When it comes to data security from law enforcement agencies, tech companies are not backing down. From Microsoft’s increased transparency about information requests from enforcement agencies, to Twitter’s plea for more transparency from the federal government, data security is at the top of everyone’s mind. Meanwhile, Facebook is spreading Internet access across the world with a new app. Throughout these major shifts, tech giants are keeping a close watch on the hardware side of things. All of these stories are in this week’s Web roundup.
Microsoft Sets the Tone for Future Cloud Computing Cases
A New York judge made the mistake of ordering Microsoft to hand over data stored in Ireland. The problem? According to the law in Ireland, Irish courts must first approve the handover. The ruling came after Microsoft refused to hand over information to the FBI citing that it violated the user’s right to privacy. Ireland is required by law to protect information held on its servers. This could foreshadow a shift to data storage in Ireland, making it more difficult for law enforcement to get access to user data from cloud-based companies.
Twitter Becomes a New Resource for the Feds
Like so many other social media networks and mobile companies, Twitter is an important resource for the federal government. According to Twitter’s transparency reports, Twitter received 600 more government requests for information in the first half of 2014 than it did in the previous six months. Although these requests came from around the world, the majority of requests were out of the United States. Twitter declined a handful of requests from countries such as Turkey, Pakistan and Venezuela. The specific nature of the requests may not be released, but the social media network has met with the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department in an effort to try to give its users more transparency.
Meanwhile, Facebook is Offering Internet Access in Zambia
For years, Facebook has partnered with wireless providers to provide free or discounted access to its social media network. Now, it’s going a step further by offering Web services that go above and beyond access to the social network in an app that Facebook is calling Internet.org. The Internet.org app will feature dozens of services including Wikipedia access, weather website access, job listings, health information and more. Facebook’s goal is to connect more than 5 billion users to the Internet. Although this will inevitably boost Facebook’s user base, it will also provide a wealth of important information to people who haven’t had Internet access in the past.
Looks Like Tablets and Laptops Are Out!
For years, tablets dominated the market. Now, the opposite is proving true as tablet sales have seen a sudden and sharp decline. According to Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly, two-in-one computers – or high-powered laptops that can be converted to a touch screen – are the wave of the future. With these new devices gaining popularity among tech-savvy demographics, Joly believes that hybrid devices could be the wave of the future. Or perhaps computer users are just shifting back to the more robust laptops of the past.
Tesla Wants In On Advanced Technology
The highly anticipated announcement of where Tesla will build its new plant is still hush hush, although four Southwestern states are vying for it. However, the car manufacturer made another big announcement this week – an expanded deal with Panasonic for its Gigafactory. The factory is to be used to create electric vehicle batteries on a massive scale. This Gigafactory is set to transform the car market and skyrocket the stock price in Tesla. With so much anticipation, all eyes are on the car and tech giants as they move forward.
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