Other Developments, Further Reading, and Coming Events (7 July 2021)

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Other Developments

  • The Australian Parliament passed the “Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020” that “provide a framework for Australian agencies to obtain independently-authorised international production orders for interception, stored communications and telecommunications data directly to designated communications providers in foreign countries with which Australia has a designated international agreement.” In May, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) issued a report as part of the government’s effort to enter into an agreement with the United States (U.S.) under the latter’s the “Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act” (CLOUD Act) (P.L. 115-141). The committee made a range of recommendations to the government in modifying the bill the government introduced in Parliament in March 2020. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed the CLOUD Act was enacted “to speed access to electronic information held by U.S.-based global providers that is critical to our foreign partners’ investigations of serious crime, ranging from terrorism and violent crime to sexual exploitation of children and cybercrime.” The U.S. has executed one CLOUD Act agreement with the United Kingdom, the Access to Electronic Data for the Purpose of Countering Serious Crime. The CLOUD Act was impelled forward in large part by the Supreme Court case, the United States v. Microsoft, in which the U.S. DOJ wanted Microsoft to hand over the email of a U.S. national that were being stored on servers in Ireland as part of a criminal investigation.
  • A United States federal court enjoined a new Florida law (Senate Bill 7072) that would have penalized social media platforms for a range of content moderation policies. The state is all but sure to appeal the decision that has implications for the First Amendment and 47 USC 230. In its decision, the court summarized its granting of a preliminary injunction:
    • The State of Florida has adopted legislation that imposes sweeping requirements on some but not all social-media providers. The legislation applies only to large providers, not otherwise-identical but smaller providers, and explicitly exempts providers under common ownership with any large Florida theme park. The legislation compels providers to host speech that violates their standards—speech they otherwise would not host—and forbids providers from speaking as they otherwise would. The Governor’s signing statement and numerous remarks of legislators show rather clearly that the legislation is viewpoint-based. And parts contravene a federal statute. This order preliminarily enjoins enforcement of the parts of the legislation that are preempted or violate the First Amendment.
  • The Canadian government is proposing legislation to better regulate online hate speech. In a press release, the ruling party in Ottawa explained:
    • Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, along with the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced actions the Government of Canada is taking to better protect Canadians from hate speech and online harms.
    • As part of this approach, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced amendments to the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
    • Too many people and communities in Canada are harmed and victimized by hate speech, which is often amplified and spread online. Online hate can turn into offline hate with devastating impacts on communities and families. We have a responsibility to victims to take action to combat hate online and continue to build a more inclusive Canada.
    • This proposed legislation takes an important step towards creating a safe online environment that protects all Canadians from hate speech and hate crimes. This initiative will also help to ensure that individuals have access to appropriate tools and resources to seek recourse against purveyors of hate speech and perpetrators of hate crimes. The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of freedom of expression for all Canadians and is taking a balanced and targeted approach to tackle the most extreme and harmful speech.
    • The bill aims to:
      • amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to define a new discriminatory practice of communicating hate speech online, and to provide individuals with additional remedies to address hate speech;
      • add a definition of “hatred” to section 319 of the Criminal Code based on Supreme Court of Canada decisions; and
      • create a new peace bond in the Criminal Code designed to prevent hate propaganda offences and hate crimes from being committed, and make related amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
    • This bill will be complemented by a regulatory framework to tackle harmful content online. In the coming weeks, the Government of Canada will engage Canadians on a detailed technical discussion paper that will outline the proposal for making social media platform operators more transparent and accountable while combating harmful content online.
    • The proposed framework that will be set out in the technical discussion paper would create rules for how social media platforms and other online services address harmful material such as hate speech, terrorist content, content that incites violence, child sexual exploitation content, and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
  • The National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United Kingdom’s (UK) National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released a Cybersecurity Advisory “exposing malicious cyber activities by Russian military intelligence against U.S. and global organizations, starting from mid-2019 and likely ongoing.” The agencies asserted:
    • Since at least mid-2019 through early 2021, Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) 85th Main Special Service Center (GTsSS), military unit 26165, used a Kubernetes® cluster to conduct widespread, distributed, and anonymized brute force access attempts against hundreds of government and private sector targets worldwide. GTsSS malicious cyber activity has previously been attributed by the private sector using the names Fancy Bear, APT28, Strontium, and a variety of other identifiers. The 85thGTsSS directed a significant amount of this activity at organizations using Microsoft Office 365®cloud services; however, they also targeted other service providers and on-premises email servers using a variety of different protocols. These efforts are almost certainly still ongoing.
