Tag Archives: Parler

Hillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against Oracle

The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google against Oracle in a copyright fight, while vacating a previous ruling involving former President’s Trump use of Twitter. Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he hoped Parler would eventually return to the App Store, and a national labor board concluded that Amazon had illegally retaliated against two workers by firing them for speaking out against company policies.

A DECISION DECADES IN THE MAKING: The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google in the company’s high-stakes intellectual property fight with Oracle, finding that the search giant’s copying of certain Java lines to develop its Android platform constituted fair use.

In a 6-2 ruling, the justices found that Google’s use of roughly 11,500 lines of code was lawful since the amount was relatively minuscule and because Google programmers used the language as virtual building blocks to develop new and transformative applications.

The court concluded that Oracle cannot claim copyright over these application programming interfaces (APIs), which let different applications communicate.

The battle between Google and Oracle over the use of the code in Android devices has been ongoing for more than a decade.

Read more about the ruling[5]

DISMISSED: On Monday the Supreme Court also vacated a ruling that found that former President TrumpHillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against OracleDonald TrumpBiden should look to ‘Ostpolitik’ to negotiate with autocrats The Memo: Biden’s bet on taxes Why some Republicans think vaccine passports will backfire on Democrats MORE[7][8][9][10][11][6] violated the First Amendment by blocking his critics on Twitter, with the justices dismissing the case as moot.

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The court’s move came in an unsigned order. But Justice Clarence ThomasHillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against OracleClarence ThomasThe Navy’s reading program undermines America’s security Supreme Court revives police shooting victim’s suit against officers Supreme Court explores extent of tribal police authority MORE[13][14][15][16][17][12], the court’s most conservative member, wrote separately to voice concern that Trump’s removal from Twitter reflected a degree of power in the hands of tech platforms that the court would soon need to address.

The lawsuit arose in 2017 after Trump’s social media account blocked seven people who had tweeted criticism of the president in comment threads linked to his @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle, which has since been banned on the platform.

Read more here[18]

A LUKEWARM WELCOME: Tim Cook said he hopes the right-wing social media site Parler will eventually return to Apple’s App Store.

“I’m hoping that they put in the moderation that’s required to be on the store and come back, because I think having more social networks out there is better than having less,” the Silicon Valley giant’s chief executive said during an episode of The New York Times’s “Sway” podcast published Monday.[19]

Parler, which has pitched itself as a free speech alternative platform to Facebook and Twitter, was removed from both Apple’s and Google’s app stores shortly after the violent insurrection at the Capitol in January.

Read more about Cook’s comments[20]

AMAZON UNDER FIRE: Amazon illegally retaliated against two of its workers when it fired them after they publicly criticized the company’s climate policies and supported workers protesting warehouse conditions, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found.

The NLRB found the allegations in the case had merit, and a regional director will issue a complaint if the case does not settle, according to the board.

The board’s determination about the firing of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa was first reported by The New York Times[21]

A spokesperson for Amazon denied the allegations that the employees were fired for speaking out.

“We support every employee’s right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that does not come with blanket immunity against our internal policies, all of which are lawful,” the Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We terminated these employees not for talking publicly about working conditions, safety or sustainability but, rather, for repeatedly violating internal policies.

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The case is one of many allegations of unfair labor practices Amazon is facing, and the  NLRB is in the process of counting up ballots in the unionization vote at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. If successful, the effort would create the first Amazon union in the U.S.[22]

Read more here[23]

DEMOCRATS QUESTION INSTAGRAM FOR KIDS: Democrats told Facebook on Monday they have concerns about the platform’s plans for an Instagram for children over the company’s “past failures” to protect kids on platforms aimed at youth users.

