Hashtag Trending Sept. 29 – More EV charging stations; Meta shuts down political influence network; and FCC cracks down on spam texts

The U.S. approves planting electric vehicle charging stations across the country, Meta shuts down a Chinese influence network, and the FCC wants to crack down on spam text messages.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, September 29, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

The U.S. is inching closer to establishing ubiquitous electric vehicle charging stations across the country. On Tuesday, the U.S. Transportation Department said it approved electric vehicle charging stations plans for all 50 states, covering roughly 75,000 miles of highways. This advancement was made possible by an earlier $5 billion investment announced by the Biden administration earlier this year. The CNBC reports that while it’s not clear just how many charging stations the country is looking to build, it did loosely expect a charging station for every 50 miles of roadways. In total, the U.S. federal government has allocated $135 billion towards electric vehicle adoption and its supporting infrastructure.

Meta has shut down a Chinese influence network designed to fan the flames in the rising political tension before the midterm elections. The account impersonated Americans to spread controversial claims on sensitive topics such as abortion, gun rights and several prominent political figures. The group targeted both sides of the political spectrum. According to a Meta spokesperson, this operation appears to be relatively small scale and received little engagement. In all, the group controlled 81 Facebook accounts. Additionally, the operation does not appear to be directly affiliated with the Chinese government. 

The U.S. Federal Communications Commissions is renewing efforts to curb scams and spams, this time targeting spam text messages. On Tuesday, the Commission announced a plan to require U.S. mobile carriers to block illegal text messages at the network level. The plan specifically targets invalid, unallocated or unused numbers, and numbers on a Do-Not-Originate list. Ars Technica reported that the FCC received about 14,000 consumer complaints over unwanted text, and FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworsel said scam text messages have become a growing threat to consumers. The FCC is now seeking comments from telcos on its plan to figure out the next steps.

Netflix has fully begun cracking down on password sharing. Netflix users across Latin America are reporting the service prompting them to pay a new fee after signing back into their accounts. Affected users appear to be long-term users outside of the initial sign-up location, just as Netflix had said it was targeting. Users were obviously unhappy, especially those in Argentina. According to the Rest of the World, since Netflix subscription prices are quoted in U.S. dollars, Argentinians need to pay more as the Argentine peso loses value.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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