These days, some of tech’s most important decisions are being made inside courtrooms. Google and Facebook are fending off antitrust accusations, while patent suits determine how much control of their own products they can have. The slow fight over Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act threatens platforms like Twitter and YouTube with untold liability suits for the content they host. Gig economy companies like Uber and Airbnb are fighting for their very existence as their workers push for the protections of full-time employees. In each case, judges and juries are setting the rules about exactly how far tech companies can push the envelope and exactly how much protection everyday people have. This is where we keep track of those legal fights and the broader principles behind them. When you move fast and break things, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise when you end up in court.
Now, on Thursday, Apple submitted its own request, linked below, seeking a review to throw out the judge’s requirement that it change App Store rules barring developers from telling users about other payment options.
Bloomberg reports that the CIA’s chatbot will help it “find the needles in the needle field” that is the growing collection of surveillance data it buys from tech companies. Bloomberg didn’t learn what model drives the bot, which the CIA will share with other, unspecified intelligence agencies soon.
Bloomberg quotes Randy Nixon, who directs the CIA’s Open-Source Enterprise division, as saying the agency’s data stores “grow and grow with no limitations other than how much things cost.” Agents will ask the bot questions to isolate info from all that data.
I’m sure we have nothing to worry about.
Consumers, states, and the FTC are taking marketing claims from wellness companies more seriously — and, increasingly, there are legal consequences.
The lawsuits come as online promoters move from endorsing other companies’ products to creating and pushing their own. Meanwhile regulators are looking more closely at influencer marketing, which is expected to exceed $21 billion this year, according to an industry report.
And when they complained to TikTok about their treatment, they were retailiated against, according to a complaint filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Nnete Matima and Joël Carter say their work was sabotaged.
“I did everything in terms of filing complaints, reporting things going up the chain of command — I did everything I possibly could do, but found that the more I spoke up for myself, the worse I was treated,” Matima said in an interview with Bloomberg.
[The Washington Post]
Elon Musk’s company is arguing in a Texas federal court that the Justice Department’s lawsuit alleging that the company is illegally disqualifying asylees and refugees from employment is unconstitutional.
Bloomberg noted in a report last week that the company is engaged in “a handful of lawsuits by former employees” over discrimination.
The company’s Texas filing may be to ensure the case funnels through the Fifth Circuit appellate court on appeal since that court tends to push back on federal regulatory action lately, writes Space News.
In July, a federal judge decided Biden administration officials violated the First Amendment while contacting social media companies about removing posts with covid misinformation.
His injunction barring them from making contact in many cases was narrowed by appeals court judges but now the Biden Administration has asked the Supreme Court (PDF) to put a hold on it (Washington Post, New York Times). Now there is a temporary hold until September 22nd (PDF).
How involved were SBF’s powerful parents?
Legal filings suggest Bankman and Fried were crucial to their son’s transfiguration from schlubby startup nerd to hyperconnected crypto mogul. The couple profited tremendously from FTX, netting $26 million in cash and real estate in 2022 alone. They were regular fixtures at the company’s offices, offered words of encouragement to employees and were included in internal company communications. Their reputations and connections were essential to FTX’s success.
FTX has said its holdings are worth $3.4 billion.
FTX revealed earlier this week that it holds $1.16 billion of solana (SOL) – approximately 16% of the token’s outstanding supply – and about $560 million in bitcoin (BTC). The rest of its holdings consist of lesser known illiquid tokens.
Good luck out there, folks!
Sebastian Greenwood was the co-founder of a fraudulent cryptocurrency that pulled in $4 billion from investors between 2014 and 2016. Now U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos has sentenced him to 20 years in prison, and he was ordered to pay $300 million in forfeiture.
Through the MLM structure, OneCoin members received commissions for recruiting others to purchase cryptocurrency packages. As the top MLM distributor of OneCoin, GREENWOOD earned 5% of monthly OneCoin sales from anywhere in the world, which totaled more than $200 million from the fourth quarter of 2014 through the fourth quarter of 2016 alone and exceeded approximately $300 million in total.
