By Li Zhou | 12/05/2017 10:00 AM EDT
With help from John Hendel
GOOGLE RAMPS UP YOUTUBE POLICING - "Google announced more changes to how it polices content on YouTube on Tuesday, after criticism that the tech giant failed to stop hate speech and other violent material from being shared on the video platform," POLITICO Europe's Mark Scott reports. "The steps come soon after several big name brands, including Adidas and Deutsche Bank, pulled advertising from YouTube following a series of investigations revealed that people had been able to post obscene comments on videos that included children. Confronted with such a backlash against how it monitors what is published on the YouTube service, Google said it would increase the number of its workers who monitor online content to 10,000 by next year, according to a new blog post."
SCOTUS TRAVEL BAN ORDER A LOSS FOR TECH - "President Donald Trump's beleaguered travel ban policy chalked up a significant victory at the Supreme Court on Monday, as the justices allowed full implementation of the latest version of the restrictions," POLITICO's Josh Gerstein reports. The policy curbs U.S. entry for citizens of eight countries, six of which are majority Muslim. Since Trump first proposed the controversial ban earlier this year, tech giants including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon have opposed it, saying it will make it harder for them to attract talent. The companies filed multiple amicus briefs in the case.
MCCARTHY TARGETS SENATE AMT ADD - House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wants to nix the alternative minimum tax system in the Senate tax bill, amid arguments that it could hurt the California tech industry's ability to invest in research and development, The Wall Street Journal reports. "That has to be eliminated because that would destroy R&D," McCarthy said in a CNBC interview Monday.
- Issa goes against the GOP grain: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a sometime tech industry advocate who won last year's election by a whisker in his San Diego district, bucked his fellow Republicans by voting against the House tax overhaul bill, and made it clear Monday he doesn't like either chamber's tax measure. "I oppose both proposals in their current form and I will continue to fight for tax relief that benefits ALL of our nation's taxpayers - regardless of where they live," he said in a statement.
BEZOS, SCHMIDT ARE ON THE CASE - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt and venture capitalist John Doerr are among the high-profile backers of Steve Case's "Rise of the Rest" fund, which seeks to infuse capital into small-town startups, The New York Times reports . "The idea - far grander than the money itself, which is only $150 million to start, pocket money for most of the investors - was to assemble a dream team and create a network effect for entrepreneurs in the middle of the country to align with the biggest names in business. The fund, said [J.D.] Vance, was meant to construct an ecosystem like the one in Silicon Valley that will provide support and connections to entrepreneurs in small towns."
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WOMEN RULE - POLITICO's fifth annual Women Rule summit today will touch on a number of issues of interest for tech. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), one of the driving forces behind a bill targeting revenge porn, is set to speak on a panel about sexual harassment in the workplace. There will also be a discussion on efforts to curb sex trafficking, which could get into bills circulating in Congress that would make tech platforms liable for hosting online trafficking ads. We're tracking. Livestream here.
BYE-BYE, NET NEUTRALITY WATCHDOG - A closer read of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's net neutrality repeal order shows it follows through on his goal of eliminating the open internet ombudsperson post that fields net neutrality complaints. Remember, there hasn't been anyone in the job since the last ombudsman stepped down in January, the same month Pai assumed leadership of the FCC. The draft order notes that the position received only 38 emails and 10 calls related to net neutrality between Dec. 2016 and Nov. 2017. The FCC consumer and governmental affairs bureau, by contrast, received roughly 7,700 complaints on the issue during the same period, according to the FCC.
USTELECOM ENTERS COMMENT FRAY - As New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, FCC Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and more than a quarter of the Senate, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), called for a delay to the FCC's Dec. 14 net neutrality repeal vote over bogus comments filed at the agency, a leading telecom industry group countered that the idea is mad. "Calls for delay are only a recipe for mutually-assured distraction," USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter said in a statement. "Numerous substantial, factual comments have been filed in this proceeding from all sides."
HARRIS, BOOKER GIVE AWAY PISHEVAR CONTRIBUTIONS - "Two high-profile Democratic senators said they're giving money they received from venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar to charities after Bloomberg reported on the accounts of multiple women who say he sexually harassed or assaulted them," Bloomberg reports. "U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California donated all of Pishevar's contributions to organizations that provide services and advocacy for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, said Lily Adams, a spokeswoman for the senator. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey made similar donations with Pishevar's contributions to Booker's political action committees, said Jeff Giertz, a campaign spokesman."
SILICON VALLEY MUST-READS -
- Fox and the Disney?: "21st Century Fox Inc., the global film and TV company controlled by the Murdoch family, would prefer to sell some assets to Walt Disney Co. because it's a better strategic fit and presents fewer regulatory hurdles, people familiar with the matter said," Bloomberg reports.
- Tech's extremism database: "A consortium of tech companies including Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and Twitter Inc said on Monday a database it created to identify extremist content now contains more than 40,000 videos or images," Reuters reports.
- The geography of patents: A study from the Equality of Opportunity Project led by Stanford professor Raj Chetty examines where patents are filed and links that to tax records. "Only the top students who also came from high-income families had a decent chance to become an inventor," according to a New York Times op-ed.
MEANWHILE, IN EUROPE - "Ireland will begin collecting €13 billion ($15.46 billion) in back taxes from Apple Inc. as soon as early next year after both sides agreed to the terms of an escrow fund for the money, Ireland's finance chief said Monday," The Wall Street Journal reports.
TRANSITIONS - Evan Swarztrauber, previously director of public affairs for TechFreedom, is now a policy advisor for media issues in the office of Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.
Getting schooled by Oracle: "At its lush campus with a man-made lake ... Oracle is putting the finishing touches on a $43 million building that will house Design Tech High School, an existing charter school with 550 students," The New York Times reports.
G'day Alexa!: "Amazon has launched in Australia, ending months of speculation around the timing of when it would finally open its full offering Down Under and setting up a sales frenzy before Christmas," The Australian Associated Press reports.
Sports ball: Facebook could be eyeing plans to spend billions of dollars on sports streaming rights, Recode reports.
Choose your own adventure: A new Netflix show would let viewers decide their own storylines, Bloomberg reports.
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