Tesla ‘very close’ to next step in self-driving, Elon Musk says

Tesla is “very close” to bringing its self-driving car tech to the next level, chief executive Elon Musk said Thursday. In remarks made via video message at the opening of Shanghai’s annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference, Musk said that he is “confident” that Tesla will achieve “the basic functionality for level 5 autonomy” this year, […]

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Jair Bolsonaro, Global Warming, Sweden’s Economy: Your Wednesday Briefing

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the . And now for the Back Story on … Hard choices for tech in Hong Kong Image Credit…Zipeng Zhu After China imposed a new security law on Hong Kong, Facebook, Google, Facebook-owned WhatsApp, Twitter and some other digital companies said they would temporarily stop complying with […]

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Nunes: Twitter, Google, Facebook are ‘tech tyrants’ that censor conservatives

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., railed against Twitter, Google and Facebook tech giants, claiming they improperly wield power over the content Internet users view by censoring conservative-leaning content. Nunes currently suffered a loss in a defamation lawsuit he filed against Twitter, parody accounts known as “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow,” and a Republican strategist when […]

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DHS asks tech giants to make sure social media platforms aren’t used as tool to promote riots

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has written to the heads of tech giants, including Facebook and Twitter, urging them to make sure their platforms are not used to promote or incite riots of the kind that tore through major cities earlier this month. “In the wake of George Floyd’s death, America faced an unprecedented threat from […]

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Lane Tech High School considering changing ‘Indians’ mascot

Lane Tech High School may change its “Indians” mascot after calls of racism. | Sun-Times file The North Center high school will “consider selecting a new mascot,” according to an email sent by its principal this week. One of Chicago’s largest high schools may soon change its mascot, name and logo away from the “Indians.” […]

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Apple, Google, Tesla CEOs slam Trump’s move to suspend immigrant visas

Big Tech CEOs including Tesla’s Elon Musk, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai slammed President Trump’s move to suspend an immigrant visa program that they say helps them recruit talent from abroad. Trump issued a proclamation Monday that temporarily halts several work-based immigration programs including H1-B visas, which allow American employers to hire immigrants […]

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Justice Department gets serious about rolling back big tech protections

The Department of Justice is taking aim at big tech companies amid growing concerns that Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube are letting illicit content run rampant. In a 25-page proposal released on its Web site Wednesday, the DOJ recommended curbing protections that tech platforms have enjoyed since 1996 against content posted on their sites by […]

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Hawley introduces bill targeting Big Tech companies over political censorship concerns

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced legislation Wednesday to give Americans the ability to sue major tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter if they engage in selective censorship of political speech. The Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act, cosponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would stop such companies […]

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Google bans ZeroHedge for ‘racist’ posts, gives The Federalist a warning

Tech giant Google has barred ZeroHedge from its lucrative ad platform and threatened to boot The Federalist after finding “racist” content on their pages related to the Black Lives Matter movement. ZeroHedge, a mostly financial website that posts articles from anonymous writers, will no longer be able to rake in millions of dollars of ad […]

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Tech giants hire advocacy groups to burnish their images, deter regulators

Tech behemoths Amazon, Facebook and Google are employing a number of advocacy groups to conduct p.r.-like campaigns that include letter writing and polling to paint a positive image for them and persuade regulators against breaking up or penalizing the industry, according to a report. The tactic comes as the Justice Department and attorneys general have […]

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Tech titans commit to curbing child exploitation on their platforms

Big tech companies are pledging to be transparent about child exploitation on their platforms as they look to continue expanding encryption. The Technology Coalition, which includes titans like Facebook and Google, on Thursday said its 18-member companies would establish a “multi-million” dollar research fund to study patterns of abuse and develop tools to prevent it. […]

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Ivanka Trump blames cancel culture for canceled commencement speech

Wichita State University Tech, an affiliate of Wichita State University in Kansas, canceled Ivanka Trump’s virtual graduation speech amid backlash over President Donald Trump’s response to George Floyd’s death and the nationwide protests. CNN’s Briana Keilar speaks to a graduate of the school about the decision.

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Tech advocacy group sues Trump over social media executive order

A tech advocacy group backed by Twitter and Facebook sued President Trump over his executive order cracking down on social media companies. Trump’s order to curtail liability protections for social firms violates the First Amendment because it was a clear strike back at Twitter’s decision to fact-check his tweets, the Center for Democracy & Technology […]

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Grindr buyer reportedly has ties to Chinese owner of app

The investor group that’s buying Grindr has connections to the Chinese tech firm that was forced to sell the gay dating app in the first place, a new report says. Federal regulators last week approved Beijing Kunlun Tech Co.’s sale of Grindr to a company called San Vicente Acquisition LLC. The Committee on Foreign Investment […]

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Investor group allowed to buy Grindr from Chinese firm for $620M

Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech said on Friday that a US national security panel approved the $620 million sale of popular gay dating app Grindr to an investor group called San Vicente Acquisition. The panel, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), ordered Kunlun last year to divest Grindr amid concerns […]

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McEnany says Big Tech ‘reluctant’ to go after posts from Chinese officials despite targeting Trump

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany accused Big Tech of being quick to “censor” President Trump but “reluctant” to label misinformation from Chinese officials. “This is bias in action,” McEnany said at a press briefing on Thursday, after Twitter added a “get the facts” link to a Trump tweet about absentee voting on Wednesday. McEnany also […]

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Twitter’s Jack Dorsey fires back at Zuckerberg, defends fact-checking Trump tweets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey fired back at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who criticized the tech giant’s decision to fact-check President Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting. In a preview clip of his interview with Fox News’ Dana Perino, Zuckerberg weighed in on the escalating dustup between Trump and Twitter. The issue at hand was the labeling of the […]

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Apple plans to return staff to offices sooner than its Silicon Valley rivals: report

Going against its tech industry peers, Apple is set to bring workers back to its global offices soon. The California-based technology company will bring employees back in phases over a few months, according to a report. The first phase has begun at some of the company’s locations worldwide and will expand to its major offices […]

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Virus consipracy-theory video shows challenges for big tech

One by one, tech companies across Silicon Valley scrambled to take down a slickly produced video of a discredited researcher peddling a variety of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. It was all too late. The 26-minute documentary-style video dubbed “Plandemic,” in which anti-vaccine activist Judy Mikovits promotes a string of questionable, false and potentially dangerous […]

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Norwegian tech firm with tiny NYC office snags $218K coronavirus loan

A Scandanavian tech firm with a tiny office in New York City snagged more than $200,000 in aid meant to help American small businesses survive the coronavirus crisis. Zedge, a digital publishing outfit founded in Trondheim, Norway, got a $217,900 loan last month through the feds’ $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program, according to a regulatory […]

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Why Rural America’s Digital Divide Persists

This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays. Bogus maps and broken bureaucracies can have real world harm. Cecilia Kang, a Times technology reporter, wrote Tuesday about a family living outside Ithaca, N.Y., that can’t get fast internet service at home — because government maps […]

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Cruz bill would bar US officials from using Chinese-backed tech, stop taxpayer dollars for related UN contracts

EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, unveiled a bill Thursday to ban U.S. officials from using tech platforms supported by the Chinese government and bar taxpayer dollars from being used for related U.N. contracts — the latest move amid growing tensions between the U.S. and China. Co-sponsored by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., the “Countering Chinese Attempts […]

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Big tech firms caught in US-China clash over coronavirus crisis

Tech companies are finding themselves at the center of the falling out between the US and China as the two nations spar over the Communist Party’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Quarterly earnings reports are due out this week from Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, which will offer a first look at just how […]

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