We've packed a lot into our little newsletter today. That said, Login is still only 1,450 words, a 5-minute read.
Situational awareness: The founder of controversial facial recognition startup Clearview AI makes his television interview debut today on "CBS This Morning."
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
In its latest move to counteract a perceived threat from Huawei, the Trump administration proposed a new approach to 5G networks that would rely on virtualization and other features to give U.S. companies a broader role, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Why it matters: Right now, none of Huawei's traditional networking gear rivals — which include Nokia and Ericsson — are U.S.-based, and their products are typically more expensive than Huawei's.
How it works: The idea is to push for open software that could run on nearly any standard hardware, with Microsoft, AT&T and Dell among those said to be involved in the effort, per the Wall Street Journal.
Oracle confirmed it is also among the companies interested in taking part.
The big picture: The U.S. has been going to its allies and asking them not to use Huawei gear in their networks, but affordable Western alternatives to the Chinese products haven't been easy to find.
And some technical trends are already moving in the direction of the new U.S. proposal — notably, the shift away from dedicated products that perform a specific role in the network and toward virtualizing different functions using software that can run on commodity hardware, such as servers made by companies like HP and Dell, using chips from Intel and Nvidia.
Yes, but: Making 5G gear still requires a fair amount of know-how that's specific to the cellular industry.
History lesson: This is at least the third plan that has been floated from within the Trump administration to kickstart 5G and ensure the U.S. plays a leading role.
So far, though, it is the industry's existing approaches that have prevailed — with 5G rolling out from all the major carriers, starting last year, using traditional equipment vendors like Nokia, Ericsson and to some degree, Samsung.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Federal agencies are stepping up efforts to crack down on illegal robocalls by going after the phone companies that connect or enable them, as Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
Why it matters: Billions of robocalls that light up Americans' phones each month, according to data from YouMail. Federal agencies are responding by expanding their focus beyond the scam callers themselves.
Yes, but: This is only the latest in a years-long series of would-be federal crackdowns, but the calls continue. Last month, there were 153 million calls per day, with the average person receiving 14.4 calls, according to the YouMail data.
Driving the news: The Federal Communications Commission became the latest agency to move against robocallers Tuesday, as part of a coordinated effort with the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to ensure that carriers are doing their part to halt illegal calls.
Context: The FCC's letters followed a first-of-its kind enforcement from the Justice Department last week against telecom carriers it says facilitated millions of fraudulent robocalls.
For its part, the FTC sent letters last week to 19 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers warning them the agency will take action if they knowingly facilitate illegal robocalls.
On the industry side, T-Mobile, Sprint and Comcast outlined progress Tuesday on implementing anti-robocall technology that will verify calls are really coming from the number displayed on the Caller ID.
Go deeper: Robocallers face fight on many fronts
Two major telecom players — Korea's LG and China's ZTE — are scaling back their presence at the upcoming Mobile World Congress out of concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Why it matters: Mobile World Congress, held at the end of February in Barcelona, is the key trade show for the cell phone industry, and its selling point is the way it brings a very global industry together in one plac .
What they're saying:
Meanwhile, Huawei postponed a developer conference in China, but has thus far said it continues to plan to attend and exhibit in Barcelona.
Photo illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Twitter on Tuesday announced a new policy aimed at discouraging the spread of deepfakes and other manipulated media, but the service will only ban content that threatens people's safety, rights or privacy, Axios' Kyle Daly reports.
Why it matters: Tech platforms are under pressure to stanch the flow of political misinformation, including faked videos and imagery. Twitter's approach, which covers a wide range of material but sets narrow criteria for deletion, is unlikely to satisfy critics or politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi — who have both slammed platforms for allowing manipulated videos of them to spread.
Details: Starting next month, Twitter will be working to identify media that, according to a Tuesday blog post, has been "significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated."
Yes, but: The company only expects to delete manipulated content that's shared with the intent of deceiving people and, crucially, that's likely to cause harm.
Manipulated media that doesn't fit all criteria for removal may be:
For the record: Those criteria mean the viral video of Pelosi that had been slowed down to make her seem drunk would be labeled but not removed under the new policy, Twitter's head of site integrity Yoel Roth said on a press call.
The bottom line: Twitter is going noticeably further with its monitoring plans than Facebook, which announced last month that it would only ban deepfakes but leave less sophisticated fakery alone.
What's next: Twitter will start enforcing the policy March 5. To identify manipulated media, it will draw on assistance from crowd-sourced content reports as well as outside partners.
Kyle has more here.
The only thing better than the amazing icons that Susan Kare designed for the original Macintosh is the artwork she now does with those same iconic pre-emoji. The most recent creation is this throw blanket, available on Areaware.