All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Politics’
Whether you agree or disagree with its cause, FairSearch, the organization that exists for the sole purpose of stopping Google’s acquisition of ITA Software, deserves credit for its resolve. Today, FairSearch addressed letters to every member of Congress, asking them to contact the Department of Justice.
Not long ago, a Nicaraguan military commander caused an international incident by leading his soldiers into Costa Rican territory. He replaced a Costa Rican flag with a Nicaraguan one, too. And according to the commander, this all occurred because of an error on Google Maps.
Apparently maps used by both the Nicaraguan and Costa Rican governments agree on the location of a border near San Juan del Norte. Unfortunately, the commander consulted Google Maps, which shows a rather different version of the boundary.
Politicians who don’t use Twitter may soon receive a visit from Adam Sharp. Sharp announced this afternoon that he’s been hired by Twitter to represent the company in Washington, D.C.
We first discussed this position when Twitter put up a job posting in early June, and it doesn’t look like the role’s changed much since. Sharp’s duties should involve promoting Twitter more than shaping government policy to favor it or anything like that.
Anyone interested in keeping track of Google’s lobbying habits can now put a new data point on their graphs. Consumer Watchdog reported today that the company spent $1.2 million in the third quarter of this year, up from $1.08 million a year ago.
That represents an 11 percent increase, which is perhaps not too startling. In fairness to Google, we’ll also note here that plenty of other corporations splurge lots more in an attempt to make friends with Congress (Microsoft spent $1.63 million in the third quarter, for example).
Any hope that Mark Zuckerberg had of the latest Facebook privacy flap blowing over must be fading fast. Late yesterday, two members of the House of Representatives wrote an open letter to him complaining about the problem and asking for further details.
Google and YouTube are partnering with POLITICO to host an event on Monday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. to talk about technology’s role in democracy and the political process.
The Google Blog offers more details. “With less than six weeks until the midterm elections, we wanted to hear from some of politics’ most creative minds about what innovation and democracy mean in 2010.”
U.S. representatives Ed Markey (D-Mass) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) sent a letter today to 15 companies identified in a recent Wall Street Journal investigation as installing consumer-tracking technologies to target users visiting these sites.
Representative Paul Hodes (D-NH) introduced today a bipartisan resolution to protect online out-of-state sellers from having to collect taxes in states where they have no physical presence.
The resolution (H.R. 1570) "Supporting the Preservation of Internet Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses," says that Congress should not impose unfair tax collection burdens that would hurt the U.S. economy and consumers.
A State Department official who’s made something of a splash due to his use of Twitter might soon begin collecting paychecks from Google, according to a new report. Jared Cohen would supposedly assume a "strategic policy role" at the company.
AOL has launched AOL Advertising Politics hub aimed at campaigns, advocacy groups and companies looking to target audiences online.
Online display advertising has become a key factor for political campaigns. With the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year lifting the restrictions on political ad spending from corporations, companies can now join campaign and issue advocacy groups in influencing voters online. AOL hopes to capitalize on the upcoming November elections.
A round of applause for Facebook’s HR department, please. Today, the company announced that it’s managed to hire Marne Levine, who last held the title(s) "Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Chief of Staff of the National Economic Council at the White House."
This week, Australia got its first female prime minister (Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd following a surprise challenge for the leadership of the Labor Party), and throughout all of the excitement, it seems that Google and perhaps Twitter provided two significant ways for people to keep up with events.
UK politicians may soon be making status updates and friending voters like never before. Mark Zuckerberg met with the UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport – along with Prime Minister David Cameron – today, and apparently made some recommendations that were well-received.
The Federal Communications Commission today said it is seeking public comment on the best way to support its efforts to ensure universal access to high-speed broadband services while promoting innovation, investment, competition and protecting consumers.
A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals derailed prior understandings about the FCC’s ability to ensure fair competition and provide consumers with basic protections when using broadband Internet services.
