Google

Supreme Court declares Google's code copying fair

Oracle, another tech titan, had sued Google in 2010 for copyright infringement over what it said was copied computer code.

Android is now used in an estimated 70% of global smartphones, and damages could have run into the billions.

But the Supreme Court let Google off the hook, overturning a lower court's decision it had infringed copyright.

The court ruled six to two in favour of Google.

At issue was whether Google's use of Oracle's Java API - a widely-used "building block" for programmers - counted as "fair use" under US copyright law.

Google, Facebook Twitter grilled in US on fake news

This latest hearing is the first since the storming of the US Capitol.

Politicians believe that was a tipping point for greater regulation.

They have said they plan to change the legislation that protects online platforms from liability for content posted by third parties.

The session began in combative style with the chair Mike Doyle asking all three executives whether they felt they bore responsibility for the events in Washington. None were prepared to give a one word "yes" or "no" answer as he demanded.

Russia blames Google outage on data centre fire

The country's media watchdog Roskomnadzor tweeted that the disruption was due to the incident.

The data centre belongs to French cloud service provider OVH, which runs 32 such sites in Europe, America and Asia.

No-one was injured in the fire, which was declared a major incident.

It is not clear how the blaze started.

OVH's chief executive Octave Klaba tweeted early this morning to say that fire had destroyed one of the data centres and a part of a second. He asked customers to "activate your disaster recovery plan".

Google fires AI ethics founder Margaret Mitchell

In a statement, Google said an investigation found Margaret Mitchell had moved files outside the company.

The ethics unit has been under scrutiny since December, following the departure of another senior figure, Timnit Gebru.

Both women had campaigned for more diversity at Google and raised concerns about censorship within the company.

Dr Mitchell announced the news in a tweet, which read "I'm fired".

For the past five weeks she had been locked out of Google's systems, including her emails and calendars.

Australia's Seven West Media strikes deal with Google for news

At an earnings announcement, Seven, which owns a free-to-air television network and the main metro newspaper in the city of Perth, said it would supply content for Google's News Showcase platform. It did not disclose terms.

The deal shows Seven splitting from rivals News Corp and Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd which have failed to reach agreements with Google and instead backed laws, set to be passed this week, where the government sets the online giant's content fees in the absence of a private deal.

Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia

Australia is introducing a world-first law to make Google, Facebook and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content.

But the US firms have fought back, warning the law would make them withdraw some of their services.

Australian PM Scott Morrison said lawmakers would not yield to "threats".

Australia is far from Google's largest market, but the proposed news code is seen as a possible global test case for how governments could seek to regulate big tech firms.

Australia rebukes Google for blocking local content

After media reports said Australian news websites were not showing up in searches, Google confirmed it was blocking the sites for a small number of users.

The search engine said it was conducting experiments to determine the value of its service to Australian news outlets.

Google, Facebook and other tech companies are fighting the Australian government over plans to make them pay for news content.

Google said the tests affect about 1% of Australian users, and will be finished by February.

Google workers form tech giant's first labour union

They said the organisation will give staff greater power to voice concerns about discriminatory work practices at the firm and how it handles issues like online hate speech.

The move follows walkouts and other actions by staff in recent years.

Google said it would "continue engaging directly with all our employees".

"We've always worked hard to create a supportive and rewarding workplace for our workforce," Kara Silverstein, director of people operations, said in a statement.

EU reveals plan to regulate Big Tech

Fresh restrictions are also planned to govern their use of customers' data, and to prevent the firms ranking their own services above competitors' in search results and app stores.

The measures are intended to overhaul how the EU regulates digital markets.

Large fines and break-ups are threatened for non-compliance.

It is proposed that if companies refuse to obey, they could be forced to hand over up to 10% of their European turnover.

Facebook, Twitter and Google face questions from US senators

At present, the companies cannot be sued over what their users post online, or the decisions they make over what to leave up and take down.

Some politicians have raised concerns this "sweeping immunity" encourages bad behaviour.

But the chief executives say they need the law to be able to moderate content.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai were summoned before the Senate after both Democrats and Republicans agreed to call them in for questioning.

'A loophole'