Sep 16, 2019

"Grant for the Web" to front $100 million to fund online privacy research

Grant for the Web, a group funded by the Mozilla Foundation, Coil and Creative Commons, announced on Monday $100 million in funding to innovate new ways to monetize online content without using user behavior for advertising.

Why it matters: At present, the most sustainable way for a website to draw revenue from its content involves promoting advertisements based on detailed assessments of user behavior. Though that's a strategy many find to be a violation of privacy, there aren't other options available.

Enter Grant for the Web, which will fund research into new monetization methods that don't rely on surveilling users.

  • At least 50% of grant money will support open standards for monetization that anyone could use.

What they're saying: "[W]e’re very interested in identifying new ways of rewarding open creativity and enabling people to show their gratitude to creators who share their work openly with the world," blogged Cable Green, interim CEO of Creative Commons.

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$13.5 million grant to assist human-trafficking victims delayed

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration postponed a $13.5 million grant to house and support victims of human trafficking in September, NBC News reports.

Where it stands: A Department of Justice spokesperson told NBC that "the agency asked for the funds back from HUD and ... DOJ will now run the program itself." Noncitizens were newly listed as recipients for the grant on Sept. 4, just 5 days before the grant solicitation was delayed.

Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019

Blogger battles heat up

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

The competition to oust Wordpress as the top website-building platform is heating up, with challengers pouring millions of dollars into marketing campaigns and readying bids to go public.

Why it matters: WordPress has remained the dominant tool in the field of website-building for a decade. But today, competitors see a lucrative opening to challenge it by focusing on design, simplicity, and community — values that have become more important to consumers in the era of social media and easily-accessible editing tools.

Go deeperArrowSep 24, 2019

New browser security debate heats up

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new feature in Mozilla and, soon, Chrome web browsers will stop snoops — from your boss to criminals — from tracking which sites you visit. But the same technology also has opponents, as many groups fighting child exploitation say it will hamper their work, and a few internet experts argue it will undermine security.

The big picture: The feature, known as DNS over HTTPS (DoH), has a lot of support in the internet engineering and privacy communities, including the Internet Engineering Task Force, a key internet standards body. But as in the larger debate over encryption, privacy benefits can have downsides for some parties.

Go deeperArrowSep 19, 2019