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WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast with Joe Miller
35 minutes | 21 days ago
Hate Speech on Social Media with David Chavern Ep. 249
19 minutes | 2 months ago
David Johns on Trump's Arsonous Section 230 Plan to Roast Black Voices
Bio David J. Johns is known for his passion, public policy acumen and fierce advocacy for youth. He is an enthusiast about equity—leveraging his time, talent and treasures to address the needs of individuals and communities often neglected and ignored. A recognized thought leader and social justice champion, David’s career has focused on improving life outcomes and opportunities for Black people. On September 1, 2017, David Johns began his next life chapter as the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)—a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ bias and stigma. In 2013, Johns was appointed as the first executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (Initiative) by President Barack H. Obama and served until the last day of the Obama Administration in January, 2017. The Initiative worked across federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education and workforce development programs for African American students of all ages. Under his leadership, the Initiative studied the experiences of students—leveraged a partnership with Johnson Publishing Company (EBONY Magazine) to produce a series of African American Educational Summits (AfAmEdSummits) at college campuses throughout the country, where the only experts who sat in front of the White House seal were students as young as elementary school. The recommendations that students made at AfAmEdSummits have been used to improve policies, programs and practices, including curriculum, designed to ensure that students thrive—both in school and in life. Prior to his White House appointment, Johns was a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) under the leadership of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). Before working for the Senate HELP Committee, Johns served under the leadership of the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Johns also was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow in the office of Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY). Johns has worked on issues affecting low-income and minority students, neglected youth, early childhood education, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). His research as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow served as a catalyst to identify, disrupt and supplant negative perceptions of black males—both within academia and society. Johns is committed to volunteer services and maintains an active commitment to improve literacy among adolescent minority males. Johns has been featured as an influential politico and advocate by several publications and outlets, including TheRoot.com, NBC, EBONY and The Washington Post. Johns is a prominent strategist who offers commentary for several media outlets including BET, CNN, EducationPost and TV One. David is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in sociology and education policy at Columbia University. Johns obtained a master’s degree in sociology and education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he graduated summa cum laude while simultaneously teaching elementary school in New York City. He graduated with honors from Columbia University in 2004 with a triple major in English, creative writing and African American studies. Johns was named to the Root100 in both 2013 and 2014, selected as a member of the Ebony Power 100 in 2015, and received an early career award from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2016. He has also served as an adjunct professor at American University. Resources National Black Justice Coalition Johns, D., 2020. Don’t Make the Internet Unwelcome to Diverse Communities, Especially Black and Latinx LGBTQ People. [Blog] Morning Consult, Available at: [Accessed 11 November 2020]. Related Episodes ‘Social media policy: It's the moderation, stupid!’ with Chris Lewis Ep. 232(Opens in a new browser tab) Intro JOE: Hey everybody. So here we are on the other side of the election. They're still counting the votes. But this thing looks over. Even in the face of several lawsuits, President Trump has brought to challenge the election results, Biden's win is only becoming more decisive. The president-elect is on track to win by over 5 million popular votes, bringing his total to more than 80 million, more than any presidential candidate in history, and he still has another 75 likely electoral votes outstanding in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. So ... we're pretty much done here. Hit me up. (866) 482-3898. Leave your thoughts! Maybe we’ll use them in a future episode. (866) 482-3898. What tech policy issues should the Biden administration and Congress focus on? Let us know. (866) 482-3898. Save it to your contacts. So, you know, I don’t have to say the number over and over again. Like a ShamWow commercial. So that brings us to -- what will the next 4+ years look like in terms of tech policy? Obviously, China will be a major issue, and particularly Huawei. It will be interesting to see whether the Biden administration continues its ban of U.S. companies doing any business with Huawei whatsoever. Key allies haven’t supported the Trump administration’s ban, citing their reliance on Huawei technology. Outside of technology, what are the chances of war with China over the coming years, as China has continued to object to the U.S. presence in the South China Sea? What happens there directly affects the tech markets--war would certainly have a major impact on the supply chain. So that is definitely something to watch out for. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states that platforms aren’t legally responsible for the content their users post, has been an issue, as you know, with the Trump administration attempting to get the FCC--an independent agency, no less -- to use Section 230 to rein in what some conservatives see as an “anti-conservative bias” on platforms like Twitter. I’d be very surprised to see the Biden administration continue down that path. It’s just a huge waste of administrative, legislative and judicial resources for a policy that, I believe, would ultimately lose on First Amendment grounds once it hit the Supreme Court. Republicans and some Democrats could certainly purse reforming Section 230. But we’ll have to see if Josh Hawley is as passionate about illegal sexual content, and sex trafficking, as he says he is, and pursues Section 230 as vigorously as he has up until now. And another issue, I think, that we haven’t heard a lot about but probably should since we saw growth among Latino and Black working-class voters voting for Trumpism, is the Future of Work. What does the future of work look like for Americans in a tech sector that hasn’t done anything meaningful, other than releasing diversity reports, to improve diversity and inclusion -- nothing observable, I should say, because we can’t see everything that’s going on--all we see are the numbers which are pretty sad--they don’t look anything like the U.S. population. And you have companies like IBM already lobbying the Biden administration to fill the government skills gap by working with these same companies. The same companies hiring from the same 5 schools. We have over 5,000 colleges in the United States, many of which offer amazing programs -- since they’re accredited, right? -- they have amazing programs but don’t have the endowments--they don’t have the marketing budgets--for various, historical reasons we don’t need to get into. We hear a lot about recruiting from HBCUs. That’s great! But we have many many state and local colleges with incredible diversity -- Minority Serving Institutions -- with Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Native American students -- that don’t get much advocacy at all. Why is that? So those are just 3 areas I’m certainly going to be watching. There are many, many others, we’ll get to them on future episodes … Let’s get into Section 230 -- David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, and someone I greatly, and many, greatly respect and admire this man for his sheer intellect and incredible interpersonal skills. He is an enthusiast about equity—leveraging his time, talent, and treasures to address the needs of individuals and communities often neglected and ignored. A recognized thought leader and social justice champion, David’s career has focused on improving life outcomes and opportunities for Black people. David Johns.
14 minutes | 3 months ago
Alejandro Roark on Latinos, Section 230 and Access (Ep.247)
Bio Alejandro Roark is Executive Director of the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP) in Washington, DC. HTTP is a national non-profit that convenes an intersectional coalition of national Latino organizations committed to promoting access, adoption, and the full utilization of technology and telecommunications resources by the Hispanic/Latino/a community in the United States. HTTP works at the intersection of ethics, technology, and public policy to educate, advocate, and serve as a national voice for Hispanics/Latinos in technology and telecommunications policy. As Executive Director, Alejandro leads a strategic planning process with HTTP member organizations to set the national Latino tech policy agenda that creates opportunities for national, and local advocates to engage with Congress and the Administration to advocate for inclusive public policy that promotes civil rights protections, equitable access to broadband, and increased diversity in media and tech workforces. HTTP works to extend Latino priorities in the following policy areas: broadband adoption, spectrum allocation, consumer privacy, open internet, intellectual property, and diversity & Inclusion within the technology workforce. With nearly a decade of experience working at the local, state and national level, Alejandro has dedicated his career to the elimination of structural inequities across LGBT inclusion, racial and social justice, and civil rights policies, through community power building, story-telling, equitable resource allocation and by creating pathways for a more diverse workforce. Alejandro applies his skills and leadership to the examination of the ethical and social dimensions of technological change including the attention economy, data privacy, algorithmic decision-making, and artificial intelligence to ensure that Latino priorities are integrated into the policy-making process. Prior to his position with HTTP, Alejandro oversaw the tech policy portfolio which included the planning and execution of its annual Latinx Tech Summit, for LULAC National, the nation's oldest nation’s country’s oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization. In addition to leading the corporate social responsibility team where he worked with fortune 500 companies to develop, implement, and scale nationwide community programs and coordinating LULAC’s Corporate Alliance. Alejandro has also served as the founding executive director for Utah’s first and only Mexican Cultural Arts organization, as well as the associate director for Equality Utah where he managed the region’s public relations systems, community outreach programming, and state, local, and federal advocacy work. Resources Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership Intro Hey everyone. Here we are on Election Day as purveyors of misinformation and intimidation use both traditional and digital tactics to keep voters away from the polls. The backdrop to this, of course, has been the Supreme Court’s roll-back of the Voting Rights Act, most notably its Shelby County v. Holder decision, in which it essentially neutered the VRA’s preclearance requirement -- the provision requiring state and local governments to get federal approval before making changes to their voting laws and practices. Section 5 is still there. The Court just ruled the 40-year-old data Congress relied on to decide which states are subject to the requirement were too-old. Then, as Laurence Tribe wrote in Lawfare last week, we have the current, conservative majority of the Supreme Court, with the exception of Chief Justice Roberts, suggesting state legislatures should be the highest authority in each state when it comes to each state’s voting laws, even above the highest state court charged with enforcing each state’s constitution. Social media has not played as dominant a role in shaping public opinion as it did in 2016. But that doesn’t mean state actors and others aren’t still using it. And the Washington Post reports bad actors are using robocalls, in Michigan specifically, to explicitly tell people to stay away from the polls. The FCC empowered carriers to block robocalls before they reach consumers. But apparently they dropped the ball here. The New York Times warned the public this morning about potential rigged voting machines, tossed ballots, and intimidating federal agents, Yes, this is 2020. And yes, we are still fighting this battle. In this election though the electorate cast their votes by mail in record numbers. So we are seeing this shift across the political spectrum to more analog tacticseither to suppress votes or to preserve them. --- We’ll see what happens. I’m tuning it out--at least until tomorrow. I don’t think I’m even gonna watch the results come in. I’ll wake up tomorrow and see what happened. But my guest today is Alejandro Roark, Executive Director of the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Parntership here in Washington. Previously, Alejandro led LULAC’s tech portfolio. He was also the founding Executive Director of the state of Utah’s first and only Mexican Culutral Arts Organization. Alejandro Roark!
