Hashtag Trending – Net neutrality officially dead; Amazon under fire for Chinese factory conditions

Federal net neutrality is officially dead in the U.S. A cyber attack lowers BitCoin’s value to around $7200. And working conditions at Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn are causing headaches for another tech giant – this time, it’s Amazon.

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Trending on Reddit and LinkedIn: U.S. federal communications chair Ajit Pai’s repeal of net neutrality officially came into effect on Monday. The Obama-era regulation, which came into effect in June 2015 and required internet service providers to treat all data equally, was designed to prevent telecoms from charging sites and services for preferential treatment – and advocates warn that without the law in place, that’s exactly what’s likely to happen. So far, more than 20 states have filed lawsuits to keep the legislation in place, and because of those efforts, opponents of the repeal say very little is likely to change right away.

Also from Reddit and LinkedIn: BitCoin’s value has dropped to a two-month low of $7,200 USD, after South Korean crypto exchange Coinrail reported a hack on Sunday. According to TechCrunch, $40 million USD in cryptocurrency was stolen during the hack. BitCoin’s drop might also be related to a recent Wall Steet Journal report that U.S. regulators are investigating four major crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Bitstamp, for price manipulation. BitCoin is now worth less than half of its December 2017 high of nearly $20,000 U.S. However, it’s also worth about 150 per cent more than it was around this time last year, when it was worth around $2,800 USD.

Also trending on LinkedIn: Another North American tech giant is under fire for its association with Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn and its famously horrific working conditions. This time the client is Amazon, and the products involved are Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers, which according to advocacy group China Labor Watch are assembled at a factory where workers are required to put in more than 100 hours of overtime per month – a violation of Chinese labor laws – and are paid such low wages they depend on that overtime to maintain a decent standard of living. To its credit, Amazon conducted an audit of the factory in March and has asked Foxconn to address many of the issues identified in the report, according to Bloomberg.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former IT World Canada associate editor turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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