Online privacy experts sound alarm as US Senate bill sparks surveillance fears | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

A US Senate bill that critics say would enable widespread censorship and surveillance has taken a significant step towards becoming law, raising alarm among internet freedom advocates.
The Senate judiciary committee voted on Thursday to advance the Earn It Act, legislation that on paper is intended to address sexual exploitation. However, privacy experts say the act would give the Department of Justice unprecedented power over the internet and potentially threaten the privacy of messages sent online.
The “Eliminating Abuse and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technology” (Earn It) Act was introduced in March by the South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, Democrat Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Republican Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California to address what lawmakers characterized as “the rapid increase of child sexual abuse material on prominent online platforms”.
“Technological advances have allowed the online exploitation of children to become much, much worse over recent years,” said Feinstein. “Companies must do more to combat this growing problem on their online platforms.”
The bill would weaken protections under Section 230, a measure that has historically shielded internet publishers from legal responsibility for the content shared on their sites. It would also allow individuals to sue tech companies that don’t take “proper steps” to prevent online child exploitation. Those steps would be determined by a 19-member panel of unelected officials, mostly law enforcement, who would impose a set of “best practices” that websites and online forums would have to follow, or risk getting shut down.
The Earn It Act is supported by anti-exploitation groups including the Tempemail Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), Rights4Girls, and the Tempemail Center on Sexual Exploitation.
But privacy advocates are concerned its powers could overreach and pose a threat to encryption, a tool that obscures the content of messages so others – including tech companies and law enforcement – cannot read them.
If technology companies are to be held liable for content on their sites, the privacy advocates say, they could be required to scan all user messages, requiring a weakening of encryption practices.
“The Earn It Act could end user privacy as we know it,” said the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Tech companies that provide private, encrypted messaging could have to rewrite their software to allow police special access to their users’ messages.”
Graham’s office did not return request for comment, but it previously said his “goal here is not to outlaw encryption … that will be a debate for another day”. However, Barr – who would be given a large amount of power under the new act – has been outspoken about his desire to force technology companies to allow law enforcement to bypass encryption.
The Earn It act is being compared to the Online Sex Trafficking Act (Fosta) and the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (Sesta), passed in 2017 to combat online sex trafficking by making websites criminally liable for users’ content. Sesta/Fosta had a chilling effect on internet platforms and put sex workers and members of the LGBTQ+ community in danger, critics said, by forcing them offline. As a result of the acts, Craigslist had to remove its Personals ads section; the website Backpage.com, a classifieds website with a large sex worker presence, was shut down; and social media platforms had to crack down on adult content. Critics argue the legislation broadly censored online speech and negatively affected people who engage in consensual sex work, ultimately helping sex traffickers by pushing the industry underground.
Similarly, the Earn It Act would “undermine the privacy of every single American and stifle our ability to communicate freely online”, the ACLU said in a letter urging senators to vote no on the bill.
Advocates fear the commission created by the Earn It act would recommend “best practices” required by tech companies that disproportionately censor content relating to LGBTQ+ matters, sex work, and the sex industry.
“Our online freedoms are now in serious jeopardy,” said Kate Ruane, ACLU senior legislative counsel, in response to the Senate judiciary committee’s vote.
In recent days, the judiciary committee has tried to sidestep growing opposition to the bill by introducing amendments that are intended to address the concerns but “utterly fail to do so”, said Evan Greer of internet freedoms group Fight for the Future.
“A sneaky bill just got even sneakier,” she said. “If they move ahead with this deeply flawed bill, they’ll be ignoring the voices of experts and the public.”
The bill will now head for a vote on the Senate floor, where it could potentially see a vote in the next few weeks before the chamber’s session ends, on 17 July.

