Workers Fired From Google Plan Federal Labor Complaint

Four workers fired from Google last week are planning to file a federal labor complaint against the company, claiming it unfairly retaliated against them for organizing workers around social causes.The former employees said Tuesday they are preparing to file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board this week. All four were fired Nov. 25 for what Google said were violations of its data security policy.Company officials wrote in a memo — without confirming the employees’ names — that the four were “searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs.”But the four workers — Laurence Berland, Sophie Waldman, Rebecca Rivers and Paul Duke — say they believe they did not violate company policies and claim that Google is using the alleged violations as an excuse to terminate them for labor activity.“This is an expression of Google’s management power,” Duke said. “They are scared of worker power.”Google disputes that they fired the employees for organizing activity.“No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities,” the company said in a statement.Google employees are known for being some of the most outspoken across the tech industry. Thousands of employees walked out of work last year to protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct claims, in what became known as the Google Walkout. Since then, employees have petitioned for better benefits for contract workers, successfully argued for the end of mandatory arbitration and have opposed Google’s involvement in some government projects.The company has also been known for an open, collaborative work culture since its early days, one that employee activists say is now getting closed off.CEO Sundar Pichai’s weekly question-and-answer sessions with employees became monthly meetings. Google also updated its community guidelines to tell employees to avoid “disrupting the workday” to debate politics or other topics. Some workers complain both moves were meant to discourage open speech and crack down on employee pushback.Waldman and Duke helped create a petition earlier this year that called for Google to refrain from bidding on a cloud computing contract with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Nearly 1,500 …


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Милованов заявив, що змінювати керівництво «Нафтогазу» зараз не будуть

Керівництво НАК «Нафтогаз України» зараз змінювати не будуть. Про це в ефірі телеканалу ICTV заявив міністр розвитку економіки, торгівлі та сільського господарства Тимофій Милованов. «Конкретно щодо «Нафтогазу» немає жодних змін. І не буде. Це або неправильно зрозуміли, або було перекручено. Стосовно «Нафтогазу» ніякого процесу немає – ні щодо наглядових рад, ні щодо керівництва», – наголосив Милованов. 2 грудня міністр енергетики та захисту довкілля України Олексій Оржель повідомив, що Кабінет міністрів України ухвалив «політичне рішення» змінити керівництво державних енергетичних компаній, зокрема «Нафтогазу» та «Укренерго». Міністр додав, що чинні керівники компаній зможуть брати участь у конкурсі. Пізніше виконавчий директор «Нафтогазу» Юрій Вітренко сказав, що «не бачить нічого поганого» у зміні керівництва компанії через конкурс.  Голова правління національної енергетичної компанії «Нафтогаз» Андрій Коболєв зазначив, що не бачить сенсу реагувати на заяву урядовця. …


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Twitter Makes Global Changes to Comply with Privacy Laws

Twitter is updating its global privacy policy to give users more information about what data advertisers might receive and is launching a site to provide clarity on its data protection efforts, the company said on Monday.The changes, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, will comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).The California law requires large businesses to give consumers more transparency and control over their personal information, such as allowing them to request that their data be deleted and to opt out of having their data sold to third parties.Social media companies including Facebook and Alphabet’s Google have come under scrutiny on data privacy issues, fueled by Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in which personal data were harvested from millions of users without their consent.Twitter also announced on Monday that it is moving the accounts of users outside of the United States and European Union which were previously contracted by Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland, to the San Francisco-based Twitter.The company said this move would allow it the flexibility to test different settings and controls with these users, such as additional opt-in or opt-out privacy preferences, that would likely be restricted by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s landmark digital privacy law.”We want to be able to experiment without immediately running afoul of the GDPR provisions,” Twitter’s data protection officer Damien Kieran told Reuters in a phone interview.”The goal is to learn from those experiments and then to provide those same experiences to people all around the world,” he said.The company, which said it has upped its communications about data and security-related disclosures over the last two years, emphasized in a Monday blog post that it was working to upgrade systems and build privacy into new products.In October, Twitter announced it had found that phone numbers and email addresses used for two-factor authentication may inadvertently have been used for advertising purposes.Twitter’s new privacy site, dubbed the ‘Twitter Privacy Center’ is part of the company’s efforts to showcase its work on data protection and will also give users another route to access and download their data.Twitter joins …