“Facebook has a record of failing to protect children’s privacy and safety, casting serious doubt on its ability to do so on a version of Instagram that is marketed to children,”  Sen. Ed MarkeyHillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against OracleEd MarkeyGive Republicans the climate credit they deserve Biden risks first major fight with progressives Five takeaways on Biden’s big infrastructure package MORE[25][26][27][28][29][24] (D-Mass.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Kathy CastorHillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against OracleKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorLawmakers wager barbecue, sweets and crab claws ahead of Super Bowl Biden recommits US to Paris climate accord OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate majority offers Biden new avenues on Trump environmental rollbacks | Democrats eye action on range of climate bills | Biden pushing to cancel Keystone XL pipeline as soon as he takes office: reports MORE[31][32][33][34][35][30] (D-Fla.) and Rep. Lori TrahanHillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against OracleLori A. TrahanLawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot Lawmakers call for action on first anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death Ethics panel finds Massachusetts Democrat didn’t violate rules MORE[37][38][39][40][41][36] (D-Mass.) wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against OracleMark Elliot ZuckerbergCongressional CEO grillings can’t solve disinformation: We need a public interest regulator Google spending M to fight misinformation, fake news in Europe Hillicon Valley: Parler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot | Warner presses Zuckerberg to tackle vaccine misinfo on Facebook, Instagram | U.S. schools increasingly resuming in-person learning MORE[44][45][46][47][48][43][42]

The Democrats pressed Facebook over concerns about children’s safety in regards to health, well being and data privacy.

Instagram requires users to be at least 13 years old to make an account, but Facebook has acknowledged that young users sometimes lie about their date of birth in creating an account. [49]

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“If we can encourage kids to use an experience that is age-appropriate and managed by parents, we think that’s far better than kids using apps that weren’t designed for them,” Stephanie Otway, a Facebook spokesperson, said in response to the letter.

But the Democrats said that if Facebook’s goal is to decrease the number of users under the age of 13 on Instagram, the proposal for an alternative “may do more harm than good.”

Read more here[50]

NETFLIX (NOT) ON TOP: Netflix saw its dominance of the U.S. streaming market slip during 2020 as new competitors emerged and the coronavirus pandemic forced many Americans to remain in their homes.

According to Ampere Analysis data shared with TheWrap, Netflix’s share of the U.S. streaming market fell from 29 percent at the start of 2020 to 20 percent, a drop of 31 percent.[51]

Netflix reportedly still had the most U.S. subscribers of any streaming service — about 67 million — as of January.

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Amazon Prime also saw a drop in U.S. market share, the news outlet noted. The company previously controlled 21 percent of the streaming market and is now down to 16 percent, a drop of 24 percent, according to an analysis. About 54 million Prime users use the video app in the U.S., TheWrap reported.

Lighter click: That’s awkward[53]

An op-ed to chew on: The information superhighway must be accessible and affordable for all[54]

[email protected] (Maggie Miller,Chris Mills Rodrigo and Rebecca Klar)

Hillicon Valley: Supreme Court rules Facebook text alerts not akin to robocalls | Republicans press Google, Apple, Amazon on Parler removals | Texas Senate blocks social media platforms from banning users based on politics

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. [1]

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.[2][3][4]

The Supreme Court issued an unanimous ruling Thursday siding with Facebook over the platform’s notification system to alert users of suspicious logins. Meanwhile, Google, Apple and Amazon received letters from two Republicans questioning the companies’ actions taken against the social media platform Parler. Top tech platforms were also the target of a Texas Senate bill that passed Thursday that aims to block social media platforms from banning residents based on political views.

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SIDING WITH FACEBOOK: The Supreme Court on Thursday sided unanimously with Facebook, ruling that a notification system the social media giant employs to alert users to suspicious logins does not run afoul of a federal law aimed at curbing robocalls and automated text messages.

The decision derailed a proposed class-action lawsuit that sought to hold Facebook liable under a 1991 law that imposed a general ban on automated calls.

The justices found that Facebook’s opt-in security notification feature fell outside the law, even though the program was found to have transmitted unwanted text messages.

The court rejected an argument from a recipient of unwanted Facebook texts, who claimed that the company’s messaging program amounted to an “autodialer,” which generally involves the use of a random or sequential number generator. 

Read more about the ruling.[5]

PRESSED ON PARLER: Rep. Ken BuckHillicon Valley: Supreme Court rules Facebook text alerts not akin to robocalls | Republicans press Google, Apple, Amazon on Parler removals | Texas Senate blocks social media platforms from banning users based on politicsKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckHouse panel advances bill to repeal 2002 war authorization 14 Republicans vote against resolution condemning Myanmar military coup Bipartisan group of lawmakers backs bill ‘to save local news’ MORE[7][8][9][10][11][6] (R-Colo.) and Sen. Mike LeeHillicon Valley: Supreme Court rules Facebook text alerts not akin to robocalls | Republicans press Google, Apple, Amazon on Parler removals | Texas Senate blocks social media platforms from banning users based on politicsMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border Senate passes extension of popular small-business loan program MORE[13][14][15][16][17][12] (R-Utah), the top Republicans on the House and Senate antitrust subcommittees sent letters to Google, Apple and Amazon pressing the tech giants over their actions to remove from their platforms the fringe social media site Parler after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. 