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Google pays largest Aussie tax bill in years – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Google paid $133 million in Australian taxes last year as the tech giant caught up with back taxes following a settlement in its long-running dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.
In documents filed on Thursday, Google Australia reported a pre-tax profit of $134 million in 2019, representing a fall of $22 million on the previous year.
Gross revenue grew from $4.2 billion to $4.8 billion in 2019 due to advertising and other reseller revenue (Google Cloud services), which climbed 16 percent to $4.3 billion last year.
Net revenue similarly climbed from $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion in 2019, with research and development services from Google Australia’s engineering team contributing $333 million.
The financial accounts show the company’s tax bill came in at $59 million last year, though with a $50 million adjustment for previous years, the total came to just over $109 million.
Google said this was an increase of 20 percent year-on-year.
Actual tax paid, however, was $133.5 million, with the difference relating to timing. Just over $91 million was paid in 2018, despite the tax bill coming in at $49 million.
Last year, Google Australia settled a long-running dispute with the ATO worth $481.5 million on top of its previous tax payments, joining other tech giants like Microsoft, Apple and Facebook. 
The settlement followed an extensive audit of its tax affairs over between 2008 and 2018.
According to the ATO’s latest corporate tax transparency report, Google paid $37.2 million in taxes during 2017-18 on a taxable income of $188.1 million and $1.03 billion in revenue.
Google also invested around $1 billion in its Australian operations, which employs more than 1700 people. 

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Vaccines, 5G, Bill Gates: why are Australians gathering to spread coronavirus conspiracy theories? | Media – Blog – 10 minute

Anti-lockdown protests in Australia over the weekend mimicked some of the conspiracy theories and language of similar protests in the United States but they’re unlikely to grow as big due to the limited size of the groups within Australia, according to one misinformation researcher.
More than 100 people gathered outside parliament in Victoria and a smaller crowd gathered in Sydney to protest the lockdowns, “tracking apps” and vaccines.
The weekend protests were promoted on various Facebook groups linked to fringe conspiracy groups including QAnon and various anti-vaxxers, with many of the signs at the protests targeting Microsoft founder Bill Gates for his work on vaccines – a popular target of conspiracy theorists.
It is understood Facebook has removed events encouraging people to breach the physical distancing rules, and on one of the pages promoting the protests several posts have been removed for breaching Facebook’s guidelines.

The rallies followed much larger demonstrations in the US in recent weeks, with Australian protesters copying slogans and promoting similar conspiracy theories. The theme of posts on some of the group pages behind the weekend protests imitate those seen on fringe far-right groups in the US.
But the groups often diverge in what they believe in, with the only common denominator being a purported link to the coronavirus pandemic.
Axel Bruns, a professor in digital media research at Queensland University of Technology told Guardian Australia the pandemic was bringing wildly differing conspiracy theory groups together.
“Any group with pre-existing conspiracy theories has projected their conspiracy theories onto the corona crisis in some form as well,” he said.
“Whether that’s the anti-vaxxers or the anti-5G people … it’s quite likely that all of these groups have some belief there is an underlying story they’re not being told.”
Part of the problem, he said, was that information about coronavirus was slow to emerge as the pandemic took hold.
“There was a very genuine information vacuum, even authorities didn’t have all the answers and couldn’t have all the answers at that point. That’s always what happens at the start of a major crisis,” he said.
Unlike the anti-lockdown protests in the United States, Australia’s so far have been relatively small. Bruns puts this down to a lack of a pre-existing network, and the Australian government’s response to the economic impact.
“We probably won’t get to the [US] point because we don’t have the undergrowth of existing conspiracy theorists or fringe groups, but it will be interesting to see how things develop as people get fed up with the ongoing restrictions or ongoing lockdowns.
“It’s bad enough but it’s certainly not as polarised and as dysfunctional as it is in the US … it’s easy to get people who are already quite upset and annoyed and frustrated. And here I think we’ve managed to avoid that much more than they have.”
Conspiracy theories involving 5G popped up at the protest in Melbourne, with some in the comments in one of the groups linking the Cedar Meats outbreak to a nearby telephone tower.

cmwlsn (@cameronwilson)
an example of a sign from today’s protest that’s being circulated in global conspiracy online communities pic.twitter.com/Ql9rp4qlxt
May 10, 2020

Chief health officer, Brendan Murphy, labelled connecting coronavirus to 5G “silly misinformation”.
“There is absolutely no evidence about 5G doing anything in the coronavirus space,” he said on Sunday. “I have unfortunately received a lot of communication from these conspiracy theorists myself. It is complete nonsense – 5G has got nothing at all to do with coronavirus.”
A search of tower licences on the Australian Communications and Media Authority website reveals Telstra was only granted a licence for its 5G network at that location earlier this month – well after the outbreak occurred.

