Overnight Tech: FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Google pulls YouTube from Amazon devices | Biden scolds social media firms over transparency

Overnight Tech: FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Google pulls YouTube from Amazon devices | Biden scolds social media firms over transparency
© Greg Nash

FCC WON'T DELAY NET NEUTRALITY VOTE: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intends to go ahead with a vote on Dec. 14 to repeal the net neutrality rules despite calls from Democrats and advocacy groups to delay the proceeding.

The FCC said in a statement Monday that "the vote will proceed as scheduled on December 14."  

In a separate statement provided to Ars Technica, the FCC hit back at those seeking a delay.

"This is just evidence that supporters of heavy-handed Internet regulations are becoming more desperate by the day as their effort to defeat Chairman [Ajit] Pai's plan to restore Internet freedom has stalled."


The decision comes after 28 Democratic senators pressed the agency on Monday to postpone the vote, citing fake comments that were filed during the open comment period on the repeal proposal.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) also made a similar case, as did the City of New York and advocacy groups. His office said last month that "tens of thousands" of New Yorkers may have had fake comments filed in their names.

Under Pai's repeal proposal, the agency would scrap the Obama-era internet rules and cede authority over broadband providers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

That scenario has some net neutrality supporters worried. The city of New York and advocacy groups said that if a court decides the FTC doesn't have authority, that could create a "'regulatory gap' that would leave consumers utterly unprotected," according to the letter to Pai.

In such a situation, Congress would have to step in and legislate what agency has regulatory authority over providers. But Republican and Democratic lawmakers so far have made little progress towards a legislative compromise on net neutrality rules.

Read more here.


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GOOGLE PULLS YOUTUBE FROM AMAZON DEVICES: Google is pulling YouTube off Amazon's streaming video service, stepping up its fight with the online retailing giant.

It's the latest move in a clash between Amazon and Google, which has seen the two companies hold their products off the rival's platforms and services.

It's not the first time Google has blocked Amazon from the popular video platform.

In September, Google pulled YouTube from Echo Show, Amazon's voice-enabled artificial intelligence product. The company reversed course and by November YouTube was available on the Echo Show again.

But on Tuesday, Google again pulled YouTube off Echo Show and Fire TV, claiming Amazon is not treating its products fairly.

"We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services. But Amazon doesn't carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn't make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of Nest's latest products," a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Read more here.


UBER INVESTOR TAKES LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOLLOWING SEX HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS: Shervin Pishevar, the venture capitalist and major Democratic donor, is taking a leave of absence from his investment firm after a report detailing allegations of sexual harassment.

In a statement, Pishevar did not mention the November Bloomberg story detailing accounts of him groping an Uber executive.

The investor instead said he was stepping down to focus on a separate matter, a lawsuit he brought against a communications firm. Pishevar has accused that firm of spreading false information after he was briefly arrested in London following a rape allegation.

"As that legal action progresses, it is my priority to ensure that the Sherpa Capital family is not adversely affected," Pishevar said. "Therefore, I have decided to take an immediate leave of absence from my duties at Sherpa Capital and Virgin Hyperloop One, as well as my portfolio company board responsibilities, so that I can pursue the prosecution of my lawsuit, where I am confident I will be vindicated."

Bloomberg reported that Pishevar, an investor in Uber, had inappropriately touched Austin Geidt, the ridesharing company's head of global expansion, at a holiday party. According to the report, five other women who declined to be identified accused Pishevar of sexual harassment.

He denied the allegations through a statement to Bloomberg from his attorney.

Read more here.


GOOGLE TO HIRE 10K MORE YOUTUBE MODERATORS: Google plans to increase to 10,000 the number of its staffers tasked with tracking down extremist content on YouTube.

"We will continue the growth of our teams, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018," YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told Britain's Daily Telegraph in an interview.

Wojcicki said that "bad actors" had used the video-sharing site to "mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm" others.

Read more here.


BIDEN HITS SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDems wonder if Sherrod Brown could be their magic man Biden family adopts a dog Entrepreneur touts big solutions, endorsements in discussing presidential bid MORE says social media companies like Twitter and Facebook need to do more to address how their platforms are used for political content after the 2016 election.

In an article, co-written with Michael Carpenter for Foreign Affairs magazine, Biden details "How to Stand Up to the Kremlin" on social media and other platforms. Facebook has acknowledged that Russian agents purchased thousands of ads on Facebook and other websites that reached millions of Americans during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"Social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google must provide greater transparency about who funds the political advertisements on their platforms, work harder to eliminate automated and bot-generated content, and invest in the technological and human resources to root out fake foreign accounts that spread disinformation," they wrote.

Read more here.



Open Markets will host event on antitrust and monopolies featuring Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Sherrod Brown says he has 'no real timetable' for deciding on 2020 presidential run Banking panel showcases 2020 Dems MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineDem rep slams Facebook: It 'cannot be trusted to regulate itself' Number of LGBT lawmakers in Congress hits double digits Momentum builds for Dems to take on campaign finance reform MORE (D-R.I.) at 9:00 a.m.

The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on NASA's next four large telescopes at 2:00 p.m.

The Entertainment Software Association will hold an event on advanced algorithms, machine learning and bots at 5:00 p.m.

TechNet will host a forum on the next generation on innovation at 5:30 p.m.



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