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Justice Dept. Warming Up Antitrust Lawsuits Against Google

The U.S. Department of Justice and a group of state attorneys general are reportedly set to launch a series of antitrust lawsuits against Google.

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The U.S. Department of Justice and a group of state attorneys general are reportedly set to launch a series of antitrust lawsuits against Google.

Inside sources say that they are planning litigation against the Big Tech monster, according to BigLeaguePolitics.

It appears that several suits will be launched in the summer and more later in the fall.

The first suits are reportedly aimed at Google’s online advertising business practices.

Trending: Kentucky Man Arrested After Requesting $30,000 On Facebook Live To Shoot Louisville Police While Brandishing Gun

The Wall Street Journal noted the following:

The company owns the dominant tool at every link in the complex chain between online publishers and advertisers. The Justice Department likewise is making Google’s ad technology one of its points of emphasis. But it is also focusing more broadly on concerns that Google uses its dominant search business to stifle competition, people familiar with the matter said.

Attorney General William Barr told the Wall Street Journal that the Justice Department will make a final decision this summer. “I’m hoping that we bring it to fruition early summer,” Barr said adding, “And by fruition I mean, decision time.”

“We’ve issued [civil subpoenas] to Google and impacted third parties. We hope to have the investigation wrapped up by fall. If we determine that filing is merited we will go to court soon after that,” Texas AG Ken Paxton said.

Google tried to put a happy face on the coming suits, saying, “We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Paxton, and we don’t have any updates or comments on speculation. Our focus is firmly on providing services that help consumers, support thousands of businesses and enable increased choice and competition.”

Google has been a leading actor in Big Tech working to put an end to free speech for conservatives. It has also been a leading actor in attempting to destroy the Trump presidency.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Technology

DOJ Supporting Law to Slap Down Big Tech and Google’s Violations of Free Speech

The Department of Justice is supporting legislation to ameliorate Big Tech’s efforts to shut down free speech with fake, left-wing “fact checking.”

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The Department of Justice is supporting legislation that would put a dampener on Big Tech’s efforts to shut down free speech with fake, left-wing “fact checking.”

The DOJ has introduced draft legislation to address the concerns about censorship highlighted by President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship.

The new legislation would make changes to Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

The legislation takes aim chiefly at the efforts by website giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others to censor or delete content that they don’t like and canceling or banning conservative users from using their services.

The federal government’s top law enforcement agency is working for the passage of several amendments aimed at addressing illicit online activity while keeping protections for “Good Samaritans” in place by explicitly stripping protections from platforms who continue to keep illegal content on their websites despite repeated pleas from victims.

“For too long Section 230 has provided a shield for online platforms to operate with impunity,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement on Wednesday. “Ensuring that the internet is a safe, but also vibrant, open and competitive environment is vitally important to America. We therefore urge Congress to make these necessary reforms to Section 230 and begin to hold online platforms accountable both when they unlawfully censor speech and when they knowingly facilitate criminal activity online.”

“The Department’s proposal is an important step in reforming Section 230 to further its original goal: providing liability protection to encourage good behavior online,” added Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “The proposal makes clear that, when interactive computer services willfully distribute illegal material or moderate content in bad faith, Section 230 should not shield them from the consequences of their actions.”

The DOJ hopes to tweak the rules to continue to allow Internet services to address illicit activity online but to prevent Big Tech from using the cover of stopping dangerous activity to take away the freedom of speech of conservative users.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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China

Trump Signs Order Banning China Spyware Apps TikTok, WeChat – China Threatens Retaliation

Trump has signed a pair of Executive Orders to ban the spyware-laden Chinese social media apps TokTok and WeChat

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President Donald Trump has signed a pair of Executive Orders setting a 45-day window to ban the spyware-laden Chinese social media apps TokTok and WeChat. And now, China has threatened to retaliate.

The president signed the order on Thursday afternoon noting that Tencent’s WeChat app and ByteDance’s TikTok app have 45 days before being banned. Both are owned by the communist Chinese government and both are used to track American’s and amass data on American users.

In putting the ban in place, Trump invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act to ban the invasive Chinese programs.

The administration maintains that the apps are a national security risk and gives out enemies in China an open invitation to use the apps as a military weapon against Americans.

“The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China (China) continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” the EO states.

“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories,” the executive order states. “This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage,” Trump added in the order concerning TikTok.

“Like TikTok, WeChat automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information,” Trump said in a second order covering WeChat. “In addition, the application captures the personal and proprietary information of Chinese nationals visiting the United States, thereby allowing the Chinese Communist Party a mechanism for keeping tabs on Chinese citizens who may be enjoying the benefits of a free society for the first time in their lives.”

