Elon Musk’s Acquisition Of Twitter Raises Questions About Platform’s Future

If there’s one thing you can say about Elon Musk, it’s that once he has his mind set on something, he won’t stop until he achieves or owns it. That was the case for Twitter, where Musk purchased the platform for $44 billion after his offer was accepted.

The conclusion wraps up a lengthy acquisition timeline between Musk and Twitter. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO — who has a networth of $264.6 billion — first purchased a 9.2% share of Twitter back on April 4, around $2.9 billion in value. Following that, Musk obtained a seat on Twitter’s board before pulling out and offering to buy the entire company.

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Initially, Twitter resisted Musk’s attempts, adopting a limited-duration shareholders plan. Known as the “poison pill,” the plan enforced that if anyone acquired at least 15% of Twitter’s outstanding common stock without board approval, other shareholders could purchase shares at discounts.

Ultimately, after meeting, the board would approve Musk’s bid on April 25. It’s clear Musk has a specific vision in mind, as he’s previously stated he doesn’t feel the social media site was living up to its potential in regards to free speech. The billionaire also questioned whether Twitter was losing steam due to the lowering amount of activity from the site’s most popular personality.

While Musk doesn’t plan on allowing all kinds of free speech, such as hate speech and fake news — he said that Twitter should “match the laws of the country” in a TED talk — he will have an impact on what kinds of speech policies are in place and who could be banned.

These potential changes has led to speculation that former President Donald Trump, who was banned in January 2021, could return. However, Trump has been adamant he won’t return after the creation of his own social media app.

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Regardless of what direction Musk takes his ideas, it will have a significant influence on not just the site, but the internet. A central figure wielding that much control and potential concerns some like American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) executive director Anthony Romero. “In today’s world, a small handful of private tech companies — including Twitter — play a profound and unique role in enabling our right to express ourselves online,” Romero told NBC News.

“We should be worried about any powerful central actor, whether it’s a government or any wealthy individual — even if it’s an ACLU member — having so much control over the boundaries of our political speech online.”

Another area of interest regarding Musk’s takeover include spam and scam bots, which The Verge has noted Musk is making Twitter’s “new Public Enemy No. 1.” Between January to June of 2021, 5.1 million spam reports were submitted, the highest total since that same span in 2020. However, the attempt to take on spam and building up Twitter’s anti-bot system could work against his goal of less restrictions and more transparency.

The addition of an edit button for tweets is a real possibility under Musk as well, as Twitter had been working on the idea for the past year. It won’t available for everyone — only those in Premium Blue — and looks to only be used for grammatical purposes. Of course, that development took place under Twitter’s former regime, and Musk could look to widen the purposes or usage of an edit button.

Instagram Now Allowing All Users To Tag Products As Ads In Posts

Instagram is now allowing all users to tag products in the posts they upload to their feeds, enabling any photo to act as an advertisement for whatever product is tagged.

Instagram initially announced their plans to give everyone the ability to tag products in their photos last month. The feature is now currently available for all users. Originally this feature was only available for content creators who make their income by selling products through their Instagram posts.

Users can now tag products in their images as long as the business is registered and set up with Instagram Shopping. The company made a statement regarding the update to the app and their hopes for the future.

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“From supporting brands you love to helping your friends and family discover new products they may like, sharing products on Instagram just got easier.”

Full instructions on how users can tag a brand and specific product are posted on the company’s blog, but it essentially works the same way as when you would tag a person in your picture.

Like when another individual is tagged in a post, users will be able to see when an image has product tags, and can easily click the image to have the link appear. Users can then purchase the tagged product directly in the app or through the brand’s product page.

With this new feature any Instagram post can be an advertisement, something that is likely very exciting for brands, however, it’s not clear what the benefits are to the average user, who’s essentially providing free advertising through their posts. Instagram, however, believes that this is a feature many users will utilize.

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Business owners will receive a notification whenever someone tags a product of theirs in a photo and they can manage and view all tagged content on their profile. Businesses can also manage who can tag their products in their preference settings.

Instagram claims that this is just the beginning for product tagging for the average user, and they’re currently working on more ways to bring this feature to other aspects of the app as well. For the past couple of years Instagram has pivoted to become more of a platform for shopping, and the company has been transparent about the ways in which they’re trying to monetize every aspect of the app.

