The U.S. government’s proposed ban on Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat plays into technologists’ fears that the internet utopia is crumbling.
While Joe Biden has criticized the largest tech companies, his campaign and transition teams have welcomed allies of Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple onto its staff and policy groups.
This week, the Trump administration explicitly announced its intention to work toward a new bipolar world of technology, carved up between the United States and China. The administration had already made clear that it would either ban the Chinese video app TikTok or force its sale to a U.S. company. Then it announced a sweeping “Clean Network” program, which seeks to ban virtually all Chinese information technology products — phone carriers, apps, cloud servers, even undersea cables.
The one thing my students all invariably know about China is that you can’t use Facebook there, or YouTube or Google. For at least a decade, China has maintained strict control over the internet and aggressively blocked foreign tech platforms within its borders.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he wants a “clean” internet.
What he means by that is he wants to remove Chinese influence, and Chinese companies, from the internet in the US.
New York state is introducing a bill that would make it easier to sue big tech companies for alleged abuses of their monopoly powers.
The FBI has reported this week it was seeing an increasing number of consumers not receiving items purchased from websites, according to complaints they have received. The websites are offering low prices on items such as gym equipment, small appliances, tools and furniture. And the FBI has found domain names being used are not .com, but rather the fraudulent websites are using new gTLDs like .club and .top.
The Trump administration is withholding $20 million in funding approved by Congress for a U.S. Internet freedom organization, forcing the cutoff Friday of tools used by tens of millions of people worldwide to access the Internet and uncensored news through the Voice of America, officials said.
Wednesday’s five-plus-hour congressional probing of the bosses of America’s tech giants did not reveal a singular “gotcha” moment or smoking gun email. We’ve heard many of these examples of Big Tech abuse before.
The coronavirus crisis might be causing widespread economic upheaval around the world, but the world’s biggest tech firms are thriving.