    • This brute force capability allows the 85thGTsSS actors to access protected data, including email, and identify valid account credentials. Those credentials may then be used for a variety of purposes, including initial access, persistence, privilege escalation, and defense evasion. The actors have used identified account credentials in conjunction with exploiting publicly known vulnerabilities, such as exploiting Microsoft Exchange servers using CVE 2020-0688 and CVE 2020-17144, for remote code execution and further access to target networks. After gaining remote access, many well-known tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) are combined to move laterally, evade defenses, and collect additional information within target networks.
    • Network managers should adopt and expand usage of multi-factor authentication to help counter the effectiveness of this capability. Additional mitigations to ensure strong access controls include time-out and lock-out features, the mandatory use of strong passwords, implementation of a ZeroTrust security model that uses additional attributes when determining access, and analytics to detect anomalous accesses. Additionally, organizations can consider denying all inbound activity from known anonymization services, such as commercial virtual private networks (VPNs) and The Onion Router (TOR), where such access is not associated with typical use.
    • The advisory warns system administrators that exploitation is almost certainly ongoing. Targets have been global, but primarily focused on the United States and Europe. Targets include government and military, defense contractors, energy companies, higher education, logistics companies, law firms, media companies, political consultants or political parties, and think tanks.
    • NSA encourages Department of Defense (DOD), National Security Systems (NSS), and Defense Industrial Base (DIB) system administrators to immediately review the indicators of compromise (IOCs) included in the advisory and to apply the recommended mitigations. The most effective mitigation is the use of multi-factor authentication, which is not guessable during brute force access attempts. Read the advisory for a complete list of IOCs and mitigations.
  • The House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee marked up and reported out the FY 2022 Homeland Security Appropriations Act which includes a significant boost in funding above the Administration’s request for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). As explained in a summary, CISA would be provided “$2.42 billion for CISA, an increase of $397.4 million above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level and $288.7 million above the request, including increases above the request of:
    • $186.7 million for cybersecurity;
    • $21.1 million for infrastructure security;
    • $34 million for emergency communications;
    • $17.1 million for integrated operations;
    • $13.7 million for risk management operations;
    • $13 million for stakeholder engagement and requirements; and
    • $3 million for mission support activities.
  • New York Attorney General Letitia James and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and 27 other state attorneys general wrote the leaders of Congress to “express their strong support for the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act (H.R. 2668), which would ensure the ability of the FTC to obtain equitable monetary relief, including restitution for consumers and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, after a U.S. Supreme Court decision stripped the agency of its ability earlier this year.” They argued:
    • The Act is essential to prevent the severe harm to consumers that will result from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in AMG Capital Management, LLC, et al. v. Federal Trade Commission, which held that the FTC lacks the authority to obtain equitable monetary relief through its Section 13(b) enforcement actions. The AMG decision upends four decades of FTC practice and seriously undermines the FTC’s efforts to combat fraud and other anticompetitive or unfair trade practices. If the FTC cannot obtain equitable monetary relief under Section 13(b), violators of the FTC Act who are sued in federal court will retain the monetary benefits of their illegal activity and ill-gotten gains, limiting both the deterrent and remedial values of the FTC Act. In the words of FTC Acting Chairwoman Slaughter, the decision “deprived the FTC of the strongest tool [the FTC] had to help consumers.”
  • In response to the European Commission’s (EC) United Kingdom (UK) adequacy decisions that will allow British firms to freely transfer the personal data of European Union citizens to the UK, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) asserted:
    • The UK government welcomes the move, which rightly recognises the country’s high data protection standards. Formal adoption of the decisions under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law Enforcement Directive (LED) allows personal data to flow freely from the EU and wider European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK. The decisions mean that UK businesses and organisations can continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without having to put additional arrangements in place with European counterparts.
