Why tech companies owe us more than a quarterly transparency report

By: Casey Newton In the second and third quarter of 2019, Facebook said it removed or labeled more than 54 million pieces of content it deemed violent and graphic, 11.4 million posts that broke its rules prohibiting hate speech, 5.7 million uploads that ran afoul of bullying and harassment policies and 18.5 million items determined to be child nudity or sexual exploitation. The company also detailed for the first time its efforts to police Instagram, revealing that it took aim at 1.2 million photos or videos involving child nudity or exploitation and 3 million that ran afoul of its policies prohibiting sales of illegal drugs over the past six months. To read more:

As tech and politics collide, Web Summit emerges as a neutral ground for discussion

By: Katie Deighton It’s been called 'Davos for geeks', 'the Olympus of tech' and 'Glastonbury for nerds', but the speakers, talks and off-stage conversations at Web Summit 2019 indicated the two parties of politics and tech are – somewhat begrudgingly – turning towards each other for perhaps the first time in modern history. The headliner of Web Summit 2019 was so political he wasn’t able to attend. Extradited in Russia, whistleblower Edward Snowden was beamed into the Altice Arena in Lisbon where he urged the audience to challenge the status quo of corporate data collection and misuse. To read more:

Tony Blair on regulating Big Tech, Facebook, Russia, China and Brexit

By: Mike Butcher As history tells us, the break-up of “Big Oil” and “Big Telco” in the past led to more competition and innovation. What to do in the era of “Big Tech?” Living in 2019, we know more than ever before about how Big Tech, particularly in the shape of Facebook, Twitter and Google — as the prime arbiters of information and social media online — have shaped and affected politics today. At the same time, we’re about to face several huge sea-changes in the global system, not least of which will be the next U.S. election, Brexit, the rise of China and challenges of the climate crisis. To read more:

Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter are making massive policy decisions that could change US elections.

By: Eliza Relman Shortly after Facebook announced it wasn't fact-checking political ads, Twitter said last week that it would ban political ads entirely. Both policies, particularly Facebook's, will have far-reaching impacts on future campaigns and elections. Campaigns alone are expected to spend more than $2.5 billion on digital ads by next November. Republicans and Democrats are generally on opposite sides of the issue: While many on left prefer that tech companies more closely regulate or ban political ads, many on the right are pushing for full freedom for campaigns and political groups to advertise what they wish. To read more:

Bosun Tijani talks strategy as CEO of Africa’s new largest tech hub

By: Jake Bright With CcHub‘s acquisition of iHub in September, Nigerian Bosun Tijani is at the helm of (arguably) the largest tech network in Africa. He is now CEO of both organizations, including their robust membership rosters, startup incubation programs, global partnerships and VC activities from Nigeria to Kenya . One could conclude Tijani has become one of the most powerful figures in African tech with the CcHub/iHub  merger. But that would be a little shortsighted. To read more:

Banks are using their Washington clout to stomp on the tech industry

By: ZACHARY WARMBRODT Banks are using their long-established relationships on Capitol Hill and in regulatory agencies to undermine a relative newcomer struggling to get traction in Washington: the tech industry. The battle of corporate titans is brewing as technology companies look to disrupt what Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg calls the "stagnant" financial industry by giving consumers new ways to pay for things and obtain credit. To read more:

Why passwords don’t work, and what will replace them

By: Frank Swain "Sarah", an actor based in London, had her identity stolen in 2017. "I got home one day and found my post box had been broken into," she says. "I had two new credit cards approved which I hadn't applied for, and a letter from one bank, saying we've changed our mind about offering you a credit card." She spent £150 on credit checking services alone trying to track down cards issued in her name. "It's a huge amount of work and money," says Sarah, who asked the BBC not to use her real name. Identity theft is at an all-time high in the UK. The UK's fraud prevention service CIFAS recorded 190,000 cases in the past year, as our increasingly

Tech Firms Ramp Up Lobbying as Antitrust Scrutiny Grows

By: Ryan Tracy Big Tech is hard to miss these days in Washington. So is its money. Lobbying expenditures by Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are on pace to hit record highs this year. Facebook increased spending by nearly 25%, to $12.3 million, through the first nine months of the year over the same period in 2018, according to disclosures of lobbyists’ compensation filed with the federal government. Amazon notched a 16% jump in lobbying outlays, to $12.4 million, making it the top spender so far in 2019 among all companies, according to quarterly reports released last week. To read more:

Pentagon, With an Eye on China, Pushes for Help From American Tech

By: By Don Clark SAN FRANCISCO — Pentagon officials have been holding private discussions with tech industry executives to wrestle with a key question: how to ensure future supplies of the advanced computer chips needed to retain America’s military edge. The talks, some of which predate the Trump administration, recently took on an increased urgency, according to people who were involved or briefed on the discussions. Pentagon officials encouraged chip executives to consider new production lines for semiconductors in the United States, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks were confidential. To read morel: