Foot: Can Free take advantage of the “Mediapro affair”?

Posted on Oct 17, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.

What if, in the end, Free had understood everything? In the shadow of the conflict between Mediapro and the Professional Football League (LFP), the Iliad subsidiary is discreetly taking its marks, asserting itself as an alternative for football fans.

During the last call for tenders for the rights to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, the French operator had indeed won one of the prizes put into play by the League, becoming at the same time an official broadcaster of the competition. Since the start of the season, Free has therefore been offering extracts of matches (goals, goalkeeper stops, game actions) via a dedicated application and a channel available on the Freeboxes. All in “almost direct” (in a slight delay of a few seconds, in fact) for all the matches of the French championship.

A first

The format is not really new, since the League had already marketed this type of rights during previous calls for tenders. But these had not really been exploited. “BeIN Sports, the former holder of these rights, had not done much, especially because the group also owned the matches live. Ditto with Sky in the United Kingdom ”, summarizes Pierre Maes, consultant and author of the book“ The business of TV rights ”(FYP Editions).

In fact, the exploitation of these rights at 100% is akin to a first and will be closely scrutinized. “The real potential is uncertain”, tempers the specialist. But “for the League, it is dangerous to sell this product. When you have a broadcaster that puts in so much money for live games, you cherish it. Here, this is not the case “. Especially since the lot involved will have cost barely 50 million euros to Free, a significant amount but far removed from the 780 million paid by Mediapro.

Towards an evolution of uses?

On the side of the French operator, the return on investment is still difficult to assess, since the products offered are free for the moment. But the feedback is positive: according to information from the magazine “Challenges” confirmed by “Les Echos”, the Free Ligue 1 – Uber Eats application already has around 500,000 users.

While Mediapro had a “lukewarm” launch – between 200,000 and 400,000 people, according to sources, would have subscribed – Free therefore seems to be in a favorable position. And to bet on an evolution of uses, while the consumption of football on mobile takes off. Systematically watching the games for 90 minutes could, for example, soon become part of the “old world”.

An essay to transform

It remains to be seen whether the operator will be able to recruit massively thanks to this new offer. Not really a given, according to Pierre Maes: “For people to make subscription decisions, the market must be readable. However, with the RMC Sport and Mediapro episodes, it is not. In this kind of case, consumers do nothing, or turn to piracy. “

The essay therefore needs to be transformed, for an actor whose experience in the exploitation of sports rights is weak. Free is not, however, the only one to have tried the bet: in Belgium, similar rights have been acquired by… a bank, in this case KBC. Objective: boost traffic on its application and attract new customers.

The rules for broadcasting Ligue 1 in France

Apart from the regular broadcasters, the media can only broadcast very short clips of matches. Strict conditions are imposed on them by the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA), such as a maximum duration (which varies according to the type of competition), the obligation to mention the official broadcaster or the fact of broadcasting the extracts in question in an information program.


Substack, the newsletter platform that attracts more and more American journalists

Posted on Oct 18, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

She’s a tech journalism star who goes solo. After seven years at “The Verge” including two of offering a free newsletter that has become a “must read” in Silicon Valley, Casey Newtown has decided to quit online media to launch his own paid newsletter on Substack.

The journalist joins a long list of colleagues such as Polina Marinova of “Fortune” and Alex Kantrowitz of “Buzzfeed”. With its site making it easy to publish articles online and send a newsletter with a paid version by e-mail, Substack prides itself on being able to create “ mini media empires ”. The number of subscribers to its various newsletters has grown from 11,000 to 250,000 in two years, and its top ten authors collectively plan to generate $ 7 million in revenue this year. The start-up is paid by taking a 10% commission on subscriptions.


The producer of “Marseille” and the “Bureau des Légendes” takes note of the domination of platforms

Posted on Oct 18, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

The man who whispered in the ear of platforms … Pascal Breton, the boss of Federation Entertainment, fully embraces the transformation from television to platforms thanks to the emergence of the consumption of on-demand programs by subscription (SVOD ). “Three years ago, platforms represented half of our turnover. Today, they total about two-thirds. In a few years, it will be 80-90% ”, he explains.