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Курс гривні оновив цьогорічний рекорд – НБУ

Курс гривні до долара оновив цьогорічний рекорд, свідчать дані на сайті Національного банку України. Гривня зміцнішала ще на одну копійку: на 3 грудня офіційна вартість долара становитиме 23 гривні 96 копійок. Це найвищий курс гривні з 15 січня 2016 року.   …


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Putin Signs Law Making Russian Apps Mandatory on Smartphones, Computers

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed legislation requiring all smartphones, computers and smart TV sets sold in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software.The law, which will come into force on July 1 next year, has been met with resistance by some electronics retailers, who say the legislation was adopted without consulting them.The law has been presented as a way to help Russian IT firms compete with foreign companies and spare consumers from having to download software upon purchasing a new device.The country’s mobile phone market is dominated by foreign companies including Apple, Samsung and Huawei. The legislation signed by Putin said the government would come up with a list of Russian applications that would need to be installed on the different devices.Russia has introduced tougher internet laws in recent years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store user data on servers in the country.   …


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Україна та Росія почнуть узгоджувати новий контракт на транзит газу найближчим часом – Оржель

Представники України та Росії планують почати узгодження основних умов нового контракту про транзит газу найближчим часом. Про це заявив міністр енергетики та захисту довкілля України Олексій Оржель на брифінгу у Києві. «Щоб ухвалити остаточне рішення щодо обсягів, термінів або компенсації (за рішеннями міжнародних арбітражів – ред.) ми повинні чітко опрацювати всі технічні моменти, тому технічний процес достатньо активний. Сторони зараз знаходяться на технічних консультаціях», – зазначив Оржель.   Термін дії укладеного 2009 року контракту на постачання газу спливає 1 січня 2020 року. Україна, Росія та Європейський союз досі не домовилися щодо умов транзиту російського газу українськими газогонами до ЄС. Виконавчий директор НАК «Нафтогаз України» Юрій Вітренко заявив, що у випадку припинення транзиту українська компанія «стягуватиме гроші», і «європейські партнери також, скоріш за все, будуть позиватися». …


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З 1 травня 2020 року ціна на газ для населення буде ринковою – міністр

З 1 травня 2020 року ціна на газ для населення буде ринковою, повідомив міністр енергетики та захисту довкілля Олексій Оржель. «Це буде повноцінний ринок, ми дійсно пішли за ціною для населення, близькою до ринкової», – заявив Оржель. Кабінет міністрів України визначив, що під час опалювального сезону ціна на газ для населення становитиме 6 961 гривню за тисячу кубометрів. Ця цифра не враховує витрати на постачання та розподіл газу, які для кожної області будуть різними. Встановлення ринкової ціни газу для населення є однією з ключових вимог Міжнародного валютного фонду.   …


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Прожитковий мінімум для працездатних зріс на 95 гривень

В Україні з 1 грудня зріс прожитковий мінімум. Тепер для працездатних осіб прожитковий мінімум становить 2102 гривні (було 2007). Для людей, які втратили працездатність, цей показник становить 1638 гривень (було 1564), для дітей у віці до 6 років – 1779 гривень (замість 1669), а для дітей із 6 до 18 років – 2218 (було 2118). Підвищення прожиткового мінімуму передбачає перерахунок пенсій для 11 мільйонів пенсіонерів. Тепер розмір мінімальної пенсії становитиме 1638 гривень. Також збільшаться різні соціальні виплати, наприклад, мінімальний розмір аліментів.   У листопаді Окружний адміністративний суд Києва визнав протиправними дії Кабінету міністрів України із встановлення прожиткового мінімуму на 2019 рік, оскільки цей показник був встановлений «без проведення науково-громадської експертизи сформованих набору продуктів харчування, продовольчих продуктів і послуг». Суд також зобов’язав уряд встановити прожитковий мінімум на 2019 рік відповідно до положень законів України «Про прожитковий мінімум» та «Про державні соціальні стандарти та державні соціальні гарантії». …


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EU Antitrust Regulators Investigating Google’s Data Collection

