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Silicon Valley challenged by senators over sex trafficking

Web companies opposed to a federal bill aimed at squelching online trafficking of children faced a blunt challenge from US lawmakers at a hearing on Sept 19, and a plea from a mother whose child was slain after being advertised for sex on the Backpage.com website.

Tech companies such as Google and Facebook Inc and their trade groups say the bill would create greater liability for speech and videos posted by users. — Sipa USA/TNS

Epson Malaysia launches enterprise-grade inkjet multifunction printers

Epson Malaysia today launched a slew of new printers, including two enterprise-grade inkjet multifunction printers and five ink tank printers.

Epson Malaysia managing director Daisuke Hori (second from left) and general manager for sales and marketing Danny Lee (third from left) launching the new WorkForce Enterprise multifunction printer which is claimed to be able to print up to 100 pages per minute. — Epson

Microsoft promotes Xbox chief in sign games are big deal again

Microsoft Corp’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, got a promotion and a spot on chief executive officer Satya Nadella’s senior leadership team in a nod to the renewed importance of gaming at the software giant.

Xbox controllers at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Spencer, now an executive vice president, previously reported to Windows division head Terry Myerson, who has a seat on Nadella’s council of chiefs. — Reuters

Tech firms face fines unless terrorist material removed in hours

European leaders will warn the world’s biggest technology companies that they face fines unless they meet a target of removing terrorist content from the internet within two hours of it appearing.

May’s government is looking at making Internet companies legally liable if they don’t take terrorist material down quickly. — Reuters

Massachusetts sues Equifax as hack concerns spread to Canada

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit on Sept 19 against credit reporting firm Equifax Inc following a breach that exposed the personal data of up to 143 million people, including three million in the state.

Equifax said the massive breach of sensitive data, including Social Insurance Numbers, might affect about 100,000 Canadians. — Reuters

TRAI orders sharp cut in mobile interconnection fees

India's telecoms regulator has more than halved a fee mobile operators pay each other for calls from one network to another in a move that could hurt leading operators including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone's Indian business.

TRAI said that interconnect usage charges (IUC) for mobile calls will be cut to 0.06 rupees a minute from 0.14 rupees, effective from Oct 1. It then plans to abolish the fee entirely from the start of 2020. — Reuters

Facebook to be called before Senate panel on Russian meddling

The Senate Intelligence Committee expects representatives of Facebook Inc to testify at a public hearing examining Russia’s use of social media to influence last year’s US presidential election.

Facebook has provided special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading a federal probe of Russian election meddling, details on political ad spending from a Russian group that tried to sow discord online ahead of the election. — Reuters

EU to launch cybersecurity ‘safety labels’

The European Union unveiled plans to step up its response to cyberattacks, including a new intelligence-sharing agency, cyber war games and product safety labels.

The proposals by the European Commission come amid growing concerns over election hacking by foreign states, ransomware attacks and other cybercrime like identity theft and bank fraud. — AFP Relaxnews

Google’s AI boss blasts Musk’s scare tactics on machine takeover

Elon Musk is the most-famous Cassandra of artificial intelligence. The Tesla Inc chief routinely drums up the technology’s risks in public and on Twitter, where he recently called the global race to develop AI the “most likely cause” of a third world war.

Giannandrea said Google has invested in AI safety and ethics, but stressed that the more extreme concerns are overblown. — Reuters

Amazon sends accidental gift email to shoppers due to glitch

A technical glitch caused Amazon.com Inc to email some of its customers erroneously that they had received a gift, the company said.

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