Overnight Technology

Hillicon Valley: Parler announces official relaunch | Google strikes news pay deal with major Australian media company | China central to GOP efforts to push back on Biden

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The week in tech news is starting off with the return of the controversial social media platform Parler. Meanwhile, Google has reportedly struck a deal with an Australian news company to pay for its news amid the Silicon Valley giant’s pushback of an Australian proposal that would require it to do just that. More on that and Republicans’ push to cast President Biden as soft on China in today’s Hillicon Valley. 

Virtual Event Announcement: Tuesday 2/16 at 1:00 PM ET–Aspiration & Resilience: The New Space Age

Space exploration is fast becoming a strategic priority for many countries. In The New Space Age – The Hill’s third event in the Aspiration & Resilience Series – we will discuss friendly competition and cooperation among countries with an interest in space exploration and discuss how these missions will attract the next generation of scientists, engineers and inventors. Rep. Frank Lucas, NASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins, the UAE Space Agency’s Sarah Al Amiri, Israel Space Agency’s Avi Blasberger, and more join the The Hill’s Steve Clemons. RSVP today. (https://newspaceage.splashthat.com/)

GUESS WHO’S BACK, BACK AGAIN: Social media service Parler on Monday said it is officially relaunching its platform, more than a month after it was suspended from Amazon’s web hosting services over violent posts regarding the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The platform notably uses minimal content moderation methods and had gained popularity largely among conservative users fleeing mainstream social media platforms they accused of anti-conservative bias.

The app was pulled from the Apple and Google play stores, and later suspended by Amazon, after posts were identified on the platform discussing the insurrection at the Capitol. 

Parler is searching for a new permanent CEO as it looks to return, after former CEO John Matze was fired from the board after the platform went dark. 

Read more here

LET’S MAKE A DEAL: A news company in Australia and Google have agreed to a deal to have the tech giant pay to have the company’s content displayed in Google’s News Showcase.

The deal comes after Google threatened to shut down its search engine in Australia over the nation’s proposed law that would force tech giants to pay news outlets for their content. 

The multimillion-dollar deal between Seven West Media and Google has another 30 days before it becomes official, The Guardian reported. Seven West Media’s chairman, Kerry Stokes, said the deal gives “fair payment” to the company for its content.

Neither Seven West or Google revealed the exact numbers of the deal.

Read more here

ALL EYES ON CHINA: Republicans are digging in on their efforts to paint President Biden as soft on China, laying the groundwork for a midterm elections attack line and shoring up positions for the 2024 presidential contest.

While lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have identified China as the gravest national security threat to the United States, House and Senate GOP members are accusing the president’s people and policies of failing to stand up to Beijing. 

Being hard on China is viewed as a winning election strategy, with the country widely viewed as a potential danger to the nation on multiple fronts.

Less than a month into his administration, GOP lawmakers have raised objections to Biden’s Cabinet picks over perceived ties to Chinese-language institutes in the U.S. and the Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Read more here

ICYMI: MARYLAND MARKS A FIRST: Maryland’s state Senate on Friday voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan‘s (R) veto on legislation imposing a tax on digital ad revenue, making it the first state to adopt such a measure.

The 29-17 vote followed a similar one by the state’s House of Delegates Thursday and comes as more states across the country have begun introducing similar measures to tax tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

According to The New York Times, Maryland’s tax could bring an estimated $250 million in the first year after enactment, with the money set to go toward schools across the state.

Read more here. 

Lighter click: Simpler times 

An op-ed to chew on: Create a bulwark against Chinese economic coercion: Advance open RAN in Europe


Big Tech’s Unlikely Next Battleground: North Dakota (The New York Times / Jack Nicas) 

How Snopes Went From Debunking Bigfoot to Battling QAnon (OneZero / Michael Zelenko) 

Twitter a goldmine for tracking consumer mood on prices, Bank of Italy finds (Reuters / Stefano Bernabei) 

Tags Frank Lucas Joe Biden

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