Policy

Parler says it’s back without “Big Tech” after being kicked off Amazon

Enlarge / Parler’s logo. Getty Images | Smith Collection/Gado Parler.com is getting back online after being kicked off Amazon’s hosting service, with the controversial social network saying it no longer relies on “Big Tech” for its Web infrastructure. A Parler announcement today said its relaunched website is “built on sustainable, independent technology and not reliant …

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CDC releases updated “science based” school guidelines

Enlarge / Rochelle Walensky during the announcement of her nomination to head the CDC. Jim Watson, Getty Images As the US approached the start of the school year in 2020, the guidance it received from the federal government was a mess. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a series of documents in late July …

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New details emerge about Google’s payments to link to French news sites

Enlarge / Google’s main headquarters. Cyrus Farivar Google will pay $76 million over three years to 121 French news organizations to comply with a new French law requiring Google to pay when it uses “snippets” from news articles, Reuters reports. The payments range from $1.3 million paid to Le Monde to $13,741 for a local weekly …

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State lawmakers override veto, become first in nation to tax online ads

Enlarge / None of these companies are keen to hand over a slice of their revenue to Maryland. Malik Evren | Getty Images Maryland today became the first state in the nation to impose a tax on digital advertising revenue, overriding an earlier veto from the governor and incurring the wrath of piles of Big …

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Breached water plant employees used the same TeamViewer password and no firewall

Enlarge Getty Images / Leon Justice The Florida water treatment facility whose computer system experienced a potentially hazardous computer breach last week used an unsupported version of Windows with no firewall and shared the same TeamViewer password among its employees, government officials have reported. The computer intrusion happened last Friday in Oldsmar, a Florida city …

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Proposed Sec. 230 rewrite could have wide-ranging consequences

Enlarge Aurich Lawson / Getty Images A trio of Democratic Senators has taken this administration’s first stab at Section 230 reform with a new bill that would make platforms, including giants such as Facebook and Twitter, liable for certain limited categories of dangerous content. Unfortunately, although the bill’s authors try to thread a tricky needle …

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Klobuchar targets Big Tech with biggest antitrust overhaul in 45 years

Enlarge / Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on Jan. 21, 2021. Stefani Reynolds – pool | Getty Images With a new session of Congress underway and a new administration in the White House, Big Tech is once again in lawmakers’ crosshairs. Not only are major firms such …

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SpaceX plans Starlink phone service, emergency backup, and low-income access

Enlarge / A stack of 60 Starlink satellites launched in 2019. SpaceX A new SpaceX filing outlines plans for Starlink to offer phone service, emergency backup for voice calls, and cheaper plans for people with low incomes through the government’s Lifeline program. The details are in Starlink’s petition to the Federal Communications Commission for designation …

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Zoombombing countermeasures are ineffective in the vast majority of cases

Enlarge As the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools, colleges, and businesses to limit in-person meetings, the world quickly adopted video conferencing from services such as Zoom and Google Meet. That, in turn, gave way to “zoombombing,” the term for when Internet trolls join online meetings with the goal of disrupting them and harassing their participants. Meeting …

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Parler CEO says board fired him for planning to ban “neo-Nazi” groups

Enlarge / Parler leadership is a bit shadowy at the moment. Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images Parler co-founder and CEO John Matze, who helmed the company through its explosive 2020 growth and even more explosive 2021 deplatforming, has reportedly been fired. The company board ousted the former executive last Friday, The …

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