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Politics Hillicon Valley: Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation | EU regulators investigating Google's digital ad business | YouTube wins EU court case over copyright violations

02:20  23 june  2021
02:20  23 june  2021 Source:   thehill.com

What proposed antitrust legislation could mean for Big Tech... and you

  What proposed antitrust legislation could mean for Big Tech... and you Here's what you need to know about the latest attempt to rein in the power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.The proposed legislation would mark the most meaningful change to antitrust laws in decades. The bills follow a nearly year-and-a-half-long investigation by the House of Representatives' antitrust subcommittee, which focused on competition in the digital marketplace.

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a close up of a logo: Hillicon Valley: Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation | EU regulators investigating Google's digital ad business | YouTube wins EU court case over copyright violations © Getty Hillicon Valley: Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation | EU regulators investigating Google's digital ad business | YouTube wins EU court case over copyright violations

Welcome and Happy Tuesday! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

How the House’s Silicon Valley smackdown is dividing conservatives

  How the House’s Silicon Valley smackdown is dividing conservatives The effort is drawing opposition from the libertarian Koch network's vast advocacy apparatus but support from many pro-Trump Republicans on the Hill.The fight is pitting the politically powerful Koch network, which advocates for the government to stay out of business, against major tech antagonists on the right like News Corp. executive chair Rupert Murdoch, who has spent years working behind the scenes to knife Facebook and Google. The Kochs’ opponents also include conservative donor Rebekah Mercer, a major backer of both Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the right-leaning social media network Parler.

Developments across the pond took the spotlight Tuesday, with the European Commission announcing it had opened an antitrust investigation into Google's ad business, and Europe's top court ruled that platforms are not liable for certain copyright violations.

Tomorrow, we'll be watching as the House Judiciary Committee marks up a package of antitrust bills that target tech giants. The meeting will likely be contentious, with splits within parties on how to move forward and the tech companies trying to level arguments that in fact the bills - which aim to rein in their market power - will hurt consumers and small businesses through "unintended" consequences.

LET'S HOLD OFF ON THAT: The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is coming under pressure to hit the brakes on a legislative package targeting tech giants.

GOP divided over bills targeting tech giants

  GOP divided over bills targeting tech giants House Republicans are publicly sparring over several high-profile antitrust bills that have bipartisan support, signaling a bumpy road ahead for the legislation.The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday is slated to vote on five bipartisan measures targeting Big Tech, but the panel's top Republican, Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) are bashing the bills as a Democratic-led partisan power grab."DemocratThe House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday is slated to vote on five bipartisan measures targeting Big Tech, but the panel's top Republican, Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) are bashing the bills as a Democratic-led partisan power grab.

Tech industry groups, the targeted companies and a group of moderate Democrats have called for additional time and hearings to weigh the five proposals before the panel moves ahead with Wednesday's scheduled markup.

The bills target Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google and build off the investigation the House subcommittee conducted last year that led to a blockbuster report alleging abuse of market power by the companies, who have all pushed back on the report's findings.

Now, the industry is arguing that the legislation on tap for Wednesday could lead to "unintended" consequences and end up hindering consumers and small businesses that rely on their services.

Read more here.

Here's Who Funds the Tech Think Tanks Asking Congress to Reconsider This Whole Antitrust Thing

  Here's Who Funds the Tech Think Tanks Asking Congress to Reconsider This Whole Antitrust Thing A coalition of 13 different think tanks and advocacy groups penned an open letter to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Monday warning lawmakers about two major antitrust bills that lawmakers are set to vote on later this week. Instead of wrangling Big Tech, the letter says, these bills would “dramatically degrade” if not outright break the gizmos and gadgets we love using every day. © Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images) “We believe that voters want Congress to fix things that are broken—not break or ban things that they feel are working well,” the letter reads. “We strongly encourage you to reject these proposals.

TROUBLE FOR GOOGLE IN THE EU: The European Commission announced Tuesday that it has opened an antitrust investigation into Google's ad business.

The regulator will focus on whether the search giant favors its own ad tech services "to the detriment of competing providers of advertising technology services, advertisers and online publishers."

Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation

  Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is coming under pressure to hit the brakes on a legislative package targeting tech giants.Industry groups, major tech companies and centrist Democrats have called for additional time and hearings to weigh the five proposals before the panel moves ahead with Wednesday's scheduled markup.The bills focus on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google and build off the investigation the House subcommittee conducted last year that led to a blockbuster report alleging abuse of market power by the companies, who have all pushed back on the report's findings.

It will also investigate whether Google is hurting competition by restricting third-party access to user data that it uses itself.

"Online advertising services are at the heart of how Google and publishers monetise their online services," Europe's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Read more about the investigation.

EU opens formal antitrust probe into Google's display ad services

  EU opens formal antitrust probe into Google's display ad services The European Commission is concerned Google has distorted competition by restricting the ability of third parties to access user data for advertising purposes on websites and apps, while reserving such data for its own use. "Google collects data to be used for targeted advertising purposes, it sells advertising space, and also acts as an online advertising intermediary. So Google is present at almost all levels of the supply chain for online display advertising," European Commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager said.

