Tag Archives: Laws

Australia to amend legislation making Fb, Google pay for information

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The creator of proposed Australian legal guidelines that may make Fb and Google pay for journalism says his draft laws might be altered to allay a few of the digital giants’ considerations, however would stay essentially unchanged

Fb has warned it would block Australian information content material reasonably than pay for it.

Google has mentioned the proposed legal guidelines would lead to “dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube,” put free providers in danger and will result in customers’ information “being handed over to large information companies.”

Sims mentioned he’s discussing the draft of his invoice with the U.S. social media platforms. It might be launched into Parliament in late October.

“Google has received considerations about it, a few of it’s that they only don’t prefer it, others are issues that we’re fortunately going to interact with them on,” Sims advised a webinar hosted by The Australia Institute, an unbiased think-tank.

“We’ll make modifications to deal with a few of these points — not all, however some,” Sims mentioned.

Among the many considerations is a concern that underneath the so-called Information Media Bargaining Code, information companies “will be capable to someway management their algorithms,” Sims mentioned.

“We’ll have interaction with them and make clear that in order that there’s no means that the information media companies can intervene with the algorithms of Google or Fb,” Sims mentioned.

He mentioned he would additionally make clear that the platforms wouldn’t need to disclose extra information about customers than they already share.

“There’s nothing within the code that forces Google or Fb to share the information from people,” Sims mentioned.

Sims was not ready to barter the “core” of the code, which he described because the “bits of glue that maintain the code collectively, that make it workable.”

These included an arbitrator to deal with the bargaining imbalance between the tech giants and information companies. If a platform and a information outlet can’t attain an settlement on worth, an arbitrator could be appointed to make a binding choice.

One other core side was a non-discrimination clause to forestall the platforms from prioritizing Australia’s state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp. and Particular Broadcasting Service, whose information content material will stay free.

Sims mentioned he didn’t know whether or not Fb would act on its risk and block Australian information, however he suspected that to take action would “weaken” the platform.

Spain and France and have each didn’t make Fb and Google pay for information by means of copyright legislation. Sims mentioned he has spoken about Australia’s method by means of truthful buying and selling legal guidelines to regulators in america and Europe.

“They’re all wrestling with the identical drawback,” Sims mentioned.

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US points sweeping new journey warning for China, Hong Kong

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The united states has issued a brand new advisory warning in opposition to journey to mainland China and Hong Kong, citing the danger of “arbitrary detention” and “arbitrary enforcement of native legal guidelines.”

BEIJING — The U.S. on Tuesday issued a sweeping new advisory warning in opposition to journey to mainland China and Hong Kong, citing the danger of “arbitrary detention” and “arbitrary enforcement of native legal guidelines.”

The advisory is more likely to heighten tensions between the perimeters which have spiked since Beijing’s imposition on Hong Kong of a strict new nationwide safety legislation in June that has already been met with a collection of U.S. punitive actions.

The assertion warned U.S. residents that China imposes “arbitrary detention and exit bans” to compel cooperation with investigations, stress members of the family to return to China from overseas, affect civil disputes and “acquire bargaining leverage over overseas governments.”

“U.S. residents touring or residing in China or Hong Kong, could also be detained with out entry to U.S. consular providers or details about their alleged crime. U.S. residents could also be subjected to extended interrogations and prolonged detention with out due technique of legislation,” the advisory stated.

In Hong Kong, China “unilaterally and arbitrarily workouts police and safety energy,” the advisory stated, including that new laws additionally covers offenses dedicated by non-Hong Kong residents or organizations outdoors of Hong Kong, presumably subjecting U.S. residents who’ve publicly criticized China to a “heightened threat of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution.”

When in Hong Kong, U.S. residents are “strongly cautioned to pay attention to their environment and keep away from demonstrations,” the advisory stated.

Chinese language overseas ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin informed reporters at a each day briefing Tuesday that the U.S. ought to “absolutely respect the information and shouldn’t interact in unwarranted political manipulation” when issuing such advisories.

“China has at all times protected the security and authorized rights of foreigners in China in accordance with legislation. China is likely one of the most secure international locations on the planet,” Wang stated. “In fact, foreigners in China even have an obligation to abide by Chinese language legal guidelines.”

Final month, the Trump administration suspended or terminated three bilateral agreements with Hong Kong protecting extradition and tax exemptions, citing Beijing’s violation of its pledge for Hong Kong to retain broad autonomy for 50 years after the previous British colony’s 1997 handover to Chinese language rule.

Different Western nations have additionally suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong following the nationwide safety’s legislation’s passage.

The U.S. has additionally acted to finish particular commerce and industrial privileges that Hong Kong had loved and has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese language officers, together with Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing chief Carrie Lam, concerned in imposing the brand new safety legislation.