17 minutes | 3 months ago
Richard Fowler on Misinformation in Black America Ep 246 mixdown
Bio Richard Fowler is Host of radio’s nationally syndicated The Richard Fowler Show, Democratic Messaging Expert, and Millennial Engagement Specialist, Richard Fowler is an advocate for youth and social policy reform. Currently, Richard works with teachers, nurses, and higher education faculty to make sure their voices matters in the decision making process taking place at city halls, state capitols, and our nation’s Capital. Fowler is regularly featured on prime-time cable news discussing a wide variety of issues, including the 2016 election, social justice, race, and news of the day. Most frequently, he appears on The Kelly File and Hardball on MSNBC, in addition to other major international and outlets across the country. He was a 2012 Democratic National Convention Delegate. The Richard Fowler Show can be heard in over 9.1 million homes internationally and is a partner in the TYT Network, a multi-channel network on YouTube specializing in political talk shows. Richard has been a regular fill-in anchor on Current TV and RTTV and currently serves as the official guest host for The Full Court Press with Bill Press. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Richard got his first taste of politics at a young age when he went with his mother into the voting booth to pull the lever for Bill Clinton for President. After that auspicious start, Richard began his involvement in politics. As a young man he volunteered on numerous local races in Florida, including former Attorney General Janet Reno’s gubernatorial campaign. From registering and organizing more than a thousand young voters in Florida for the NAACP — to being a campaign manager in the District of Columbia, Richard has used his experience to advise youth, minority and female candidates. Richard has been a featured speaker at the Center For American Progress, National Council of La Raza’s National Conference, College Democrats of America, United States Student Association, the American Councils on International Education, the Young Democrats of America, over twenty different foreign delegations, and numerous colleges and universities. He has trained nearly 2,000 young people about the importance of image and messaging in the political arena. Richard is also the co-founder of Richard Media Company, a boutique messaging, public relations, and production outfit located in Washington, DC. Outside of his work in media, Richard was the co-founder and director of PHOENIX FREEDOM PAC, a transportation solutions political action committee. Richard Formerly served as the Advocacy Director of The Young Democrats of America and as the Executive Director of Generational Alliance, a progressive youth engagement organization. He sat on the Board of Directors for Amara Legal Center and now is a National Executive Board Member for Pride at Work. He is also the former Executive Director of the Virginia Young Democrats Annual Conference, a Fellow at the New Leaders Council, and a former Fellow at the Center for Progressive Leadership. Richard earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University. Resources The Richard Fowler Show Intro A coalition of the United States Department of Justice and 11 mostly red states announced Tuesday that they filed a new antitrust lawsuit against Google because of its search dominance. The complaint accuses Google of engaging in a number of anti-competitive practices. One of them is Apple’s exclusive relationship with Google that allows Google’s search engine to be the default in Apple’s Safari browser. The Wall Street Journal reports that some estimates place the cost to Google for this relationship at $11 billion, comprising some 20% of Apple’s total revenue. A key piece of evidence here was a 2018 email from a top Apple executive telling his counterpart at Google, “Our vision is that we work as if we are one company.” Neither company has released the name of the executive who sent that email. But I am just beside myself trying to figure out, and I’m really trying to empathize with the person who sent it, why, out of all of the things they could have put in writing, why they wrote the absolute worst thing they could possibly think of. This was a high-level interaction with a competitor in which anticompetitive pitfalls were blatantly obvious. The first thing on this executive’s mind should have been to avoid an appearance of impropriety at all costs, especially given the discourse here in Washington about both companies’ market dominance and bipartisan support for regulating tech companies. These executives are supposed to be the best and brightest, right? But this is just basic antitrust law and policy. A high-ranking executive in a company like Apple should know it. It’s just basic. It’s not hard. I cannot help but wonder if the executive here was a person of color. Forgive me if I sound harsh. But companies like Apple use their purported inability to find qualified diverse talent as an excuse to justify the sheer lack of diversity in their executive ranks. I really want to know how someone, who is supposed to be so superior to everyone else who competed for their job, could make such a dumb mistake. I’m not saying this person should be fired. Everyone makes mistakes. But for a company that seems so invested in meritocracy, I, like many of you, can’t help but wonder 1) was this executive a person of color, and; 2) how did the company respond to this? Are they treating it as an isolated, forgivable incident, or, are they are globalizing it, making a value judgment about the executive’s overall intelligence? I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not even saying it’s healthy to think this way. I’m just saying it crossed my mind. And I won’t even get into Jeffrey Toobin.
21 minutes | 3 months ago
Alison Holman on Misinformation and Your Mental Health (Ep. 245)
31 minutes | 4 months ago
How to spot and stop misinformation with John Breyault Ep 244 mixdown
How to spot and stop misinformation with John Breyault (Ep. 244) How to spot and stop misinformation with John Breyault (Ep. 244) -- John and Joe Miller discuss how consumers themselves can correct misinformation, by weighing in when they see it, rather than relying on tech companies. Bio John Breyault is a nationally-recognized consumer advocate with more than 15 years of experience championing the rights of consumers and the underserved. At the National Consumers League, he advocates for stronger consumer protections before Congress and federal agencies on issues related to telecommunications, fraud, data security, privacy, aviation, live event ticketing, video gaming, and other consumer concerns. In addition, John manages NCL’s Fraud.org and #DataInsecurity project campaigns. John has testified multiple times before Congress and federal agencies and is a regular contributor to national press outlets including the Washington Post, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Prior to NCL, John was the director of research at Amplify Public Affairs, where hs supported clients in the telecommunications, energy, labor, and environmental sectors. Earlier in his career, John worked at Sprint and at the American Center for Polich Culture in Washington, DC. A lifelong Virginian, John is a graduate of George Mason University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a minor in French. Resources: National Consumers League Intro Joe: Hey everybody. Congress can’t get anything done. Now the state Attorneys General are hamstrung by corruption and politics, as they try to execute a serious of actions against big tech. Real news outlets believe the Department of Justice and various state coalitions are planning to sue Google. The DOJ is expected to focus on Google’s search dominance. The state coalitions are working together with the DOJ, but then again, they’re no,t because many of them believe the DOJ’s moving too slowly. Congress has subpoenaed Facebook, Google, and Twitter. But, of course, Republicans and Democrats rarely see eye-to-eye. But now we’ve got problems in Texas -- with their Attorney General, Ken Paxton, facing bribery charges -- accusations his own Deputies alleged in a whistleblower complaint. It’s a litany of allegations claiming that: He received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts for his own legal defense fund. What did the people who gave those donations expect in exchange? They couldn’t have given them out of the goodness of their hearts. In that case, why not give it to poor people? Nevertheless, Paxton says these donors are family friends. His own wife, a state senator, introduced a bill to expand his power to exempt individuals from state regulations, which would have set him up to return favors to people. He unilaterally decided that Texas Governor Greg Abbot’s ban of elective procedures due to COVID-19 should apply to abortions. This went into effect immediately, forcing women to cancel their appointments, pending the outcome of litigation arising from this. The list goes on and on. So Democratic Attorneys General are calling for Paxton to step down, saying it threatens their multistate investigation into Google’s market practices. Meanwhile, sources expect the DOJ to file a lawsuit in a few days. Why that’s public, I have no idea. You’d think it’d be attorney-privileged. But, frankly, following ethical guidelines doesn’t appear to be part of Bill Barr’s skill set. To make matters worse, you have a dozen or so other Republican Attorneys General facing similar corruption problems. Eliot Spitzer must feel vindicated for his little prostitution situation back in 2008. But that was 12 years ago! Let’s move on, let’s move on. John McAfee, the namesake of the antivirus software, was arrested in Spain Monday. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges McAfee took $23 million from people to invest in cryptocurrencies he was being paid to promote. But the officials note this is a personal lawsuit, not one against McAfee, the company. So we’re in this place where politics are holding up anything meaningful when it comes to antitrust enforcement against big tech companies. We’ll see what the DOJ lawsuit says. But, without even looking at it, I anticipate a number of free speech problems that will have to be overcome, and much of the case law has been written by Conservatives. Related Episodes ‘Social media policy: It's the moderation, stupid!’ with Chris Lewis Ep. 232(Opens in a new browser tab) 'Health Tech and Communications in Crisis' with Licy DoCanto (Ep. 231)(Opens in a new browser tab) 'They Smile in Your Face: How the Internet is Unmasking Hidden Racism' with Robert Eschmann (Ep. 222)(Opens in a new browser tab) Ep. 203: The Internet and Racial Justice w/ Charlton McIlwain(Opens in a new browser tab) Kids and YouTube with Patrick van Kessel (Ep. 197)(Opens in a new browser tab)
18 minutes | 4 months ago
Behind the App Store Purge with John Bergmayer (Ep. 243)
John Bergmayer is Legal Director at Public Knowledge, specializing in telecommunications, media, internet, and intellectual property issues. He advocates for the public interest before courts and policymakers, and works to make sure that all stakeholders -- including ordinary citizens, artists, and technological innovators -- have a say in shaping emerging digital policies. Resources Bergmayer, J., 2020. Tending The Garden: How To Ensure App Stores Put Users First. [ebook] Washington, DC: Public Knowledge. Available at: [Accessed 27 September 2020].
