BBC: Lebanon scraps WhatsApp tax as protests rage

BBC: Lebanon scraps WhatsApp tax as protests rage. “The Lebanese government has backtracked on plans to tax WhatsApp calls as protests rage over the government’s handling of an economic crisis. It had announced a new $0.20 (£0.16) daily charge on voice calls made through Facebook-owned WhatsApp and other similar apps.”

Slate: Is Hong Kong the Battleground for a New Cyber Cold War?

Slate: Is Hong Kong the Battleground for a New Cyber Cold War?. ” In Hong Kong, where Beijing’s political sovereignty does not come with direct control over the internet or local police, Beijing is reluctant to active the most draconian option: deployment of the People’s Liberation Army to keep order in Hong Kong’s streets. While this could be done lawfully, it would be catastrophic—for global investor confidence, the regime’s credibility, and the assets of party elites and state-backed firms that rely on Hong Kong’s financial institutions. Instead, Beijing is exploring other options.”

South China Morning Post: Older Hongkongers taking to online apps and social media for latest updates on protests, and some may join rallies too

South China Morning Post: Older Hongkongers taking to online apps and social media for latest updates on protests, and some may join rallies too . “Retired schoolteacher Bill Lau, 66, first learned about the messaging app Telegram and online forum LIHKG – platforms popular with protesters – from his friends and younger daughter respectively. Curious, he downloaded Telegram and started checking out LIHKG links from his daughter, and now spends at least half an hour on them each day.”

Reuters: In tech ‘awakening,’ U.S. workers at Google, Amazon join climate protests

Reuters: In tech ‘awakening,’ U.S. workers at Google, Amazon join climate protests. “Hundreds of workers from Google, Amazon and other technology companies on Friday joined climate-change marches in San Francisco and Seattle, saying their employers had been too slow to tackle global warming and needed to take more drastic action.”

Washington Post: TikTok’s Beijing roots fuel censorship suspicion as it builds a huge U.S. audience

Washington Post: TikTok’s Beijing roots fuel censorship suspicion as it builds a huge U.S. audience. “A search for “#hongkong” on Twitter reveals a vast visual patchwork of the city’s unavoidable protests, including pro-China agitprop, sympathetic memes and imagery from the hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy marchers who have braved police crackdowns. But the same searches for Hong Kong on TikTok, the short-video app from a Beijing-based tech giant that has gone viral in the U.S., reveal a remarkably different — and, for the Chinese government, more politically convenient — version of reality: playful selfies, food photos and singalongs, with barely a hint of unrest in sight.”

BBC: Hong Kong protesters using Bluetooth Bridgefy app

BBC: Hong Kong protesters using Bluetooth Bridgefy app. “Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have been turning to a new app to communicate – one that does not use the internet and is therefore harder for the Chinese authorities to trace. Bridgefy is based on Bluetooth and allows protesters to communicate with each other without internet connection.”

The Verge: Google employees and critics protest Eric Schmidt’s keynote at Stanford AI conference

The Verge: Google employees and critics protest Eric Schmidt’s keynote at Stanford AI conference. “A Stanford University artificial intelligence conference invited former Google CEO and Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt to give a keynote speech next month. But a group of academics, activists, and current Google employees are urging organizers to reconsider the decision — citing Schmidt’s acceptance of censorship in China and his handling of sexual misconduct allegations at Google, among other controversies.”