Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica controversy | Senate passes sex trafficking bill | EU pushes new tax on tech | YouTube toughens rules on gun videos

Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica controversy | Senate passes sex trafficking bill | EU pushes new tax on tech | YouTube toughens rules on gun videos
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ZUCKERBERG BREAKS SILENCE: Facebook chief executive Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to express openness to Section 230 reform | Facebook removes accounts linked to foreign influence efforts ahead of election | YouTube adding warnings to videos, searches on Election Day Zuckerberg to express openness to Section 230 reform Hillicon Valley: Hospitals brace for more cyberattacks as coronavirus cases rise | Food service groups offer local alternatives to major delivery apps | Facebook says it helped 4.4M people register to vote MORE on Wednesday broke his silence on the controversy over his company's dealings with Cambridge Analytica.

Zuckerberg in a Facebook post acknowledged that Facebook had "made mistakes."

"We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again," Zuckerberg wrote.


Background: The Facebook founder had been facing pressure this week from lawmkaers to come out and address the controversy. Critics questioned if Zuckerberg was giving the issue enough attention. During an all hands on deck meeting, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg were reportedly absent.

Facing the fire: Zuckerberg will be interviewed on CNN at 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday night.

ICYMI, here's our story on the heat Zuckerberg is facing on Capitol Hill.



Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court FCC reaffirms order rolling back net neutrality regulations Markey rips GOP for support of Amy Coney Barrett: Originalism 'just a fancy word for discrimination' MORE (D-Mass.) was not satisfied by Zuckerberg's comments.

"You need to come to Congress and testify to this under oath," he said in response to the Facebook CEO's post.


Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffIn our 'Bizarro World' of 2020 politics, the left takes a wrong turn Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox Hillicon Valley: DOJ accuses Russian hackers of targeting 2018 Olympics, French elections | Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats | House Democrats slam FCC over 'blatant attempt to help' Trump MORE (D-Calif.) also wants the data scientist at the center of the scandal to come testify before the House Intelligence Committee.

"We have reached out to Aleksandr Kogan. And I don't think we've heard back yet, but we would hope that he would testify as well," Schiff told reporters.

Kogan says he's not to blame. "My view is that I'm being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica," he told the BBC in an interview that aired Wednesday.

Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineJustice Department charges Google with illegally maintaining search monopoly Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Jewish lawmakers targeted by anti-Semitic tweets ahead of election: ADL MORE (D-R.I.) asked the House Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the leak and invite Zuckerberg to testify.

"The Judiciary Committee needs to convene a hearing on this matter as soon as possible," he wrote to Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.)


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SENATE SENDS SEX TRAFFICKING BILL TO WHITE HOUSE: The Senate on Wednesday voted to pass an online sex trafficking bill that has many internet companies worried about implications for the legal protections they currently enjoy.

The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) would make it easier to take legal action against websites for facilitating sex trafficking by amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that gives internet platforms legal immunity over content posted by third parties.

The bill was passed 97-2.

Those protections have been a point of contention for tech companies, their rivals and lawmakers. Most internet companies see the legal protections as vital to a free and open internet, while those pushing the sex trafficking bill say that they have gotten in the way of law enforcement efforts to crack down on bad actors.

Here are some of the reactions:

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGraham wants to review ActBlue's source of small-dollar contributions GOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election Candymakers meet virtually with lawmakers for annual fly-in, discuss Halloween safety MORE (R-Ohio): "Today's vote is a victory for trafficking survivors and a victory for our efforts to help stop the selling of women and children online. No one thought that we could get this done, but with the commitment of an overwhelming group of bipartisan colleagues and a broad-based coalition of support, we were able to pass legislation that will ensure justice for trafficking victims and help us combat this evil crime."


Rep. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerEnergized by polls, House Democrats push deeper into GOP territory Democrats, GOP fighting over largest House battlefield in a decade Republican fears grow over rising Democratic tide MORE (R-Mo.): "FOSTA will finally give local, state, and federal prosecutors the tools they need to put predators behind bars. Congress does not believe-and did not ever believe-that sex trafficking is a prerequisite of the free and open internet. I look forward to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE signing FOSTA into law."

Evan Engstrom, executive director of startup lobby Engine: "As we have argued throughout this process, there are simple steps that Congress could take to address the many obvious problems with the bill while still effectively fighting online trafficking. Unfortunately, the bill's sponsors pushed through legislation without adequately understanding its unintended consequences."

Emma Llansó, Center for Democracy and Technology: "This bill unfortunately does little to address the serious and heartbreaking problem of sex trafficking, and will likely serve only to drive trafficking activity offline or to overseas websites. At the same time, it creates a host of obstacles to the free and open internet. By pushing forward this flawed bill, the Senate has undermined a core protection for free speech online by substantially increasing the risk faced by platforms that host and enable access to user-generated content."

The White House also praised the vote in a statement, and President Trump will likely sign the bill.


EU WANTS TO TAX BIG TECH: The European Union on Wednesday put forth a proposal to impose new taxes on internet companies that might not have much of a physical presence in its member countries.

The proposal would tax firms 3 percent for on revenue brought in through practices like selling digital ads or consumer data.


"The amount of profits currently going untaxed is unacceptable. We need to urgently bring our tax rules into the 21st century by putting in place a new comprehensive and future-proof solution," said European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

Read more here.


YOUTUBE BEGINS CRACKDOWN ON GUN VIDEOS: YouTube announced that it will no longer allow videos that promote websites selling guns or gun accessories.

"While we've long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories, specifically, items like ammunition, gatling triggers, and drop-in auto sears," a company spokesman said.


LONGREAD OF THE DAY: You use Facebook. Facebook uses your data. You might even work at Facebook. Why not live in Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg thinks some of his employees might have good reason to. The company is planning a community for its employees. Check out The New York Times' deep dive.




The FCC will hold its monthly open meeting at 9:30 a.m.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on several communications bills at 10:15 a.m.

The American Antitrust Institute will hold an event on applying antitrust law to digital platforms at 1:00 p.m.



Vox's Matt Yglesias roasts Facebook, saying that its core features make people sad and that we should probably do away with it.

The Guardian: Amnesty International said that it believes that Twitter isn't doing enough to protect women on its platform.

It's Nice That: Netflix made its own version of Helvetica

The Intercept: An argument that the FTC is too weak to regulate Facebook

Op-ed: A free market case against regulating Facebook