20 minutes | 4 months ago
Charlton McIlwain, WashingTECH’s Incoming Board Chair, Fireside (Ep. 242)
Bio Charlton McIlwain (@cmcilwain) is Vice Provost or Faculty Engagement and Development; Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. His recent work focuses on the intersections of race, digital media, and racial justice activism. He recently wrote Racial Formation, Inequality & the Political Economy of Web Traffic, in the journal Information, Communication & Society, and he co-authored, with Deen Freelon and Meredith Clark, the recent report Beyond the Hashtags: Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter, and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice, published by the Center for Media & Social Impact, and supported by the Spencer Foundation. Today, Tuesday October 1st, 2019, his new book entitled Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, From the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter releases via Oxford University Press and available wherever you buy books. Resources McIlwain, Charlton. Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter (Oxford University Press, 2019)
11 minutes | 4 months ago
Tech Policy in the Year Ahead with Joe Miller (Ep. 241)
27 minutes | 6 months ago
Mike Alkire & Jonathan Slotkin: How to fix the healthcare supply chain (Ep. 240)
Bios Mike Alkire Michael J. Alkire (@AlkirePremier) is the President at Premier, the largest global supply chain, healthcare technology company in the U.S, that helps hospitals and health systems provide higher quality patient care at a better cost. In addition to leading the integration of the company’s clinical, financial, supply chain and operational performance offerings, Alkire also oversees the quality, safety, labor and supply chain technology solutions. An influential figure in America’s efforts to address drug shortages and infuse data-enabled technology solutions into the U.S. healthcare system, Alkire has been consulted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, congressional lawmakers, Wall Street investors and private sector industry leaders on how to stabilize the medical and pharmaceutical supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to offering his expertise in the media, he shares perspectives via his podcast, InsideOut, through discussions with insiders in healthcare. With an eye on equipping the nation’s hospitals and health systems with the clinical, financial, supply chain and operational performance improvement offerings they need to provide quality care at efficient costs, Alkire oversees Premier’s quality, safety, labor and supply chain technology apps and data-driven collaboratives including Premier’s comparative database, one of the nation’s largest outcomes databases. Alkire also led Premier’s efforts to address public health and safety issues from the nationwide drug shortage problem, testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives regarding Premier research on shortages and gray market price gouging. This work contributed to the president and Congress taking action to investigate and correct the problem, resulting in two pieces of bipartisan legislation. Alkire is a past board member of GHX and the Healthcare Supply Chain Association. He recently was named one of the Top 25 COOs in Healthcare for 2018 by Modern Healthcare. In 2015, Alkire won the Gold Stevie Award for Executive of the Year and in 2014 he was recognized as a Gold Award Winner for COO of the Year by the Golden Bridge Awards. He has more than 20 years of experience in running business operations and business development organizations at Deloitte & Touche and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. Before joining Premier, he served in a number of leadership roles at Cap Gemini, including North American responsibilities for supply chain and high-tech manufacturing. Alkire graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science from Indiana State University and a MBA from Indiana University. Jonathan Slotkin MD, FAANS Jonathan Slotkin leads clinical strategy, innovation and operations for Contigo Health by partnering with health systems and employers to deliver the highest quality care at a fair price. He works to support the development of novel products and implementation approaches that always aim for clinical excellence, patient satisfaction and value. Slotkin is a neurosurgeon and scientist who has led prominent care delivery reengineering and digital transformation initiatives centered around patients. He has partnered with some of the nation’s largest employers to help them reimagine the care of their associates. Slotkin believes higher quality care will always be the most cost-effective care in the end and that innovative employers and providers working together is the most powerful force we have to fix the U.S. healthcare system. He maintains a clinical practice caring for patients directly at Geisinger where he is associate chief medical informatics officer and Vice Chair of neurosurgery. Resources Scott Weingarten, Jonathan Slotkin & Mike Alkire, Building A Real-Time Covid-19 Early-Warning System, Harvard Business Review, 2020, https://hbr.org/2020/06/building-a-real-time-covid-19-early-warning-system (last visited Aug 3, 2020). Lisa Woods, Jonathan R. Slotkin & M. Ruth Coleman, How Employers are Fixing Healthcare, Harvard Business Review, 2019, https://hbr.org/cover-story/2019/03/how-employers-are-fixing-health-care (last visited Aug 3, 2020). Jonathan R. Slotkin, Karen Murphy & Jaewon Ryu, How One Health System is Transforming in Response to COVID-19, Harvard Business Review, 2020, https://hbr.org/2020/06/how-one-health-system-is-transforming-in-response-to-covid-19 (last visited Aug 3, 2020).
17 minutes | 6 months ago
Philip Howard Lie Machines and the Propaganda Marketplace Ep. 239 mixdown
Bio Philip N. Howard (@pnhoward) the Director of the Oxford Internet Institute and a statutory Professor of Internet Studies at Balliol College at the University of Oxford. Howard investigates the impact of digital media on political life around the world, and he is a frequent commentator on global media and political affairs. Howard’s research has demonstrated how new information technologies are used in both civic engagement and social control in countries around the world. His projects on digital activism, computational propaganda, and modern governance have been supported by the European Research Council, National Science Foundation, US Institutes of Peace, and Intel’s People and Practices Group. He has published nine books and over 140 academic articles, book chapters, conference papers, and commentary essays on information technology, international affairs and public life. His articles examine the role of new information and communication technologies in politics and social development, and he has published in peer review journals such as the American Behavioral Scientist, the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and The Journal of Communication. His first book on information technology and elections in the United States is called New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006). It is one of the few books to ever win simultaneous “best book” prizes from the professional associations of multiple disciplines, with awards from the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Association, and the International Communication Association. His authored books include The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010), Castells and the Media (London, UK: Polity, 2011), Democracy’s Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012, with Muzammil Hussain), and Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015). He has edited Society Online: The Internet in Context (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004, with Steve Jones), the Handbook of Internet Politics (London, UK: Routledge, 2008, with Andrew Chadwick), State Power 2.0: Authoritarian Entrenchment and Political Engagement Worldwide (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2013, with Muzammil Hussain) and Computational Propaganda: Political Parties, Politicians and Manipulation on Social Media (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018, with Samuel Woolley). Howard has had senior teaching, research, and administrative appointments at universities around the world. He has been on the teaching faculty at the Central European University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, the University of Oslo, and the University of Washington. He has had fellowship appointments at the Pew Internet & American Life Project in Washington D.C., the Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research at the London School of Economics, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. From 2013-15 he helped design and launch a new School of Public Policy at Central European University in Budapest, where he was the school’s first Founding Professor and Director of the Center for Media, Data and Society. He currently serves as Director of the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, the leading center of research and teaching on technology and society. Howard’s research and commentary writing has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and many international media outlets. He was awarded the National Democratic Institute’s 2018 “Democracy Prize” and Foreign Policy magazine named him a “Global Thinker” for pioneering the social science of fake news production. His B.A. is in political science from Innis College at the University of Toronto, his M.Sc. is in economics from the London School of Economics, and his Ph.D. is in sociology from Northwestern University. His website is philhoward.org. Resources Philip Howard, Lie Machines: How to Save Democracy from Troll Armies, Deceitful Robots, Junk News Operations, and Political Operatives (2020)
15 minutes | 6 months ago
Sara Harrison - 'Telehealth at the End of Life' (Ep. 238)
Sara Harrison - 'Telehealth at the End of Life' (Ep. 238) Sara Harrison, a New York City-based freelance journalist, joined Joe Miller to talk about telehealth and palliative care. Bio Sara Harrison (@SaraHarrison) is a freelance writer and journalist based in New York. Previously she was a reporting fellow at WIRED where she covering vaping, content moderation, sleep science, and much more. She is a former assistant editor for the politics section of the Los Angeles Review of Books and her work has been featured in outlets including WIRED, Protocol, San Francisco Magazine, and on NPR-affiliate KALW's Crosscurrents. Sara holds a B.A. in English from Carleton College and a masters degree from the UC Berkeley School of Journalism where she was a Dean's Merit Fellow. Her thesis, “The Quest to Make a Bot that Can Smell as Well as a Dog,” won the Clay Felker Award for Excellence in Narrative Writing. Email: sara[dot]harrison[at]berkeley[dot]edu Resources Sara Harrison, When Doctors and Patients Talk About Death Over Zoom Wired (2020), https://www.wired.com/story/when-doctors-and-patients-talk-about-death-over-zoom/ (last visited Jul 20, 2020).
