Daily Digest (10/14)

Cut Cables Shut Down Va.’s Online Voter Registration System; China Busts Drug Deal Using Drone Footage; Facebook to Ban Anti-Vaccine Ads; New Apple iPhones to Work With Faster 5G Networks. Click “Continue reading” below.

Cut Cables Shut Down Va.’s Online Voter Registration System

A fiber-optic cable that was accidentally severed Tuesday shut down Virginia’s online voter-registration system for several hours, authorities said.

Tuesday was the last day for residents to register to vote before the Nov. 3 election, The Associated Press reports.

State officials came under fire after the incident, with voting advocates blaming officials for the technology glitch.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Advancement Project said they planned to file a lawsuit arguing that the state’s registration deadline should be extended for 48 hours, AP reports.

Democratic members of Virginia’s U.S. congressional election called for a 72-hour extension — and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said he supported the idea at a news conference.

Northam said the state did not have a back-up plan for this specific tech failure, but officials would continue working to secure the network, according to AP.

“Obviously, we still have a lot of work to do,” the governor said.

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China Busts Drug Deal Using Drone Footage

Chinese police shared drone footage with state-controlled broadcaster CCTV Tuesday of an alleged drug deal as it was taking place.

The suspects in the video were being tailed by officers before arrests were made, BBC News reports.

But reactions were divided on social media, as privacy rights advocates voiced concern about the speed with which U.K. and Western countries were using drones for surveillance purposes.

“It’s particularly worrying that the U.K. and China are almost neck-and-neck in the race to monitor citizens with new tech,” Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, told BBC.

“It’s clear that Parliament needs to legislate to control police use of drone surveillance.”

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Facebook to Ban Anti-Vaccine Ads

Facebook said Tuesday that it would ban anti-vaccine ads after its recent release of the company’s flu vaccine information campaign.

The company said it would begin the global ban in a few days, though it would allow ads advocating for or against vaccine-related legislation, Reuters reports.

Lawmakers and public health groups have been pressuring Facebook to manage anti-vaccine and misinformation posts more carefully.

Jason Hirsch, Facebook’s public policy manager, told Reuters that the company believed users should have the freedom to express anti-vaccine viewpoints, and that stricter censorship might push more users to become anti-vaccine.

Facebook has since partnered with the World Health Organization and UNICEF to provide health information.

The company said last month that it wanted users to get their health information from “authoritative sources” and not health-related Facebook groups, Reuters reports.

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New Apple iPhones to Work With Faster 5G Networks

Apple introduced four new iPhones Tuesday, equipped with technology to run with faster 5G wireless networks.

The iPhone 12 is among the faster phones, and it is thinner and lighter than the iPhone 11, The Associated Press reports.

Additionally, Apple said it would no longer give customers a charging adapter with the newer iPhone additions.

While this may annoy customers, the tech company said it made the packages more environmentally friendly to ship, according to AP.

The iPhone is the foundation of Apple’s business, and experts told AP that the new phones would sell well because of the company’s loyal fan base.

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— By DPN Staff