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The Republicans questioned whether the companies followed “procedural fairness” in pulling Parler, and framed the actions as “three of the largest technology companies in the world” targeting “one small business.” 

Google and Apple removed Parler from their app stores just days after the deadly riot at the Capitol, after the platform was found to be rife with posts about storming the building. The companies cited Parler’s lack of content moderation policies and public safety concerns in making the decision. 

Shortly afterward, Amazon Web Services suspended Parler’s platform, citing concerns the platform could not adequately screen out potential incendiary content, including material that incites violence. 

Read more about the letter[18]

TEXAS TARGETS TECH: The Texas Senate on Thursday passed a bill blocking social media platforms from banning residents based on their political views.

The Texas Tribune reported that Senate Bill 12 passed shortly after 2 a.m. on Thursday. The measure now heads to the state House, where there are two identical bills that have not moved out of their committee, according to the Tribune.[19]

The bill bans platforms from censoring a “user, a user’s expression, or a user’s ability to receive the expression of another person” based on their viewpoints or geographical location, according to its text. The measure also requires social media companies to publicly disclose information regarding their practices around how they target content for users, promote content and services and moderate content.[20]

Read more about the bill[21]

GOOGLE’S LATEST EFFORT TO FIGHT MISINFO: Google on Wednesday announced that it will be spending nearly $ 30 million in Europe to combat misinformation and fake news.

“Google is contributing €25 million to help launch the European Media and Information Fund to strengthen media literacy skills, fight misinformation and support fact checking,” Matt Brittin, the president of Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a blog post.[22]

The money is coupled with a commitment over the next five years to work with the European University Institute, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European Digital Media Observatory.

Read more here[23]

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Lighter click: Ooh yuh get it I guess[24]

An op-ed to chew on: Flying blind: Data infrastructure needed to fight the next pandemic[25]

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB: 

Facebook Built the Perfect Platform for Covid Vaccine Conspiracies (Bloomberg / Sarah Frier and Sarah Kopit)[26]

Asian Americans in tech say they face ‘a unique flavor of oppression’ (Protocol / Megan Rose Dickey)[27]

The Right Curriculum? How PragerU Infiltrates Schools. (The American Prospect / Amelia Pollard)[28]

[email protected] (Rebecca Klar,Maggie Miller and Chris Mills Rodrigo)

Republicans press Google, Apple, Amazon on Parler removals

Top Republicans on the House and Senate antitrust committees sent letters to Google, Apple and Amazon pressing the tech giants over their actions to remove the fringe social media site Parler after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. 

In a letter sent[1] Wednesday by Rep. Ken BuckRepublicans press Google, Apple, Amazon on Parler removalsKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckHouse panel advances bill to repeal 2002 war authorization 14 Republicans vote against resolution condemning Myanmar military coup Bipartisan group of lawmakers backs bill ‘to save local news’ MORE[3][4][5][6][7][2] (R-Colo.) and Sen. Mike LeeRepublicans press Google, Apple, Amazon on Parler removalsMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border Senate passes extension of popular small-business loan program MORE[9][10][11][12][13][8] (R-Utah), the lawmakers question whether the companies followed “procedural fairness” in pulling Parler. 

“The timing of steps taken against the Parler social network by your companies and that the actions seem to lack any of the procedural fairness typically afforded in the case of an alleged breach of contract create the appearance of close coordination,” they wrote.

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The Republicans also frame the actions as “three of the largest technology companies in the world” targeting “one small business.” 

Parler similarly leveled allegations that Amazon sought to limit the app’s market power in a complaint filed last month in Washington state court. The lawsuit was filed the same day Parler filed to dismiss its federal case against Amazon over the suspension. 

Google and Apple removed Parler from their app stores just days after the deadly riot at the Capitol, after the platform was found rife with posts about storming the building. The companies cited Parler’s lack of content moderation policies and public safety concerns in making the decision. 

