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Free Speech And Digital Rights Groups Argue TikTok Law Would Infringe On The First Amendment

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A group of nonprofits argued in a legal filing that the federal law requiring TikTok’s parent company to sell the platform or face a ban is an unconstitutional measure restricting speech and making it impossible for users to associate on the app.

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Free Speech And Digital Rights Groups Argue TikTok Law Would Infringe On The First Amendment

The legal brief, submitted late Wednesday to a federal court in Washington, comes as TikTok and its Beijing-based parent, ByteDance, are waging a consequential legal battle against a law that would disrupt the platform’s U.S. operation. Third-party groups are due to file documents in support of the two companies on Thursday.

Seven nonprofits signed onto the brief, including groups that have previously expressed support for TikTok or sided with the company in a similar lawsuit against Montana last year. They include free speech and digital rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the First Amendment Coalition, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which advocates for public-interest journalism.

In their legal filing, the nonprofits argue that the law would infringe on the First Amendment, echoing TikTok’s arguments in its lawsuit against the government. They say the Constitution doesn’t just protect TikTok’s U.S. users but the company itself. They also argue the government’s burden to justify free speech violations is the same around national security issues as with any other matter. They argue that the government’s action against TikTok also represents “a direct and serious threat” against freedom of the press.

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Tiktok | Ivestopedia Image

Free Speech And Digital Rights Groups Argue TikTok Law Would Infringe On The First Amendment

The federal law President Joe Biden signed as part of a larger foreign aid package in April is the U.S. government’s attempt to deal with national security concerns surrounding TikTok. Lawmakers from both parties and some administration officials have said TikTok’s current ownership structure poses a threat since ByteDance operates under the laws of the Chinese government.

They have said Chinese authorities could force ByteDance to hand over U.S. user data or sway public opinion towards Beijing’s interests by tinkering with the algorithm that populates users’ feeds. But public evidence hasn’t been provided to support either claim.

Like the civil liberties and free speech groups, many TikTok creators have opposed the measure, which marks the first time the U.S. has singled out a social media company for a potential ban. It gives ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok and a possible three-month extension if a sale is in progress. However, both companies have argued they would have to shut down TikTok’s U.S. operation by Jan. 19 because continuing to operate in the U.S. wouldn’t be commercially, technologically, or legally possible if forced to divest.

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Tiktok | Hollywood reporter Image

Free Speech And Digital Rights Groups Argue TikTok Law Would Infringe On The First Amendment

Last week, TikTok filed another legal brief, giving an account of its negotiations with the Biden administration since 2021. The company said it presented a draft agreement in August 2022, but the administration “ceased any substantive negotiations” afterward.

The Justice Department said in a statement last week that it’s looking forward to defending the recently enacted legislation, which addresses “critical national security concerns in a manner that is consistent with the First Amendment and other constitutional limitations.”

 SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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The Credit Suisse Review criticizes SNB and Finma, as expressed by SZ.

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(VOR News) – According to a report published in SonntagsZeitung, the financial Credit Suisse regulator Finma, the central bank of the country, and the Federal Council have been harshly criticized by the preliminary findings of the Swiss parliamentary commission that is investigating Credit Suisse’s collapse in 2023.

The Federal Council and the Council of the Federal Republic are additional institutions subjected to criticism.

Credit Suisse’s collapse will be investigated by the commission in 2023.

Despite the fact that the bank had been classified as systemically important for a number of years and that its troubles had been evident for a number of months, the publication contended that the authorities were ill-equipped to prevent or contain the company’s dissolution.

This occurred despite the bank’s prolonged financial difficulties.

This would be in accordance with the Credit Suisse findings of a previous study conducted by Paul Tucker, who is presently a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and has served as the deputy governor of the Bank of England. These results would be consistent with the results of the previous evaluation.

The Swiss finance department issued the “Too Big to Fail” study in April, which was based on the foundation provided by this research.

The SonntagsZeitung’s article did not contain any information regarding the legislative report’s origin. Credit Suisse received a request for comment from the Swiss finance minister, members of the committee, and FinMA; however, they declined to comply. The request was received by Bloomberg.

It is anticipated that the investigation will have successfully concluded by the end of the year, in accordance with the most recent forecasts.

Finma, the Swiss agency responsible for overseeing the financial sector, has been subjected to criticism for its lack of firmness, according to SZ. Finma is accountable for overseeing the financial sector.

The Financial Markets Authority (Finma) should be granted additional authority in view of the study’s conclusions. The Swiss government has given some consideration to this matter; however, the regulator has not yet been granted the authority to impose penalties on financial institutions.