The company even said they no longer want to be viewed as just a photo-sharing app, unless it’s referring to their goals of expanding shopping and video features on the app.

In December, Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri said that it” is prioritizing Reels as well as shopping in 2022,” so time will tell what other features will be implemented to further support the app’s goals.

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Russia Blocks Google News, Citing “Unreliable Information”

Russia’s communication, information technology, and mass media regulator Roskomnadzor has blocked Google News, accusing them of promoting “unreliable information” in regards to the invasion of Ukraine according to Russian news agency Interfax.

The request to block Google comes from the Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov’s Office, regulators said. The release also referred to the invasion as a “special military operation,” a familiar phrase that the Kremlin has used every single time in regards to the conflict in an attempt to demilitarize themselves.

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Google also recognized the blocking. “We’ve confirmed that some people are having difficulty accessing the Google News app and website in Russia and that this is not due to any technical issues on our end,” Google said in a statement. “We’ve worked hard to keep information services like News accessible to people in Russia for as long as possible.”

The blocking comes after the introduction of Google’s new policy, which says that it would not help websites, apps, and YouTube users sell ads alongside content that dismisses, exploits, or condones the conflict that has now reach its second month. The company expanded on their ruling, citing examples of content that implies “victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming.”

Previously, Google paused all commercial activity in Russia, with includes Google ads, new Cloud sign ups, and payment functionality for the majority of their service. The tech company has also taken a number of steps to aid Ukrainians under siege, from rolling out a rapid Air Raid Alerts system for Android phones in the country to providing services for refugees.

Over the last couple weeks, Russia has accused Google and YouTube of “terrorist activities,” claiming that the services were threatening the lives and health of Russian citizens. Roskomnadzor stated that YouTube users were using adverts with calls to shut down railway communications between Russia and ally Belarus.

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Other U.S. tech companies like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have seen their usage blocked after Twitter and Facebook removed Russian state media RT and Sputnik from their platforms. Russia additionally accused Meta — the parent of Facebook and Instagram — of inciting hatred and propaganda, moving to label them as an extremist organization.

The Kremlin — which has always been an extremely restrictive regime when it comes to communications and freedom of speech — has proceeded to intensify their efforts of controlling media by passing a law that carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison for anyone who is found to be spreading false information on the Russian military.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, University of New South Wales’ associate Professor in regulation and governance Rob Nicholls said Google proved a serious enough threat to Russia for them to block it entirely. “Google’s prohibition on content that exploits, dismisses or condones the conflict in Ukraine would have been an issue for Moscow. However, blocking access is a significant step.”

“It’s likely that similar geoblocking will be extended to other large networks as Moscow tries to control the narrative of the conflict. It’s hard to portray the conflict as a “special operation” when Google News provides access to NATO’s Russian casualty estimates.”

With Google News gone, citizens have one less credible news source that can provide them with information that isn’t affected by Vladimir Putin’s censorship. The chokehold has worked, with many Russians having little to no awareness of the war whatsoever, making pushback from inside the country harder to achieve.

EU, U.K. To Open Antitrust Investigations Into Ad Bidding Agreement Between Meta, Google

EU and U.K. regulators have opened parallel antitrust investigations on tech titans Google and Meta for a possibly illegal ad bidding agreement that took place back in September of 2018, which eliminated competition between the two and allowed for a controlling of the market.

According to a press release by the European Commission (EC), through the agreement — known as “Jedi Blue” — “a competing technology to Google’s Open Bidding may have been targeted with the aim to weaken it and exclude it from the market for displaying ads on publisher websites and apps.”

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“If confirmed by our investigation, this would restrict and distort competition in the already concentrated ad tech market, to the detriment of rival ad serving technologies, publishers and ultimately consumers,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated their own concern that Meta and Google put obstacles in the way of “competitors who provide important online display advertising services to publishers.” Like the EC, the CMA emphasized that the agreement could significantly damage the industry, particularly when it comes to smaller businesses.

“If one company has a stranglehold over a certain area, it can make it hard for start-ups and smaller businesses to break into the market – and may ultimately reduce customer choice.”

