I, you know, what I'd love to do is look at activity Pub versus at Protocol and kind of compare the two of those
Jeff Jarvis (01:04:34):
Leo Laporte (01:04:35):
And Mike pick a protocol, maybe
Jeff Jarvis (01:04:38):
Creature of protocols. Yeah,
Leo Laporte (01:04:39):
Alex Stamos (01:04:40):
Right. It, the, the key thing is, is they have incompatible name spaces. Right. And that's, that's a problem here, is that it is unfortunate. It, it would've been nice cuz Activity pubs been around for a while. I, I feel like Blue Sky could have lived within the activity pub overall framework and, and I agree, become like the, the best feni verse host without splitting the name space apart. That would've been, I think, a smarter move. But that's effectively what Mozilla's doing. Right. I think Mozilla has an interesting position here as somebody who's trusted in the tech space, who has money, who has actual employees, you know, unlike a lot of these hosts that they could be kind of the 800 pound gorilla and build from both a moderation perspective and a community perspective. Something that people attracts people to master on.
Jeff Jarvis (01:05:23):
Alex, I'm confused. I I, I, you should confuse me there for a second. How is it a different name space? If I can be, if I could have a name at B Sky, do social email@example.com.
Leo Laporte (01:05:34):
Yeah. Doesn't that qualification make it a different name, space, aren't there? Yeah.
Alex Stamos (01:05:38):
I'm saying But there's no interactivity between 'em, right? So it's like,
Jeff Jarvis (01:05:40):
No, no interactivity, but you could build
Leo Laporte (01:05:42):
That. Well, that's the nature of it, right? You can't Sure. It's not
Jeff Jarvis (01:05:44):
Embedded, is it?
Brianna Wu (01:05:46):
Alex Stamos (01:05:47):
Leo Laporte (01:05:47):
Not. You'd have to build a mapping.
Alex Stamos (01:05:49):
Right. So like the AT Protocol has this whole cryptographic identity that's not recognized. I see. So there's no mechanism that says like you're, it's showing the Alex at cyber villains. That means nothing on Blue Sky. If somebody else would, you know, registered that there's no verification other than ownership of Domaining. Right. Got it. Thanks. So,
Brianna Wu (01:06:07):
I, I, I genuinely, I, I mean disrespectfully, I, I totally understand like this point of view. I understand this being the priority. I just, I really think we're all missing the bus here. It's not technology, it's the user experience. Yep. It's the policies. Alex you mentioned the 2024 election disinformation is going to be huge. It's having policies in place to address that. It, it's figuring out bad actors that is 90% of what a social media network needs to be thinking about and all the rest of this stuff. Like as a geek, I love it. I just think it's the wrong problem to be thinking about here in,
Leo Laporte (01:06:46):
Well, it sounds like the real nut is verification like that, but that, it's funny how often authentication comes up in every context on the internet. Yeah. Who to prove you are who you say you are is kind of the nut when it comes to finance, when it comes to crypto, when it comes to security, when it comes to tweeting everything. We need a good we need a, you, you cover elections as well. That's part of what the Kreb Stamos Group does. Right.
Alex Stamos (01:07:16):
Not enough issue. But Stanford, we study
Leo Laporte (01:07:18):
Elections. You study at Stanford. Okay. That's also an issue. We don't want to have to show a driver's license at a polling booth. But authentication, if you're gonna do, for instance, internet voting, you'd need authentication of some kind that works
Alex Stamos (01:07:32):
Well. Which is one of the reasons that almost
Leo Laporte (01:07:33):
Every, you can't do it. <Laugh>. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (01:07:34):
I, I think there's really something here, and I th I think Jay and the Blue Sky team have, have inadvertently fallen into something that I think is important. And Joshua Topolski was in fact talking to them about this. The fact that it's invite only seems to have resulted in something that is much, much, much easier to manage with the A-holes getting in there and doing what they do. And when you have the way you get into a social media network being just an email address that anyone can sign up for, that's really good for growth hacking and getting a lot of people in there quickly. I don't think really good for, for trust. Like when I had the Blue Sky team was nice enough to give me a few codes and I'm like really thinking, I'm like, who do I wanna give this to? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. And I back channel it to, you know, James Sa Corey the Star Trek Bacard Season three team. You know?
Leo Laporte (01:08:33):
So you only did sci-fi basically. If it's No, no.
Brianna Wu (01:08:35):
I mean, I, I
Leo Laporte (01:08:36):
Brianna Wu (01:08:37):
Through everyone I was giving that to, because in a certain way I was putting my stamp of
Leo Laporte (01:08:43):
A you're Yeah. That's exactly right. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (01:08:45):
And, and more to that point, Jay and the Blue Sky team had said, when people join and they are disruptive and they end up having to ban them right away, they do look at who gave them the code and where they came
Leo Laporte (01:08:58):
From. It's the chain of trust. That's what TP was all based. I
Brianna Wu (01:09:01):
Think that e Exactly. So maybe if there's a social media network where the way you form an account is you have to, like, it only generates, has to
Leo Laporte (01:09:11):
Be a friend of a friend.
Brianna Wu (01:09:12):
Yeah. Right. A day. Maybe that's
Leo Laporte (01:09:15):
Something I don't mind that, that's an interesting
Brianna Wu (01:09:17):
Abuse. Maybe you could do it.
Leo Laporte (01:09:18):
If you go to a Ivy League school, you get in. No, I like that. I
Brianna Wu (01:09:22):
Went to Ole Miss. I don't I that I don't like that.
Alex Stamos (01:09:27):
Well, so I, I think Correct about why Blue Sky's okay right now, but nothing that requires an invite code is really federated. Right? So that, like, this is going to be, if Blue Sky really is, wants to live in a federated world, then they're not gonna be able to gate keep for too much longer.
Leo Laporte (01:09:44):
Brianna Wu (01:09:46):
This is why app.net failed, by the way, I love app.net. Yeah. That was the social media network that launched my career. It failed because Dalton had this crazy vision about developers all developing their own client. And they wouldn't have to invest in trust in safety. Eventually, the whole thing just exploded. You had the coolest people there. Everyone there has gone on to work for Google or have a massive media career or do awesome stuff. Everyone on app.net ended up being important, but failed because they had this vision that wasn't important and was going the wrong way. And it all blew up. And I really feel that's gonna happen and go what Blue Skies
Leo Laporte (01:10:24):
Say in a way. It lives on through Mastodon. Right.
Brianna Wu (01:10:27):
Yeah, to a degree
Leo Laporte (01:10:29):
Know I, I, it wasn't directly responsible for Activity Pub, but I, I know Iica, I mean, there was a whole chain, oo, social activity pub evolved out of a bunch of, and I'm sure App Net was kind of informed it a little bit.
Alex Stamos (01:10:42):
I'm little distracted by this. Brianna, is your left bicep way larger than your right, because you've been holding that mug? No. <laugh>. No,
Brianna Wu (01:10:50):
It's resting on my chair.
Leo Laporte (01:10:51):
It's a titanium mug. It's very light.
Alex Stamos (01:10:53):
Is this part of a workout? Repeat?
Brianna Wu (01:10:56):
It's me. It's me flexing. It's just right here. I don't, I, although my chair,
Leo Laporte (01:11:00):
I just wanna, what's, what's in the mug? That's what I wanna know.
Brianna Wu (01:11:03):
It is throat coat tea, so I can talk.
Leo Laporte (01:11:05):
Oh, nice coughing.
Brianna Wu (01:11:06):
Leo Laporte (01:11:06):
That's nice. I've been coughing a lot lately too with this allergy season out here. I don't know what it's like where you are. Oh, was here. It's bad. We have a, a super bloom because of all the rain and nobody can breathe basically in the entire state. I have given myself a gold check. I don't know if you've noticed, but in my shot now, I have a gold check. So I am <laugh>.
Alex Stamos (01:11:26):
Right? Who the hell are we <laugh>? You, you have no idea.
Leo Laporte (01:11:28):
I have a gold check. I'm just the guy who walked into
Alex Stamos (01:11:30):
Leo Laporte (01:11:30):
Studio. You got the golden pineapple. So that's good. That's close. Yeah. Is that a is that a wifi pineapple? That's a
Alex Stamos (01:11:37):
Wifi pineapple. I have a, that my, my voted sticker in the Stanford Internet Observatory
Leo Laporte (01:11:41):
Base. Now let me ask you about the, well, we'll take a break, but I wanna ask you about wifi pineapple. Cause I have very mixed feelings about this thing, but, but yeah, you should. Yeah. Okay. All right. There you go. And there was another device that was looked like a gaming joystick. No. Clipper Zero. Clipper zero. Yeah. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (01:11:55):
Yeah. Talking about a bunch of stuff I showed to my students and, all
Leo Laporte (01:11:57):
Right. Well, we'll talk about that and a lot more when we come back. We've got a great panel. What a I Wow. Great panel. And you know, Alex, I'm sorry that you had to be here during what was clearly a, a superior team <laugh> beating that inferior team. But I just say together, we'll go down to hat on, but I'm doing so casually. Plane. Where's the hat? Oh, 1951 Champions. Yeah, I know. That's good. Except is
Alex Stamos (01:12:24):
Leo Laporte (01:12:24):
Really good. 1951 Champions, we still love you. That's, that's awesome. I'm glad you brought that hat. That's an awesome hat. Wow. I didn't realize the Kings had been around since 1951. Yeah,
Alex Stamos (01:12:37):
It's Kansas City. So they moved,
Leo Laporte (01:12:39):
Oh, eighties. Were they kings? Or what were they?
Alex Stamos (01:12:42):
They're the Kansas City Royals. Oh. And then they renamed to the Kings. And then
Leo Laporte (01:12:45):
There was because the baseball Yeah. Kansas City Royals, which confused,
Alex Stamos (01:12:48):
Yeah. I wonder if it was the same ownership or something. Yeah. Yeah. I think they were the Royal, or, yeah, I don't know if they're called the Royals, but I think there was a relationship Okay. With the, the baseball team.
Leo Laporte (01:12:55):
Okay, nice. Our show, no spoilers. We don't know what happened. Something happened. We don't know what happened by actually, truthfully, if you cared, you were watching the game. Not this <laugh>. So I think we could put some spoilers out. I don't know. I
Alex Stamos (01:13:11):
I feel like the overlap between us and ESPN <laugh>,
Leo Laporte (01:13:13):
There's a Venn diagram with a very little slice in the middle there. It's, it's, it's
Alex Stamos (01:13:19):
Leo Laporte (01:13:19):
The only, it's an And Alex, apparently. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, our show today brought to you. You may have noticed, whenever you see a wide shot, whenever you see our studio by our studio sponsors, the great folks at ACI Learning, you say, well, well, who is this ACI learning where, when they're at home? Well, you remember the name it Pro, right? For many years, since they started in 20 13, IT Pro merged with ACI Learning and there was a good reason for it. Now they are bringing you all the benefits of IT. Pro Plus, you get Audit Pro, you get expanded Practice labs. You even get in-person study in their hubs. So much more. All the benefits of IT Pro Plus more. And, you know, IT Pro brings you engaging and entertaining IT training. Well, now that it's part of ACI learning, they've expanded their production capabilities.
They now have those studios in, in Gainesville are, are, are hot man. They are fair fired up bringing you fresh content. And you need to do that in the IT space because everything changes. New versions of software that tests change, companies come and go. But IT Pro and ACI learning will always have the latest content. So you, at any stage of your development, whether you're just getting into it, whether you've got a team that needs to keep up on cybersecurity you can get what you need. If you're an IT pro and you just say, I'm, I need to know more about a subject ACI learning. And IT Pro, have you covered 6,800 hours of content, new content added every single day, your team can get team training for compt Certs for Microsoft, for Cisco, for Linux, apple Security Cloud, and a whole lot more.
And of course, one of the main things companies want their IT team to dig deep on to get better at is cybersecurity. It's really important these days. Compt courses from IT pro and ACI learning make it easy to level up those employees in cybersecurity. Those certs are more than just proving you have a skillset set. It lets your customers see you're committed to keeping your organization up to date. And ACI learning's with you every step of the way you can fully customizable training for your team, their team interface, their platform lets you track results of individuals and teams. You can manage your seats, assign an unassigned team members. You can access monthly usage reports. You can get great visual reports, which makes it easy to show the higher ups that you're getting the value. It means your team will appreciate you offering this to them.
It will use it and will get better and learn because of it. You get all the reporting you need so you can justify it to the higher ups they get all the training they need. It's a win all round for teams from two to 1000 people. Volume discount started five seats. You can even get a free two week trial for training for your team. Plus they're always doing events. Whether you're an individual or a team, they're always doing events to help you learn more, to get better. Coming up on May, May 18th, about three weeks from now, Thursday, 2:00 PM Eastern, the All Things cybersecurity webinar, you'll, the special guest is Naomi Buck Walter. She's director of product security for Contrast security and founder and executive director of the Cybersecurity Gate Breakers Foundation. She'll talk about what it takes to be a security architect. She's got tips for advancing your cybersecurity career, how to bridge the knowledge gap in cybersecurity.
If you go live Thursday, May 18th, 2:00 PM you'll be able to ask questions. But of course it'll be online. It's free to anyone who wants to find out more. Visit go dot aci learning.com/twit, her level training to putting people on the moon ACI learning as you covered, maintain your company's competitive edge with ACI Learning visit. Go dot aci learning.com/twi gogo dot aci learning.com/twit. And if you're an individual and you want to get started with a standard or premium IT pro membership as an individual offer code TWIT 30, we'll get you 30% off TWIT 30. And of course, if you've got a team team discounts, start at just five seats. So you're gonna get a discount to go dot aci learning.com/twit to take advantage of it. It is really a great opportunity for both you as an individual to get into it for an IT professional, to step up to level up your career.
