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Germany restricts Facebook Data Collection

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office has ruled that Facebook is no longer allowed to combine collected data from WhatsApp, Instagram, and third-party sources with the user’s Facebook profiles. In future, Facebook has to get the individuals permission to collect and combine this data. The watchdogs carried out an inquiry determining whether Facebook abuses its market leadership.

FCO’s president Andreas Mundt said that, “In future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts,” adding that “the combination of data sources substantially contributed to the fact that Facebook was able to build a unique database for each individual user and thus to gain market power.” The FCO also arrived at the conclusion that the vast amount of data collected cannot be justified by an “obligatory tick on the box” to the company’s general terms and conditions.

At the moment, this ruling only applies to the German market. However, this is likely to set an example for other countries to follow. According to the ruling, Facebook has four months to come up with a solution that takes the restrictions into account. However, the company has one month time to appeal the judgment. Already, Facebook stated it will challenge the ruling of the FCO. It defends their practices saying that it uses the collected information to tailor relevant ads to the user. It is also used as an indicator for advertisers as to how successful their campaigns are. Furthermore, Facebook claims the data helps them recognize fake accounts or possible terrorist connections and thereby protecting the users.

Facebook Messenger Raises Its Security Game

Facebook is beta testing its end-to-end encryption (E2EE) feature called “Secret Conversation” amongst a few selected users. What this means is people can now have secret conversations which will get deleted after a certain time, selected by the user. Other than this, these messages can only be read by the recipients intended and no one else not even the Facebook employees can access them. Telegram, another popular messaging application already offers E2EE for all its conversations. Secret Conversations will use Signal Protocol developed by Open Whispers System.

Whatsapp has already rolled out this feature in 2014 across all platforms which included images, videos, audio etc. By increasing the security levels on the visibility of all peer-to-peer conversation the users will now feel more comfortable and safe using the application. But what does this mean for the law enforcements and government leaders in matter of national or regional security?  Many government officials argue that E2EE conversations can be used to conduct illegal and terrorist activities information for which cannot be obtained by law enforcements even in matter of extreme security. This is because the messages are transferred in the form of numbers instead of words so, even if devices are changed the user would need to resend the entire message to get it across as the application would not store and transfer the messages automatically. After Whatsapp and Telegram were used by terrorists to conduct their recent attacks in Paris, government officials are even more worried about how “safe” it is to keep the messages a secret for the users and upto what level the secrecy should be maintained.

Although, government officials may not benefit from such a feature being rolled out on the first social networking website with over 900 million users, who will find it extremely beneficial as they are now protected from cyber crimes, bullies and trolling. With the timer feature to be activated people need not worry about their messages being read by other if their phone is left unattended because the messages will self-destruct kind of like the popular peer-to-peer sharing application Snapchat. So, why is Facebook doing this after so long? Especially when its sister company Whatsapp did it so long ago. Simple, Facebook wants its user to make Messenger their primary messaging application. By raising its security levels Facebook is now unable to provide law enforcements encrypted data and chat threads even if the law enforcements have warrants against the said individual.

Google’s recently released instant messaging application ‘Allo’ raised a lot of debate regarding the issue that end-to-end encryption was not a default feature like on WhatsApp. The Google engineer faced a lot of criticism after he edited his initial blog post regarding E2EE encryption not being the default setting on the application. Currently, the application Allo only allows for manual selection of incognito mode rather than it being a default feature in itself from the beginning of the chat.  Facebook is set to roll out its “Secret Conversation” feature on the Messenger application in September to the rest of the public. Till then we all wait in anticipation to see the full function of the particular feature.

Facebook Say “No” To Hate Speech

Facebook Say “No” To Hate Speech

Forget about making Mark Zuckerberg site the “Hatebook”. Now nobody will be able to write vulgar and offensive nonsense about other people. It is mostly hate directed to the minorities and refugees. Something has changed in many peoples minds in the last few years and it is a time for organisations like Facebook to act.


Around 1,000 young people were invited for a public “town hall” session in Berlin. Most of them were students, not only from Germany. They invited Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook owner, to talk about the methods to defend social networks from hate speech, racism and other attacks on minorities.