23 minutes | 6 months ago
Transportation Equity with Henry Greenidge (Ep. 237)
Transportation Equity with Henry Greenidge (Ep. 237) Transportation Equity with Henry Greenidge (Ep. 237) -- New York University's McSilver Institute Fellow-in-Residence Henry Greenidge joined Joe to discuss transportation equity and what new legislation will mean for communities of color. Bio Henry L. Greenidge is a dynamic attorney and government affairs professional with over ten years of experience in policy advising and legal advocacy. His areas of expertise include sustainability, energy, infrastructure, broadband, and autonomous transportation. Currently, he leads state and local government affairs in addition to public engagement for Cruise, a GM subsidiary focused on autonomous vehicles. Previously, Henry held legal, policy, budget, and government affairs roles in Washington, DC during the Obama Administration. He has also served in senior leadership positions for the New York City Department of Transportation and the NYC Mayor’s Office. Henry strongly believes in the importance of investing in your community and is active in several organizations including the New York Urban League and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. His board service includes Brooklyn Community Board 9, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Tech 2025, the Apollo Theater Young Professionals, and the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, providing undergraduate students of color with internships at top media and tech companies. In addition to awards and commendations received during his time with the Obama Administration, Henry’s work has been recognized by several organizations including New York University as an Emerging Leader in Transportation, City & State Magazine as a 40 Under 40 Rising Star, and the New York Urban League as a Trailblazer. Henry has also completed the Coro Leadership New York Fellowship program and was a Fellow with the Council of Urban Professionals. Henry holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Arts from the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University where he graduated with honors. During his free time, Henry can be found chasing his two young children around and doting on his beautiful wife, Linara. He also enjoys golf, cycling and collecting rare vinyl records. Resources The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy & Research at New York University
22 minutes | 7 months ago
Virtual Training for Young Global Leaders with Christina Thomas Ep. 236
Bio Christina Thomas is the Divisional Vice President for Youth Exchanges at World Learning. Christina oversees the World Learning’s multimillion-dollar U.S. and international youth exchange portfolio consisting of World Learning’s flagship program, the Experiment in International Living. The Exchange portfolio serves over 1,200 high school age U.S. and international students and adult educators and hires up to 150 program leaders annually. Programs focus on experiential learning, global issues, and youth leadership. Christina also serves as the Board President of the Federation EIL providing member support in strategic planning, capacity building, and quality assurance. The Federation is a nonprofit association representing a global network of international educational program providers supporting 12 members around the globe who offer programs in volunteerism, group travel, language training, and study abroad. Before joining World Learning in 2003, Christina taught English to junior and senior high school students and designed teacher training programs for Japanese English teachers on the Japan Teaching and Exchange Program (JET) for three years. Christina received her master's degree in international communications from the School of International Service with an emphasis on international education and management from American University in Washington, DC. Resources Global Youth Exchanges - World Learning, World Learning (2020), https://www.worldlearning.org/what-we-do/global-youth-exchanges/ (last visited Jun 28, 2020). News Roundup Growing list of companies pull ads from Facebook As of Monday morning, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Unilever announced they would be pulling their ads from Facebook in protest over the social media giant’s refusal to take down hate speech. Patagonia, North Face, and REI had previously announced they’d be pulling their ads, along with Ben & Jerry’s, Eddie Bauer, and Honda America who were among the first companies to make the announcement. Unilever announced it would be pulling its ads at least until the end of the year. Bloomberg reported Friday that Zuckerberg lost over $7 billion of his wealth after Facebook’s stock price dropped 8.3%. While Zuckerberg has come under intense scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook investor, board member, and Trump adviser Peter Thiel is actually the one calling the shots. What exactly is Peter Thiel’s role in the “boogaloo” movement? Thiel donated $1.25 million to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and is also a co-founder of Palantir, the controversial surveillance firm that’s developed a predictive policing algorithm popular among the boys in blue. The company has sold its software to local law enforcement agencies around the world, as well as to the U.S. military and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. It’s notorious for allegedly helping police unfairly target Blacks and Latinos and reinforcing racialized patterns within the criminal justice system, which apparently has become a breeding ground for white supremacists, including 2 now-fired cops, in Wilmington, North Carolina, who were caught on a patrol car video saying they couldn’t wait to slaughter black people. The Department of Health and Human Services has also awarded Palantir a mysterious coronavirus contract, about which Democrats in Congress, led by Congressman Joaquin Castro, wrote HHS Secretary Alex Azar Thursday, calling for the Palantir contract, as well as similar contracts with Oracle and Amazon, to be made public. The increased focus on Thiel last week came amidst reports of the growing anti-government “boogaloo” movement pushing for a Second Civil War, the type of apocalyptic event about which Peter Thiel has ostensibly been pining for years, given his 477-acre retreat in New Zealand, the Guardian reported about in a 2018 article, which would be perfect to escape such a calamity. Peter Thiel has pulled strings in the background before, when he funded Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker after Gawker alleged that Thiel was gay, resulting in Gawker’s 2016 bankruptcy. The American right partners with Falun Gong Axios first reported last week President Trump has fired the head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which includes the Open Technology Fund, which used to fund a variety of projects, like Signal, that allow devices access to sites repressive regimes try to block. Trump replaced USAGM’s former lead John Lansing with Steve Bannon ally and conservative filmmaker Michael Pack. Pack then fired Libby Liu, former head of the Open Technology Fund within USAGM. Now conservatives are looking to invest exclusively in two specific technologies known as UltraSurf and Freegate, technologies religious freedom advocacy organizations like Asia’s Falun Gong prefer because they see them as a way to topple China’s “Great Firewall”. Falun Gong also owns Epoch Times, which Axios notes is part of Trump’s conservative news ecosystem, and the organization is seen to align themselves with religious freedom advocates on America’s far-right, in an effort many fear will politicize America’s international media outlet. Federal government ramps up surveillance efforts The Intercept reported last week the FBI has ramped up surveillance efforts, citing contracts with companies like Venntel, which tracks the movements of millions of Americans. The Intercept found what it termed an “expedited agreement” between the FBI and a company called Dataminr as demonstrators took to the streets to protest systemic injustice, worldwide protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd, a black man killed by a police officer who knelt on Mr. Floyds neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in Minneapolis despite the fact that he repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe, called for his mother, and was motionless for several minutes. The FBI has a long history of targeting racial, ethnic, and religious minorities especially Muslims. Boston bans facial recognition In a major victory for civil rights advocates, the City of Boston has officially banned facial recognition from policing, becoming the second-largest city to do so, following San Francisco. The Boston City Council voted unanimously in favor of the ban. On the federal level, however, no one seems to know how facial recognition technologies are used, after lawmakers sought information from the Department of Housing and Urban Development on how the Department uses the technology in public housing, which includes some 1.2 million households. The Department said it doesn’t keep track. In another development, more than 1,000 machine learning experts wrote a letter to the publisher of an article set to be released from a couple of researchers at Harrisburg University claiming they have developed a facial recognition program with an accuracy rate of 80%. Also check out the profile The New York Times did on the black man whose case became the nation’s first dealing with false identification by an facial recognition algorithm. Indiana Supreme Court rules woman not required to unlock her phone for police The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Carmel, Indiana woman, Katelin Seo, who refused to unlock her phone for police during a criminal investigation, which led to the lower court holding her in contempt. The Indiana Supreme Court found that requiring Seo to unlock her phone would have violated her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Trump restricts highly-skilled worker visas The White House last week announced that it will be restricting the number of foreign worker visas including the H1B visas tech companies use to attract highly skilled workers. Most of these workers are people of color from countries in Asia. The Trump administration claims the visas would put America at an economic disadvantage during its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. TaskRabbit CEO, Stacy Brown-Philpot Resigns Finally, Task Rabbit C.E.O. Stacy Brown-Philpot has resigned after four years leading the gig working company. Ms. Brown-Philpot said she will stay with the company until the end of August to give it enough time to find her successor. Brown-Philpot is one of the few Black or Female technology industry CEOs. She is also on the Boards of HP and Nordstrom and is currently advising a $100 million Softbank fund to support companies led by people of color. Ms. Brown-Philpot indicated she was deeply affected by the killing of George Floyd, championed the hiring of more women and black people in tech, and said the gig working industry needs to do more for contract workers.
