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Pirate Weekly Meeting | 2.19.2020




What the Google Antitrust Lawsuit Means for Web 3

Google helped make Web 2 possible. Now it may need to be broken up to make room for Web 3.



This week, the US Department of Justice and 11 states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google.

According to the filing, Google has used exclusionary agreements with mobile phone and browser companies to become the dominant search engine, controlling nearly the entire search market, all the while acquiring companies such as YouTube and Android to cement its omnipresence.

In short, it’s a monopoly, a totemic institution that controls broad swaths of the tech market and limits user options. And, it may just be holding back Web 3.0, the broad term for a decentralized internet in which content isn’t controlled by conglomerates but by individual creators—just as previous monopolies attempted to stave off Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 technologies.

Surveillance capitalism

According to tech writer Cory Doctorow, antitrust enforcement is key to maintaining a society which values individual freedom. In his August book “How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism” (published online by OneZero), he argues:

“If we’d denied Google the right to effect its many mergers, we would also have probably denied it its total search dominance. Without that dominance, the pet theories, biases, errors (and good judgment, too) of Google search engineers and product managers would not have such an outsized effect on consumer choice.”

Doctorow is in direct conversation with Shoshanna Zuboff, whose 2019 book, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” (some of the contents of which are available on Google Books), defined the term. “Surveillance capitalism,” she writes, “unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data.” 

Bluntly put, we’re being spied on, then manipulated, then fleeced.

“If we’d denied Google the right to effect its many mergers, we would also have probably denied it its total search dominance.”

She cites, as an example, the smart thermostat made by Nest, owned by Google. The device connects to other Google internet-of-things devices and only works properly with Google’s operating system, which sends massive amounts of data to Google’s databases, which—you guessed it—Google then uses to sell you more goods. 

Which is exactly what a monopoly would do.

The AT&T example

Yet isn’t the mere creation of a smart thermostat that integrates AI features an example of the kind of technological progress we’d be missing if we broke up Google’s many arms into separate companies?

Not according to Doctorow.

He compares Google and other Big Tech companies to AT&T, a telecoms company which was finally broken up in the middle of the US-Japan trade war, despite fear that doing so would destroy America’s technology sector.

“Breaking up AT&T in 1982 was the best thing that could have happened to America,” he wrote. “AT&T’s core project in 1982 wasn’t fighting Japanese electronics companies: it was suppressing the growth of the internet in the USA, to preserve its monopoly on telecoms.”

AT&T made money by charging customers fees to use individual phone features. The internet was different: “The internet moved control over services to the edge of the network—the programs running on the computers in users’ homes (and later, pockets).”

In other words, he says, breaking up AT&T made Google possible.

Web 3.0 at an inflection point

Now, with the US in a trade war with another Asian country, this time China, the players are different, but the stakes are the same.

“The US government’s antitrust lawsuit against Google could result in Google being broken up into various smaller businesses,” Harold Montgomery, managing director of digital payments firm Wirex, told Decrypt. “Depending on how that goes it could accelerate the development of Web3 and further decentralize control of the web and make it happen faster.”

Jack O’Holleran, CEO of SKALE Labs, the team behind the eponymous protocol for creating Ethereum-compatible blockchains, seems to think Web 3 will happen no matter what.

“A government antitrust lawsuit is a great indicator of the sentiment of the people towards Web 2 giants,” he told Decrypt. “However, it will make a small dent in comparison to the impact of Web 3…History shows us that disruption more often than not, course corrects for companies that become too big.”

Justin Hunter is skeptical. The creator of a privacy-centric competitor to Google Docs, Graphite, as well as co-creator of SimpleID, a blockchain tool for in-app notifications, Hunter has dedicated his career to extracting the best aspects of Web 2 to help shepherd Web 3 into mainstream use.

Hunter compared the Google antitrust lawsuit not to AT&T but to another tech giant. 

“I think the government will ultimately ‘win’ their case and we will see a breakup very similar to the breakup of Microsoft in the 90s,” he told Decrypt. “That breakup may have been a stumbling block but it didn’t prevent Microsoft from being part of an oligopoly. That is to say the antitrust case probably didn’t improve competition much in the long run.”

The Microsoft case ultimately resulted in its sharing its APIs with other companies, after Microsoft successfully appealed a ruling that would have required it to split its Windows operating system and software units into separate entities.

But Hunter nonetheless suggested the lawsuit presents an opening for blockchain companies. “Now is the time for Web3 to start figuring out how to reach users,” he said. “If there is a more competitive search landscape, there will soon be more competitive and open SEO opportunities.” 

But his biggest concern is that “Web3 is barely at a stage where it is thinking about usability, let alone thinking about discoverability outside the crypto-native network.”

