Rep. Schakowsky discusses potential bills on privacy, Section 230

(Mar 2, 2020) U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., is working on proposals for a federal privacy law and amendments to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Bloomberg Government reports. With the privacy bill, Schakowsky said discussions on preemption and a private right of action are the remaining hurdles before a formal introduction to the House of Representatives, which is a "real goal" by year's end. The Section 230 bill seeks to empower the Federal Trade Commission to pursue action against companie... Read More

Big tech companies push back on Pakistan's censorship rules

(Feb 28, 2020) The New York Times reports Facebook, Google and Twitter are among the big tech companies refusing to comply with proposed internet censorship rules in Pakistan. The Asia Internet Coalition wrote a letter to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the opposition of the companies, which proposed abandoning service in Pakistan entirely if the rules stood. The Pakistani government then eased its position, saying the proposal will be put through an "extensive and broad-based consultation process... Read More

Facebook releases midyear transparency report

(Nov 14, 2019) Facebook has released its transparency report for the first half of 2019. The report shows government requests for user data rose 16% since the second half of last year. The U.S. filed the most requests and saw its figure jump 23% overall, while 66% of those requests came with nondisclosure orders. "As we have said in prior reports, we always scrutinize every government request we receive for account data to make sure it is legally valid," Facebook Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Chris... Read More

Jourová: EU planning regulations against 'dirty methods' in political ads

(Nov 8, 2019) In an interview with CNBC, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová said EU lawmakers are considering new rules for political ads shown on big tech platforms. Jourová indicated the rules will focus on transparency, saying they will aim to show "who is behind the campaigning, who pays (for) it, what are the interests." Jourová added lawmakers should aim to avoid creating "some kind of Orwell's world" by forcing widespread censorship across platforms.Full Story... Read More

EC releases report on big tech's content moderation efforts

(Oct 29, 2019) The European Commission has filed a report featuring mixed reviews regarding how big tech companies are approaching content moderation and complying with a voluntary "code of conduct," the Financial Times reports. The report showed big tech graded well with the commission on removing fake accounts, enforcing ad placement rules and monitoring disinformation. However, the commission reported general incident reporting, noting disclosures are "episodic and arbitrary." The code of conduct is expecte... Read More

Thailand calls for restaurants, cafes to follow data retention law

(Oct 24, 2019) The Daily Swig reports Thailand will require restaurants and cafes to follow data retention provisions in the country's cybersecurity legislation that was adopted in March. The restaurants and cafes that have Wi-Fi will be required to store user data for 90 days and make it available to the country's "fake news center," which will weed out inappropriate information online starting in November. Businesses that violate the mandate could potentially face a fine of up to 500,000 baht.Full Story... Read More

CJEU rules countries can order online platforms to remove content

(Oct 3, 2019) The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled individual countries can force online platforms to take down and restrict access to certain content, The New York Times reports. The case stemmed from an Austrian politician who wanted the tech company to remove disparaging comments about her that were posted on an individual's page. “This judgment raises critical questions around freedom of expression and the role that internet companies should play in monitoring, interpreting and removing speech... Read More

Op-ed: The spread of child abuse imagery online is changing the encryption debate

(Oct 1, 2019) In a column for The Verge, Silicon Valley Editor Casey Newton writes that the spread of child abuse images online is changing the debate about encryption. "Thanks to Facebook's efforts in particular, law enforcement detects millions of cases in which terrible images are being shared around the world," Newton writes. He adds the spread of the images is an internet problem because they "stem from the existence of a free and open network connecting all of humanity together," whereas platform proble... Read More

Facebook plans creation of board to review company's content decisions

(Sep 18, 2019) Facebook announced its plans to create an Oversight Board made up of individuals who will review the tech company’s decisions to take down content or leave it on the site, The Washington Post reports. About 40 people will be on the board as they offer a final ruling for users who seek answers on Facebook’s moderation choices. Facebook released a charter that outlines who will be on the board and the review process itself. “We are responsible for enforcing our policies every day and we make milli... Read More

Hong Kong seeks end to 'doxing' on messaging platforms

(Sep 12, 2019) The Global Times reports Hong Kong is still dealing with issues of "doxing" and hate speech on its messaging platforms. Claims of doxing surged in August, but Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies member Tang Fei said there is no legal basis to shut down social networks, such as Telegram and LIHKG. The platforms are self-regulated and responsible for keeping users' personal information secure. "The existing laws can play a major role in supervising the networks and managing online g... Read More