Government & Policy

19 October 2018

Australia lawyers' group: Draft cyber laws would curb rights Associated Press

The president of Australia’s top lawyers’ group has told a parliamentary inquiry that proposed cybersecurity laws to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to help police by unscrambling encrypted messages sent by extremists and other criminals would significantly limit individuals’ privacy and freedom.

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17 October 2018

Political ads study finds the right favors Google, the left Facebook and Twitter The Guardian

Left-leaning organizations are dominating political ads on Facebook and Twitter while rightwing advertisers are outspending liberal groups on Google, according to new research.

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10 October 2018

Microsoft welcomes scrutiny of tech industry that has roiled its competition this year, says CEO Nadella. Easy for him to say. Washington Post

Software companies should welcome the harsh spotlight that’s been put on the technology industry this year, Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, said in an interview at the company’s 500-acre campus here.

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EU privacy chief expects first round of fines under new law by year-end Reuters

Regulators are set to exercise their new powers by handing out fines and even temporary bans on companies that breach a new EU privacy law, with the first round of sanctions expected by the end of the year, the bloc’s privacy chief said.

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Google challenges record $5 billion EU antitrust fine Reuters

Alphabet unit Google on Tuesday challenged a record €4.34-billion ($5 billion) fine imposed by European Union antitrust regulators three months ago for using its popular Android mobile operating system to thwart rivals.

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07 October 2018

Silicon Valley congressman unveils an Internet Bill of Rights Washington Post

By July 2019, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) aims to see the House of Representatives pass landmark legislation shielding consumers from the onslaught of data breaches and the anxiety and confusion over the misuse of their personal information on the Web.

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05 October 2018

Fake-news ecosystem still thrives, two years after the 2016 election, new report says Washington Post

Leading sources of phony news reports are still pumping massive amounts of misleading content onto the Internet despite nearly two years of promises by technology companies to address the problem, according to a report released Thursday morning.

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04 October 2018

Internet providers are joining Trump's DOJ in suing California over net neutrality Washington Post

Internet providers have sued the state of California in an effort to block its new net neutrality law from going into effect, adding momentum to a high-stakes legal fight over the future of the Internet.

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Australia's surveillance laws could damage internet security globally, overseas critics say ABC News

Australia's new technology surveillance laws are drawing increasing scrutiny from international privacy groups and technology companies.

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03 October 2018

Tech giants allied against proposed Australia law seeking encrypted data Reuters

Four global tech giants - Facebook, Apple, Alphabet and Amazon - will oppose an Australian law that would require them to provide access to private encrypted data linked to suspected illegal activities, an industry lobby group said on Wednesday.

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01 October 2018

US justice department sues California over new net neutrality law The Guardian

The US justice department has sued the state of California, just hours after the state’s governor, Jerry Brown, signed legislation to restore internet protections known as net neutrality.

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30 September 2018

Obama to companies: Engage govts to avoid the Facebook fate Associated Press

Former U.S. President Barack Obama urged private businesses Thursday to come out of “isolation” and to engage more with governments when developing new products and services to avoid problems like those challenging Facebook.

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EU lawmakers push for cybersecurity, data audit of Facebook Associated Press

European Union lawmakers appear set this month to demand audits of Facebook by Europe’s cybersecurity agency and data protection authority in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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26 September 2018

UK newspaper industry demands levy on tech firms The Guardian

The British newspaper industry’s trade body has said the government should force social media sites such as Facebook and Google to pay an annual financial levy to fund journalism, and set up a regulator that would force them to take legal responsibility for all the content on their platforms.

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Inside the private Justice Department meeting that could lead to new investigations of Facebook, Google and other tech giants Washington Post

A meeting of the country’s top federal and state law enforcement officials on Tuesday could presage sweeping new investigations of Amazon, Facebook, Google and their tech industry peers, stemming from lingering frustrations that these companies are too big, fail to safeguard users' private data and don’t cooperate with legal demands.

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23 September 2018

Internet regulator considered for UK BBC News

The UK government is considering "all options", including a regulator, as part of new legislation governing the internet.

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18 September 2018

Access Now calls on 22 major tech companies to account for their human rights practices Access Now

Every day, we entrust more of our personal information to tech companies — whether it’s our internet service provider, mobile phone network, email client, social media platforms, or app maker. We depend on these companies for the services we need to work, learn, and play. And in turn, they carry an important responsibility to make sure their business practices respect our human rights.

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Ofcom to push for regulation of social networks The Guardian

Tech companies such as Facebook and Google could be regulated in the same way as the mobile phone and broadband industry, the head of media regulator Ofcom was expected to say on Tuesday.

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A Woman's Place Is in the Digital Revolution Project Syndicate

Women’s access to the Internet and mobile phones is about 85% of the level for men, on average, and a total of 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries are unconnected. Closing these gaps would enable women to seize opportunities in the industries that are shaping our collective future, benefiting all.

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16 September 2018

Wanted in the digital monopoly age - powers to curb the hold of online giants The Observer

One of the paradoxical things about digital technology is that while in theory it fosters competition, in practice it leads to winner-takes-all outcomes. The reasons for this are complex – they include zero marginal costs, powerful network effects, power-law distributions and technological lock-in – and need not detain us here. But we are all too familiar with the winners: Google in search; Apple’s IoS and Google’s Android in mobile operating systems; Facebook in social networking; YouTube in video; Microsoft in office software; Amazon in online retailing.

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More and more governments now benchmark broadband status in their national plans, says new global report International Telecommunication Union

A new report issued today by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development shows that a growing number of governments now benchmark the status of broadband in their national broadband plans. This year, the report shows for the first time that at least 15 countries now have strategies in place for promoting the safe use of Artificial Intelligence.

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13 September 2018

The E.U. just voted to advance digital copyright rules that would force Google, Facebook and others to pay up Washington Post

The European Parliament approved changes to digital copyright rules Wednesday designed to protect the content of publishers and artists on the Web, advancing a contentious battle between tech companies and creative industries over the future of free expression and intellectual property online.

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12 September 2018

RSF to launch groundbreaking global Information and Democracy Commission, 70 years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Reporters Without Borders

Seventy years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris, the Paris-based international NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announces the formation of a panel of 25 prominent figures with the aim of drafting an International Declaration on Information and Democracy.

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05 September 2018

'Five Eyes' Nations Quietly Demand Government Access to Encrypted Data New York Times

The Trump administration and its closest intelligence partners have quietly warned technology firms that they will demand “lawful access” to all encrypted emails, text messages and voice communications, threatening to compel compliance if the private companies refuse to voluntarily provide the information to the governments.

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04 September 2018

Facebook definition of terrorism helps states mute dissent: U.N. expert Reuters

A U.N. human rights expert urged Facebook on Monday to narrow its “sweeping” definition of terrorism to stop governments arbitrarily blocking legitimate opposition groups and dissenting voices.

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