Controversial Reads 050722

In January a federal judge denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s amended complaint seeking to force the company to sell off Instagram and WhatsApp.

Tech companies earn staggering profits by targeting ads to us based on our online behavior. This incentivizes all online actors to collect as much of our behavioral information as possible, and then sell it to ad tech companies and the data brokers that service them.

And often, when doing business in these countries, company’s interests in revenue and profits conflict with America’s national security interests, a conflict that profit always seems to win.

European Union lawmakers voted today in favor of controversial measures to outlaw anonymous crypto transactions, a move the industry said would stifle innovation and invade privacy.

His story is sobering: “The pressure comes from both above and below. You’ve got the United States Senate basically saying: ‘Nice little social network you got there. Real shame for anything to happen to it.’… From below, you’ve got the employees and the tweet mobs and basically forming these boycotts and subjecting the management of the company to pressure.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey would like you to know he too misses the early days of the internet when protocols like IRC made the web seem like a place of boundless poss

We need to rebuild the American economy, and we can only do that with a visionary strategy that galvanizes the imagination of Americans, like the Kennedy Moon Shot or the Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative.

The invasiveness of contemporary gossip sites, social media, and search engines, it turns out, has a long pedigree. Although the technologies of dissemination have changed, the impulse to portray—and profit from—intimate material has thrived for centuries.

But in the crucial area of cyberspace, the Russians have been practically a no-show. Russia’s much-hyped propaganda network on American social media — the same network that supposedly propelled Trump into office — apparently failed to materialize when it mattered most.

Apple CEO Tim Cook this week warned that regulators are on the edge of making poor decisions that will impact our future during a passionate speech in defense of personal privacy and his company’s business models at the Global Privacy Summit in Washington DC.

One of the most disturbing elements of the current Twitter saga is how Musk has mustered a phalanx of fans ready to defend him. What they clamour for is a better product. They plausibly believe the creator of Tesla is the right person to provide it. They see themselves as consumers rather than citizens, the internet equivalent of the medieval masses asking for bread rather than freedom.

Amazon has transformed our expectations for how we buy things and how we interact with technology. It’s now intuitive for many of us to buy almost anything we want with a click — whether from Amazon or some other retailer — and to count on it being delivered within days, if not the same day.

If you’re into cryptocurrency or blockchain, there’s a good chance I don’t have to spell out the benefits of decentralization. You’re a first-generation user of a technology that will increasingly define the future of the internet, and you have front-row seats to the world premiere of Web3.

In the last week or so, the online payment platform PayPal without explanation suspended the accounts of a series of individual journalists and media outlets, including the well-known alt sites Consortium News and MintPress.

A paper published by the world’s main central bank umbrella group, the BIS, has called for individuals and firms to be given more control over the data collected on them by social media and other Big Tech firms and banks.