Everyone who intends to watch President Obama speak about the Gulf oil spill on TV tonight may also want to be near a computer monitor 15 minutes later. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said he’ll answer user-submitted questions on YouTube in front of what has the potential to be a more global audience.
If you thought Google and China had achieved some kind of ceasefire agreement after Google pulled its stunt involving Google.hk.com, think again. David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer at the company, indicated today that Google’s seeking political allies who might joins its fight against censorship.
Late last week, Twitter announced that it had 205 employees. Now, the company is searching for number 206, and he (or she) won’t be your average engineer. Twitter is instead breaking new ground by seeking a government liaison to represent it in Washington, D.C.
Facebook has launched a new U.S. Politics page, which highlights the use of Facebook by politicians and campaigns, and according to an update on the page, shares tips and best practices, and news from Facebook. Facebook Public Policy Communications Manager Andrew Noyes emailed us with the news, which he notes is "just in time for the peak of the 2010 political campaign season."
Facebook’s employees in Washington, D.C. are going to be in a very uncomfortable position if whatever privacy changes the social network implements tomorrow aren’t well-received. Facebook has invited members of the House and Senate to attend a special, privacy-centric briefing later this week.
Polls are tricky things under the best of circumstances, and extra caution is necessary when the results of a poll appear to favor the same company that sponsored it. However, Google seems to have demonstrated that a significant majority of Americans are interested in seeing their state and local governments adopt Google Apps.
The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative said today it strongly supports testimony by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) on the ability to regulate online gambling to protect consumers, collect billions in new government revenue and create thousands of new jobs in the U.S.
The Direct Marketing Association has voiced its opposition to a draft of a privacy bill introduced this week by Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL).
The DMA says the draft bill has potentially sweeping impacts for direct marketers working across every marketing channel, from direct mail and telemarketing to email, Internet and, mobile marketing.
Privacy experts and random users are no longer the only ones complaining about how Facebook’s latest moves have affected privacy. Senator Charles Schumer made an objection of his own yesterday, and in fact asked the Federal Trade Commission to provide guidelines concerning the use of private info.
The North Carolina Department of Revenue said today it is working with online retailers who operate affiliate programs in the state to resolve issues of tax liability.
The state said it will waive all back sales taxes and penalties for online retailers that sign an agreement by August 31 to start collecting sales tax.
Google’s paying a whole lot of money to talk to politicians, and the consumer advocacy group known as Consumer Watchdog isn’t at all happy about it. Consumer Watchdog condemned Google this morning for spending $1.38 million in the first quarter of this year.
That expenditure works out to a 57 percent increase over what Google spent during the same period in 2009, and Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson observed as a result, "Google is relatively new to the influence-peddling game, but they’re now one of the highest rollers in Washington."
On at least two previous occasions, UK politicians have argued that Google’s accounting is a little too creative when it comes to taxes, and this weekend, the search giant was called out again. Lord David Puttnam even used the word "outrageous" to describe Google’s habits.
Google – along with 46 other organizations – is pressing harder than ever for progress in terms of informing consumers about their energy consumption. Google – and those 46 other entities – wrote a letter to the president today, asking for his help in the matter.
Last week, we reported that Facebook wanted to hire two people in Washington, D.C., and then dissected the official descriptions of the positions as best we could. Still, the bullet points left a lot unclear, so it’s noteworthy that Facebook provided some clarifying paragraphs today.
It looks like Facebook will soon begin trying harder to bend the ears of our nation’s leaders. Listings for a public policy manager and public policy associate have both been posted on the social network’s "Open Positions" page, and Facebook’s decided that these people will work in Washington, D.C.
This isn’t a simple matter of having a couple of folks sit around, answering questions and maybe defending the company when necessary. Facebook wants the new hires to be quite active.
When Google made its dramatic "new approach to China" announcement in January, it sounded as if the company might leave the country within the month. Obviously, that didn’t happen. But according to testimony given today before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, Google hasn’t forgotten its ultimatum.