And of course, if you've got an IT team, you know, they need to stay on top of stuff. This is a rapidly changing world. It's a scary world out there. Go dot aci learning.com/twi. We thank 'em so much for their support. You use that TWIT 30 offer code or go to that slash twit webpage. You're letting 'em know you're sending 'em a signal. I saw it on twit. That really helps us to please do that for us. Would you go dot aci learning.com/twit? Brianna Woo is here a heartbroken. Alex Stamos is here. I'm sorry, Alex. I'm, I I would've celebrated with you. I really would've. Was it close? No. Was it close? <Laugh>?
Alex Stamos (01:18:17):
No, it was close until the
Leo Laporte (01:18:18):
End. When Steph Curry has 50 points. You know, you're in trouble.
Alex Stamos (01:18:20):
This Yeah. The King's lost slowly and then suddenly
Leo Laporte (01:18:24):
<Laugh> just Yeah. Just like bankruptcy plus
Alex Stamos (01:18:26):
Leo Laporte (01:18:26):
<Laugh> and the fall of the Roman Empire. It all is, it's all the same. Yeah. and of course, Jeff Jarvis is here normally on Twig, but we're, it's great to have all three of you here for that conversation. So the why tell me what the wifi pineapple is. Alex?
Alex Stamos (01:18:40):
Wifi pineapple is a hardware device you can buy that runs its own operating system. So it's a little box with a bunch of antennas popping out of it. You can hook up to your computer and you, it has this nice little webinar interface and lets you do lots of really interesting and mostly illegal stuff with white <laugh>.
Alex Stamos (01:18:57):
Leo Laporte (01:18:57):
I know the guy who sells it. <Laugh>. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (01:18:59):
This, this Hack five been
Leo Laporte (01:19:01):
Yeah. Good friend the past. Yeah. He's a good friend. The hack five, I used to work with hack five. Yeah. and I have mis I have mixed feelings about this. They, they say it's for pen testing,
Alex Stamos (01:19:12):
And, and it is used for that. And I have used it for that. I, I use it mostly for educational purposes. Right. So when I teach wifi in my fall class is about cybersecurity. Yeah. My spring class is about trust and safety. But in the fall, I, I teach a cyber class and I do a demo where I intercept people's connections and pull up. One of the interesting things you could do with it is, you know, so you're, you're the fun professor, <laugh>. Yes. My, my ratings my, my reviews are really good until I get fired. Right? Like, that's the <laugh>
I think that's the <inaudible>. So one of the cool things it does is, you know, so many people don't really understand, is that when you add a device to a wifi network and it remembers it, it will beacon for that. It will look for the beacon in the future. So your computer is effectively constantly saying, Hey, anybody here at Starbucks? Hey, anybody here is naming my home network? And such. So like, one of the fun demos I do is while I'm giving the wifi lecture, I'm sniffing in the background. Of course, all of the students, there's about 200 students in that class. They all have laptops open. 90% of them are probably not paying attention. Something again, I can figure out with the wifi pineapple <laugh> and Uhuh,
Leo Laporte (01:20:14):
I see you browsing your your, your blue sky page was TikTok today.
Alex Stamos (01:20:18):
Yeah, exactly. And when they you know, at the end, did I show, you know, whose network is this? Whose network is this? And you have people raising their hand of like, that's my parents' network. That's the hotel I just went to and such. So it does all kinds of interesting stuff. Like one of the things you use it for is to pretend to be wireless network. So it has a radio that you can push perhaps a little bit beyond what the Ftcc says is a acceptable level of power output in the unregulated spectrum. And so what you can do is if you are in a, a public network, you can have it broadcast at a higher decibel level and take over and other, and people will associate to it. And then it will route all that traffic over. You can have it go over like a, a GSM card or an, you know, LTE or over a, you know hardwire if you have it. And then you can sniff all of that traffic.
Leo Laporte (01:21:06):
You watch it as it goes out to the internet. Yeah. They still think they're on the internet, but they're going through you. Right.
Alex Stamos (01:21:09):
All stuff you can do with like a properly configured Linux laptop and such. But like, this just makes it all easy. And because it has its own cpu, you have your computer attached, you tell it what to do, and then you can walk away and you can leave it there. Yeah. So that's often, I we have used it for penetration test. You a good place for it, especially if you have a battery pack attached to it is the restrooms in the lobby. Right? So if you can use a restroom in a lobby of a building and they have a drop ceiling, you can go put it in the drop ceiling and let it Oh, geez. Take over wifi. So
Leo Laporte (01:21:35):
This is my mixed feelings about this. And, you know, I've never talked to Darren about it, but it's 120 bucks. Yes. A script kitty could use this. And that's my problem, is if you're gonna do it with a configured Linux laptop, you know what you're doing.
Alex Stamos (01:21:51):
Not necessarily. But yes, <laugh>, it, it is one of these interesting tools where effectively almost anything you do with it's illegal unless you're doing it in a fair day cage. Right. So, doing most of the stuff,
Leo Laporte (01:22:01):
But it's legal to sell it, even though anything you could do with it would be illegal. Yes. Isn't that funny? Freedom,
Alex Stamos (01:22:06):
Leo Laporte (01:22:07):
Jeff Jarvis (01:22:07):
So, so Shera Ovid at the Washington Post had a piece today, say five things you shouldn't worry about. Number one was using wifi at a public space.
Alex Stamos (01:22:18):
Leo Laporte (01:22:18):
That's changed a little bit. I mean, since the days of fire sheep where you were sending unencrypted traffic and somebody could impersonate you. But this thing as, as, as Alex just explained, but let me say it. So Jeff, you were just at a hotel somewhere and using their wifi, you still have that in your list of wifis that you've accessed. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> the pineapple can impersonate it and can be stronger than the coffee shop wifi. So your laptop without any, you know, talking to you will say, oh, hey, we're back at the hotel. Yeah, let's check in. It's a better signal.
Alex Stamos (01:22:50):
I mean, things are better now in that h p s has become pretty much ubiquitous.
Leo Laporte (01:22:54):
Yeah. Thanks to Google htb everywhere.
Alex Stamos (01:22:56):
Google thanks to yo h HPPs s anywhere. Yeah. like plug-in Makers thanks to Let's encrypt the FFS project to give
Leo Laporte (01:23:03):
Up, which makes it easier to be ssl honestly.
Alex Stamos (01:23:06):
Thanks To add Snowden, I mean, we don't wanna do a whole Snowden thing. I have mixed feelings here, but like, you know, there was a massive move to encrypt and I, I saw a bunch of that. I was a CSU at Yahoo. Yahoo would not have done all the work necessary, which was very expensive and very difficult to encrypt all of Yahoo sites to H C P S all the time if it wasn't for the Snowden disclosure.
Leo Laporte (01:23:23):
Oh, really? Interesting.
Alex Stamos (01:23:24):
Leo Laporte (01:23:38):
And it was all distributed on a bunch of servers. You may not even have owned all the servers.
Alex Stamos (01:23:43):
Right. Right. And so it took years to get there. And it basically happened because of the stone disclosures. Cuz it turned out that I
Leo Laporte (01:23:49):
Thought it was fire sheep. Fire sheep seemed like the, the tipping point when, when any idiot could go into a coffee shop and steal your Facebook.
Alex Stamos (01:23:56):
But you could have done for a long time before that using a variety of tools, but Oh yeah. Tools of like, you had to be running Linux, you had to tweak the kernel a little
Leo Laporte (01:24:03):
Bit. But see, that's my point with the pineapple as soon as it gets easy. Yeah. So, and then there's this Flipper Zero, which is something more recent, the multi-tool device for geeks.
Alex Stamos (01:24:12):
Yes. It's fun.
Leo Laporte (01:24:13):
Do you own, it sounds like you might own one Brianna <laugh>. Well,
Brianna Wu (01:24:17):
I, I don't own one, but I've certainly looked at the coverage of this. And, you know, before my comments, I really wanna stress that, you know, we have criminalized white hat hacking, like in the, that's true United States,
Leo Laporte (01:24:29):
But it always has been. Often my friend Russell Schwartz was working at Intel did a little freelance pen testing at Tone and get thrown in jail for it.
Brianna Wu (01:24:40):
A hundred percent. Or you remember when the at and t thing happened a few years ago with the iPhone? Right. And people basically they tried to cover up by basically getting people charged. Right. They basically pen testing in trying to report vulnerabilities. So we've seen that level levied politically. So just my blanket comment here is, look, as a policy, I'm 100% white hat hacking. I think we need ways to indemnify people that are out there doing what I consider public service that's in the interest of national security. That's said, you know, if you look at the Pineapple Zero and some of the things you can do with it you know, you have people with no training whatsoever that can go unlock cars. They can change the you know, the price of gas at a gas station. Right?
Leo Laporte (01:25:30):
Oh, wait a minute. I wanna know more about that. That's cool.
Brianna Wu (01:25:33):
This was reported by something I saw. But the bottom line with this is like an individual gas station. They don't have a pen testing department. Right. <laugh>, they don't.
Leo Laporte (01:25:44):
They're so what the deal is, you buy a tank of gas then, then tell them, Hey, by the way, I missed the, found a vulnerability. Oh, hundred percent You're pumps, they'll give it
Brianna Wu (01:25:51):
To you free
Leo Laporte (01:25:52):
Brianna Wu (01:25:52):
No, but it, it's, it's, I I get that this is a tool that can be used for good things, but I also think it is made in a way that like these vulnerabilities to people, I have no real way to act on
Leo Laporte (01:26:07):
It. So the Flipper zero was, I think it was a Kickstarter, it was somehow crowdfund.
Brianna Wu (01:26:12):
That's what I'm thinking of. Correct.
Leo Laporte (01:26:13):
Yeah. And it, and it's really kind of an i o t, it's kind of designed for the, not for wifi, but for the, you know, the sub one gigahertz. Yeah. Radios.
Alex Stamos (01:26:24):
It's effectively, so it's not, it doesn't do wifi. Like you said, it's sub one gigahertz. There's a ton of spectrum used for IOT systems. Zigbee Laura is one. So there's a, there's a bunch of standards that people use for their gardening systems and their home alarm systems.
Leo Laporte (01:26:40):
Or opening the parking garage gate parking garage gates or the, or a garage door. Garage door. That or your doorbell's with it.
Alex Stamos (01:26:48):
Yeah, RF ID on your cards. This is effectively a super cheap version of the U S R P. Right? So like, we've had software defined radio for a while. They've often been very expensive. What these folks did is they built a software-defined radio platform. They limited its frequency range to, to make it cheaper and then put like a cool little gooey on it and create a community. So there's this community of people that you can download programs onto that a little SD card and, and pop it in. So I use the flipper zero, I demonstrate to my Stanford students, I copy one of their badges.
Leo Laporte (01:27:17):
Yeah. So you can go around the campus as them <laugh>. Yeah. Blunt professor edit.
Alex Stamos (01:27:22):
Leo Laporte (01:27:22):
Just like, honestly, this more points up the, the, the flaw and the and the badges than it does anything else. Right.
Brianna Wu (01:27:28):
Well, actually, can I say something about that really quickly? When I ran for Congress, one of the things I, I really got a crash course in is the way that large data and things like this I always say misused by police departments, but there's certainly asymmetric defense that can be done by police departments. Right? Because they do have the power to go and like Google your entire, like, history of your Android phone and find out everywhere you've been where the defense your defense that may be prohibitively you know, expensive. So it's really easy to see something like this. Like someone's stealing your badge and then like making it look like you're part of a crime. Right. Then how do you like go and prove your innocence there? I mean, it's, it's very easy to imagine scenarios and there's not a clear policy direction here forward because we don't wanna criminalize like, you know, pen testing and looking for vulnerabilities at the same time. This is something that has a tremendous capability for misuse. And I, I truly don't know where to go from here.
Leo Laporte (01:28:32):
It's only 169 bucks. I'm ordering one right now, cuz I think we could help some. Oh boy. Some fun. Oh boy. Some fun with it. <Laugh>.
Brianna Wu (01:28:39):
Leo Laporte (01:28:44):
Should these be illegal?
Brianna Wu (01:28:47):
Alex Stamos (01:28:49):
Okay. No, but again, it's not something, I mean, the flipper's interesting cuz it doesn't have a humongous amount of range.
Leo Laporte (01:28:56):
You have to be, it's kind of, you have to be proximate,
Alex Stamos (01:28:58):
You have to be reasonably proximate. Yeah. but it, it still certainly could be used to, to steal cars and such. So yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:29:06):
Geez, Louise. Well, Hyundais particularly, those are really easy to steal. I hear <laugh>. Yeah, <laugh>.
Alex Stamos (01:29:12):
I dunno. Yeah, I I drove 'em through the city, so, you know, I, I cut off a couple of cattle of converters cuz it's what you do. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:29:17):
I just pick, pick 'em on, take 'em with you. You never know when you might need an extra. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Wow. It's an interesting time we live in. Fortunately the good news is most people are honest. Yes. It's only that small. I don't, I don't know, one 10th of 1% that have larceny in their hearts ruined it for everybody and they ruin it for everybody.
Alex Stamos (01:29:40):
So only sell to the good people. Just like you only let the good people on blue sky. Exactly. Or you don't need trust and
Leo Laporte (01:29:45):
Safety. Yeah. Huh. Hey, speaking of trust and safety, online safety Bill is coming to the uk. It's in front of parliament right now. If it passes websites will have to do age checks. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (01:30:02):
Age requirements. It's got a bunch of requirements on age checks. It was being pushed by a coalition of companies that sell age check services. So
Leo Laporte (01:30:09):
Oh, yeah. Not shocking, interesting color.
Alex Stamos (01:30:11):
Be shocked. But
Leo Laporte (01:30:12):
At one point they were saying you'd have to go into a pub and prove that you were over 13.
