News Week Ending July 17, 2022

Youtube Horror Video Marked for Kids
By Artie Kaye

On July 5th, Kris Straub, the owner of the Youtube channel Local58TV tweeted about a change to one of his videos.  A video titled “Show For Children” had its designation changed to kid friendly.  The video in question is a disturbing cartoon fitting the horror theme of the channel.  Its description starts by saying “Not for children.”  However, the AI bots managing Youtube flagged it as appropriate for kids and made it available to children.  The creator was unable to change this problem without contacting Youtube for an appeal.

Creating on Youtube has its pitfalls, and video monetization is one of them.  One of the changes made to the platform after severely inappropriate material was being uploaded and aimed at children, they removed monetization from any video intended for kids.  Having dealt with Youtube for some years now, my speculation on this matter is that once the video was flagged as for kids, it lost the ability to make money, and that’s why it took an appeal to return it to its former status. 

The appeal went through and the video is no longer aimed at children.  This incident raises a few questions though.  Why are users unable to change the designation of their content without appeal?  I’ve speculated, but I am not completely sure.  It feels like a huge flaw, especially if the content is like that of Local58TV, or potentially worse.  How many other mistakes like this have these bots committed?  There’s a lot of content on Youtube, and some things that look or sound like they’d be kid friendly are decidedly not.  

Keep an eye on what your kids are watching, and if something seems out of place, don’t be afraid to contact the people involved.  Just because something is a cartoon doesn’t mean it is for kids.  Same goes for puppets.  Same goes for educational videos.  Kris was quick to notice the problem with his channel, but others may not be as quick.  This incident calls into question the efficacy of the AI’s abilities to curate what actually is safe for kids.

Zero Trust
By Artie Kaye

Cyber security is needed to run most businesses these days.  Making sure that those who access the files on your server are the right people.  So let’s discuss zero trust.  This isn’t a program or software that protects everything on your network, it is a multi-faceted philosophy designed to mitigate damage, or preferably, prevent it entirely.

The goal of zero trust is to protect data and networks by trusting nothing by default.  All network access has to be verified before giving a modicum of trust.  This covers users, clients, technical support, devices, etc.  Anything or anyone gaining access to the network.  Users logging in from a home device may have limited or no access until getting the device registered to have access.  

Some software companies have pushed out products using zero trust as buzz words, and while some programs can be of benefit, it is more than a bit of code.  It can require changes to the way your users access the network.  If an employee brings a laptop from home, it may have limited access even after logging in, because it is not a verified device.  These kinds of steps help protect the security of your network.

Implementation will take time.  It is not as simple as installing a program to monitor network activity.  There is a large human aspect to zero trust.  Which is why it will take time.  Anyone accessing your network, including yourself, will have to follow new protocols based upon your business’s needs.  Making sure people understand what’s coming next, and how they can still access what they need to do their jobs effectively.
The government is making the shift to zero trust, and many large companies are as well.  Improving the security by limiting access.  With the recent instances of prolific companies being infiltrated and having their data copied or ransomed, it makes sense to find better ways of protecting your data.

If you are interested in implementing zero trust, talk to your support team.  If you want to learn more about it, please read the sources below.