Internet safety

New browser security debate heats up

 Illustration of a giant pencil erasing a browser window.
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.

YouTube disables comments on videos of children to root out pedophilia

YouTube logo on computer.
Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

YouTube announced Thursday it is disabling all comments on videos of young children to deter a pattern of behavior by pedophiles originally reported on by WIRED.

Between the lines: Google-owned YouTube can't rely on simply rooting out “bad” content, since many of the videos pedophiles are exploiting can seem innocuous to human ratings teams, per WIRED. For example, many of the offending comments sections are on videos of children doing gymnastics or dancing. Some of the comments are seemingly innocent as well — such as “swimsuit” or “nice” — and may not get flagged as inappropriate.