NSW Health (@NSWHealth)
COVID-19 does not spread via mobile networks or wireless technology. COVID-19 is spread through contaminated droplets by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.
Find the facts: https://t.co/HbdohSPJs3 pic.twitter.com/WolbwTu46m
May 11, 2020

Another virulent conspiracy theory that appeared at the protest and in the groups is Plandemic, a video making claims about the origins of Covid-19 that was shared by celebrity chef Pete Evans and NRL Wag Taylor Winterstein.
Plandemic has been viewed over 2.2m times in a matter of days, and has been shared by celebrities and other influencers across the world on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. It was produced by Mikki Willis and has an interview with Judy Mikovits, a discredited researcher who makes a number of inaccurate claims about the origins of Covid-19. One claim, among others, is that Covid-19 is being spread to force vaccines onto the population as a form of control.
Mikovits also falsely claims you can re-transmit coronavirus to yourself by wearing a face mask.
“Would love to know your thoughts as the person being interviewed has a fascinating story. What is the truth?” Evans wrote to his 1.4m followers on Facebook.
“Dr Judy Mikovits has been silenced and gagged for years because of her groundbreaking research,” Winterstein said on her “Taylor’s Way” Facebook page.
“I honestly think it is divine timing, during this PLANdemic, she has the ability again to speak out!! God knows we need her voice now more than ever before.”

Facebook has begun labelling the video as debunked, linking to a post that lays out the false claims in the video, and preventing it from being posted.
“Suggesting that wearing a mask can make you sick could lead to imminent harm, so we’re removing the video,” a Facebook spokeswoman told Guardian Australia.
As often happens, when the links are removed or banned from some platforms, they are shared from less well-known sites. Guardian Australia has observed external links to the video are still up on Facebook, including on Winterstein’s page.
It has been reported that Vimeo and YouTube are also removing the video.
Brun said celebrities who share such conspiracy theories lend it credibility in the eyes of some, despite it not being their area of expertise, and help it to travel further.
“It’s that kind of name recognition that ultimately makes you look more closely at what someone like that is sharing than the actual experts in the field, who, luckily, you’ve never had to hear about before.”

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Microsoft alarmed by secrecy provisions in CLOUD Act-readying bill – Strategy – Security- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Microsoft has called on the federal government to remove secrecy provisions in its proposed reciprocal data access regime for law enforcement agencies that would prevent service providers from notifying their customers of data access requests.
The company also wants separate rules for service providers that serve business and government enterprises to ensure that investigators seek data directly from the customer.
In a submission [pdf] to the parliamentary joint committee reviewing the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill, Microsoft said the complete ban on disclosure meant citizens would never know if a data request took place.
“The proposed bill imposes a blanket prohibition on service providers notifying their customers of an international production order (IPO) targeting their data and does not require the government to ever notify the target of surveillance that their data has been examined,” it said.
“Absent such protections, citizens will never know if the government has sought and reviewed their communications or sensitive data.”
The bill, which is currently before the Parliament, intends to establish a new framework under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act to allow for “reciprocal cross-border access to communications data” for law enforcement purposes.
It is necessary for Australia to enter into future bilateral agreements with foreign governments, including the United States under the CLOUD Act.
Law enforcement and national security agencies, both in Australia and overseas, will be able to access data directly from service providers using international production orders, as long as international agreements are in place.
Microsoft said that while “investigations occasionally require secrecy”, this should be the “exception not the rule” and that “everyone has a fundamental right to know when they have been the target of a government investigation or surveillance request”.
“A data owner’s right and control over its data should not be fundamentally altered because it has chosen to move that data to a secure cloud rather than maintain it on-premises,” the submission states.
Microsoft said investigators should be “required to make their case for secrecy to an independent authority” and provide justification using “case-specific facts”.
“Any nondisclosure or secrecy order imposed on a cloud provider must be narrowly limited in duration and scope and must not constrain the provider’s right to speak any more than is necessary to serve law enforcement’s demonstrated need for secrecy,” it said.
“At its core, we believe that law enforcement’s need for secrecy cannot be indefinite.
“Notice and government transparency when the government has reviewed a particular person’s communications and sensitive data increases trust in government, in law enforcement, and in technology.”
Microsoft is also concerned that the “disclosure between related bodies corporate in the same group – such as between a Microsoft Australia employee … and an employee in the US … who may then use that information pursuant to US law” is not “readily cover[ed]” in the law.
Such concerns were similarly raised in another piece of controversial legislation, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act, which prevents – or at the very least limits – internally communication about actions taken.
“This could unintentionally prevent a global company from communicating internally with its counsel and corporate leadership in relation to compliance with legitimate demands,” the submission states.
“We recommend the [parliamentary committee] consider stronger protections in the bill for the disclosure of IPOs to the target of the order, even if it was only after the investigation has concluded and the risk to the investigation has passed.
“We also recommend adding a provision that would permit the Australian Designated Authority to notify any third country whose citizens may be impacted by an order prior to execution, unless this would present a risk to the investigation.”
Accessing enterprise data
As the bill currently stands, law enforcement agencies will be able to seek data directly from service providers, including those that serve businesses and government enterprises.
But Microsoft, like Google, believes that given the increasing shift to the cloud, organisations should continue to have a “right to control their data and receive investigatory demands directly”.
“Absent extraordinary circumstances, seeking data directly from enterprises will not compromise a law enforcement investigation or result in a danger to public safety,” it said.
“We believe that Australia should formalise this approach by either excluding enterprise data from the scope of the IPO bill or by incorporating binding limitations into the IPO bill that codify these existing best practices.”
Microsoft said these best practices could be informed by the approach in the Assistance and Access Act, whereby a distinction between a cloud provider and enterprise customer was introduced on “how the term ‘proportionate’ should be interpreted”.
“At this stage the IPO bill does not have similar guidance, nor does it acknowledge the commercial relationship that exists between a designated communications provider such as a cloud service provider and an enterprise or government customer, where the cloud service provider does not control their end user’s data,” the submission states.
“Alternatively, rather than an absolute carve-out, there could be a requirement that the judicial officer not make an order unless satisfied that the requesting agency could not feasibly obtain the information directly from the customer of the designated communications provider.”
Microsoft also holds concerns with the limited ground for challenging orders made under the bill, despite the explanatory memorandum stating that “other review rights or remedies [are] available under Australian law”.
“The bill should explicitly provide a basis to challenge IPOs that are overbroad, abusive, violate the terms of an international agreement or are otherwise unlawful,” it said.
There is also “no clear legal basis for service providers to challenge IPOs that would force them to violate the laws of a third country”.
“Without such mechanisms, the IPO could lead to more conflicts of law and defeat the spirit and intent of intentional agreements envisioned by the CLOUD Act,” Microsoft said.

