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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Around the world on 4 March 2021

The world suffered less “digital darkness” last year with 155 internet disruptions reported in 29 countries compared to 213 in 2019, according to a report (pdf) by digital rights group Access Now. India topped the list, accounting for more than two-thirds of shutdowns that occurred last year as it locked down the Jammu and Kashmir region. Internet blackouts cost economies USD 4 bn last year, Bloomberg said, citing research group Top10VPN.

Big Tech is shaking up its ad policies: Google plans to stop selling ads that rely on individual web browsing history, and will instead use other ways to “track” users around the internet after it ends support for third-party cookies in Chrome by early 2022, Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust David Temkin said in a blog post yesterday. Meanwhile, Facebook is lifting its temporary ban on political and social-issue ads in the US today, which were put in place after the 2020 presidential election to limit the spread of misinformation, it said in an updated announcement.

Also worth knowing this morning:

  • Russia to the US: Don’t play with fire: The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement slamming the new sanctions Washington imposed over the imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny as evidence of a "hostile anti-Russian lunge."
  • Israeli officials and soldiers and Hamas are officially under investigation by the International Criminal Court, which is looking into potential war crimes committed in Palestine (including during the 2014 Gaza war).

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