Germany’s history with the Nazi party is the reason why there are strict laws around the protection of minorities. In the last few months, in the country which hosts at least one million refugees, Facebook faced huge criticism. Mainly because of the poor quality of policing anti-immigration posts.


Zuckerberg said: “There’s no place for this kind of content on Facebook. Learning more about German culture and law has led us to change the approach. Hate speech against migrants is an important part of what we now have no tolerance for on Facebook.”


He also added, and it should be also our hope, that The U.S. and other countries would follow Germany’s lead allowing more refugees into the country as well as fighting hate.


Banning hate is not like censorship. Nobody will delete your photos with your girlfriend or a very important post about discounts in Lidl. Some people have just to realise that being brave on the Internet, enough to write something stupid about other human beings, doesn’t make them important. Hate is like a sex. Don’t do it the public places.

Top 3 Events for February 19th

All Shook Up – Musical

Malahide Musical & Dramatic Society are proud to present… ALL SHOOK UP! This hilarious musical inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley is guaranteed to have you dancing in the aisles! Based on a book by Joe DiPietro. It’s 1955 and into a square little town in a square little state, somewhere in the Midwest, rides a guitar-playing young man who changes everything and everyone he meets.

Where: Pobal Scoil Iosa, Malahide, Dublin

When: 8pm

How much: €18/group ticket €16

Tuesdays Mean Music

From February on Drop Dead Twice holds every Tuesday one of these two events: Band Night and Dublin Jam Sessions. At Band Night you can book for your band a 30 min slot no matter what genre you’re playing. Drop Dead Twice provides a full backline and Sound Engineer. At the Dublin Jam Session Tuesday’s you can bring your own instrument and jam with other musicians. Drop Dead Twice welcomes talent from across the spectrum. So get there, get some free stage time and enjoy listening to other musicians doing their thang!

Where: The Taproom at Drop Dead Twice, 19 Francis Street, Dublin

When: 7pm to 11pm

Drinking in the Dark meets Table24

Drinking in the Dark is back! It takes place monthly, the third Tuesday of every month. The seats are limited, as this exclusive event seats only 8 guests! Beefeater 24 Gin invites you to awaken your senses for a night of drinking in the dark. Create the ultimate Gin & Tonic using all of your senses…except one: sight. Through a heightened sensory experience, you are blindfolded and guided in making your own Gin & Tonic while learning all about the influence of botanicals and the importance of all senses when creating gin, particularly Beefeater Gin.

Where: House Dublin, 27 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

When: 7pm

How much: €26.47

Top 3 Events for February 18th

Lunedì al Cinema – A cavallo della tigre

A remake of the 1961 classic by Luigi Comencini. Guido, a Milanese gambler who is in debt up to his ears, organizes a fake kidnapping to pay off the money he owes. His young girlfriend Antonella helps him. However, everything goes wrong and Guido is arrested while Antonella gets away with the ransom. Two and a half year later, Guido is about to be released from prison when his two cellmates, Fatih and Hamid, ask for his help to escape. Lunedì al Cinema (Monday at the Cinema) is a series of screenings dedicated to Italian contemporary cinema, promoted in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. All the films are shown at the IIC in Italian with English subtitles.

Where: Istituto Italiano Di Cultura – Dublino, 11 Fitzwilliam Square East, Dublin

When: 6:30 pm To 8:30 pm

How much: Admission free, register here

An evening of music, poetry, and laughs in aid of ICHH

Following a special evening of poetry and music last year, the Workman’s bringing you another fun, relaxed and silly evening of music, poetry and laughs in aid of Inner City Helping Homeless! There will be a performance by Eva Griffin, a founding member of Not4U Collective who is working to platform LGBTQ+ voices in poetry by hosting events and publishing zines. Also performing, poet and co-founder of Not4U Jess McKinney. James Moran is an experimental comedian best known for dealing with the weird and the absurd through readings of impossible to stage film scripts. Also, there will be music by Let’s Set Sail, Housewife (Oisín Tarrant) and Vernon Jane.

Where: The Workman’s Club, Dublin, 10 Wellington Quay, Dublin

When: 7pm to 11pm

How much: 10€/7€ for students and unwaged

Ireland’s Climate Future: A Policy Panel Discussion

In today’s climate of concern for the environment, much of the conversation around sustainability focuses on individual action. However, many people argue that the changes necessary to combat climate change are not individual but systemic, and require nationwide policy. While Ireland has made significant investments in renewable energy and climate communication in recent years, it was still ranked by the 2018 Climate Change Performance Index as the worst performing country in Europe for taking action against climate change. What does Ireland need to do to build a sustainable, climate-proactive society? Join the Green Week team for a panel discussion on the present and future Irish climate policy, with perspectives ranging from scientists to lawyers.

Where: Graduates Memorial Building, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin

When: 7pm to 8pm

How much: Admission free


Top 5 Events for the Weekend

Organ Freeman – Jazz Sunday

Organ Freeman is an Irish jazz organ trio. They specialise in the music of the bebop and hard bop idioms of the early 1950s and 60s. Playing standards by composers such as Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and many more in the classic organ trio format. The trio are organist Darragh Hennessy, guitarist, and singer Charlie Mooney, and drummer Faolán Collins.

Where: The Big Romance, 98 Parnell Street, Dublin

When: Sun, 7 Feb. – 5pm

Themed Tour: The Victorian Gardens

The Victorian period saw a series of significant developments in the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. During the years of the Great Famine, the initial phase of the iconic wrought iron Curvilinear Range of glasshouses was completed. At this time, Curator David Moore was examining the cause of the blight while also becoming the first to successfully grow orchids from seed to flowering stage. He lived comfortably in the Gardens, yet his wife died of famine fever. Striking stories such as these illustrate the remarkable place the Gardens has in our history and heritage.

Where: National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, National Botanic Gardens, 300 Botanic Road, Dublin

When: Sat, 16 Feb. – 2.30pm

How much: €5

Bangers & Mush

Welcome to Bangers & Mush – a one-night showcase of rousing world music and old-time love songs in a gypsy jazz style. This is a unique double bill of two of Dublin’s finest gypsy jazz bands – The Tolka Hot Club and Off the Wagon. Both bands have a great passion for the genre but aren’t afraid to experiment with it, and the results are surprising and an aural treat. Come join for Balkan clangers, Latin laments, jazz-influenced tear-jerkers, and some intriguing mashups, in what promises to be an exciting alternative to sitting on your couch, scouring Netflix, and waiting for winter to end.

Where: The Cobblestone, 77 King Street North, Dublin

When: Sat, 16 Feb. – 9pm

How much: €8

Talk to me in Croatian!

Talk to me in Croatian is Mother Tongues’ response to the many requests we get from families to provide opportunities to meet others who share the same language. The first years of life are critical in the development of the heritage language, so we believe it is important for children to be exposed to it as much as possible in the home and in social contexts. Talk to me in Croatian is an informal gathering in a public place. It is organised by individuals who have an interest in using their mother tongue with their children and expose them to it in social contexts.

Where: Café Du Jour, Cork Street, Dublin

When: Sat, 16 Feb. – 11am

Walk the Wicklow Way to Johnny Foxs Pub

This is part of the Wicklow Way, a trail that travels south from Dublin for approx 128Km to Clonegal in Co. Carlow. This section travels through south Dublin from Marlay Park and into the Dublin hills at Kilmashogue and crosses over “two rock” and the side of “fairy castle” into the Glencullen valley. From here we leave the traditional Wicklow Way trail and make our way to Johnny Foxes Pub for a bite to eat and drink. The trail is very well laid out and good for walking on. The track goes from parkland to small roads, open mountain tops and through wonderful forest trails and of course a nice pub at the end.

Where: Marlay Park, Ratharnham, Dublin

When: Sun, 17 Feb. – 10.30am

How much: €10

Top 3 Events for February the 13th

Opening Gala: Bray Comedy Festival

They have crammed some of the heavyweights of Irish comedy all into the one show to kick off Bray Comedy Festival in style. Hosted by Bray Comedy Festival legend Karl Spain, catch Kevin McGahern (former host of Republic of Telly), John Colleary (The Savage Eye), impressionist Al Foran and Barry Murphy (Apres Match) in an opening show that’s guaranteed to be packed to the rim with huge laughs.