Meanwhile, his partner, Ruja Ignatova, aka the “Cryptoqueen” we wrote about last year when she was added to the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List, remains at large, with a $100,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.
A panel of judges ruled that government officials crossed a line while pressuring social media companies to curb covid misinformation, writing that they aren’t “permitted to advance these interests to the extent that it engages in viewpoint suppression.”
The court ... vacated much of U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s injunction, with the exception of a provision concerning alleged coercion, which it narrowed.
The 5th Circuit said the narrower injunction applied to the White House, the surgeon general, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FBI, but would no longer apply to other federal officials covered by the lower court order.
The judges had previously lifted the injunction, and this narrower one is on hold for ten days as the administration pursues a review by the Supreme Court.
Lawyers for Eddie Cue, John Giannandrea, and Adrian Perica argued that “traveling 3,000 miles across the country from Northern California to testify at a bench trial” is “unduly burdensome” and would “risk disclosure of Apple’s sensitive commercial information.”
US District Judge Amit Mehta denied their petition and says they must testify at the trial, writes Reuters, which is scheduled to begin September 12th. The trial will decide if Google has monopolistic power in the online ads space.
Apparently there was a “Project 42” — for Douglas Adams fans, this number is significant — at Tesla, “which called for a spacious glass structure to be built in the Austin, Texas, area,” according to The Wall Street Journal. The project was “described internally as a house for Chief Executive Elon Musk.”
Tesla had internally investigated whether there was a misuse of company resources on the project. It’s unclear what the outcome of the Tesla investigation was, what the status of the project is, whether glass was ever delivered for it, and whether the investigations from the feds will result in charges.
In a letter to the judge, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers say they are unable to adequately prepare for trial because Bankman-Fried doesn’t have enough internet access. Also the battery life on his laptop isn’t good enough. His lawyers are asking that he be released to prepare for trial.
Chicago joins Cleveland, Milwaukee, New York City, and Columbus on the list of city governments suing Kia and Hyundai over cars that can be stolen in seconds by teenagers armed with nothing more than a USB cable and the knowledge gleaned from a TikTok video, as we wrote about the Kia Boys thieves in June.
The failure of Kia and Hyundai to install basic auto-theft prevention technology in these models is sheer negligence, and as a result, a citywide and nationwide crime spree around automobile theft has been unfolding right before our eyes.
Since videos posted on social media exposed this defect, thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles in Chicago surged from about 500 in the first half of 2022 to more than 8,350 during the second half of the year. Thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles continue to comprise more than half of all vehicles stolen in Chicago in 2023.
Programmer and writer Alex Reisner’s expansive piece for The Atlantic documents his deep dive into the dataset, identifying all but 20,000 of the 190,000 books it contains, as well as its history and controversy surrounding it.
Books3, part of a larger dataset called “The Pile” created by EleutherAI, is the linchpin of Sarah Silverman’s lawsuit against OpenAI.
Regulatory actions and concerns about money laundering were among the reasons for the contract termination, which was effective as of yesterday.
Binance was once Checkout.com’s largest client — with more than $2 billion in transactions in one month in 2021. Here’s an interesting tidbit about the relationship:
Shortly after the launch, Visa alerted Checkout.com to a flood of fraudulent transactions on Binance — approximately $10 million, according to two people familiar with the incident. (Checkout said this figure is “inflated and inaccurate.”) Binance’s refusal to deploy Checkout’s 3D-secure measures had left the platform vulnerable to credit card fraud, and a European organized crime syndicate had taken full advantage.
Every single Onewheel is being recalled after four deaths
The Sphere’s first show looks like it was a mind-blowing spectacle
‘There’s no tracing Xbox 360 chat,’ claimed guy now charged with insider trading
Apple blames iOS 17 bugs and apps like Instagram for making iPhone 15s run hot
LG is dropping ATSC 3.0 from its TVs next year