    • This free flow of personal data supports trade, innovation and investment, assists with law enforcement agencies tackling crime, and supports the delivery of critical public services sharing personal data as well as facilitating health and scientific research.
    • The UK, which now operates a fully independent data policy, has already recognised the EU and EEA member states as ‘adequate’, as part of its commitment to establish a smooth transition for the UK’s departure from the bloc.
    • The government plans to promote the free flow of personal data globally and across borders, including through ambitious new trade deals and through new data adequacy agreements with some of the fastest growing economies, while ensuring people’s data continues to be protected to a high standard.
    • All future decisions will be based on what maximises innovation and keeps up with evolving tech. As such, the government’s approach will seek to minimise burdens on organisations seeking to use data to tackle some of the most pressing global issues, including climate change and the prevention of disease.
  • Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), John Thune (R-SD), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the “Unsubscribe Act” that “would require companies to be more transparent about their subscription-based business model and make it easier for consumers to cancel their subscriptions once their free or reduced price trial period has ended.” In the House, Representatives Mark Takano (D-CA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Ed Case (D-HI), and Michael San Nicolas (D-GU) introduced a companion bill (H.R.3593). The sponsors contended:
    • From news to fashion, music to food, subscriptions are everywhere in today’s economy. An important part of their success has been subscription-based businesses’ utilization of reduced-cost or free entry deals for new customers. Theoretically, this allows customers to sample a product or service at a reduced price before committing themselves to the full cost of the subscription. A common practice is to use “negative option billing,” which means that once the free trial is over, the subscription company automatically switches a customer to a full-cost subscription.
    • Unfortunately, in order to retain customers, some subscription providers rely on deceptive marketing, confusing contracts, and restrictions that make it difficult for customers to cancel their subscriptions. For example, some subscriptions do not notify customers when the free trial has expired or that the customer will start to be charged for the full cost of their subscription. Or they will not allow a customer to cancel their subscription online or by email—even if that is how the customer signed up in the first place. Instead, they require a customer to call in to a busy customer service line or send a cancellation by physical mail. This unduly burdensome process often results in customers paying for products and services they do not want and for which they may not even realize they are being charged.
    • The Unsubscribe Act would:
      • Require sellers to provide customers with a clear understanding of all the terms of the contract and obtain the customer’s express and informed consent;
      • Require sellers to provide a simple means of canceling the subscription, which the customer can complete in the same way in which the original contract was entered into;
      • Require sellers to provide a clear notice to consumers when their free or reduced-cost trial is complete and before charging for the full-cost subscription;
      • Disallow automatic transfer to a contract longer than one month; and
      • Require sellers to periodically notify the customer of the terms of the contract and the cancelation mechanism.
  • Google pushed back its plan to stop the use of third-party cookies on Google’s Chrome browser to 2023. The announcement was made in conjunction with Google’s offer to the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) “on proposed commitments in respect of Google’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ browser changes.” In January, the CMA started investigating “suspected breaches of competition law by Google…[regarding] Google’s proposals to remove third party cookies (TPCs) on Chrome and replace TPCs functionality with a range of ‘Privacy Sandbox’ tools, while transferring key functionality to Chrome.” In its notice of intent to accept binding commitments offered by Google, the CMS contended:
    • Google has offered commitments (‘Proposed Commitments’) which seek to address these concerns. The CMA has reached the provisional view that the Proposed Commitments, once implemented, would address its competition concerns as they:
    • (a) Establish a clear purpose of the Proposed Commitments that will ensure that Google’s Proposals are developed in a way that addresses the above competition concerns, by avoiding distortions to competition, whether through restrictions on functionality or self-preferencing, and avoiding the imposition of unfair terms on Chrome’s web users.
    • (b) Establish the criteria that must be taken into account in designing, implementing and evaluating Google’s Proposals. These include the impact of the Privacy Sandbox Proposals on: privacy outcomes and compliance with data protection principles; competition in digital advertising and in particular the risk of distortion to competition between Google and other market participants; the ability of publishers to generate revenue from ad inventory; and user experience and control over the use of their data.
