Zawya: Google Assistant launches in Arabic in Saudi Arabia

Zawya: Google Assistant launches in Arabic in Saudi Arabia. “Google has announced recently that the Google Assistant, a virtual assistant available on mobile devices designed to help people get more things done with their phone, has launched in Saudi Arabia on both Android and iOS devices and can understand the Saudi dialect and answering in standard Arabic.”

Ars Technica: Twitter shuts down 5,000 pro-Trump bots retweeting anti-Mueller report invective

Ars Technica: Twitter shuts down 5,000 pro-Trump bots retweeting anti-Mueller report invective. “Twitter has suspended over 5,000 accounts tied to a network amplifying a message denouncing the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a ‘RussiaGate hoax.’ According to a researcher, the accounts—most of which had only posted three or four times in the past—were connected to other accounts previously used to post pro-Saudi messages.”

The Quint: Google Won’t Pull App That Lets Men Track and Control Women

The Quint: Google Won’t Pull App That Lets Men Track and Control Women. “Google has declined to remove controversial Saudi Arabia app Absher from its Play Store, Business Insider reported. The all-purpose government app also offers features that lets men track and control the movement of women. Google declined the removal of the app saying that it does not violate any of its agreements and hence, continues to stay on Google Play Store.”

Gulf Today: Plans for ‘Arab Digital Union’ announced

Gulf Today: Plans for ‘Arab Digital Union’ announced. “‘The Arab Digital Union is a dream that has long been in the making,’ said Dr Tarek Shawky. ‘It will offer a platform aggregating content from three Arab countries and forming the basis for a prominent pan-Arab content bank – a larger version of our Egyptian Knowledge Bank – disseminating knowledge to all Arabs.’ The Egyptian Knowledge Bank is one of the largest national education projects in Egypt. It houses the largest digital library and online knowledge hub, providing access to free education and scientific publications, in addition to contributing to the production and dissemination of knowledge to Egyptian universities, institutes, and research centres.”

MIT Technology Review: Online censorship in Saudi Arabia soared after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

MIT Technology Review: Online censorship in Saudi Arabia soared after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. “The number of websites being censored in Saudi Arabia doubled a couple of weeks after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the country’s consulate in Istanbul, according to an initiative that tracks internet censorship. While the increased censorship is not surprising, the results show how skillful automated tracking has become at sniffing out repression.”

AP News: In online ruse, fake journalists tried to hack Saudi critic

AP News: In online ruse, fake journalists tried to hack Saudi critic. “Hackers impersonating journalists tried to intercept the communications of a prominent Saudi opposition figure in Washington, The Associated Press has found. One attempt involved the fabrication of a fake BBC secretary and an elaborate television interview request; the other involved the impersonation of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to deliver a malicious link.”