If it includes Canal + platforms, widely consumed on demand, or even soon Salto, as well as SVOD services in Germany, Spain or England, Pascal Breton is of course also thinking of American giants, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, etc., which are among its main sponsors. The producer-distributor behind “Le Bureau des Légendes” (Canal +), or even “Baby” and “Marianne” (Netflix), has several projects intended for these actors.


Telecoms: Altice USA again rejected by Cogeco

Posted on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:27 amUpdated Oct 19, 2020 8:31 AM

Still missed. Coveted by Altice USA, the cable operator Cogeco opposed a new dismissal on Sunday evening to the American subsidiary of Patrick Drahi’s group, which wishes to buy back its American activities. With this “definitive” refusal, the second in just over a month, the operation never seemed so compromised.

“We are not interested in the sale of our securities,” said in a statement, the Audet family – the controlling shareholder of the Canadian – shortly after the announcement by Altice USA of an improved offer. This amounts to 11.1 billion Canadian dollars (8.4 billion US dollars) against 10.3 billion (7.8 billion dollars) initially proposed in early September.

The Audet family has been offered 682 million dollars for its shares, against 612 million a month ago. A new proposal rejected “unanimously” by the majority shareholder, according to which “the evolution of share prices and operating results of Cogeco companies far outclasses those […] of Altice ”.

1.1 million in-game customers

This new refusal should definitely bury the buyout project. Altice USA said in its own statement on Sunday that if it does not come to a “mutually satisfactory agreement by November 18, 2020, or, at the very least, does not see the possibility of closing a transaction, this revised offer will be withdrawn ”.

The approximately 1.1 million Cogeco customers in the United States should therefore escape the American subsidiary of Altice. It has no other choice but to target the “small” cable operators to gain critical mass (it currently has 4.9 million subscribers) and catch up with Comcast (31.5 million subscribers), Charter Communications (30 million) and Cox (6 million).

The takeover bid for Cogeco had signed the return to the great maneuvers of the company, four years after the takeover of Cablevision in 2016 for 10 billion dollars – an interlude during which it separated from the rest of the empire of Patrick Drahi via a “spin-off”. Ambitions renewed and above all, for the time being, thwarted by the ninth American cable operator.


Companies now victims of the rivalry between cyberhackers

Posted on Oct 19, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.Updated Oct 19, 2020 5:08 PM

Cybercriminal groups are entering a new dynamic that does not bode well for their victims. Cyber ​​attackers are now in a race to be the first to take ownership of corporate data and blackmail their leaders.

“The pressure from the attackers has been very strong since the start of the school year”, confirms Loïc Guezo, cybersecurity strategy director for Southern Europe of the e-mail protection software publisher Proofpoint. In France, the carrier CMA-CGM, retirement homes Orpea or the metropolis of Orleans are among the latest victims. In the United States, bookstores Barnes & Noble and 250 group clinics Universal Health Services have not escaped the scourge.

More and more urgent attacks

For the expert, part of these attacks can be attributed to the intensification of competition between cybercriminals. “We are now seeing that companies are targeted by several groups at the same time because the attackers want to act quickly before being knocked out by another group”, he continues. In a very profitable market with triple-digit markups, everyone wants the biggest slice of the pie.

Over the course of the attacks and the reports analyzing them, the clues coincide. First, cyberattackers seem to be in more and more of a hurry. A recent report from Wavestone is certainly pleased that computer intrusions are being detected earlier and earlier (94 days in 2020 compared to 167 days in 2019). But this figure reflects more the new haste of the criminals than the progress of detection teams since attacks are spotted, in two out of three cases, after they have done damage.

Volume tactics

Then, some of the attackers now favor volume over quality. They abandon targeted attacks, more profitable but more complex to implement, to prefer blind shooting. By automating part of their devices, they send their malware to more prey and outstrip their rivals. But this volume tactic is very dangerous because the outlaws do not know who is falling in their net: Thinking of going after a university, a criminal group has actually attacked a hospital in Germany and is now suspected to be the cause of the first death due to a computer attack.

