#11
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  • A feud in wolf-kink erotica (#1)
  • Bytedancing out of China (#11)
  • Trump vs Twitter
  • Ireland and EU taxes (#16)


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New York Times

Addison Cain was living in Kyoto, volunteering at a shrine and studying indigenous Japanese religion. She was supposed to be working on a scholarly book about her research, but started writing intensely erotic Batman fan fiction instead.


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Inside Story (Australia)

As economic activity in Australia came to a shuddering halt in March, the sudden demise of venerable regional newspapers was reported by Australian Associated Press, a wire service that had recently foreshadowed its own demise, with a loss of 180 journalist positions. The AAP’s report happened to appear in the Canberra Times, whose parent company, Australian Community Media, had announced the closure of printing presses in four locations and the suspension of numerous non-daily titles. Thus the Covid-19 recession collided with the decades-long digital disruption that shrank employment in the industry by 20 per cent between 2014 and 2018 alone.


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Readers of this newsletter over the last couple weeks will know that Australia has emerged as a center of the battle between platforms and publishers over payment for content. Here Canberra-based Tom Greenwell explores the angles of local news, Big Tech, NewsCorp and more.

Bloomberg

Also syndicated loans, floor traders and soul securitization.


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Wall Street Journal ($)

Here’s a stark example of how the global coronavirus pandemic affects America’s tech giants, versus how it affects pretty much everyone else. On May 12, Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Waymo announced it had scored an additional $750 million to make self-driving cars a commercial reality, bringing its total external fundraising to $3 billion inside two months. Then, on the 18th, The Wall Street Journal reported that Uber Technologies Inc. is cutting $1 billion in fixed costs. This included laying off roughly a quarter of its workforce and rethinking big, expensive bets—such as its own work on self-driving vehicles.


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The Markup

Computer algorithms that scan everything from terror watch lists to eviction records spit out flawed tenant screening reports. And almost nobody is watching


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The Hindu

In the post-COVID world, countries and tech giants should be obligated to share data in the larger interest of mankind


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Washington Post

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that could open the door for the U.S. government to assume oversight of political speech on the internet, a broadside against Silicon Valley many critics view as a threat to free speech.


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Protocol

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the extent to which the fortunes of some of tech’s biggest businesses are tied to some of the country’s smallest ones.


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The Conversation

The coronavirus pandemic has stirred up a surveillance storm. Researchers rush to develop new forms of public health monitoring and tracking, but releasing personal data to private companies and governments carries risks to our individual and collective rights. COVID-19 opens the lid on a much-needed debate.


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Ahval News

Turkey’s economic response to the coronavirus outbreak is mixed. The government in Ankara has announced a fiscal stimulus package to keep the economy ticking along but has also introduced or increased taxes on many goods and services, including digital services, tobacco and imports.


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From Indonesia to the Ile-de-France, the idea of taxing tech is a global one. Here Huseyin Sefa Cavdaroglu discusses the situation in Turkey, and worries that it might not work as intended.

Reuters

BEIJING/NEW YORK/WASHINGTON – TikTok’s poaching of Disney’s Kevin Mayer to be its CEO was just the most visible part of a broader strategy by its Chinese owner to shift its centre of power away from China at a time of rising global tensions, several people familiar with the plans said.


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New York Times

The pandemic briefly brought the Everything Store to its knees — by prematurely bringing about a future it has long been planning for.


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Lexology

We think of our All Things FinReg blog to be global in nature, so when interesting regulatory developments occur somewhere in our blog footprint (namely, the planet), we try to highlight them, especially where they may have relevance beyond the jurisdiction or region where such developments occur. A recent action by the French competition authority (ADC) may be one such event.


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Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempt to curb what he says is social media censorship is a political gambit and will not change the legal obligations of companies like Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc, according to legal experts.


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Inc42

The Draft Policy is India’s first step towards an exclusive ecommerce policy. The Draft Policy covers key aspects including (a) significance of data as a valuable ‘asset’; (b) concerns surrounding data privacy and data security; and (c) confidentiality and intellectual property.


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Irish Independent

Ireland is set to get €2bn in EU coronavirus recovery grants under new plans – but funds could come with tougher rules on company tax which have long been resisted by Dublin.


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Headlines about moves towards joint EU debt this week mostly focused on European solidarity, though they have other implications as well. Here is the view from Dublin on provisions that may shake up the way Ireland taxes (or doesn’t tax) Big Tech.

ASPI Strategist

Much focus has rightly fallen on who can access the data gathered by the app, and for what purpose; however, little attention has been given to a provision that permits the collection and analysis of de-identified data for statistical purposes. This provision is not, of itself, troubling. De-identification or anonymisation is the process of stripping out characteristics that can identify the people who provided the data. For data analysts, it’s a routine way to use large datasets to uncover trends and insights while protecting the privacy of individuals .


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USA Today

Six months out from election 2020, Facebook is awash with coronavirus-themed paid advertising — but the American public has been left in the dark about who is paying for these ads and how they are being targeted. Facebook has taken steps toward transparency by voluntarily disclosing political ad content and data through its online Ad Library. But the library is complicated to use, untold numbers of ads are missing and a significant element is lacking: adequate information on how ads are directed toward specific demographics and groups of people.


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Newsroom (NZ)

The Government has introduced a bill that will allow it to issue takedown notices and create internet filters, with a focus on combatting terrorism and violent extremism, Marc Daalder reports


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The Diplomat

The role of big data is crucial to Taiwan and South Korea’s public health toolkits. By implementing data-driven solutions both have achieved favorable outcomes to flatten the curve: contact tracing at the early onset of the pandemic, managing of supply chain and medical resources, and ensuring timely updates on the crisis. Key in harnessing such data-driven solutions are the collaborative efforts of diverse actors under the strict observance of legal standards on data privacy and protection.


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TechDirt

Moderation is a platform operator saying “we don’t do that here”. Discretion is you saying “I won’t do that there”. Censorship is someone saying “you can’t do that anywhere” before or after threats of either violence or government intervention.


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Electronic Frontier Foundation

Long before the pandemic crisis, there was widespread concern over the impact that tech was having on the quality of our discourse, from disinformation campaigns to influence campaigns to polarization.


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The Verge

From time to time a really bad post on a social network gets a lot of attention. Say a head of state falsely accuses a journalist of murder, or suggests that mail-in voting is illegal — those would be pretty bad posts, I think, and most people working inside and outside of the social network could probably agree on that. In my experience, though, average people and tech people tend to think very differently about what to do about a post like that. Today I want to talk about why.


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Irish Times

However, even though the GDPR’s punishment potential has begun to reshape the EU and international data-protection landscape (because the EU has such a significant consumer market, other jurisdictions have to rise to the GDPR’s bar), the regulation’s weak point is, paradoxically, enforcement


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EU Observer

Two years after its launch and the EU’s data protection rules have been used to muzzle journalists in Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, according to new research.


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