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  1. #1
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    [EN] Cloudflare: free speech

    The idea of social media platforms as the “modern public square” was recently endorsed by the US supreme court, which ruled unanimously that barring sex offenders from Facebook and Twitter violated their first amendment rights.

    And yet, this digital version of the public square is more closely analogous to “privately owned public spaces” – a very American type of park.

    Julia Carrie Wong
    28 August 2017

    Matthew Prince had the power to kill the white supremacist hate site the Daily Stormer for years, but he didn’t choose to pull the trigger until 16 August. That’s when the chief executive of Cloudflare “woke up … in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet”, as he told his employees in an internal email.

    Cloudflare is just one of many internet companies that cleaned house amid a wave of public outrage following a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Critics charge that technology platforms have enabled a disparate network of racist extremists to seek one another out, raise funds, and plan and execute such rallies. But unlike consumer facing companies such as Facebook, YouTube, PayPal and Discord, and even as liberal voices – including the Guardian editorial board – applaud it, Cloudflare won’t defend its actions.

    “I am deeply uncomfortable with the decision we made,” Prince said in an interview. “It doesn’t align with our principles.”

    The primary principle at stake – that the US and the internet both remain free speech zones, even for Nazis – has never been more fraught.

    “This is a really terrible time to be a free speech advocate,” said Jillian York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It’s a ‘First they came for the … situation,” she said, referring to the famous Martin Niemöller poem about the classes of people targeted by Nazis, “only in reverse”.

    Though these are dark days for American exceptionalism, the US remains distinct in its commitment to freedom of speech. Even as many Americans increasingly favor European-style limitations on hate speech, the constitution’s first amendment ensures that any such legislative effort is likely a non-starter.

    But the fate of the Daily Stormer – as vile a publication as it is – may be a warning to Americans that the first amendment is increasingly irrelevant.

    “Historically, the place you went to exercise your speech rights was the public square. Now the equivalent is Twitter and YouTube and Facebook,” said Daphne Keller of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. “In a practical matter, how much you can speak is not in the hands of the constitution but in the hands of these private companies.”

    The idea of social media platforms as the “modern public square” was recently endorsed by the US supreme court, which ruled unanimously that barring sex offenders from Facebook and Twitter violated their first amendment rights.

    And yet, this digital version of the public square is more closely analogous to “privately owned public spaces” – a very American type of park whose legal particularities became widely known in 2011 when the Occupy Wall Street movement set up camp in one such space.

    ‘I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop,’ says the organizer of an unusual protest ahead of Saturday’s Patriot Prayer rally

    “This is a really terrible time to be a free speech advocate,” said Jillian York, director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It’s a ‘First they came for the … situation,” she said, referring to the famous Martin Niemöller poem about the classes of people targeted by Nazis, “only in reverse”.

    Though these are dark days for American exceptionalism, the US remains distinct in its commitment to freedom of speech. Even as many Americans increasingly favor European-style limitations on hate speech, the constitution’s first amendment ensures that any such legislative effort is likely a non-starter.

    But the fate of the Daily Stormer – as vile a publication as it is – may be a warning to Americans that the first amendment is increasingly irrelevant.

    “Historically, the place you went to exercise your speech rights was the public square. Now the equivalent is Twitter and YouTube and Facebook,” said Daphne Keller of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. “In a practical matter, how much you can speak is not in the hands of the constitution but in the hands of these private companies.”

    The idea of social media platforms as the “modern public square” was recently endorsed by the US supreme court, which ruled unanimously that barring sex offenders from Facebook and Twitter violated their first amendment rights.

    And yet, this digital version of the public square is more closely analogous to “privately owned public spaces” – a very American type of park whose legal particularities became widely known in 2011 when the Occupy Wall Street movement set up camp in one such space.

    Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park seemed like the quintessential free speech public square when it became ground zero for a movement built around general assemblies, speaker stacks, and the “people’s mic”. But the public-private nature of the space was built into the movement’s rise and eventual fall: the encampment was only possible in the first place because the privately owned space remained open 24 hours a day, unlike truly public parks, which close at night. And the ability of plaza’s commercial real estate owners to unilaterally change the park’s rules facilitated the protest group’s eventual eviction.

    As opposite as their politics may be, members of the so-called “alt-right” now find themselves in a similar position to the evicted Occupiers when it comes to the internet platforms where they once thrived: standing outside the gates while power washers sanitize the park for the use of others.