    • (c) Provide for greater transparency and consultation with third parties over the development of Google’s Proposals, including a commitment publicly to disclose the results of tests of the effectiveness of alternative technologies. This would help to overcome the asymmetry of information between Google and third parties regarding the development of the Privacy Sandbox Proposals;
    • (d) Provide for the close involvement of the CMA in the development of Google’s Proposals to ensure that the purpose of the Proposed Commitments is met, including through regular meetings and reports, working with the CMA without delay to identify and resolve any competition concerns before the removal of TPCs, involving the CMA in the evaluation and design of tests of Google’s Proposals. This would ensure that the above concerns about the potential impacts of the Privacy Sandbox Proposals are addressed and contribute to addressing the lack of confidence on the part of third parties regarding Google’s intentions in developing and implementing Google’s Proposals;
    • (e) Provide for a standstill period of at least 60 days before Google proceeds with the removal of TPCs (‘Standstill Period’), giving the CMA the option, if any outstanding concerns cannot be resolved with Google, to reopen its Investigation and, if necessary, impose any interim measures necessary to avoid harm to competition. This provision would strengthen the ability of the CMA to ensure its competition concerns are in fact resolved;
    • (f)  Include specific commitments by Google not to combine user data from certain specified sources for targeting or measuring digital advertising on third-party and first-party ad inventory. This would contribute to addressing the competition concerns arising from Google’s greater ability to track users after the introduction of Google’s Proposals; and
    • (g)  Include specific commitments by Google not to design any of the Privacy Sandbox Proposals in a way which could self- preference Google, not to engage in any form of self-preferencing practices when using the Privacy Sandbox technologies and not to share information between Chrome and other parts of Google which could give Google a competitive advantage over third parties. This would address the above concerns relating to the potential for discrimination against Google’s rivals.
    • In a blog posting, Google claimed:
      • Today, we’re sharing the latest on the Privacy Sandbox initiative including a timeline for Chrome’s plan to phase out support for third-party cookies. While there’s considerable progress with this initiative, it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right.
      • The Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to create web technologies that both protect people’s privacy online and give companies and developers the tools to build thriving digital businesses to keep the web open and accessible to everyone, now, and for the future. To make this happen, we believe the web community needs to come together to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web, giving people more transparency and greater control over how their data is used. 
      • In order to do this, we need to move at a responsible pace. This will allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, continued engagement with regulators, and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services. This is important to avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content. And by providing privacy-preserving technology, we as an industry can help ensure that cookies are not replaced with alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like fingerprinting.
      • We plan to continue to work with the web community to create more private approaches to key areas, including ad measurement, delivering relevant ads and content, and fraud detection. Today, Chrome and others have offered more than 30 proposals, and four of those proposals are available in origin trials. For Chrome, specifically, our goal is to have the key technologies deployed by late 2022 for the developer community to start adopting them. Subject to our engagement with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and in line with the commitments we have offered, Chrome could then phase out third-party cookies over a three month period, starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023. 
  • A special committee of the European Parliament has issued a white paper on artificial intelligence diplomacy on “the way that AI influences global politics and the global balance of power, and how AI  may contribute to a reordering of international politics.” The paper was summarized:
    • This study aims to support the work of the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) by providing an analysis of the geopolitical impact of AI. It discusses the way that AI impacts the European Union’s geopolitical power and its relationship with other countries. Six areas are being discussed through which AI may change the international balance of power:
      • AI’s role in Sino-American competition;
      • AI’s use for authoritarian control and weakening of democracy;
      • AI nationalism;
      • AI’s contribution to the rise in power of the private sector versus the state;
      • AI’s impact on military power and the defence sector; and finally,
      • the possibility of a development of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) with potentially wide-ranging repercussions.
    • The EU will need to find answers to all these challenges, and, after an analysis of the (largely lacking) current take of Member States this topic, this study recommends ways for the EU and its members to respond.
  • The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a “new publicly available digital map that displays key indicators of broadband needs across the country. This is the first interactive, public map that allows users to explore different datasets about where people do not have quality Internet access.” NTIA stated:
    • The public “Indicators of Broadband Need” tool released today puts on one map, for the first time, data from both public and private sources. It contains data aggregated at the county, census tract, and census block level from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), M-Lab, Ookla and Microsoft. Speed-test data provided by M-Lab and Ookla help to illustrate the reality that communities experience when going online, with many parts of the country reporting speeds that fall below the FCC’s current benchmark for fixed broadband service of 25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload. This is the first map that allows users to graphically compare and contrast these different data sources.