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Govt unveils COVIDSafe contact tracing app bill – Security – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The federal government has sought to allay privacy concerns with its contact tracing app by proposing a jail term of up to five years for those that use COVIDSafe data for any purpose other than contact tracing.
Attorney-general Christian Porter revealed an exposure draft of the much-anticipated legislation [pdf] late on Monday, as the number of app downloads and registrations close in on the five million mark.
The Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020 is expected to be introduced when Parliament sits next week.
It will replace the interim determination issued by health minister Greg Hunt under the Biosecurity Act when COVIDSafe was launched last week.
The bill, which largely replicates the determination, specifies that COVIDSafe data can be collected, used and disclosed by a person “employed by, or in the service of a state or territory health authority” for the purposes of COVID-19 contact tracing.  
The Digital Transformation Agency can also collect, use and disclose data, though this is limited to maintaining the “proper functioning, integrity or security” of the app and Tempemail COVIDSafe data store, and producing de-identified statistical information about registrations.
Anyone that collects, uses or discloses app data outside of these designated purposes or uploads data to the nation COVIDSafe data store, including individuals located outside of Australia, faces five years imprisonment or a $63,000 fine.
The same penalty will also be imposed on anyone – bar state or territory health officials – that discloses COVIDSafe data to persons outside Australia or retains COVIDSafe data on a database outside of Australia.
A penalty of five years imprisonment will also apply to anyone who decrypts encrypted COVIDSafe app data stored on a mobile device.
As outlined in the interim determination, it is also illegal to coerce someone into downloading and using COVIDSafe, including as part of an employment contract or to gain access to “premises that the other person has a right to enter”.
Deletion and the end of COVID-19
As the data store administrator, the DTA is required to “take all reasonable steps to ensure that COVID app data is not retained on a mobile … device” for more than 21 days.
Registration data uploaded to the Tempemail COVIDSafe data store must also be deleted “as soon as practicable” when requested by a user or, if a user is unable, their parent or guardian.
However, there is no requirement for the DTA to delete de-identified data relating to a person that was “collected through interactions with other devices or “uploaded from another … device”.
Any data that is received in error must be deleted as soon as practicable, with the person who received it to “notify the data store administrator” that the data was received. 
The bill provides that the health minister will determine when the COVIDSafe data retention period ends taking into account the app’s effectiveness in preventing or controlling spread.
When this determination is made, the DTA must not stop collecting any COVID app data and “delete all COVID app data from the national COVIDSafe data store”.
The DTA is then required to “take all reasonable steps to inform all [current] COVIDSafe users” the deletion has occurred and that no data will be collected in the future.
Porter said the draft bill “will enshrine these protections in primary legislation and gives Australians the confidence to download COVIDSafe, continue the fight against COVID-19 and get our nation back to business as usual”.
“As the final step of our triple-lock privacy protections, this draft bill will build upon the biosecurity determination and agreements with the state and territories to comprehensively guarantee that Australians’ data is in safe hands when they download and use COVIDSafe,” he said.
“The draft bill clarifies the enforcement mechanisms for the penalties that are already in place against misuse of data from the COVIDSafe app.
“Criminal offences under the bill can be investigated by the Australian Federal Police. Individuals can also have their complaints heard by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or the relevant state or territory privacy regulator if appropriate.”