Currently, Switzerland is grappling with the challenge of effectively managing a vast financial industry that is dominated by a bank that is more than twice the size of its current economy.

UBS Group AG bought Credit Suisse after it collapsed and this obstacle arose.

Switzerland has been confronted with the challenges of administering a vast financial industry since that time.

The Swiss National Bank was not exempt from the interim conclusion procedure, as indicated by the study’s findings that were disclosed to the public on Sunday. It was explicitly stated that the central bank was overly restrictive in its provision of emergency liquidity during Credit Suisse’s difficulties and that it failed to adequately inform the public about these issues at an early stage.

Furthermore, it was observed that the central bank was unsuccessful in its efforts to raise awareness of these issues among the general public.

Credit Suisse made an effort to contact the Swedish National Bank (SNB); however, they declined to provide a response when approached.

However, the organization responded to the issue in its annual report, which was disseminated prior to the commencement of this year.

The investigation concluded that “Credit Suisse’s preparations were insufficient to fully leverage the potential for liquidity assistance.”

This accusation was made at the outset of the report that is presently being examined. To begin with, the prerequisites that were in place prior to the delivery of specific assets as security were not met in a manner that was both legitimate and enforceable.

This was the situation with respect to specific assets. Secondly, a substantial number of the assets that were eligible for the loan had been encumbered in the past, indicating that they had been committed in addition to previous financial transactions that the bank had conducted. This was the second factor that contributed to the loan’s approval.

SOURCE: YN

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Amazon Prime Day Deals Are Almost Here. Should You Take Advantage Of Them?

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EU Accuses Elon Musk’s X Of Misleading Users

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk

European regulators have charged Elon Musk’s X with violating the wide Digital Services Act, accusing the company of deceiving its consumers, among other things.

“Today, we issue, for the first time, preliminary findings under the Digital Services Act,” Margrethe Vestager, a top official at the European Commission, said in a statement Friday. “In our view, X does not comply with the DSA in key transparency areas, by using dark patterns and thus misleading users, by failing to provide an adequate ad repository, and by blocking access to data for researchers.”

The company’s approach to so-called verified accounts “does not correspond to industry practice and deceives users,” the European Union’s executive arm said. Anyone can subscribe to gain the “verified” status, it stated, and it cited examples of “malicious actors” utilizing the blue check “to deceive users.”

EU Accuses Elon Musk’s X Of Misleading Users

If the Commission’s preliminary findings are verified, X might face a fine of up to 6% of its global annual turnover.

X has yet to react to CNN’s request for comment.

“Back in the day, blue checks used to mean trustworthy sources of information,” Thierry Breton, another senior Commission official, said in the Friday statement. “Now with X, our preliminary view is that they deceive users and infringe the DSA.”

The law took effect in August. Among other things, it prohibits the use of “dark patterns” or subtle design hints that may be designed to persuade users to disclose personal information or make other decisions that the corporation prefers. Consumer organizations frequently mention an example where a firm tries to persuade a user to opt into tracking by displaying an acceptance button in bright colors while downplaying the option to opt-out by reducing the font size or positioning.

EU Accuses Elon Musk’s X Of Misleading Users

The results are the outcome of an ongoing inquiry by EU officials that began in December. As part of the investigation, EU officials are also looking into X’s content moderation policies to determine whether the firm violated the DSA by disseminating illegal content and failing to combat misinformation.

The formal inquiry was launched after EU officials began questioning X early last year, citing rising worries over the prevalence of Hamas-affiliated accounts on the platform following the terror group’s October 7 bombings on Israel.

SOURCE | CNN

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Amazon Prime Day Deals Are Almost Here. Should You Take Advantage Of Them?

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Amazon | AP news Image

NEW YORK — It’s summer, and the deals appear easy at an era when many consumer costs are high.

Since Amazon’s inaugural Prime Day in 2015, July sales events have emerged as a seasonal revenue generator for the retailer. While customers may be lured by claimed can’t-miss bargains on some products, personal finance experts warn against falling for possibly misleading marketing or succumbing to impulse purchases.

Amazon has raised anticipation in recent weeks for its tenth Prime Day event, which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. This event is only open to consumers who pay $14.99 per month or $139 per year to enjoy free shipping and other benefits as Prime members.

Rival merchants have previously attempted to capitalize on the Prime Day frenzy by providing deals over two days. This year, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, and newcomers TikTok Shop and Temu launched summer sales ahead of Amazon, seeking to steal some of the e-commerce giant’s bargain-hunting customers. Meanwhile, Macy’s will launch its “best summer deals” during an eight-day discount campaign starting on Tuesday.