The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, an advocacy group, said today it supports the introduction of legislation by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) that includes provisions to legalize and regulate Internet gambling under the "Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010.
Yesterday, Iranian authorities enacted a ban on Gmail, saying they’d introduce a government-sponsored (and presumably government-monitored) email service to replace it. Now, as YouTube’s seeing an influx of protest videos, Google’s taken a moment to mark the Iranian government’s lack of control.
If any organization knows how to innovate, it’s Google; this week alone, the company discussed phones that would translate languages in real time, unveiled a Street View snowmobile, and announced its intention to test ultra high-speed broadband networks. It may make sense, then, that CEO Eric Schmidt has tried to address America’s "innovation deficit."
Politicians are perhaps not the best people to talk to about privacy; they intentionally thrust themselves into the spotlight, and can be responsible for annoying commercials and phone calls that bother the rest of us at home. Still, Facebook arguably accomplished something today by discussing privacy with six politicians and the CEO and of the Family Online Safety Institute.
Due to a new development, you may be able to either thank Google for getting China to censor less information, or blame the company for starting World War III. The reason: the White House has sided with Google in the free speech and hacking conflict that cropped up this week.
Someone with a very interesting political background will soon be in charge of Google’s corporate communications. The company’s hired Jill Hazelbaker, who’s worked with both John McCain and Michael Bloomberg in the past, to replace Matt Furman.
Vermont residents may want to start giving a little extra thought to whether or not they like the way Google does things. It seems that Matt Dunne, the Manager of Community Affairs at Google, is trying to become the state’s governor.
An important note: Dunne hasn’t sworn to turn Vermont into one giant Googleplex. There’s been no fanatical talk of data collection. And the words "Google" and "search" don’t even appear on Dunne’s homepage (part of which you can see below).
Rush Limbaugh was released from the hospital today and says doctors found nothing wrong. It makes you wonder if the thousands of hysterical people wishing Rush Limbaugh death on Twitter are feeling a little foolish. Probably not.
Below is the video of Rush speaking to the press about his good health:
The mainstream media has its head in the sand again while one of the largest conspiracies the world has ever seen is exposed via Internet media. As most readers have heard by now, years of emails and programming code have been uncovered from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, which is run by the scientists whose research is the basis for the world’s belief in man-caused global warming.
Quote from Jon Stewart of Comedy Central: "Poor Al Gore, global warming completely debunked by the very Internet you invented".
Stewart continued, "It’s nothing, he was just using a trick .. to hide the decline. It’s just scientist speak for using a standard statistical technique recalibrating data in order to … trick you … into not knowing about … the decline.
On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee will discuss legislation introduced by Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) that would regulate online gambling in the United States.
The hearing will begin at 10 am EST and will include testimony from leaders in the fields of online security and consumer safety. Experts will describe how current systems and technologies have been successful in blocking minors from gambling online, reducing compulsive gambling and protecting consumers against money laundering, fraud and identity theft.
A Joint Committee on Taxation report released today by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) found that regulating Internet gambling would generate roughly $42 billion over 10 years.
The report is based on the requirement of a federal license for operators that would allow them to offer online gambling throughout the United States, while keeping the federal prohibition on any form of sports betting.
Google has branched out (or more accurately, built up) yet again. Simon Hampton, Director of European Policy and Public Affairs, announced today that the search giant’s established a Googleplex in Brussels, Belgium.
Hampton explained on the European Public Policy Blog, "Until now, our small policy team in Brussels worked from temporary abodes. From now on, you can find us at Chausse d’Etterbeek 180 1040 Bruxelles, right in the heart of the European quarter."
Online town hall meetings with a member of congress has significant and positive impact on a voter’s view of a lawmaker and increases the likelihood that they will become more politically engaged, according to research form the Congressional Management Foundation.
The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday on whether the Common Wealth of Kentucky has the power to seize 141 domains belonging to online gambling sites.
Previously a Franklin Circuit Court Judge ruled for the state saying it was allowed to seize the domain names, but the Court of Appeals overturned that decision. The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for managing Internet domain names, has announced it will no longer be controlled by the U.S. government.
ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce signed an agreement today supporting the model of international multi-stakeholder governance of the global Internet addressing system.
ICANN was created in 1998 to manage the Internet’s addressing system such as top-level domain-names and IP address space. The group has been criticized for being too influenced by the U.S. government.
The European Commission said today it wants to implement new rules for the makers of MP3 players that would require them to follow new volume standards.
The Commission pointed to a study that found listening to personal music players at a high volume over a long period can lead to permanent hearing damage and 5 to 10 percent of listeners risk permanent hearing loss. It’s estimated that up to 10 million people in the EU may be at risk.
eBay called on the European Union today to amend an EU competition law to stop brands from restricting the sale of their products on the Internet.
The company has given a petition to the European Parliament, signed by 750,000 Europeans’ calling for reform.
The concept of cloud computing received a big pat on the back this afternoon. Vivek Kundra, the CIO of the USA, announced the launch of Apps.gov, a storefront designed to help federal agencies research and buy cloud-based solutions.
Americans’ perception of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades, according to a new report from Pew Research.
Just 29 percent of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts right, while 63 percent say that news stories are often inaccurate. In the initial survey by Pew about the news media performance in 1985, 55 percent said news stories were accurate while 34 percent said they were inaccurate.
More and more, it’s shaping up to be Google versus the world as far as the proposed Google Books settlement is concerned. In fact, the head of the U.S. Copyright Office sided against Google today, and she seemed to consider that scenario is a real possibility.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is condemning the recent arrests of online journalists and political bloggers in Vietnam.
The crackdown comes as online journalists and bloggers independent reporting challenges Vietnam’s tightly censored state-run media’s monopoly on local news and opinion.
Missouri is applying for $142 million in federal stimulus money to help expand the reach of broadband Internet access to rural areas in the state.
The initiative would expand broadband accessibility to 91.5 percent of the total population, a significant increase from the current projected accessibility of 79.7 percent.
While some states have created solid websites to provide information about their portion of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), most are failing to effectively educate taxpayers about the impact of economic stimulus spending, according to a report from Good Jobs First, an economic development research group.
A group of Democratic senators are co-sponsoring legislation that would ban texting while driving nationwide.
The four senators co-sponsoring the legislation – Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). The legislation would force states to ban texting while driving or risk losing all federal highway funds. The legislation is set to be announced at a press conference today.
Twitter may not have as many friends in high places as its fans imagined. Robert Gibbs recently let slip that Twitter is blocked on White House computers.
This news seems a bit odd, considering that the BarackObama Twitter account was used so much prior to the election, and that it still gets the occasional update. There’s an official whitehouse account that sees a fair amount of action, as well.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada isn’t campaigning against Facebook; representatives have actually said some very nice things about the company and social networks in general. Just the same, following an investigation, they believe Facebook isn’t meeting certain standards.
It’s probably not much of a stretch to suggest that the average WebProNews reader spends more than half of his waking hours in front of a computer. The National Broadband Plan is liable to affect you, then, and if you’d like to shape it, Google’s giving you a chance.
Here’s a quick refresher before we get to the new development: the National Broadband Plan is something the FCC is supposed to submit to Congress by February of next year. The goal of the Plan is to make high-speed Internet access more common in the U.S.
The French Senate is considering a revised version of an Internet piracy law that was ruled unconstitutional last month, despite backing by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has vetoed a bill that would have required online retailers such as Amazon.com and Overstock.com to collect and pay sales tax on their affiliate programs within the state.
Earlier this week both Amazon and Overstock had notified affiliates in the state that they would be ending their programs there due to the new tax requirements.
Amazon.com has killed another affiliates program due to proposed legislation that would force the company to collect and pay sales tax in Rhode Island.
The move comes less than a week after Amazon notified its affiliates in North Carolina it would be ending its program there due to similar proposed legislation.
