Chris J Snook (@chrisjsnook) is the Bestselling Author of Digital Sense: The Common Sense Approach to Effectively Blending Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technology and Customer Experience (Wiley, 2016). He is a Managing Partner at Launch Haus, a venture capital firm focused on cryptocurrency, blockchain, enterprise software, consumer products, digital marketing, event/media properties, and service businesses. He is also a Chairman and Founder of the WorldTokenomicForum ,the leading international organization for enabling public-private cooperation, interoperability, and innovation in token and blockchain based technology. He is also an INC magazine contributor.
Digital Sense: The Common Sense Approach to Effectively Blending Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technology, and Customer Experience by Travis Wright and Chris Snook (Wiley, 2016).
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
Trump officials are weighing building a new 5G network to compete with China's, according to a Powerpoint Axios obtained. The plan would be for the federal government to build a 5G network within 3 years. The report was met with resistance from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as well Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. Olivia Beavers has the story in the Hill. Which do you think will be built first? The Wall between the US and Mexico or the 5G network?
Twitter announced on Friday that some 677,000 of its users engaged with a Kremlin-linked troll factory called the Internet Research Agency. Twitter has also identified an additional 13,512 Russian bots on Twitter, bringing the total to over 50,000. One hundred and twenty-six million people saw content from Russian bots on Twitter during the 2016 election cycle.
Twitter has big changes in store for the 2018 midterm election to significantly cut back on malicious Russian bots. Twitter also reported that Russian bots retweeted Donald Trump some 500,000 times over just two-and-a-half months between September 1 and November 16, 2016. Facebook reported to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russian bots created some 129 events. Ashley Gold reports for Politico and Jacqueline Thomas for the Hill.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he would be investigating Devumi--a company that sells millions of fake followers to high profile individuals. The New York Times reported over the weekend that some 15% of Twitter's active users are actually fake accounts. Nicholas Confessore, Gabriel J.X. Dance, and Richard Harris and Mark Hansen report in the New York Times.
A fitness tracking app called Strava inadvertently revealed the locations of secret U.S. army basis via military personnel who tracked their exercise by using the app. Alex Hern reports for the Guardian.
President Trump has nominated a new Chief Information Officer. Suzette Kent was previously with Ernst & Young, JP Morgan and the Carreker Corporation over 27 years in financial an payment services. Aaron Boyd reports in Next.gov.
Daiquiri Ryan (@daiquiriryan) is a Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge, where she uses her passion for the intersection of technology policy and social justice to help further innovative consumer advocacy. Prior to joining PK, Daiquiri spent time as a legal intern at Amazon and a Google Policy Fellow at the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
Daiquiri is a current member of Google’s NextGen Policy Leader’s inaugural class and contributes NextGen’s subcommittee on Data and Machine Learning’s impact on marginalized communities. She received her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and B.A. in Political Science and Media Relations at Arizona State University. Daiquiri is a Texas native with a special affinity for college football, Elvis Presley and her dog Bobo.
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Montana Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat, signed an Executive Order last week that requires internet service providers to abide by the FCC' 2015 net neutrality principles. The order simply states that ISPs with state contracts must abide by the principles. Bullock says this is a template that other states should use. harper Neidig has more in The Hill.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reneged on previous statements in which he suggested that the FCC would consider mobile broadband to be a full substitute for wired broadband. Back in 2014, the Obama era FCC under Chairman Tom Wheeler raised the definition of what is to be considered high speed broadband from 4 Mbps down and 1Mbps up to 25Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. But last August, the FCC proposed 10 Mbps up and 1Mbps down for mobile broadband as an adequate substitute for wired broadband. Thankfully, in a reversal last week, Pai circulated a draft report stating that he would keep the current broadband definition intact. The Open Meeting is scheduled for January 30th.
You've heard by now that a false alert went out to Hawaiians last week warning them about an incoming ballistic missile strike. The alert turned out to be false. So the FCC says it's investigating.
Verizon and Apple announced windfalls last week stemming from Republicans' tax overhaul. Verizon said the new tax bill would reduce their 4th quarter tax liabilities by $16.8 billion, which translates to $4.10 in earnings per share. Apple claims that it would repatriate some $250 billion in overseas cash from the overhaul. The company claimed that it would invest $350 billion in the U.S. economy over the next 5 years.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Kara Swisher and Ari Melber last week that he would have "no issues" with women speaking out about sexual harassment, even if they are bound by an non-disclosure agreement. Pichai said he's not even aware of such agreements that would prevent women from telling their stories.
The merger conditions the feds placed on Comcast back when they acquired NBC Universal in 2011 have expired. This raises concerns for advocates who are concerned about Comcast now becoming emboldened to engage in anti-competitive practices. Kim Hart reports for Axios.
Under President Trump, U.S. Customs searches of mobile devices belonging to people entering the U.S. have more than tripled at the U.S. border with Mexico. The Electronic Frontier Foundation wants those warrantless searches to stop. So it filed an amicus brief in U.S. v. Cano, urging the court to apply the same Fourth Amendment standard to those entering the country that it applies to arrestees.
