Opeds

The Internet Didn’t Invent Lying Politicians — Contrary to Claims of Tech Critics

Political ads are nothing new. Misleading statements are nothing new in politics either. But when this occurs online, as opposed to on TV or in newspapers, that’s when tech-critics like Tim Wu suddenly have a problem.

In his New York Times op-ed, Wu airs his grievances with online businesses that dare to host political ads. Moreover, Wu complains that these businesses dare to allow politicians to include false statements in political ads.

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NetChoice Testimony in support of Michigan HB 5127 and HB 5128, regarding sales tax on data center equipment

NetChoice Testimony in support of Michigan HB 5127 and HB 5128, regarding sales tax on data center equipment

Calls to Breakup Apple, Facebook, and Google Are a Modern Day Fairy Tale

Medium

Captain Ahab, Don Quixote, and Ponce de Leon — there are dozens of tales featuring self-proclaimed heroes chasing white wales, tilting at windmills, or hunting for fountains of youth.

Today we have real life examples of mythical pursuit embodied in the rhetoric of those who claim that technology innovators like Apple, Facebook, and Google are monopolies as the basis for their breakup.

Their claims of technology monopolies are classic stories recycled for modern day audience, yet undermined by reality and history. Unfortunately for them, however, we have seen and re-seen their movies, and the endings never bode well for their cause.

Read more on Medium…

Section 230 Should be in Our Trade Agreements. Here’s Why.

Including American digital rules and regulations in trade agreements empowers American businesses to expand their reach internationally. The presence of Section 230 language in trade deals enables the U.S. to push back on foreign restrictions on speech and innovation, while lowering the costs of exporting for online entrepreneurs and making it easier for American small businesses to reach global customers. Trade agreements provide sufficient flexibility for Congress to continue to regulate in this area.

Yet some mistakenly hold concerns about the effect of putting Section 230 and other American internet rules into trade agreements.

So it’s time to clarify this misunderstanding.

Read more on Medium…

Facial recognition tech a boon for law enforcement

The Boston Herald

Facial recognition technology has become a lightning rod for debate in Massachusetts.
Proponents of the technology — and, yes, I’m one of them — argue that it helps law enforcement
to investigate and solve crime. Opponents say the technology has outpaced the law and needs
to be regulated.

I think the answer is simple: lawmakers should debate the issues; legislate reasonable
safeguards, if needed; and enable law enforcement to get on with using a valuable tool to find
criminals and keep our communities safe.

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The Hotel Industry Is Lobbying to Make Your Next Vacation More Expensive

The Daily Signal

Earlier this month, Congressman Ed Case introduced a bill that would make finding accommodation on your next getaway more expensive—regardless of where you choose to stay.

Why? It turns out hotels don’t like your cheap stays with Airbnb and HomeAway, and they’re lining up behind this bill to run those platforms off the market.

The Hawaii Democrat calls it the “PLAN Act,” short for Protecting Local Authority and Neighborhoods. The bill would amend a crucial internet provision called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—the law that enables online services to host large amounts of user-created content without bearing liability for that content.

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Net ‘Censorship’ and Community Standards

Wall Street Journal

In a week in which our nation is wondering how to stop hateful speech online, Dennis Prager (“Don’t Let Google Get Away With Censorship,” op-ed, Aug. 7) complains about platforms applying their community standards when filtering videos and other content created by users.

Mr. Prager’s complaint, “Our videos are restricted only because they are conservative,” is an accusation that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

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Morning Consult - Section 230 Is the Internet Law That Stops the Spread of Extremist and Hate Speech

Morning Consult – Section 230 Is the Internet Law That Stops the Spread of Extremist and Hate Speech

We live in dangerous times when newspapers are demonizing the very law that helps stop the spread of hate and extremist speech. Despite what some headlines might say, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act succeeded in its goal to make the internet a better place.

But not letting facts and reality prevent a click-worthy headline, we’ve seen several attacks on this amazing law from leading newspapers.

Read more at Morning Consult

Protecting The Internet From Government Censorship Is Key To The Future Of Global Trade

Forbes

As the U.S. and China wrestle over tariffs, public attention naturally focuses on manufacturing. But for years manufacturing’s share of global trade has been shrinking, while trade in services has been growing. The economy of the future will be leveraged on the exchange of knowledge and intellectual property. This should make commercial services sold via the internet central to any new U.S. trade agreements.

