(Bloomberg) — Big technology companies have added the digital signatures of 40,000 terrorist videos and images to a shared database as they seek to keep extremist content off their platforms.
Facebook Inc., Google’s YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Twitter Inc. revealed the numbers in a joint blog post Monday.
The four big social media companies, which are part of a group called the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, announced one year ago that they would begin sharing digital fingerprints – known as hashes – of videos they removed from their platforms for terrorism.
Under the initiative, if a company removes a piece of content from its network for violating policies around terrorism, it is logged in the shared database. Then, if someone tries to post the same content to one of the other participating social networks, the content is automatically flagged for review – usually by a human analyst – and possible removal.
Technology companies have been under increasing pressure from Western politicians to do more to tackle terrorist propaganda and recruitment online. British Prime Minister Theresa May has been particularly active in accusing tech companies of not doing enough to keep extremists off their platforms and has called for international regulation to force the companies to do more or face substantial penalties.
The companies, for their part, have recently been highlighting their progress in using artificial

 

(Bloomberg) — Big technology companies have added the digital signatures of 40,000 terrorist videos and images to a shared database as they seek to keep extremist content off their platforms.
Facebook Inc., Google’s YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Twitter Inc. revealed the numbers in a joint blog post Monday.
The four big social media companies, which are part of a group called the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, announced one year ago that they would begin sharing digital fingerprints – known as hashes – of videos they removed from their platforms for terrorism.
Under the initiative, if a company removes a piece of content from its network for violating policies around terrorism, it is logged in the shared database. Then, if someone tries to post the same content to one of the other participating social networks, the content is automatically flagged for review – usually by a human analyst – and possible removal.
Technology companies have been under increasing pressure from Western politicians to do more to tackle terrorist propaganda and recruitment online. British Prime Minister Theresa May has been particularly active in accusing tech companies of not doing enough to keep extremists off their platforms and has called for international regulation to force the companies to do more or face substantial penalties.
The companies, for their part, have recently been highlighting their progress in using artificial

 

(Bloomberg) —Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai will take a big step toward his goal of voiding Obama-era net neutrality regulations Tuesday when he submits his plan to the rest of the commission for a vote.

But the expected adoption of the plan by his fellow Republicans on the commission next month won’t end a debate that’s roiled the tech world for years. Aggrieved parties will try to save the regulations in federal court, where judges will decide whether the agency is within its rights to reverse a regulation it adopted little more than two years ago.
“There will be lawsuits — that’s a given,” said James Gattuso, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
The expected vote on Dec. 14 will reignite a debate that’s extended for more than a decade as Washington grapples with how the internet has disrupted the phone and cable businesses.
Republicans and Internet service providers have fought the FCC’s rules, while Democrats and internet companies support them. The regulations bar broadband companies such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from interfering with web traffic sent by Google, Facebook Inc. and others.
A court last year upheld the FCC’s 2015 decision to place broadband service providers under utility-style regulation. The FCC used that strong legal authority to bar the companies from slowing or blocking web traffic or charging for faster passage across their networks. Two earlier attempts to

 

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission next month is planning a vote to kill Obama-era rules demanding fair treatment of web traffic and may decide to vacate the regulations altogether, according to people familiar with the plans.

The move would reignite a years-long debate that has seen Republicans and broadband providers seeking to eliminate the rules, while Democrats and technology companies support them. The regulations passed in 2015 bar broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from interfering with web traffic sent by Google, Facebook Inc. and others.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, chosen by President Donald Trump, in April proposed gutting the rules and asked for public reaction. The agency has taken in more than 22 million comments on the matter.
Pai plans to seek a vote in December, said two people who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. As the head of a Republican majority, he is likely to win a vote on whatever he proposes.
One of the people said Pai may call for vacating the rules except for portions that mandate internet service providers inform customers about their practices — one of the more severe options that would please broadband providers. They argue the FCC’s rules aren’t needed and discourage investment, in part because they subject companies to complex and unpredictable regulations.
Democrats and technology companies say the rules are needed to make sure

 

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission next month is planning a vote to kill Obama-era rules demanding fair treatment of web traffic and may decide to vacate the regulations altogether, according to people familiar with the plans.

The move would reignite a years-long debate that has seen Republicans and broadband providers seeking to eliminate the rules, while Democrats and technology companies support them. The regulations passed in 2015 bar broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from interfering with web traffic sent by Google, Facebook Inc. and others.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, chosen by President Donald Trump, in April proposed gutting the rules and asked for public reaction. The agency has taken in more than 22 million comments on the matter.
Pai plans to seek a vote in December, said two people who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn’t been made public. As the head of a Republican majority, he is likely to win a vote on whatever he proposes.
One of the people said Pai may call for vacating the rules except for portions that mandate internet service providers inform customers about their practices — one of the more severe options that would please broadband providers. They argue the FCC’s rules aren’t needed and discourage investment, in part because they subject companies to complex and unpredictable regulations.
Democrats and technology companies say the rules are needed to make sure

 

(Bloomberg) — The WhatsApp chat app is suffering a global outage on Friday, with users from the U.K. to Indonesia reporting connectivity issues.
Downdetector, a website that tracks outages, reported that WhatsApp has been having issues since 2:38 a.m. New York time.
WhatsApp did not respond to a request for to comment. A notice on the app said “Our service is experiencing a problem right now. We are working on it and hope to restore functionality shortly.” The chat app, owned by Facebook Inc., has more than 1 billion users.
In August Facebook went down temporarily for some of its more than 2 billion global users after a technical error caused a glitch that blocked access to the social network. Outages are rare for Facebook, which via its social media platform and WhatsApp has become a digital front page for people to read news, share information and communicate with friends and family.
The past 24-hours have been a tricky time for social media platforms. U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account went down abruptly for about 11 minutes Thursday evening, a brief deactivation the social media company blamed on an employee who was heading out the door.