Where: The Martello Hotel, 47 Strand Road, Bray

When: 8.30pm to 11pm

How much: €21.59

KUDOS – Concert

KUDOS bring their ‘Perfect’ tour to The Bello Bar to promote their new album which was released on Friday, February 8th. Originally from Cork, Sophie and Laura (KUDOS) have been writing and recording their debut album ‘Perfect’ on the remote island of St Helena in the South Atlantic since 2017. From a musical family, Sophie and Laura who play piano and guitar are equally comfortable playing their songs acoustically or performing electronically, dependent on the venue and audience.

Where: The Bello Bar, 1 Portobello Harbour, Dublin

When: 8pm to 11pm

How much: Admission free

Climate Change: Can Stories Save the World?

In anticipation of Trinity’s Green Week, our latest Behind the Headlines looks to the humanities to take on Climate Change. How do history, literature, film, and art help us understand the contemporary environmental challenges we face? As scientists warn us of the consequences of our human impact on the environment, the arts help us visualise the consequences of climate change and natural catastrophe.

This multi-disciplinary and international panel will examine cultural interpretations of global environmental issues and disaster; biotechnology; climate and conflict in the ancient period as well as early modern narratives of climate change when people still didn’t believe.

Where: Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building Trinity College Dublin

When: 6.30pm to 8pm

How much: Admission free, register here



Top 3 Events for February 12th

Landmark Comedy Opening Night


The Landmark on Wexford Street is hosting Dublin’s newest comedy night tonight, with a stellar lineup to get things started.  With a free pint for the first 20 people through the door, amazing talent, and free entry there’s not many excuses to be made for missing it.


The night is opened by The Comedy Shed’s Joe Dowlin, while the hilarious Jim Elliot will headline and close the show. Other acts for the night include David Gilna, Emily Ashmore, The Ferit, John O Keeffe, Pascale Giordano and Gillian Fitzgerald.


Where: The Landmark, Wexford Street, Dublin 2


When: 20:00


Price: Free


Gary Owen’s ‘The Drowned World’


What happens when humanity is so divided we lose the ability to relate to each other, when it’s easier to blame the “other” for our own misfortunes and the degradation of the world, when our fears are exploited to bring out the worst in us? Through a dystopian take on the paranoia and division dominating our society, The Drowned World explores the dangers of putting people into boxes and dehumanizing those we don’t understand.


Where: The Lir Academy, Trinity College, College Green, Dublin 2


When: 19:45


Price: €12/17


Hot Pot Night at Lao Chinese and Korean BBQ


Lao Chinese and Korean BBQ on Parnell Square invite you to join them in a Hot Pot Night as part of the ongoing celebrations for Chinese New Year.


Come gather with good company around a boiling broth! Sometimes referred to as ‘Chinese fondue’, hot pots are among the most popular meals in China. Lao’s resident expert Yang Zhang will be there to provide you with a crash-course in concocting the perfect hot pot.


Where: Lao Chinese and Korean BBQ Restaurant, 102 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1


When: 18:30-20:30


Price: €26.83

Top 3 Events for Monday 11th

TAF Launch Night: Sound Cavern

Come celebrate the opening of Trinity Arts Festival 2019! Join in the GMB CHAMBER for a night of music and live performances. The Sound Cavern will feature four fantastic live acts. Judith Robinson is a 3rd-year music and drama student, and her most recent performance was singing at the National Concert Hall with Trinity Orchestra as part of the Bowie Festival.

The Trinity Belles were founded in 2013 and are an all-female A Cappella group in Trinity.

Robbie Stickland, known for his soft rock melodies, has recently played some fantastic shows at Sleepover Club, Crowbar and Workman’s.

Greg Tisdall is armed with a live band, mixing indie pop melodies with a captivating stage presence.

