Government & Policy

30 July 2019

The internet is rotting - let's embrace it by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, University of Oxford The Conversation

I have just taken an entire website and gigabytes of data offline. It covered a highly successful series of conferences on the data economy. It brought together thought leaders and key decision-makers from around the world for annual retreats – over a decade ago. And now it is gone.

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Will Europe scare off Silicon Valley? Asta Gudrun Helgadottir asks how long Google and Facebook will tolerate EU regulation Chatham House

Regulation of the internet has been a tendentious issue for some time. In recent years, the European Union has taken the lead in creating consumer-oriented rules to control digital businesses through a framework based on European values.

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28 July 2019

Trump vows to retaliate against French digital tax Associated Press

President Donald Trump promised on Friday to retaliate against France for adopting a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

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26 July 2019

Chris Hughes Worked to Create Facebook. Now, He Is Working to Break It Up. New York Times

Chris Hughes used to huddle with Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room building Facebook from scratch. Now, he’s huddling with regulators to explain why Facebook needs to be broken up.

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Calls Mount to Ease Big Tech's Grip on Your Data New York Times

The market for our digital data can seem like a lopsided bargain. We all create valuable data points with every tap on a screen or keystroke — clicks, searches, likes, posts, purchases and more. We hand it over willingly for free services. But the biggest economic windfall goes to the tech giants like Google and Facebook. Their corporate wealth is built on harvesting and commercializing the information supplied by the online multitudes.

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Facebook and Google face tighter rules in Australia as ACCC releases report The Guardian

Facebook and Google face new regulation of their advertising products and the algorithm that determines what appears in users’ news feeds and in search results.

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25 July 2019

Facebook Antitrust Inquiry Shows Big Tech's Freewheeling Era Is Past New York Times

Facebook came under siege on multiple fronts on Wednesday, agreeing to new layers of oversight and two fines to settle privacy and disclosure violations, even as it acknowledged that it was under investigation from the Federal Trade Commission for antitrust concerns.

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24 July 2019

Facebook deceived users about the way it used phone numbers, facial recognition, FTC to allege in complaint Washington Post

The Federal Trade Commission plans to allege that Facebook misled users about its handling of their phone numbers as part of a wide-ranging complaint that accompanies a settlement ending the government’s privacy probe, according to two people familiar with the matter.

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Justice Department Opens Antitrust Review of Big Tech Companies New York Times

The federal government has turned its full investigative powers toward examining the world’s biggest technology companies, building on a backlash against the industry that has been growing for over a year.

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19 July 2019

G7 urges tough Libra regulation, agrees to tax digital giants Reuters

Digital currencies such as Facebook’s planned Libra raise serious concerns and must be regulated as tightly as possible to ensure they do not upset the world’s financial system, Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers said on Thursday.

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18 July 2019

G7 finance ministers look to rein in tech giants at French meeting Reuters

G7 finance ministers will have the growing powers of big digital firms in their sights when they meet on Wednesday outside Paris despite divisions about how best to tax them.

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'I Don’t Trust You Guys': Lawmakers Unite to Take Aim at Big Tech New York Times

Lawmakers leveled stinging criticism and sharp questions at Big Tech executives on Tuesday, attacking Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google for their market power, their perceived bias as gatekeepers of communication and Facebook’s ambitions to reshape the financial industry.

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17 July 2019

France will not back down on digital tax despite US legal threats The Guardian

France will not back down in the face of US threats of legal action over its plans for a digital tax on tech giants, the French finance minister has said.

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Australian government agencies pushing for longer mandatory metadata retention The Guardian

Government agencies are pushing for telecommunications companies to be forced to retain customer data for law enforcement agencies for longer than the current two-year requirement.

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16 July 2019

Fighting Big Tech Makes for Some Uncomfortable Bedfellows New York Times

Conservatives are showing up at largely liberal conferences to call for breaking up Facebook and Google. Liberals are going on conservative TV shows to do the same. It’s awkward.

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12 July 2019

Trump Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Right-Wing Social Media Trolls New York Times

Trolling on the internet was once a thankless pastime. Make edgy jokes on the right message board, get your sarcastic memes noticed by the right people, and you might score some retweets and Reddit upvotes, but that was about the extent of it.

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As Nations Look to Tax Tech Firms, U.S. Scrambles to Broker a Deal Washington Post

For most of the 21st century, wealthy nations have engaged in a race to the bottom on corporate taxes, cutting rates in an effort to poach business activity across borders. Very quickly, that script has flipped.

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11 July 2019

ITU launches latest 'ICT Regulatory Tracker' to help inform key policy decisions International Telecommunication Union

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) now underpin nearly every sector of the economy, boosting growth and improving lives at a pace and scale not seen before.

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US launches inquiry into French plan to tax tech giants BBC News

US President Donald Trump has ordered an investigation into France's planned tax on tech giants - a move that could result in retaliatory tariffs.

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Trump's 'Social Media Summit': All the President's Memes New York Times

Trolling on the internet was once a thankless pastime. Make edgy jokes on the right message board, get your sarcastic memes noticed by the right people, and you might score some retweets and Reddit upvotes, but that was about the extent of it.

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06 July 2019

Letting the Internet Regulate Itself Was a Good Idea - in the 1990s: It's time for lawmakers to step back in, carefully. New York Times

Tech regulation may be the only thing on which a polarized Capitol Hill can agree. “We should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, and perhaps we will,” President Trump recently declared. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, has made the breakup of tech companies a central plank of her campaign. Even Silicon Valley-friendly contenders like Pete Buttigieg have called for curbs on the industry’s power.

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French lawmakers approve 3% tax on online giants Associated Press

France’s lower house of parliament approved Thursday a small, pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook — and the French government hopes other countries will follow suit.

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France moves to make companies block hate speech online Associated Press

French lawmakers have approved a measure that is intended to force search engines and social networks to take hate speech off the internet.

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As New Zealand Fights Online Hate, the Internet's Darkest Corners Resist New York Times

A video game that uses footage of the Christchurch massacre to put Muslims in a gunman’s cross hairs. Memes featuring the face and weapons of the man charged in that New Zealand attack. Messages on online forums that glorify him as St. Tarrant — patron saint of the far right.

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04 July 2019

It's not that we've failed to rein in Facebook and Google. We've not even tried The Guardian

In a BBC interview last week, Facebook’s vice-president, Nick Clegg, surprised viewers by calling for new “rules of the road” on privacy, data collection and other company practices that have attracted heavy criticism during the past year. “It’s not for private companies … to come up with those rules,” he insisted. “It is for democratic politicians in the democratic world to do so.”

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