As The Verge notes, the Jedi Blue agreement is already under investigation in the U.S., where 15 state attorney generals have filed lawsuits against Meta and Google. The Verge also detailed the traces of Jedi Blue, which go back to 2017, when Meta (then Facebook) made a decision to support an adtech system that would rival Google.

The lawsuits claim Meta dropped that technology when Google offered them special access to its online ad bidding system. Meta was then able to be the first in line when buying real estate ads from Google, and proceeded to stop investing into rivaling ad technology or use any header bidding.

The probes could take years to complete, as the EC stated there is no legal deadline for bringing an antitrust investigation to an end. The length depends on a number of factors, from the complexity of the case to the extent of Google and Meta’s cooperation. Appeals by the companies could also draw out the process.

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If found guilty of breaking the law, the companies could be subject to a fine up to 10% of worldwide turnover, along with legally binding directions to bring the breach to an end. In 2021, Meta saw a $117 billion annual revenue while Google reached $258 billion, so 10% wouldn’t exactly be chump change.

The companies have denied any wrongdoing, and labeled the allegations as false. “This is a publicly documented, pro-competitive agreement that enables Facebook Audience Network (FAN) to participate in our Open Bidding program, along with dozens of other companies,” Google said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Meta explained the agreement has helped to not only increase competition for ad bidding, but enables them to bring more value to advertisers and publishers, resulting in a “better outcome for all.”

For Meta, the probe is just one of numerous messy situations currently occurring to the company in Europe. Russia wants them to be labeled as an “extremist organization” and have all their activities banned in the country following claims that they broke laws on terrorist propaganda while inciting hatred.

Donald Trump’s New “Truth Social” App Begins With Stumbles, Reaches #1 On Apple Store

Former President Donald Trump’s newest project, Truth Social, launched Monday as he attempts to create a digital space that — along with rivaling other services like Twitter — will allow his supporters to exercise free speech and “let [their] voices be heard.”

The network — owned by Trump Media & Technology Group (TM&TG) — reached #1 on the App Store’s social networking chart on its release day, and has remained in the spot since, beating out apps such as Meta’s Facebook and Messenger. It also hit the top spot on the free apps chart above Tik Tok, HBO Max, Youtube, and “Talking Ben the Dog.”

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However, Truth Social won’t be immediately available for many. The app was offered for download on the store for a limited number of subscribers who preordered. Others were added to a waiting list and will be given access over the next 10 days.

The network isn’t expected to be open for anybody to download and use until a month later, according to the Associated Press. Despite the controlled number of users to start, the app experienced troubles almost immediately, encountering technical issues that shut out subscribers for hours and prevented some from signing on.

Trump’s vision for a social media network launched after his January 2021 ban from Twitter, where he would frequently tweet. While many felt Trump’s — who possessed around 90 million followers — tweets were always contentious, they became increasingly accusative and controversial throughout the 2020 presidential election amid claims of a rigging.

In the days following the Capitol Riots on Jan. 6, Twitter ruled that Trump’s tweets had violated their “Glorification of Violence” policy and permanently banned him, feeling that his intentions were to incite the public during a tense time in the nation. The network based the ruling off a number of factors, from Trump using “American Patriots” as a way of describing his supporters to the former President writing statements that seemed to infer future disorder.

Looking at Truth Social’s layout from previews, you might be getting deja vu. That’s probably because the format of the network is almost identical to Twitter, from the user’s profile to retweet buttons – a design implementation that’s all but intentional given Trump’s continual grievances with the service. Of course, there are a few obvious changes. For example, “Tweets”  and “Retweets” are now changed to “Truths” and “Re-Truths.”

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AP pointed out that Trump, whose Truth followers sits around 120,000, was notably quiet during the debut. A screenshot showed his only message came from last week: “Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!” However, other conservative members like Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers and GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wasted no time promoting Trump’s network.

Investments in TM&TG have seen gigantic hype throughout recent months, with the company being promised $300 million from a publicly traded company that also plans to merge with it, along with pledges from investors of up to $1 billion. However, approval from regulators is needed before TM&TG can access the cash.

Even with the potential fundings and support from party members, it remains to be seen if Truth Social can compete with Twitter and Facebook over the long run. Trump’s actions — such as a third run for Presidency — could certainly aid in beefing up usage.

