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theEweekly Wrap

Ukraine cyber attacks – Facebook agrees to delete firearms posts – Winklevoss twins buy space trip with Bitcoins

Ukraine blames Russia for cyber attacks

Security forces in the Ukraine have accused Russia of disrupting mobile communications, news websites and social media sites.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian security chief Valentyn Nalivachenko confirmed to journalists that the country's communication networks had been targeted, stating:

"I confirm that an... attack is under way on mobile phones of members of the Ukrainian parliament for the second day in a row. At the entrance to [telecoms firm] Ukrtelecom in Crimea, illegally and in violation of all commercial contracts, was installed equipment that blocks my phone as well as the phones of other deputies, regardless of their political affiliation."

Security experts have suggested that Russia has yet to flex the full extent of its cyber strength in a probable effort to continue monitoring activities, rather than entirely shutting them down.

This is not the first time that Russia has used its cyber-capabilities as part of its military strategy. In 2008, the Georgian government claimed that Russia was behind a series of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) that were used to overwhelm websites and servers in the weeks ahead of military action against Georgia.


Facebook agrees to delete posts selling guns

Following pressure from gun control advocates, the social network agreed on Wednesday to restrict posts selling guns on Facebook and Instagram.

Despite the fact that users can not complete the transaction of a gun sale on either site, Facebook has begun to implement policies that will see posts selling illegal guns or putting weapons up for sale without a background check, deleted.

On Wednesday, Facebook said:

"We will remove reported posts that explicitly indicate a specific attempt to evade or help others evade the law...For example, we will remove reported posts where the potential buyer or seller indicates they will not conduct a background check or are willing to sell across state lines without a licensed firearms dealer."

The changes will mean that only users over 18 years old will be able to view a post selling weapons, the language of the post must remind fellow Facebook and Instagram users of the importance of gun laws and regulations, while the company will include in-app education for those who search for firearms and related products.

However, the new policies have been poorly received by some, including the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. Tom King, president of the Association suggested that "This is something that could greatly get out control very quickly", calling the rules "a kind of limit on our First Amendment rights".


Winklevoss twins book space trip using Bitcoins

American Olympic rowers and entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, have used a chunk of their Bitcoin fortune to book a trip on Richard Branson's SpaceShipTwo.

The twins have long been supporters of the virtual currency, having led seed funding rounds for Bitcoin payment processor BitInstant in the past and claiming to own 1 per cent of all Bitcoins currently mined.

Although their latest transaction is not the first of its kind, Bitcoin purchases have yet to become commonplace. In a blog post, Tyler Winklevoss stated of their venture: "It is in this vein that Cameron and I contemplate our tickets into space - as seed capital supporting a new technology that may forever change the way we travel, purchased with a new technology that may forever change the way we transact."

The pair entered the public domain in the early 2000s when they famously sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for $140m (£83.7m), accusing their fellow entrepreneur of stealing their idea for a social network.



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