The world’s largest university press has sided with Google in the ongoing Google Book Settlement debate. Yesterday, Tim Barton, the president of Oxford University Press, spent about 2,700 words explaining that he believes even a flawed settlement is better than nothing.
China on Thursday expressed anger at Google for providing links on its English language search site that lead to vulgar content that violated the country’s law.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang dodged a question about whether the government had played a role in recent disruptions to Google sites within China. He did make it clear that the government was angry with Google.
Twitter’s gotten a lot of positive mentions lately due to the role it’s played in Iran; protesters have used the service to spread information that might have otherwise been days or weeks in coming. However, Gordon Brown, the UK’s prime minister, took things much further today, apparently crediting Twitter with the power to prevent genocide.
Yahoo wants you to know that it values your privacy as much as – or possibly more than – Google. Yesterday, the Mountain View-based giant got a bit of a head start in terms of describing a hearing titled "Behavioral Advertising: Industry Practices and Consumer Expectations," but Sunnyvale has now published its take.
Over the years, YouTube’s been used for increasingly serious purposes. Now, we’ve apparently reached the point at which those purposes are important and numerous enough to get their own blog, as Google’s set something called Citizentube (with zero capital "t"s, yes) aside to cover them.
Comedians and cynics may have to shelve jokes concerning Twitter’s uselessness for at least a few weeks. The site has started to play a significant role in Iran’s election crisis, and executives have even rescheduled "a critical network upgrade" in order to keep it available.
France’s highest constitutional court has struck down part of a law backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy that was aimed at targeting Internet pirates.
The law was set up as a three-strikes system for copyright violators, who would first receive an email warning, then a letter and ultimately lose their Internet access if they were caught a third time.
Federal prosecutors have ordered four U.S. banks to freeze payments of more than $30 million owed to people who play online poker.
The frozen payments are owed to 27,000 online poker players at four offshore sites, including PokerStars.com and FullTiltPoker.com, according to John Pappas, the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), an advocacy group.
A British computer hacker wanted by the United States for "the biggest military hack of all time" begins a final fight today to avoid extradition.
Lawyers for Gary McKinnon, will argue in London’s High Court today that he is too ill to be sent to the United States for trial because he has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.
North Korea on Monday found two American journalists guilty of illegal entry and sentenced them each to 12 years of hard labor.
The Central Court, the North’s highest court, held the trial of the two U.S. journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, from Thursday to Monday and convicted them of "committing hostilities against the Korean nation and illegal entry," the North’s official news agency, KCNA reported.
Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee were arrested by North Korean soldiers patrolling the border between China and North Korea on March 17.
Sometimes, Google and the government get along; one week from today, for example, Google will host a gathering in Washington, D.C. to discuss national security and Web 2.0. Relationships don’t always proceed smoothly, however, and two consumer watchdog groups have asked the president to decide against hiring a certain Googler.
As Big Content continues its assault on network neutrality, privacy, personal and digital freedom, and stacks government with industry friendly insiders, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor should be heavily scrutinized regarding her stance on intellectual property and copyright issues.
A certain search giant might as well get it over with and release some sort of product mashup called Google Election. In the meantime, though, YouTube and Google Moderator have come back into the spotlight as important tools in a series of political interviews.
Bankruptcies are the highest they’ve been since 2001, a million people have lost their jobs, and small businesses got the stimulus package shaft. And that’s the good news.
It’s all good news, says Mark Deo, executive director of The Small Business Advisory Network and author of The Rules of Attraction: Fourteen Practical Rules to Help Get the Right Clients, Talent and Resources to Come to You!
Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA.) has launched an investigation into certain ecommerce marketing practices that generate thousands of mysterious monthly charges to consumer credit cards.
The source of these monthly fees comes from a group of marketing companies that obtain consumers’ billing information through agreements with popular online retail sites.
The way state attorneys general have been dealing with sex in the digital age lately shows government officials have no idea how to deal with sex in the digital age. Two cases in point: craigslist erotic services listings and teen sexting.