Facebook Experiences Biggest One-Day Stock Plunge In US History: $230 Billion

A historic stock price plunge from Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has caused the company to lose over $230 billion in market value; marking one of the biggest one-day losses in history for a US company. 

The 26.4% drop in Meta came after the company reported its first ever drop in daily user engagement. Facebook initially rebranded to Mata last year as a means of pivoting into the virtual-reality world. The company’s overall advertising model has also been diminished by privacy changes made by Apple, which Facebook claims will cost them billions. 

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Meta also reported a rare decline in profit due to an immediate increase in investing expenses as it expands the “metaverse.” 

“Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg may be keen to coax the world into an alternate reality, but disappointing fourth-quarter results were quick to burst his metaverse bubble. Meta’s stock fall marked the biggest slide in market value for a US public company” said Laura Hoy, an equity analyst.

The fall of Meta’s stock also caused a decline in other tech stocks on Wall Street. Companies like Twitter and Snapchat witnessed a significant decline after a four-day winning streak for the market as a result of Meta’s decrease. 

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In general, major US tech-focused companies have felt the pressure of policy tightening in terms of privacy from the US Federal Reserve. Kenneth Broux, a strategist in London, spoke on the shocking decline in Meta and other companies stocks this week.

“The downgrade in the earnings outlook by Meta and other companies took markets by surprise. The tech selloff spilled over to broader equity markets this morning and with the Fed preparing to raise interest rates, we could see more volatility going forward.”

“Big technology and communications companies played a big role in driving gains for the broader market throughout the pandemic and much of the recovery in 2021, but the market seems to have shifted,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network.

“There’s a general sense that what’s been moving the market higher is not going to take us to the next level. The question is where is the next growth engine coming from,” McMillan said.

Snapchat Fights Drug Dealing With Automated Drug Detection System On App 

Snapchat announced that they will be making a greater effort to combat drug dealing on the platform. The announcement is partially due to the increased amount of drug-related deaths among US high school and college-aged students. 

Snapchat announced that they have adopted improved automated drug detection systems as well as enhancing partnerships with law enforcement. The app will also now have a portal that can be used for educating users on the dangers of drugs. 

“Our position on this has always been clear: we have absolutely zero tolerance for drug dealing on Snapchat. We have a unique opportunity to use our voice, technology and resources to help address this scourge, which threatens the lives of our community members.”

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The increased security efforts come after the CDC warned of a major spike of drug overdoses in 2021, mainly driven by fentanyl; a cheap synthetic opioid that’s 100 times more potent than heroin, and is often mixed with counterfeit pills that young people buy through social media. 

In 2020 fentanyl fatalities rose by 32% when compared to 2019; more than 93,000 deaths. Individuals aged 24 or younger have seen a 50% increase in drug deaths as well.

“Every drug you try now is a game of Russian roulette,” Shabbir Safdar, director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, a non-profit fighting pharmaceutical counterfeits, said

A recent study from the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) found that pills labeled as Oxycontin, Percocet, Xanax or Adderall are readily available on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Craigslist. 

Within the past year Snapchat claims it has increased its proactive detection of drug sales by 390%; increasing security efforts by 50% within the last quarter alone. When Snapchat’s systems detect drug dealing activity on the app the account is automatically banned and the creator is blocked from creating new accounts on the platform. 

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The company has also increased their partnerships with law enforcement and improved on response times to law enforcement inquiries by 85% within the past year. 

Snapchat said it is “working with experts to continually update the list of slang and drug-related terms blocked from search results on Snapchat. Other platforms should also take measures to put a stop to the massive rise in online drug dealing. This is not just a Snapchat problem,” said Christine Elgersma, a senior editor at children’s safety non-profit Common Sense Media.

At a 2021 congressional hearing, Instagram executive Adam Mosseri had to answer questions regarding drug dealing on social media.

“Why are children’s accounts even allowed to search for drug content to begin with, much less allowed to do so in a way that leads them to a drug dealer in two clicks?” asked the Republican senator Mike Lee of Utah.

“Accounts selling drugs or any other regulated goods are not allowed on the platform. The app uses technology to proactively take down a huge number of drug-related posts, Mosseri responded.