20 minutes | 7 months ago
Protecting the 2020 Election from COVID19 with Gowri Ramachandran (Ep. 235)
‘Protecting the 2020 Election from COVID19’ with Gowri Ramachandran (Ep. 235) Protecting the 2020 Election from COVID 19 - Gowri Ramachandran, Counsel in the Election Security program at the Brennan Center joined Joe Miller. Bio Gowri Ramachandran is Counsel in the Election Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. She is currently on leave from her position as professor of law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. At Southwestern, she taught courses in constitutional law, employment discrimination, critical race theory, and the Ninth Circuit Appellate Litigation Clinic, which received the Ninth Circuit’s 2018 Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Yale College and a master’s degree in statistics from Harvard University. While in law school, she served as editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. After graduating from law school in 2003, Ramachandran served as law clerk to Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Billings, Montana. After a fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center, she joined the Southwestern faculty in 2006. Resources Gowri Ramachandran, How to Keep the 2020 Election Secure Brennan Center for Justice (2020), https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/how-keep-2020-election-secure (last visited Jun 21, 2020). Edgardo Cortés et al., Preparing for Cyberattacks and Technical Problems During the Pandemic: A Guide for Election Officials (2020), https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/preparing-cyberattacks-and-technical-problems-during-pandemic-guide (last visited Jun 21, 2020). Related Episodes ‘Communications Policy in the COVID-19 Era’ with Hon. Geoffrey Starks (Ep. 225)(Opens in a new browser tab) News Roundup Lawmakers step up efforts to rein in facial recognition companies’ work with law enforcement IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon announced plans to scale back the sale of their facial recognition technologies to law enforcement. But while those companies are some of the largest providers of such technologies, smaller competitors continue to supply police departments, and Amazon has only stated that it would stop selling facial recognition technology for 12 months as it waits for Congress to write new legislation. Many important studies have repeatedly demonstrated how these technologies produce biased outcomes when it comes to women and people of color. One Zero also reported last week that technology companies also make substantial donations to police organizations. WSJ: How federal authorities use marketing, GPS data to pursue suspects In 2018, the Supreme Court decided Carpenter v. U.S., in which it held that law enforcement needs a search warrant before obtaining cell tower location data from carriers when they pursue suspects. But in an exclusive report, the Wall Street Journal explains how the police now circumvent Carpenter using marketing data – which is anonymized but when correlated with other factors can reveal the personal identity of a suspect. These law enforcement agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, have concluded those data don’t fall within the scope of data for which the U.S. Supreme Court requires probable cause per Carpenter since the data doesn’t come from cell phone data and, instead, comes from geolocation data. Venntel, the subject of the Wall Street Journal report and company that provided marketing data to the IRS, claims its data is “pseudanonimized”. It will be interesting to see how courts and lawmakers consider how such pseudanonimized data should be treated in light of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Facebook struggles to respond to backlash over its content moderation policies and calls for boycotts by civil rights organizations Facebook is still under fire for failing to adequately moderate misinformation posted by the president. Several Civil Rights organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change and others called on advertisers to boycott Facebook after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly refused to even flag misinformation Trump posted a couple of weeks ago saying mail-in ballots pose a risk for voter fraud, a claim that is unsubstantiated. Several research reports by prominent institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have concluded mail-in ballots produce no meaningful advantage for either political party. Amidst the backlash, Facebook announced plans last week to invest $200 million to support Black-owned businesses and organizations. The company also announced an effort to register 4 million voters. Trump tests waters with new social media violations President Trump continued to defy social media boundaries with more misleading and hateful content last week. On Thursday, the Trump campaign posted an ad containing the upside down, red triangle Nazi’s used to identify communists, socialists and liberals in concentration camps. Facebook and Twitter removed that ad. On Friday, the president tweeted a manipulated video appearing to show a white child running after a black child with a fake lower-third saying “terrified toddler runs from racist baby”. Twitter initially flagged the tweet but ultimately took it down. Both Twitter and Facebook also announced last week they’ve seen foreign actors evolve their social media propaganda efforts but as yet no coordinated efforts by state actors to manipulate election outcomes. France upholds $56 million fine against Google for privacy violations After an 18-month appeal effort, Google has lost against French regulators who found the company violated Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by failing to make it easy for users to determine how the company used their data, notice which required users to go through several steps, according to the French Council of State, France’s highest administrative court, which upheld the $56 million fine it levied against Google back in January of last year. Netflix Founder and CEO Reed Hastings announced that Netflix would be investing $120 million in Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Government relations pros blast Pinterest for discriminating against them for being black women Two prominent government relations pros, both of whom are African American women, put Pinterest on blast last week for allegedly having a toxic work environment that is hostile to black employees. Ifeoma Ozoma reported on Twitter that a white male inside Pinterest doxed her, sharing her private information publicly, and failed to give her a pay raise. She also said that, during her performance review, her manager criticized her for being outspoken during discussions around the company’s new policy to stop advertising slave plantation—according to Ozoma, the manager accused her of not “both-siding” the issue. Ozoma also noted that her replacement, Aerica Banks, also a black woman, also resigned.
29 minutes | 7 months ago
‘Privacy Best Practices for Startups’ with Harold Hughes Ep. 234
Bio Harold Hughes (@OneBandwagonFan) is the founder & CEO of Bandwagon – an identity infrastructure company that helps companies and organizations transparently manage, aggregate, and store valuable consumer data. A rising star in sports tech, Harold has had his ideas validated as a graduate (and now mentor) of the Founder Institute Greenville chapter; graduate of Capital Factory – Austin, one of the inaugural companies in Google for Startups Black Founders Exchange Program, and most recently the IBM Blockchain Accelerator. In his hometown community, he serves as the founder and Managing Director of Brickyard Innovation Lab: an entrepreneur ecosystem for early-stage startups and emerging growth companies. He is also a Co-Director of the Founder Institute Greenville chapter, a startup incubator, and a member of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. A man of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Harold is actively involved in the community participating on the Board of Directors for Rebuild Upstate and Visit Greenville. As a strong believer in mentorship, he makes time to speak with youth and his peers about his journey to entrepreneurship and how he has found success along the way. Harold Hughes is a graduate of Clemson University where he received Bachelors degrees in both Economics (B.A) and Political Science (B.A.). As a “Triple Tiger”, he also completed his MBA at Clemson, before pursuing a graduate certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Resources Aura Bandwagon Fan Club News Roundup Tech giants curtail, end sale of facial recognition to police IBM and Microsoft announced plans last week to end the sale of surveillance technology to police departments, with IBM stopping all research, development and production of such systems indefinitely, and Microsoft saying it plans to stop the practice until Congress passes legislation. Amazon currently only has plans to pause the sale of its Rekognition software to police for one year, but it too has called for new legislation. The decisions came after years of advocacy reached a boiling point amidst reports that police have been using facial recognition during worldwide protests, in support of Black Lives, after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police just over two weeks ago. However, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon are just 3 of the companies selling facial recognition technology to police. Also last week, the American Civil Liberties Union and several other organizations sued Clearview AI, a supplier of facial recognition technology to police departments, for scanning Illinois’ residents’ faces, without their consent, in violation of an Illinois law preventing nonconsensual fingerprinting and face scans, The New York Times reported. The Hill reports Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey also called on Clearview to conduct an independent assessment of whether police have been using their technology during the protests, to which Clearview responded that it only helps police after crimes have already been committed. And Vice surveyed 43 facial recognition companies whether they too will refuse to work with police. According to Vice, most didn’t respond to the inquiry—you can find a link to the list of those companies in the show notes. You’ll also want to read Geoffrey Fowler’s Washington Post piece discussing efforts by other companies, including lesser-known companies like NEC and Idemia to thwart lawmakers’ efforts to rein in law enforcement’s use of facial recognition to spy on U.S. citizens. Zuckerberg still being difficult about curbing misinformation Despite leading lawmakers’ and activists’ calls on Facebook to improve how it flags misinformation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is still being difficult. But at the same time he claims he’s “disgusted” by President Trump’s content, The Hill reported last week. The debate with Facebook has continued for years, with the company condescending to and patronizing a handful of civil rights groups making repeated calls for the company to better moderate hate speech. The term “hate speech”, of course, being one Fox News like to wrap in quotes as if it’s not a real thing, never mind that centuries of newspapers’, broadcast stations’, the FCC’s, and social media companies’ enabling of bigots and misogynists suggest otherwise. Sure. Facebook will take down hundreds of accounts managed by anti-racist Skinheads. But when Trump threatens bodily injury posting “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, lumping peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters into a single category of “looters” … That’s no problem. On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee wrote Zuckerberg, again, urging him to curb Trump’s “dangerous” posts. Zuckerberg’s response? Writing a letter in reply to 270 concerned scientists he and his wife Priscilla Chan fund through their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, admitting Trump’s posts constituted misinformation, that they were incendiary, that they were “deeply shaken and disgusted” by them. But, alas, “Having more voices at the table that represent a diversity of perspectives, viewpoints, and lived experiences isn’t just a good way to help solve the world’s biggest problems and challenges – it is the only way.” “The only way”. Those words are important because they negate diverse perspectives, viewpoints, and lived experiences. They urge authoritarianism. Uber waives fees for black-owned restaurants The Hill reported that Uber Eats, after creating a list of black-owned businesses, has waived fees for customers ordering from black-owned restaurants. Uber’s ride-sharing unit also announced discounts for passengers going to black-owned establishments. The company said the deals will continue through until the end of the year. Jeff Bezos ‘happy to lose’ racist customers Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took to Instagram last week to drag a racist customer named Dave who complained about Amazon’s homepage statement in support of Black Lives Matter. The customer sent an email deriding the world’s wealthiest person saying he’d laugh watching the company’s profits decline as a result of the statement. Bezos posted the email, redacting the customer’s name, saying he’s happy to lose such customers. Amazon was up 24 points on Monday June 8th’s market close, the first market close after Bezos’s post, to 2,524.06 per share. Police investigate disruptions of police radios during protests Someone took advantage of police officers’ unencrypted frequencies during protests. In one intrusion, hackers played Tay Zonday’s YouTube viral hit “Chocolate Rain” over police radios. Authorities are investigating incidents in Minnesota, Illinois and Texas. Some departments have switched over to encrypted frequencies. Twitter makes Juneteenth a holiday Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced last week that the company will now recognize Juneteenth as a company holiday every June 19th. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date African Americans in Galveston, Texas first learned of their emancipation from Union General Gordon Granger, who delivered the news nine weeks following Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court Courthouse, and some two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. YouTube announces $100 million for black creators YouTube announced last week that it would be investing $100 million to amplify the voices of black creators. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made the announcement Thursday, in a post in which she also reported the company removed some 100,000 hateful videos and 100 million such comments in the second quarter.
