Al Franken Just Gave the Speech Big Tech Has Been Dreading

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By Nitasha Tiku, Wired

“Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) delivered some of the sharpest criticism yet about the dangers of tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon during a speech on Wednesday, encouraging regulators, as well as lawmakers in both parties, to better police the market power of dominant online platforms.”

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Minnesota Drone Startup QFO Labs Is Suing Best Buy, Target, and Amazon

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Via News Release

QFO Labs, a drone technology licensing firm, announced today it is seeking an injunction in Federal Court (Minnesota District) to protect its patents for handheld “tilt-to-fly” control technology it began developing in Minnesota more than 15 years ago. It seeks to stop the sale of consumer drone products manufactured by France-based Parrot SA at three major retailers that have a presence in Minnesota: Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.”

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Minneapolis Attorney Builds A Business Around Cybersecurity

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By Nicole Norfleet, Star Tribune

“Minneapolis attorney Stephen Yoch became a cybersecurity expert by accident. Six years ago, he represented a construction company in a lawsuit in which an employee claimed unpaid wages after he reportedly stole data from the company. Yoch learned about cybersecurity as he went and ended up winning the case.”

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Tech Giant IBM Is Suing Minnesota For Denying $33m In Tax Credits

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Brian Bakst, MPR

“IBM is seeking more than $33 million from the state of Minnesota over research tax credits the company says it was due.  In a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the New York-based technology giant contends that it qualified for more research tax credits than it was granted for a span of a few years.”

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Minnesota’s AG Sues CenturyLink

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Via Star Tribune

“ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing CenturyLink, alleging the internet provider is overbilling many Minnesota customers after quoting lower rates. Swanson filed the lawsuit in Anoka County District Court on Wednesday. The lawsuit argues that the Louisiana-based company has frequently charged residents higher monthly rates than they were quoted and refused to honor the lower price.”

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EFF Is Suing The Justice Department Over Reputed GeekSquad Spies

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Via Star Tribune

“The Justice Department was sued Wednesday by a privacy group seeking information on the FBI’s alleged recruitment of Best Buy employees to search consumer computers for child pornography during repairs.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department, demanding access to records about any FBI training and payment to Geek Squad workers to search customer computers without a court warrant.”

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Popular Internet Privacy Measure Dies At Minnesota’s Capitol

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By Tim Nelson, MPR News

“Internet privacy was a popular idea earlier in the Minnesota legislative session — getting 200 of the 201 votes in previous votes in both the House and Senate.  Lawmakers didn’t want internet service providers to be able to sell information about their customers’ web browsing history.  But that provision didn’t make the final cut in the final jobs budget bill hammered out in the early hours Monday morning at the Capitol.”

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Internet Privacy Measure Removed As MN Lawmakers Debate Budget

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By Erin Golden , Star Tribune

“An internet privacy measure that won broad backing from Minnesota lawmakers has been yanked from consideration at the Capitol with little explanation.

The provision had been crafted in response to a recent action by the U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump to loosen online privacy regulations, potentially opening the door for internet service providers to sell the browsing data of customers. It would have prohibited internet providers in Minnesota from collecting personal information without permission from customers.”

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Internet Privacy Effort In Flux At Minnesota Legislature

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By Kyle Potter, Star Tribune

“ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers’ attempts to safeguard residents’ internet privacy are in limbo.

Long-simmering privacy concerns about personal information and browsing history bubbled up across the nation after Congress moved to loosen regulations that could potentially allow internet providers to sell customers’ data. The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly earlier this session to bar that data collection in separate bills.”

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