Alex Stamos (01:30:18):
Right. Like an an older version. I'm, I'm not totally sure what the, the plan is here. I think that now you can do an online one. Yeah. An older version of the UK law, which failed was you had to go into like a pub or I think
Leo Laporte (01:30:31):
Maybe the post office grocery store. Yeah. Some,
Alex Stamos (01:30:33):
Any place that does Id checks already. Yeah. And then they'd give you like a, a, a number. Excuse me,
Leo Laporte (01:30:37):
I'd like to see porn. Hey Joe,
Alex Stamos (01:30:39):
Leo Laporte (01:30:39):
Wants to see porn over here. Say porn. Right, right. Alright, show me your idea, governor.
Alex Stamos (01:30:44):
Right. I'll, I'll take the scotch, the Marlboros
Leo Laporte (01:30:47):
Alex Stamos (01:30:47):
And yeah. Porn, a porn hub. Log in. Yeah. So it, it's got a lot of scary stuff in it. I, I think a number of people have not been paying attention to Europe. Now obviously the UK is not part of the EU anymore. They're going their own way on child safety. The dig between the Digital Services Act and the online safety bill. There's a huge number of requirements for American companies that are kicking in already this year. And that there'll be more if this one passes. And some of the reasonable encryption too. Some of them reasonable and some of 'em are not. Like in, in the, one of the real downsides of the UK encryption the UK bill is, it's not clear the end to end encryption will work with the requirements.
Leo Laporte (01:31:22):
That there, that's a huge one because and by the way, as an example, and we're gonna see more of this, Wikipedia said if this passes, we're not gonna do age checks. And the, and now of course, does that mean there's no Wikipedia in the uk or as one government official said, oh, don't worry because only sites posing a high risk to children will be need age verification,
Jeff Jarvis (01:31:47):
The trans entry and see what the GOP says about that with schools. There's no, there's no safety anymore on speech in that
Leo Laporte (01:31:54):
Way. Yeah. Yeah. So let's talk about the digit because, so this is not yet law online safety bill. We're gonna keep watching it. It's expected it will be. However, let's,
Brianna Wu (01:32:04):
How does that work? I, I do think this is, this is really emblematic of what's happened in the United States as we've really seeded our willingness to, you know, take a, an active role in, you know, technology and how it shapes our lives. We've just made the collective decision to, to set it out, you know except for your partner, Alex Krebs, who I closely watched, Chris Krebs did excellent jobs. Excellent job, Chris, right?
Yes, Chris. Yeah. but largely we've sat out any kind of interest in shaping how technology is gonna face our lives. And, you know, I think you can look at what Europe is doing. I don't agree with much of gdpr. I don't agree with large parts of this. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But the reality is, if we are not gonna take an active role in this, other people are going to do it. And they're gonna make decisions. The effect all of us that we don't necessarily agree with. Blue Sky is gonna run headfirst into with their decentralized idea of how moderation works. They're gonna run headfirst into Germany's laws on hate speech. I don't know how they get around that. So, you know, this is, it's part of a, a larger symptom of us just being uninterested in doing the job of governance very much to our consternation.
Leo Laporte (01:33:14):
The Digital Services Act, which is the law in the eu, requires companies to do risk management, conduct external and independent auditing, share data with authorities and researchers, and adopt a code of conduct by August. They announced this week, EU industry Chief Cherry Brita said on Tuesday that there are 19 US companies that would be subject to this. Cause it's, it's Vlo.
Alex Stamos (01:33:38):
They're called the vlo. Ps very large on like
Leo Laporte (01:33:40):
Vlo s you have to be big including five alphabet subsidiaries, two meta platforms, two Microsoft businesses. Twitter, yes. Ali Baba and Ali Express. Yes. Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Google Shopping, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon's marketplace. Very importantly, apple and Google's app stores who will very, in all likelihood by August have to have alternative payment methods. Apple is already in indicated that, well if we do it, it's only gonna be for the eu. Right. That's
Alex Stamos (01:34:13):
The Digital Markets Act, which is in parallel, but
Leo Laporte (01:34:15):
Yeah. Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, that's right. Yeah. Digital
Alex Stamos (01:34:17):
Leo Laporte (01:34:18):
Markets. Yep. Yep, yep. What, so where does encryption stand globally? I know in the UK and Australia, it's, it's really on the verge of being illegal.
Alex Stamos (01:34:28):
Right. Especially in the UK end. It's on the verge of end end encryption effectively. So the Digital Services Act, there was a big push from Civil society to re to get rid of proposed parts of the Digital Services Act that would've made end encryption hard. So we're okay in Europe for now. India has been in a fight with WhatsApp that is going to the Indian Supreme Court.
Leo Laporte (01:34:47):
This is cuz Modi wants to be able to control Yes. What news Indians get.
Alex Stamos (01:34:51):
Yes. And, and WhatsApp is by far the most important platform. So India is a fascinating example that the most important social platform there is then encrypted, which is not true pretty much anywhere else. I mean, I guess except Brazil. Brazil, another, you're right. Another developing countries.
Leo Laporte (01:35:06):
And, and Brazil just went back and forth on WhatsApp. They Yes. They banned it
Alex Stamos (01:35:11):
Briefly. They banned it. So one of the interesting things in Brazil is that individual, individual judges have a huge amount of power. So you end up with a situation where you have an individual judge ban WhatsApp or order the head of Facebook Brazil, who's a sales guy who has nothing to do with encryption, order him arrested. He's been arrested a couple of times. I think he has like a bag packed <laugh> in case he has to spend the weekend. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:35:32):
Alex Stamos (01:35:32):
Leo Laporte (01:35:34):
Oh, actually Telegram was banned is not, not WhatsApp, but Telegram was banned in Brazil. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And then, and then, and then another judge said, oh, nevermind. <Laugh>. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (01:35:43):
And, and this is a, a, a constant thing in Brazil is the legal system, you know, it comes to a eventual consistency, but it there's a big packet
Leo Laporte (01:35:50):
Forth it. Yeah. And then they were telegram was banned because th they the messaging company denied requests to reveal the personal data of users who had been sharing extremist hate messages. Yeah. So protecting the identities of their users, they got banned. And then another judge says, well that's too, that's draconian. We don't have to ban them. Right. telegram has said we might have to leave Brazil, but that's the problem with all this UK
Alex Stamos (01:36:20):
One though, like you said, is end in encryption and you've had WhatsApp signal both say, we will not comply. So you're, you're going to end up Wikipedia is not the important one. What's happened Signal or on that's huge collision course with the UK
Leo Laporte (01:36:30):
Government. Yeah. and, and so what ultimately if the UK insists WhatsApp and Signals say, bye-bye. We don't, how do you say goodbye to a country?
Alex Stamos (01:36:41):
You could block 'em. I mean, you could block, you know, WhatsApp is based upon phone numbers, so you could block all the plus four, four s. Right. numbers you could ask for. You could go into the app store and be de-list yourself. You could geoblock based upon IP address. There's a variety of options. Yeah. you certainly can technically do it. I, it is something that Facebook has threatened before but never done. I think Google has threatened it, but has never done. And this might be, this might be the change because this is not a situation in other situations, the companies have threatened it because of a law they don't like. But it's been something often that they can follow without breaking the entire world. In this case, if you break encryption there, you break it everywhere, right? Like WhatsApp would have to rebuild their app, they'd have to build back doors. And so there's realistically no way to do it. And in doing so, they'd almost certainly break the law everywhere else cuz they've made a bunch of promises in Europe, in the United States and such, under which they're being held to. And so there's, I I don't think any good way for them to follow the UK law without being in breaking the law in a variety of other important jurisdictions.
Brianna Wu (01:37:43):
And I want to, I agree with that. I also wanna say the, the fight is here beyond services. It actually comes down to hardware as well. I was on a b BBC panel recently talking about when it comes to basically wire wireless communication protocols when we move to a new protocol, you know, China has some very different views on encryption and privacy than, than we do here in the United States. And the government's ability to get in there and look at things, right, the tendency is always going to be for governments to agree with the protocol that, you know, allows intelligence and law enforcement mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to, to look at that. So when we are seeding a role with this, you know, China ends up building a lot of these things. So it, it's gonna have long term effects on all of this. So, you know, it, it is just a very, very troubling shift in public policy. One I think could really get dystopian
Leo Laporte (01:38:42):
Joe in our discord chat says, I love to dunk on meta as much as anyone, but Facebook enabling end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp was the biggest privacy win in history. Yep.
Alex Stamos (01:38:52):
That's true. I, I've been saying that like, at, and I said that to you, European, European parliamentarians do not like to hear that <laugh> <laugh>. But it, it is absolutely true that like over a a, basically there's a 90 day period over that 90 day period at the time, about a billion people ended up with full protection of all of the content that they're sending to
Leo Laporte (01:39:13):
One another. It's amazing. Yeah. Yeah. How, what a what a difference something simple like that can make. Yeah. well the battle, you know, we've been talking about this for years now, you know, because the FBI's been demanding back doors and so forth, and there doesn't seem to be any resolution. There seems to be just two opposing parties and with no good answer in between. Right? There's no way to do this that doesn't jeopardize other people's security and privacy. So
Alex Stamos (01:39:42):
There are options for end, end encrypted products to provide more safety for people. And unfortunately folks in the government side never consider those.
Leo Laporte (01:39:51):
What are those? Is it a key escrow system of some kind, or? Yeah,
Alex Stamos (01:39:54):
So without key escrow, which is really a, a type of backdoor, you can have better reporting systems, right? So that's something that WhatsApp has invested in that they still could do a lot of work on, is helping people who are the targets of abuse to report that and to deal with. But how
Leo Laporte (01:40:08):
Do they report it? Cuz only they can see it,
Alex Stamos (01:40:10):
But they can report they see it and then they can report it. And
Leo Laporte (01:40:13):
Of the unencrypted version of it, the
Alex Stamos (01:40:14):
Unencrypted version. And what you can do is what we did with Facebook Messenger when we shipped, have
Leo Laporte (01:40:18):
A hash or something
Alex Stamos (01:40:19):
Messenger. Exactly. It's called a franking code. So there's a, a mechanism, so somebody can't fake it. So you can't create fake csam or something and send, oh my God, the send person, I'm getting this, I'm getting this. You can cryptographically verify that it came from that
Leo Laporte (01:40:31):
Person. The, the server can say, oh yeah, it's the same message. Right?
Alex Stamos (01:40:33):
Because it's signed with the public key effectively of the person who sent it. Ah, right. So every, every message is signed and encrypted. Well,
Leo Laporte (01:40:39):
That's a good way to handle it. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (01:40:40):
And so you could do that. You can, one of the things I'd like to see companies invest in, and I've been advocating this, we, we ran a number of events at Stanford where we brought people together to talk about this. And unfortunately the companies have not made more direction here is on pushing a bunch of the classifiers and other trusted safety functionality into the client, right. Where it has to be decrypted. So if you are getting a bunch of death threats, or say you're a woman online, like a woman who, if there's any way to contact her, she will get unwanted pictures of male genitalia will say, right. That is a common thing that happens. And so you could have a classifier that if a man you don't know sends you a, an image that it's like, oh, I know what this is and it blurs it and it says, did you want this person to send you male genitalia? And you say No. And it automatically blocks the person and reports it to the platform. It does not have to. Wow.
Leo Laporte (01:41:30):
We need that button. Yeah. That's a, that's a good button. Can you start that company please? Yeah. Right.
Alex Stamos (01:41:34):
Well, the problem is the people who have to implement that would be Apple in in what's in
Leo Laporte (01:41:38):
Yeah. The people who do the messaging service, it has to
Alex Stamos (01:41:40):
Be built into
Leo Laporte (01:41:41):
Those problems because it has to be in the app. Yeah. Client side and
Alex Stamos (01:41:43):
Apple to their credit. Yeah. When they announced a bunch of effectively very complicated backdoors. The other thing they announced was doing some of that stuff. And that is something they've kept on doing.
Leo Laporte (01:41:52):
And they're implementing that now. They are implementing that for, for parents. Primarily
Alex Stamos (01:41:56):
For parents, yes. Yeah. Yeah. And so now they've certain,
Brianna Wu (01:41:58):
I do have to push back on that a little bit because they were talking about doing it in a way that, I mean, let's,
Leo Laporte (01:42:04):
Well they were talking about two different things. There was the Csam scanner. Yes. Which they have now abandoned. And I think that a lot of privacy advocates, including you, Alex said, that's a, that's a not gonna work. But this parental thing is, is very different. Right. but I want to hear Brianna's objection. Well, I just wanna make sure, Brianna, you're making the distinction between the two. Cause I agree with you about the first, but, well,
Brianna Wu (01:42:27):
I was talking about the Apple system where they came forward, and you're right, they did abandon it, but they were looking at basically scanning your photos and then basically alerting parents.
Leo Laporte (01:42:37):
Well, they do do that.
Brianna Wu (01:42:38):
If your, if your child was looking at sexual imagery, which I can tell you is a, a queer kid in Mississippi, right? Like that could have gotten me killed as a child <laugh>.
Leo Laporte (01:42:47):
Right? So Apple moderated a little bit. So now it says to the kid,
Alex Stamos (01:42:51):
It, so my understanding is there's no notification of parents anymore. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, what you can do is you could say this, this account basically can't send or receive naked photos and I message Sure. And that is a client side classifier. It is a newd classifier. It does not either classify for csam or check against hash lists. And it basically tells some, it tells the the kid you can't send a nude. Right? Yeah. Right. Or, or
Leo Laporte (01:43:13):
You can't or receive one or receive
Alex Stamos (01:43:15):
Leo Laporte (01:43:15):
Would that but, and that's in messaging. That doesn't mean you can't go on Wab website or Right.