24 minutes | 8 months ago
Mayors for Tech Justice with Newport News Mayor McKinley Price (Ep. 233)
Bio McKinley L. Price is President of the African American Mayors Association and Mayor of Newport News, Virginia. He is a native of Newport News, Virginia. He graduated from Huntington High School in 1967 and then received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Hampton, Virginia, in 1971. McKinley was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 1972 as 1st Lt. In 1976, he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and performed his general anesthesia residency at Provident Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Price has received numerous honors and awards from various professional associations. In 1989, he was elected by his peers as President of the Peninsula Dental Society; he was the first black president of this organization. He was also named "Dentist of the Year" by the Old Dominion Dental Society. Dr. Price is a Fellow in the Virginia Dental Association, the American College of Dentists, and the International College of Dentists. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Delta Dental of Virginia, serving on the Audit and Compliance Committee and Dental Policy Advisory Committee. Dr. Price’s community service was highlighted by his being appointed chair of the Newport News School Board for two years, during his eight years of service, from 1984-1992. In 1994, Dr. Price received the President’s Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Peninsula Chapter of 100 Black Men and in 1996 he received the Presidential Citizenship Award from Hampton University. The Peninsula Chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice presented him with their Humanitarian Award in 1996. In 1998, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated honored him as Citizen of the Year during the Mid-Atlantic 44th Annual Regional Conference. The Daily Press Newspaper awarded him “Citizen of the Year” for 2005, which highlighted his Co-Chairmanship of the organization People to People whose mission is to improve race relations and the quality of life in Newport News. It also commended him for being a founding member of the Virginia Peninsula Chapter of 100 Black Men. They recognized him as the Role Model of the Year in April 2011. Thomas Nelson Community College awarded him their TNCC Medallion Award during commencement exercises in May 2011. The Price Family was the Honored Family during the 2010 Hampton University’s Black Family Conference and he was the Founder’s Day speaker at Hampton in 2011. In addition to the commitment he makes to his professional activities and meeting the demands a successful dental practice, Dr. Price devotes untiring energy and time to the Hampton and Newport News community. He has served as Chairman of the Board for Riverside Health System Foundation, Vice Chair of the Riverside Health System Board, and Immediate Past Chairman of the Thomas Nelson Community College Board. He was also appointed to the Newport News City Council for a five month period in 2004. In addition, Dr. Price was appointed by Governor Warner to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Board. In May 2010, he was elected Mayor of the City of Newport News. He becomes the first black elected as mayor of Newport News. The term is four years. Dr. Price is a member of the First Church of Newport News (Baptist), a church founded by his great-great-grandfather. He is married to Valerie Scott Price. She is a retired educator having taught for 30 years, most of which were in the Newport News Public School System. They have two adult children and one grandson: McKinley II, DDS, an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon, he and his wife Amy and their son live in Brooklyn, NY; and Marcia, a Delegate in the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 95th District. Resources McKinley Price, The Need for Equitable Health Care Amid COVID-19, Governing, 2020, https://www.governing.com/now/The-Need-for-Equitable-Health-Care-Amid-COVID-19.html(last visited Jun 7, 2020). Home, Ourmayors.org (2020), https://www.ourmayors.org/Home (last visited Jun 7, 2020). COVID-19 Resources, Ourmayors.org (2020), https://www.ourmayors.org/Resources/COVID-19-Resources (last visited Jun 7, 2020). News Roundup Despite threats from White House, social media companies crack down on misinformation Despite president Trump’s continued claims that Silicon Valley, and social media companies in particular, harbor an anti-conservative bias, social media companies have stepped up their efforts to prevent a repeat performance of the 2016 election during which misinformation and state-sponsored propaganda ran rampant, often in favor of Trump’s presidency, according to the Mueller report and several other sources. On Monday night, after a day of employee virtual walkouts at the company in response to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg’s insistence on leaving up posts that contain misinformation, civil right leaders met with Zuckerberg via videocall and things did not go well. Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights President Vanita Gupta, NAACP Legal Defense Fund head Sherrilyn Ifill, and Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson issued a statement following the meeting stating that Zuckerberg “did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump's call for violence against protesters. Mark is setting a very dangerous precedent for other voices who would say similar harmful things on Facebook.” Zuckerberg followed up with a company memo on Friday saying the social media giant was again in the process of reviewing its policies related to discussions about police brutality and voter suppression. Before Zuckerberg’s announcement, the company had already begun making the public aware of foreign interference on the platform by labeling state-sponsored posts. Following the meeting with civil rights leaders and Mr. Zuckerberg’s announcement, Facebook, citing copyright concerns, removed a campaign video in which the president appeared to pay tribute to George Floyd. The company cited copyright concerns for taking down the video, after it had received complaints from the artist who’d created some of the artwork featured in the video. Twitter had also removed the video, which the White House called an illegal escalation – Twitter denied that removing the video was illegal and also cited to the president’s use of copyrighted material. Facebook also removed some 200 accounts associated with white supremacy groups last week. The company also removed fake antifa accounts, according to Reuters. Over at Reddit, some subreddit pages went dark in protest over the company’s hate speech policy, which leans heavily in favor of free speech. The protest culminated in Reddit Co-Founder Alex Ohanian’s resignation from the board and calling for his seat to be filled by an African-American board member. Ohanian also indicated that he would be donating $1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp and investing future gains on his stock in the black community. Also, on Wednesday, Snapchat announced that it would no longer promote President Trump’s account due to the president’s promotion of violence during protests over the weekend before last. Finally, the Center for Democracy and Technology sued the White House in the DC Circuit last week over the president’s executive order directing the independent Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission to work together, along with the Department of Commerce, to curtail enforcement of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The president issued the order after Twitter flagged one of the president’s tweets as misleading, and a tweet in which the president criticized California Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order to allow mail-in ballots. Elon Musk calls for Amazon break-up Elon Musk took to Twitter calling for a break-up of Amazon, which he labelled a monopoly. The tweet came in response to a tweet by a New York Times reporter who’d written that Amazon had rejected his new book about COVID-19 on the grounds that it didn’t meet Amazon’s guidelines. Amazon has since stated that it removed the book in error. TikTok pledges to amplify black creators TikTok pledged to amplify black creators last week amidst criticism that it censored and suppressed content posted by blacks. The company stated that it would form a creator diversity council and a handful of other initiatives to address these concerns. The company also participated in the music industry-led “Blackout Tuesday” during which the company shut down its Sounds page. It also announced that it would invest $3 million in organizations that work to address black inequality (although the company didn’t mention which organizations it plans to invest in). Senators criticize AT&T on zero-rating In a letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Senators Ed Markey and Ron Wyden criticized AT&T for zero-rating its own content on HBO. Zero-rating is the industry jargon used to describe the anticompetitive practice in which carriers count the use of competing platforms against their customers’ data limits but not their own content, in this case HBO, which AT&T acquired in 2018, along with HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia. The Senators set a response deadline of June 25th. Zoom announces end-to-end encryption for paying subscribers only Videoconference platform Zoom announced that it would be introducing end-to-end encryption, but only for paying subscribers. The company says doing so will allow it to work with the FBI to identify child pornographers and sex traffickers. However, Zoom made no reference to any evidence correlating free usership to the distribution of illegal content at a rate that exceeds the that of paid subscribers. California assembly introduces facial recogniti
25 minutes | 8 months ago
‘Regulating Social Media: It’s the Moderation, Stupid’ with Chris Lewis Ep. 232
