The tech industry’s secret censorship wars
Posted November 09, 2018 12:02:49The technology industry has long been one of the most visible targets of government censorship, but the latest round of court challenges against it is pushing the debate into the public eye.
The US Supreme Court has already ruled that Apple, Facebook, and Google must be held accountable for “cyber-bullying” against the US political and public figures.
But the latest court case in California is one of a few that could have wider implications for technology companies.
The case stems from the 2016 shooting of an Uber driver in San Francisco.
The driver was trying to protect himself when a group of protesters, including two men dressed in black, began throwing objects at the vehicle.
A video shows one of those men brandishing a pistol at the driver, who immediately turns around and shoots a protester in the leg.
In a court filing, Uber argued that the driver’s actions violated the company’s terms of service, which prohibit anyone from using “force or intimidation” against another driver.
The company says that the “public safety and the individual’s right to privacy” were at stake in the incident.
The judge sided with the company, and it’s now being sued by the driver who was shot and killed.
The tech companies are likely to argue that the incident was a hate crime.
The issue is also likely to have wider consequences in the US, where tech companies and their users have long complained of being under attack by the US government.
The court decision could be an early warning of how tech companies can be prosecuted in the future.