Justice Dept. Files Landmark Antitrust Case Against Google

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Google for antitrust violations, alleging that it abused its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and harm consumers.

The lawsuit marks the government’s most significant attempt to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. It could be an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing investigations of major tech companies including Apple, Amazon and Facebook at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

Read More

‘Oil Barons and Railroad Tycoons’: Big Tech Must Be Restructured, House Report Says

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have abused their monopoly power and must undergo significant restructuring, according to a House report released Tuesday.

Lawmakers who wrote the report said the four tech companies had grown into monopolies akin to “oil barons and railroad tycoons” and suggested an overhaul to U.S. antitrust laws, according to The New York Times. The lengthy report, spearheaded by Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and David Cicilline, is the result of a 15-month House Judiciary Committee investigation into the companies collectively known as Big Tech.

Read More

More Than Half of American Voters Support Breaking up Big Tech Companies, a New Poll Finds

More than half of American voters strongly or somewhat support breaking up Silicon Valley tech giants to promote competition, according to a poll published Thursday.

Only 26% of voters oppose or strongly oppose splitting up the country’s largest tech companies, while 19% of those surveyed didn’t offer a view, a poll from progressive think tank Data for Progress showed. The poll, which surveyed 1,200 likely voters in September, comes as the House lawmakers conclude their nearly yearlong probe into the industry’s supposed anticompetitive behavior.

Read More

Google Removes Autocomplete for Candidates and Voting

Ahead of the U.S. presidential election Google said that it will now remove any autocomplete predictions that seem to endorse or oppose a candidate or a political party and claims about voting or the electoral process, according to a CNN report. 

Google executives outlined these changes at an online press event Thursday, as well as in a blog post. Google’s autocomplete feature offers recommendations for queries once a user begins typing.

Read More

Virginia First to Roll Out Pandemic App from Apple, Google

Virginia has rolled out a smartphone app to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus, becoming the first U.S. state to use new pandemic technology created by Apple and Google.

But hopes for a nationwide app that can work seamlessly across state borders remain unrealized, and there are no known federal plans to create one. State officials say their new app won’t work as well outside Virginia, at least until a group of coordinating public health agencies gets a national server up and running and other states join in.

Read More

Google Deliberately Alters Search Results for Breitbart News

As the 2020 election draws nearer, search engine and tech giant Google is being exposed as engaging in election interference by artificially altering search results to negatively impact right-wing sites, as reported by Breitbart.

Breitbart reports that its own visibility on Google search results has been reduced by as much as 99.7 percent of its previous performance since the 2016 election. In contrast to its performance in April of 2016, when it was among the top ten search results for 355 key search terms, it now ranks in the top ten of only one such search term in the month of July of this year.

Read More

Google Selects Mississippi Site for First US Operations Center

Google’s first U.S. operations center is coming to northwest Mississippi.

The company announced Thursday it will lease a new 60,000-square-foot (5,574 square-meter) facility in Southaven, Mississippi, near Memphis, Tennessee. Google expects the site, which will provide customer and operations support to customers worldwide, to be operational by summer 2021.

Read More

ANALYSIS: DOJ Investigators Involved in Antitrust Probe Don’t Appear to be Scrutinizing Claims of Bias in Google’s Search

by Peter Hasson and Chris White   Department of Justice investigators who are conducting an antitrust probe targeting Google do not appear to be scrutinizing claims that the tech giant manipulates its search function, leaks about the probe and a source familiar with it indicate. Google critics argue that Google…

Read More

Massive Plot Stole Data from Google Users Who Downloaded Free Add-Ons to Chrome Web Browsers: Report

A massive spyware effort targeted users of Google’s Chrome web browser extensions downloaded tens of millions of times, Reuters reported Thursday.

The people responsible for the spyware attacked users through 32 million downloads of extensions to Google’s web browser, and collected browsing history and other user data, researchers at Awake Security told Reuters. Google removed more than 70 malicious extensions after researchers alerted the company of the attack in May, the company said.

Read More

Hawley Announces Bill Targeting Bad-Acting Tech Companies Hours After Google, NBC Demonetization Dispute Over the Federalist

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley announced Wednesday that he is introducing a bill aimed at fighting bad-acting tech companies hours after Google threatened a conservative publication with demonetization.

The Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act, cosponsored by Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Braun of Indiana and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, would prevent big tech companies from receiving Section 230 immunities unless the companies updated their terms of service, promised to operate in good faith and promised to pay a $5,000 fine if they violated their promise.