 

(Bloomberg) — The internet is steadily pulling in more shoppers, advertisers and businesses, helping the largest technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. churn out strong revenue and profit growth for another quarter.
All three beat analysts’ sales and profit estimates in the September quarter, sending their shares higher in late trading Thursday and putting the stocks on course to hit records or come close Friday. Consumers and corporations are moving more of their day-to-day functions and business to the internet, from advertising and shopping to workplace software, data storage and applications hosting. That means increased sales for Amazon’s online marketplace, more eyeballs on ads dished out in Google’s mobile search results, and busier servers in all three companies’ data centers.
Even technology companies on the periphery of this internet boom managed to catch some of the wave. Intel Corp.’s server-chip business has struggled as big companies use their own data centers less and move operations to the cloud. However, the semiconductor company is now selling more to the big internet companies that lead in those services.
There are risks: regulators around the world are considering how to control internet companies’ influence, and in the U.S., Google and Facebook Inc. are facing criticism after their advertising services were misused by Russia-linked groups to influence last year’s presidential election. But

 

(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc. was accused of Big Brother-style snooping on internet users in a fresh attack on the social network by Belgium’s data privacy watchdog.
The regulator sought a court order on Thursday forcing Facebook to stop any collection of data for advertising purposes and the provision of “misleading” information to users, under the threat of a 250,000 euro ($296,000) daily penalty. The company said it disagreed with the allegations.
Trending: Court Orders DreamHost to Identify Anti-Trump Site Subscribers
“What Facebook is doing is unprecedented in monitoring the browsing habits” of millions of people in Belgium, regardless of whether they are signed up to the service, Ruben Roex, a lawyer for the regulator who works at law firm Time.Lex, told a Brussels court. “Facebook systematically collects data without any action by the user, which users didn’t consent to, or which wasn’t clarified to the users.”
Facebook has been a target for Belgium’s data protection commission since at least 2015, when a court ordered it to stop storing non-users’ personal data. While the U.S. tech giant won on appeal last year, Thursday’s hearing is the first in a European court to go to the heart of the company’s use of technology deemed to be essential to its proper functioning.
‘Like Button’
The operator of the world’s largest social network uses technological means, such as cookies, pixels or so-called plug-ins underpinning its iconic

 

(Bloomberg) — AT&T Inc. and other broadband providers asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Obama-era “net neutrality” rule barring internet service providers from slowing or blocking rivals’ content.
The appeals, filed Thursday, will put new pressure on a rule enacted in 2015 when the Federal Communications Commission was under Democratic control. Filing a separate appeal from AT&T were the United States Telecom Association, a trade group, and broadband service provider CenturyLink Inc.
Now under Republican leadership, the FCC is already considering a plan to replace and weaken the rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to remove strong legal authority that critics say over-regulates telephone and cable providers and that defenders say is needed to enforce fair treatment of web traffic.
The embattled net neutrality rules bar internet service providers such as AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. from blocking or slowing some web traffic in favor of other content — their own or a paying customer’s.
“The practical stakes are immense,” AT&T said in its appeal of a ruling that backed the FCC. The company pointed to a dissenting opinion that said the regulation “fundamentally transforms the internet” and will have a “staggering” impact on infrastructure investment.
The rules are backed by tech companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc.
Pai, elevated to chairman by President Donald

 

(Bloomberg) — Baidu Inc. is building a system to allow China’s cybercops to spot and fix “online rumors” deemed a threat to stability, allowing police agencies to insert themselves directly into everything from its search results to discussion forums.
The platform links 372 police agencies who will use sophisticated artificial intelligence-driven tools to monitor and respond to fake news, blogposts and other items across about a dozen Baidu services, including the popular search engine, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. More than 600 organizations and experts in different areas will be enlisted to weigh in on their respective fields, according to an email sent by Baidu. They included official organs such as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as well as media outfits such as Shanghai United Media Group and Caijing.
See also: Chinese Regulator Starts Probe Into Tencent, Weibo and Baidu
Internet giants from Facebook Inc. to Twitter Inc. are struggling to deal with a proliferation of spurious news articles across social media services. Baidu’s approach allows the Chinese government to intervene directly and write articles in rebuttal. Items that its system decides are fake will be clearly labeled a “rumor” at the very top of search results, alongside an explanation penned by the relevant agency or organization, according to a sample page Baidu provided.
The same system will be employed across products from its news aggregator and online forums to

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