Bio Christopher Lewis (@ChrisJLewis) is President and CEO at Public Knowledge. Prior to being elevated to President and CEO, Chris served for as PK’s Vice President from 2012 to 2019 where he led the organization’s day-to-day advocacy and political strategy on Capitol Hill and at government agencies. During that time he also served as a local elected official, serving two terms on the Alexandria City Public School Board. Chris serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Local Self Reliance and represents Public Knowledge on the Board of the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG). Before joining Public Knowledge, Chris worked in the Federal Communications Commission Office of Legislative Affairs, including as its Deputy Director. He is a former U.S. Senate staffer for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and has over 18 years of political organizing and advocacy experience, including serving as Virginia State Director at GenerationEngage, and working as the North Carolina Field Director for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign and other roles throughout the campaign. Chris graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelors degree in Government and lives in Alexandria, VA where he continues to volunteer and advocate on local civic issues. Resources The Washington Center for Technology Policy Inclusion, 2020. President Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Violates The Voting Rights Act Of 1965. [online] Available at: https://www.washingtech.com/post/president-trump-s-social-media-executive-order-violates-the-voting-rights-act-of-1965 [Accessed 31 May 2020]. Public Knowledge, 2020. Public Knowledge Rejects White House Executive Order Targeting Free Speech On Social Media Platforms. [online] Available at: https://www.publicknowledge.org/press-release/public-knowledge-rejects-white-house-executive-order-targeting-free-speech-on-social-media-platforms/ [Accessed 31 May 2020]. Feld, H., 2020. Could the FCC Regulate Social Media Under Section 230? No. [Blog] Public Knowledge Blog, Available at: https://www.publicknowledge.org/blog/could-the-fcc-regulate-social-media-under-section-230-no/ [Accessed 31 May 2020]. Public Knowledge, 2020. Public Knowledge Responds To White House Proposal To Require FTC, FCC To Monitor Speech On Social Media. [online] Available at: https://www.publicknowledge.org/press-release/public-knowledge-responds-to-white-house-proposal-to-require-ftc-fcc-to-monitor-speech-on-social-media/ [Accessed 31 May 2020]. Related Episodes 'They Smile in Your Face: How the Internet is Unmasking Hidden Racism' with Robert Eschmann (Ep. 222)(Opens in a new browser tab) 'How Media Policies Have Helped the Far Right' with Anne Nelson (Ep. 217)(Opens in a new browser tab) Facebook and Civil Rights: What are the Options? with Ebonie Riley (Ep. 212)(Opens in a new browser tab) Should Americans Trust News on Social Media? with Elisa Shearer (Ep. 207)(Opens in a new browser tab) Examining "Social Media Bias" with Jen Schradie (Ep. 199)(Opens in a new browser tab) Renée DiResta: How to Fight the Imminent Disinformation Blitzkrieg (Ep. 175)(Opens in a new browser tab) News Roundup Trump tweets mark turning point in Section 230 discourse A tweet from President Trump last week that criticized California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order allowing Californians’ the right to vote by mail, in addition to preserving Californians’ right to vote in person if they’d prefer, has triggered a turning point in the debate around Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, even though the Centers for Disease Control recommended that election officials allow mail-in voting, specifically because of the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 disease is having on communities of color. These communities have historically been targets of voter suppression efforts. Section 230 is the 1996 law widely seen as the heart of the internet as we know it, because it shields interactive content providers, like Twitter, Google, and Facebook, from liability stemming from content posted by users. In short, without Section 230, it would be all but impossible for Twitter, Facebook, and Google to exist: without Section 230, it would simply be too risky for social media platforms to expose themselves to liability for content that you and I, or even Trump, post. President Trump posted the now-infamous tweet about Governor Newsom’s Executive Order on Tuesday. In it, the president alleged that sending mail-in ballots to voters would cause what right-wing politicians theorize is “voter fraud”, and that sending ballots to what the president termed “millions of people” would lead to the ballots being stolen. The president didn’t indicate how those attempting to steal ballots would even know whether ballots were inside of a person’s mailbox. Would they go to every single mailbox every single day to see if a ballot’s inside? In any case, the president has expressed a general fear of snail mail in recent months. At the start of the pandemic, he and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin blocked funding from the $2 trillion stimulus bill that would have provided the U.S. Postal Service with billions of dollars in grants to balance its budget. So, something’s up with the mail that this president seems extremely frightened of. All of this culminated in Twitter, for the first time, posting a disclaimer on the president’s tweet – a blue hyperlink with an exclamation mark next to it that says, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”. When users click the link, they’re redirected to another Twitter page listing articles discussing the factual inconsistencies in the president’s claim that mail-in ballots would lead to election fraud and voting by immigrants. Unsurprisingly, Trump was livid when this happened. Two days later, he released an Executive Order providing for the Department of Commerce to file a petition at the Federal Communications Commission asking it to review still-unsubstantiated claims of social media companies’ alleged anti-conservative bias. The order also calls on the Federal Trade Commission to allow individuals to file complaints. When protests began around the nation in response to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who has since been fired and charged with manslaughter, Trump tweeted a comment that echoed Miami’s then-Mayor Walter Headley’s 1967 remark “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, which was met with scorn by civil rights leaders. In the tweet, the president called protesters “THUGS”, saying he’d spoken with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz “and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” (Here would be a good place to recall last summer’s Center for Investigative Journalism report that several Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia Facebook groups counted hundreds of police among their members, a report that corroborated an earlier finding by the FBI released over a decade ago that warned of the infiltration of law enforcement by white supremacists.) Twitter followed up with the president’s “THUGS” tweet by placing a notice over it saying the tweet violated Twitter’s policy against users glorifying violence, but still allowing users to clickthrough and see the president’s tweet. The company also went on to flag tweets from Ice Cube, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, and others it deemed to have violated Twitter’s community standards. But as far as Trump’s Executive Order to rein in social media companies is concerned, after speaking with experts like Tech Freedom’s Berin Szoka, Georgetown’s Gigi Sohn, and Public Knowledge’s Harold Feld – all of whom have been guests on the WashingTECH Tech Policy Podcast – the Hill reports that there’s a general consensus in the telecommunications public policy community that the president’s executive order is a non-starter. To make it happen, the FCC would need to undo years of precedent and essentially contradict every ruling it’s made, at least during Ajit Pai’s tenure there as Chairman, including its repeal of the net neutrality order. … On another front, Senator Ted Cruz, alleging that Twitter is violating sanctions against Iran, is calling for a criminal investigation into Twitter’s alleged preservation of accounts of enemies of the United States, like Iranian Supreme Leaders Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Also, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confessed to Fox News last week that Facebook shouldn’t be “arbiters of truth”. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Facebook Executives ignored a 2018 internal report that found the company’s algorithms “exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness”. It also warned that, if left unchecked, Facebook could spread even more discord, and that bringing Facebook’s algorithms under control would disproportionately affect users espousing conservative viewpoints. Facebook never publicly released the report or even acted internally to “check” conservative misinformation. Coincidentally, the presentation came at the same time the Trump administration was just beginning its campaign to characterize social media companies as being biased in favor of liberals. Last week, House Speaker Pelosi called Zuckerberg’s non-interventionist stance a “disgrace”. Running with the ball, Republicans in Congress are reportedly working on legislation to control speech on social media platforms by undoing the liability protections conferred by Section 230. Conservatives are pushing for the legislation even though a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit last week dismissed a lawsuit brought by Freedom Watch, the con
25 minutes | 8 months ago
'Health Tech and Communications in Crisis' with Licy Docanto (Ep. 231)
Bio Licy Do Canto (@docantolicy) is Managing Director of BCW Healthcare in the firm’s Public Affairs and Crisis practice. He leads policy and public affairs strategy for the firm’s healthcare clients in North America across public and corporate affairs, government relations, communications and reputation management on a diverse and broad range of healthcare issues. He also oversees the BCW Healthcare Team in Washington, D.C. An expert in health and healthcare policy, with twenty five years of experience at the national, state and local levels across the nonprofit, philanthropic, corporate and government sectors, Licy is an accomplished, values-driven leader with unparalleled experience in developing and leading integrated public affairs campaigns combining strategic communications, public relations, political and legislative initiatives, policy, coalition building, grassroots/grasstops efforts and direct advocacy. Before joining BCW, Licy built and lead a nationally recognized minority owned strategic public affairs and communications firm, served as Health Practice Chair and Principal at The Raben Group, was the Chief Executive Officer of The AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth and Families, and managed and helped set the leadership direction for strategic policy, communications and advocacy investments in executive and senior government affairs roles for the American Cancer Society and the nation’s Community Health Centers. Before joining the private sector, Licy served as health policy advisor to U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and served in several stints in the Office of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. During his extensive tenure in Washington, D.C., Licy has played a leading role in efforts to draft, shape and enact many pieces of legislation and policy affecting public health, health care safety net and the U.S. health care system. Licy is a graduate of Duke University and holds a certificate in public health leadership from the University of North Chapel Hill—School of Public Health and Kenan Flagler Business School, and is the recipient of multiple industry awards and citations for his leadership, policy and public affairs acumen, including being named to The Hill Newspaper list of most influential leaders in Washington, D.C. consecutively over the last ten years. Resources Why Embracing Diversity Will Lift Us Out of This Crisis Faster on Medium. Licy Do Canto Video Interview on the Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Times of Crisis New BCW Inclusion & Diversity Offering: https://bcw-global.com/now-next/inclusion-diversity Related Episodes Taking on the Inequities