Shortly afterward, Amazon Web Services suspended Parler’s platform citing concerns the platform could not adequately screen out potential incendiary content, including material that incites violence. 

Spokespeople for Amazon, Google and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment in response to Buck and Lee’s letter. 

In their letter, the Republicans also note that Parler last week told the House Oversight Committee that the company flagged material[14] posted on its platform to the FBI before the violent insurrection at the Capitol. 

The Republicans are looking for detailed responses on the companies’ content policies and processes about reviewing or terminating deals with businesses. They also requested details about the notice given to Parler and further information about the decisions to take action against the platform. 

They requested a response no later than April 15. 

[email protected] (Rebecca Klar)

Parler says it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot

Parler flagged material posted on its platform to the FBI in the run-up to the violent insurrection at the Capitol in January, the conservative social media network claimed in a letter to a lawmaker.

In the letter dated Thursday to House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyParler says it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riotCarolyn MaloneyHillicon Valley: Parler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot | Warner presses Zuckerberg to tackle vaccine misinfo on Facebook, Instagram | U.S. schools increasingly resuming in-person learning Parler says it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot Let’s end the Postal Service political theater and create needed reforms MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] (D-N.Y.), lawyers for the platform said that the company referred violent content to the agency more than 50 times.

The lawyers noted that some of those flagged posts included threats specific to the Capitol, where five people died during an attempt to stop Congress from verifying President BidenParler says it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riotJoe BidenDemocrats see Georgia as opening salvo in war on voting rights MLB could move All-Star game from Georgia after controversial new voter restrictions Biden fires majority of DHS advisory council members MORE[8][9][10][11][12][7]’s electoral college win.

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“Far from being the far-right instigator and rogue company that Big Tech has portrayed Parler to be, the facts conclusively demonstrate that Parler has been a responsible and law-abiding company focused on ensuring that only free and lawful speech exists on its platform,” the lawyers wrote.

The letter includes a screenshot of what appears to be an email correspondence between Parler and the FBI.

A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment.

Parler, which has pitched itself as a free speech alternative platform to Facebook and Twitter, has been criticized for being rife with content about storming Congress before Jan. 6.

Shortly after the attack, it was blocked from the Apple and Google app stores and subsequently dropped by Amazon Web Services, functionally taking the service offline.

The platform announced last month that it would be relaunching.

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Parler had challenged Amazon over cutting off service in federal court, but dropped that challenge earlier this month before filing a new one in Washington state court with largely the same allegations.

A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the claims in Parler’s letter.

The letter was directed to Maloney because she had previously demanded answers about the platform and asked for a FBI investigation into the role Parler played in the riot at the Capitol.

House Oversight ranking member James ComerJames (Jamie) R. ComerParler says it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot Let’s end the Postal Service political theater and create needed reforms 7 reasons for a time out on any taxpayer funds to the US Postal Service MORE[14][15][16][17][18][13] (R-Ky.) said the new letter “fully debunked Chairwoman Maloney’s claims as not only baseless, but outrageous and entirely fictitious,” in a statement Thursday, while also calling for Twitter and Facebook to be investigated. Content about the riot was also present on those platforms.

A spokesperson for Maloney did not immediately return a request for comment on Parler’s letter or Comer’s statement.

[email protected] (Chris Mills Rodrigo)

Parler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot

Social media platform Parler revealed that it flagged concerning material for the FBI ahead of the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot. Meanwhile, a leading senator expressed serious concerns around Facebook’s handling of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on both Facebook and Instagram, and new data shows schools are increasingly moving back into in-person learning.

PARLER WRINKLE: Parler flagged material posted on its platform to the FBI in the run-up to the violent insurrection at the Capitol in January, the conservative social media network claimed in a letter to a lawmaker.

In the letter dated Thursday to House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyParler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riotCarolyn MaloneyPelosi, White House recognize Equal Pay Day Robinhood confidentially files for IPO Political fireworks fuel DC statehood hearing MORE[6][7][8][9][10][5] (D-N.Y.), lawyers for the platform said that the company referred violent content to the agency more than 50 times.

The lawyers noted that some of those flagged posts included threats specific to the Capitol, where five people died during an attempt to stop Congress from verifying President BidenParler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riotJoe BidenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border Sanders creates new headache for Biden on taxes MORE[12][13][14][15][16][11]’s Electoral College win.

