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  • UPDATE 1-House Intelligence chief presses social media companies on deepfake policies 07/15/2019 10:15 PMU.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Monday pressed major social media companies on how they plan to handle the threat of deepfake images and videos on their platforms ahead of the 2020 elections. The Democratic congressman wrote letters to the chief executives of Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Google, which owns YouTube, asking about the companies' formal policies on deepfakes and their research into technologies to detect the doctored content. Facebook spokesman Andy Stone confirmed the company had received the letter and said it would respond to Schiff accordingly.
  • Big Tech can expect another grilling on Capitol Hill 07/15/2019 08:19 PMExecutives from Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., and Facebook Inc. should brace for tough questions around antitrust as federal probes gain steam.
  • Why Peter Thiel Wants the U.S. to Investigate Google 07/15/2019 07:51 PMJul.15 -- Peter Thiel, one of President Donald Trump’s top Silicon Valley supporters and donors, took aim at Google and the tech industry over the companies’ focus on global markets while brushing aside U.S. interests. Bloomberg's Lizette Chapman has more on "Bloomberg Markets: The Close."
  • Taiwan Is the Latest Flashpoint in US-China Relations 07/15/2019 07:46 PMUS-China relations have taken a turn for the worse over the last year.
  • Google accused of ripping off digital ad technology in U.S. lawsuit 07/15/2019 07:34 PMImpact Engine Inc filed the complaint in federal court in San Diego, California, alleging various Google online advertising platforms, including Google Ads and Google AdSense, infringed on six patents. The allegedly violated patents, granted to San Diego-based Impact Engine between 2011 and 2018, relate to so-called "programmatic creative" technology for rapidly producing and customising online advertisements. Google did not immediately comment on the case.
  • Peter Thiel Urges U.S. Probe of Google’s ‘Seemingly Treasonous’ Acts 07/15/2019 07:15 PM(Bloomberg) -- Peter Thiel, one of President Donald Trump’s top Silicon Valley supporters and donors, took aim at Google and the tech industry over the companies’ focus on global markets while brushing aside U.S. interests.In a speech Sunday in Washington, the billionaire singled out Google for agreeing to work closely with China, trying to get its search engine back into the country, while deciding to let lapse a U.S. Defense Department contract that gave the military access to its artificial intelligence tools.Thiel, a Facebook Inc. board member, argued that the kind of AI developed by DeepMind, which like Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., should be thought of as a potential “military weapon.” “We’ve been a lot more dishonest about that in Silicon Valley than the nuclear physicists were in the 1940s,” he said in the opening speech at the National Conservatism conference.He then suggested Google’s actions were “seemingly treasonous,” asking whether DeepMind or Google senior management had been “infiltrated” by foreign intelligence agencies. “These questions need to be asked by the FBI and the CIA,” Thiel said, “And I’d like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”A spokesman for Google said the company doesn’t work with the Chinese military but declined to comment further.Thiel was a featured speaker at the gathering Sunday, where many of the attendees are enthusiastic supporters of Trump. Thiel’s endorsement of the New York developer at the 2016 Republican National Convention -- and donation of $1.25 million -- helped give Trump a measure of Silicon Valley credibility at the time.During the speech, Thiel praised Trump’s foreign policy, in particular his trade efforts in China, which he termed a “signature achievement” of the administration. Thiel suggested the 25% tariff on Chinese goods should be thought of “as a floor and not a ceiling.” He also proposed reforms in higher education, including investigations into student lending practices and ending the nonprofit tax-exempt status of elite universities, singling out Harvard University.Thiel didn’t endorse calls by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 candidate to replace Trump, and others to break up tech giants like Google and Facebook. He said Warren’s success raising money from Google employees was evidence of an underlying problem.“Silicon Valley,” he said, “is getting a little bit of a bad conscience.”Facebook faces a record $5 billion settlement with the U.S. to end a privacy case involving Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm hired by Trump’s campaign that got user data from a researcher who created a personality quiz app on Facebook’s social network. Facebook had had a series of mishaps that compromised users’ data.Thiel spoke at the first iteration of a Washington conference conceived as a look at the importance of nationalism. Speeches in coming days will include “The Nationalist Awakening” and “American Greatness and Immigration: the Case for Low and Slow.” John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, will also speak.“We see nationalism as integral to the rise of conservatism,” said Yoram Hazony, an Israeli philosopher and the chairman of the Edmund Burke Foundation, which organized the event.Though the program for the two and a half-day conference isn’t focused on tech, Hazony said he expects that risks posed by companies like Google and Facebook will be a common theme.The final featured speaker, on Tuesday, is Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican who has proposed reforming Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which allows big tech companies to avoid being held liable for content posted on their platforms.“Facebook and Google are good examples of what we’re talking about,” Hazony said in an interview on Sunday. “These are spectacularly impressive entrepreneurs, but you need to ask if Americans are better off with [Google and Facebook] single-handedly determining what should be censored?”(Updates with Google comment in the fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Gerrit De Vynck.To contact the reporter on this story: Max Chafkin in New York at [email protected] contact the editors responsible for this story: James Ludden at [email protected], Steve Geimann, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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