“The United States must take aggressive action against the owner of WeChat to protect our national security,” the executive order said.

China’s foreign ministry criticized the executive orders against the Chinese companies, according to wire service Reuters.

during a press briefing on Friday, Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that Beijing will defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese businesses. He threatened Trump and said that the U.S. would have to bear the consequences of its actions.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Technology

Trump Trashes Twitter After Being Labeled ‘Fake News’ by Social Media Machine

The war of the words has begun.

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There has long been a terrible, sinking feeling here in America that the corporations who rule the internet are using their status as private corporations to manipulate the national discourse.

Where the internet was once a veritably free place full of diversity and rigorous discussion, it has been pigeonholed into an echo chamber for the progressive left thanks to the efforts of Facebook, Twitter, and Google – three companies who account for an inordinate amount of traffic online.

Their latest affront to free speech comes under the guise of “fact checking”, in which an organization of unproven authority decides what is and isn’t true online, and labels controversial ideologies as “false” if they so choose.  These companies allege that they are adhering to the “facts”, but the mere fact that there are multiple “fact” checking organizations belies the unfortunate reality that the truth itself is subjective in these cases.

And now that Twitter has taken to rebuffing President Trump with “fact checks” on his own tweets, the Commander in Chief is lashing out.

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices,” he wrote. “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”

The president said that despite attempts by tech companies to stop him from winning in 2016, he still won but warned that the companies would try again in 2020.

“We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again,” he wrote.

Trump commented on social media companies after Twitter on Tuesday branded one of his tweets warning about vote-by-mail fraud with a fact check.

“Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win,” Trump wrote. “Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

Twitter had long threatened to take such actions against Trump, but this week marked the first instance in which the platform directly contradicted POTUS.

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2020

GOP Candidate for Congress Laura Loomer Slams Big Tech for Partnering with Chinese Slave State

Laura Loomer blasted the tech industry for working hand-in-hand with with the Chinese slave state to maximize outlandish profits.

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Laura Loomer, the Republican candidate for congress in Florida’s 21st District, blasted the tech industry for working hand-in-hand with with the Chinese slave state to maximize their outlandish profits.

Loomer, of course, was the object of attacks by the left-wing, Big Tech industry that branded her a threat merely because she is a conservative.

“They want to try to kill us in a digital manner by subjecting us to a digital gulag, but look what they’re doing in the countries which they’re outsourcing all of their manufacturing to and then these countries like China where they’re getting all of their executives and people to serve on their board,” Loomer told Infowars’ Alex Jones.

Loomer pointed out that Big Tech paints her as an Isalmophobe. But she is, in fact, anti-Sharia law, not anti-Muslim. On the other hand, Big Tech works with the Chinese and the Chinese have been oppressing its Muslim Uyghurs minorities for decades.

“Nobody’s doing anything about it,” Loomer added. “I completely feel your pain.”

Loomer noted that the media has been lying about her beliefs regarding Islam.

“I find it extremely ironic and hypocritical how Big Tech banned me everywhere with false accusations that I am ‘anti-Muslim,’ when I’m not. I’m anti-Sharia,” Loomer said.

She added: “You know who is anti-Muslim though? Big Tech. Big Tech does business with the Chinese communist party which is literally putting innocent Muslim Uyghurs in concentration camps where they are being sterilized and forced to be slave laborers in factories where they are manufacturing products for Big Tech! THAT IS WHAT YOU CALL ANTI MUSLIM!!!”

Indeed, China brutally oppresses its Uyghurs minorities. The red commies imprison them, torture them, separate them from their children, and kill them at will. Their religion is also prohibited. They are also penned up in work camps where they are worked nearly to death in areas far from their homes.

A 2020 report by the Australian Strategic Policy institute said that “more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, some of them were sent directly from detention camps” under “conditions that strongly suggest forced labor.”

As Reclaim The Net added:

Apple includes OFILM factories in its list of suppliers. Lenovo also confirmed obtaining screens, cameras and fingerprint scanners from OFILM, and denied knowledge of these conditions. LG and Dell said they had “no evidence” of forced labor in their supply chains but are currently investigating accusations.

And they claim Loomer is the bad guy!

Loomer also called for big social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to stop banning their users.

“While Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are obsessed with ‘community standards and conversational health’ as outlined in their ever changing ‘terms of service’, they are isolating and endangering segments of our population from critical and time sensitive information that will literally save lives and prevent the spread of this virus,” Loomer said.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Technology

Facebook Creates Their Own ‘Supreme Court’, and Packs it with Plethora of Never-Trumpers

Facebook wanted more confirmation bias, so they hired some.