Laid Bare by COVID-19 with Robert Phillips (Ep. 229)(Opens in a new browser tab) Dr. Alisa Valentin: The Unifying Power of Social Justice (Ep. 178)(Opens in a new browser tab) News Roundup Antitrust red flags about Facebook and Google The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the Department of Justice is prepping an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The suit is expected to focus on allegations that Google is monopolizing the online advertising ecosystem. Facebook also came under scrutiny in the Senate last week, with a bipartisan group of Senators calling foul on Facebook’s newly-announced plan to acquire the popular GIF-making platform Giphy in a $400 million deal which would give the social media giant access to Giphy’s huge user base and roughly 700 million daily impressions. The acquisition would give Facebook access to data on all of the platforms into which Giphy is integrated, Facebook’s competitors, like Mailchimp, iMessage, Signal, Snapchat, Slack, Telegram, TikTok, Tinder, Trello, and Twitter. Snapchat/Twilio to offer in-app domestic violence support Snapchat and Twilio are planning to offer in-app domestic violence support, according to an exclusive report from Axios. The rollout will include an effort to address victims’ mental health concerns. Snapchat will be partnering with the National Network to End Domestic Violence to provide resources, including a way for friends of victims to offer support. Twilio announced that it would provide $2 million in cash grants to orgs providing support services during the pandemic. James Damore moves to dismiss lawsuit against Google Remember James Damore? The white male Google engineer who was fired back in 2017 for writing a screed entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”? The one that went on and on about how the corporate culture at Google discriminates and marginalizes the viewpoints of conservative white men, namely the alt-right? Well he decided to move to dismiss the case, a motion Google then joined, which led to a resolution that wasn’t made public. So it’s over. No one knows the details. But the matter that consumed the tech community for months over 2 years ago, has now drifted away like it never happened. Warren/Sanders demand explanation about Amazon firings Nine U.S. Senators led by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders wrote a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demanding an explanation for his company’s firing of at least 4 Amazon workers who’d raised concerns about Amazon’s working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter noted that COVID-19 infections have been reported in some 100 Amazon warehouses, that at least 3 Amazon workers have died from COVID-19 complications, and that an Amazon Vice President resigned in protest over the company’s handling of employees’ complaints. Other signers included Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Ed Markey, Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, and Tammy Baldwin. No Republicans signed the letter—not even Josh Hawley who has been very vocal about his concerns regarding what he sees as Amazon’s anticompetitive behavior. Amazon’s response is due by May 20th. Nutcase conspiracy theorist spits on 5G engineer who then contracts COVID-19 A conspiracy theorist in London ran up to Michael Demetroudi, an apprentice 5G engineer, yelled, “All you engineers are just trying to import the 5G in every single box”, and then spat in his face. Vice News reports that it wasn’t the first time Demetroudi has been harassed by lunatics for being a 5G engineer – one woman jumped out in front of his truck in the middle of the street and accused him of “spreading 5G from the top of his vehicle”. Another guy started yelling at him when he was just standing in line in his uniform, getting ready to buy a sandwich … I really don’t know what else to say. FCC fines Sinclair $48 million for fake news segments The FCC has fined Sinclair Broadcasting for $48 million for airing paid fake news segments 1,700 times across its stations nationwide in 2016. However, the FCC hasn’t revoked Sinclair’s licenses, even though Sinclair attempted to maintain control over stations it was supposed to divest as part of its proposed merger with Tribune back in 2018. Also in 2018, Sinclair was clowned for forcing its local newscasters nationwide to read the same script echoing President Trump’s exhortations about Fake News. Despite this pattern of conduct, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai refused to revoke Sinclair’s licenses, saying requests by advocates to do so were “politically motivated”.
25 minutes | 9 months ago
'Covid-19, Surveillance and the Future of Baltimore' w/ Maya Rockeymoore Cummings (Ep. 230)
Bio Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings (@MayaforCongress) is President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions, a certified B Corporation and mission-driven strategy firm, dedicated to helping community-based, philanthropic, academic, governmental, and corporate organizations achieve strategic objectives. The firm specializes in coalition building, public policy analysis and research, program development, project management, and government relations. Dr. Rockeymoore Cummings previously served as the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, Vice President of Research and Programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Senior Resident Scholar at the National Urban League, Chief of Staff to former Congressman Charles Rangel, Professional Staff on the House Ways and Means Committee, and as a CBCF Legislative Fellow in the office of former Congressman Melvin Watt among other positions. A noted speaker and author, Dr. Rockeymoore Cummings’ areas of expertise include health, social insurance, economic security, education, technology, women’s issues and youth civic participation. She is the author of The Political Action Handbook: A How to Guide for the Hip-Hop Generation and co-editor of Strengthening Community: Social Insurance in a Diverse America among many other articles and chapters. Her frequent speaking engagements have included invitations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Economic Policy Institute, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional Progressive Caucus, Drexel University, Women Donors Network, National Association of Black Journalists, and Grantmakers in Aging among many other organizations. She has been quoted extensively in publications such as the Washington Post and New York Times and has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and C-SPAN among other news outlets. The recipient of many awards, including the Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship, she announced a run for Congress in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in November 2019 to succeed her late husband Congressman Elijah E. Cummings. Resources Center for Global Policy Solutions News Roundup New York reports sharp uptick in domestic violence calls] Calls to the State of New York’s domestic violence hotline increased 30% in April, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Abusers are using the pandemic to justify keeping their victims isolated and have intensified the nature of their abuse from psychological or financial, to physical. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24/7 and can be reached at 800-799-SAFE. 800-799-SAFE. That’s 800-799-7233. 800-799-7233. You can also text LOVEIS to 22522. That’s LOVEIS to 22522. Otherwise, you can log in to thehotline.org. That’s thehotline.org. Wyden, Eshoo introduce $5bn online child abuse bill Senator Ron Wyden and California Representative Anna Eshoo introduced a bill on Wednesday to stop the alarming spread of child sexual abuse material online. The Invest in Child Safety Act aims to invest $5bn to quadruple the number of FBI investigators focused on online child abuse and exploitation (from 30 to 120) and expand the capacity of state and local governments to investigate and prosecute the offenders and counsel the victims of online child abuse. The money would also help fund the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, create a White House oversight office, and require tech companies to keep evidence of online abuse for at least 6 months instead of 3. This new effort comes amidst a broader effort by lawmakers to limit Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which indemnifies tech companies for hosting content posted by third parties. California AG Becerra sues Uber and Lyft for misclassifying workers Invoking California Assembly Bill 5, which requires companies to treat workers as employees if they control how workers perform tasks of if the work is routine, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a coalition of city officials sued Uber and Lyft for misclassifying its workers as independent contractors. The bill took effect on January 1 but so far the companies have pushed back on compliance. The New York Times reports that Uber has even gone as far as saying they’re not required to pay their drivers as employees because technology is its core business, not ridesharing. The lawsuit also claims the companies’ noncompliance is harming other businesses who have begun implementing the law. Amazon VP resigns as company fires protesting workers Calling Amazon “chickenshit”, Tim Bray, a prominent Senior Engineer and VP at Amazon resigned “in dismay” in an open letter on his blog after the company fired employee organizers protesting the company’s treatment of warehouse workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The workers went on strike, along with workers from Target, FedEx, Whole Foods, and Instacart, to protest their employers’ weak efforts to protect them from the virus. At Amazon specifically, at least 75 employees across half the company’s 110 warehouses, have fallen ill. Uber lays off 14 percent of workforce Uber announced plans to lay off some 14% of its workforce, or 3,700 employees, as demand for ridesharing has dropped during the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the layoffs will come from the CommOps and Recruiting teams. An internal memo suggested that more layoffs may be looming to as much as 20% of the current workforce, according to The Information. Airbnb has also announced plans to lay off approximately 25 percent of its workforce, or about 1,900 employees. Tumblr to remove posts that violate its hate speech policy Tumblr, founded in 2007, announced just the other day that it will remove all posts that violate its hate speech policy. Better late than never. “Researchers” at a Pennsylvania university claim to have solved the bias in AI problem Twitter dragged some so-called researchers at Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania after the university posted a link claiming they’d discovered a facial recognition method capable of detecting criminality with “80% accuracy and no racial bias”. One of researchers is a former NYPD police officer. The University pulled down the link. The paper will still be released but it’s doubtful to withstand scrutiny since many say 80% accuracy isn’t high enough for the technology to be considered bias-free.
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