NBC News: Thousands of contracts highlight quiet ties between Big Tech and U.S. military

NBC News: Thousands of contracts highlight quiet ties between Big Tech and U.S. military. “On Wednesday, newly published research from the technology accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry revealed that the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, have secured thousands of deals with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Hewlett Packard and even Facebook that have not been previously reported.”

BNN Bloomberg: Google, Amazon Funnel Over $20 Million to Virus Conspiracy Sites

BNN Bloomberg: Google, Amazon Funnel Over $20 Million to Virus Conspiracy Sites. “Digital advertising platforms run by Google, Amazon.com Inc. and other tech companies will funnel at least $25 million to websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 this year, according to a study released Wednesday. Google’s platforms will provide $19 million, or $3 out of every $4 that the misinformation sites get in ad revenue. OpenX, a smaller digital ad distributor, handles about 10% of the money, while Amazon’s technology delivers roughly $1.7 million, or 7%, of the digital marketing spending these sites will receive, according to a research group called the Global Disinformation Index.”

Reuters: Indonesia imposes 10% VAT on Amazon, Google, Netflix and Spotify

Reuters: Indonesia imposes 10% VAT on Amazon, Google, Netflix and Spotify. “Indonesia imposed a 10% value-added tax on sales by technology firms including Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and Google on Tuesday, as spending patterns shift with increased remote working as a result of the coronavirus crisis, which has hit state finances.”

Search Engine Journal: India Proposes Access to Google and Amazon Algorithms

Search Engine Journal: India Proposes Access to Google and Amazon Algorithms . “India’s government has rules in draft form that will require tech companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook to provide source code and algorithms. The goal of the proposed rules is to build a wall against unfair monopolistic practices and create a more competitive business environment for local businesses.”

New York Times: Here Come the 4 Horsemen of the Techopolypse

New York Times: Here Come the 4 Horsemen of the Techopolypse. “It’s clear that the chief executives wanted to appear together, not so much for support — frenemies is about as close as I would describe them, and there is intense dislike between some of the companies — but in the hopes that a group appearance will keep any one of them from being singled out for intense scrutiny. Some are suggesting that a multiday interrogation, with each chief executive facing a small number of experienced questioners, as well as real people they hurt, would be a better way to grill the tech moguls.”

Reuters: EU throws new rule book at Google, tech giants in competition search

Reuters: EU throws new rule book at Google, tech giants in competition search. “Exasperated by its failure to loosen Google’s market grip, despite more than $8 billion in fines, the European Union is lining up new rules to level the playing field for rivals. And just as its landmark privacy law became a global model, the EU’s new regulations could become a template for governments around the world looking to rein in Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.”

CNN: An internal Amazon memo shows how closely it’s tracking coronavirus data at warehouses

CNN: An internal Amazon memo shows how closely it’s tracking coronavirus data at warehouses. “For months, Amazon has refused to reveal data on the number of coronavirus cases inside its warehouses by claiming the data itself ‘isn’t particularly useful,’ frustrating workers and critics hoping for a clearer picture of infections within what have become critical hubs for home supplies. But behind the scenes, Amazon has been closely tracking the spread of the virus inside at least one warehouse, according to an internal memo viewed by CNN Business. And its own data may raise new concerns about the rate of infections in its facilities.”

CNBC: Amazon plans to air Premier League soccer matches for free on Prime and Twitch

CNBC: Amazon plans to air Premier League soccer matches for free on Prime and Twitch . “Amazon has announced that it is making all of its Premier League soccer matches free to watch on Amazon Prime and its live video streaming service, Twitch. The tech giant, which has the broadcast rights to four Premier League matches, said an Amazon Prime membership won’t be required to watch the games.”

CNN: Amazon will temporarily stop providing its facial recognition software to police

CNN: Amazon will temporarily stop providing its facial recognition software to police. “Amazon said Wednesday it will stop providing its facial recognition technology to police forces for one year, amid questions about the company’s commitment to fighting systemic racism.”

CNET: EU to hit Amazon with antitrust charges over treatment of third-party sellers, report says

CNET: EU to hit Amazon with antitrust charges over treatment of third-party sellers, report says . “The European Union is preparing to file antitrust charges against Amazon over the e-commerce giant’s treatment of third-party sellers on its site, according to a report Thursday from The Wall Street Journal. The European Commission, the union’s top antitrust regulator, could file official charges as early as next week, according to the Journal.”

Motherboard: Whole Foods Just Fired an Employee Who Kept Track of Coronavirus Cases

Motherboard: Whole Foods Just Fired an Employee Who Kept Track of Coronavirus Cases. “Whole Foods has fired a California employee who created a running count of COVID-19 cases in company’s US supermarkets because neither Amazon nor Whole Foods would make the information publicly available.”

Motherboard: Local News Stations Run Propaganda Segment Scripted and Produced by Amazon

Motherboard: Local News Stations Run Propaganda Segment Scripted and Produced by Amazon. “Local news stations across the U.S. aired a segment produced and scripted by Amazon which touts the company’s role in delivering essential groceries and cleaning products during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its ability to do so while ‘keeping its employees safe and healthy.'”

The Verge: Amazon’s Kindle and Echo team now working on the company’s COVID-19 testing project

The Verge: Amazon’s Kindle and Echo team now working on the company’s COVID-19 testing project. “Amazon’s Lab126, the hardware group responsible for developing the company’s Kindle e-reader and its Echo smart speaker, is hiring engineers to work on its COVID-19 testing initiative, according to job listings first reported by GeekWire on Monday. As of right now, Amazon is contracting with existing labs to process nasal swabs and saliva samples to test its workforce for the novel coronavirus. But Amazon’s ultimate goal is to build a robust testing network with a central testing hub, and these new hires are being brought on to help build that.”

‘Way Too Late’: Inside Amazon’s Biggest Outbreak (New York Times)

New York Times: ‘Way Too Late’: Inside Amazon’s Biggest Outbreak. “Local lawmakers believe that more than 100 workers have contracted the disease, but the exact number is unknown. At first, Amazon told workers about each new case. But when the total reached about 60, the announcements stopped giving specific numbers. The disclosures also stopped at other Amazon warehouses. The best estimate is that more than 900 of the company’s 400,000 blue-collar workers have had the disease. But that number, crowdsourced by Jana Jumpp, an Amazon worker, almost certainly understates the spread of the illness among Amazon’s employees.”

CNN: Amazon insists sharing data on coronavirus cases in its warehouses isn’t useful

CNN: Amazon insists sharing data on coronavirus cases in its warehouses isn’t useful. “Amazon is famed for its data-driven approach to management and decision-making. It measures worker “rates” to determine productivity; collected extensive local data as part of its search for a second headquarters; takes pains to predict what customers want next based on prior purchases; and frequently issues press releases dense with random stats about product sales. But when it comes to the total number of coronavirus cases in its warehouses, Amazon’s view is, as one executive recently put it, that information isn’t ‘particularly useful.'”