Adi Robertson
Adi Robertson
Adi Robertson has been covering technology policy, video games, virtual and augmented reality, biohacking, tech history, and other topics for The Verge since 2011. Her work includes histories of the One Laptop Per Child Project and the Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit System; coverage of the mixed reality startup Magic Leap; and Wake Word, a text adventure game about artificial intelligence.Source
New York City, NY
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Congress Just Asked Big Tech Companies for Private Emails About Their Biggest Controversies

Congress Just Asked Big Tech Companies for Private Emails About Their Biggest Controversies

The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee has sent four request for information letters to Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, and Apple, asking for closely held details on some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley. It released the letters publicly this morning, and the companies must respond by October 14th. “There is growing evidence that a handful of corporations have come to capture an outsized share of online commerce and communications,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in a statement. These letters should help the committee understand “the degree to which these intermediaries...

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Adi Robertson
September 13, 2019
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Former eBay security director arrested for harassing journalist with live cockroaches

Former eBay security director arrested for harassing journalist with live cockroaches

Filed under:eBay’s then-CEO had told another executive to ‘take her down’Six former eBay employees have been charged with against an e-commerce newsletter. The Department of Justice alleges that James Baugh, David Harville, Stephanie Popp, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Stockwell, and Veronica Zea viciously harassed the couple who published the newsletter for their negative eBay coverage — sending them online threats and abuse, mailing live insects and a “bloody pig face” mask, and driving to their Massachusetts home to surveil them. The plan was allegedly hatched after eBay’s now-former CEO...

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Adi Robertson
Jun 15
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Parler is back online after a month of downtime

Parler is back online after a month of downtime

Filed under:An Amazon suspension shut it down in JanuaryThe alternative social network Parler has reopened after a month offline. The company announced in a press release that the site is now accessible for users with existing accounts and will accept new signups starting next week. It’s also announced a new interim CEO: Mark Meckler, who previously cofounded the right-wing group Tea Party Patriots. The relaunch comes after Apple, Google, and Amazon suspended service in the wake of January’s attack on the US Capitol, citing .Old Parler user accounts have been restored, but old “parleys” —...

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Adi Robertson
Feb 15
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Utah is about to pass a law making iPhones filter porn — but only if other states pass one, too

Utah is about to pass a law making iPhones filter porn — but only if other states pass one, too

Filed under:Apple probably shouldn’t worry too much yetIn the next week, Utah’s governor will decide whether to make all phones and tablets in the state filter pornography... sort of. The bill, which passed Utah’s legislature earlier this month, would require mobile devices to “automatically enable a filter capable of blocking material that is harmful to minors.” he will “carefully consider” signing it by the March 25th deadline.But the rule won’t change anything in the immediate future — a fact one lawmaker even cited as a benefit.In theory, mandates active adult content filters on all...

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Adi Robertson
Mar 21
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Labor board reportedly sides with Amazon workers who protested COVID-19 safety policies

Labor board reportedly sides with Amazon workers who protested COVID-19 safety policies

Filed under:Amazon has reportedly stated its intent to settleAmazon and US labor regulators are reportedly negotiating a settlement for workers who protested Amazon’s COVID-19 safety standards. that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found merit in a retaliation complaint from Chicago warehouse employees. According to text messages obtained by The Intercept, the NLRB said on March 10th that “Amazon has stated its intent to settle.”Workers have requested, among other things, that Amazon contact employees and “make clear that their rights will not be violated again.” The complaint...

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Adi Robertson
Mar 17
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John McAfee charged with securities fraud for ‘pump and dump’ cryptocurrency scheme

John McAfee charged with securities fraud for ‘pump and dump’ cryptocurrency scheme

Filed under:He was already arrested for tax evasionJohn McAfee has been charged with securities fraud over a “pump and dump” cryptocurrency scheme. Federal prosecutors against McAfee and his executive advisor and bodyguard Jimmy Gale Watson Jr., earned nearly $2 million by urging Twitter followers to invest in cryptocurrencies like Reddcoin and Dogecoin, then selling off their own holdings as the price rose.“McAfee and Watson exploited a widely used social media platform and enthusiasm among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception,” said...

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Adi Robertson
Mar 5
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Jack Dorsey is just trolling Congress with Twitter polls now

Jack Dorsey is just trolling Congress with Twitter polls now

Filed under:Yes or no?Congressional “Big Tech” hearings often follow a three-step formula.Step one: lawmakers demand that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai answer questions simply with “yes” or “no.” (Sample: “Is YouTube’s recommendation algorithm designed to encourage users to stay on the site?”)Step two: the aforementioned CEOs inevitably say something else, either to inject some legitimate nuance or to dodge obvious, unflattering answers with vague platitudes. (Sundar Pichai’s response to the above question: “Content responsibility is...

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Adi Robertson
Mar 25
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Border agents can search phones freely under new circuit court ruling

Border agents can search phones freely under new circuit court ruling

Filed under:The case includes a NASA scientist detained in 2017A US appeals court has ruled that Customs and Border Protection agents can conduct in-depth searches of phones and laptops, for civil liberties groups. that both basic and “advanced” searches, which include reviewing and copying data without a warrant, fall within “permissible constitutional grounds” at the American border.Lynch ruled against a group of US citizens and residents objecting to invasive searches of their electronic devices. The group includes Sidd Bikkannavar, a NASA scientist who was a secure government-issued...

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Adi Robertson
Feb 10
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FTC fines three ticket scalping companies for illegally using bots

FTC fines three ticket scalping companies for illegally using bots

Filed under:The three will pay a total of $3.7 millionThe Federal Trade Commission issued multimillion-dollar fines against three bot-powered ticket scalping operations. these organizations bought over 150,000 event tickets over the past four years, nabbing them with automated tools that evaded online purchasing limits. After reselling these tickets for an estimated $26.1 million, they’ve been accused of breaking a 2016 anti-bot law — the first time this law has been applied.Regulators reached a proposed settlement with the ticket selling groups, including $31.6 million in fines. However,...

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Adi Robertson
Jan 22
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Major subreddits are going dark to protest Reddit allegedly hiring a controversial UK politician

Major subreddits are going dark to protest Reddit allegedly hiring a controversial UK politician

Filed under:An anti-harassment decision set off a widespread backlashUpdate, 6:45PM ET: Reddit says it’s cut ties with an employee widely identified as former UK politician Aimee Knight, following a shutdown of hundreds of communities. confirming that the site had been overzealous trying to prevent harassment, resulting in a moderator being banned for posting an article that referenced Knight’s name.“We would like to give you all an update on the recent issues that have transpired concerning a specific Reddit employee, as well as provide you with context into actions that we took to prevent...

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Adi Robertson
Mar 24
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