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Google under attack over limits on liability on content
Posted on 17th July 2019
U.S. senators used a Congressional hearing on Tuesday to push the idea of overhauling a law that protects YouTube, Facebook and other internet services from being sued for the content users post. The Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, led by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, featured accusations Republicans have been making for months: that Google manipulates search results and its YouTube video service to censor conservatives. Google policy chief Karan Bhatia denied this and said it would be bad for business if users didn’t trust the company to be impartial.

What was new is that Cruz, fellow Republican Senator Josh Hawley and Democrat Richard Blumenthal attacked part of a 1996 law that helped internet companies thrive. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act exempts online services from liability for user-generated content. There have been rising calls to re-examine this after Facebook, Twitter and YouTube failed to control harassment and other toxic content and behavior on their services.

Section 230 was weakened last year for situations involving sex trafficking. Cruz said on Tuesday that the provision should not apply to internet companies that don’t remain politically neutral.

Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, told Bloomberg Government that Section 230 was put in place to protect smaller, developing internet services, not giant tech companies. “I don’t think they’re developing anymore so it probably could stand to be reviewed,” she said.

Bhatia said Google was doing all it could to take down offensive content on YouTube but that the sheer volume of videos it hosts means some offending material always slips through. He said Google never uses political ideology as a reason to block or take down videos on YouTube or remove information from search results.

“You can’t simply unleash the monster and say it’s too big to control,” Blumenthal said while questioning Google’s Bhatia.

Hawley also said that if Google was willing to censor search results in China, why wouldn’t it do the same in the U.S.? Google pulled out of China in 2010 because of pressure from the government to censor search results. A new initiative to go back into China, dubbed “Project Dragonfly,” has been shelved after outcry from employees, activists and politicians.Bhatia’s two-hour grilling yielded little in terms of new information from Google. Some Senators chided him for evading questions and not having more information at hand.

“You’re doing something remarkable,” Cruz said. “You’re managing to be less candid than Mark Zuckerberg.” Zuckerberg, the chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., testified in Congress last year.


Other Latest News
BoB, PNB, other lenders hold 2-day meeting to generate ideas for growth
Posted on 19th August 2019
Public sector lenders, including PNB, BoB and Corporation Bank, have organised a two-day consultation process at branch level, seeking suggestions to make the sector future ready and be a catalyst in economic growth. The consultations were held over a period of two days from August 17-18 under the direction of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.

Sebi to ease buyback norms for companies with housing finance, NBFC arms
Posted on 19th August 2019
Capital markets regulator Sebi is planning to ease its norms for buyback of shares by listed companies, especially those having subsidiaries in housing finance and NBFC sectors. According to top officials, a proposal in this regard is expected to be discussed by Sebi’s board at its meeting this week. The repurchase of shares by listed companies is governed by the Buyback Regulations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) as well as by the Companies Act.

Paytm promotes CFO Madhur Deora as President
Posted on 19th August 2019
New Delhi: Gearing up for the next phase of growth in consumer Internet and financial services, digital payments player Paytm on Monday announced the promotion of its Chief Financial Officer Madhur Deora as the company's President.

Prior to joining Paytm in October 2016, Deora served as Managing Director in Citigroup's investment banking business.


State Bank of India mulls repo-linked home loans for existing borrowers
Posted on 19th August 2019
Kolkata: State Bank of India said it is contemplating extending the benefit of the repo-linked lending rate to the existing home loan borrowers while hoped for better traction in consumer demand in the second half of the fiscal expecting the government to offer fiscal stimulus.

Apollo Hospitals’ profit focus is key to retaining investor interest
Posted on 19th August 2019
Shares of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd have gained 10% since it announced its June quarter results on 13 August. With the performance reassuring investors on asset optimization and profit metrics, the stock hit a new 52-week high of ₹1,4687 on Friday.

Losses the company’s new ventures, housed under Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd, reduced significantly.


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