“Far from being the far-right instigator and rogue company that Big Tech has portrayed Parler to be, the facts conclusively demonstrate that Parler has been a responsible and law-abiding company focused on ensuring that only free and lawful speech exists on its platform,” the lawyers wrote.

The letter includes a screenshot of what appears to be an email correspondence between Parler and the FBI.

A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment.

Parler, which has pitched itself as a free speech alternative platform to Facebook and Twitter, has been criticized for being rife with content about storming Congress before Jan. 6.

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Shortly after the attack, it was blocked from the Apple and Google app stores and subsequently dropped by Amazon Web Services, functionally taking the service offline.

The platform announced last month that it would be relaunching.

Read more.[17]

MISINFORMATION CONCERNS ABOUND: Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner[18] (D-Va.) on Friday pressed Facebook to do more to combat the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on both its platform and Instagram.

In a letter[19] to Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergParler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riotMark Elliot ZuckerbergThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster Hillicon Valley: Another Big Tech hearing | Cyber Command flexes operations | Trump’s social media site in the works Lawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot MORE[21][22][23][24][25][20], Warner detailed his concerns that the social media giant is not doing enough to get a handle on the increasing tide of misleading information around the safety of the vaccines.

“Anti-vaccination groups and other health conspiracy groups have long utilized – and been enabled by – Facebook’s platforms to disseminate misinformation,” Warner wrote. “Studies show a rapid increase in the spread of health misinformation online since the start of the pandemic.”

The letter was sent the day after Zuckerberg testified[26] before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the topic of misinformation on Facebook, particularly around COVID-19 and the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Zuckerberg detailed Facebook’s efforts to combat coronavirus vaccine misinformation on both Facebook and Instagram in his prepared testimony, noting that “we have made fighting misinformation and providing people with authoritative information a priority for the company.”

Read more about Warner’s concerns here. [27]

SCHOOL’S BACK (SORT OF): About a third of school districts across the nation have resumed in-person learning, while just 1 in 10 school districts continue teaching students entirely remotely, according to a new tracker launched to measure the way local schools adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.

The data shows that school districts across the South are the most likely to have sent children back to school already, while California has the highest concentration of districts that remain remote.

But the lack of a clear national strategy for reopening schools, a problem that is only beginning to be addressed as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention roll out new recommendations for distancing, air circulation and sanitation requirements, has kept most school districts in some kind of hybrid learning environment.

The data, maintained by Return to Learn, a joint project of the American Enterprise Institute and the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College, shows 54 percent of school districts still operating school in some kind of hybrid model, in which kids attend class in person some days and virtually on others.[28]

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Read more about the move back to in-person learning.[29]

ANTITRUST OFFICIAL INCOMING: President Biden’s team is reportedly vetting a lawyer who served as the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) general counsel under former President Obama for a top antitrust post. [30]

According to Politico, which cited two sources familiar with the matter, Jonathan Sallet, who played a key role in formulating the FCC’s net neutrality rules, has been in talks for several weeks now for a top role to work on Biden’s competition policy. [31]

One potential position Sallet could take on is leading the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, where Sallet served as deputy assistant attorney general for litigation from 2016 to 2017.

Read more here. [32]

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Lighter click: Please stop backseat steering![33]

An op-ed to chew on: The cybersecurity problem we should really worry about [34]

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB: 

Hackers target German lawmakers in an election year (CyberScoop / Sean Lyngaas)[35]

The Hidden Hand Of Facial Recognition In The Capitol Insurrection Manhunt (HuffPost / Ryan J. Reilly and Jesselyn Cook)[36]

How Intel got blindsided by China’s culture wars (Protocol / Shen Lu) [37]

Why Microsoft wants Discord (The Verge / Tom Warren)[38]