    American technology companies that were once imbued with the ethos of Twitter’s famous sobriquet – “the free speech wing of the free speech party” – have changed the rules, or at least decided to start selectively enforcing rules that are technologically unfeasible to apply across the board.

    This crackdown means that our public square might as well be in Brussels. Pressure from the European Union moved Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft in 2016 to adopt a hate speech “code of conduct” that is much more stringent than what US law would require, Keller said. And even without the influence of the EU, the industry’s reliance on advertisers produces its own incentives toward censoriousness.

    “If you think of the 10 companies that have the infrastructure to really survive on the crazy dangerous internet that is out there, a huge percentage of them are advertising-driven companies,” said Prince. “They will by their very nature have a much more filtered, cleaned up version of the internet because that is where their economic incentives are.”

    The overwhelming dominance of cyberspace by those handful of companies means that the battle over speech that is protected by the first amendment, rather than corporate terms of service, will be relegated to the remaining truly public spaces in the real world.

    At certain points in US history, an embrace of free speech was a liberal’s rhetorical trump card. But amid the political turbulence of 2017, members of the #resistance have cheered the internet crackdown on the far-right and called for the exclusion of rightwing extremists to assemble in public spaces, from Boston to San Francisco. Meanwhile, supporters of a president who routinely rails against the free press have enthusiastically donned the mantle of first amendment freedom fighters.

    “We are the new free speech movement,” declared the Berkeley College Republicans this spring, as they fought for the right to host Yiannopoulos on campus. “The Free Speech Tech revolution has begun,” announced social media startup Gab, which positions itself as a free-speech alternative to Twitter and Facebook but is largely populated by rightwing exiles of the major social networks.

    Gab CEO Andrew Torba declined to be interviewed by the Guardian, which he called “very fake news”.

    If the left does abandon its free speech principles, it may come to regret it.

    “I’m really surprised to see liberals talk about what speech needs to be taken down, and not take that conversation a step further and talk about who is actually doing the censoring,” York said, questioning whether we should trust either the government or “unelected white Silicon Valley dudes” to make such decisions.

    Or as Keller says: “We should not expect the new speech gatekeepers to be benign forever, or to enforce rules that we agree with forever.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...lare-breitbart

  2. #2
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    "The idea of social media platforms as the “modern public square” was recently endorsed by the US supreme court, which ruled unanimously that barring sex offenders from Facebook and Twitter violated their first amendment rights."

    Nada como explorar comercialmente uma praça e mandar e desmandar sem compromisso algum, sem respeitar lei alguma

    Mas existe uma interpretação de uma parte dos advogados americanos que a emenda visa apenas garantir ao cidadão poder se manifestar em relação ao governo, ou seja, o estado não pode impedir o individuo expressar sua opinião. Porém a lei não obrigaria ninguém a publicar, não garante meios de divulgação, e não isenta o autor de responsabilidades.

  3. #3
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    Citação Postado originalmente por 5ms Ver Post
    Mas existe uma interpretação de uma parte dos advogados americanos que a emenda visa apenas garantir ao cidadão poder se manifestar em relação ao governo, ou seja, o estado não pode impedir o individuo expressar sua opinião. Porém a lei não obrigaria ninguém a publicar, não garante meios de divulgação, e não isenta o autor de responsabilidades.
    But the fate of the Daily Stormer – as vile a publication as it is – may be a warning to Americans that the first amendment is increasingly irrelevant.

    “Historically, the place you went to exercise your speech rights was the public square. Now the equivalent is Twitter and YouTube and Facebook,” said Daphne Keller of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. “In a practical matter, how much you can speak is not in the hands of the constitution but in the hands of these private companies.”
    E quando foi diferente?

    Porém a relevância do Google e Facebook é questionável, para ser gentil. Sem cobertura da imprensa escrita e falada convencional, eventos em praça publica e manifestações em "redes sociais" passam despercebidas.

  4. #4
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    Vem Pra Rua faz ato esvaziado pela 'renovação política' em São Paulo



    Paula Reverbel
    27 Agosto 2017

    ...

    A passeata, que seguiu pela av. Paulista, da frente do Masp (Museu de Arte de São Paulo) até a av. Brigadeiro, chegou a ocupar cerca de duas quadras da via e durou apenas três horas. Perguntado sobre a diferença do público deste protesto com o de manifestações anteriores, Chequer afirmou que "atos como aqueles que a gente viu naquele período não são mais bases de comparação". Segundo ele, os atos de 2015 e 2016 tinham "motivador de forma absolutamente binária".

