Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

All posts by Aida Akl

‘Devil’s Ivy’ Bug Hits IoT Devices; China Begins VPN Crackdown

Posted July 20th, 2017 at 12:57 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: ​Millions of IoT Devices Hit by ‘Devil’s Ivy’ Bug in Open Source Code Library Cybersecurity experts have been warning about potential risks to Internet of Things (IoT) devices for months. Now, millions of IoT devices, including Axis Communications’ security cameras, are vulnerable to remote attacks because of a flaw in a widely-used […]

WhatsApp Partially Blocked in China; Google Overhauls Mobile Search

Posted July 19th, 2017 at 1:31 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Chinese Government Partially Blocks WhatsApp Service The WhatsApp messaging service ran afoul of Chinese government censors as part of a wider effort to restrict messengers that do not follow the country’s surveillance policies. The government partially blocked messages in China on Monday, with users reporting instances of undelivered messages that contain pictures […]

Facebook Rejects Pakistan Policy Change; ‘GhostCtrl’ Malware Returns

Posted July 18th, 2017 at 12:01 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Facebook Denies Pakistan Policy Change Request Facebook informed the Pakistani government it was not interested in complying with its request to change authentication policies from email addresses to telephone numbers. Last week, Pakistan asked Facebook to make the change in order to track fake account owners and those who engage in hate […]

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Give Away Your Cellphone Number

Posted July 14th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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Cellphone numbers are slowly becoming personal identifiers – a role all-important social security and national numbers have fulfilled for decades. But these mobile gateways to your life are left unprotected in an age of hacking, data mining, and sheer negligence. For the past 50, 60, 70 years, social security numbers have been the key that […]

Report: AI Will Deepen Social Divides; India Leads Global Facebook Use

Posted July 13th, 2017 at 12:33 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: New Report Says Robots, AI Will Make Social Inequality Even Worse A new report from UK charity Sutton warns that developments in automation and artificial intelligence will deepen the divide between rich and poor in the UK unless the government takes action. The report suggests it will be easier for richer people […]

Millions of Verizon Records Leaked; Tech Giants Rally for Net Neutrality

Posted July 12th, 2017 at 12:51 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Millions of Verizon Customer Records Exposed in Security Lapse Up to 14 million Verizon subscriber records were left unprotected on an Amazon storage server in Israel. An employee of Israel-based NICE Systems left the information unsecured on the server and available for download with little difficulty. The leak includes sensitive records of […]

China Eyes VPN Ban; Wednesday Set as Net Neutrality Day of Action

Posted July 11th, 2017 at 12:30 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: China Will Block All VPNs by February 2018 The Chinese government has notified internet carriers that they have until February 1, 2018 to block all Virtual Private Networks (VPN) connections and shut down unauthorized VPN operators. Thanks to the country’s Great Firewall, a lot of internet services, including Western social media networks […]

Techtonics will return on July 11

Posted July 4th, 2017 at 11:00 am (UTC-4)
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App Roundup: RedZone; Medici; Life of Dad

Posted June 30th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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Techtonics is always on the lookout for apps that have the potential to improve people’s lives – or save them as the case may be with two of the three notable apps that recently crossed our path – RedZone, Medici, and Life of Dad. RedZone RedZone is a navigation app that provides real-time insights into […]

Apple’s iPhone Turns 10; New Details Emerge About ‘Petya’ Data Wiper

Posted June 29th, 2017 at 2:35 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings: Here’s Everything the iPhone Has Replaced in the Last 10 Years On June 29, 2007, the first iPhone was born. It had a unique feel to it that continues to permeate new iterations of the device. And despite a bumpy start, connectivity limitations, and battery issues, it was an instant hit that […]