References

  1. ^ HERE.  (www.email.thehill.com)
  2. ^ @magmill95 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ @chrisismills (twitter.com)
  4. ^ @rebeccaklar_ (twitter.com)
  5. ^ Carolyn Maloney (thehill.com)
  6. ^ Carolyn Maloney (thehill.com)
  7. ^ Pelosi, White House recognize Equal Pay Day (thehill.com)
  8. ^ Robinhood confidentially files for IPO (thehill.com)
  9. ^ Political fireworks fuel DC statehood hearing (thehill.com)
  10. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  11. ^ President Biden (thehill.com)
  12. ^ Joe Biden (thehill.com)
  13. ^ The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster (thehill.com)
  14. ^ GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border (thehill.com)
  15. ^ Sanders creates new headache for Biden on taxes (thehill.com)
  16. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  17. ^ Read more. (thehill.com)
  18. ^ Mark Warner (thehill.com)
  19. ^ letter (www.warner.senate.gov)
  20. ^ Mark Zuckerberg (thehill.com)
  21. ^ Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (thehill.com)
  22. ^ The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster (thehill.com)
  23. ^ Hillicon Valley: Another Big Tech hearing | Cyber Command flexes operations | Trump’s social media site in the works (thehill.com)
  24. ^ Lawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot (thehill.com)
  25. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  26. ^ testified (thehill.com)
  27. ^ Read more about Warner’s concerns here.  (thehill.com)
  28. ^ maintained by Return to Learn (www.returntolearntracker.net)
  29. ^ Read more about the move back to in-person learning. (thehill.com)
  30. ^ President Biden (thehill.com)
  31. ^ Politico (www.politico.com)
  32. ^ Read more here.  (thehill.com)
  33. ^ Please stop backseat steering! (twitter.com)
  34. ^ The cybersecurity problem we should really worry about  (thehill.com)
  35. ^ target German lawmakers (www.cyberscoop.com)
  36. ^ Hidden Hand (www.huffpost.com)
  37. ^ blindsided (www.protocol.com)
  38. ^ Microsoft wants (www.theverge.com)

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. [1]

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.[2][3][4]

[email protected] (Maggie Miller,Chris Mills Rodrigo and Rebecca Klar)

Hillicon Valley: John Matze takes on Parler | Prince Harry heads to Silicon Valley | YouTube leaves up Boulder shooting video

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. [1]

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.[2][3][4]

Departed co-founder John Matze is suing the right-wing social media site Parler over his dismissal earlier this year, arguing that GOP megadonor Rebekah Mercer conspired against him. Prince HarryHillicon Valley: John Matze takes on Parler | Prince Harry heads to Silicon Valley | YouTube leaves up Boulder shooting videoPrince HarryPrince Harry to be named chief impact officer at BetterUp UK royal family considers appointing diversity czar Prince Harry pens personal note in children’s bereavement book: ‘I know how you feel’ MORE[6][7][8][9][10][5] is joining a Sillicon Valley start-up. And YouTube made a controversial call about footage from the Boulder shooting.

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MATZE v. PARLER: Parler co-founder John Matze has sued the social media platform over his firing earlier this year.

Matze filed suit on Monday in a Nevada state court, according to a copy of the complaint published by The Las Vegas Sun. 

The former Parler CEO accuses co-owner and GOP megadonor Rebekah Mercer of conspiring to dismiss him for “endeavoring to preserve Parler’s commitment to free expression while combatting any misuse by violent extremists and domestic terrorists in the wake of the January 6, 2021 attack at the U.S. Capitol.”

Fox News reported in early February that Matze was dismissed by Mercer, a benefactor to Breitbart News, and Steve BannonHillicon Valley: John Matze takes on Parler | Prince Harry heads to Silicon Valley | YouTube leaves up Boulder shooting videoStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonDershowitz advising MyPillow CEO’s lawyers in Dominion case Bannon rips Italian court over decision to block populist training center Jason Miller: Trump said Meghan was ‘no good’ MORE[12][13][14][15][16][11], a campaign and White House adviser for former President TrumpHillicon Valley: John Matze takes on Parler | Prince Harry heads to Silicon Valley | YouTube leaves up Boulder shooting videoDonald TrumpGood luck, Dan Bongino! The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s next act: Massive infrastructure plan with tax hikes Conservative group says polling shows Dems’ voting rights bill ‘out of sync with American voters’ MORE[18][19][20][21][22][17].

Internal dispute: The suit alleges that Mercer ignored Matze’s proposals for moderation policies that would have booted extremist content while preserving free speech. Instead, she and now-interim CEO Mark Meckler allegedly sought to turn Parler into a media outlet that would be the “tip of the spear” for conservatism.