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Unpopular Internet Policies Could Cost Democrats the White House

NetChoice Medium

The 2020 election will be tight and every vote counts. So it’s surprising to see Democratic candidates making calls to regulate free speech and online platforms — policy proposals that Americans overwhelmingly oppose, and policies that could cost Democrats the White House.

This year some Democrats are calling to make it harder for online services to host our comments and pictures. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has even gone so far as to say that America’s most successful tech companies should be broken up.

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Calling Section 230 a “big tech handout” is a lie. Here’s why.

Orange County Register

Unless you follow tech policy debates, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is a bit of an old, unheard-of law. But now it’s one worth talking about, especially since it has recently been brandished as a “handout to big tech” by the likes of Senators Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who are trying to get rid of it altogether.

Other famous conservatives, including firebrands Tucker Carlson and Charlie Kirk, seem to agree. But removing Section 230 wouldn’t be very conservative at all — it would only extend the presence of government into places it doesn’t belong. Nevertheless, it seems these many conservatives are digging in their heels because they want Section 230 to sound like evil corporate welfare for some of America’s greediest monopolies. As it turns out, it really isn’t.

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Social Media Has Enabled People-Driven Politics, So Why Regulate It?

Daily Caller

Throughout history, established interests worry whenever more power is given to the people. When Guttenberg unveiled the printing press it empowered “commoners” with a new way to disseminate information and ideas. Of course the Crown and Church worried about their loss of control which ultimately led to new religions and emerging democracies.

Social media is the modern-day printing press. Empowering people across the world to challenge the established powers that be. We wouldn’t have had movements like the Arab Spring, Occupy, MeToo, BlackLivesMatter, Haiti relief, or even the Ice Bucket Challenge were it not for social media connecting citizens.

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Deepfakes are a problem — So what is the solution?

The Hill

“Deepfakes” is the latest scary buzz word circling Capitol Hill. It’s basically a fake video made to look real.

But “deepfakes” is really just a new word for “photoshopping” of digital images. It can be putting a face on someone else’s body with the intent to deceive, or it might be an obvious attempt at satire (like John Snow apologizing for Season 8 of Game of Thrones).

Sen. Hawley Has a Bill That Could Put the KKK in Your Newsfeed

Content moderation is how online platforms like Facebook and Twitter have a safe place for their users to create, share, and consume news and views. Some online platforms moderate extreme political content so their users doesn’t see white supremacist content next to family photos and cat videos.

But Sen. Hawley’s “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act,” would force online platforms to host politically extreme content that most of us would prefer to avoid online, such as views and videos produced by the KKK.

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For antitech activists, no fine is too high — Even $5 Billion from Facebook

Following the news that Facebook set aside $3 billion to pay an FTC fine of up to $5 billion, many in D.C. wait for news about the FTC’s investigation into the social media business.

Yet, antitech advocates already decided that the yet to be announced FTC fine is not enough.

Read more on Medium…

Spotify’s Song of Relationship Problems With Apple Would Make Taylor Swift Proud

Morning Consult

Taylor Swift is famous for saying “Haters gonna hate” and it seems as though popular music streaming service Spotify has taken that lyric to heart as it launched its haters campaign against Apple Music. Spotify turned on the water works as it cried to European regulators that Apple was abusing its market power to prevent Spotify’s success. What’s worse, Europeans are listening to Spotify’s song of despair.

Lower taxes work for Texas, why are lawmakers trying to create new ones?

Despite the histrionics of high-tax enthusiasts, new tax cuts are producing incredible revenue for state tax coffers. Texas alone has seen a 15 percent tax revenue increase this year. And Texas Comptroller Hegar expects an 8 percent growth in the state’s tax collections over the next two years — an extra $9 billion more to the state.

Read more at Medium

Chris Hughes May Have Helped Found Facebook, But He’s Wrong on Antitrust

Former Facebook employee Chris Hughes recently published an oped complaining about his former employer, It’s Time to Break Up Facebook. While passionate, this oped is riddled with half-truths, unsupported statements and flatly wrong assertions.

This article attempts to manipulate the reader — starting with a parade of horribles about Facebook in order to make readers more susceptible to suggestion. The author, Chris Hughes, then closes with “recommended solutions” that not only threaten our national security, but undermine America’s founding principles.

Read more at Medium