Read More

Google Bans Ads on the Federalist After NBC News Raises Concerns About George Floyd Protest Articles

Google is planning to ban The Federalist and Zero Hedge from its ad platform, Google Ads, after NBC News raised concerns to the tech giant about articles that the conservative websites published regarding rioting and looting that occurred alongside the protests over the death of George Floyd.

According to the NBC report, Google notified The Federalist that it will block the site from using Google Ads because of concerns raised over an article related to the protests over Floyd’s death.

Read More

Censorship, Antitrust Probes: Big Tech Is Back to Fighting Familiar Foes After Taking on Coronavirus

Amazon, Twitter, and other major tech companies are facing intense criticism on antitrust issues and censorship claims in the months since government officials reportedly began asking for help from Silicon Valley on ways to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The president and lawmakers have turned their sights on Twitter and Amazon, respectively, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other attorneys general are reportedly ratcheting up their antitrust investigation targeting Google’s business model. The White House asked them in March to fight coronavirus disinformation while also assisting the government in its virus response.

Read More

Commentary: Trump Executive Order Strikes at the Heart of Social Media’s Leftist Censorship

President Trump’s long-hoped-for Executive Order on social media censorship is a good first step in dismantling the Left’s dangerous influence over these 21st-century communications vehicles. (You can read the draft that was available online when this article was posted through this link to The National Pulse, edited by Raheem Kassam.)

We particularly agree with this part of the EO’s statement of principles, “In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online. This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power.”

Read More

President Trump Reportedly Considering Forming Panel to Review Anti-Conservative Bias in Big Tech

President Donald Trump is considering forming a commission to review anti-conservative bias on social media platforms, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the idea.

A potential White House-created commission would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, according to the report. The administration will also encourage the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission to conduct similar reviews, the sources told the WSJ.

Read More

Google Employees Blame Conservative Backlash for Canceled Racial Justice Program

Google acknowledged nixing an internal racial justice program Wednesday, and some employees believe the company did it fearing lawsuits from “right-wing employees,” according to an NBC News report.

The company ended Sojourn in 2019, claiming the program designed to teach about racial injustice was too difficult to expand beyond the United States, NBC News reported Wednesday. Current and former employees, however, told NBC the program ended because Google feared backlash in the wake of former software engineer James Damore’s 2018 lawsuit that accused the company of ideological discrimination.

Read More

Google Video Leaked to Breitbart Confirms Tech Giant Wants to Destroy Trump Agenda

A new video leaked exclusively to Breitbart News Wednesday shows high-ranking Google executives plotting to use their tech resources to thwart the Trump agenda during an hour-long weekly rap session. The video, recorded during a 2016 “all hands” meeting at Google’s headquarters, features co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Vice…

Read More

Report: Google And Mastercard Strike Secret Deal To Track Customers In-Store Purchases

by Kyle Perisic   Google and Mastercard have reportedly struck a secret deal to monitor users’ in-store purchases, to collect data on what Google ads have resulted in purchases. After years of negotiations, Google paid Mastercard millions of dollars for its customer data, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing two anonymous sources. The two could…

Read More

JC Bowman Commentary: Exposed in a Technological Age

classroom

An old and wise saying challenges us to: “Believe nothing you hear, half of what you read, and some of what you see.”  It is critical to examine issues from all angles, rejecting gossip, mistruths, bias or information not supported or misinterpreted.  Put what you see or read into proper context to make sure what you think you are seeing is factual. 

Read More

Google, Microsoft, Facebook And Twitter Reveal ‘Data Transfer’ Partnership

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft

by Eric Leiberman   Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook are teaming up to provide users with the capability of transferring data across platforms and services, the latter two social media giants announced Friday morning. After heightened concerns over data utilization (even exploitation and manipulation), companies appear to be trying to…

Read More

California Congresswoman Says There’s No Bias Against Conservatives In Tech – Here’s Why She’s Wrong

Zoe Lofgren

by Kyle Perisic   A Democratic congresswoman said on Tuesday that conservatives and Republicans’ concerns over bias on the Facebook, Google, and Twitter platforms are unjustified. Here’s proof she’s wrong. Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California said at a hearing addressing political discrimination against conservatives and Republicans on Facebook, Google,…

Read More

Commentary: Should Congress Break Social Media’s Stranglehold on Free Speech?

US Capitol at night

by Jeffery Rendall   Strolling towards the capitol on one of our recent trips to Williamsburg, Virginia, a thought struck me as we neared the reconstructed building; so much went on inside those walls but the people in the street had nary a clue about what was happening at the…

Read More