Finally, the attackers now seem determined to make as much profit as possible from their theft. A victim is now often stripped from all sides. According to Wavestone, out of 60 major security incidents, three-quarters combine the paralysis of the computer system up to the payment of a ransom and the theft of redeemable data on the black market. Arrived in France in the first part of the year, like the treatment reserved for Bouygues Construction, the practice has obviously spread very quickly.

The race between cyberattackers often adds vice to vice. “I saw that a decryptor had been proposed to a company victim of software which had encrypted its data when it was in fact an over-encryption system, over the first attack”, says Loïc Guezo. To find his data, the victim would then have been forced to pay two interlocutors, first the second attacker to obtain his data encrypted according to the method of the first, and then the first to recover his data in the clear. But it seems that she refused this scam.


Personal data of minors: Instagram targeted by an investigation in Europe

Posted on Oct 19, 2020 at 5:17 p.m.

Has Instagram failed in the processing of personal data of minors? The Facebook subsidiary is in any case targeted by an investigation in Europe. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) indeed opened two separate proceedings last month after receiving several complaints. According to the latter, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of young people under the age of 18 were accessible to all users on the network.

The Irish regulator (the equivalent of the French CNIL) supervises on behalf of the EU Facebook, since the latter has its regional headquarters in Ireland. “Instagram is a social network which is widely used by children in Ireland and across Europe,” said Graham Doyle, one of the regulator’s officials. “The DPC has actively looked at the complaints received from individuals and identified potential problems related to the processing of children’s personal data on Instagram, which requires further examination,” he added.


Cybercriminals in the Age of Organized Gangs

Posted on Oct 20, 2020 at 7:09 am

Maze, FIN6, GandCrab, Mummy Spider… The nicknames in cybercrime are well worth those of drug and counterfeit gangsters. Sometimes close to mafia organizations and traditional cartels, these groups of unscrupulous computer scientists have also adopted their network organizations, united by commercial and mutual aid relationships.

It is on the “dark web” forums, where most Internet users never go, that cyberpolices and analysts from cybersecurity companies observe the reconciliations between these hundreds of groups of ten people each. These contacts seem fruitful when cybercrime is now reported to bring in 2.8 times more money than drug trafficking, according to calculations by Mike McGuire, a researcher in criminology at the University of Surrey.


“The most agile [et] those who earn the most money are probably the attackers [par opposition au budget de l’écosystème de la cyberdéfense]», Explained Guillaume Poupard, the Director General of the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (Anssi), last week, at the opening of the Cybersecurity Conference in Monaco. “Organized cybercrime has today reached an unprecedented level of predation on a global scale”, laments Pierre Jeanne, the head of cybersecurity solutions at Thales, in the introduction of a report on the subject published by the French company in mid-October.

At the top of the pyramid, the “big fish” make the headlines of the daily attack detection centers. Maze and a few other groups have recruited the best technical experts, occasionally collaborate with spies, and are prepared to invest large sums of money in campaigns against multinationals. Obviously, their frenetic activity largely covers their stake, despite the competition that may also exist between rival groups.

$ 300 to $ 10,000 for a breach

But they don’t work on their own. A myriad of “suppliers” are busy selling them attack tools and sometimes even identify for a payment the loopholes that will allow the security of a solvent target to fall. Some of these subcontractors have themselves become giants of this illegal market, like the creators of the dreaded Emotet, which is very active in France.

This software, which is able to take part of the control of the affected computer, then allows its authors to sell other cybercriminals information useful for computer infiltration or to show them the way before the installation of ransomware, the scourge of the moment. According to an Accenture study, direct access to a company’s internal network sells for between $ 300 and $ 10,000, depending on the size and income of the victim.


Hate Online: The Pharos Reporting Platform In Five Questions

Posted on Oct 20, 2020 at 11:12 AM

After the shock and meditation, the government wants to take action. The assassination on Friday of the teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown his students caricatures of the prophet Mohammed as part of a course on freedom of expression to his students at a college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines ), highlighted the risks of drift on the Internet, where several people had openly criticized the history and geography professor, so that the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin denounced a “fatwa launched against the teacher”.

The attack in particular opened a reflection on the role of the Pharos platform. Responsible for more than ten years of tracking illegal content on the Internet, it could see its operation evolve in order to fight more effectively against what the government calls “cyber-Islamism”.

