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US tech CEOs go on defense in hearing

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US tech CEOs
(From left to right) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google's Sundar Pichai and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg

Four of the nation’s most powerful CEOs beamed into a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday and raised their hands to swear to tell the truth as they faced a barrage of questions on one major issue: Are their companies too big and powerful for America’s good?

Lawmakers hammered Google Sundar Pichai about his company’s relations with China and whether it steals ideas from other businesses, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg about a blizzard of disinformation plaguing his social network, and Apple CEO Tim Cook on whether his iPhone-maker strong-arms developers on its App Store.

Perhaps surprisingly, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — making his long-awaited first-ever appearance before a congressional hearing — had faced no question nearly two hours into the session.

US tech CEOs go on defense in hearing

The virtual testimony, in a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, comes at a time of rising legal jeopardy for the major tech companies, who are the subject of antitrust and consumer-protection probes in Washington, multiple U.S. states and Europe.

Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) set the tone early, with an opening statement vowing to check the power of the “emperors of the online economy.” But so did Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the full Judiciary panel, who laid out a long series of alleged slights against conservatives by top social media companies — and later got into a shouting match after a Democrat accused him of promoting “fringe conspiracy theories.”

US tech CEOs go on defense in hearing

Source: Politico

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Iran successfully tests 5G in lab in Tehran

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Iran successfully tests 5G
Photo published on July 22, 2020 shows a view to a site where Iran’s second largest mobile operator MTN Irancell launched a first lab testing site for 5G high-speed mobile internet in the Iranian capital Tehran.

An Iranian deputy telecoms minister says a first trial in the country for the high-speed 5G mobile internet technology has been successfully carried out in a laboratory in Tehran.

Sattar Hashemi said on Wednesday that the test conducted in the ICT Research Center in downtown Tehran had reached a speed of 1.5 gigabits per second (Gb/s).

“The 5G is a major improvement on 4G regarding the delay in sending information and we managed to reduce the delay by 5 to 6 milliseconds in this test,” Hashemi told the semi-official Mehr news agency.

A separate report by the official IRNA news agency said the testing site had been launched by Iran’s second largest mobile operator MTN Irancell.

Iran successfully tests 5G

The report said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani oversaw the trial through a video conference call from his Cabinet session.

Hashemi did not elaborate on any exact timetable for rolling out the fifth generation of mobile internet in Iran.

He said high-ranking government officials would soon hold a ceremony to officially unveil 5G in the country and announce the terms of its regulation and pricing systems.

Previous statements by ICT officials have suggested that Iran’s largest mobile operator MCI would launch a first batch of 5G masts in at least six locations in Tehran by the end of summer.

Hashemi said the test trial in ICT research center would enable all stakeholders of the ethnology in Iran, including other mobile operators, to contribute to the project.

He said speeds of up to 20 Gb/s, which are much higher than the one reached during the Wednesday lab trial in Iran, would depend on various factors, including the size of investment in the project.

“However, the average considered for this (5G) will be a speed between 1.5 to 2 Gb/s,” he said.

Iran has not disclosed any information about which global supplier it is using to launch the 5G mobile network. However, the MCI and other operators have been engaged in partnerships with major Chinese telecommunication companies in the past.

Iran successfully tests 5G

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Germany’s top court restricts state access to online data

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Germany's top court restricts
The photo shows a security camera in Germany.

Germany’s highest court on Friday said security services had too much unfettered access to people’s online data and ordered legislation to be revised to set higher hurdles.

German intelligence services and police agencies currently have the right to ask telecom and internet companies for user info ranging from names and birth dates to passwords and IP addresses, to help their investigations in areas like counter-terrorism and cyber-crime.

But the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe agreed with complaints brought by privacy activists that the access to data was excessive and an unconstitutional violation of citizens’ right to telecoms privacy.

Germany’s top court restricts state access to online data

In their ruling, judges said the current powers to retrieve data were “disproportionate.”
“It cannot be permissible to indiscriminately request information on data,” they said.

Judges said they agreed that intelligence bodies sometimes needed to pull personal data from smartphones or other devices to maintain public security.

But they said this should only be done in cases of “a specific danger” or “an initial suspicion of criminal conduct” in the context of an investigation, and not to facilitate investigators’ work “in general.”

German legislators have until the end of 2021 to amend the telecommunications law to include “thresholds for the use of these powers”.

The ruling comes in response to several lawsuits, including one by Patrick Breyer, an MEP from Germany’s Pirate Party that campaigns for internet freedoms.

More than 6,000 people signed a petition backing his complaint.

Germany’s top court restricts state access to online data

(Source: AFP)

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‘The Donald’ shut down by Reddit as Twitch suspends Trump

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This photo taken on July 24, 2019, shows the US live streaming video platform Twitch logo application on the screen of a tablet. (Photo by AFP)

US social news aggregation website Reddit shuts down ‘The Donald,’ a pro-Trump subreddit as video live streaming service Twitch temporarily suspends US President Donald Trump.

“All communities on Reddit must abide by our content policy in good faith. We banned r/The_Donald because it has not done so, despite every opportunity,” Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said in a post on the site on Monday.

Amazon’s Twitch, meanwhile, cited his “hateful conduct” for the suspension.

“In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed,” a Twitch spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Like anyone else, politicians on Twitch must adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. We do not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content, and will take action on content reported to us that violates our rules.”

Twitch suspends Trump

At a recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump made comments about immigration of “hombres” from Mexico into the country, which was cited as one of the two instances of hate by Twitch.

“Hey, it’s 1:00 o’clock in the morning and a very tough, I’ve used the word on occasion, hombre, a very tough hombre is breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away as a traveling salesman or whatever he may do. And you call 911 and they say, “I’m sorry, this number’s no longer working.” By the way, you have many cases like that, many, many, many. Whether it’s a young woman, an old woman, a young man or an old man and you’re sleeping,” said the Republican president.

The latest development comes a day after Trump had to delete a tweet because it promoted white power.

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