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Factcheckers Slam YouTube’s Allowance And Inaction Regarding Misinformation

More than 80 fact-checking organizations are calling Youtube “one of the major conduits of online disinformation and misinformation worldwide,” and asking for the popular video streaming site to be better about stopping misinformation.

In an open letter addressed to Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki, the organizations claim Youtube is allowing unscrupulous actors to “weaponize” the site, thus harming and exploiting other users. The letter stated that Youtube has been insufficient in helping to stop this by not implementing further policies.

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The groups gave a number of examples of how Youtube — which is owned by Google — has become a platform for abuse and misinformation. In addition to conspiracy groups in multiple nations thriving, Taiwan election results were hurt by unsubstantiated claims on the site, while hate speech has spiked in Brazil.

“Millions of other users were watching videos in Greek and Arabic that encouraged them to boycott vaccinations or treat their COVID-19 infections with bogus cures. Beyond COVID-19, YouTube videos have been promoting false cures for cancer for years.”

Following the Capitol riot and the U.S. Election, videos that supported the idea of Donald Trump losing the election due to fraud were watched more than 33 million times. Youtube’s lack of inaction could be contrasted to sites like Twitter, which suspended Trump after the events for “inciting violence.” However, Twitter has endured much more reaction for their allowance of misinformation in the past than YouTube.

The groups proposed a number of solutions to the platform, such as Youtube not only supporting independent research about the origins and reach of misinformation campaigns, but also publish its full moderation policy regarding disinformation and misinformation.

Also recommended was acting against repeat offenders, extending efforts against disinformation and misinformation in languages other than English — while additionally providing country- and language-specific data — and superimosing context or offering debunks on videos.

The group of organizations come from over 40 countries, and include Italy’s Facta, Israel’s The Whistle, U.K.’s Full Fact, and France’s Science Feedback. The U.S. has a number of representatives with The Washington Post Fact Checker, Lead Stories, and FactCheck.org all participating.

In response, Youtube spokeswoman Elena Hernandez said the company is has “invested heavily in policies and products in all countries we operate to connect people to authoritative content, reduce the spread of borderline misinformation, and remove violative videos.” Hernandez also called fact-checking a useful tool, but added it’s just one piece to a larger puzzle in addressing the spread of misinformation.

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On their site, YouTube states it “does not not allow misleading or deceptive content that poses a serious risk of egregious harm,” and relies on clear facts when basing policies. YouTube also claims its policies — which are listed as misinformation, elections misinformation, COVID-19 medical misinformation, and vaccine misinformation — are done in partnership with externals experts and content creators.

A 2020 Pew Research study showed that a quarter, or 26%, of U.S. adults get their news from YouTube. Of that group, 59% said the site is an important way to get news (with 13% saying it’s the most important way).

30% of news consumers also stated they viewed misinformation as a very big problem, while 33% saw it as a moderately big problem. Just 9% didn’t see it as a problem at all, the lowest “no concern” total of all issues touched upon in the study.

YouTube has garnered plenty of criticism for their renovative actions in the last couple of months. The site removed the dislike button from videos, which prompted co-founder Jawed Karim to call it a “universally disliked change” while predicting a decline due to platform interference.

Verizon, AT&T To Launch 5G Rollout On Jan. 19 Following Delay

Verizon and AT&T will launch an upgraded 5G service on Jan. 19 following a delay at the request of Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg. The carriers had faced pressure from the White House and airlines over fears that the C-band transmissions would disrupt flights.

Verizon and AT&T — headed by CEOs Hans Vestberg and John Stankey, respectively — had previously rejected the request for postponement, saying that they were “willing to accept some temporary measures” over the next six months to limit services around certain airports and runways.

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Airlines asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay the launching, citing concerns that the 5G launch would interfere with the pilots and their aircraft electronics. Airlines For America (A4A) went into more details about the possible problems, noting the 5G spectrum is adjacent to the frequencies utilized by an aircraft’s radio altimeters. A4A also estimated that disruptions would cost passengers $1.3 billion in forms of lost time, productivity, and wages.