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We all have that one friend who is constantly in need of affirmation.  These are the folks who are always fishing for a compliment, or saying things like “do you really think so?” anytime anyone says anything remotely nice about them.

Perhaps it’s insecurity, or a deep-seated inferiority complex.  In either case, Facebook seems to have the same problem.

Facebook has released a list of the first 20 members of its “Oversight Board,” a semi-independent body the social network is setting up that will have the power to decide whether content banned by Facebook stays banned or is restored on appeal. Members include the former editor-in-chief of the Guardian and a “human rights expert” who is part of George Soros’ Open Society project.

Colloquially known as the “Facebook Supreme Court,” the idea for the body was hatched by Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, a liberal academic and one of the Democrats’ “expert witnesses” during the impeachment hearings. Also involved in the body’s development was a progressive non-profit, BSR.

The 20 members announced by Facebook today include progressive, left-wing, and mainstream media figures who have been highly critical of President Trump.

You see, Facebook doesn’t want to be right, they want to be told that they are already doing is right.

This addition of another layer of content curation takes us inevitably further away from the freedom that was once promised on the platform, and closer to a fascist technocracy the likes of which would have George Orwell not rolling in his grave, but kicking at the lid of his coffin.

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Technology

President Trump Takes First Step Toward Setting Up Mining Operation on The Moon

2020 is quite the year, folks.

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As technology continues to increase in its scope and spread, some activities once considered impossible could become commonplace.

For instance, it only took a matter of decades for comic book detective Dick Tracy’s communicator watch to become a reality, and the modern day version is far, far more potent than anything a 1930’s fiction writer could have come up with.  The fictional sleuth could only communicate via the spoken word or via text on his wrist.  Meanwhile, AppleWatch users can trade stocks, keep score at the country club, answer emails, and listen to music on their devices.

And if you think that this is a wild use of technology, just wait until you get a load of Donald Trump’s latest plans.

THE Trump administration is reportedly putting together a legal blueprint for mining on the moon as part of the Artemis Accords, a new U.S.-sponsored international agreement.

The Artemis Accords propose “safety zones” that would surround future moon bases to prevent interference from rival nations or companies operating nearby, according to sources familiar with the pact.

The safety zones – which would vary in size depending on the operation – would help coordination between other groups in space without claiming territory as sovereign, one source told Reuters.

“The ides is if you are going to be coming near someone’s operations, and they’ve declared safety zones around it, then you need to reach out to them in advance, consult, and figure out how you can do that safely for everyone,” he said.

But wait…there’s more.

It also aims to provide a foundation under international law for companies to own the resources they mine, the sources told Reuters.

Although the draft pact hasn’t been formally shared with US allies yet, US officials plan to formally negotiate with Canada, Japan, and other European countries in addition to the United Arab Emirates.

Government officials are aiming to sit down with countries the Trump administration views as having “like-minded” interests in lunar mining.

Russia, a major partner with NASA on the International Space Station, won’t be an early partner in the accords – the Pentagon views Moscow as hostile for “threatening” maneuvers towards US spy satellites, the sources said.

Just what could be found deep under the surface of the moon has yet to be fully understood, but that’s not going to stop America from being the first to find out.

 

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Opinion

Candace Owens Suspended from Twitter for Weighing in on Michigan Lockdown

This is the authoritarian technocracy at work, folks. 

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We need to stop thinking about social media as a place where we can freely express ourselves, and begin to ponder ways in which we can utilize these platforms to gauge tyranny.

You see, you can’t just say whatever you want on Twitter anymore.  Or Facebook.  Or even Instagram.  Your thoughts are being monitored, and if your opinions are considered “invalid”, they will be removed from the conversation.

This will occur in spite of the business and exposure that you bring to the platform as well, so don’t think that being a big-name online is going to save you from the agenda set forth by these Orwellian clowns.

Take Candace Owens, for instance.

Conservative firebrand and BLEXIT founder Candace Owens was suspended from Twitter on Saturday after tweeting that people in Michigan should open their businesses and “go to work” despite the draconian measures implemented by Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) in response to the Chinese virus.

“Apparently [Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer] believes she is a duly elected dictator of a socialist country,” Owens had tweeted. “The people of Michigan need to stand up to her. Open your businesses. Go to work.”

“The police think she’s crazy too,” she added. “They are not going to arrest 10,000,000 people for going to work.”

Owens wasn’t even given an actual explanation.

On Saturday, Owens received a notification from Twitter informing her that her account was suspended over the aforementioned tweet.

“We determined this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules, specifically for:” read the notification, but did not further clarify which specific rules Owens had violated on the social media platform.

This is the authoritarian technocracy at work, folks.

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