"What happens online doesn't stay online - it has real-world consequences," Rep. Frank Pallone said during Thursday's misinformation hearing.
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Members of the US House of Representatives are expected grill the executives about the spread of misinformation on their platforms, which has been a hot topic during the pandemic and election season.
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Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey will all appear before Congress at a remote joint hearing on March 25.
Now wouldn't be the time to exploit millions stuck at home, yeah? Maybe restrain the profiteering a little? America’s largest internet providers have been asked to provide details of any price hikes or broadband restrictions they have placed on captive internet users during the pandemic.…
With Democrats now in control of Congress, Big Tech could face stricter regulation due to backlash over the failed insurrection fueled by Trump's tweets.
So says its ex-director of monetization, adding this has led to 'unprecedented engagement and profits' Members of the US House of Representatives held a hearing on Thursday about role antisocial networks have played in radicalizing America.…
"Despite bipartisan interest and our request...the White House has blocked Dr. Hahn from testifying," Democratic lawmakers said in a statement.
Last Monday the country was already knee-deep in questions about the internet’s role in spreading hate speech—and whether platforms were doing enough to combat it—after the web forum 8chan played host once again to a hateful manifesto connected to a mass shooting.By the end of the week, however, another narrative emerged—that tech companies were policing speech too much, as reports of the White House drafting an executive order titled "Protecting Americans from Online Censorship" made the rounds.At the center of all these debates is a bit of legislation that came into being well before Facebook and Twitter, back when the internet was plodding along at dialup speeds: Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.(Companies can still be held liable under federal criminal law and for intellectual property violations.)“Something tech companies have really gotten wrong—they’ve proceeded for years basically treating Section 230 like it’s a right that’s enshrined in the Constitution, and I think, frankly, some of the large platforms in particular have gotten incredibly arrogant,” says Jeff Kosseff, who wrote a book about Section 230 called Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet.“And now what you’re seeing is a backlash to that arrogance.”
The House on Wednesday passed a bipartisan bill designed to stop robocalls.The measure, called the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, passed in a 429-3 vote."This comprehensive bill requires every call to be verified, allows the blocking of spam calls, and empowers @FCC to protect Americans from scammers," tweeted Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.Pallone and Greg Walden, a Republican from Oregon, introduced the bill to the House of Representatives last month.If passed into law, it would require carriers to use technology to verify numbers shown on caller ID and allow the Federal Communications Commission to take action against robocallers.Americans received 47.8 billion robocalls last year, nearly half of which were from scammers, according to a FCC report released in February.
This afternoon, the House of Representatives approved an anti-robocalling measure, dialing up the heat that Congress has been pressing on telecoms and the Federal Communications Commission due to the onslaught of harmful calls over the past few years.The Energy and Commerce Committee approved the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act unanimously last week and sent it to the floor, preparing it for today’s 429-3 vote.If it becomes law, the bill would make it easier for the government to impose tougher penalties on illegal robocallers and fraudsters and demand that carriers deploy call authentication tech like SHAKEN/STIR at a faster pace.“The rising tide of unlawful, unwanted robocalls started as a nuisance but now threatens the way consumers view and use their telephones,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said today in support of the bill.“These calls are undermining our entire phone system, and that’s something we all need to take very, very seriously.”The bill would also require the FCC to update its definition of “robocall,” which could lead to more businesses obtaining consent from customers before using robocalls to content them.
Way back in 2009, Ford's new Fiesta hit dealer showrooms across the US.It was the first Fiesta to hit the US in decades and it looked better than ever, and its fuel economy figures were seriously impressive.That latter attribute was thanks in large part to their new and innovative dual-clutch automatic transmissions, which Ford called PowerShift.Here we are 10 years later, and those transmissions are proving to be a massive thorn in not only owners' sides, but increasingly they're becoming an issue for the mothership back in Dearborn.The problems with the transmission include many reports from owners that it will drop into neutral between gears, leading to a lack of acceleration.Other reports state that the cars will lurch forward and shift jerkily.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is sending a bill to help end the onslaught of unwanted robocalls to the floor, an issue that both chambers of Congress have made a priority this session.The bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act would outlaw a slate of methods fraudsters use to scam consumers over the phone and through text.If approved, the bill would make it easier for the government to go after the fraudsters and issue tougher penalties.The Federal Communications Commission would also need to update what it considers a “robocall,” which would require more businesses to obtain consent from customers before making robotic calls.“The American people are fed up with robocalls,” Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) said.“Who can blame them – an estimated 47 billion robocalls were made last year.
Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois wrote a letter to Amazon asking the company what it does about fake product reviews and ratings.Fraudulent, positive reviews and ratings — paid for by sellers on Amazon's marketplace — can make a product look better, and more popular, than it actually is."Online reviews significantly affect consumers' shopping decisions, and it is important that Amazon proactively protect consumers from such misleading and harmful behavior," Pallone and Schakowsky wrote.Two-thirds of adults who read reviews regularly view them as "generally accurate," according to The New York Times.Democratic representatives on the Committee of Energy and Commerce are demanding that Amazon explain what it does about "deceptive product ratings and reviews."Committee chair Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois — who is the chair of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce — sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday asking for a better understanding of how the tech giant identifies, removes, and prevents deceptive reviews and ratings of the products on its marketplace.