The service had been set to launch on Jan. 5. “We know aviation safety and 5G can co-exist and we are confident further collaboration and technical assessment will allay any issues,” AT&T said in a statement. The company also reiterated their plan to act carefully around specific airports in order to provide the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) more time to study potential affects, as well as to locate and fix any issues.

In their own statement, Verizon said that the delay helps to ensure the certainty of delivering the 5G network this month. An official told CNN that sides had been “working frantically” to come to an agreement, and that the result is “good in the interim.”

Buttigeig, along with FAA head Steve Dickerson, sent the joint request to Stankey and Vestberg on Dec. 31, asking for activation delays near an unknown number of “priority airports.” Carrier executives had concerns on their side as well, worrying that further 5G postponements would “harm customers.”

Executives added that agreeing to the request would not only be “unprecedented and unwarranted circumvention,” but an “abdication of the operating control” that’s required to control communications networks. Both companies had previously accepted a one-month delay, as the activation was initially planned for December.

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Verizon explains that the launch will allow more than 100 million people in 1,700 U.S. cities to get “Ultra Wideband” 5G service – at the cost of $80 a month. The carrier states that Ultra Wideband is 10x faster than their 4G LTE and allows download speeds up to one gigabit per second.

Last year, Verizon doubled its C-Band spectrum in an auction — adding between 140 to 200 MHz in every available market — at the cost of $52.9 billion dollars. AT&T didn’t hold back their wallet, either. The carrier spent $23 billion on spectrum purchases, as well as an additional $6 to $8 billion in deployment costs.

The spectrum expansions are crucial for both carriers in the fight for subscribers. T-Mobile has quickly supplemented itself with the two, as it added a total of 673,000 postpaid phone customers during the third quarter of 2021 – higher than Verizon (429,000) though lower than AT&T (928,000). Bloomberg noted T-Mobile has also taken a large lead in mid-band 5G services.

ICE, Homeland Security Agents To Test Use Of Body Cameras

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced its intentions to begin a six-month pilot program that will see ICE law enforcement officers to test the usage of body cameras for “pre-planned operations.”

“With its body worn camera pilot, ICE is making an important statement that transparency and accountability are essential components of our ability to fulfill our law enforcement mission and keep communities safe,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas explained, noting the Department will continue to seek ways to “ensure the safety and security” of their workforce, partners, and the public.

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According to the ICE’s release, the deployment of the cameras will occur in phases throughout the U.S., beginning with 55 Homeland Security (HSI) special agents — part of a SWAT-like unit — in New Jersey, Texas, and New York. Enforcement and Removal Operations agents (ERO), who primarily deal with immigration, will then follow.

ICE stated that all participants in the program have been trained on how to use the body cameras, in addition to other training such as data storage, uploading, tagging, and retention. The cameras will be mounted on the participant’s outwear, which can include the vest, helmet, or shirt.

However, not everyone is on board with ICE’s operations. Speaking to CBS News, the National ICE Council president Chris Crane is opposed to the program, calling the agency’s timeline “ridiculous” while also saying they won’t be able to start the pilot anytime soon. Crane also blamed politicians for hastily rushing the pilot.

“Suspecting they may lose control of the House in the next election, Democrats on the Hill are forcing the program before it’s ready while they’re still in control. We don’t know enough about the feasibility of its use at ICE.”

Speaking to various reporters, an anonymous ICE senior official said that footage captured will be subjected to Freedom of Information Act requests, and will be available to defense lawyers in criminal cases.

The reporter also explained the program will be evaluating the effectiveness of the equipment and the overall costs. A summary of the pilot’s findings will be released to the public following the conclusion.

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These implementations are just the latest as more government agencies are starting to introduce body camera technology. In September, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) had agents use the equipment, becoming the first federal officers to do so. The Biden Administration also permitted the allocation of 6,000 cameras to agents in Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The use of body cameras by authorities has seen mixed results. In 2016, a Beauru of Justice survey reported that nearly half — or 47% — of all U.S. law enforcement agencies had worn body cameras, and two-thirds that didn’t possess cameras at the time said they were thinking of acquiring them.

Despite the high usage, a 2018 George Mason University survey found that cameras did not have “significant effects” on measures conducted by both officers and civilians, or civilians’ views of police officers. The study also stated mixed results when it came to reducing police brutality.