Further Reading

  • Trudeau’s Party Passes Bill to Regulate Social Media, Streaming” By Kait Bolongaro — Bloomberg. Canadian lawmakers passed a controversial bill that aims to regulate programming distributed by media streaming services and social platforms like Facebook and YouTube, a measure that critics warn could infringe on individual speech. The legislation drafted by Justin Trudeau’s government, known as Bill C-10, is meant to subject tech giants to the same requirements as traditional broadcasters — effectively compelling companies like Netflix Inc. and TikTok Inc. to finance and promote Canadian content. It’s among the most far-reaching plans by governments anywhere to regulate the algorithms tech companies use to amplify or recommend content.
  • 3 things to know about Nigeria’s Twitter ban” By Lindsay Hundley, Hakeem Bishi and Shelby Grossman — The Washington Post. On June 4, the Nigerian government announced that it had suspended Twitter’s operations in the country. The announcement came two days after the social media company removed a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, in which Buhari issued a thinly veiled threat against secessionist groups in the southeast “to treat them in the language they understand.” Since announcing the ban, the government has issued directives to federal prosecutors to arrest anyone still using Twitter — and ordered Internet providers to block access to the platform. After some initial confusion as to whether Twitter remained accessible, it appears as of mid-June that most Nigerians can no longer access the platform.
  • New Laws Are ‘Probably Needed’ to Force US Firms to Patch Known Cyber Vulnerabilities, NSA Official Says” By Patrick Tucker — Nextgov. The vast majority of cyber attacks exploit known vulnerabilities that could be fixed by patching older software and replacing older computing gear. But that costs money, and legislation will likely be needed to force companies to make these fixes soon — before the kind of AI-powered tools used by Russia and China become commonplace among smaller-scale hackers, said Rob Joyce, who leads the National Security Agency’s Cybersecurity Directorate. “The biggest problem is historical tech debt,” said Joyce, meaning old computers and software that aren’t up-to-date on the most recent patches against attackers. “That means we have to be investing in refresh. We have to be investing in the defensive teams. We have to be investing in organizations that will track, follow and upgrade to close out those vulnerabilities and from where I sit, there’s probably going to have to be some regulation over time.” Joyce made his remarks during a pre-taped session that aired on Friday during the sixth annual Defense One Tech Summit. 
  • White House order pushes antitrust enforcement throughout U.S. economy” By Nandita Bose and Diane Bartz — Reuters. The White House is working on an antitrust executive order that aims to push government agencies to consider how their decisions will impact competition in an industry, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The order goes after corporate monopolies across a broad swath of industries ranging from banking to airlines, one of the sources said.
  • Intel Delays New Chip in First Setback for CEO Gelsinger’s Turnaround Effort” By Asa Fitch — Wall Street Journal. Chip maker Intel Corp. is delaying production of one of its newest chips to improve performance, the first significant product setback under new Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger as he seeks to rebuild the company’s competitiveness. Intel now is planning to start producing the next generation of central processing units for servers—the brains of those machines—in early 2022 after previously saying it would be ready late this year, Lisa Spelman, the company’s corporate vice president, who manages the server-chip business, said in a Tuesday blog post.
  • Google deal with French publishers on hold pending antitrust decision” By Mathieu Rosemain — Reuters. Google has put on hold a preliminary deal with some French publishers to pay for news content as it awaits an antitrust decision that could set the tone for copyright talks on online news in Europe, two sources close to the matter said. Under the three-year framework agreement signed by Google and the Alliance de la presse d’information generale (APIG), a lobby group representing most major French publishers, the U.S. company agreed in January to pay a total of $76 million to 121 publications, according to documents seen by Reuters.
  • Congress Faces Renewed Pressure to ‘Modernize Our Antitrust Laws’” By David McCabe and Steve Lohr — The New York Times. When the nation’s antitrust laws were created more than a century ago, they were aimed at taking on industries such as Big Oil. But technology giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple, which dominate e-commerce, social networks, online advertising and search, have risen in ways unforeseen by the laws. In recent decades, the courts have also interpreted the rules more narrowly.
