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Regulating Big Tech #20

  • Amazon and Big Tech hearing

  • Google’s top search result

  • Amazon and France

  • Influencers and taxes
Published every Friday


On Amazon, Dubious ‘Antiviral’ Supplements Proliferate Amid Pandemic

Amazon has called safety a “top priority” for the company. But NPR has found more than 100 dietary supplements sold on Amazon that appear to be illegally marketed as antiviral treatments.

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Why Amazon may have the most to lose from tech’s Hill showdown

Jeff Bezos has spent the past five years trying to become a fixture in Washington — hiring President Barack Obama’s press chief, flooding the town with lobbying cash, buying The Washington Post, and even choosing a spot along the Potomac River for Amazon’s second headquarters.

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Editor’s Note:

The big news in Regulating Big Tech this week is of course the testimony before Congress of many of the famous faces that make up GAFA. Here POLITICO digs in on Jeff Bezos particularly and the anti-trust issues that Amazon faces.

The Markup

Google’s Top Search Result? Suprise! It’s Google

In Google’s early years, users would type in a query and get back a page of 10 “blue links” that led to different websites. “We want to get you out of Google and to the right place as fast as possible,” co-founder Larry Page said in 2004.

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Bezos, Zuckerberg and Musk have made $115 billion this year

The mind-boggling accumulation of money underway in technology is unrivaled in speed and scale. No other group of executives has prospered to such a degree. Indeed, the world’s richest people are growing even richer, even faster, as the coronavirus pandemic upends the global economy and drives ever more activity online.

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Editor’s Note:

The Big Tech heads testifying before Congress stood for their companies but also on some level for themselves. Here Bloomberg looks at the personal fortune of tech giants and how it has fared in 2020.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

A Legislative Path to an Interoperable Internet

It’s not enough to say that the Internet is built on interoperability. The Internet is interoperability. Billions of machines around the world use the same set of open protocols — like TCP/IP, HTTP, and TLS — to talk to one another. The first Internet-connected devices were only possible because phone lines provided interoperable communication ports, and scientists found a way to send data, rather than voice, over those phone lines.

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Anti-Amazon campaigners in France team up to say ‘non’ to firm’s expansion

COLOMBIER-SAUGNIEU, France – At his veterinary practice near the French city of Lyon one morning in June, Gilles Renevier prepared to perform a castration on a poodle. When not attending to animals, he turns to his other role: attempting to neuter the expansion ambitions of Amazon.com Inc.

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Malay Mail

Social media influencer: To pay or not to pay tax? — Thisha Gunasilan | Malay Mail

Last week, on my Instagram feed, there was a posting of a local social media “influencer” on holiday at an upscale hotel in Kuala Lumpur. There were a series of photos of the influencer, one of which was of her and her family at the spa, looking all happy and relaxed.

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Editor’s Note:

One of the means of regulation is tax, but not just on the biggest players. Here Thisha Gunasilan looks at the world of influencers and tax.


Eminem-backed Triller is cashing in on India’s TikTok ban

American video-sharing app Triller wanted to formally launch in India with a “splash” by the end of this year. But months before the planned launch, the company has already tasted unprecedented success in the world’s second-largest internet market.

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Irish Times

Covid Tracker app throws spotlight on Google data harvesting

If you want to stop Google gathering data, you need to turn off Play Services. And without Play Services, the exposure notification API that the Covid Tracker Ireland App depends on will not work.

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Social Media Today

Concerns Around Data Access by Foreign Nations Should be Expanded Beyond the Current China Focus

Should the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) be allowed to access the data of citizens from other countries, and what are the risks of allowing such?

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