After the Jan. 6 riots, Parler was booted from several platforms including Apple and Google’s app stores, as well as Amazon’s web hosting service, over its failing to moderate extremist content on the platform.

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Read more.[23]

PRINCE OF START-UPS: Prince Harry will be joining the Silicon Valley startup BetterUp as its chief impact officer, the company announced on Tuesday.

BetterUp is a career and life coaching platform.

The Duke of SussexHillicon Valley: John Matze takes on Parler | Prince Harry heads to Silicon Valley | YouTube leaves up Boulder shooting videoPrince HarryUK royal family considers appointing diversity czar Prince Harry pens personal note in children’s bereavement book: ‘I know how you feel’ UK tabloid paid private investigator K for info on Meghan Markle: report MORE[25][26][27][28][29][24] wrote in a blog post[30] on Tuesday that his goal is to “lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations.”

Read more.[31]

YOUTUBE MAKES BOULDER CALL: YouTube says it’s leaving up a live-streamed video of Monday’s shooting in Boulder, Colo., which left ten people dead, including a police officer.

The company said it is adding a warning to the footage, which was captured by a self-described citizen journalist who live-streamed the shooting for three hours.

YouTube’s stance: “Following yesterday’s tragic shooting, bystander videos of the incident were detected by our teams,” YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez told The Hill in a statement. “Violent content intended to shock or disgust viewers and hate speech are not allowed on YouTube, and as a result we have removed a number of videos for violating our policies.”

“We do allow certain violent or graphic content with sufficient news or documentary context, and so we’ve applied an age restriction to this particular content. We will continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation,” Hernandez said.

Dean Schiller began livestreaming at around 2:45 p.m. local time on Monday after he heard the first shots at the King Soopers grocery store, Vice News reported. The video was uploaded to the channel ZFG Videography.

Read more.[32]

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FACEBOOK CHECK: A nonprofit found that 267 Facebook pages and groups spread material glorifying violence ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Avaaz, a group focused on misinformation, said in a report on March 18 that it found “267 pages and groups – in addition to ‘Stop the Steal’ groups – with a combined following of 32 million, spreading violence-glorifying content in the heat of the 2020 election.”

They believe that 118 of those groups had “clear violations” of Facebook’s policies.

Facebook responded to the report saying that of the 118 pages that Avaaz believes clearly violated the social media giant’s policies, only 18 groups actually had clear policy violations.

Read more.[33]

CRYPTO(-IC) WARNING: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday warned of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, in part because of their high volatility.

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“They’re highly volatile, see Bitcoin, and therefore not really useful as a store of value and they’re not backed by anything,” Powell said during a digital panel discussion hosted by the Bank of International Settlements.

Casting doubt: He added that crypto assets are more used for “speculation,” rather than a “means of payment.”

“They’re more of an asset for speculation, so they’re also not particularly in use as a means of payment. It’s more a speculative asset that’s essentially a substitute for gold, rather than for the dollar,” he said.

Powell also addressed the potential for the Federal Reserve to institute its own central bank digital coin. He said the Fed is “exploring” the issue, but that it is “not in a mode of trying to make a decision at this point.” 

Read more.[34]

OATH KEEPERS AT RISK: The Department of Justice is eyeing charging members of the Oath Keepers militia group with sedition for their alleged role in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, The New York Times reported on Monday.

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Law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told the Times that authorities have been mulling whether to file sedition charges for weeks, accusing the militia group’s members of conspiring to overthrow the government.

Rare charges: Newly sworn-in Attorney General Merrick GarlandHillicon Valley: John Matze takes on Parler | Prince Harry heads to Silicon Valley | YouTube leaves up Boulder shooting videoMerrick GarlandDuckworth: Atlanta shootings look ‘racially motivated’ Biden condemns anti-Asian violence, ‘ugly poison’ of racism Exclusive: GOP officials offer support for Vanita Gupta MORE[36][37][38][39][40][35] is expected to have the final decision over whether prosecutors would move forward with such charges, which the department has not successfully argued for in more than two decades, the Times noted.

Oath Keepers members Thomas Caldwell, Jessica Watkins and Donovan Crowl have all been indicted on conspiring to obstruct the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote that confirmed President BidenHillicon Valley: John Matze takes on Parler | Prince Harry heads to Silicon Valley | YouTube leaves up Boulder shooting videoJoe BidenGood luck, Dan Bongino! The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s next act: Massive infrastructure plan with tax hikes Conservative group says polling shows Dems’ voting rights bill ‘out of sync with American voters’ MORE[42][43][44][45][46][41]’s election win.