Alex Stamos (01:43:19):
But the same kind of idea can be extended. I mean, that's just one purpose, right? It can be extended to, if you're an adult and somebody sends you a death threat that that's classified on the client side, you have no relationship with that person. And you don't have to see that content for it to say to you, Hey, somebody sent you something hateful. Would you like to report it without seeing it? And that's kinda
Brianna Wu (01:43:37):
Stuff I have to say, I have a lot more experience with. I I was literally swatted this week
Leo Laporte (01:43:42):
And Yeah, I saw that. I'm sorry about that. Geez. No,
Brianna Wu (01:43:44):
It's, it's fine. But I'm saying death threats, I have no faith that machine language is ever gonna be really able to crack down a harassment cuz it's so context dependent. Yeah. The things, there're just a million ways to talk around it or to not trip those things. So I, I just, I, I think every single social media network, including Facebook has tried to automate these processes with machine learning and sematic context analysis and, you know, all these various ways and it's great. It saves money, but I think it really comes at the expense of, of, of accuracy in my view. Which Yeah,
Alex Stamos (01:44:20):
Because I think you have to work on the reporting side for end to end, that you have human beings Yeah. Look at the reports and then you ban people from the end to encrypted network.
Brianna Wu (01:44:26):
Yeah, that makes
Leo Laporte (01:44:27):
Sense. Harassers have learned that an overt threat is actionable. But you can, you can couch it in such a way that it's not actionable, but the recipient knows perfectly well what you're saying. Yeah. And those things are hard to detect cause it's nuanced.
Alex Stamos (01:44:41):
Right? So there are things you can do. The, the problem, the hardest thing to stop and any of these is a conspiracy between consenting adults, right? If you have adults who wanna do something illegal, usually end an encryption, whether that they're planning a terrorist attack or they're trading CS a m, that is the hardest thing because there's not a participant in the conversation who will report it, right? Because they're, they're both part of the conspiracy, and that's what the UK wants. And I think that's just something that we can't solve while also providing privacy. And so I think we have to choose to provide people privacy, agree. And we can focus on the other kinds of abuse types where there's a victim who's part of the conversation and protect them.
Leo Laporte (01:45:19):
So what do you think Brianna, I would like to hear your opinion of what Apple is has implemented protecting kids, because I,
Brianna Wu (01:45:27):
Yeah, there was less
Leo Laporte (01:45:28):
Pushback on, on that.
Brianna Wu (01:45:30):
Yeah. I, I'm only hearing it here. Like this implementation. I'd need to read more about it from, from the way you've described it. It makes sense to me. But I think we all know what these kinds of policies, the details really, really, really, really matter. And it also really matters. You know, is there auditing, is there oversight? Are you reporting stuff to government agencies? I mean, there, there's a lot of stuff here to critically think through.
Leo Laporte (01:45:53):
So you can read about it. They call it communication, safety and messages. Apple as usual, has a pretty good white paper on it. But basically they're saying messages now includes tools that warn children, warn children directly and provide helpful resources if they receive or attempt to send photos that may contain nudity it blurs the photo before it's viewed on your child's advice. Provides guidance and age appropriate resources to help them make a safe choice, including contacting someone they trust if they choose. Yeah. that doesn't, that's good. Doesn't block it. Yeah. I think it's kind of, apple has, I think, been very responsive to the concerns they've heard and are trying to find a way that works. And it seems like a good system. You know, parents have to turn it on too. It's not gonna just happen. One, one
Alex Stamos (01:46:44):
Of the problems is when they had their first version of all this, they kind of did a very thing, which is they did it all in house. They have the smartest people in the world there. We can figure this out from first principles. And because they didn't want, they never worked with anybody on outside of Apple. Right? Like in trust and safety and cybersecurity. It is extremely hard to work with anybody at Apple. And so they, they didn't talk to anybody. They came out, they just busted through the wall, like the Kool-Aid man with like, here's a c a m scanning tool Yeah. And all this stuff. And it was not a great
Leo Laporte (01:47:12):
Idea. Once again, if there's a moral here Yeah. Consult experts, <laugh>. Right?
Alex Stamos (01:47:15):
Right. And so they did a whole listening tour. I know they talked to a lot of folks. They actually visited us at Stanford Good. And chatted with them and Good, good. I know they talked to a lot of child safety advocates and, you know a variety of advocates for, for different equities. And I think this is the, the compromise they came up with.
Leo Laporte (01:47:28):
Here's, Brianna just did, did
Brianna Wu (01:47:29):
They report things to law enforcement? No. Can
Leo Laporte (01:47:31):
Alex Stamos (01:47:32):
No, not anymore. Mm-Hmm. So, Mike, if you look at the NCMEC reports, it's actually kind of stunningly small, which is one of the things they're trying to deal with is that Facebook reports about 22 million pieces of CS a m per year. And the last one I saw, I think Apple had like 200. Right. Which is, it's hard to think about. Like, there's, there's not 200 bad anything on a billion user network, right? Like the, the step, the first step for something bad happening is 10,000. Right? Right. And so what that 200 is, is actually a big question for a lot
Leo Laporte (01:48:01):
Of folks. Yeah. Where'd those come from?
Alex Stamos (01:48:03):
One of the theories is it's, it's csam m that's been sent via the iCloud email. Right. Right. Which would be a silly way to do it. And therefore that I've heard a couple of these of like, what services does Apple have that are unencrypted that people could move images around
Leo Laporte (01:48:15):
This just for you, Brianna, is what the screen looks like. This is from Apples website. If I were to send or you were to send a child a sensitive photo, the photo is blurred. Then there's a message that pops up, says you're not alone and can always get help from someone you trusted with trained professionals. You can also block this person and you're given a choice of message, a grownup ways to get help block contact or cancel. And so if you wish or view the photo Yeah. If you wish, you can cancel and view the photo if you said, oh, no, no, I know what that is and I want to see it. But I think this is a, I I like this. Yeah, that
Brianna Wu (01:48:50):
Makes a lot sense. Yeah. That,
Leo Laporte (01:48:52):
That seems problem. This is a good way to do it. And I think it solves that problem. It doesn't solve the csam issue, but that's a very difficult issue.
Alex Stamos (01:48:59):
It's very difficult. And it's, the mass trading of Csam is, is mostly not an end-to-end encrypted messenger issue because WhatsApp, iMessage are not the best ways to move huge amounts of csam. The best way to do that is via encrypted, like locker the Megas a variety of dark websites and, and, you know, tour hidden services and such. Yeah. so it's yeah. I, I think, but the, one of the problems is law enforcement, like they, their hammer is lawful access to content. Right? Like, that is, all they understand is I have access to your text messages, I can prosecute you. And so everything's a nail. Yeah. Even if there's other more subtle technical solutions in place. Right.
Leo Laporte (01:49:39):
Actually, I encourage you to read the, the entire Apple page, because I, to me it really, there's more images and there's just so much that they've done and I that is done. Right. And that gives me, encourage, encourages me that they're spending this energy to do it. Right. Right. That they could continue to do it right in other areas as well. But to go back
Brianna Wu (01:49:56):
To our original topic, I don't think this is compatible with the UK on Len Child Safety
Leo Laporte (01:50:00):
Law. That's a problem. That would be
Brianna Wu (01:50:01):
Leo Laporte (01:50:02):
Yeah. See, that's a problem. Let's take a little break. Great panel. Couldn't be better. Brianna wu rebellion pack.com. What is Rebellion Pack?
Brianna Wu (01:50:13):
We use a large array of tech tools to win elections. So we do micro-targeting. We use large data, figure out people that they believe in causes but they may need a little bit more of a a push to get out there and actually vote. So we use basically all the data we can to activate them and we win elections that way.
Leo Laporte (01:50:39):
It's gonna get busy for you in a couple of years, isn't it? It's gonna be
Brianna Wu (01:50:42):
Very, very busy. Ms. Scott.
Leo Laporte (01:50:44):
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Brianna Wu (01:50:45):
Wow. I was really proud. We helped we helped win the Wisconsin SCOTUS race. You know, this was the most that'd ever been spent in any Supreme Court race in history. There's a lot on the line. And we just airdrop volunteers out there to go out and canvas and, and make calls. So
Leo Laporte (01:51:04):
We were in in Europe during the election. So it was a little hard to follow the story, but we definitely were following the story. Yeah. Big, big election. Very big election.
Brianna Wu (01:51:14):
We were very proud of that one. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:51:16):
Jeff Jarvis is also here. Your book, the Gutenberg parenthesis, comes out next month. June. June. So I guess it's almost next month, almost next month. Gutenberg parent parenthesis.com, as we said, buy it from Blackwells. That's that's Jeff's, yes. One of Jeff's preferences. Yes. One of, one of many. Just buy it. This, that's where you really care. Thank you. This week in tech is brought to you by Noom. So one of the other things we did while we were overseas is eat a lot of TTOs and croissants and panel shola. I had some Kao pepe, I had some pasta carbonara. And, you know, we got back, and both Lisa and I are going over to this scale going, oh boy. I mean, when you go away to Europe for three weeks and you eat all this great food, and you're on a cruise ship, where there's apparently is a meal at any, every, they even had a midnight buffet buffet called Death by Chocolate.
You, you realize <laugh>, that there are many opportunities. So Lisa gets on the scale. She said, oh, I lost two pounds, and I'm going. And then I looked in and I said, I've gained no weight. And in both cases, I think we can credit Noom. We can really thank Noom Brianna, you did Noom and lost a hundred pounds Noom. Now I should promise, I should not promise anything like that. Num first time numerous lose an average of 15 pounds in 16 weeks. But, and I didn't, I have to say I did not follow any particular prescriptive diet in Europe. I said, I'm gonna eat what I want. But one of the things that works about Noom is it's, it's not a diet, it's a psychology based approach. Believe me, I have done every fad diet known to man. And the problem with fad diets is when you go off 'em, you gain the weight right back.
Noom is a little different. Noom uses psychology, not fads, to help you make intentional and sustainable choices that are aligned with your values and your weight loss goals. What does that mean? It means you learn about why you eat. Well, you know, Lisa and I both have this fog eating thing where we eat without even being aware of it. I get home from work and I start stuffing my mouth. We're watching TV and make a big thing of popcorn. And it just, it's not that I can't do that anymore. I, you know, I still love my popcorn. But, but Noom helps us be aware. And when you're aware, suddenly it's a lot easier to make good choices. Even when you're faced with Ka cho Peppe. Every journey is different with Noom psychology based approach. Your daily lessons will be personalized to you and to your goals.
There are no bad foods. I loved that. There are, there's no forbidden. You can, and time off is fine. They use scientific principles like cognitive behavioral therapy to create sustained long-term changes in your relationship with food. And that's what's key. It's not a diet. It's nourishing, not restrictive. It focuses on progress, not perfection. You can, they've got all kinds of levels of support. You can log your food, you can do the weigh-ins, you can have an individual coach. You can have a group five minute daily check-ins, personal coaching, whatever works for you. The lessons are great. You can really learn a lot from those lessons. I spent about 15 minutes a day cuz I wanted to learn more. First time, numerous, as I said, lows, an average of 15 pounds of 16 weeks. Nine. This is the key to me. 95% of Noom customers say Noom is a good long-term solution. Would you agree, Brianna? You've, you've lost a lot of weight and you've kept it off. You look
Brianna Wu (01:54:48):
Great, very, very strongly. I, I think people can look at me, go back two years and look at what I look like on those Twitch shows. I didn't even, someone showed me a picture of it. I did not even recognize myself. Yeah. I've kept over a hundred pounds. That's amazing. Off for two years with Noom. It is not hard. It changes the way that you think about food. I was down in Disney for the last two weeks. Oh. And you just, I I, the the way it works is it changes. It makes you just aware of what you're eating. So you don't, like, you make very deliberate choices. Deliberate, right? Yep. So if I'm gonna have like the caramel popcorn, I love it. Epcot, I can do that. I just need to like, not make other crazy choices during the day that make my calorie budget explode. It gets to a point, like, your body doesn't want the garbage. Like, I've not had Exactly. It's in two years because it just doesn't sound like something tastes good to me anymore. Yeah. Like it's, I love noom. I I still use it. I pay for it. It's great. Endorse a thousand percent <laugh>.
Leo Laporte (01:55:54):
Yeah, me too. And Lisa too. And you know, I, I notice I leave food on my plate when I didn't used to do that. I used, used to be a clean plate club. Right. And now if I want that Monte Christo sandwich at the Pirates of the Caribbean I will eat half of it. Maybe. Or a quarter of it and then leave the rest. It's okay. The other thing Lisa and I both do now, cuz of noom, as we put our forks down, we turn off the tv, turn off the phones, we put our forks down, close our eyes and taste the food. I didn't use the taste it. Believe it or not. Stop chasing health trends. Build sustainable healthy habits with Noom s psychology based approach. Sign up for your trial today at noom.com/twit noom and oh om.com/twit. Sign up for a trial today.
Check out Noom s first ever book. The Noom mindset, by the way, just came out a deep dive into the psychology of behavior change. And it's available wherever you get your books. Even blackwells uhm.com/twit. Brianna and I and Lisa all are believers. One of our chatters lost 60 pounds on Noom and has kept it off. It's just it works. That's all I can say. It works. And we thank Noom so much for their support. You support us too. It's important. Noom.Com/Twit. You know, we haven't talked about all day and I find it very refreshing. We haven't mentioned AI <laugh>. Well, a little bit. You talked about the ai, it's slot. It's over. I think AI's over, it's over. That was a big Oh,
Alex Stamos (01:57:23):
It wasn't over. I'm glad we hadn't because last week was rsa, the, the, the big security c in San Francisco. Yeah. And it's all everybody was talking about
Leo Laporte (01:57:30):
Is ai. It was ai. Well, I, and one of the things I don't like about Twitter now is there's disproportionate amount of ai. It was like when blockchain was big, it was, there's a disproportionate amount of attention paid to it. AI bros. It's all AI bros. Now we
Jeff Jarvis (01:57:44):
Have three bros. N ft Bros. Yep. Crypto Bros. But that doesn't, the problem is that gives it cooties that it probably doesn't deserve. Well,
Leo Laporte (01:57:53):
This is what's so difficult is, and I, it's a question I ask and I've been asking since chat. G p t went public actually even before that with Dolly too. And, and Stable diffusion is you know, wet. Did we talk? We did. We talked last week. I thought about Jarin liners and we talked on Twig about it, about Jarin line's. I thought very, very good article in the New Yorker saying there's no such thing as ai. What Ai really, what we're seeing anyway, the AI we're seeing today is really more of a collaboration between humans. Everything it says, everything it draws is based on stuff. It, its basically mashing together from humans. And so in, if you think of it that way, instead of as some sort of evil intelligence about to take over the world, it's a little bit more less, less intimidating and a little bit more frankly, realistic as to what it can achieve.
