Alina Selyukh

The wheels of a tall, metal cart squeak as Chris Beatty, 26, pulls it through a maze of aisles inside a cosmetics warehouse in Burlington, N.J.

A hand-held scanner helps Beatty find specific items, such as face cream or lipstick — to be sorted, packed and shipped to online customers. In his industry, this is called picking.

Asked if a robot could do his job, Beatty responds with a long pause. "That's a tough one," he says eventually, "but I don't think a robot could do this."

The chart on the screen looks like something out of a TV crime drama: an elaborate web of emails and phone numbers, some names and photos, all connected by a mesh of thin lines.

The man standing in front of the maze is an investigator. But if you met him at a bar, he'd probably tell you he's a software engineer. That's because his work is sensitive — but also, because he works for a tech company in Silicon Valley.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

After a brief security evacuation, U.S. telecom regulators have voted to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which restrict the power of Internet service providers to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps.

After weeks of heated controversy and protests, the Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to loosen Obama-era regulations for Internet providers.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The way Brenda Bracey tells the story, it's just short of a miracle.

"Twenty-three years," she says. "This is the first Thanksgiving in 23 years that I have not worked at least an eight-hour shift."

For almost a quarter-century, Bracey has been working at grocery stores in the town of Largo, on Florida's west coast. She's done all different jobs, she says, her voice bubbly over the phone line.

The Trump Organization is severing ties with the controversial Trump SoHo building in New York City.

The development, which is a hybrid hotel-condominium building where owners of units can only live in their properties for a certain amount of time each year, has the potential to be a thorn in the side of President Trump — linking him to murky financing arrangements, allegations of fraud and a Russian-born developer with a criminal past.

Federal regulators are on track to loosen regulations of cable and telecom companies.

The Federal Communications Commission will vote Dec. 14 on a plan to undo the landmark 2015 rules that had placed Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon under the strictest-ever regulatory oversight.

The vote is expected to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which prevent broadband companies from slowing down or blocking any sites or apps, or otherwise deciding what content gets to users faster.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The Department of Justice is suing to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner, legally challenging a $85 billion deal that would give the telecom giant control of a media empire including CNN, Warner Brothers, HBO, and other major media brands.

Privacy has long been a moving target, thanks to technology.

For much of humanity's history, privacy referred to the physical environment — who can see or hear you. Consider one of the most famous law review articles, called "The Right To Privacy," penned in 1890 by Samuel Warren and future Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis.

Pages