A California law now means chatbots have to disclose they’re not human

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There’s nothing loljk about Microsoft’s teenage chatbot, Zo.

California governor Jerry Brown signed regulations into law last Friday (Sept. 30) that should make it easier for Californians to know whether they’re speaking to a human or a bot.

The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2019—Botageddon, as we’re going to call it—and could have far-reaching consequences for how automated systems communicate with people online. It will require companies to disclose whether they are using a bot to communicate with the public on the internet (something like “Hi, I’m a bot.”) A representative for California state senator Robert Hertzberg, who authored SB-1001, says the law specifically targets deceptive commercial and political bots, not those meant to help you, for example, pay a bill on a company’s website. Still, companies that have built their businesses around automated messaging and chatbots will in coming months need to figure out whether their approaches are compliant with the new law.

The bill also specifically defines online content as publicly-facing, which raises questions about whether bot-sent emails fall under the new law. Overall, Landers expects there will be a “lot of litigation” before the law is actually implemented.

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Internet sales tax will force small businesses to abide by tax codes in 9,646 different jurisdictions

Every business could face 46 separate audits (from the 45 states that collect sales taxes plus the District of Columbia).

Legislation on internet sales tax could subject small online businesses to up to 46 state audits. And since sales taxes vary among thousands of tax jurisdictions across the country, the chances that auditors will find mistakes—and slap the business owners with penalties—are very good. If truth-in-advertising requirements applied to legislation, says Heritage Action’s Dan Holler, the Marketplace Fairness Act would be renamed the Tax Audits from Hell Act of 2013.

 

 

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Wikipedia to go dark on Wednesday, Google to join protest against SOPA

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“[SOPA and its Senate counterpart Protect IP] allow people with lots of money, and lots of lawyers to take down Internet sites they don’t like”

Wednesday will be a day against an anti-piracy bill as the world’s biggest websites call for a day of dramatic action.  They fear the legislation will reshape the Internet as we now know it.

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Tennessee Law Makes it Illegal to Post Images That Can ‘Cause Emotional Distress’

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Images that are displayed online that could “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” are illegal.

Tennessee lawmakers pass a new law that makes it a crime to “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines.

 

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The Coming Privacy Bill of Rights

Online-Privacy

McCain and Kerry are backing a bill that would require companies to seek a person’s permission to share data about him with outsiders.

Sens. John McCain and John Kerry are circulating proposed legislation to create an “online privacy bill of rights,” according to people familiar with the situation, a sign of bipartisan support for efforts to curb the Internet-tracking industry.

 

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San Francisco Could Become 1st U.S. City to Ban Unsolicited Phone Books

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Yellow Pages distributors will be required to ask businesses and residents if they would like a copy.

San Francisco could become the first city in the country to require distributors of the Yellow Pages to ask businesses and residents if they would like a copy of the hefty tome before leaving it on the doorstep, under new legislation introduced today.

 

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Lawmakers to Allow iPads and Other Devices on Capitol Hill

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iPads and other devices will soon be permitted on Capitol Hill.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill will soon be permitted to use iPads, iPhones and Blackberry devices on the House floor according to a recent report. Current rules ban the use of these devices, though incoming House speaker John A. Boehmer, the Republican Member for Ohio, is working on plans to relax these measures.

 

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New York City to Ban Smoking Outdoors

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Smoking outside could soon be illegal in New York.

New York City officials have announced a plan to ban smoking outdoors.  City officials said that the new legislation would outlaw smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas throughout the American city.  That means no smoking in Central Park or on the Coney Island boardwalk.

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Shoppers in EU Will Be Banned From Buying Eggs by the Dozen

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EU to ban selling goceries by numbers.

Shoppers will be banned from buying bread rolls or eggs priced by the dozen under new food labelling regulations proposed by the European parliament.  Under the draft legislation, to come into force as early as next year, the sale of groceries using the simple measurement of numbers will be replaced by an EU-wide system based on weight.

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‘Project Wanted Horse’

‘Project Wanted Horse’ 

This year, as a humanitarian effort, the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) and the Aminal Welfare Institute (AWI) launched ‘Project Wanted Horse,” assuring that any horse rescued from slaughter or an abuse situation would be placed on one of 94,000 NBFA farms across the country. Del Camino Equestrian Enterprises Inc., which takes a very special interest in “senior” horses has honored the NFBA its 2008 Best Humane Business Innovation Award for its commitment to senior horses.

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