Government & Policy

12 December 2019

Facebook and Google market power to be subject to digital code of conduct in Australia ABC News

The competition watchdog will gain extra resources to crack down on the growing power of digital platforms as the Government seeks to rein in how companies like Facebook and Google use their market power.

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10 December 2019

This Man May Be Big Tech's Biggest Threat New York Times

At a hearing this summer about the rising power of the country’s biggest tech companies, Representative David Cicilline zeroed in on Amazon. Unhappy with a response from one of the company’s top lawyers, he delivered a biting retort.

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09 December 2019

Social media platforms leave 95% of reported fake accounts up, study finds ars technica

It's no secret that every major social media platform is chock-full of bad actors, fake accounts, and bots. The big companies continually pledge to do a better job weeding out organized networks of fake accounts, but a new report confirms what many of us have long suspected: they're pretty terrible at doing so.

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26 November 2019

Tim Berners-Lee unveils global plan to save the web: calls on governments and firms to safeguard it from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity The Guardian

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has launched a global action plan to save the web from political manipulation, fake news, privacy violations and other malign forces that threaten to plunge the world into a “digital dystopia”.

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I Invented the World Wide Web. Here's How We Can Fix It. by Tim Berners-Lee New York Times

My parents were mathematicians. My mother helped code one of the first stored-program computers — the Manchester Mark 1. They taught me that when you program a computer, what you can do is limited only by your imagination. That excitement for experimentation and change helped me build the World Wide Web.

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24 November 2019

Why Everyone Is Angry at Facebook Over Its Political Ads Policy New York Times

After Google announced restrictions on political advertising this week, campaign strategists in Washington quickly turned their attention to a different company: Facebook.

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21 November 2019

Big Tech's Toughest Opponent Says She's Just Getting Started New York Times

Margrethe Vestager won praise for her oversight of the tech industry. Now, with more authority from the European Union, she envisions a more aggressive agenda.

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American Big Tech Will Not Protect You Brown Political Review

For the first 15 years of the 21st century, Democrats and Big Tech seemed to get along. There was something exciting and progressive about the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos that made them distinct from the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch. They wanted to make the world more connected and to liberate us all from the bounds of society’s echo chambers. Big Tech capitalized on America’s naivety.

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19 November 2019

Chorus’ Hyperfibre set to redefine ‘fast’ for broadband in New Zealand Chorus

A new era of broadband speed is planned, with Chorus today unveiling Hyperfibre - its next generation of fibre technology. Using a XGS-PON fibre solution, Hyperfibre is set to dramatically increase capacity and unlocks the ability to deliver exponential speeds on the Chorus fibre network of up to 10 Gbps.

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Czechs to impose 7% tax on global internet giants Associated Press

The Czech government has approved a plan to adopt a tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

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03 November 2019

Kremlin takes on sweeping internet connection powers Financial Times

The Kremlin has assumed sweeping new powers over internet connections in Russia, raising concerns from activists that they could be used to stifle dissent or shut the country off from the global web.

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31 October 2019

Twitter Will Ban All Political Ads, C.E.O. Jack Dorsey Says New York Times

Twitter said on Wednesday that it would ban all political ads, putting a spotlight on the power and veracity of online advertising and ramping up pressure on Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to reverse his hands-off stance.

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30 October 2019

EU disputes Facebook's claims of progress against fake accounts The Guardian

Facebook and other major social media platforms have been accused by the European commission of giving a misleading picture of their efforts to remove fake accounts spreading politically motivated disinformation.

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Dissent Erupts at Facebook Over Hands-Off Stance on Political Ads New York Times

In an open letter, the social network’s employees said letting politicians post false claims in ads was “a threat” to the company.

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Facebook, Google, Twitter urged to do more to combat fake news in EU Reuters

Facebook, Google and Twitter must do more to tackle fake news or face regulatory action, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

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26 October 2019

The Shifting Definition of Platform Governance In advance of the next meeting of the International Grand Committee, Robert Gorwa asks: what exactly is platform governance? Centre for International Governance Innovation

In the past few years, several catchwords have emerged to describe the technology policy issues surrounding the intersection of user-generated content, online intermediaries for that content, and the host of legal and political frameworks that shape the relationships between them. Policy makers and journalists working in the area have had to sift through a host of similar-sounding concepts often used interchangeably — three common ones being platform governance, platform responsibility and platform regulation.

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Hazards of the Information Superhighway by Vinton G. Cerf Communications of the ACM

In the 1990s, U.S. Vice President Al Gore characterized the Internet as an "Information Superhighway." This metaphor has some utility as we try to understand emerging properties of the global Internet. More recently, an old friend, Judith Estrin, touted the importance of friction in the online environment. She had two things in mind, I believe. The first is that friction slows things down and sometimes that is exactly what is needed to give time to think about the content found on the Internet, especially in social media. Friction also keeps you on the road and not spinning off at every turn. As reports of the deliberate injection of misinformation and disinformation into the Internet continue to escalate, my attention has been drawn to efforts to counter this trend. I went back and re-read the May 2019 report about the Finnish response to information pollution,a which has garnered attention from other countries and organizations concerned about this phenomenon.

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24 October 2019

China trumpets tech power at 6th World Internet Conference, signalling a 'digital arms race' ABC News

At the turn of the millennium, former US president Bill Clinton declared that China's effort to censor the internet was akin to "nailing jello to the wall".

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19 October 2019

Defiant Zuckerberg Says Facebook Won't Police Political Speech New York Times

In an address at Georgetown University, the Facebook chief executive called for more free speech — not less — as his company has been assailed for allowing lies and falsehoods to appear.

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17 October 2019

Europe's Margrethe Vestager Takes a Rare Step Toward Big Tech New York Times

European authorities took an even more aggressive approach than usual to regulating the technology industry Wednesday when they applied a rarely used rule, ordering a company to halt a potentially anticompetitive practice while an investigation is underway.

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14 October 2019

Christchurch attack: New Zealand tries new tactic to disrupt online extremism The Guardian

The New Zealand government will create a dedicated investigative team to find and prosecute terrorist and extremist content online, seven months after a gunman live-streamed the mass murder of 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques.

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13 October 2019

Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency Faces Exodus of Partners New York Times

Facebook’s troubled cryptocurrency initiative, Libra, suffered new blows on Friday as the departures of key partners became an exodus.

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08 October 2019

U.S. Using Trade Deals to Shield Tech Giants From Foreign Regulators New York Times

The Trump administration has begun inserting legal protections into recent trade agreements that shield online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from lawsuits, a move that could help lock in America’s tech-friendly regulations around the world even as they are being newly questioned at home.

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02 October 2019

Zuckerberg promised to 'fight' efforts by Sen. Warren to break up Facebook in leaked comments Washington Post

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told employees that the company was ready to “go to the mat and … fight” if Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, follows through on her vow to try to break up major technology firms, according to a leaked recording of his remarks published Tuesday.

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25 September 2019

Checking in on the Christchurch Call by Dr Ellen Strickland, Chief Advisor, InternetNZ InternetNZ

It’s been over six months since the Christchurch mosque attacks, and four months since the Christchurch Call was made. Tomorrow, there will be a meeting alongside the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York to take stock of progress on the Call. World leaders, company executives, United Nations representatives and others will come together to report back on what progress has been made and what plans lie ahead.

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