Here to discuss net neutrality and sexual health is Leslie Kantor, PhD, MPH (@lesliekantor), Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Vice President of Education. Dr. Kantor is a widely respected leader in the field of sexual and reproductive health, with over two decades of experience in sex education. Since arriving at PPFA, Dr. Kantor has led efforts to develop innovative, technology-based approaches to sex education, partnered with affiliates to strengthen programs and evaluation, served as a national spokesperson, and spearheaded PPFA’s policy efforts related to sex education.
Dr. Kantor has extensive experience training professionals as well as expertise in working directly with children, adolescents, young adults and parents throughout the United States. Ms. Kantor appears frequently in the media speaking about sexual and reproductive health and has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, the Associated Press, The Daily Show with John Stewart, the CBS Evening News, NY1News and the Today Show. In addition, she is a member of the faculty at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where she teaches “Pedagogy of Sexuality Education.”
Dr. Kantor’s scholarly articles have appeared in journals such as Sexuality Research and Social Policy, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association and she has published book chapters on adolescent sexual development and sexuality in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Sixth Edition and Epidemiology of Women’s Health. She is a member of the editorial review board for the journal Sex Education.
Dr. Kantor has received two prestigious awards from the American Public Health Association (APHA) —the Early Career Award for Excellence from the Population, Reproduction and Sexual Health section and the APHA Jay S. Drotman Memorial Award which is awarded to a public health professional who has “challenged public health practice in a creative and positive manner.” In 2011, the Association of Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education (APPLE) awarded Ms. Kantor their prestigious “Golden Apple” award for leadership in the field of sexuality education.
Dr. Kantor has served on the boards of directors of several of the major organizations in the field of sexual health including the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Answer. She is a past board member of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and chaired their board committee on community education and leadership development for several years.
Dr. Kantor holds a BA magna cum laude from Barnard College, a master's in public health (MPH) from the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and a PhD from the Columbia University School of Social Work. She is also the mother of a teenage son.
Reproductive Justice: An Introduction by Loretta Ross and Rickie Solinger (University of California Press, 2017)
The House of Representatives voted last week to renew the statute that grants U.S. spy agencies sweeping powers to surveil foreign nationals. The statute--Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act--is set to expire at the end of January. President Trump introduced uncertainty as lawmakers negotiated the renewal by sending conflicting tweets, which first opposed the renewal and then appeared to support it. Now the bill heads to the Senate where Democrat Ron Wyden as well as Republican Rand Paul, have vowed to filibuster the bill out of concern for the fact that American citizens' data are often swept into surveillance requests when they communicate with individuals outside the U.S. The bill would renew the surveillance program until 2023.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is donating $33 million in college scholarships for DREAMERS--undocumented high school graduates in the U.S. The grant will fund $33,000 worth of tuition for 1,000 students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status. Bezos indicated in a statement that his father came to the U.S. from Cuba when he was 16 years old and unable to speak English.
You'll be seeing a lot fewer ads and news stories on Facebook. The social media company announced last week that it is tweaking its news feed to emphasize content from its users' family and friends. Some are skeptical that this will have any effect on fake and misleading news appearing on the site. Popular articles shared by family and friends would still rise to the top of the news feed if they get enough engagements. Mike Isaac reports in the New York Times.
A new Trend Micro report warns about the ongoing threat of Russian hackers. The report states that the same Russian hackers who broke into the Democratic Party during last year's election are still at work. This time they are attempting to access the private emails of U.S. Senators. The Associated Press has more.
Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich wrote an open letter last week promising that Intel will be much more transparent going forward about the way its processors are performing. Krzanich wrote the letter in the wake of revelations that Intel's processors had two major security flaws affecting countless computers worldwide. In the meantime, Intel is facing at least 3 class-action lawsuits stemming from the security flaws. Tom Warren reports in the Verge and Samuel Gibbs reports for the Guardian.
Reuters reports that the FCC has decided to pause the 180-day transaction clock on Sinclair Broadcast's acquisition of Tribune Media. The agency said that it needs to be able to "fully review" some station divestitures Sinclair will be making. These would include the 10 stations that Fox wants to purchase from Sinclair.
Elissa Shevinsky (@ElissaBeth) is a successful serial entrepreneur, focusing on cybersecurity and cryptocurrency companies. An early employee at Geekcorps (acquired) and Everyday Health (IPO) she was most recently Head of Product at Brave. Shevinsky is also the author of "Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Startup Culture." Little known fact: her first job out of college was as a lobbyist in DC, working to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Start-Up Culture by Elissa Shevinsky (OR Books: 2015)
Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open BlockChain by Andreas Antonopoulos (O'Reilly Media: 2017)
Mastering Ethereum by Andreas Antonopoulous (O'Reilly Media: forthcoming, 2018)
The Senate bill to combat online sex trafficking has the 60 votes it needs to prevent a filibuster. The bipartisan bill, which met initial resistance and then acceptance by large tech companies, seeks to limit an exception in the Communications Decency Act that shields web hosts from liability for illegal content, such as prostitution ads, posted by third parties. The Senate bill would eliminate the exception for websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. Ben Brody has more in Bloomberg.