Tensions between Beijing and Washington have hit their lowest level in a long time amid simmering disputes over commerce, know-how, Taiwan, Tibet, the South China Sea, the coronavirus pandemic and, most not too long ago, Hong Kong. The affect of the tensions has been felt within the tit-for-tat closures of diplomatic missions in addition to visa restrictions on college students and journalists.

The most recent journey advisory didn’t provide any new warnings concerning COVID-19 in mainland China and Hong Kong, however referred vacationers to earlier notices advising People to keep away from the areas and return residence from them if potential.

President Donald Trump has assigned full blame to Beijing for the coronavirus outbreak within the U.S., deflecting criticism of his personal dealing with of the pandemic that threatens his reelection.

The virus was first detected within the central Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan late final yr, resulting in the worldwide pandemic. Critics have accused Beijing of an preliminary cover-up try, though Trump himself has admitted to downplaying the severity of the virus as early as February.

China seems to have contained the virus inside its borders, reporting no new circumstances of home an infection in a month, whereas Hong Kong has additionally radically introduced down its numbers of recent circumstances.

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Google warns Australians could lose free search services

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Google has warned that the Australian government’s plans to make digital giants pay for news content threatens users’ free services in Australia and could hand users’ data to media organizations

CANBERRA, Australia —
Google warned on Monday that the Australian government’s plans to make digital giants pay for news content threatens users’ free services in Australia and could hand users’ data to media organizations.

The U.S.-based company’s warning, contained in what it called an “Open letter to Australians,” comes a week before public consultations close on Australian draft laws that would make both Google and Facebook pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies.

“A proposed law … would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia,” Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Mel Silva wrote.

Google owns YouTube, a video-sharing platform.

Both Google and Facebook have condemned the proposed legislation, which was released last month and aims to succeed where other countries have failed in making them compensate media businesses for news content.

Australian competition watchdog Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which drafted the laws, said Google’s letter “contains misinformation.”

“Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube, unless it chooses to do so,” Sims said in a statement.

“Google will not be required to share any additional user data with Australian news businesses unless it chooses to do so,” he added.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the minister responsible for the consumer watchdog, said in a statement that the draft law “remains open for consultation, providing an opportunity for media companies and digital platforms to provide feedback” until Aug. 28.

Swinburne University senior lecturer on media Belinda Barnet described the Google letter as a “cynical exercise” designed to “scare Google users.”

“I see no merit in any of the arguments,” she said.

“One of the most ironic arguments is that they’re going to have to hand over some data to news organizations — for example which article people have read and how long they may have read it for — and this coming from the world’s major privacy violator and certainly the world’s largest data aggregator is a bit rich,” Barnet added.

Google has been battling the Australian consumer watchdog on two fronts. Last month, the watchdog launched court action against Google for allegedly misleading account holders about its use of their personal data.

The commission alleges that Google misled millions of Australians to obtain their consent and expand the scope of personal information that it collects about users’ internet activity to target advertising. Google denies the allegations.

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NCAA’s Emmert presses Senate for ‘guardrails’ on athlete pay

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NCAA President Mark Emmert is urging Congress to step in and put restrictions on college athletes’ ability to earn money from endorsements

WASHINGTON —
NCAA President Mark Emmert urged Congress to put restrictions on college athletes’ ability to earn money from endorsements, telling a Senate committee Tuesday federal action is needed to “maintain uniform standards in college sports” amid player-friendly laws approved in California and under consideration in other states.

The NCAA last fall said it would allow players to “benefit” from the use of their name, image and likeness and is working on new rules it plans to reveal in April. Under the NCAA’s timeline, athletes would be able to take advantage of endorsement opportunities beginning next January.

Meanwhile, more than 25 states are considering legislation that would force the NCAA to allow players to earn money off their personal brand in a bid to address inequities in the multi-billion-dollar college sports industry. California passed a law last year that gives broad endorsement rights to players and it will take effect in 2023. Other states could grant those rights as soon as this year.

The NCAA’s concern, echoed by Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who also testified Tuesday, is that endorsement deals for athletes would have a negative effect on recruiting, with schools and boosters in states with athlete-friendly laws using money to entice players to sign with certain schools.

“If implemented, these laws would give some schools an unfair recruiting advantage and open the door to sponsorship arrangements being used as a recruiting inducement. This would create a huge imbalance among schools and could lead to corruption in the recruiting process,” Emmert said. “We may need Congress’ support in helping maintain uniform standards in college sports.”

Emmert’s comments were similar to what the NCAA, the Big 12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference have been communicating to Congress through well-paid lobbyists. The Associated Press has found that the NCAA and the two conferences spent $750,000 last year lobbying on Capitol Hill, in part to amplify their concern that “guardrails” are needed on endorsement pay for athletes to avoid destroying college sports as we know it.

Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection, said he was not inclined to act until after the NCAA reveals its new rules.

“I wish Congress was in a position to be able to provide the NCAA and the athletes the opportunity to find a solution. … The ability for Congress to do that is, that’s a challenge,” Moran said in an interview after the hearing. “The next step is to see what the NCAA is capable of presenting to us in April.”

NCAA critics believe there is plenty of evidence that recruiting is already corrupt — pointing in part to the federal criminal case involving shoe companies paying basketball players to attend schools they sponsor — and that letting players earn endorsement money won’t create the major problems the NCAA predicts.

Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National College Players’ Association, which advocates for athletes’ rights, said under current NCAA rules, 99.3% of top-100 football recruits choose teams from the Power Five conferences.

“The power conferences have advantages and they consistently pull the best recruits,” Huma said. “They will continue to get the recruits. The reality is, you’re not going to change the recruiting by limiting the players’ opportunities.”

Huma said once states start granting players endorsement rights, Congress would not be inclined to take those rights away, “and we’ll have an opportunity to witness the fact that NCAA sports will still be strong and everybody will tune in.”

There was bipartisan agreement among the senators at the hearing that athletes should have access to endorsement opportunities and that some regulations are necessary.

Emmert did not fully escape lawmakers’ anger at the system he presides over.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, excoriated Emmert for the NCAA’s handling of sexual violence against women. She also noted the case of James Wiseman, a top NBA prospect who left school after he was suspended over $11,500 given to his mother by Memphis coach Penny Hardaway to help with moving expenses. Hardaway gave the money before he was Memphis’ coach.

Blackburn said the NCAA’s lack of consistency and transparency in the Wiseman case had eroded trust in the organization’s ability to handle issues of player benefits.

“I think a question that must be going through a lot of minds of student-athletes and their parents is, how in the world are they going to be able to trust you to get this right?” Blackburn said.

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Follow Ben Nuckols at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols

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More AP college sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25



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Big Tech faces a new set of foes: nearly all 50 US states

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Big tech companies have long rebuffed attempts by the U.S. federal government to scrutinize or scale back their market power. Now they face a scrappy new coalition as well: prosecutors from nearly all 50 states.

In a rare show of bipartisan force, attorneys general from 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are investigating whether Google’s huge online search and advertising business is engaging in monopolistic behavior. The Texas-led antitrust investigation of Google, announced Monday, follows a separate multistate investigation of Facebook’s market dominance that was revealed Friday.

The state moves follow similar sweeping antitrust tech investigations launched by the Federal Trade Commission and the Trump administration’s Department of Justice; the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee is conducting a similar probe. But should federal officials tire of their work, the state-led efforts could keep them on their toes.

States have worked closely together on other matters, such as the fight to curb opioid abuse. But the sheer number participating in this kind of antitrust effort is unprecedented and gives it more weight, said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, a Republican.

“It’s just an accumulation of public frustration, whether it’s from consumers, other players in the market, regulators, lawmakers,” Reyes said in an interview Monday.

Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale economics professor and former antitrust official at the Justice Department under the Obama administration, said it’s important that states are taking the lead because the Trump administration is “not really enforcing antitrust law except against companies the president is upset with.”

She noted the Trump administration’s unsuccessful push to use antitrust law to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, which owns CNN, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism; and Friday’s announcement that federal antitrust enforcers would investigate automakers that worked with California on tougher emissions limits.

“That’s not what consumers want,” she said. “Consumers want to be protected from anticompetitive conduct.”

States haven’t seriously taken up antitrust enforcement — using laws originally crafted to combat railroad and oil barons in the 19th century — since a major antitrust case against Microsoft about two decades ago. Then, state leadership helped propel federal action.

Back in 2016, Reyes and a Democratic counterpart, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, tried unsuccessfully to get the Federal Trade Commission to reopen an earlier investigation into Google for allegedly favoring its own products in search results.

The FTC declined, leaving European regulators to take the lead in similar probes overseas, Reyes said.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls so many facets of the internet that it’s almost impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google’s dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data.

The company — and peers such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple — have long argued that although their businesses are large, they are useful and beneficial to consumers. Influenced by the popularity of the companies’ ubiquitous tech products and their significant lobbying power, most American political leaders didn’t challenge that view.

But the public debate over the tech industry has changed dramatically since Reyes and Racine sent their letter to the FTC at the end of the Obama administration three years ago. Culprits in that shift include Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, in which a political data mining firm affiliated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign improperly accessed the personal data of as many as 87 million users.

On Monday, Reyes and Racine joined forces again — this time flanked by nearly a dozen mostly Republican state attorneys general on the steps of the Supreme Court and dozens more from both parties who signed onto the formal investigation.

