Trump Files Suit Against Tech Giants, N.Y. Gets $21M for Broadband, Default Apps Dominate

Trump files class-action against major tech firms, New York gets $21M for rural internet, default apps get most use.

Trump Files Suit Against Tech Giants, N.Y. Gets $21M for Broadband, Default Apps Dominate
Screenshot of Trump announcing class-action lawsuit Wednesday

July 7, 2021 — Former President Donald Trump has filed a class-action lawsuit against the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google for the banning of political figures from their platforms, he announced at a press conference Wednesday.

“Today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing as the lead class representative, a major class action lawsuit against the big tech giants,” Trump said.

“We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people and that’s exactly what they are doing,” Trump alleged.

He said he is asking the court to end the banning and “silencing” of figures on the platforms, including himself. He was banned due to what companies saw as a link between his words and the actions of those who rioted at the Capitol in January.

The lawsuit is the latest salvo in the wider debate about how to deal with the growing influence of social media companies.

Last week, a federal court judge put a temporary ban on the implementation of a Florida law that would penalize social media companies that remove political figures from their platforms.

Currently, Congress is contemplating changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social media companies from legal liability for the things their users post on their platforms.

“This is the first of numerous other lawsuits, I assume, that will follow,” Trump said Wednesday.

USDA putting $21 million toward rural New York

Rural New Yorkers will be getting an injection of $21 million to connect them to high-speed internet, the United States Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.

That amount is part of the $550-million Congress allocated from its ReConnect Program, a federal initiative intended to attract private sector investment in broadband projects.

The money will be split between Empire Long Distance Corp. and Madison County.

Empire will get $11.3 million to run a fiber line directly to buildings. It is expected the corporation will connect 11,341 people, 96 farms, 42 businesses, and a school to high-speed broadband in Livingston County, New York.

Meanwhile, Madison County will get $10.1 million for a similar network that is expected to connect 2,170 people, 50 farms, and 30 businesses to high-speed broadband in that county.

Apple and Google dominate basic app use, study finds

A new Comscore study found basic preinstalled applications are being used most, raising questions about Apple’s and Google’s dominance over the app space.

Applications like the default photos, weather and clocks that are already on phones are being used more than others, leaving other competing apps in the stores in the lurch.

Apple and Google, who own the two dominant smartphone app stores, have come under fire for alleged anticompetitive practices related to their market power.

Lawmakers in the House are currently reviewing a set of antitrust bills designed to curb the power of Big Tech and give themselves a competitive advantage over others.

Last year, the saga reached a boiling point when Epic Games, the maker of popular game Fortnite, began selling in-game items outside of the Apple Store ecosystem to bypass additional store fees, leading to a legal fight.

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