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COVID-19 Vaccine Backed by Bill and Melinda Gates Enters Human Trials | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The world continues to reel from the impact of the novel coronavirus – a massive, spanning crisis that is meeting almost all aspects of our lives in some capacity. Economies stutter, businesses suffer, and human lives are lost.
Amidst the pandemic, and the billions of lives in lockdown, there are companies and organizations looking for preventative methods to stop the virus from spreading any further.
Two weeks ago, ITNA reported that as many as 35 different companies around the world were working on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Many of these vaccines had been fast-tracked due to our current understanding of SARS-CoV-2, the novel virus that is causing the pandemic, yet very few had entered phase 1 of human testing.
Now, a new COVID-19 vaccine candidate has entered phase 1 clinical human trials, after the FDA (the US’ Food and Drug Administration) accepted an application from Inovio Pharmaceuticals under the regulator’s Investigational New Drug programme.

The Inovio vaccine candidate has several important partners and collaborators, most notably – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who have provided noteworthy support to the project, reports Tech Crunch.
Inovio plans to inject its first volunteer test subject with the INO-4800 DNA vaccine candidate it has developed following promising results from preclinical studies performed on animals that did indicate an increased immune response.
This vaccine begins to work when a specifically engineered plasmid, a tiny, independent genetic structure, is injected into a patient. The plasmid then provokes the human immune system to produce the correct antibodies to fight off the specific infection. If this INO-8400 candidate is successfully approved for human use, it will be the very first DNA vaccine to be given to humans.
DNA vaccines, while approved for a variety of animal infections in veterinary medicine, have never before been approved for human use.
Inovio itself has been able to quickly produce candidates, developing and producing “thousands of doses” of INO-4800 in just a few short weeks in order to undergo it’s phase 1 and phase 2 trials. The company has managed this, in part thanks to backing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as funding from other non-profits and organizations.
If the INO-4800 clinical trials are a success, Inovio says it will be able to have up to 1-million doses of the vaccine ready by the end of the year, for use in additional trials and for potential emergency use pending authorization.
This is notably much sooner than the predicted timeline of 18-months, according to Annelies Wilder-Smith, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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Airbnb says US coronavirus stimulus bill could offer its hosts some relief – Cloud – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Airbnb Inc hosts in the United States could get some relief from a US$2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill that is nearing a vote in Congress, the home-rental startup said on Wednesday.
The travel industry, including Airbnb, has been hard hit as governments worldwide impose restrictions on movement to help slow the spread of the virus, which has infected over 450,000 people across the globe and led to more than 21,000 deaths.
To relieve the economic impact in the United States, a massive federal aid bill that received bipartisan agreement on Wednesday includes temporary unemployment benefits for self-employed and gig workers during the coronavirus crisis.
In an email to Reuters, Airbnb expressed thanks to lawmakers for recognizing those who depend on income earned through renting out short-term accommodation via Airbnb’s website.
Under the bill, Airbnb said hosts or hosts with family members diagnosed with COVID-19 – the illness caused by the virus – would be able to apply for unemployment assistance.
Hosts deemed sole proprietors that report Airbnb income would also be eligible for small business loans to cover interest on mortgage payments, rent and utility bills if their business is impacted by the outbreak, Airbnb said.
Hosts who use independent contractors to clean or service properties would also be eligible for those loans to pay workers, the company said.

