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China has restricted U.S. companies for years. Pushing back could make it stop.

A phone displaying the TikTok logo is placed in front of a Chinese flag.
A phone displaying the TikTok logo is placed in front of a Chinese flag.
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You are halfway through a YouTube video when your screen suddenly goes blank. You try to refresh the page, but you only see an error message. You try to visit another website, and that still works, but YouTube refuses to load. And then you realize: the government banned YouTube.

Users of TikTok have feared this scenario since Trump announced he was banning TikTok for national security reasons. The ban has been criticized as un-American by the Economist, the New York Times, and TikTok’s own lawsuit arguing the ban violates free speech.

These criticisms are fair. For decades the U.S. has professed the importance of open markets and free expression, which conflicts with banning an internet service from another country that competes with American ones. Banning foreign companies for being foreign is naked protectionism. …


It signed up to play umpire for every meeting.

Screenshot of Zoom homepage, modified to read “Keeping you connected wherever you are, unless someone complains.”
Screenshot of Zoom homepage, modified to read “Keeping you connected wherever you are, unless someone complains.”
Zoom’s homepage in the future, if it keeps this up.

Last week, Zoom forced a school to cancel an event. San Francisco State University had planned to host a talk with Palestinian activist Leila Khaled. …


Here’s what they say and how to submit your own

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Image for post
Image source: AccessNow.org (licensed under CC-BY 4.0, cropped from original)

Do you want President Trump’s employees deciding whether your stories are allowed on Medium?

In May, Trump ordered a federal agency to petition the Federal Communications Commission to regulate internet companies. To do so, the FCC would interpret the a legal provision known as Section 230, which broadly says that online services can’t be sued for user posts unless the service helped create the posts. If you want to know more about Section 230, and why the FCC can’t use it to regulate social media, read my prior piece below. 👇

Despite being an independent agency not controlled by the president, the FCC is taking public comments on Trump’s request. Comments opened on August 3, and in the last 30 days over a thousand comments have been filed. The vast majority want the FCC (which is controlled by Republicans) to regulate every internet company that hosts user-created content. …

About

Mark Gray

Former Silicon Valley lawyer unpacking the intersection of technology and public policy. I work for the government, but all opinions here are my own.

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