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Big Tech companies like Alphabet and Amazon are finding that the most active efforts to rein them in are coming not from Congress but from the cities they want to call home, Axios' David McCabe reports.
Why it matters: Major cities have experienced the bulk of the tech industry's growth. That's brought jobs and wealth, as well as gentrification and skyrocketing housing prices.
What's happening: “All the action is in the cities,” Bradley Tusk, a prominent campaign operative who now invests in and advises startups, tells Axios.
The big picture: Some cities have existing political structures, including unions, that can mobilize against rapid corporate expansion. Many companies haven't needed the grassroots capability to combat that until now.
Yes, but: Many communities would vocally protect their values and priorities, regardless of the business interests involved.
What's next: The fight in Toronto remains in full swing. Keerthana Rang, a Sidewalk Labs spokesperson, writes in a statement that "robust public debate and discussion is what will enable us to present the best possible plan, after which it will be up to Toronto to decide whether to move forward and implement it."
Go deeper: Read David's full story.
Photo: Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images
The European Parliament signed off on a much-debated copyright law on Tuesday, Axios' Joe Uchill and David write.
Why it matters: The law has been criticized by major web companies as well as activists. They say that it will undermine basic principles of the internet that have allowed content to flow freely across the web.
Article 11 of the law, the so-called "link tax," would require sites like Facebook and Google to pay a fee when they summarize news stories and link to them.
Article 13 of the law requires sites that distribute user-uploaded content — like YouTube or Facebook — to ensure that content doesn't violate copyright.
What they're saying: Critics were dismayed. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said that the bloc had "abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts."
The big picture: European lawmakers and regulators have taken the most aggressive action to rein in the giants of Silicon Valley.
What's next: EU member states need to sign off on the Parliament's decision. Once they do that, they will have 2 years to add them to their own legal codes.
The Federal Trade Commission issued orders to 7 U.S. broadband providers, demanding they hand over information about their privacy practices and how they monetize consumer data — including those practices the companies have chosen to keep under wraps, Axios' Shannon Vavra writes.
Details: The FTC wants to know what kind of personal information these companies — which include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Comcast and Google Fiber — are collecting from users and how they're using that data, such as if they are sharing it with third parties.
Reality check: It remains to be seen whether the FTC will be able to take action based on these findings, such as issuing guidelines or privacy practice recommendations for telecommunication companies.
Two different U.S. International Trade Commission judges yesterday handed Apple and Qualcomm each a victory in separate patent cases, Bloomberg reports.
In the first case, the judge determined that Apple infringed on a Qualcomm patent and therefore some older iPhone models should be banned from U.S. import.
In the second case, handed down a few hours later, a judge rejected Qualcomm's claim that Apple had infringed on one of its patents for battery-saving.
Why it matters: This is one more inning in a broad legal dispute that spans cases in multiple venues in countries across the globe. The threat of an import ban — which the full ITC would have to approve — is more likely to make a difference to Apple than any potential fine.
One otter + one ball + one plastic toy spiral slide = 34 seconds of slithery joy.