The FTC and the Department of Justice are dividing up antitrust oversight of Amazon and Google, according to the Washington Post’s Tony Romm. US regulators have agreed to partition supervision of the two tech giants: The FTC will focus on Amazon, and Google will be under the Justice Department’s watch. It’s not yet clear what exactly the FTC and the DOJ’s interests in the tech giants are, but giving each agency a company to scrutinize is a signal that antitrust probes may be in the works. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the DOJ is “laying the groundwork” for an antitrust investigation of Google. [Tony Romm / The Washington Post]
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On the eve of the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, Twitter suspended the accounts of Chinese political commentators, the New York Times reports. Twitter has since said it was an accident. But such an error once again showed how significant and far-reaching the tech giant’s mistakes can be. The move “hit human rights lawyers, activists, college students and nationalists, who use workarounds to get access to Twitter, which is banned in China. Just about every part of the raucous, if small, Chinese-language Twitter world was affected.” The Times reports that many online thought this was a coordinated attack by China’s government to project its internet censorship outside its own digital borders. But as it turned out, Twitter’s own overactive filters were to blame. Twitter’s response? The company said that in its efforts to curb spam, “it had inadvertently gone after a number of legitimate Chinese-language accounts.”
[Paul Mozur / The New York Times]
School administrators are digitally surveilling students and people in the vicinity of their campuses, with troubling results. Education Week’s Benjamin Herold reports that schools are working with social media monitoring companies to track “the posts of everyone in the areas surrounding schools, including adults.” These systems are meant to flag potential safety threats, but they are sweeping up all kinds of innocuous, unrelated content, and privacy advocates say this raises civil liberty concerns. Tweets about the movie Shooter, someone posting about their credit score “shooting up,” and a woman joking that she’d die for her cats have all triggered these surveillance systems. While some anecdotal reports indicate that these surveillance systems have helped stop school violence in certain cases, they also create new legal and ethical gray areas, “which harried school administrators are mostly left to navigate on their own,” Herold writes.
[Benjamin Herold / Education Week]
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is upon us once again. Here’s what to expect. The Verge’s Dieter Bohn writes that Apple’s annual WWDC, which starts today, is shaping up to have some significant reveals. Apple is set to debut a new MacPro, as well as a macOS update and an iOS 13 preview. Bohn writes that in addition to hardware and software announcements, developers will be waiting to hear updates on what the future of Apple’s other platforms will be: “If that wasn’t enough, Apple will also need to provide some updates on tvOS and watchOS. We may even see more augmented reality features, find out pricing on its Apple Arcade service, and more.” It will be a lot to cover in one keynote, but “Apple does so much now that a single annual software keynote is going to need to cover a lot of ground.”
[Dieter Bohn / The Verge]
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Correction: In our Friday newsletter, we misreported the location where an e-scooter caught on fire. The fire happened in Washington, DC.
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