The US government continues to try and stop the scourge of robocalls affecting millions of phone users.In May, the Senate passed an anti-robocall bill and now the House has its own bipartisan bill to combat the phone menace.Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Greg Walden, a Republican from Oregon, introduced a bipartisan version of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act to the House of Representative on Thursday.The bill would require carriers to implement technology to validate numbers shown on caller ID and allow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to go after companies responsible for robocalls."It's time we end the robocall epidemic and restore trust back into our phone system," Rep. Pallone and Walden said in a release."Americans should be able to block robocalls in a consistent and transparent way without being charged extra for it.
For most people with phones, robocalls are a pesky, mostly unavoidable irritation.Administrators say phone lines tied up by scammers are interfering with emergency calls, hampering emergency communication between ambulances and the hospital and the hospital and families.The Post called it a new type of "epidemic" and cited a day in April 2018 at Tufts Medical Center in Boston when "a wave of thousands of robocalls that spread like a virus from one phone line to the next, disrupting communications for hours."On April 30, 2018, between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m., the medical center received 4,500 calls, Taylor Lehmann, the facility's chief information security officer, told the Post.Each call was mostly the same -- the voice reportedly spoke in Mandarin and threatened deportation unless the person who took the call provided personal information.Steven Cardinal, a top security official at the Medical University of South Carolina, told the Post that hospital staff has to pick up the phone.
The Senate voted in favor of bipartisan legislation Thursday to help stop annoying robocalls.John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, and Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, would improve enforcement policies, such as criminalizing illegal robocalling, and also improve coordination between agencies policing robocalls.It would also require phone companies to use a new technology protocol called SHAKEN/STIR, which would validate that calls are originating from where they claim to be coming from and would allow for faster tracing of illegal calls to find out who's responsible for them.Nearly 50% of those calls were from scammers.The report also highlighted that the number of complaints about illegal robocalls has been increasing, jumping from 172,000 complaints in 2015 to 232,000 complaints in 2018.Often the numbers that show up in caller ID appear to belong to friends or neighbors, when they're actually "spoofed."
Amazing how fast Pai and his team can move when motivatedOn Wednesday morning, after years of actively ignoring demands that phone companies be made to block robocalls by default, the head of the telecom regulating FCC had a sudden change of heart."Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing bold action to help consumers block unwanted robocalls," announced an official release."He has circulated a declaratory ruling that, if adopted, would allow phone companies to block unwanted calls to their customers by default."On Tuesday night at past 2200 Washington DC time, reporters received an email inviting them to a press call at 0845 the next morning, where Pai outlined his bold vision and claimed – to raised eyebrows – that "many voice providers have held off developing and deploying call blocking tools by default because of uncertainty about whether these tools are legal under the FCC's rules."The sudden decision to put forward something that fellow FCC Commissioners have been demanding for years is all the more unusual given that just this week, in response to mounting pressure from lawmakers and state attorneys general, Pai had re-re-re-announced his "call" for the phone industry to adopt a call authentication system.
(Reuters) — Two U.S. senators on Monday criticized reported plans for a Federal Trade Commission settlement with Facebook for misuse of consumers’ personal data, saying that top officials, potentially including founder Mark Zuckerberg, must be held personally responsible.In a letter to the FTC, Senators Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, and Josh Hawley, a Republican, told the agency that even a $5 billion civil penalty is a “bargain for Facebook.”The agency is also reportedly contemplating a settlement that elevates oversight of privacy policies and practices to Facebook’s board of directors and requires the social media giant to be more aggressive in policing third-party app developers.But that was inadequate, said Blumenthal and Hawley, who said the FTC should go further.“It should consider setting rules of the road on what Facebook can do with consumers’ private information, such as requiring the deletion of tracking data, restricting the collection of certain types of information, curbing advertising practices, and imposing a firewall on sharing private data between different products,” they said in a letter to FTC Chairman Joe Simons.The probe has focused on whether the sharing of data and other disputes violated a 2011 agreement with the FTC to safeguard user privacy.
Congress wants answers from Google about a database that law enforcement has been using for location data to help with criminal investigations.The database, called Sensorvault, has detailed location records from hundreds of millions of phones around the world, according to a report earlier this month from the New York Times.It's meant to collect information on the users of Google's products so the company can better target them with ads, and see how effective those ads are.But police in cities across the country have been using "geofence" warrants to tap the database for information that could help them when cases go cold.On Tuesday, top Democrats and Republicans from the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai asking demanding more information about the database.The members of Congress -- including Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, a Democrat from Jew Jersey, and ranking Republican Greg Walden -- asked for answers from Google by May 7, and a briefing by May 10.
More than a year after the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the popular 2015 rules, lawmakers in Washington are duking it out to get protections in place.Specifically, it would broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to the internet, or charging for faster access."Without the FCC acting as sheriff, it is unfortunately not surprising that big corporations have started exploring ways to change how consumers access the Internet in order to benefit their bottom line," Reps. Nancy Pelosi of California, Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey and Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania said in joint opinion piece on CNET.The Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, say their bill will restore "strong net neutrality rules."We've assembled this FAQ to put everything in plain English.It can take action against companies that violate contracts with consumers or that participate in anticompetitive and fraudulent activity.
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