Achieve. When I was in Italy I went to open AI and it was blocked in Italy. The Italian regulator was concerned about privacy. Chat. G P T is now back after meeting. Watchdog Demands Chat. G P T and Open AI had always said, well, chat G P T doesn't say anything. Open eye <laugh>, open ai. Actually it does, it says a lot, but it's meaningless. Open AI had said, well no, we're very careful about privacy. I think they reassured the regulators. They fulfilled, according to the ap, a raft of conditions that the Italian data Protection authority wanted satisfied. And so the ban was lifted, but it ain't over until it's over. And I think the I don't know if it's a digital markets act, but the EU is, there's this
Alex Stamos (01:59:38):
New AI act that they put together very quickly.
Leo Laporte (01:59:40):
Oh yeah. They have a new one. Oh, great. So these are folks, what do you think of it? Focused on risky usages. And there's our favorite Margaret Steger added, again, risky uses of artificial intelligence that threatened people's safety or rights such as live facial scanning should be banned or tightly controlled. You officials said Wednesday as they outlined an ambitious package of proposed regulations to reign in the rapidly expanding technology. I wouldn't disagree with 'em on face recognition.
Alex Stamos (02:00:11):
Right. Which in the US we only have that in Illinois right now. Yeah. which is how you end up with a number of facial facial recognition companies being able to work. And even we end up as taxpayers paying for them cuz a bunch of police departments Yeah. End up paying those facial recognition companies. Which there's been a number of stories of people being misrecognized and arrested. Some pretty sad stories there. But yeah, the AI thing, the interesting thing I think for Europe and AI companies is Europe has such a big focus on effectively the right to be forgotten. And so how do you train a large language model on a petabytes of data and then ignore some little part of it that says that somebody was arrested at some point, which they have the right to remove that from the Google index.
Do you have the right to remove that from ai? Oh, okay. And I think that's, that's where a bunch of these fights are gonna be. Is is where, is it practical to retrain or, or maybe what, what they'll end up doing is just like certain people, if I said, you, you know, I want the right to be forgotten from open ai. Maybe Alex Stamos is just becomes a, on a, a list of words, an Unperson I'm nun person. Right. Like they, instead of retraining the the entire thing, which would take the power output of Bolivia for, for a week or whatever, <laugh> they just say that these are certain peoples that you can't talk about.
Leo Laporte (02:01:25):
So the EU says they're taking a four level risk based approach to balance, cuz they wanna balance privacy rights against the innovation. And I don't think any country wants to say no ai. Right. Because that's clearly, you know, something that's happening.
Alex Stamos (02:01:41):
I mean, there's a, there's a good quote, I forget who said it, but the, the British Empire did not win the industrial revolution by outlying steam. There
Leo Laporte (02:01:48):
Alex Stamos (02:01:48):
Yeah. Yeah. I, I think people wanna be careful. The Chinese have been much more aggressive actually. And, and the use of ai. And I think that that's been controversial folks. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:01:57):
Alex Stamos (02:01:57):
And control both though on both in the use button, their control. Yeah. Right. And their, their
Leo Laporte (02:02:01):
Regulations are, they control it. <Laugh> they control
Alex Stamos (02:02:03):
Yeah. That's the thing.
Leo Laporte (02:02:05):
<Laugh>. Yeah. Unlimited ai, but we control, let's <laugh>. So the eu, I think I have to say the things they've talked about make sense, face recognition the use of AI systems to filter out school job or loan applicants. That's, that's clearly fraught with peril. Right. they would ban AI outright in a few cases considered too risky, such as government social scoring systems that judge people based on the behavior. That's something they have done or at least tried it in, in certain cases in China. That's clearly something we don't Yeah.
Alex Stamos (02:02:39):
The problem there is not the technology, it's the bad judgment of the government official who would use it badly. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:02:45):
Well that's often the case, isn't it? Right. yeah.
Alex Stamos (02:02:48):
Which is is also much more reasonable than so many people who freaked out and said like, you have to have a moratorium on people building large language models and, you know, get ready to, let's
Leo Laporte (02:02:56):
Take six months off.
Alex Stamos (02:02:57):
Right. Let's take six months off so we can catch up. Sorry, <laugh>. And, and bomb data centers, you know like the actual application of the AI is where is where the rubber hits the R road. And that seems a totally reasonable place
Leo Laporte (02:03:07):
To, I love it. The problem with ai, you just did it just said it. Jeff is people, it's how it's used, right? Yeah. unacceptable uses also in the u would include manipulating behavior, exploiting children's vulnerabilities.
Alex Stamos (02:03:19):
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's stop there. Let's
Leo Laporte (02:03:21):
Stop right there.
Alex Stamos (02:03:22):
Yeah. Manipulating behavior. Like, like all media don't manipulate behavior. Like all advertising isn't manipulating behavior.
Leo Laporte (02:03:28):
Alex Stamos (02:03:28):
Politics isn't manipulating
Leo Laporte (02:03:30):
Behavior. Oh. What does that mean? Yeah. But you don't want AI to do that. You want real humans doing that. <Laugh>, if
Alex Stamos (02:03:35):
You're gonna Right. It's an important job. And you don't wanna take the job from the, the European politicians <laugh>.
Leo Laporte (02:03:39):
Well, we don't want, what we don't want is Russian troll farms generating hundreds of thousands of AI generated accounts. Yes.
Alex Stamos (02:03:45):
Because they really care about the law. If there's
Leo Laporte (02:03:47):
Anybody's not gonna stop. If
Alex Stamos (02:03:49):
There's anybody who really cares about EU law, it's
Leo Laporte (02:03:51):
Ion, that's Russian troll. False. I love it when you see chat g p t error messages in replies to tweets, that's always hysterical. You know, they say, sorry, I can't talk about that. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (02:04:02):
It's So you bring up a good point though. Talk about chat. G P T I think the, there's a, there's a lot of smart stuff here in the EU regulation. The problem is the EU and everybody else is focusing on open ai, Microsoft, Google, those people have teams that more or less are thinking about these things.
Leo Laporte (02:04:15):
They're better than the others.
Alex Stamos (02:04:17):
And yes. And the problem is not necessarily there will be uses of their platforms that can be harmful, but they will at least react to that. A ton of this stuff you can just run on your Nvidia card at home. Right, right. Our team at Stanford, we did, we have a preprint out where we tested GT three generate disinformation against real Russian and disinformation. They did just as, ooh. And now we're regenerating it with stuff just running on my RT X 40 90 at home, which is great. Cause now I can write off my
Leo Laporte (02:04:45):
I was just gonna say, good deal, <laugh>. Yeah, it's good. It's a good
Alex Stamos (02:04:48):
Brianna Wu (02:04:48):
How did you get one
Leo Laporte (02:04:49):
Alex Stamos (02:04:50):
Yeah. Yeah. They're
Leo Laporte (02:04:51):
Easier to get than they used to be. I have a feeling
Alex Stamos (02:04:53):
Leo Laporte (02:04:54):
Alex Stamos (02:04:55):
Turns out you, you have that flipper zero. Oh,
Leo Laporte (02:04:57):
There you go. Just open those pod bay doors, Hal. Exactly. so there's also this thing, auto G P t has become very popular now. It's a GitHub repository that basically merges chat G p t with if this than that. And suddenly a, you've got a guy with agency Now I'm scared. Sounds scared to me Now I'm, now I'm actually scared. I
Alex Stamos (02:05:20):
Mean, automated home stuff is already so janky. You're like, what I'm gonna throw into here is this humongous large language model that says totally unpredictable.
Leo Laporte (02:05:26):
Turn the lights off. Turn the lights off
Alex Stamos (02:05:28):
The garage door.
Leo Laporte (02:05:29):
Yeah. Yeah. I'm sorry, Hal <laugh>. I'm sorry Dave. I can't, the garage day big door <laugh>.
Brianna Wu (02:05:34):
I, I was so confused with something Nate Silver said on Twitter yesterday. So he was arguing that these kinds of large language model searches were better than conventional search. Now, and I have to say, I've spent a lot of time using the new being, which overall it's excellent. Like start asking it programming questions or, or how to write sample code for a language. You know, it's really impressive stuff. But if you drill down and start trying to solve real world problems, like I was trying to get it to get me information about how to score in one of my pinball machines, <laugh>, it just starts like hallucinating and mixing facts together. It's not even
Jeff Jarvis (02:06:16):
Hall hallucination, it's just all it is is a word assembler. Right. Hundred
Brianna Wu (02:06:20):
Jeff Jarvis (02:06:21):
Right. We all know that. Hundred
Brianna Wu (02:06:22):
Jeff Jarvis (02:06:23):
So it's irresponsible in my view for Microsoft to have started using this with its search engine. It's irresponsible for Google to consider it. I'm eager to hear your thoughts on this. It's irresponsible for Kevin Ros to act like it fell in love with him when it knows better. Yeah. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:06:36):
Well that generates link, it clicks. I mean, I think that that's precise. The problem is the Yeah. Manipulation.
Jeff Jarvis (02:06:41):
Yeah. It's a fascinating technology that can do interesting things, but it's relationship to fact is not built in. Right.
Brianna Wu (02:06:47):
I I entirely share your assessment on this. And I don't think it's better than normal search currently. And it's understanding underlying technology. I think there are non-trivial like hurdles for it to get over to like stop hallucinating, show facts clearly show sourcing clearly. And it's, it's not better right now than just clicking on article from the New York Times and knowing that I can trust that. Right. So I I I,
Alex Stamos (02:07:15):
Leo Laporte (02:07:15):
I would submit there are some uses for AI in search. It's just that it shouldn't be, I think AI chat is more of the problem in AI seems to be very good at summarizing existing content. So you feed at a PDF at summer and you don't see a lot of hallucination there cuz it's working off an actual data base of content. That's fair. Yeah. And I think, so I think AI could re reasonably replace a, a spider in going out and summarizing websites and then making a better search end index, couldn't it? I use, you know, I use among other things I use Neva as my, as I've mentioned before as a search engine, Neva, like another at a variety of other search engines gives you an AI generated summary of your answer first. And I often find that quite useful. Now, we've talked about this on Twig before. It provides you with footnotes to refer to the sources so it doesn't seem to force or sources
Alex Stamos (02:08:18):
It finds after the fact, which is all that's correct.
Brianna Wu (02:08:20):
Interesting. That's correct.
Leo Laporte (02:08:23):
Yeah, I'm not sure actually that's an interesting question. Right.
Alex Stamos (02:08:27):
But, but I, I mean I have to agree with Brianna and JJ here. Like this is, it was in, I think it was irresponsible for Microsoft to roll out chat g GT connected to search. Cuz people believe that search should be Yeah. Real, right? Like they, they have a, a level of belief in kind of, in looking at the product of, of what it returns is accurate, as in everybody who have shown, if you ask about something it doesn't know about it will just come up with BS <laugh> and that can includes it lying about you, right? Like it, you can
Leo Laporte (02:08:57):
Make, oh, it says people are dead all, all the time. You know? Right.
Alex Stamos (02:08:59):
Right. Or you can make it, you know, why was this person canceled? And it will create an you,
Leo Laporte (02:09:03):
Oh, let me make up
Alex Stamos (02:09:04):
One of why this person was canceled, why this person was fired from their job. Right. be based upon things that have happened to other folks. Right. and so it, there's a big difference to me for like what, what open AI did, which is like they built a tool, a game, a, a play, a playground, a sandbox that you can play in is very different than attaching this and saying, this is part of shit. Yes.
Brianna Wu (02:09:23):
Yeah. Yeah. There's a, there's a really interesting video out there where someone gets basically chat g p t to code what was the name of the Flappy Bird? Flappy Bird. Right. It creates the ai, another AI program created all the art assets and it goes through and it like creates all the steps that you're gonna need to create a, a playable version of this game. I, I think it's really good for creative things like that. I don't think it's really good at sourcing in my experience. Leo, the use case you described, like go through my email and tell me like what all the emails from Jason or Yeah. That is a, that's limited with the sources it's doing. That's something I think it's really gonna be good at. But I think this broad declaration that's going to be better from search, I, I invite your audience, make your own assessment, go to Bing, find some subject you know a lot about and start asking it questions and see if those answers are accurate because that has not been, it's been a very confidence shaking exercise.
Leo Laporte (02:10:30):
Here's what I even think it's
Alex Stamos (02:10:31):
A mistake to call it
Jeff Jarvis (02:10:32):
Hallucination because that is part of theorization.
Leo Laporte (02:10:35):
I know. I agree.
Jeff Jarvis (02:10:37):
And and it's, it's just word order.
Leo Laporte (02:10:39):
Yeah, word salad. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It's word. If we said
Jeff Jarvis (02:10:43):
If, if we said rather than let acting as if it writes, it doesn't write it assembles words. Yeah. It's all it does.
Leo Laporte (02:10:49):
Here is Nu Nevas AI summary of who you are. Brianna Wu, born July 6th, oh boy. 1977 American video game developer and computer programmer. That's from Wikipedia, co-founded Giant Space Cat in an independent video game development studio with Amanda Warner in Boston. Also a blogger in podcaster or matters relating to the video game industry. Well, I can vouch for the fact that you're not limited to the video game industry, but other than that, yeah. It's not too bad. No.
Alex Stamos (02:11:15):
All of these things are sourced just from Wikipedia.