“Ignoring 50 AGs is a lot more difficult than ignoring two AGs,” Reyes said. “DC and Utah had raised these issues but didn’t feel we had enough firepower or resources on our own.”

Scott Morton, the Yale professor, said most states have laws that mimic federal antitrust laws, but it can be harder for state attorneys general to enforce those laws because they don’t usually have in-house antitrust experts. They can get around that, she added, by working together with other states and hiring shared experts.

Reyes emphasized that the state-led effort is not “anti-tech,” and argued it is “actually for the benefit of the tech ecosystem to help level the playing field.”

He said there’s nothing wrong with Google being the dominant search player if it’s done fairly, but the investigation will look into whether Google crosses the line “between aggressive business practices and illegal ones.”

A tech trade association that has supported some antitrust measures expressed wariness about how states are proceeding.

“We hope the investigations will be law and evidence-based and will restrain from overly politicizing these inquiries, and that both companies and authorities will work together in good faith,” said Ed Black, president and CEO of the Communications Computer and Communications Industry Association.

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Associated Press writers Rachel Lerman in San Francisco and Marcy Gordon in Washington contributed to this report.

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Oregon removes assisted suicide look ahead to sure sufferers

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Laws permitting sure terminally in poor health sufferers to have faster entry to life-ending medicines underneath the state’s first-in-the-nation assisted suicide regulation has been signed into regulation, Gov. Kate Brown’s workplace introduced Wednesday.

The regulation permits these with 15 days left to reside to bypass a 15-day ready interval required underneath the Demise with Dignity Act, one thing proponents say will scale back paperwork and produce aid to gravely in poor health folks.

“This enchancment will end in fewer Oregonians struggling needlessly on the finish of their lives,” mentioned Democratic Sen. Floyd Prozanski, who helped sponsor the laws.

Some opponents argued that the transfer amounted to an pointless growth of the state’s physician-assisted suicide regulation, saying the regulation removes essential safeguards meant to make sure individuals are assured of their resolution to finish their very own life.

“I do not need to make it any simpler for any particular person in any circumstance to take their life prematurely,” Republican Rep. Duane Stark mentioned throughout flooring debate final month.

These in search of life-ending medicines needed to make a verbal request for physician-assisted suicide, wait 15 days after which make a written request. They then needed to wait a further 48 hours earlier than acquiring the prescription.

Underneath the brand new modification, medical doctors could make exceptions to the ready durations if the affected person is more likely to die earlier than finishing them.

“Forcing eligible sufferers to die struggling unnecessarily whereas they wait 15 days was not the intention of the Oregon regulation,” mentioned Kim Callinan, CEO of Compassion & Selections, a nationwide nonprofit that advocates for the growth of medical assist in dying.

The quantity of people that have taken benefit of Oregon’s regulation has been comparatively small. Because it enacted the nation’s first physician-assisted suicide regulation in 1997, almost 1,500 folks died from taking life-ending medicines prescribed to them by a doctor. In 2018, about 46 per each 10,000 deaths might be attributed to the state’s demise with dignity regulation, based on state information.

After the U.S. Supreme Courtroom upheld Oregon’s regulation in 2006, eight states have since authorised doctor assisted-suicide. Maine and New Jersey’s legal guidelines are set to take impact later this yr.

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This story has been corrected to indicate that just about 1,500 folks have died from taking life-ending medicines prescribed to them by a doctor, no more than 1,500.

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Feeling blue? Oregon students can take ‘mental health days’

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A new law in Oregon allows students to take “mental health days” just as they would sick days.

The teens behind the bill say it’s meant to respond to a mental health crisis in schools. Gov. Kate Brown signed the measure into law last month.

The Oregon Health Authority reports suicide is the second-leading cause of death among those in the state age 10 to 34. Nearly 17% of eighth graders say they’ve considered taking their own life within the last 12 months.

Hailey Hardcastle is an 18-year-old from suburban Sherwood who introduced the bill along with other student leaders. She says it changes the stigma around mental health and encourages kids to be honest with their parents if they’re struggling.

Utah passed a similar law last year.

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Oxford University to rethink degree given to Brunei sultan

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The University of Oxford says it will reconsider an honorary degree it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following the outcry over new Islamic laws in the Southeast Asian nation that punish gay sex and adultery by stoning offenders to death.

The university said on Saturday it shared the “international revulsion” the laws induced and that it would reconsider a 1993 decision to confer the honorary degree of civil law by diploma to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

But Oxford stressed that no one had the right “summarily to rescind” the degree.

Dozens of protesters raised the rainbow flag of the LGBT rights movement on Saturday outside London’s Dorchester Hotel, which Brunei’s sultan owns. Celebrities including George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres have supported a global boycott of nine hotels tied to Hassanal.

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