  • U.S. SEC probing SolarWinds clients over cyber breach disclosures -sources” By Katanga Johnson — Reuters. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened a probe into last year’s SolarWinds cyber breach, focusing on whether some companies failed to disclose that they had been affected by the unprecedented hack, two persons familiar with the investigation said on Monday. The SEC sent investigative letters late last week to a number of public issuers and investment firms seeking voluntary information on whether they had been victims of the hack and failed to disclose it, said the persons, speaking under the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential investigations.
  • New Australian bill would force companies to disclose ransomware payments” By Catalin Cimpanu — The Record. Australian lawmakers have filed on Monday a new bill that would mandate that local companies inform the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) of their intention to pay a ransomware gang.The Ransomware Payments Bill 2021 was put forward today by Tim Watts, Australia’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security, and comes after Australian companies have seen an increased number of ransomware attacks over the past year, including high-profile attacks on multiple hospitals, Australian TV station Channel 9, beverage giant Lion, logistics giant Toll Group, and others.
  • How Big Tech created a data ‘treasure trove’ for police” By Matt O’Brien and Michael Liedtke — Associated Press. When U.S. law enforcement officials need to cast a wide net for information, they’re increasingly turning to the vast digital ponds of personal data created by Big Tech companies via the devices and online services that have hooked billions of people around the world. Data compiled by four of the biggest tech companies shows that law enforcement requests for user information — phone calls, emails, texts, photos, shopping histories, driving routes and more — have more than tripled in the U.S. since 2015. Police are also increasingly savvy about covering their tracks so as not to alert suspects of their interest.
  • Cops Want More of Our Social Media Data Than Ever Before” By Shoshana Wodinsky — Gizmodo. Law enforcement doesn’t have much trouble getting access to data from social media companies. In fact, over the first half of last year, authorities in the US made close to 118,000 requests for user information from tech companies—a number that’s more than twice the number of requests thrown at these companies since 2015. And those numbers are only continuing to skyrocket. That’s according to numbers from Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft that were first compiled by the Associated Press and confirmed by Gizmodo. All told, the four companies reported a collective 117,934 requests from U.S. law enforcement between January and June 2020, the most recent numbers available for tracking these kinds of requests. Collectively, the companies complied with 85% of requests, AP reports.
  • Google is totally changing how ads track people around the Internet. Here’s what you need to know.” By Gerrit De Vynck — The Washington Post. It’s a common sight: Ads from that time you Googled flights to Cancún, or visited Nike to look for new running shoes, following you around the Internet. Much of that tracking is made possible by cookies — little bits of code that jump off websites and lodge themselves in your browser, allowing new sites you visit to see where you’ve been before. Facebook and Google, the two most profitable advertising companies in history, use cookies to show ads across the Web based on info gathered on their own sites and social media networks.

Coming Events

  • On 13 July, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold its monthly meeting with this tentative agenda:
    • Securing Communications Networks. The Commission will consider a Third Report and Order that would amend the rules for the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program consistent with modifications adopted by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The item would also clarify certain aspects of the Reimbursement Program. (WC Docket No. 18-89)
    • Enabling State-of-the-Art Radar Sensing Technologies in the 60 GHz Band. The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing revisions to Section 15.255 of the rules governing short range radar operations in the 64-71 GHz frequency band. (ET Docket No. 21-264)
    • Updating Technical Rules for Radio Broadcasters. The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to eliminate or amend outmoded or unnecessary broadcast technical rules. (MB Docket No. 21-263)
    • Updating International Filing Requirements for the Digital Age. The Commission will consider an Order that would amend rules to require the remaining applications and reports to be filed electronically in the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) and eliminate duplicative paper filing requirements. (IB Docket No. 21-265)
    • Enforcement Bureau Action. The Commission will consider an enforcement action.
  • On 27 July, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold PrivacyCon 2021.

© Michael Kans, Michael Kans Blog and michaelkans.blog, 2019-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael Kans, Michael Kans Blog, and michaelkans.blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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