Where: Graduates Memorial Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2

When: 7pm to 9pm

Nurses Show the Way – Time for a Living Wage for All

The Nurses and Midwives are in the thick of a major battle to defend and improve our health service, which includes fighting for decent and fair pay for the nurses themselves. All workers should support the nurses in this fight. A victory for them is a victory for us all and will be an example that other workers should follow. We all deserve a living wage and that’s what we should demand in this so-called recovery that skewed massively in favour of the super-rich. Come along to this meeting hosted by Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger and hear from nurses, teachers and other essential workers who are organising to tackle this inequality.

Where: The Bell Pub, Main Street Blanchardstown, Dublin

When: 7.30pm to 9.30pm

Pericles by William Shakespeare

This new contemporary adaptation at The Lir Academy turns William Shakespeare’s classic tale into a modern-day take on the refugee crisis, in a story of resilience and hope.

When Antiochus, the malign ruler of Syria becomes a threat, Pericles must escape conflict and flee his country, risking his life at sea. In this modern-day adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s Romances, Pericles becomes a refugee, a modern hero. His strength and resilience will be tested by the Gods as he seeks asylum in different lands, meets love, faces loss and is ultimately restored to his rightful place.

Where: The Lir Academy, National Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity Technology and Enterprise Campus, Pearse Street

When: 7.30pm to 9.30pm

Price: 17€/12€

Top 5 Events for the Weekend

Spring Festival Fair

The hugely-popular Spring Festival Fair returns to The chq Building for two days of free, family-friendly fun. Inspired by Chinese temple fairs, or ‘Miaohui’, the event combines performances, workshops, storytelling, screenings, demonstrations, and games, plus tasty food stalls and special appearances by hugely popular sugar painting artist Mr Binbin Liu. Come along and have your face painted, marvel at the Chinese dragon and lion performances, take part in an authentic Chinese tea ceremony, try your hand at Chinese calligraphy, and share your hopes for the Year of the Pig with the Wishing Tree.

And don’t miss a photo opportunity with the Chinese God of Fortune, who will be on hand to send his blessings of luck for 2019.

Where: The chq Building, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1

When: Sat, 9 Feb. – 11am to 6pm & Sun, 10 Feb. – 11am to 5pm

How much: Admission free, no booking required

Free Screening: Andy Warhol: Made in China (1989)

A rare opportunity to see this fascinating 1989 documentary, which finds filmmaker Lee Caplin trailing Andy Warhol during his travels through China in 1982, from Hong Kong’s glitter to the mystique of Peking’s Forbidden City. The visit is orchestrated as a cultural experiment by young Chinese millionaire Alfred Siu to see if Warhol’s cult of celebrity will extend beyond Western society. Will China afford him fifteen minutes of fame?

Where: National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West & Clare Street, Dublin 2

When: Sun, 11 Feb. – 12:30pm & 1:15pm

How much: Admission free, no booking required

Tim Burton Movie Quiz

Come to Fibber Magees and test your knowledge and win fantastic prizes. They’ve lots of fun planned for the evening including food and drink specials and cocktail pitchers. There will be a Tim Burton themed raffle with great prizes for the winning team. Dressing up is encouraged. So grab your friends and book your table now!

Where: Fibber Magees, 80-81 Parnell Street, Dublin, Ireland Dublin 1

When: Sun, 10 Feb. –  4:30pm – 7:30pm

How much: Tables of up to 5 people are €50, pre-booking required

Mystery Matinee February 2019

A brand new year means a brave new world of cinema’s best-kept secret. Sometimes it will be a preview, but not always; sometimes, it will be a title one might expect to see at the IFI, but not always. Join the IFI for this month’s screening, and expect the unexpected! Previous surprise screenings have included Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye and a preview of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.

Where: Irish Film Institute (IFI), 6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

When: Sun, 10 Feb – 1pm

How much: €5.20

Gillian Tuite & Jane Willow

Folk musicians Gillian Tuite and Jane Willow will join on a double headline show. Gillian Tuite is an Irish fingerstyle guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Oldcastle, Co. Meath. Gillian draws influences from Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor. Jane Willow is a Dutch folk musician who moved to Ireland at age twenty-one to pursue music. Her music is laced with Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake influences.

Where: The Cobblestone, 77 King Street North, Dublin

When: Sat, 9 Feb – 8.30pm

How much: Tickets online for €10/at the door for €12