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Technology 5 April 2021

The Week in Internet News: Biden Wants Broadband for All

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Filling the gaps: U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed spending $100 billion over eight years to bring broadband to all areas of the country, CNet reports. The broadband spending is part of a $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal, which would also include repair of roads and bridges and improvements to the water supply and electrical grids. The Biden plan also would override state restrictions on community broadband plans, making it easier for cities to operate their own broadband services, Bloomberg Law notes.

Under the sea: A subsea communications cable linking Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Guam to the west coast of the U.S. is scheduled to be completed in 2024, The Straits Times reports. The goal of the Bifrost Cable System is to offer Southeast Asia direct connectivity to the U.S. Facebook is one of the companies funding the project.

Scamming by app: An iPhone user has lost about $600,000 worth of bitcoin after downloading a scam app from the official Apple App Store, the Washington Post reports. The app was designed to look like the maker of a small hardware device where he had stored his bitcoin, and after he entered his credentials into the app, the maker of the app stole his bitcoin. Ouch.

We know what you’re feeling: Digital rights group Access Now has asked music streaming service Spotify to abandon a technology it has patented to detect emotion, gender, and age using speech recognition, Axios reports. In addition to privacy and data security concerns, the technology could give Spotify “an incentive to manipulate a person’s emotions in a way that encourages them to continue listening to content on its platform – which could look like playing on a person’s depression to keep them depressed,” Access Now wrote in a letter to Spotify. “A private company should not wield this kind of responsibility over a person’s well-being.”

The off switch: Two months after leading a coup, the military leaders in Myanmar have ordered Internet shutdowns in the country, the Washington Post reports. Orders to halt wireless broadband services did not provide any explanation.

Want to understand the health, availability, and evolution of the global Internet? Internet Society Pulse curates data from trusted sources to provide a deeper understanding of the Internet.

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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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