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Recode Daily: The IRS online tax-payment website crashed — on Tax Day

Plus, tech companies sign a “Digital Geneva Accord” against cyberattacks, a “professional obituary” of WPP founder Martin Sorrell, and have algorithms destroyed personal taste?

Mainframe computers in a room
Speery Univac mainframe computers built in 1964 are still in use today at the Philadelphia IRS office.
Adam Bartos / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty Images

The IRS online tax-payment website went down early yesterday morning — Tax Day. About five million people were expected to file their returns last-minute on deadline day; the agency was struggling to accept returns from the widely used tax software program TurboTax and the massive tax preparation company H&R Block. The government’s Direct Pay site was working again by last night; the new filing deadline is tonight at midnight. President Trump filed for an extension, btw. [Jeffrey Stein and Mike DeBonis / The Washington Post]

Facebook is taking its first formal steps toward complying with the European Union’s new data privacy regulations, known as the GDPR. The big idea: Get users to opt in to policies that generate personal data. In the absence of new rules from U.S. lawmakers, this will eventually became standard operating procedure for Facebook. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Led by Facebook and Microsoft, more than 30 tech companies signed a “Digital Geneva Accord,” pledging not to aid governments who mount cyberattacks against “innocent civilians and enterprises.” Apple, Google and Amazon declined to join. The list of principles also commits the companies to come to the aid of any nation on the receiving end of such attacks, whether the motive for the attack is “criminal or geopolitical.” [David E. Sanger / The New York Times]

Democratic Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn announced that she is resigning after more than eight years at the agency. An Obama nominee, Clyburn was a strong supporter of net neutrality, media ownership reform and lowering prison phone rates; she often clashed with current chairman Ajit Pai over policy decisions. Clyburn’s announcement came a day after Terrell McSweeny, also an Obama nominee, announced that she is retiring from the Federal Trade Commission at the end of the month. [Kim Hart / Axios]

Apple plans to integrate the recently acquired Texture magazine app into Apple News. The company will debut its own premium news subscription service next year. The move is part of a broader push by Apple to generate more revenue from online content and services. [Mark Gurman and Gerry Smith / Bloomberg]

Ken Auletta provides a lengthy and detailed “professional obituary” of Martin Sorrell, the founder and CEO of WPP, the world’s largest advertising and marketing holding company. Sorrell resigned on Saturday, after an outside law firm hired by the board investigated his alleged and still-unspecified “personal misconduct.” Parts of the piece are excerpted from Auletta’s forthcoming book, “Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else).” [Ken Auletta / The New Yorker]

Statistics guru Nate Silver is moving his FiveThirtyEight politics and news site to Disney-owned ABC News after five years with Disney’s ESPN. [Benjamin Mullin / The Wall Street Journal]

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