Yeah, yeah. I'm still going on about Davos. But the good news is I am back in San Francisco and doing lots of fresh reporting this week, to go along with a few more things to share from last week.
Today's Login is 1,312 words, a 5-minute read.
Facebook's pop-up location last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios
While tech leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, had U.S.-China tensions top of mind, they also came looking to push their perspectives on climate change, antitrust and regulation of artificial intelligence.
Why it matters: Whereas once tech leaders were given a free pass (literally and figuratively) as the young darlings of Davos, they are now established leaders with heightened roles — and sharper scrutiny.
Climate concerns were front and center for Microsoft, which last week announced its plan to be carbon-negative by 2030, as well as Salesforce.
Driving the news: How artificial intelligence should be regulated was also a big topic in Davos, though companies' agendas varied.
Meanwhile: Those were just the public pronouncements. Tech leaders spent much of Davos behind closed doors, meeting with top officials from around the world.
And then there were all the pop-ups.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Leon Neal/Getty Staff, Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Contributor
European leaders, including U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, could announce as early as this week whether they plan to allow their 5G networks to be built with Huawei equipment.
Why it matters: As we reported last week, Europe is in a bind. The U.S. threatens to cut off sharing intelligence with countries that buy 5G infrastructure from Huawei. Meanwhile, China is threatening its own reprisals against those who exclude Huawei.
The big picture: The stakes are huge. As Axios' Jonathan Swan reported on Sunday, a U.K. decision to buy from Huawei would anger the Trump administration and could disrupt the "special relationship" between Great Britain and the U.S.
Behind the scenes: "This is a highly consequential decision that the British prime minister's going to be making," a senior Trump administration official told Swan.
Why it matters: The Huawei debate — which may seem abstract to many Americans — has become an urgent foreign policy priorities of the Trump administration and a serious test of the U.S.-U.K. relationship.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Hundreds of Amazon workers are pushing the company to adopt tougher policies to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.
Why it matters: The employees are putting their names to their comments, posted on Medium on Sunday, and the move defies Amazon's corporate policy.
The big picture: Employee activism at tech companies is on the rise, both at companies known for openness, like Google, as well as at companies that don't have a long tradition of worker action, like Amazon.
What they're saying:
Amazon's response, from a company spokesperson: "We founded the Climate Pledge, committing to net zero carbon by 2040, which is ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. We plan to be using 100% renewable energy by 2030, and we have thousands of people working on sustainability initiatives across the company."
What's next: Amazon says, "We do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems."
Google began charging law enforcement agencies that request its user data this month, Axios' Orion Rummler reports, citing the New York Times.
The big picture: Tech firms like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Microsoft have all explicitly declared they might seek reimbursement for giving personal data to federal agencies and law enforcement, which they're legally entitled to do.
By the numbers: Google received more than 75,000 global requests for data in the first half of 2019, according to the Times. That's more than Microsoft, but way less than Facebook.
Why it matters, per the NYT: "Some Silicon Valley companies have for years forgone such charges, which can be difficult to enforce at a large scale and could give the impression that a company aims to profit from legal searches. But privacy experts support such fees as a deterrent to overbroad surveillance."
What they're saying: Google's fees are partially meant to help offset costs of complying with subpoenas and warrants, a Google spokesperson told the Times.
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