Technology

Why it matters: From the Valley to D.C., Big Tech players like Facebook, Google and Amazon are under more scrutiny than ever as new technology develops and privacy and antitrust concerns grow in lockstep with companies’ ambitions.

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Scoop: Twitter removes photo from Trump tweet after NYT copyright complaint

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter has removed a picture from a tweet by President Trump on Tuesday after it received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint from the New York Times, which owns the rights to the photo.

Why it matters: This is the second time in two weeks that Twitter has had to take down content from Trump's account due to a copyright violation.

Senators' letter on USAGM purge promises funding review

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A bipartisan group of Senators on Wednesday wrote a letter to Michael Pack, the newly-confirmed CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), that they plan to review the agency's funding, after Pack abruptly fired the heads of five organizations funded by USAGM.

Why it matters: The sudden dismissal of all five heads last week prompted concerns amongst the senators about Pack's leadership and the future of the agency, which has aimed to promote American democratic values through unbiased journalism abroad.

9 hours ago - Technology

Rooting out AI bias

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New research offers strategies to prevent algorithms used in business from pushing unethical policies.

Why it matters: Machine-learning algorithms are increasingly being deployed in commercial settings. If they are optimized only to seek maximum revenue, they can end up treating customers in unethical ways, putting companies at reputational or even regulatory risk.

Tech CEOs will testify in House antitrust hearing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook have agreed to testify at a hearing at the end of the month as part of a congressional antitrust investigation into the power of online platforms.

Why it matters: The high-profile hearing will let lawmakers directly question company leaders before releasing a report that will detail the findings of their year-long probe and possibly recommend changes to antitrust law.

New bill stokes long-running encryption fight in Washington

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congress is gearing up for another run at passing encryption laws that proponents say will allow U.S. law enforcement to do its job and security experts say will make everyone’s communications less safe.

The big picture: As companies like Facebook and Apple encrypt more of their platforms by default, U.S. authorities fear the world is “going dark” on them. The consensus is stronger than ever among security experts, human rights advocates and the industry that weakening encryption hurts everyone.

Password thieves target at-home workers

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

With so many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, more cyber criminals are using “brute force” attacks to break the passwords of employees signing into their company networks remotely, according to ESET, a cybersecurity and antivirus protection firm.

How it works: Brute force attacks break into systems by trying out vast numbers of possible passwords.

Graham to narrow tech liability bill

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A bipartisan bill taking aim at tech's liability shield will be narrowed so that it no longer threatens online platforms with losing that shield's protections if they don't meet government-set standards.

Why it matters: The EARN IT Act represents one of the most pressing threats to websites' immunity from liability over user-posted content amid Trump administration attacks on the shield, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

16 hours ago - Technology

Dish officially enters wireless business, buying Boost from T-Mobile

Dish Network

Dish Network is now in the wireless business, having closed its $1.4 billion purchase of Boost Mobile and other prepaid assets from T-Mobile.

Why it matters: The deal was a condition for regulatory approval of T-Mobile's Sprint purchase and is part of an effort to create a fourth national wireless carrier.

17 hours ago - Technology

Facebook oversight board urged to tackle climate "loophole"

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Prominent environmentalists and Democratic activists say Facebook is "allowing the spread of climate misinformation to flourish, unchecked" and urging the company's external oversight board to intervene.

Driving the news: A new open letter with signatories including Stacey Abrams, John Podesta and Tom Steyer takes aim at distribution of content from a group called the CO2 Coalition without warning labels or restrictions.

17 hours ago - Technology

Google buys smart glasses firm North

Courtesy: North

Google formally announced on Tuesday that it is buying North, the Canadian smart glasses firm — a deal that had been reported last week to be in the works.

Why it matters: The move shows that Google, one of the earliest to explore high-tech eyewear, remains interested in the category.

Streaming price hikes make it less of a cheap cable alternative

https://www.axios.com/skinny-tv-bundles-keep-getting-fatter-f914fa30-256e-4e7e-8153-76490074cc13.html

YouTube TV and ESPN+ both raised their prices Tuesday, even though both packages rely on live sports rights to entertain consumers, and the pandemic has shut down live sports.

Why it matters: Streaming services and so-called skinny bundles promised to provide a cheaper alternative to the old cable television package. These price hikes suggest that price advantage won't hold.

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