Facebook updates crisis response tools, adds WhatsApp integration

Facebook is expanding Crisis Response, its disaster-reporting and communications feature that’s been used in 300 crises in more than 80 countries. The company today is announcing several new features, including WhatsApp integration, support for first-hand information sharing and an expansion of its “Data for Good” tools for things like better disaster and displacement maps. Crisis […]

India says law permits agencies to snoop on citizen’s devices

The Indian government said on Tuesday that it is “empowered” to intercept, monitor, or decrypt any digital communication “generated, transmitted, received, or stored” on a citizen’s device in the country in the interest of national security or to maintain friendly relations with foreign states. Citing section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, and section […]

Facebook’s new branding distinguishes app from acquisitions

Facebook wants more people to know it owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus while still maintaining a distinct identity for its main app. So today Facebook launched a new capitalization and typography format for its company name, using all capital letters and a shifting color scheme that highlights Instagram’s purple gradient and WhatsApp’s green tint. “Over […]

An interview with economist Thomas Philippon, author of ‘The Great Reversal’

Economist Thomas Philippon’s new book, “The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets,” went on sale this past week, highlighting the United States’ failure to block the country’s largest companies from inhibiting fair competition. Alongside my review of the book, I spoke with Philippon to dig deeper into why entrepreneurs and venture investors […]

India moves closer to regulating internet services as it fears ‘unimaginable disruption to democracy’

India said on Monday that it is moving ahead with its plan to revise existing rules to regulate intermediaries — social media apps and others that rely on users to create their content — as they are causing “unimaginable disruption” to democracy. In a legal document filed with the country’s apex Supreme Court, the Ministry […]

New Vector scores $8.5M to plug more users into its open, decentralized messaging Matrix

New Vector, a European startup founded in 2017 by the creators of an open, decentralized communications standard called Matrix to drive adoption and grow an ecosystem around an alternative messaging protocol for instant messaging and VoIP apps, has raised an $8.5 million Series A funding round. Investors in New Vector’s Series A round include enterprise […]

Facebook is being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan

Here we go again. Western governments are once again dialing up their attack on end-to-end encryption — calling for either no e2e encryption or backdoored e2e encryption so platforms can be commanded to serve state agents with messaging data in “a readable and usable format.” U.S. Attorney General William Barr, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary […]

India’s Fyle bags $4.5M to expand its expense management platform in the US, other international markets

Fyle, a Bangalore-headquartered startup that operates an expense management platform, has extended its previous financing round to add $4.5 million of new investment as it looks to court more clients in overseas markets. The additional $4.5 million tranche of investment was led by U.S.-based hedge fund Steadview Capital, the startup said. Tiger Global, Freshworks and […]

Jobpal pockets $2.7M for its enterprise recruitment chatbot

Berlin-based recruitment chatbot startup Jobpal has closed a €2.5 million (~$2.7M) seed round of funding from InReach Ventures and Acadian Ventures. The company, which was founded back in 2016, has built a cross-platform chatbot to automate candidate support and increase efficiency around hiring by applying machine learning and natural language processing for what it dubs […]

Facebook secures exclusive digital rights for ICC cricket events

If you’re a cricket fan, you will be visiting Facebook way more often in the coming months and years. The social juggernaut announced on Thursday it has partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the global governing body of cricket, to secure exclusive digital content rights until 2023 for global ICC events in the Indian […]