Leo Laporte (02:11:17):
Yeah. Notice that. That's just my wiki. But that's good. And if Wikipedia were wrong, that would be wrong. Which
Alex Stamos (02:11:22):
I have to say, one of the problems with Wikipedia is Brianna has dealt with more abuse than I have, so she's probably better protected. I have randos We're we're in some political issues right now. Yeah. People don't like don't like it when you study people lying about the election. Right. And so as a result, Wikipedia effectively lets anonymous people just use the IP addresses without authenticating to edit my Wikipedia page. Yeah. which I'm so
Leo Laporte (02:11:46):
It's not definitive source, isn't
Alex Stamos (02:11:47):
It? It is it not?
Jeff Jarvis (02:11:48):
I have a I have a story about that.
Alex Stamos (02:11:49):
Yeah. I mean, so if you're, if you're super famous, if you're Joe Biden, there's a ton of people watching, watching it, anything your, your account's locked or whatever. Yeah. If you're not notable enough, they delete you as not notable. I'm in that horrible middle <laugh> where I'm notable enough that like, I can't argue that they delete the total page, but nobody's paying attention. And so I'm pretty sure I know who one of these people are. People don't like me. They can just go, they don't have to log in. Right. They just use their ip, random IP address and they can change stuff. And then if I go in and say, this isn't true, they turned off my account <laugh>. Right. For doing that. Right. And so it's like Wikipedia is like actually a great example of what you have to be super careful pulling from if you're AI of anything that has to do with, with individuals.
Jeff Jarvis (02:12:27):
Yeah. So a student came out of classroom one day and saw me in the hallway and said, professor Jarvis, professor Jarvis, I just saw that you're polyamorous and your wife's okay with it. Oh
Leo Laporte (02:12:36):
Jeff Jarvis (02:12:38):
I said, oh no. What, what? And my wife
Leo Laporte (02:12:43):
Is absolutely not okay with it. It's in
Jeff Jarvis (02:12:45):
Wikipedia. I said somebody hates me.
Alex Stamos (02:12:50):
The first Wiki divorce. That
Jeff Jarvis (02:12:52):
Leo Laporte (02:12:52):
Jeff Jarvis (02:12:54):
Yeah. Yeah. Jimmy Wales has corresponded my divorce. Yeah, exactly.
Leo Laporte (02:12:58):
The Supreme Court Court has waited.
Jeff Jarvis (02:13:01):
Brianna, you've gone through a million times more. I find funny.
Brianna Wu (02:13:04):
I mean, I, I I think people's marriages should probably be left out the public way. <Laugh>, that's just me. I don't know.
Jeff Jarvis (02:13:13):
Leo Laporte (02:13:15):
Well, it's in Wikipedia, it must be true.
Jeff Jarvis (02:13:17):
That's true. So Leo, I I, I don't wanna spend time on it, but I just wanted to plug something on line 72, the New York Times had a pretty good explainer of large language models. They just took a set of Jane Austin and then they took screenshots of it, learning words, and then learning Jane Austin how many steps it went through very, very fast, very quickly. I think it's a pretty good explainer that gets people to understand what this is doing and how it's doing. At first it doesn't even know what a word is. It's just with characters.
Leo Laporte (02:13:50):
So it's, it's garbage. It's gobbly goble garbage. Right? Yeah. But it's slow down. And then as you continue, it will get smarter. Yeah.
Jeff Jarvis (02:14:03):
<Laugh>. But for 250
Leo Laporte (02:14:03):
Round, not much smarter. Few
Jeff Jarvis (02:14:05):
Words coming out, <laugh> 250 rounds in a matter of seconds. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:14:09):
That's the thing. That's what's interesting. So when you see that delay, it's actually doing this, it's going through stuff. Of course. I also refer our more computer literate readers and listeners to Steven Wolfram's Excellent article on how Yes. How it works. It's a little bit more magical. You're trying,
Jeff Jarvis (02:14:29):
You're trying to show your aunt what this stuff is. Yeah. A a
Leo Laporte (02:14:33):
Teapot, not, not Aunt Pruitt pretty Aunt Martha. No, no,
Jeff Jarvis (02:14:36):
No. Your aunt.
Leo Laporte (02:14:37):
Excuse me. Your Aunt <laugh>. So it's inter, this is actually a great piece. It's from the upshot. I'm not sure I would always trust the New York Times take on AI as
Jeff Jarvis (02:14:49):
No, I wouldn't. Kevin,
Leo Laporte (02:14:50):
Jeff Jarvis (02:14:50):
Leo Laporte (02:14:51):
Yes. <laugh>. But, but this was well done. I think this was very well done.
Alex Stamos (02:14:55):
And if you wanna get really nerdy, I recommend my colleague Andrew in at Sanford Cs has a Coursera course on this. That's
Leo Laporte (02:15:01):
That's Oh, nice.
Alex Stamos (02:15:02):
Yeah, it's quite good. Andrew ing. Yeah. And, and G
Leo Laporte (02:15:05):
And g Ng and then Coursera. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I'm gonna search for it right now.
Alex Stamos (02:15:11):
Just chat. G p t What is the best online course about AI
Leo Laporte (02:15:14):
<Laugh>? Is it the AI for everyone course? Is that, is that
Alex Stamos (02:15:18):
So there's an AI for everyone then he has a, a deep one. That's, that's an engineering
Leo Laporte (02:15:22):
One. Yeah. Ah, nice. So depending on how geeky you want to get, you can
Alex Stamos (02:15:27):
Also, right. Well, it's, it's basically a copy of what he teaches at Stanford. And for all the people that talk about, we need to put, you know, have a pause or put the genie back in the bottle, that's, that genie is out. If I did my math right, I think this quarter, just this quarter, 15% of Stanford's undergraduates are taking the intro to AI class. Not 15% of C students. <Laugh> a
Leo Laporte (02:15:47):
15% of all
Alex Stamos (02:15:48):
Yeah. 1 5, 15 holy percent. Just this court now. And so, you know, like that's the kind of knowledge distribution that, you know, you can't put it back in through regulation and such. You, you're gonna have to regulate the impacts and mitigate the, the dangers. You're not gonna be able to, to stop people from doing more work in this space.
Jeff Jarvis (02:16:04):
Yeah. That it's lemons over the tensor chip.
Leo Laporte (02:16:07):
Geez. So help me, because I I'm so overwhelmed. It's not the first time technology topics have overwhelmed me. In fact, it's kind of been the story of my 40 years covering this stuff is it's, it's like drinking from a hose. But in this case, I'm so overwhelmed by the stories and the information on AI that have kind of started to tune it out. That I, that I really try trying to understand it. But I am not, for instance, going to product Hunt and taking a look at all the new AI startups every day. Am I missing out by not doing that? Is something magical about that happen? Oh,
Brianna Wu (02:16:47):
Thank think you're probably gonna be blindsided for 2024
Alex Stamos (02:16:51):
Leo Laporte (02:16:52):
So. Well, that'd be interesting for the, for the presidential election, you think?
Alex Stamos (02:16:55):
Brianna Wu (02:16:56):
I think that, I think it's gonna play a major role in disinformation and, you know, creating false sentiment this time around.
Leo Laporte (02:17:04):
But I just feel like it's impossible to keep up at this point. Yeah. With what's happening in ai. Am I wrong, Alex?
Alex Stamos (02:17:10):
You think it's hard? I mean, there's a lot of, there's, there's a lot to follow. There's a lot going on. I think Brianna's right. 2024 is gonna be best. The R N C already had a AI generated ad now ai
Leo Laporte (02:17:21):
Yeah. You got a little trouble
Alex Stamos (02:17:22):
For it. Yeah. And the AI didn't really do anything. They obviously did it because they wanted the story to be that they used it in AI generated ad. So they got a huge amount of free play for, for this ad of, of people criticizing it. Not, they're not, I don't think they're the folks who invented that little political trick, right. Of having a controversial ad that you put $10 behind, but you get a, a a million dollars in free airplay. But you know, it's not gonna be next time declared by, by the R N C with a little disclaimer of on the bottom as well as who paid for it. There's no reason why you can't do that on a individualized basis. And you can have, you know, those kinds of ads be going out to much, much smaller groups. And so one of the fascinating questions will be a number of companies have been kind of diluting their standards around political advertising.
Twitter for example, threw away a lot of them. Facebook is opening up to allow, are they gonna allow AI generated political advertising? Cuz if so, if you can break people up into a hundred person groups and then AI generate 50, a hundred different advertisements, both the voice and the video, and then do ab testing. That's the kind of thing that you could build upon what people did in 2016 and 2020 and really Yeah. Shoot their stratosphere. Cuz you no longer have to have somebody creating the art, creating the script. If it's all automated, you could test 10,000, a hundred thousand ads and then find the 10 that work in those 10 different segments and then put all your money behind them. Somebody is definitely working on that now, I'm sure.
Leo Laporte (02:18:47):
Alex Stamos (02:18:48):
That's a really good idea. I do this <laugh>
Leo Laporte (02:18:50):
I guess it's gonna throw,
Alex Stamos (02:18:51):
Oh God, here it is.
Leo Laporte (02:18:53):
Yeah. You gave it to Rebellion Peck. Great.
Alex Stamos (02:18:55):
This video is now gonna be shown at a Senate hearing at some point.
Leo Laporte (02:18:57):
But that, but that is, this is like the beginnings of Upworthy when it was the best of intentions, it ruined every headline on the internet. That is, that is though something we learned in 2016, I remember very well we learned how you can make small, many, many small buys on Facebook Yes. And really do it as a human, but really fine tune
Alex Stamos (02:19:17):
And fine tune. Right. So that's one of the things the Trump campaign did. The Hillary campaign didn't. Right? That's right. Like if, if you roll back to 2016, we talked about 2016 last time I was here, so I don't wanna do too much. That's okay. But if, if you, if your thesis is Facebook through the 2016 election to Trump, it is not Cambridge Analytica, it is not the Russians. It is the Trump campaign's proper use of the Facebook advertising platform helped by Facebook sales engineers.
Leo Laporte (02:19:40):
Right. They actually had embedded engineers in the campaign.
Alex Stamos (02:19:43):
Right. Which was offered to both sides, but only the Trump people. The, the Hillary people made these beautiful videos that they showed to everybody in the country. And Trump's team made these much cheaper ads and then tested them against, and they show
Leo Laporte (02:19:55):
'Em at 10 people at a time. Right.
Alex Stamos (02:19:57):
You a hundred is the minimum a hundred. Alright? So you could show it to a hundred people, you test it for a hundred people and then if it, the, the 10 ads you test to a hundred people, the one that works, you show it to the 10,000 people using lookalike audiences of the other unemployed steel workers in Michigan, for
Leo Laporte (02:20:11):
Alex Stamos (02:20:12):
So that, but that had humans, right. Human beings assembled all
Leo Laporte (02:20:16):
Those tests. Imagine ai. Now imagine
Alex Stamos (02:20:18):
AI doing this. Was it
Leo Laporte (02:20:19):
Brad Parscale who was really the wizard behind that?
Alex Stamos (02:20:23):
I mean he was the guy running that team. Yeah. I I I I have benefit for the benefit of having nothing to do with that personally. So everything I know I've read afterwards. So I can't speak as to what he personally did.
Leo Laporte (02:20:34):
Brianna Wu (02:20:35):
I I do have to say, so one, and this is the, the reality of this, it's a good scale, but as I'm thinking through it, the problem with doing ads on Facebook is a lot of them get reported and a lot of them get taken down. You speaking
Leo Laporte (02:20:52):
Alex Stamos (02:20:52):
Brianna Wu (02:20:53):
Percent. I am. Yeah. Yeah. They get, because when you put something out there that people don't like, they report it, that triggers Facebook's algorithm, they take it down even if it's a hundred percent compliant. And then you're waiting for a human to step in and then your news cycle has, has gone by. The problem is if you've started putting stuff out that AI had done, eventually the AI is gonna turn out stuff that is going to violate the Facebook terms of service. It's definitely gonna get reported and your entire account is going to be banned. So I think this is where Facebook's aggressive policies on political advertising, as much of the headaches as they cause me, I do think they would, they would make this a very difficult scam to pull up.
Leo Laporte (02:21:39):
Is Facebook gonna be the place to do this in 2024 or is it over for Facebook? Interesting
Brianna Wu (02:21:44):
Question. Facebook is the only place worth political advertising. Twitter still does not
Leo Laporte (02:21:49):
Matter for to
Brianna Wu (02:21:49):
This day. Elections. Yeah, I've tried it. It does not matter when you're talking about linking the databases of who the known voters are, Facebook is the best place to do it and 80% of the people who actually vote are on Facebook as status.
Leo Laporte (02:22:03):
That's important. No offense. No, but that's an important number. 80% of the people who actually vote are on Facebook today.
Alex Stamos (02:22:10):
If you're trying to reach the norm, it's still the place to go. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (02:22:13):
That is correct.
Leo Laporte (02:22:13):
So that's the place to watch. Do you feel, Alex, you used to work, if they, it ain't ster, you're not there anymore. Yeah. But yeah. <Laugh> after they tried to lay it all on your shoulders, but no. Do you feel like they understand how important this is gonna be and that they're gonna do what needs to be done? Well,
Alex Stamos (02:22:32):
Yes. There's people there who understand it. The problem is they've had round after round of layoffs, right? In this last layoff, unfortunately included a bunch of people who worked on influence operations. So the, the team that I helped start did a little bit to start and then that really grew for the 20 18, 20 20, 20 22 elections is being decimated by layoffs. And so one of my fears here is Elon Musk has created kind of a permission structure for Mark Zuckerberg to do like half as well at, on everything integrity related because he's still 10 times above what Musk is doing. Right. And so
Leo Laporte (02:23:07):
Yeah, he's lowered the bar in enough,
Alex Stamos (02:23:09):
He's lowered the bar and, and, and created a structure in which as long as you're not out, not out there, retweeting, disinformation yourself, <laugh>. Right? And then like defaming people we're
Leo Laporte (02:23:17):
Okay, you're okay in my book,
Alex Stamos (02:23:19):
Employees pedophiles. Yeah. You're you're doing better than Mark. And and so in this new age of efficiency, I'm really afraid that as he pours all this money into vr, which I think is just a stupid investment mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that the place he's cutting is on integrity. And so I I don't know how good that team will be for 2024. So Brianna, good luck. I mean, maybe you'll get a lot more ads approved.
