Photo: Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai refuted conservative claims of search bias in front of Congress this week. Here are five other stories in tech you may have missed.

Catch up quick: YouTube took down more than 58 million videos that violated its policies; nearly half of cloud databases aren't encrypted; Facebook wants to become a streaming destination; Apple courts publishers for new Apple News bundle; and Bitcoin spammers sent bomb threats to businesses and schools worldwide.

YouTube took down more than 58 million videos and 224 million comments in Q3 that violated policies (Reuters)

  • Why it matters: Lawmakers and interest groups in the U.S., Europe and Asia have been pressuring YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms to be better and faster at removing content that incites violence and violates their policies. YouTube has instated quarterly reports about its efforts.

Nearly half of cloud databases aren't encrypted

  • Why it matters: Any important database should be encrypted. That's not purely a cloud problem. There are inherent security advantages and a few disadvantages to the cloud, but the bottom line is that no matter where you put data, basic security hygiene is still important. — Axios' Joe Uchill

Facebook is in talks to become a streaming destination (Recode)

  • Why it matters: Facebook is trying to keep users on its platform by striking a deal with pay-to-watch channels — including HBO, Showtime and Starz — just like Amazon and Apple. Similar to its e-commerce and dating experiments, streaming video could help bring in revenue.

Apple courts nervous publishers for new Apple News bundle

  • Why it matters: Media companies, particularly those with dwindling print income, are desperate for new revenue but afraid of giving up control. Apple is a tempting partner, but publishers are wary of participating in "all-in-one" services that take a slice of subscription fees and control distribution.

Bitcoin spammers sent bomb threats to businesses, schools worldwide (The Verge)

  • Why it matters: The threats, which show no evidence of any explosives or detonated sites, asked for Bitcoin ransom and caused many evacuations and law enforcement investigations throughout the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - Podcasts

The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.

Democrats sound alarm on mail-in votes

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Democrats are calling a last-minute audible on mail-in voting after last night's Supreme Court ruling on Wisconsin.

Driving the news: Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes. They are warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to life in prison

Carts full of court documents related to the U.S. v. Keith Raniere case arrive at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday in federal court for sex trafficking among other crimes, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: Raniere was convicted last summer with sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography. His so-called self-improvement workshops, which disguised rampant sexual abuse, were popular among Hollywood and business circles.