Government & Policy

21 January 2018

How to tame the tech titans: The dominance of Google, Facebook and Amazon is bad for consumers and competition The Economist

Not long ago, being the boss of a big Western tech firm was a dream job. As the billions rolled in, so did the plaudits: Google, Facebook, Amazon and others were making the world a better place. Today these companies are accused of being BAADD—big, anti-competitive, addictive and destructive to democracy. Regulators fine them, politicians grill them and one-time backers warn of their power to cause harm.

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20 January 2018

Twitter admits far more Russian bots posted on election than it had disclosed The Guardian

Twitter has admitted that more than 50,000 Russia-linked accounts used its service to post automated material about the 2016 US election – a far greater number than previously disclosed.

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17 January 2018

U.S. Senate, Rebuffing Privacy Concerns, Clears Path to Extend Surveillance Law New York Times

The Senate cleared the path on Tuesday for Congress to extend the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting bipartisan calls to first vote on amendments that would have imposed significant new privacy protections when the program sweeps up Americans’ emails.

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Flurry of Lawsuits Fight Repeal of Net Neutrality New York Times

The legal fight against the Federal Communications Commission’s recent repeal of so-called net neutrality regulations began on Tuesday, with a flurry of lawsuits filed to block the agency’s action.

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12 January 2018

Shareholders press Twitter and Facebook to act on fake news, hate speech and sexual harassment Washington Post

A group of shareholders on Thursday demanded that Facebook and Twitter disclose more information about sexual harassment, fake news, hate speech and other forms of abuse that take place on the companies’ platforms.

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House Extends Surveillance Law, Rejecting New Privacy Safeguards New York Times

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to extend the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program for six years with minimal changes, rejecting a push by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to impose significant privacy limits when it sweeps up Americans’ emails and other personal communications.

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Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify in Congress over extremist content The Guardian

Twitter, Facebook and Google are to be hauled in front of the US Congress again, to give testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for extremist content.

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10 January 2018

Internet giants not doing enough to take down illegal content - EU Reuters

Internet giants like Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter are not taking down illegal content from their websites fast enough, the European Union executive said on Tuesday after meeting with the companies.

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08 January 2018

German opposition calls for abolition of online hate speech law Reuters

Germany’s opposition parties on Sunday called for the abolition of a new law that aims to rid social media of hate speech, saying it was wrong for private companies to be making decisions about whether posts are unlawful.

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Big Tech to Join Legal Fight Against Net Neutrality Repeal New York Times

An industry group that represents the country’s biggest technology companies said on Friday that it planned to join a looming legal fight against the Federal Communications Commission over its repeal of so-called net neutrality rules.

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05 January 2018

Emmanuel Macron promises ban on fake news during elections The Guardian

Emmanuel Macron has vowed to introduce a law to ban fake news on the internet during French election campaigns.

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02 January 2018

Take it from the insiders: Silicon Valley is eating your soul The Guardian

One source of angst came close to being 2017’s signature subject: how the internet and the tiny handful of companies that dominate it are affecting both individual minds and the present and future of the planet. The old idea of the online world as a burgeoning utopia looks to have peaked around the time of the Arab spring, and is in retreat.

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Google's midnight bid to disrupt £2bn EU fine revealed Daily Telegraph

Google launched a midnight attempt to disrupt the record fine it was handed for monopoly abuse, EU documents reveal.

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Germany starts enforcing hate speech law BBC News

Germany is set to start enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material.

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29 December 2017

Obama warns against irresponsible social media use BBC News

Former US President Barack Obama has warned against the irresponsible use of social media, in a rare interview since stepping down in January.

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Facebook and Twitter threatened with sanctions in UK 'fake news' inquiry The Guardian

Facebook and Twitter could face sanctions if they continue to stonewall parliament over Russian interference in the EU referendum, the chair of a Commons inquiry has said.

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27 December 2017

Australia's digital agriculture dream stymied as government scrimps on broadband Reuters

Gooda Creek Farm, located just outside Australia’s capital city of Canberra, exemplifies the country’s agricultural ambitions - a boutique producer that sells more than 2,000 kilograms a week of highly sought shiitake mushrooms to domestic and Asian consumers.

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Russian submarines are prowling around vital undersea cables. It's making NATO nervous. Washington Post

Russian submarines have dramatically stepped up activity around undersea data cables in the North Atlantic, part of a more aggressive naval posture that has driven NATO to revive a Cold War-era command, according to senior military officials.

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20 December 2017

High-speed broadband to be legal right for UK homes and businesses The Guardian

British homes and businesses will have a legal right to high-speed broadband by 2020, the government has announced, dismissing calls from the network provider BT that it should be a voluntary rather than legal obligation on providers.

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Uber Is a Taxi Service, the E.C.J. Says, in Major Setback to Firm New York Times

Uber lost a major legal battle on Wednesday when the European Union’s highest court declared that the ride-hailing app must comply with tough rules governing traditional taxi associations, a significant setback for a company already grappling with a string of scandals.

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Facebook abused dominant position, says German watchdog Reuters

Germany’s competition watchdog has found that Facebook abused its dominant market position, challenging the U.S. social network’s model of monetising the personal data of its 2 billion users worldwide through targeted advertising.

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Facebook's New Nemesis Is a Besuited German Antitrust Watchdog Bloomberg

Andreas Mundt is Facebook Inc.’s new nemesis. Mundt, 57, is the president of the Federal Cartel Office, Germany’s competition regulator. For nearly two years, his agency has been probing whether a key part of the Silicon Valley giant’s business model is an abuse of a market dominance.

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Is Uber a Taxi Company or Not? The EU's Top Court Will Decide Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. is set to reach the end of the road in a legal battle over a question that’s reached the European Union’s top court -- is the world’s most valuable startup a taxi company or not?

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19 December 2017

Google's Record Fine of $2.8 Billion Was a 'Deterrent,' EU Says Bloomberg

The European Union aimed for a “deterrent effect” on Google and other technology giants when it ordered the internet search provider to pay 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) for breaching antitrust law over how it displays shopping ads.

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15 December 2017

Net Neutrality Isn't Just a Domestic Issue: By removing net neutrality protections for Americans, the FCC will hurt people abroad too. Slate

Asad Mukhtar, a 27-year-old man who is currently employed in Karachi as a cook, is grateful for the free WhatsApp service from his cellphone provider Zong—one of the five largest telecommunications companies in Pakistan, owned by China Mobile. The service “has made communication with my family and friends back home very convenient and I don’t have to worry about data recharge to speak to them,” he told me recently.

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