AND A WIN: Europe's top court ruled Tuesday that platforms are not liable for copyright violations on content uploaded by third parties unless the companies fail to take sufficient action.

The decision came in a combined cases against YouTube by music producer Frank Peterson and against file-hosting company Cynado by publisher Elsevier.

The court concluded that "online platforms do not themselves make a communication to the public of copyright-protected content illegally posted online by users of those platforms unless those operators contribute, beyond merely making those platforms available, to giving access to such content to the public in breach of copyright."

Read more about the ruling.

Ban on big tech mergers survives House panel's marathon slugfest

  Ban on big tech mergers survives House panel's marathon slugfest package of sweeping antitrust bills aimed at tech giants provoked schisms in both parties and a debate that is stretching well past midnight.Still to come, possibly by dawn, are votes on bills that could make it easier to break up tech giants like Google and Facebook or place limits on business platforms operated by Apple and Amazon.

COMPETITION FOR A CAUSE: Cyber professionals from the U.S. and multiple other countries are in the midst of an annual competition led by U.S. Cyber Command meant to enhance the nation's cybersecurity in wake of months of devastating attacks.

The annual Cyber Flag competition this year brought together 430 cyber professionals on 17 teams representing U.S. Cyber Command and other Defense Department agencies, the House of Representatives, the National Guard, and the U.S. Postal Service. It also incorporates teams from the United Kingdom and Canada.

Each year, the teams are presented with a scenario involving a major cyber incident, with this year's scenario involving an attack by two adversaries on a logistics support depot. The competition runs through Friday and is operating across eight time zones, with teams competing to win.

"Think of these like a compound, like a Bin Laden compound, where they go and they rehearse and they rehearse and they rehearse, and they get to see this network in a place where they can do the live target practice, do the live cyber defense that they need to stay sharp," U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Gabe Edwards, the Cyber Flag exercise lead, told reporters Wednesday.

Read more about the competition here.

SOMEBODY'S IN TROUBLE: A recent string of cyberattacks targeted at thousands of Polish email users, including government officials, have been linked by the Polish intelligence services to a Russian hacking group.

Facebook antitrust victory poses big test for new FTC chief

  Facebook antitrust victory poses big test for new FTC chief A federal judge's dismissal of the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust lawsuit against Facebook is posing the first big test for President Biden's new FTC Chair Lina Khan.But the renowned big tech critic faces a serious time crunch, with less than 30 days to try and shift the momentum through a revamped lawsuit.The stakes are high for the 32-year-old antitrust scholar who was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month in a 69-28 vote, gaining the support of both conservatives and progressives.Those same lawmakers, along with advocacy groups and small businesses, are hoping she can deliver a win while enforcing the antitrust laws she's been pushing to reform.

"The findings of the Internal Security Agency and the Military Counterintelligence Service show that the UNC1151 group is behind the recent hacker attacks that hit Poland," Stanisław Żaryn, a spokesperson for the Polish Minister Coordinator of Special Services, said in a translated statement Tuesday.

"The secret services have reliable information at their disposal which [links] this group with the activities of the Russian secret services," he said.

Żaryn noted that given past actions of the UNC1151 hacking group, Polish officials believed the attacks on Poland were part of a larger effort to destabilize Central European nations.

Żaryn said that the recent attacks hit 4,000 Polish email users, more than 100 of whom were former and present members of the Polish national government, senators, local government officials and others.

Read more about the attack here.

On tap this week:

-The House Judiciary Committee will markup bipartisan antitrust legislation during a meeting Wednesday.

-Senior officials from the Department of Defense will testify about the recent string of ransomware attacks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.

-FBI Director Christopher Wray will testify Wednesday to the Senate Appropriations Committee on the FBI's proposed fiscal year 2022 budget, which could involve discussion of cyber and tech priorities.

An op-ed to chew on: The antitrust package is a Trojan horse conservatives must reject

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

Beware 'Smokescreen Trolling,' Trump Followers' Favorite Tactic (Wired / Whitney Phillips)

How Facebook's algorithm devalues local reporting (Popular Information / Judd Legum and Tesnim Zekeria)

Black and Brown Amazon Drivers Face Guns, Racial Slurs, and Dog Bites on the Job (Motherboard / Lauren Kaori Gurley)

City of Liege, Belgium hit by ransomware (The Record / Caitlin Cimpanu)

Facebook antitrust victory poses big test for new FTC chief .
A federal judge's dismissal of the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust lawsuit against Facebook is posing the first big test for President Biden's new FTC Chair Lina Khan.But the renowned big tech critic faces a serious time crunch, with less than 30 days to try and shift the momentum through a revamped lawsuit.The stakes are high for the 32-year-old antitrust scholar who was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month in a 69-28 vote, gaining the support of both conservatives and progressives.Those same lawmakers, along with advocacy groups and small businesses, are hoping she can deliver a win while enforcing the antitrust laws she's been pushing to reform.

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