Government & Policy

24 March 2017

The Senate just voted to undo landmark rules covering America's Internet privacy Washington Post

Senate lawmakers voted Thursday to repeal a historic set of rules aimed at protecting consumers' online data from their own Internet providers, in a move that could make it easier for broadband companies to sell and share their customers' usage information for advertising purposes.

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17 March 2017

Google under fire as UK government pulls ads over extremist content The Guardian

Google has been summoned to the Cabinet Office after it emerged that government advertising was being inadvertently placed next to extremist material.

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04 March 2017

The FCC Helped Make the Internet Great: Now, It's Walking Away Wharton School

In this opinion piece, Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics Kevin Werbach looks at how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be impacted by the Trump administration — and what that means for internet regulation. Werbach served as co-lead of the FCC review for the Obama-Biden Transition Project, and an outside advisor on technology and innovation policy to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

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16 February 2017

Internet firms' legal immunity is under threat: Platforms have benefited greatly from special legal and regulatory treatment The Economist

Google, Facebook and other online giants like to see their rapid rise as the product of their founders’ brilliance. Others argue that their success is more a result of lucky timing and network effects—the economic forces that tend to make bigger firms even bigger. Often forgotten is a third reason for their triumph: in America and, to some extent, in Europe, online platforms have been inhabiting a parallel legal universe. Broadly speaking, they are not legally responsible, either for what their users do or for the harm that their services can cause in the real world.

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07 February 2017

China proposes further tightening of internet oversight Reuters

China is proposing a further tightening of controls over the internet with the possible establishment of a new commission to vet internet services and hardware, Beijing's internet regulator has said.

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Tech Opposition to Trump Propelled by Employees, Not Executives New York Times

In late September, a group of tech leaders started a well-publicized effort to raise $100,000 for Hillary Clinton. In flush Silicon Valley, that is spare change. But by the time the election was over, the campaign had pulled in only $76,324.

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06 February 2017

Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants call travel ban 'unlawful' in rare coordinated legal action Washington Post

Silicon Valley is stepping up its confrontation with the Trump administration. On Sunday night, technology giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, Uber and many others filed a legal brief opposing the administration's contentious entry ban, according to people familiar with the matter. The move by represents a rare coordinated action across a broad swath of the industry -- 97 companies in total -- and demonstrates the depth of animosity toward the Trump ban.

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05 February 2017

Facebook, Apple and Google pen letter opposing Trump's travel ban The Guardian

Some of Silicon Valley's most prominent technology companies, including Alphabet (Google), Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Uber and Stripe, have co-authored a draft letter formally opposing Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, arguing that "a blanket suspension is not the right approach".

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31 January 2017

Tech Companies Fight Trump Immigration Order in Court New York Times

Technology executives have for days assailed President Trump's executive order suspending immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries, framing their arguments largely in moral terms.

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29 January 2017

Google, in Post-Obama Era, Aggressively Woos Republicans New York Times

Few companies have been as intimately tied to the Democratic Party in recent years as Google. So now that Donald J. Trump is president, the giant company, in Silicon Valley parlance, is having to pivot.

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24 January 2017

One of Trump's First Moves--The End Of "An Open Internet" Daily Kos

Say goodbye to an "Open Internet." Say hello to "slow and fast lanes" where the quality and responsiveness of websites you click on will be subject to the whims of your warm-hearted Internet Service provider. And if they don't agree that the sites you like to visit are "worthy," you'll have to pay more to access them in any reasonable manner.

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17 January 2017

Plans for Australia to adopt a 'Google tax' welcomed by advocacy group The Guardian

One of the biggest critics of multinational tax avoidance has welcomed the Coalition's proposed "Google tax", saying a similar tax in the UK looks likely to increase corporate tax payments by billions for the British government.

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12 January 2017

Australian data retention law a ‘monumental stuff-up’, says internet users group The Guardian

The peak body for internet users in Australia has formally requested that a review of the attorney general's data retention scheme be brought forward, calling the legislation a "monumental stuff-up" as the government seeks to expand access to include civil lawsuits.

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10 January 2017

Germany investigating unprecedented spread of fake news online The Guardian

German government officials have said they are investigating an unprecedented proliferation of fake news items amid reports of Russian efforts to influence the country's election later this year.

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05 January 2017

It's begun: Internet providers are pushing to repeal Obama-era privacy rules Washington Post

Some of the nation's biggest Internet providers are asking the government to roll back a landmark set of privacy regulations it approved last fall -- kicking off an effort by the industry and its allies to dismantle key Internet policies of the Obama years.

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Tech Giants Seem Invincible. That Worries Lawmakers. New York Times

In the technology industry, the sharks have never long been safe from the minnows. Over much of the last 40 years, the biggest players in tech -- from IBM to Hewlett-Packard to Cisco to Yahoo -- were eventually outmaneuvered by start-ups that came out of nowhere.

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02 January 2017

What U.S. Tech Giants Face in Europe in 2017 New York Times

For American tech behemoths like Google and Facebook, Europe can be both a blessing and a curse.

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Donald Trump is technology's befuddled (but dangerous) grandfather The Guardian

The president-elect has repeatedly proven that an understanding of the complex problems presented by technology eludes him, but that hasn't stopped him tweeting about it. The consequences could be dire

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23 December 2016

Australian Govt Advisory Body Digs in Over Fair Use & Geo-Unblocking TorrentFreak

A final inquiry report published by the Australian government's Productivity Commission is steadfastly maintaining the position that citizens should have the right to use VPNs to access geo-restricted content. The advisory body is also unmoved when it comes to delivering fair use exceptions, stating that rightsholder objections are based on flawed and "self-interested" assumptions.

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21 December 2016

Facebook accused over WhatsApp takeover BBC News

Facebook has been accused by the European Commission of misleading it during its investigation of the company's 2014 takeover of WhatsApp.

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20 December 2016

Australian opposition calls for closer scrutiny of tech firms and their algorithms ABC News

Labour's industrial spokesperson has called for the algorithms used by technology firms to be made transparent and subject to regulation, as the party prepares the new year launch of its industrial strategy consultation.

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France plans internet ombudsman to safeguard free speech The Guardian

France is considering appointing an official internet ombudsman to regulate complaints about online material in order to prevent excessive censorship and preserve free speech.

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13 December 2016

WhatsApp, Skype set to come under new EU security rules: draft Reuters

Messaging services such as Microsoft's Skype and Facebook's WhatsApp face stricter rules on how they handle customer data under new security laws due to be proposed by the European Union, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

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08 December 2016

Merkel ally threatens Facebook with fines over online hate speech Reuters

A senior German conservative has warned Facebook it could face fines if it fails to act faster to tackle online hate speech, and he said the government could propose legislative measures in the new year.

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05 December 2016

Draft law gives Chinese police control of online discussion on disasters Reuters

China's county-level police will be able to censor internet coverage of natural and man-made disasters, according to a revised draft of the country's policing law that the Chinese Public Security Bureau released late on Thursday.

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