Leo Laporte (02:23:40):
Well, you know what, what you've decided, Brianna, is to fight fire with fire. I think you learned the lesson.
Brianna Wu (02:23:45):
I believe in, I I don't believe in unilateral dis discernment. I mean, I think we have a larger discussion about how elections are funded and the tools that we use until those policies are passed. I think you fight with the same tools your enemy does if you have access to them.
Leo Laporte (02:23:59):
So, and I'd
Brianna Wu (02:24:00):
Rather win than be morally pure. That's how I feel.
Leo Laporte (02:24:03):
Yeah, I think that's a, it's a fascinating conversation, but we are going to defer that for a moment. Our last ad and then last thoughts. I wish we'd go for another five hours. There's so much to talk about here and you just opened a whole Pandora's box, but you'll come back before 2024, I hope. Sure. On both of you. All right. <Laugh>, one, one more
Jeff Jarvis (02:24:23):
Question for Ill ask real quick on that. How many, what proportion of the friends and colleagues you had at Facebook are gone from Facebook
Alex Stamos (02:24:29):
Now? So I'm not saying these people aren't replaced, but unfortunately, like every child safety person I worked with almost all of them are gone. I know at least three or four people were fired from the influence ops in the threat intel team. So there are, there are still good people who are trying it, but I just proportionally I know that these teams have been, this is where a lot of the savings are coming from. Like, they, they just, you know, they, they cut a bunch of money. They, they're rewarded in the, the stock market cuz without revenue going up, profitability. Right. Went back up. So I think Mark's getting a positive signal on this and we'll continue cutting
Leo Laporte (02:25:02):
That most recent quarterly results. Absolutely. Yep. Yep. And trust and safety doesn't make you money and unfortunately
Alex Stamos (02:25:08):
It doesn't make you money. And if Elon's gonna do none of it, then all you have to do is some of it. Right.
Leo Laporte (02:25:13):
You still look better than Elon. And
Alex Stamos (02:25:15):
The the other thing that honestly is happening is you now have a politicization of things that used to be agreed upon. Yeah. Like Russian agents should not be able to run political ads in the United States. Used to be a bipartisan position that's no longer effectively a bipartisan position. And so if you're gonna be in a situation where you're going to get yelled at in a house hearing, because you've done the basic things to try to keep bots and trolls off your platform, then you might as well decide this is a politically dangerous place where it is better for us to quote unquote, be neutral. From my perspective, neutrality is not being neutral. You are choosing the side, you're choosing the side of the trolls and the bad actors, but I don't think that's how they see it necessarily inside the company anymore.
Leo Laporte (02:25:50):
What is often the case? Can I
Brianna Wu (02:25:51):
Just, can I just say something about that and add onto it? Yeah. I think this is why it's so important that those of us that work in the political sphere, I think is never been more important for us to constantly reiterate that our highest principle here is democracy, free and fair elections. Democracy. Democracy, democracy. Every single time I get a chance nowadays to go talk to a Republican on a show, I really try to make that the point of view that we're coming back around and agreeing on. Because you're, you're absolutely correct. This has been weaponized, and I really think it's, it's terribly bad for the country. If we agree on nothing else, we should agree their elections are free. Do they agree,
Jeff Jarvis (02:26:31):
Brianna? Do they agree?
Brianna Wu (02:26:33):
They're, they're, some of them,
Leo Laporte (02:26:34):
No one out loud is gonna say, oh, no, I, I don't believe in democracy.
Jeff Jarvis (02:26:37):
Well, this shocked me when I, when I studied, you know, years studied and I'm not making Godwin's rule about to be hit. When I studied World War II Germany democracy was an enemy. Democracy was something that you did not want. It was said out loud. That was the point. And on certain places, I think in this country, now we're getting to that point where the major public radio station did some research recently, and they found in their audience that the word democracy is a turnoff.
Brianna Wu (02:27:10):
So I, I hear what you're saying. I think that is why it's really up to us that are reasonable actors in this space mm-hmm. <Affirmative> in both parties, to constantly hammer this, this point home. Because I think you're right. There are some people that are so frustrated they would throw all of this out the window. And I think that it's really important for the adults to model different kinds of behavior Here.
Leo Laporte (02:27:34):
There's also a kind of weasel word that people who wanna eliminate democracy use called Illiberalism, where they say, well, this is a, we are in a governing system that hides its non-democratic practices behind formerly democratic institutions and procedures. And so this is a great conspiracy theory where you say, well, it looks democratic, and I'm all for real democracy, but we don't live in a real democracy. We live in an illiberal democracy. And and that's one way to get around. I'm sorry, I shouldn't provide them with weapons, Brianna. But that's one way to get around. That's
Jeff Jarvis (02:28:08):
Not to get around again,
Leo Laporte (02:28:09):
What you're proposing. And you wouldn't think anybody be against democracy, but this way they can, they can say that.
Alex Stamos (02:28:17):
Well, they, they also couch it in, you know, do you want, when people talk about like, direct election of the president and the, the national popular vote compact, well, then you have California and New York making all the decision. Right, right. Like Right. They couch it in these very Right. You know, not so secret racial terms Yes. Of like Yeah. Like the, these horrible places you get people actually live. Yeah. yeah. Yeah. Which, you know, talk about as a Californians, we only have one senator right now for 47 million people <laugh>. Right. Like, it's a, that's a, that's different can of worm. Oh,
Leo Laporte (02:28:49):
Lord. Let's take a break and we'll get back with a final thoughts with a Sterling, sterling panel for rebellion packed a pack pe pack.org. If you want to find out more the wonderful Brianna Woo, I'm sorry, dot com, not.org, rebellion pack do com. That's it. She is on Twitter and Blue Sky and Master on as Brianna Wu. I think you can search for. It's in all three platforms. I'm
Alex Stamos (02:29:15):
Only Brianna. I'm only Brianna on Blue Skies.
Leo Laporte (02:29:19):
Oh, thanks for complicating matters. Yes. All right. Sorry. Only Brianna, you know, follow me and and I'll point you to her. Also, also great to have Alex Stamos here. He is the director of the Stanford Internet Observatory Stanford io and also a principal in the Krebs Stamos Group. Great place to go. If you're looking for help along these lines, it's a troubled time. I feel like if, if you were a Dark Horse candidate from 2024 and you listen to this show, you might see an opportunity to create a campaign outta nothing. Mike Pence, here he comes. I'm not saying that Mike Pence should do anything about it. That's Jeff Jarvis, aka Jacks jro from buzz machine.com. Our superhero, big joke, <laugh> gutenberg parenthesis.com. Our show today brought to you by Lookout, that one thing the pandemic has really changed is people are not at the office as much as they used to be.
Right? Hybrid work is here, remote work is here. Business has changed forever. The boundaries to where we work or even how we work, have disappeared, which means the boundaries to your data have shifted. It's always on the move. It's on a device. It's in the cloud, it's across networks. It's in the local coffee shop. Now that's nice for your workforce. It can be a challenge for IT security, especially if it is struggling with multiple point tools in a, in a variety of different platforms that are all incompatible and you spend a lot of your cycles just trying to get stuff to work together. You need lookout. Lookout helps you control your data and free your workforce. With Lookout, you gain complete visibility into all your data. You can minimize risk from external and internal threats. You can ensure compliance that's getting more and more important.
And by seamlessly securing hybrid work, no matter where your data is, you don't have to sacrifice productivity for security. Your IT people will love it cuz their work is a lot simpler. They don't have that complex multi-tool environment. It's a single unified platform. Lookout reduces it complexity, giving you more time to focus on whatever else comes your way. Good data protection. It does not have to be a cage. It can be a springboard letting you and your organization bound toward a future of your making. Visit lookout.com today to learn how to safeguard data secure hybrid work and reduce it complexity lookout.com. Thank you for supporting our show Lookout. We appreciate it and you check it out. Okay. lookout.com. Oh. There's a bunch of little things. Supreme Court has rejected a computer scientist lawsuit. Oh, before I do that, they are telling me that I should probably mention we have made a, is this gonna be AI Leo again, a fabulous promotional announcement with my alter ego watch
Speaker 6 (02:32:21):
And don't be sent under these little blue lights that go down the stairway and I can't not see them. I spent so much time energy not looking at them that I, I don't see the movie
Leo Laporte (02:32:28):
Anymore. Yeah, I understand that. Once I took Ayahuasca, I could not avoid seeing the machine elfs everywhere. So it happens and once you're once once seen, you can't unsee it. What I'm saying. Exactly. Hi. Hey. Machine el previously on Twitter, tech News weekly,
Speaker 7 (02:32:45):
Start with the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act, which is here to protect kids from social media. Apparently
Speaker 8 (02:32:52):
The basic thing is, it's it's age verification. They want parents to verify age of teenage users. The big difference with this, as opposed to many other of the state level bills, is that they create an age verification system through it, or they create the thing that will create it
Leo Laporte (02:33:06):
All about Android. Google
Speaker 7 (02:33:08):
Authenticator has been around since 2013, I believe. So a very long time. Well, they finally added it. Two factor authentication codes. Now sync with the Google account is when you set up a new device, once you log into that new device, the authenticator will be automatically set up with your account
Leo Laporte (02:33:26):
Mac Break Weekly, where some Utah college kids assayed a very challenging hike that got them to a canyon they could not get out of. They didn't have a cell signal. They had iPhones and were able to use their iPhones to save themselves. That's that's a really great story. I'm sure Apple turn it into a commercial Twitch. Those poor kids, ww they're gonna have to go down into the pit again. That's the only bad thing to do. The ad. Hello. <laugh> is stuck down here with the machine elves and no one brought their iPhone. We have, by the way we have an AI Leo in our discord and I have been informed that ai Leo, if you mention him in our discord, will automatically heart you. So he's kind of starting to get his own little <laugh> own little world of its own. Wow.
Alex Stamos (02:34:26):
Did you take Ayahuasca
Leo Laporte (02:34:27):
Leo? No. Oh. But I have friends who have, and they insist the machine ELs are all around us. Alright. Supreme Court back to the Supreme Court rejects computer scientists lawsuit over AI generated inventions. The trademark office refuses to issue patents for inventions that Stephen Thaler, he's a computer scientist, artificial intelligence system created. He sued the justices said, no, no, the lower court was correct. You can't, or no, I'm sorry. The patent and trademark office was correct. You cannot patent that. So I guess that's a victory for humans. I don't know. Supreme Court. I
Brianna Wu (02:35:10):
Mean, this is what my husband does. So that, that sounds very much in line with patent law. And you know how novelty works. Like they've, they've traditionally really frowned at computer generated algorithms ending up with patents.
Leo Laporte (02:35:23):
Well, and they're kind of agreeing with a j Lanier that it's really just a generative based on other things humans have done. So it doesn't it isn't novel in that sense. Oh, so
Alex Stamos (02:35:33):
Brianna Wu (02:35:33):
Doesn't raise the, the novel, the novelty and the, the creativity argument of that. Yeah. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:35:39):
Supreme Court will be reviewing, and this is gonna be more interesting they agreed on Monday to consider whether the First Amendment bars, government officials from blocking critics on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And what's weird is I thought this had been decided already with Trump back in 2021. It turns out that it was mooted because Trump got outta office. Right. So the Supreme Court did not have to decide that Trump had blocked some people on Twitter. A lower court said that violated their free speech rights and he had to unblock them. Supreme Court never did decide that. So now they're gonna have a chance to decide that they've got actually two competing decisions from lower courts. One said yes, one said no. So we'll see we'll see where they go with with this one.
Alex Stamos (02:36:29):
Yeah, I mean, this is interesting cause it's actually about school district fo level folks. You're not talking about the president,
Leo Laporte (02:36:34):
Local local baby. And Yeah.
Alex Stamos (02:36:37):
I, I actually, I, I hope they come up with something a little more nuanced where they allow people to block on their personal accounts. But perhaps if you have like an official account, you can't because the kind of abuse people get if they're just on the local city council or these days, if they're on the school board, is spectacular. And I can't, they should not have to deal with abuse. There needs
Leo Laporte (02:36:57):
To be a way to handle abuse without blocking legitimate feedback. Right, right. Whether you agree with it or not, it's feedback. So yeah, this is a, yeah, that's good. This is an appropriate thing for the Supreme Court to look at, I guess.
Brianna Wu (02:37:10):
Leo Laporte (02:37:15):
What else? Just kind of trying to, I have so many stories. Alex, you put in a couple of stories. One is that Twitter is complying with more government demands under Elon Musk than they did. Now, that's not a good thing. No,
Alex Stamos (02:37:28):
No. This is more demands for both data and for censorship. And the numbers have gone up especially in India which is you know, something I've, I've pointed out from the beginning is you might not know this, but Elon Musk owns a car company as well. Ah, <laugh>. And that car company really wants to sell those cars in India now, the world's most populous.
Leo Laporte (02:37:46):
And China's a big market for him too.
Alex Stamos (02:37:48):
And China's a huge market for him. And so, you know, you end up at the situation where they have a huge amount of leverage over him for his other purposes. Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg, all of his money was actually tied up like in a Chinese pharmaceutical company, right. <Laugh>, like that's effectively what you've got here. And you know, Twitter, despite all the talk about free speech, has actually complied at a much larger number of times, a bot turn over data and censorship on behalf of a number of countries. And I think India is the most interesting one here. Because India is going into an election year as well in 2024. Modi is consolidating power using a variety of different legal means. And whether or not American companies allow that to happen on their platforms is something they're gonna have to really consider. Obviously there's, there's huge downside. He already blocked TikTok. So he has demonstrated that he is willing to take very aggressive action against companies that make him angry. And it looks like Twitter has heard that message
Leo Laporte (02:38:43):
Also, Erdogan in Turkey.
