Government & Policy

15 October 2017

Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats New York Times

At the start of this decade, the Arab Spring blossomed with the help of social media. That is the sort of story the tech industry loves to tell about itself: It is bringing freedom, enlightenment and a better future for all mankind.

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10 October 2017

Google Finds Accounts Connected to Russia Bought Election Ads New York Times

Google has found evidence that Russian agents bought ads on its wide-ranging networks in an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.

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08 October 2017

US targets anti-Trump activists' Facebook accounts Al Jazeera

Two weeks ago, Lacy MacAuley was shocked when she opened her email inbox to find a message informing her that the US Department of Justice had served a warrant to Facebook to access her personal account.

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05 October 2017

E.U., Citing Amazon and Apple, Tells Nations to Collect Tax New York Times

European competition regulators on Wednesday mounted a push against tax avoidance by Silicon Valley giants, announcing plans to take Ireland to court for failing to collect back taxes from Apple and ordering Luxembourg to claim unpaid taxes from Amazon.

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04 October 2017

Companies face €50m fines in Germany for hate speech BBC News

A law has come into effect in Germany requiring social media companies to remove "obviously illegal" posts or pay fines of up to €50m (£44.3m).

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Facebook's Russia-Linked Ads Came in Many Disguises New York Times

The Russians who posed as Americans on Facebook last year tried on quite an array of disguises.

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Australia Has Slower Internet Than Kenya, Russia and Hungary Bloomberg

Australia’s A$49 billion ($38 billion) broadband network was meant to spearhead a digital revolution. Instead, the botched project risks becoming a poster child for government mismanagement.

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02 October 2017

Lagging U.S. online giants, Europe calls on them to pay up Reuters

French, Italian and other European leaders upped the pressure on mostly U.S. tech giants to pay their fair share of taxes in the European Union and abide by the bloc’s rules when they met on Friday, but were still far from a consensus on the issue.

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01 October 2017

Microsoft CEO Urges Tech to Focus on Self-Policing Not Regulation Fears Bloomberg

As technology giants face the threat of greater regulation worldwide, Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella says these companies should focus on greater self-policing to prevent the loss of personal privacy and other harmful side effects of innovations.

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Google reports all-time high of government data requests CNET

Governments around the world are doing a record amount of searching on Google, but it's a kind of searching than you and I do.

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EU pressures internet giants to remove illegal content sooner Reuters

The European Commission on Thursday outlined how firms like Google, Facebook and Twitter should remove illegal content more quickly from the Web, increasing pressure on the companies to do more.

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27 September 2017

Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news Washington Post

Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call.

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Google to Create Shopping Service Unit to Satisfy EU Bloomberg

Google will create a standalone unit for its shopping service and require it to bid against rivals for ads shown on the top of its search page, in an effort to satisfy European Union concerns over the display of product results, three people familiar with the investigation said.

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24 September 2017

The tide is starting to turn against the world's digital giants The Observer

In his wonderful book The Swerve: How the Renaissance Began, the literary historian Stephen Greenblatt traces the origins of the Renaissance back to the rediscovery of a 2,000-year-old poem by Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things). The book is a riveting explanation of how a huge cultural shift can ultimately spring from faint stirrings in the undergrowth.

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London's Uber ban is a message to a reckless tech ethos The Observer

It was an extraordinary decision for Transport for London (TfL) to announce on Friday that it would not be renewing Uber’s private hire operator licence, effectively banning the service after 30 September. But the ruling was an indictment of Uber the company rather than the broader ride-hailing concept or labour model, and judges the embattled platform on a tumultuous past rather than its promise of new beginnings.

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22 September 2017

Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to Congress New York Times

Under growing pressure from Congress and the public to reveal more about the spread of covert Russian propaganda on Facebook, the company said on Thursday that it was turning over more than 3,000 Russia-linked ads to Congressional committees investigating the Kremlin’s influence operation during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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21 September 2017

Europe Renews Offensive on Silicon Valley With Tax Reforms New York Times

The European Union’s offensive against Silicon Valley looks as though it is likely to resume, as officials in Brussels consider a raft of proposals aimed at increasing the amount of tax paid by digital titans like Facebook and Amazon.

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Internet Giants Face New Political Resistance in Washington New York Times

Last month, Facebook and Google came out forcefully against a bill that would hold companies accountable for hosting sex trafficking on their websites. They said that while they worked hard to combat sex trafficking, changing the law “jeopardizes bedrock principles of a free and open internet” that have been crucial to innovation for decades.

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Tech firms could do more to tackle extremism - but so could politicians The Guardian

The stark warning that more online jihadist propaganda is accessed from Britain than anywhere else in Europe provides more evidence on the eve of a New York summit between Theresa May and the tech giants that governments are not winning the battle against online extremism.

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Internet firms say removing extremist content within hours is huge challenge Reuters

Removing extremist content from the internet within a few hours of it appearing poses “an enormous technological and scientific challenge”, Google’s general counsel will say later on Wednesday to European leaders who want it taken down quicker.

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20 September 2017

Tech Giants Feel the Pressure Worldwide New York Times

For a long time, American technology giants have received a chilly reception from skeptical audiences in Europe, including from government regulators, while at home, companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon have been largely lauded for their innovation and their astonishing growth.

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UK prime minister calls on internet firms to remove extremist content within two hours The Guardian

Theresa May is to urge internet companies to take down extremist content being shared by terrorist groups within two hours, during a summit with the French president and the Italian prime minister.

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19 September 2017

What does the future hold for the Internet? Internet Society

This is the fundamental question that we are posing through the report just launched today, our 2017 Global Internet Report: Paths to Our Digital Future.

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Digital future a fragile mix of promise and uncertainty, says Global Internet Report Internet Society

The Internet Society (ISOC), a global non-profit dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet, today released a first-of-its-kind report aimed at exploring the future of the Internet. Entitled “Paths to our Digital Future,” the 2017 Global Internet Report examines the Internet over the next five to seven years and identifies the factors that will shape its future. The report uncovers a mix of challenges and opportunities in safeguarding the Internet for the next generation and makes recommendations on the steps that can be taken today to realize the Internet’s promise for everyone, everywhere.

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17 September 2017

US retaliation feared as Brussels prepares to close Google's tax loopholes The Observer

EU leaders have agreed to make “swift” progress on raising the tax bills for digital giants such as Google and Facebook, despite warnings from smaller states that unilateral action could drive business away from Europe.

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