    Nem o Vem Pra Rua é nem a PM fizeram estimativa de público.

    De acordo com o discurso do grupo, o País está entrando em uma fase de "engajamento digital". O Vem Pra Rua criou dois sites com esse fim. O primeiro, chamado "Tchau Queridos", será atualizado semanalmente com os políticos que não querem ver reeleitos. O segundo, o "Mapa contra o Fundo Eleitoral" lista todas as informações de contato de parlamentares.

    Os ex-presidentes Lula e Dilma, os senadores Aécio Neves (PSDB-MG) e Lindbergh Farias (PT-RJ), o deputado federal Vicente Cândido (PT-SP) e o ministro Gilmar Mendes estavam entre os mais rechaçados pelos cartazes do público.

    Apenas três pessoas discursaram, incluindo o jurista Modesto Carvalhosa.

    ...

    http://politica.estadao.com.br/notic...lo,70001952596

    Manifestantes fazem ato contra a corrupção na Avenida Paulista
    Protesto foi convocado pelo Vem Pra Rua. Atos realizados em outras cidades tiveram baixa adesão.


    Manifestantes protestaram na Avenida Paulista, em São Paulo, contra a corrupção e a favor de renovação política. O ato foi organizado pelo movimento Vem Pra Rua.

    Os manifestantes levavam cartazes e vestiam verde-amarelo. As lideranças do ato discursaram num carro de som também contra uma proposta do Congresso Nacional de criar um fundo público para financiar as campanhas eleitorais do ano que vem.

    Nem a Polícia Militar nem a organização tinham estimativa de público. Atos convocados pelo Vem Pra Rua em outras cidades registraram baixa adesão.

    Os manifestantes se concentraram em frente ao Masp. Às 15h40, começaram uma caminhada no sentido Praça Oswaldo Cruz. Perto da Avenida Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, os manifestantes soltaram balões verde-amarelo. Por volta das 17h, cantaram o Hino Nacional e encerraram o protesto.

    ...

    Além de São Paulo, foram registradas manifestações no Rio de Janeiro, em Recife (PE), Belém (PA), Vitória (ES), Goiânia (GO), Brasília e Belo Horizonte (MG). Em Belém, segundo os organizadores do evento, cerca de 200 pessoas participaram do ato, que terminou na Av. Visconde de Souza Franco. Na capital capixaba, o ato aconteceu na Praia de Camburi, onde o grupo fez um bandeiraço. Em Brasília, os manifestantes levaram crucifixos, bandeiras e faixas para o gramado em frente ao Congresso Nacional. Já na capital mineira, integrantes do movimento Vem pra Rua realizaram o ato na Região Centro-Sul.

    ...

    http://g1.globo.com/sao-paulo/notici...paulista.ghtml

    Manifestação política reúne pouca gente na Praça Portugal, em Fortaleza

    Por G1 CE
    27/08/2017

    Pouco mais de 100 pessoas participaram, na tarde deste domingo (27), de uma manifestação de cunho politico na Praça Portugal, no Bairro Meireles, em Fortaleza. O movimento, organizado pelo movimento “Vem pra Rua” teve início por volta das 14 horas, quando os manifestantes cantaram o Hino Nacional.

    Entre a pauta de reivindicações, o fim da corrupção, contra o financiamento público de campanhas eleitorais e a permanência do ministro Gilmar Mendes no Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF). Os manifestantes também defenderam a continuação da Operação Lava Jato e a renovação do quadro político nas eleições do ano que vem.

    http://g1.globo.com/ceara/noticia/ma...ortaleza.ghtml

  5. #5
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    'no foreigners' home sale sign violates law, state agency says


    "No Foreigners" sign in front of James Prater's home in Mason, Mich. (Lansing State Journal via AP)

    Judy Putnam, AP
    August 11, 2017

    A Michigan veteran selling his home faces a civil rights complaint over a front-yard sign that says he won’t sell to foreigners.

    The exclusionary sign in front of James Prater’s house in Mason says “Terms-No Foreigners-Iraq vet”.

    The complaint was filed by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The agency says the sign violates state and federal laws against discrimination based on national origin, and wants it removed.