What’s next: Justice Department senior officials have been given evidence on the three charged individuals and have examined whether a sedition charge could be pursued. But prosecutors have not yet provided a formal prosecution memo or a draft of an indictment, one official told the newspaper. 

Read more.[47]

Lighter click: Twitter’s finest[48]

An op-ed to chew on: The cybersecurity problem we should really worry about[49]

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB: 

Amazon Delivery Drivers Forced to Sign ‘Biometric Consent’ Form or Lose Job (Motherboard / Lauren Kaori Gurley)[50]

Tesla’s Autopilot Technology Faces Fresh Scrutiny (New York Times / Neal E. Boudette)[51]

Lina Khan is just the first step toward tougher US tech regulation (The Verge / Makena Kelly)[52]

References

  1. ^ HERE.  (www.email.thehill.com)
  2. ^ @magmill95 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ @chrisismills (twitter.com)
  4. ^ @rebeccaklar_ (twitter.com)
  5. ^ Prince Harry (thehill.com)
  6. ^ Prince Harry (thehill.com)
  7. ^ Prince Harry to be named chief impact officer at BetterUp (thehill.com)
  8. ^ UK royal family considers appointing diversity czar (thehill.com)
  9. ^ Prince Harry pens personal note in children’s bereavement book: ‘I know how you feel’ (thehill.com)
  10. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  11. ^ Steve Bannon (thehill.com)
  12. ^ Stephen (Steve) Kevin Bannon (thehill.com)
  13. ^ Dershowitz advising MyPillow CEO’s lawyers in Dominion case (thehill.com)
  14. ^ Bannon rips Italian court over decision to block populist training center (thehill.com)
  15. ^ Jason Miller: Trump said Meghan was ‘no good’ (thehill.com)
  16. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  17. ^ President Trump (thehill.com)
  18. ^ Donald Trump (thehill.com)
  19. ^ Good luck, Dan Bongino! (thehill.com)
  20. ^ The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s next act: Massive infrastructure plan with tax hikes (thehill.com)
  21. ^ Conservative group says polling shows Dems’ voting rights bill ‘out of sync with American voters’ (thehill.com)
  22. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  23. ^ Read more. (thehill.com)
  24. ^ The Duke of Sussex (thehill.com)
  25. ^ Prince Harry (thehill.com)
  26. ^ UK royal family considers appointing diversity czar (thehill.com)
  27. ^ Prince Harry pens personal note in children’s bereavement book: ‘I know how you feel’ (thehill.com)
  28. ^ UK tabloid paid private investigator K for info on Meghan Markle: report (thehill.com)
  29. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  30. ^ in a blog post (www.betterup.com)
  31. ^ Read more. (thehill.com)
  32. ^ Read more (thehill.com)
  33. ^ Read more. (thehill.com)
  34. ^ Read more. (thehill.com)
  35. ^ Merrick Garland (thehill.com)
  36. ^ Merrick Garland (thehill.com)
  37. ^ Duckworth: Atlanta shootings look ‘racially motivated’ (thehill.com)
  38. ^ Biden condemns anti-Asian violence, ‘ugly poison’ of racism (thehill.com)
  39. ^ Exclusive: GOP officials offer support for Vanita Gupta (thehill.com)
  40. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  41. ^ President Biden (thehill.com)
  42. ^ Joe Biden (thehill.com)
  43. ^ Good luck, Dan Bongino! (thehill.com)
  44. ^ The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s next act: Massive infrastructure plan with tax hikes (thehill.com)
  45. ^ Conservative group says polling shows Dems’ voting rights bill ‘out of sync with American voters’ (thehill.com)
  46. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  47. ^ Read more. (thehill.com)
  48. ^ Twitter’s finest (twitter.com)
  49. ^ The cybersecurity problem we should really worry about (thehill.com)
  50. ^ ‘Biometric Consent’ Form (www.vice.com)
  51. ^ Autopilot Technology (www.nytimes.com)
  52. ^ just the first step (www.theverge.com)

[email protected] (Chris Mills Rodrigo,Maggie Miller and Rebecca Klar)