Apple announced last week that all Mac and iOS devices are susceptible to processing system flaws called Spectre and Meltdown. Apple said that, to avoid the possibility of hackers exploiting these vulnerabilities, consumers should avoid downloading anything from anyone other than trusted sources. Selena Larson reports for CNN.
Senator Ed Markey's effort to overturn the FCC's reversal of the 2015 open internet rules gained its first Republican supporter last week: Senator Susan Collins from Maine. Markey's resolution could now pass the Senate with just one more Republican vote. On Monday, Democrat Claire McCaskill joined the list of the bill's sponsors, bringing the total number of sponsors to 30. John Brodkin has the story in Ars Technica.
With the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) set to expire on March 5th, more than 100 American CEOs sent a joint letter to Congress urging it to pass a bill to allow Dreamers--the children of undocumented immigrants who brought them to the U.S.--to remain in the country. The CEOs, who represented companies as diverse as Google, Apple, Best Buy, Levi Strauss, Facebook, Target, Verizon, Visa and others wrote that the impending expiration of DACA is a crisis. Harper Neidig has the story in the Hill.
The Internet Association--the trade group that represents major tech companies such as Google, Netflix, Facebook and others--announced last week that it would be suing the Federal Communications Commission over its repeal of the 2015 net neutrality rules.
James Damore--the fired Google employee who wrote a controversial memo that played into stereotypes about women, sued Google for treating employees with conservative political views differently from the way it treated liberals working at the company. Harper Neidig reports in the Hill.
Half of women in STEM jobs experience gender-based discrimination at work, according to a new Pew survey. Some 50 percent of women in STEM fields reported that they had been victims of discrimination, compared to 41 percent of women in non-STEM jobs. Cary Funk and Kim Parker wrote the report for Pew.
Children's electronic toy maker VTech settled with the Federal Trade Commission for $650,000 on Monday. The FTC alleged that the company had collected kids' private information without the consent of their parents, and then failed to secure the information against hackers.
The White House has nominated Brendan Carr to a five-year term as a Federal Communications Commission Commissioner. Carr's current term expires in June.
Monica Anderson is a research associate at the Pew Research Center. Her work focuses on internet and technology issues. Much of her recent work focuses on the impact of the digital divide, growing role of automation in everyday life, and the role of online activism in the age of social media. She has a master’s degree in media studies from Georgetown University, where her work focused on the intersection of race, politics and social media.
Americans and Automation in Every Day Life by Aaron Smith and Monica Anderson
The Communications Workers of America, the nation's leading union representing telecommunications industry workers, is suing several companies for placing job ads on Facebook that targeted users under age 40 and, in some cases, under 38. The complaint alleges that T-Mobile, Amazon, and Cox Communications placed job ads on Facebook and placed age caps on their audience target. Sharon Bernstein reports for Reuters.
The likelihood that the Republican-controlled Congress will pass legislation to overturn the FCC's repeal of the 2015 net neutrality rules seems like a long-shot. Nevertheless, as many as 26 Senators support Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey's effort to undo the vote using the Congressional Review Act. Colin Lecher reports in the Verge.
Republicans also announced their own version of a net neutrality bill. Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn unveiled the Open Internet Preservation Act, which would restore two of the repealed net neutrality rules including the rule against throttling and the rule against blocking. However, the bill doesn't bring back the rule against paid prioritization. Without that, ISPs would be free to charge website operators exorbitant fees for access to internet fast lanes. Brian Fung reports on this in the Washington Post.
To celebrate Congress' passage of the tax overhaul, AT&T announced that it would pay $1,000 bonuses to its 200,000 employees. Then the company turned around and announced that it would be laying off more than a thousand workers. Carlos Bellesteros reports for Newsweek.
The White House announced that Microsoft and Facebook disabled North Korean cyberattacks earlier this year. White House homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert said that Facebook and Microsoft disabled the WannaCry virus that disabled critical institutions such as hospitals and banks earlier this year, as well as several other ongoing cyberattacks. Dustin Volz reports for Reuters.
The new tax overhaul has major benefits for Silicon Valley independent contractors, executives and investors. Many top tech executives will see more take-home pay, and some contractors will as well. Tech giants will see major tax cuts and will be able to bring back money earned overseas at a lower tax rate than they had been able to previously. Blue collar workers in the Valley, such as security workers, will see some tax benefits but nowhere near as substantial as those of higher paid workers. Paresh Dave, Heather Somerville and Jeffrey Dastin report for Reuters.
In a new report, the Georgetown University Center on Privacy and Technology found that the Department of Homeland Security is scanning the faces of American citizens traveling internationally and comparing it to a national database. The report found that this program affects as many as 1 in 25 international travelers. Homeland is implementing the face scanning program at eight airports in Boston Logan, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Chicago O'Hare, Las Vegas McCarran, Miami International, Hobby International in Houston, New York's JFK, and Washington Dulles. Although it has approved the use of biometrics for screening foreign nationals who are entering the country, Congress has not yet authorized the practice of face-scanning American citizens who are exiting. Harrison Rudolph, Laura Moy, and Alvaro Bedoya authored the report, which you can find at airportfacescans.com.