O’Holleran, however, is confident. “In the next decade the search engine we will all use will be community owned, open source, and governed by its users thanks to the decentralized internet,” he said.

Yes, but who will control my thermostat?

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LINK Bulls Activate With 12% Daily Increase But Can They Break $12.5 Resistance? (Chainlink Price Analysis)



LINK/USD – Bulls Form Ascending Price Channel

Key Support Levels: $11.50, $11, $10.50.
Key Resistance Levels: $12.33, $13, $13.50.

LINK bounced higher from the support at $8.77 at the start of October. From there, it started to form an ascending price channel. The coin recently bounced higher from the lower boundary of this price channel as it reversed from the $9.80 support on Wednesday.

Yesterday, LINK pushed as high as $12.33, where it met resistance at a bearish .5 Fib Retracement combined with the channel’s upper boundary. LINK is now trading at $12 as it faces the $12.33 resistance.

LINK/USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

LINK-USD Short Term Price Prediction

If the buyers can break the resistance at $12.33 and push above the channel’s upper boundary, the first level of resistance lies at $13. Above this, resistance is expected at $13.50 (bearish .618 Fib), $14, $14.72, and $15.20 (bearish .786 Fib).

On the other side, the first level of support lies at $11.50. Beneath this, additional support lies at $11, $10.50, $10, and $9.80 (lower boundary of price channel).

There is some bearish divergence that could potentially be forming between RSI and the price. It will be important to watch this divergence to see if it plays out over the next few days as it could potentially send LINK toward the lower boundary of the price channel again.

LINK/BTC – Buyers Battling To Reclaim 0.001 BTC.

Key Support Levels: 0.0009 BTC, 0.000868 BTC, 0.00082 BTC..
Key Resistance Levels: 0.00094 BTC, 0.001 BTC, 0.00108 BTC.

Against Bitcoin, LINK is currently trading at the 0.0094 BTC resistance level. The buyers attempted to break above 0.001 BTC earlier in the month but failed miserably. A bearish .382 Fib Retracement level provides the resistance here, and it caused LINK to roll over until support was found at 0.00082 BTC a few days ago.

Since reaching this support, LINK has rebounded higher and is now facing resistance at 0.00094 BTC before it can make another attempt at 0.001 BTC.

LINK/BTC Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

LINK-BTC Short Term Price Prediction

Looking ahead, once the buyers break 0.00094 BTC, the first level of resistance lies at 0.001 BTC (bearish .382 Fib). This is followed by resistance at 0.00108 BTC (bearish .5 Fib), 0.00112 BTC, and 0.00116 BTC (bearish .618 Fib).

On the other side, the first level of support lies at 0.0009 BTC. This is followed by added support at 0.000868 BTC, the rising trend line, 0.0008 BTC, and 0.00075 BTC (downside 1.414 Fib extension – purple).

The Stocahstic RSI recently produced a bullish crossover signal that allowed LINk to rebound higher.


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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


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2020 Presidential Election Structure in Georgia Hit With a Ransomeware Attack



Local government networks were the target of a recent ransomware attack in a county in the state of Georgia. The key voting infrastructure assault reportedly managed to affect “critical systems” within the network.

The First Ransomware Attack For This Election Season

According to a recent CNN news report, the attack on Georgia’s Hall County was disclosed on October 7, while the aftermath of the hit is starting to emerge now. As per the release “critical systems within the Hall County Government networks” suffered the intrusion and this might be the first ransomware attack for this election season in the United States.

Katie Crumley, a Hall County spokesperson, said that among the affected systems in the county are the signature database, plus a voting precinct map hosted on the county’s website. However, she added that the personnel is now being successful in bringing some of the programs back to operational.

“We are currently bringing various programs back online, and those two items are included in that process,”. However, the voting process for our citizens has not been impacted due to the network issues.” – Crumley added.

As per the news report, the belief is that the attackers didn’t aim to specifically targeted election systems and that several other county functions like phone and email services had suffered as well.

Officials from Hall County report that third-party cybersecurity professionals are working to hasten the recovery.

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More Ransomware Attacks On The Horizon?

The Georgia Hall County ransomware attack has been reported as the first incident to directly strike election-related infrastructure. However, this wasn’t the sole case of such a scale in the last months.

“At least 18 county or municipal bodies have been impacted by ransomware since the beginning of September — about three per week — so it’s very likely that other bodies will be hit in the run-up to the election.” – Said Brett Callow, a threat analyst at the security firm Emsisoft.

Aside from this, ransomware attacks are omnipresent in other countries and companies. In July such an intrusion hit Argentina’s largest telecommunications company Telecom. Back then, the cybercriminals demanded a $7.5 million ransom to be paid with the privacy coin – Monero (XMR).


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