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WorldRemit Announces Global Partnership With Paykii to Enable International Bill Payments- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Leading online international money transfer company WorldRemit has joined forces with Paykii to launch international bill payments using the WorldRemit app or website. The new service which is available from over 40 send countries including, UK, USA, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand, will enable WorldRemit customers to directly pay electricity, telephone, mobile, internet, water and gas bills in their home country for their families or themselves.
“Our research shows that WorldRemit customers are regularly sending money for specific purposes, including bill payments which recipients pay in cash. This new service allowing our users to pay bills directly from abroad will make life easier for our customers, particularly in the current climate, by providing a convenient, end-to-end digital service,” said Cath Rooney, head of product, WorldRemit.
The partnership between WorldRemit and Paykii allows WorldRemit customers to make real-time balance inquiries and to direct funds where they need to be spent. Most household bills are a regular occurrence, and being able to use just an account or phone number, It becomes really simple and easy for users to pay their expenses.
Fabian Saide, Co-Founder/CEO of Paykii stated “A significant portion of the money sent as remittances ultimately goes to paying basic monthly household expenses. Now WorldRemit customers have another great service to better manage their global financial health by directly paying bills for their loved ones or themselves back home. WorldRemit and Paykii have worked closely to build a global bill payment experience that delivers ‘Peace of Mind’ by ensuring the timely payment of those essential family expenses.”
The service initially launches from 40 send countries to India, the world’s largest market for receiving international payments with over $80 billion USD crossing the border in 2019 according to data from the World Bank. More receiving countries will follow in 2020.

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What Does Bill Gates Have To Say About Working From Homes?- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Bill Gates had said not too long ago that he thinks one of the most important perks that companies can give their employees is flexible work arrangements and Work From Homes (WFH). As per a new study from Harvard Business School, companies that let their employees work from anywhere, and work when they want to are found out to be more efficient in the long run.
Also, these days more and more employees are in favour of this kind of arrangement. Lets consider the latest study by the Harvard Business School. In a recent study, a professor compared how productive, loyal and cost-effective employees would be reacting if they were allowed to work flexibly. 
For this, the Government office was chosen as it had been implementing a wide-scale pilot program called the Telework Enhancement Act Pilot Program. This enabled some patent examiners to work from home, while others were in office. 
The results had shown a 4.4 percent higher productivity among those in the pilot program, compared to those who came to office. 
Apart from productivity, the program had also led to a $132 million in additional fee revenue, a 4.4 percent reduction in recruiting and hiring costs, and also a savings of $38.2 million on office space and related expenses. 
Here are a few factors to be considered before assigning employees to work remotely:
It’s a no-brainer that if you can’t trust people, they wouldn’t be working for you. Thus it’s of extreme importance to let trust dominate the employer-employee relationship.
In case you are into the restaurant business, or a store, where a lot of customer interaction is required, working remotely is a hard thing to consider. However, there are might avenues where people can just work from home.

Can The Process Be Eased? 

During the times of Emergency as this, everyone has opted to work remotely. However, during normal times, if everyone would be changing gears, then things might not be fruitful.
It’s advisable to try out first. 

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Microsoft Co-Founder, Bill Gates Steps Down from Board | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Politico

Microsoft announced that co-founder and tech advisor Bill Gates is stepped down from the company’s board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities, including global health in the age of COVID-19, as well as development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change.
This announcement comes via It Web.
Gates will, however, still serve as Microsoft’s technology advisor to CEO, Satya Nadella and other company leaders.
Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role at Microsoft to spend more time on his work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2008. Gates still served as Microsoft’s chairman of the board until 4 February 2014.
“It’s been a tremendous honour and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years,” says Nadella.
“Bill founded our company with a belief in the democratising force of software and a passion to solve society’s most pressing challenges. And Microsoft and the world are better for it. The board has benefited from Bill’s leadership and vision. And Microsoft will continue to benefit from Bill’s ongoing technical passion and advice to drive our products and services forward,” he continues.
“I am grateful for Bill’s friendship and look forward to continuing to work alongside him to realise our mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.”
With the departure of Gates, Microsoft’s board of directors will consist of 12 members. Gates was the last of Microsoft’s founders serving the company, as his lifelong friend and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen resigned in 2000.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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