Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Business Insider's Tech 100 is out, its annual list of the 100 most influential people shaping technology in the UK today. Rockstar engineers, ambitious politicians, fearless campaigners and rising TikTok stars all made the list in 2019.
- Some Blizzard employees reportedly walked out to protest the punishment of a 'Hearthstone' competitor who spoke up in support of the Hong Kong protests. About 30 Activision Blizzard employees staged the walkout, according to a report from The Daily Beast.
- GitHub is facing an employee backlash after its CEO defended a $200,000 contract with ICE. In response, over 150 GitHub employees, including a vice president, signed a letter asking the company to cancel the contract, the Washington Post reports.
- The creator of 'Fortnite' has said it won't punish players for speaking out about politics, as Blizzard faces a backlash after banning a competitor for supporting the Hong Kong protests. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has said the company will not punish "Fortnite" players who choose to comment on politics or human rights.
- Silicon Valley is losing its war against paying tax on big-tech revenues. The OECD has floated proposals that would allow governments to tax revenues and not just profit made by the likes of Google and Facebook.
- YouTube got roasted by US senators as being the 'vehicle of choice' for Russian state-sponsored propaganda. Senators said YouTube mostly wasn't used to spread Russian misinformation, but that it was popular with RT, Russia's state-sponsored news outlet.
- Apple's rumored smaller, cheaper iPhone could be coming sooner than expected. The new iPhone SE 2, as it's being called, will be accompanied by the release of new iPad Pro models, according to a new report from TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo via 9to5Mac.
- Senator Marco Rubio has asked the US government to investigate TikTok over claims it's censoring content that might upset China. Rubio wrote on Twitter that there's "ample and growing evidence" that TikTok censors content "in line with China's communist government directives."
- Apple is reportedly only months away from launching an iPhone accessory you wear on your head. According to a report by prominent Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo via 9to5Mac, Apple is readying an AR headset that will likely launch in the second quarter of 2020.
- Most Americans don't know Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp. A majority of US adults performed poorly on a digital knowledge quiz carried out by Pew Research, answering fewer than half of questions correctly.
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