EU antitrust regulators are investigating Google’s collection of data, the European Commission told Reuters Saturday, suggesting the world’s most popular internet search engine remains in its sights despite record fines in recent years.Competition enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are now looking into how dominant tech companies use and monetize data.The EU executive said it was seeking information on how and why Alphabet unit Google is collecting data, confirming a Reuters story Friday.“The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a preliminary investigation into Google’s practices relating to Google’s collection and use of data. The preliminary investigation is ongoing,” the EU regulator told Reuters in an email.A document seen by Reuters shows the EU’s focus is on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and others.European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has handed down fines totaling more than 8 billion euros to Google in the last two years and ordered it to change its business practices.Google has said it uses data to better its services and that users can manage, delete and transfer their data at any time. …


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Apple to Reevaluate Policy on Mapping ‘Disputed Borders’ After Crimea Outcry

Apple says it will reevaluate how it identifies “disputed borders” after receiving criticism for displaying Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula as part of Russia on maps and weather apps for Russian users.    Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told Reuters on Friday that the U.S. technology giant was “taking a deeper look at how we handle disputed borders.”    Muller said Apple made the change for Russian users because of a new law that went into effect inside Russia and that it had not made any changes to its maps outside the country. Review of law   “We review international law as well as relevant U.S. and other domestic laws before making a determination in labeling on our maps and make changes if required by law,” she told Reuters.    Muller added that Apple “may make changes in the future as a result” of its reevaluation of the policy, without being specific.    Russian and Ukrainian embassies in the United States did not immediately return requests for comment.    When using the apps from the United States, Ukraine, and in parts of Europe, no international borders are shown around the peninsula.    After the reports surfaced of the appearance of Crimea as part of Russia, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington told RFE/RL that it had sent a letter to Apple explaining the situation in Crimea and demanding that it correct the peninsula’s designation.    It also said on Twitter that “let’s all remind Apple that #CrimeaIsUkraine and it is under Russian occupation — not its sovereignty.”    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko tweeted, “Apple, please, please, stick to high-tech and entertainment. Global politics is not your strong side.” Applause from Russia   Vasily Piskarev, who chairs the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Security and Corruption Control, welcomed Apple’s move, saying, “They have brought [their services] in line with Russian law.”    “The error with displaying Crimean cities on the weather app has been eliminated,” Piskarev told reporters.    Competitor Google Maps has designated Crimea differently over the years depending on the user’s location, listing it as Russian for Russian users and Ukrainian for most others.    “We make every effort to objectively depict …


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Facebook Places Label on User’s Post Under Singapore ‘Fake News’ Law

Facebook said Saturday it had issued a correction notice on a user’s post at the request of the Singapore government, but called for a measured approach to the implementation of a new “fake news” law in the city-state.“Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information,” said the notice, which is visible only to Singapore users.The correction label was embedded at the bottom of the original post without any alterations to the text.Singapore requests noticeThe Singapore government said Friday it had instructed Facebook “to publish a correction notice” on a Nov. 23 post that contained accusations about the arrest of a supposed whistleblower and election rigging.Singapore, which is expected to call a general elections within months, said the allegations were “false” and “scurrilous” and initially ordered user Alex Tan, who runs the States Times Review blog, to issue the correction notice on the post.Tan, who does not live in Singapore and says he is an Australian citizen, refused, and authorities said he is now under investigation. Reuters could not immediately reach Tan for comment.“As required by Singapore law, Facebook applied a label to these posts, which were determined by the Singapore government to contain false information,” a spokesman for Facebook said in an emailed statement. “As it is early days of the law coming into effect, we hope the Singapore government’s assurances that it will not impact free expression will lead to a measured and transparent approach to implementation.”Some Singapore users however said that they could not see the correction notice. Facebook could not immediately explain why the notice was unavailable to some users.Blocked contentFacebook often blocks content that governments allege violate local laws, with nearly 18,000 cases globally in the year to June, according to the company’s “transparency report.”Two years in the making and implemented only last month, Singapore’s law is the first to demand that Facebook publish corrections when directed to do so by the government.The Asia Internet Coalition, an association of internet and technology companies, called the law the “most far-reaching legislation of its kind to date,” while rights …


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