Alex Stamos (02:38:44):
Erdogan in Turkey, yeah. Obviously Putin China is not that relevant cuz China actually just blocks these entire platforms.
Leo Laporte (02:38:50):
Oh, the whole thing's blocked. The whole thing's blocked. But it, it's really interesting as we move towards a more authoritarian governments all, all over the world, yes, there is gonna be more and more pressure. In fact, it's not merely that Twitter has not refused any of these requests, but they're getting a lot more than they ever got before since Elon took over.
Alex Stamos (02:39:07):
Yes. They're getting more requests. I think people see it as a new opening. Countries see it as a new opening. Twitter has a long history of pushing back against government requests for data and for censorship. They, they fought this over and over again around the world. And all the people that used to fight that are, have apparently been fought. So I,
Brianna Wu (02:39:26):
It's worth adding. This is probably not ideological. I mean, it's very expensive to, you know, hire lawyers to do all this work, to, to stand up to this kind of you know, government demand for data. I look at you know, when the Twitter files were released I do believe Twitter's chief council quit. I know they've lost legal resources across the board and, you know, you can say a lot to criticize Apple, but they sure went toe to toe with the F B I and dedicated, like, they put both their reputation and a lot of money on the line, like doing the right thing for user privacy here. And I think when you have a steward like Elon Musk, who, you know, his bottom line is not to any principle, it's to stop Twitter from hemorrhaging money. I think it's entirely unsurprising. This is the outcome we're seeing. He's also a bit
Jeff Jarvis (02:40:12):
Of an authoritarian though, don't you think? Yeah.
Brianna Wu (02:40:13):
Fair, fair, fair, fair, fair. But I would, I would think in this case, I, I personally would not attribute this to a conscious decision, but rather him just not caring about the details, which is a, a pattern that's happened to his companies. That's fair for a long time.
Leo Laporte (02:40:30):
Well, let's end with a happy note. I know I had to really dig for this one. <Laugh>, this
Jeff Jarvis (02:40:36):
Is the wrong panel for a happy note.
Leo Laporte (02:40:38):
Jeff Jarvis (02:40:39):
I feel like
Brianna Wu (02:40:39):
From sanitary panel.
Leo Laporte (02:40:41):
No, this is, this is realistic panel. A realistic panel. How about this? But it was this day, 30 years ago that cern, which owned the copyright to the worldwide web cuz Tim Burner's, Leah, a physicist at the Swiss Particle Accelerator lab invented and released. The worldwide web was on this day that CERN said, okay, it's public domain. Let everybody develop webpages and, and literally approve this April 30th in 19, what is that, 1993? So this is the day the web was born. Happy birthday, worldwide Web,
Brianna Wu (02:41:23):
Happy birthday. You have been an unmitigated success. It bad as ever
Jeff Jarvis (02:41:28):
Happened <laugh>, because
Brianna Wu (02:41:30):
Worked out really well.
Leo Laporte (02:41:32):
Brianna Wu (02:41:33):
Leo Laporte (02:41:34):
Yeah, yeah. You I
Jeff Jarvis (02:41:36):
Didn't know that. What what what inspired that to a great extent was that the University of Minnesota was going to try to basically charge for Gopher.
Leo Laporte (02:41:42):
Oh, you're kidding.
Jeff Jarvis (02:41:43):
And murders Lee thought that was ridiculous and said, no, no, no, no. And so the, the contrast created it. So it was on this day that, that CERN gave it all up, no conditions.
Leo Laporte (02:41:57):
Wow. Well, thank you. I
Brianna Wu (02:41:59):
Remember my CS course the year this happened. I was taking one at the, the college level like, cuz there was obviously no computer science like program at my high school in Mississippi. And our final, when this happened was to create your own webpage. And I remember staying up all night trying to figure out how to Wow. Create my own webpage. It was Voltron, it was a bunch of pictures of Voltron <laugh>. It was
Leo Laporte (02:42:25):
So bad. How old
Brianna Wu (02:42:26):
Were you? But I did it. Oh gosh. I would've been like
Leo Laporte (02:42:29):
Brianna Wu (02:42:29):
Like 15 or 16.
Leo Laporte (02:42:31):
Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. <laugh>, that's awesome. The first real use of the Worldwide web a Voltron. What
Jeff Jarvis (02:42:38):
I love too is, is in the, is in the se document. In no event will certain be liable to anyone for any damages arising out of the use of this software. <Laugh>
Leo Laporte (02:42:48):
Not our fault, man. See, they knew they had a, they had a premonition. They knew well, as Jeff will say again and again there's been a lot of good that's come out of the worldwide web. Frankly, there's a lot of good that's come out of the Twitter and Facebook and all of these places. And so it's easy to focus on the problems, but it's also important to remember that even Wikipedia has its uses. Hey, it's really great to have you Brianna Woo Rebellion pack.com. Anything else you would like to plug? How's your speed running going?
Brianna Wu (02:43:22):
I'm not doing much speed running. I wanna give out a shout out to the Dedham Police Department. Oh,
Leo Laporte (02:43:27):
Oh, yeah, I saw that picture.
Brianna Wu (02:43:29):
I got, I got swatted last week. And you know, this often goes really, really wrong. They did literally everything correctly that you could ask law enforcement to do in this situation. Yeah, I think that's really cool. Like Dedham is not the biggest town and they handled this extremely skillful.
Leo Laporte (02:43:48):
Did they know about you ahead of time? I mean, were they,
Brianna Wu (02:43:52):
I mean, I ran for Congress, so I assumed they kinda
Leo Laporte (02:43:55):
Got Yeah. You know, they might have like a bulletin board where, you know, you might see this and it might be a spot
Brianna Wu (02:44:01):
A few times for speeding too, so. Well,
Leo Laporte (02:44:03):
They knew about you for that too. Yeah, I,
Brianna Wu (02:44:05):
Dude, no, I mean, I'm
Leo Laporte (02:44:07):
That woman driving the boxer, you know her well, you know, she's a good person, normally doesn't go very faster. <Laugh> Yeah. <Laugh>. Oh yeah, good, good on them. We've been swatted once too. And a, and a law enforcement department that doesn't come in with tanks and guns a blazing is a blessing in a case like that. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (02:44:27):
I really appreciate it. Brianna, what's, what's the, what's the quick
Leo Laporte (02:44:29):
Tip to law enforcement
Brianna Wu (02:44:30):
Agencies out there about what they should do? So the number one thing is if you're getting the claim through an email address that you cannot verify most police departments have tools to, you know, look up your Google address or something like that, which is a whole privacy discussion we can have. But, you know, ultimately your Google like a Gmail account is tied to a database and they can get a sense of who you are. Often for swatting they use anonymous services like Proton Man. So if this happens,
Leo Laporte (02:45:00):
That's pretty much a giveaway, isn't it? Yeah, right.
Brianna Wu (02:45:03):
You should be very suspicious about that. And I would say if you're a major target out there, like I was unsurprised that I got swatted. Yeah. I had reached out to the police chief in town and had talked to them about some of the threats I had ahead of time, which I don't know if we made a difference, but certainly smart on your behalf. Yep. So yeah, just be proactive in police departments. They really need training about frankly, being more skeptical in these situations.
Leo Laporte (02:45:29):
Yeah. Here's the tweet and a picture of the very nice people at the Dedham police, police department, department. Well done. If
Brianna Wu (02:45:37):
That's all five of their police cars,
Leo Laporte (02:45:40):
<Laugh>, see, it helps that they don't have tanks. You know, that, that makes a little bit of a, of a difference. Yeah. When we were see it's, it's kind of lazy to swat somebody by an email <laugh> like this doesn't seem like they really, their heart is in it. We were sweated with a phone call. And so it's a little more credible when somebody calls and says, well, I'm not sure I should give them a roadmap for that. But no thanks to the Petaluma Police I think they realized that there was, although we did have to leave the building and have a bomb dogs sweep it. Oh,
Alex Stamos (02:46:10):
Leo Laporte (02:46:10):
Sorry. Yeah. They didn't have any bomb dogs in Petaluma, so they had to go down and get the <laugh>, get the bomb dogs from Marin <laugh>. So it took a little while. <Laugh>
Alex Stamos (02:46:20):
Only have chicken dogs in
Leo Laporte (02:46:21):
The bomb chickens. Pet Loma. I'm, I'm glad you're okay, Brianna. And Oh, I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm shout out to the dead M pd.
Alex Stamos (02:46:28):
I think that's a good thing that Petaluma doesn't have bomb dogs. Yeah. I, I remember my mid weekend for Cal, they brought out that they, uc, p d was very proud that they're one of the only university police departments that have a bomb robot. Yeah. Thanks to the uni bomber. That's nothing
Leo Laporte (02:46:40):
To prom of.
Alex Stamos (02:46:41):
Yeah. And it was my parents like, no, no. I don't see that as a positive <laugh>. Wonderful.
Leo Laporte (02:46:45):
So that's good. Yeah.
Alex Stamos (02:46:47):
Leo Laporte (02:46:48):
Alex Semos, you are a, a, a really a huge asset to the community and we're very grateful when you spend time. Amen. Came all the way down from Sacramento, missed the second half of the Warrior's King's game just to be here. I really am grateful. Thank
Alex Stamos (02:47:01):
You. Well, as far as I know Sacramento won, that's gonna be won.
Leo Laporte (02:47:03):
And that's good news. That's going,
Alex Stamos (02:47:05):
That's gonna my internal monologue here. I don't have to check.
Leo Laporte (02:47:08):
Yeah. Stanford in an observatory Stanford io. If you're lucky enough to be a Stanford student, take some classes.
Alex Stamos (02:47:14):
Yeah. Gene trust and safety. Now it's too late to sign up. But I'd love to have you down on June 7th. My, my student's 36th of project teams build these trust and safety responses. Oh.
Leo Laporte (02:47:25):
Oh, let's cover it. Oh. Oh, we'll bring a camera. I would no. Heck deal.
Alex Stamos (02:47:28):
Have you be a guest judge if you want.
Leo Laporte (02:47:30):
Oh, I'll be a judge too. But we, I think that would be fun to cover. Fascinating.
Alex Stamos (02:47:33):
So we do it on Discord cuz Discord doesn't catch any of the trust and safety problems <laugh>. So you can Oh, so
Leo Laporte (02:47:38):
It's easy to create them on discord Yeah. Is what you're saying. Right. Because we
Alex Stamos (02:47:41):
Don't to worry about discord catching anything. That's true. But if, if I'm gonna plug something, it'll be I, with my colleague at Stanford, Evelyn Eck who's a law professor, we have a, a podcast called Moderated Content every Monday about this kind of stuff. So it is, it is a brilliant sandwich.
Leo Laporte (02:47:58):
A brilliant sandwich. Yum, yum. Moderated content. Wherever finer podcasts are aggregated, you can get it on iTunes or Spotify. There's an RSS feed as well. So if you like this kind of conversation, I like TikTok. Boom. That's good. <Laugh>, you got some good titles in there. That's great. I like it.
Alex Stamos (02:48:17):
We had pretty good timing. I'm creating this podcast. I gotta be honest,
Leo Laporte (02:48:20):
<Laugh> Yeah, no kidding, no kidding. Moderated content. And of course I probably don't need a plug. Krebs Stamos group is the place to go to get help if you need it.
Alex Stamos (02:48:31):
Yeah. Cause a lot of people get their enterprise management consulting tips from podcasts. So do we do KS Group slash twit and should I put something there?
Leo Laporte (02:48:41):
Yeah, sure. What? Yeah, maybe, maybe that would be the thing to do. No, actually just go to ks.group and you don't need a, a referral code biling. A better, safer, more secure technological future. I think we're in favor. We're in favor. We're, we're, we're behind. We're behind you on that. That's important stuff. Thanks, Jeff. Jarvis, I'm gonna see you this Wednesday on this weekend. Google. He's at buzz machine.com and his book's coming out in June. Gutenberg parenthesis.com to pre-order it. And of course you teach a few classes too in these kinds of things now. And again, professor journalism at the fabulous Craig Newmark School at the city University of New York. And then the, the following week we'll be together watching Google io. Yes. I'm excited about that. What date is that? That's May five, the 10th. May 10th. Eight 10th.
Jeff and I will cover the keynote Jason Howell's going down for Google io. They're gonna do a couple of shows down there, all about Android, and I think they've got four or five Google folks joining them to talk about Android and other things at Google's up to. So we'll have some good coverage of Google IO coming up in a couple of weeks. We do twit every Sunday afternoon, two to 5:00 PM Pacific. I'm sorry, two to 5:00 PM Yeah. Pacific. that would be five to 8:00 PM Eastern Time. And then I guess 2100 u t utc. If you wanna tune in and watch live The live streams audio and video or at twit tv slash live. If you're watching live chat, live at IRC twit tv. You could also join the Club Twit Discord. It wouldn't hurt you, wouldn't hurt you. It's only seven bucks a month. You get ad free versions of all the shows you get. The special shows we don't put out in public a lot of shows that we're working on, like Scott Wilkinson's, home Theater Geeks, hands on Mac, hands on Windows, the Untitled Lennox Show. And you get Ai Leo who will send you a heart if you just, but say hello.
That is TWI tv slash I don't know what that means. That animated gift. There are lots of them on there though. TWIT tv slash club twi. And it really helps us. It really smooths out the bumps between advertisers and helps us produce new content and keep the lights on. So it it's a great way to, to support your favorite podcasts and get some great content to twit tv slash club twit. After the fact. You get the free versions of the show ad supported at our website this weekend. Tech is twit.tv. Twit.Tv also has links to the YouTube channel for this weekend tech. It also has links to the various podcast players you can use. If you subscribe in one of them, you'll get it automatically. The minutes available, audio or video. That's about it for this week. What a great show. I thank y'all for being here and we'll see you next time. Another twit is in the can