    “When an ad like this goes unchallenged, it sends a message to the community that such ads are legal and accepted,” said Civil Rights Director Agustin V. Arbulu.

    Arbulu said it could wrongly encourage others to use similar language.

    “The perception that a community accepts discrimination of this sort discourages potential purchasers from considering other properties in the area,” he said.

    Homeowner James Prater referred questions to an attorney, Kristina Lyke of East Lansing, who wasn’t immediately available for comment.

    Prater said in a previous interview he hasn't discriminated against anyone because he's had no offers.

    He's a former Army sergeant who did two tours in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, the Lansing State Journal reported Friday.

    The paper broke the story about the sign last week after a local realtor spotted it.

    Readers told the paper that exemptions in the federal Fair Housing Act cover private sales of property by individuals. Prater is selling his home himself without a real estate agent.

    But state officials said that while there are exemptions for the sale of the property by private individuals in the anti-discrimination law, discriminatory advertising is not exempted under any circumstances, the paper reported.

    Deputy Director Carol Viventi said in an email that remedies vary but may include “training and/or monetary penalties.”

    Vicki Levengood, spokeswoman for the department, said in an email that the department initiated the complaint and also filed it with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The state has an agreement with HUD to investigate some housing discrimination complaints.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/08/11...ency-says.html

    http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/s...ome/557832001/

  6. #6
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    O mercado da ética crescerá, e juízes e advogados farão rios de dinheiro

    Luiz Felipe Pondé
    28/08/2017

    Muito se discute sobre ética nos últimos tempos. Da escola à política, do mundo corporativo à arte. Não pretendo aqui resolver esse debate, mas há uma questão nele que me parece essencial apontar: o futuro da ética é a judicialização da vida. A ética "real", pouco a pouco, se torna um "mercado da ética", que enriquece advogados, juízes, procuradores, promotores e "assessores".

    Com a modernização, o modo de contenção do comportamento via "pressão local do grupo", cedeu aos vínculos distantes e instrumentais. A vida produtiva moderna, associada à arrancada "progressista" em direção a um mundo redefinido por propostas sociais, políticas e, muitas vezes, psicológicas, arruinaram o valor da tradição moral como contenção de comportamentos.

    A própria expressão, tão comum na boca dos jovens, "a moral imposta pela sociedade", sinaliza para a ruína dessa moral, uma vez que é sentida como "imposta". Ou a moral é internalizada ou ela é um nada. Uma "segunda natureza", como diria Aristóteles (384-322 a.C.).

    A ideia aristotélica de uma ética prática das virtudes, elegante, mas inviável numa sociedade de vínculos impessoais, distantes e instrumentais, sofre com a indiferença concreta que temos pela opinião dos outros -afora parentes muito importantes pra nós ou pessoas que podem nos causar danos muito imediatos. Essa é, exatamente, a "liberdade" sobre a qual tanto se fala que ganhamos com a modernidade: a ilusão de que podemos mandar o mundo pra aquele lugar...

    A posição kantiana de imperativos categóricos morais do tipo "aja de modo tal que sua ação possa ser erguida em norma universal de comportamento", na prática, pavimenta a estrada para a judicialização. Basta ver os manuais de "compliance" que florescem pelo mundo corporativo -voltaremos a isso logo.

    O utilitarismo e seu império do bem-estar, seguramente, funcionam como "ethos" de um mundo pautado pela busca da felicidade material em todos os níveis, inclusive no da matéria do corpo e sua saúde. O utilitarismo pauta políticas públicas e corporativas, mas não me parece ser ele a base da judicialização. Esta base vem dos imperativos de Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Vejamos.

    Kant percebeu a dissolução dos modos tradicionais de contenção do comportamento em curso em sua época, em finais do século 18.

    Tentou encontrar um modo "racional" e, portanto, universal, para a ética. Mas, este modo "deontológico" (dever ser) se revelou não como uma maioridade racional introjetada da norma, como ele pensava, mas sim como o crescimento do aparelho jurídico de constrangimento do comportamento. Dito de forma direta: desde manuais de "compliance" contra passivos éticos no mundo corporativo até o aumento da indústria dos processos. Enfim, a judicialização do cotidiano.

    Essa judicialização significa que a única forma eficaz de constranger os comportamentos é via a força da lei. Esta é, sempre, encarceramento ou pagamentos de somas financeiras como consequência de processos abertos. Juízes arrancam seu dinheiro num clique. A indústria de sentenças cresce. Como mandamos o mundo pra aquele lugar, resta o mercado da ética.

