wow. i shouldn't be surprised by this, but I am. AT&T will throw its weight behind Trump's absolutely absurd Executive Order that would gut Section 230 & enable widespread Internet censorship. And they're doing it just to confuse ppl about #netneutrality.…
this is perfectly in line with Big Telecom strategies over the last few years. AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are some of the worst perpetrators of privacy violations and they routinely abuse their monopoly power. But they wave their hands and say "look over there at Facebook!"
Which works pretty well, because Facebook and other Big Tech companies are also doing terrible shit, and also have surveillance capitalist business models that are fundamentally at odds with basic rights and democracy. But AT&T wants us to think that you can only fix one of these
Their argument is basically "Alcohol regulations don't cover cigarettes therefor we should get rid of them." It makes absolutely no sense and they know it. But they have enormous lobbying power and a huge PR machine that churns out op-eds and spin doctored stories galore
But honestly I have to say I am pretty shocked that they leaning all the way into this BS by supporting this 230 executive order, which even Trump's own cronies at the FCC have expressed opposition to because it's just that absurd and blatantly incompatible with the 1st amendment
AT&T is finding themselves on the same side as this anti-LGBTQ hate group which has been flooding the FCC with comments also supporting the executive order to gut Section 230. Nice company you keep there @ATTPublicPolicy!…
I won't even comment on the weird airplane metaphor at the end here because honestly it makes no sense. but LOL at AT&T pointing the finger at websites that it could decide to censor from its network in the blink of an eye and saying "they have all the power." Image
Trump's Executive Order that AT&T is now lobbying for is basically straight out of an Orwell novel. It's titled "Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship," when in fact it does the exact opposite of that. It deputizes the FCC and FTC as online speech police.
Under this EO, those agencies would be tasked with setting speech rules for all online platforms. If the US government doesn't like the way you do content moderation, they can basically shut you down by revoking your protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
This is a profoundly bad idea that has been gaining ground among both Democrats and Republicans. The only silver lining I can see here is that Trump's EO is so deeply silly it will help people understand that gutting 230 in this way is a bad idea, no matter how you package it
Here's some sources on just how absurd this EO is:


Right-leaning @TechFreedom:…

Coalition of voting rights groups:…


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More from @evan_greer

15 Oct
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the University of Miami is now DENYING that the school used facial recognition surveillance to intimidate student protesters.

But @fightfortheftr uncovered documents that prove they're not telling the truth.

We've got receipts:…
Left: email @univmiami Executive Director of communications sent a reporter yesterday claiming the school does not use facial recognition.

Right: the campus Chief of Police bragging about using facial recognition in an article published last week

And here's the kicker. We found the resume for @univmiami Chief of Police David Rivero, which is publicly available on the university's website:…

In it he claims to oversee the school's surveillance camera systems, INCLUDING FACIAL RECOGNITION.
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep
Now that Trump has declared entire US cities "Anarchist Jurisdictions," maybe it's a good time to do a quick THREAD on anarchists and anarchism. Fascists throughout history have invoked these words to spread fear & seize power, but actually anarchy is about love & cooperation.
There are lots of different types of anarchists & strains of anarchism, but at a basic level anarchists believe that arbitrary forms of hierarchy are inherently oppressive, and that humans are better off organizing ourselves horizontally rather than thru laws enforced by violence
Anarchists believe in communities making decisions together through consensus & discussion rather than having those decisions be imposed by politicians or those with institutional power (say, bosses, religious leaders, or landlords.) They believe in mutual aid and solidarity.
Read 10 tweets
20 Sep
It feels like part of the reason that mainstream tech discourse has latched on so much to the specific problem of bias in AI, especially facial recognition, is that people are uncomfortable questioning the validity of institutions like policing.
It's much easier and safer to say "This software might be biased and therefore police shouldn't use it until it works right" than it is to say "this software will help police perform the functions of policing faster, and more efficiently, and that in and of itself is a bad thing"
The same could be said for corporations looking to use AI and things like face recognition for marketing or customer experience, etc. Yes, bias in these systems can exacerbate discrimination, but using software to extract ever more profit from humans is problematic from the start
Read 8 tweets
16 Sep
One of my problems with "The Social Dilemma" is that it makes the same mistake a lot of tech observers are making: it treats social media as if its cigarettes -- something that's addictive and bad with no value at all. The Internet is more like sex, drugs and rock & roll (thread)
Done wrong, it can be harmful, unhealthy, addictive, violating and corrosive. But done right it can be liberating, mind-expanding, transformative, and fun as hell. The problem with ignoring this is that it leads us toward "solutions" to Big Tech that do more harm than good.
We can't, and shouldn't, call for regulation of social media companies without acknowledging the fact that the Internet, and specifically the ability for user-generated content on the Internet to go viral, has transformed and revolutionized our society in profoundly good ways.
Read 14 tweets
15 Sep
Face ID is trending so I suppose now is a good moment to tell people not to use it.

1) normalizes biometric surveillance

2) weaker security than a passcode

3) there is legal precedent that cops can't force you to give you password, but can unlock using Face ID or thumbprint
Apple (ostensibly) stores your biometric data directly on your device, which makes it much more secure than, for example, a cloud based banking service with a facial recognition login, but in the end it's still normalizing the practice of letting corporations scan your face.
But to me this is less of a tech security issue and more of a basic common sense issue. If your stalker, or a cop, or your boss, or your neighbor's kid grabs your phone from you do you want them to be able to unlock it just by holding it up to your face? How is that security?
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
BREAKING: Portland, OR just became the first city in the US (possibly the world?) to ban both government and corporate use of #FacialRecognition surveillance technology. Every city council should follow suit!
The city council and mayor unanimously approved two ordinances. The first is similar to those passed in Boston, San Francisco, etc. it bans all government use of facial recognition including use by police, schools, etc. notably this also includes use by TSA or airlines at PDX
The second ordinance is historic. It bans private businesses from using facial recognition in places of “public accommodation” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. That means stores can’t use it on their customers, or on people walking by. It’s a huge deal.
Read 6 tweets

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