2020 election lessons for tech in 2021, and beyond

Google CEO pressed on Saudi Arabia — Net neutrality fight returns to Washington

3/3/2021 7:45:00 PM

Internet researchers warn in a new report that social media influencers were a huge part of mis- and disinformation around the 2020 U.S. elections — and they argue that more must be done to hold them accountable

Google CEO pressed on Saudi Arabia — Net neutrality fight returns to Washington

“I am deeply troubled by Google’s plans,”he wrote in a letter to Pichai on Tuesday, citing concerns about possible data privacy and security issues that may come with Google’s extensive engagements in the region, which were announced in December. “I am concerned that Google’s decision to establish data centers and a Google Cloud region in Saudi Arabia will potentially allow [Saudi Arabia] to have access to countless American’s sensitive personal information and business records,” he wrote, noting the Kingdom’s “complete disregard for free speech, privacy, and human rights” in the Khashoggi case and others. Davidson pressed the Google CEO for more information on the giant’s operations and handling of data there, as well as its relationship with Saudi officials.

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— Google late Tuesday confirmed receipt of Davidson's letter and its intent to respond.Google Cloud spokesperson Atle Erlingsson told MT in an email that the new cloud region in Saudi Arabia will serve enterprise customers doing business in the Kingdom, rather than consumers themselves. “All cloud customers own their data, and our adherence to recognized international security and privacy standards is certified and validated by independent auditors — wherever data is located,” he said. “Except for data that customers specifically designate for storage in this location, Google will never store customer or user data here.”

NET NEUTRALITY (TELECOM’S SEXIEST TERM) RETURNS TO CAPITOL HILL —A top Democrat is planning to make a legislative and regulatory push to revive the Obama-era net neutrality regulations that Republicans killed in 2017. Sen.(D-Mass.) pledged Tuesday at a congressional briefing organized by net neutrality supporters that he’ll file legislation “in the coming weeks” to bring back those 2015 rules, citing their importance for civil rights, small business and more. headtopics.com

— The California factor:Markey’s pledge shows that despite little incentive to compromise (once the FCC has a 3-2 Democratic majority, the party can use the agency to usher through net neutrality rules without GOP support), Democrats may want to legislate. The senator pointed to

a recent court rulingfavoring California’s tough net neutrality law as a source of Democratic leverage: “Net neutrality champions now hold the reins here on Capitol Hill,” he said. “Whether it’s in the halls of the FCC or the halls of Congress, we will not stop working until net neutrality is the law of the land.”

— But then again, not all Democrats side with Markey: Read more: POLITICO »

Blinken defends Biden's refugee cap, Afghanistan withdrawal in exclusive interview

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on 'This Week' defended the administration amid a barrage of criticism for maintaining a Trump-era limit on refugee admissions for now.

We don’t want to give any blame or restrictions to these platforms that allow it, huh? Or the media partners that lie and also should know better? Instead go for the effects, not the cause. The corporate press has espoused more disinformation in the last year than any random social media influencers combined, and to a much larger audience