    Este mercado crescerá cada vez mais. Advogados farão rios de dinheiro. A máquina judiciária estatal crescerá junto com isso. Concursos para juízes e para o Ministério Público (cuidando de nós, cidadãos "hipossuficientes") garantirá inúmeras vidas financeiramente.

    À medida que a sociedade se torna cada vez mais impessoal (apesar da baboseira de "capitalismo consciente" que falam por aí), a única forma restante será o mercado ético associado à ampliação das vagas no poder Judiciário.

    Um dos efeitos nefastos desse mercado é a paranoia que segue toda sociedade judicializada. O medo do risco de ser processado faz o trabalho sujo da prevenção contra o passivo ético que tende a crescer. As empresas serão obrigadas a redefinir suas culturas internas, as escolas a inviabilizar qualquer forma de "sofrimento" dos alunos, enfim, o medo, alimento ancestral da norma, reinará livre sobre os cidadãos "livres" da modernidade tardia.

    http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/colunas...dinheiro.shtml

  7. #7
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    Stormfront pulled offline after civil rights action

    Alex Hern
    29 August 2017

    One of the oldest and largest neo-nazi sites on the internet, the white supremacist chatroom Stormfront, has been thrown off the open web by its hosting provider.

    ...

    As of Tuesday morning, Stormfront.org was unavailable, with the site’s domain registry recording that its hosting provider Network Solutions had issued a “hold” on the address.

    Stormfront’s removal comes a week after a letter, informing Network Solution’s parent company Web.com of the neo-nazi site’s infractions of the its usage policy, was sent by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a civil rights organisation formed at the request of John F Kennedy in 1963.

    The group, which has been writing to Web.com repeatedly since early July, repeated its request of the company to take “immediate action” against Stormfront.

    Becky Monroe, the director of the group’s Stop Hate project said: “Since its creation, Stormfront has been consistently recognised as a site for racial hatred … a representative sample of posts on the site refer to interracial couples by slurs, share racist caricatures, or otherwise dehumanises minorities by referring to them as ‘creatures’ or ‘ethnics’.

    “It is clear that Stormfront’s reason for existing is to advance hateful racist ideologies in undeniable persistent violation of the acceptable use policy of Web.com.”

    The letter closes by giving a deadline of August 28, the same day Stormfront lost its site.

    “Especially in the wake of tragic events in Charlottesville and the spike in hate crimes across the country, Stormfront crossed the line of permissible speech and incited and promoted violence,” said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

    The move follows the downfall of the Daily Stormer, a far-right news site which was dropped by multiple service providers after it published an article smearing the victim of a far-right terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. Eventually, the site was forced to move to the so-called dark web due to the lack of companies willing to work with it publicly.

    As with the withdrawal of the Daily Stormer’s domain by GoDaddy, the decision of Web.com to pull its support for Stormfront will likely prompt a game of cat and mouse for the site, as it attempts to re-register its domain name with new registrars, many of whom will also choose to refuse to serve the forum.

    ...

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...-rights-action

  8. #8
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    Big Tech's blackballing of neo-Nazi sites shows who controls the internet

    Louise Matsakis
    Aug 29 2017


    In the wake of a violent white supremacist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia, a long list of tech companies scrambled to scrub racist content from their platforms.

    ...

    While it's a good thing that Nazis are being booted offline, should it be at the whim of tech companies, instead of say, democratically elected regulators? That's the question we asked on this episode of Radio Motherboard: How much control should a few powerful internet companies have over user content?

    41 minutos: http://aca.st/4bea72
    Última edição por 5ms; 29-08-2017 às 15:45.

  9. #9
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    Google-funded thinktank fired scholar over criticism of tech firm

    New America Foundation, which has received $21m from Google, dropped Open Markets initiative after senior fellow wrote blogpost praising EU fine

    Dominic Rushe
    30 August 2017

    An influential Washington thinktank that has received more than $21m in funding from Google and its chairman Eric Schmidt dropped a team of scholars after its leader wrote an article praising the European Union’s decision to fine the tech giant.

