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Technology 3 August 2020

The Week in Internet News: U.S. Lawmakers Skewer Big Tech Firms

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Attacking the big guys: During an antitrust hearing, U.S. lawmakers – both Democrats and Republicans – heaped criticism on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google about their market power, the Washington Post reports. “Our founders would not bow before a king. Nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy,” said Representative David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat. Republicans complained about alleged anti-conservative bias in online services, while many Democrats talked about how the companies’ market power was being used against competitors, NPR says.

Encryption laws vs. the economy: Laws in Australia creating law enforcement access to encrypted communications are hurting the tech sector in the country, tech giant Atlassian told lawmakers there, the Guardian reports. The anti-encryption laws have discouraged talent from working in Australia and may limit economic growth during the post-COVID-19 recovery, the company said.

Paying for news: Also in Australia, the government there has released the world’s first draft law to force Google and Facebook to pay traditional news media to publish their material, Al Jazeera reports. Under the plan, the tech companies would have to negotiate with Australian media companies to use their content.

Jailed for TikToking: An Egyptian court has ordered two-year jail sentences for five women who made supposed “indecent” videos on TikTok, the BBC reports. Two of the women are social media influencers Haneen Hossam and Mowada al-Adham. Adham was arrested in May after posting satirical videos on TikTok and Instagram, where she has at least 2 million followers.

Expensive breaches: The average data breach during the past year cost victim companies about $4 million, says Compliance Week, quoting an IBM study. More than half of the breaches studied were caused by malicious attacks, with a quarter caused by system glitches, and 23 percent by human error.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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