Amazon Prime Day Deals Are Almost Here. Should You Take Advantage Of Them?

Why are companies offering such large summer discounts?
July sales help merchants attract customers who want to jump on back-to-school shopping, the industry’s second-most crucial shopping season after the winter holiday. The markdowns also attract discretionary spending from buyers eyeing technology, household products, and seasonal items like a bikini or a new summer dress.

According to Coresight Research’s head of global research, John Mercer, discounts can help shops battle “a summer lull in retail spending” as consumers transfer their spending to summer holidays and services, such as dining out.

“It drives a bit of excitement in that mid-year period,” when shops might otherwise struggle to generate additional money, Mercer said. He said that businesses have also used discounts to stimulate consumer spending throughout the recent time of high inflation and interest rates.

Amazon does not disclose how much revenue it generates from Prime Day, but it does provide some clues of its performance. According to the firm, last year’s event was the “single largest sales day” in its history, with buyers purchasing over 375 million things.

According to Emarketer, Amazon’s global Prime Day sales will reach $12.5 billion by 2023. The company expects sales to increase by about 7% this year.

Are the offer prices truly bargains or something else?
It depends on whoever you ask.

Retailers overstate their promos to attract customers. However, the New York Times-owned product review website Wirecutter wrote this month that most of Amazon’s early discounts this year “stink.”

Kirthi Kalyanam, a Santa Clara University management professor preparing a book about Amazon, says Prime Day deals have historically been fantastic. According to Halyanam, the company was able to secure discounts from well-known brands like Apple and persuade third-party vendors to decrease their pricing by promising to feature them prominently on the Amandon website.

However, Prime Day discounts may be less relevant as shoppers acclimate to the ultra-cheap products supplied by Amazon competitors Shein and Temu, founded in China.

“Many of (the) deals may not be as competitive compared to Temu and Shien,” said Kalyanam.

At the same time, he stated that competing stores will most certainly look at Amazon’s prices and attempt to match them overnight. Last week, he reported that Best Buy discounted two products after Amazon announced some of its early bargains.

Numerator, a consumer research company, said that most of the approximately 5,000 Prime Day buyers it surveyed following last year’s event received product discounts of up to 40%. According to survey respondents, one-quarter of items were selling at a discount of 60% or more.

Some buying gurus have claimed that previous Prime discounts were smaller than they appeared.

What are some strategies for finding bargains and sticking to a budget?
If you’re on a tight budget, personal finance experts advise you to think twice before you buy.

“Avoid the false sense of urgency of manufactured holidays,” says Mark Elliot, chief customer officer at financial services startup LendingClub. “The idea that ‘The more you spend, the more you save’ — that’s just definitionally not true.”

According to Dan Egan, a vice president at Betterment, a financial advice and investing firm, buyers should compile a list of what they need before the deals begin so that they may make conscious purchases. He advises customers to avoid purchasing late at night or out of boredom.

“Once you have a list, it’s less likely you’ll get distracted by things you don’t need,” Egan told me. “If that list contains almost nothing, I would recommend deleting the (retailers’) apps from your phone for the next week or two. Or you’ll get a lot of notifications.”

He said any consumer who already has a credit card balance should be aware that the interest spent on that balance may cancel out any perceived savings from a summer sale purchase.

“A deal is not a deal if you have to pay interest on it,” according to Egan.

While it may make sense for shoppers to try out free or temporary memberships to qualify for the best deals during the summer sales, according to Erin Witte, the Consumer Federation of America’s director of consumer protection, those programs usually charge a fee to the customer’s credit card on file after a short period of time.

Amazon Prime Day Deals Are Almost Here. Should You Take Advantage Of Them?

“Set a calendar reminder to cancel if you don’t want to proceed with that subscription,” Witte told me. Think about it from the beginning. Remember that these corporations designed this product to make it simple to sign up but more difficult to cancel.”

Consumer Reports also provides some tips: Download Amazon’s app, sign up for invite-only discounts available to a few buyers, and get in the queue for limited-time specials that have already sold out.

Remember to browse around.
Filling up an online Amazon cart appeals to Prime members because they are paying for Prime Day specials. However, comparing costs from multiple websites before buying is always a good idea.

Unlike Prime Day, Walmart’s monthly discount event was available to anyone. However, the business sweetened the bargain for Walmart+ members by giving them early access.

Target only gave discounts to Target Circle members and utilized the weeklong event to promote a new membership program aimed at increasing sales and traffic.

TikTok Shop, the e-commerce arm of the famous video-sharing app, has made its summer sales event available to everyone. The event began on July 9 and continues till Wednesday.

SOURCE | AP

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