    The New America Foundation is one of the leading left-leaning policy groups in the US and is led by Anne-Marie Slaughter, an author, foreign policy analyst and political scientist. In June, Barry Lynn, a senior fellow who led the thinktank’s Open Markets initiative, wrote a blogpost praising the EU’s decision to levy a record €2.42bn ($2.7bn) fine on Google for breaching antitrust rules and abusing its market dominance. “Google’s market power is one of the most critical challenges for competition policymakers in the world today,” Lynn wrote.

    June 27, 2017

    Today, the European Commission levied a record €2.42 billion fine on Google for breaching EU antitrust rules and abusing its market dominance by giving advantage to one of its own products via Google's search engine.

    The following statement can be attributed to Barry Lynn, the director of the Open Markets Program.

    "The Open Markets Team congratulates European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager and the European competition authority for this important decision. Google's market power is one of the most critical challenges for competition policymakers in the world today. By requiring that Google give equal treatment to rival services instead of privileging its own, Vestager is protecting the free flow of information and commerce upon which all democracies depend. We call upon U.S. enforcers, including the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and states attorneys general, to build upon this important precedent, both in respect to Google and to other dominant platform monopolists including Amazon. U.S. enforcers should apply the traditional American approach to network monopoly, which is to cleanly separate ownership of the network from ownership of the products and services sold on that network, as they did in the original Microsoft case of the late 1990s."

    Barry Lynn is available for comment on the subject and can be reached at lynn@newamerica.org or 202-431-6066.

    According to the New York Times, shortly after the post was published Schmidt, who chaired New America until 2016, contacted Slaughter to communicate his displeasure.

    The blogpost was temporarily removed from New America’s website before being reposted. Days later, Slaughter told Lynn that “the time has come for Open Markets and New America to part ways”, according to an email from Slaughter to Lynn obtained by the Times.

    The statement disappeared from New America’s website, only to be reposted without explanation a few hours later. But word of Mr. Schmidt’s displeasure rippled through New America, which employs more than 200 people, including dozens of researchers, writers and scholars, most of whom work in sleek Washington offices where the main conference room is called the “Eric Schmidt Ideas Lab.” The episode left some people concerned that Google intended to discontinue funding, while others worried whether the think tank could truly be independent if it had to worry about offending its donors.

    Those worries seemed to be substantiated a couple of days later, when Ms. Slaughter summoned the scholar who wrote the critical statement, Barry Lynn, to her office. He ran a New America initiative called Open Markets that has led a growing chorus of liberal criticism of the market dominance of telecom and tech giants, including Google, which is now part of a larger corporate entity known as Alphabet, for which Mr. Schmidt serves as executive chairman.

    Slaughter said the decision was “in no way based on the content of your work” although she she accused Lynn of “imperiling the institution as a whole”.

    In the statement from New America, Ms. Slaughter announced that the think tank had fired Mr. Lynn on Wednesday for his “his repeated refusal to adhere to New America’s standards of openness and institutional collegiality.”

    It is difficult to overstate Mr. Lynn’s influence in raising concerns about the market dominance of Google, as well as of other tech companies such as Amazon and Facebook. His Open Markets initiative organized a 2016 conference at which a range of influential figures — including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — warned of damaging effects from market consolidation in tech.

    In the run-up to that conference, Ms. Slaughter and New America’s lead fund-raiser in emails to Mr. Lynn indicated that Google was concerned that its positions were not going to be represented, and that it was not given advanced notice of the event.

    “We are in the process of trying to expand our relationship with Google on some absolutely key points,” Ms. Slaughter wrote in an email to Mr. Lynn, urging him to “just THINK about how you are imperiling funding for others.”

    New America has received roughly $21m from Google, Schmidt and his family foundation since 1999. The organisation’s main conference room in Washington DC is called the Eric Schmidt Ideas Lab.

    Lynn and his 10-strong team have now set up Citizens Against Monopoly. “Is Google trying to censor journalists and researchers who fight dangerous monopolies?” the website asks. “Sadly, the answer is: YES.”

    Is Google trying to censor journalists and researchers who fight dangerous monopolies?
    Sadly, the answer is:
    YES

    The Open Markets team for the last eight years has led the way in shining a light on America’s monopoly problem, and in helping leaders in both parties learn how fight dangerous concentrations of power. This past June, our team released a statement of support for a European antitrust ruling against Google.

    Within days, Google flexed their financial power and got our entire team expelled from our think tank, the New America Foundation.
    “Tell Google to stop shutting down research into monopolies,” the organisation says on its Facebook page.