. What is Pharos?

The “Platform for harmonization, analysis, cross-checking and guidance of reports”, alias Pharos, was created in June 2009 to enable Internet users, but also other actors, such as access providers to internet, to report reprehensible content by law shared on the web.

In addition to collecting reports from users of social networks, the platform, which acts under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior, carries out monitoring work on sites likely to offer illegal content. Finally, it can lend a hand to investigators looking for elements on the Internet.

. Why is Pharos coming back to the fore?

A few minutes after the terrorist attack on Friday, Internet users had the horror of discovering on Twitter a photo of the assassination of Samuel Paty as well as a message of demands published by the account (now deleted) @ Tchetchene_270, suggesting that it was managed by the terrorist, shot dead a few minutes later by the police.

Saturday, Mediapart revealed that this Twitter account had already been “spotted” by Internet users at the end of August, after the publication (quickly deleted) of a photomontage showing the beheading of a man. This same account was also the subject of a report to Pharos during the summer.

These revelations have brought back to the fore the role played by social networks in the dissemination of sensitive content and the need to better supervise them to fight terrorism.

During the weekend following the Conflans bombing, Pharos collected reports of 83 messages supporting the terrorist. At the end of the Defense Council meeting on Sunday evening around Emmanuel Macron, the Elysee Palace announced that “procedures carried out by the police or the gendarmerie”, such as house searches or summons to the police station, had been initiated, from Monday, against the authors of these messages.

The same day, the Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, met with those in charge of the platform, in order to think about ways to make it more effective. “Pharos is well identified by the population. It is a question of seeing how we can improve the articulation between the different services ”, she explained.

. How does Pharos work?

After filing a report, the police and gendarmes working for the platform verify the information and its illegal nature before transmitting it to the institution concerned (Fraud repression, Customs, National Gendarmerie, etc.). When the facts so require, an investigation is opened under the authority of the public prosecutor.

Note that Pharos has the ability to collect IP addresses from internet providers, making it possible to identify the owner of the internet line where the offending message was posted. However, this can only be exploited in the context of a judicial investigation, and with the authorization of the prosecutor.

. What can (or not) be reported on the platform?

In addition to acts of terrorism and defending terrorism, the platform is authorized to receive and process any report of content relating to pedophilia and child pornography, racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic messages, publications inciting to racial, ethnic hatred. or religious and finally, the facts of fraud and financial scam online.

On the other hand, the platform must not be solicited for content deemed “simply immoral or harmful” by the complainant or for matters of a private nature, even if it involves insults, defamation or harassment. Finally, the authorities ask to address first and foremost the emergency services (fire brigade, police, etc.) in the event of a situation requiring immediate intervention, for example a call for help for domestic violence or a message suggesting an intention. to commit suicide.

. What is Pharos’ record?

Managed by 28 investigators (staff considered very insufficient by some elected members of the opposition), the platform collected 228,545 reports over the year 2019. A figure in “regular increase” since its creation in 2009, indicated the Ministry of Interior last May. Of these reports, between 4,500 and 6,500 each year relate to a terrorist threat, far behind financial scams and scams, which alone account for more than half of the reports.

In addition to limited staff, Pharos is also criticized for not allowing rapid removal of illegal content on social networks. If the authorities say they are working on closer collaboration with Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat, the platform’s mission is above all to alert and connect the competent authorities on these crimes. The most effective way to erase content deemed to be criminal is therefore to report it directly to social networks, which have their own moderation system, even if the unreliability and responsiveness of their services is often criticized. A subject that should be addressed by Minister Marlène Schiappa, who is meeting the heads of the main players in the sector on Tuesday.


Washington paves the way for a river lawsuit against Google

Posted on Oct 20, 2020 at 5:51 p.m.Updated Oct 20, 2020 6:40 PM

The Justice Department took its time, but it did initiate proceedings against Google. After a year of investigation, the experts have made their conclusions: the giant is well accused of having abused its position in the market for research and online advertising to the detriment of competition and consumers. It is thus the biggest business which opens in the technological sector for twenty years. In 1998, the US government attacked Microsoft.