    In an interview with the Times, Lynn said Slaughter had caved to pressure from Schmidt and Google.

    He said: “Google is very aggressive in throwing its money around Washington and Brussels, and then pulling the strings. People are so afraid of Google now.”

    In a statement, Slaughter called Flynn’s accusations “absolutely false”.

    She said: “For the past two months, we have been working with Barry Lynn to spin out Open Markets as an independent program, as we have done with other programs, to preserve his leadership, keep the program together, and maintain a strong relationship with New America.

    “As I reiterated to him in June, his repeated refusal to adhere to New America’s standards of openness and institutional collegiality meant that we could no longer work together as part of the same institution. I continued, however, to seek a cooperative solution with Barry; unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful.

    “New America holds itself to high standards of transparency, diversity, and independence. We are proud of the work we do and the values we uphold.”

    Google was not immediately available for comment.

    Zephyr Teachout, a former Open Markets fellow and chair of the board of Citizens Against Monopoly, said: “Google has been a funder of New America for a while and the Open Markets team has been speaking out against distortions in our markets and the distortions in markets for some time.

    “What I see is that Google has gotten too big for its britches, and like many monopolists can no longer brook dissent. It is a really heavy-handed move by Google and in some way proves the point that Open Markets has been trying to make and has made successfully, which is that the problem with monopolies is not merely economic it is that they form into a political power themselves and as Lord Acton said, power corrupts.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...unding-firings

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/u...w-america.html
    Última edição por 5ms; 30-08-2017 às 16:15.

  10. #10
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    18,473

    Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant

    "Mr. Lynn is now in the process of starting a stand-alone nonprofit with the same team to continue Open Markets’s work. The new group, which does not yet have a name, has funding commitments, though clearly is not expecting any money from Google."





    By KENNETH P. VOGEL
    AUG. 30, 2017

    ...


    After initially eschewing Washington public policy debates, which were seen in Silicon Valley as pay-to-play politics, Google has developed an influence operation that is arguably more muscular and sophisticated than that of any other American company. It spent $9.5 million on lobbying through the first half of this year — more than almost any other company. It helped organize conferences at which key regulators overseeing investigations into the company were presented with pro-Google arguments, sometimes without disclosure of Google’s role.

    Among the most effective — if little examined — tools in Google’s public policy toolbox has been its funding of nonprofit groups from across the political spectrum. This year, it has donated to 170 such groups, according to Google’s voluntary disclosures on Google’s website. While Google does not indicate how much cash was donated, the number of beneficiaries has grown exponentially since it started disclosing its donations in 2010, when it gave to 45 groups.

    Some tech lobbyists, think tank officials and scholars argue that the efforts help explain why Google has mostly avoided damaging regulatory and enforcement decisions in the United States of the sort levied by the European Union in late June.

    But Google’s Washington alliances could be tested in the coming months. Google emerged as a flash point in the latest skirmish of the culture wars this month after one of its male engineers posted a critique of the company’s efforts to diversify. And its data collection continues fueling questions about its commitment to privacy.

    Then there are the mounting concerns about the market dominance of Google, which handles an overwhelming majority of all internet searches globally and dominates internet advertising. Its alleged tilting of search results to favor its services over those offered by competitors led to the European Union’s $2.7 billion antitrust penalty in June.

    The Open Markets’ statement that drew Mr. Schmidt’s ire praised the fine, and called on United States regulators to more aggressively enforce antitrust rules against Google, Amazon and “other dominant platform monopolists.”

    Last month, Democratic congressional leaders rolled out a policy platform that included a pledge to dismantle monopolies, including in cable and internet service, which some read as a direct challenge to Google in particular. That sentiment — which appears to have some support from populist elements of President Trump’s base — diverges sharply from the approach that had been taken by most Democrats until recently.

    Google’s willingness to spread cash around the think tanks and advocacy groups focused on internet and telecommunications policy has effectively muted, if not silenced, criticism of the company over the past several years, said Marc Rotenberg, the president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. His group, which does not accept any corporate funding, has played a leading role in calling out Google and other tech companies for alleged privacy violations. But Mr. Rotenberg said it is become increasingly difficult to find partners in that effort as more groups have accepted Google funding.

    “There are simply fewer groups that are available to speak up about Google’s activities that threaten online privacy,” Mr. Rotenberg said. “The groups that should be speaking up aren’t.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/u...w-america.html

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