The complaint, the text of which was released in a federal court in Washington on Tuesday, paves the way for a trial that could last several years. Investigators have shown that Google has “Illegally maintained monopolies on the research market, online advertising” and spent billions of dollars to maintain its position with phone makers or browsers. It thus ensures that it is the default search engine for these services. These practices make it impossible, according to the complaint, for the emergence of viable competitors in the market.

90% of the market

Another complaint: Google’s applications, in particular that of its search engine, are installed by default and are impossible to remove on Android phones, also developed by Google. Investigators have shown that the giant pays manufacturers so that they integrate these applications in their terminals.

Google has always defended itself against such accusations. According to the California-based company, its services help many businesses, they are offered free of charge – which contrasts with antitrust precedents – and stiff competition exists in the markets in which it operates.

Google controls 90% of the search market in the United States, a key sector for its activities. Sponsored links still represent a large majority of its turnover, despite growing diversification. They make it possible to finance all its other activities, in mobile, video, mapping, autonomous cars, the cloud …

A decisive presidential election?

The procedure could lead to the dismantling of the giant, or in any case greatly modify its practices. Twenty years ago, Microsoft had thus had to stop systematically promoting its tools and offering competitors to Internet Explorer in its operating system. This had notably paved the way for browsers like Firefox or… Chrome, developed by Google.

Eleven states, all Republicans, including Texas, joined the Justice Department’s complaint. Others might choose to join as a second step, or else initiate their own procedures. The complaint reflects the Trump administration’s offensive against US tech companies. Facebook and Amazon are also under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

The regulation of these platforms has been one of the priorities of Donald Trump, who had instructed his Secretary of Justice, William Barr, to accelerate on these files. A victory for Joe Biden in the presidential election and Democratic control of Congress could be a game-changer, however.

The announcement of this complaint had no real effect on Alphabet’s share price. The parent company of Google opened slightly down, before recovering and gaining more than 1.3% in the morning on Wall Street.


“Peter Pan”, “The Aristocats”, “Dumbo” .. Disney points out the racist clichés in some of its classics

Posted on Oct 20, 2020 at 11:02 AMUpdated Oct 20, 2020 5:35 PM

“Peter Pan”, “The Aristocats” or even “Dumbo”… These great Disney classics are now preceded by a warning to warn viewers against racist clichés present in certain scenes.

Subscribers to the video-on-demand platform Disney + were already aware of “old-fashioned cultural descriptions” such as those of the Redskins in “Peter Pan” (1953) or the Siamese cat with slanted eyes of the “Aristocats” (1970) . The new warning which will now precede the works concerned will insist on the fact that these stereotypes “were wrong at the time and are wrong today”.

Racist caricatures

“This program includes negative descriptions and / or mistreatment of certain peoples or cultures,” warns the message, which the user must view. “Rather than removing this content, we want to recognize its harmful impact, learn from it and spark dialogue to jointly create a more inclusive future”, continues the warning, written in consultation with several organizations, including the Critics’ Association of African-American films.

“The Robinsons of the South Seas” or “Dumbo”, whose crows have been criticized in the past as a racist caricature of black Americans, are among the films which will be preceded by such a warning. This announcement is part of a context of awareness and at a time when the demonstrations of recent months in favor of the “Black Lives Matter” movement have prompted many companies to take action against racism. In June, HBO had withdrawn from its platform the film “Gone with the Wind”, the time to add a contextualization to place the work in its time.

The first black princess in the spotlight

In June, Disney also made a commitment and decided to modify “Splash Mountain” attractions in its American parks, which evoke the racist past of the United States. The current theme for “Splash Mountain” is taken from a highly controversial Disney film, “Melody of the South”. As soon as it was released in 1946, it had also aroused many criticisms which accused it of disseminating racist clichés and of painting in an idyllic light the slave plantations of the old South of the United States.

For these reasons, the film has not been shown in theaters since the 1980s and has never been released on DVD. “Southern Melody” was also deliberately kept out of the Disney + catalog. The two “Splash Mountain” of Disneyland (California) and Disney World (Florida) will in the future stage the story of “The Princess and the Frog”, whose heroine Tiana is Disney’s first black princess.