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Politics Hillicon Valley: Wells Fargo tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones | Google, Facebook join legal challenge to ICE foreign students rule | House Republican introduces bills to bolster federal cybersecurity

02:15  14 july  2020
02:15  14 july  2020 Source:   thehill.com

TikTok pulls out of Hong Kong due to new security law

  TikTok pulls out of Hong Kong due to new security law Pompeo says US ‘certainly looking at’ banning TikTokGlobal tech companies operating in Hong Kong have expressed concern that the new law could force them to comply with China’s draconian censorship standards and possibly send user data to the mainland. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have already stopped processing requests for user data from the Hong Kong government.

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.

Hillicon Valley: Wells Fargo tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones | Google, Facebook join legal challenge to ICE foreign students rule | House Republican introduces bills to bolster federal cybersecurity © getty Hillicon Valley: Wells Fargo tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones | Google, Facebook join legal challenge to ICE foreign students rule | House Republican introduces bills to bolster federal cybersecurity

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech reporter, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills), for more coverage.

WELLS FARGO VS. TIKTOK: Wells Fargo has ordered a group of employees to delete TikTok from their work phones over concerns about the Chinese-owned app's practices when it comes to privacy and security.

The U.S. government is 'looking at' banning TikTok due to national security concerns

  The U.S. government is 'looking at' banning TikTok due to national security concerns The government is looking at banning TikTok in the U.S. over Chinese surveillance concerns. TikTok says it doesn't send user data to China.Pompeo told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that the Trump administration is aware of the potential threat and "have worked on this issue for a long time.

The financial services company said in a statement to The Hill on Monday that it "identified a small number of Wells Fargo employees with corporate-owned devices who had installed the TikTok application on their device."

"Due to concerns about TikTok's privacy and security controls and practices, and because corporate-owned devices should be used for company business only, we have directed those employees to remove the app from their devices," the company said.

A TikTok spokesperson told The Hill that it has not been in communication with Wells Fargo.

"But as with any organization that has concerns, we are open to engaging with them constructively and sharing the actions we take to protect data security for our users," the spokesperson said. "Our hope is that whatever concerns Wells Fargo may have can be answered through transparent dialogue so that their employees can continue to participate in and benefit from our community."

Feds investigating allegations TikTok failed to protect children's privacy: report

  Feds investigating allegations TikTok failed to protect children's privacy: report The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are reportedly investigating whether TikTok, a Chinese social media app popular among teens, failed to comply with a 2019 agreement designed to protect children's privacy.Reuters reported on the federal probe Tuesday, citing two people interviewed in the investigation. The revelation comes as the short-form video platform also faces rising scrutiny from members of Congress and the Trump administration. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

The move from the company comes as TikTok, a short-form video platform popular among teens, faces growing scrutiny from lawmakers and businesses in the U.S. over its handling of user data. The announcement also came after Amazon on Friday sent an email to employees asking them to delete TikTok from their phones, before backtracking just hours later.

"There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok," an Amazon spokesperson told The Hill, adding that the email was sent in "error."

Read more about the policy here.

TECH TAKES ON ICE: Over a dozen tech companies filed a brief Monday backing a lawsuit to block the Trump administration from stripping foreign students of their visas if the schools they attend go exclusively online this fall.

Harvard and MIT filed the lawsuit last week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced international students whose courses move entirely online would be required to leave the country, rescinding a previous plan to grant exemptions to student visa holders.

Amazon orders employees to remove TikTok from phones ‘due to security risks’

  Amazon orders employees to remove TikTok from phones ‘due to security risks’ The Trump administration is considering banning the app“Due to security risks, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email,” the company said in an email to employees Friday morning. “If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by 10-Jul to retain mobile access to Amazon email. At this time, using TikTok from your Amazon laptop browser is allowed.” The email was obtained and independently published by multiple reporters on Twitter.

Over 60 universities filed a brief backing that case earlier Monday, while 17 states and the District of Columbia sued separately to block the rule.

The tech companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Paypal are arguing the ban will "inflict significant harm" on their businesses.

"America's future competitiveness depends on attracting and retaining talented international students," the companies said in the brief.

Read more about the effort here.

NEW CYBERSECURITY BILLS: Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) on Monday introduced three pieces of legislation designed to improve cybersecurity at the national level, particularly within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The proposed bills would help bolster leadership at DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), one of the key federal agencies involved in addressing cybersecurity threats.

The CISA Director and Assistant Directors Act would elevate the position of CISA director and give the job a five-year term, along with reclassifying assistant director positions.

Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok

  Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech reporter, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills), for more coverage.FACEBOOK CONSIDERS BANNING POLITICAL ADS: Facebook is considering banning political ads on its platforms in the run up to this year's general election, according to multiple Friday reports.

A second bill would require CISA to conduct a comprehensive review of its operations to help improve coordination and transparency, and a third would establish a talent exchange program between CISA and the private sector.

Katko, who serves as ranking member of the House Homeland Security cybersecurity subcommittee, said in a statement that "the time for our nation to take cybersecurity seriously is far overdue," pointing to increased cyberattacks while the nation seeks to beat back the coronavirus.

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, American businesses and governments, as well as individuals working from home, have experienced a significant uptick in cyberattacks," he said. "As a nation, it's clear we must do better to prepare for and respond to these attacks."

Katko noted that all three bills were introduced following the publication of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission's report in March. The group was created by Congress and charged with laying out recommendations for defending the nation against cyber threats.

Read more about the bills here.

TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE: President Trump on Friday confirmed for the first time that the U.S. launched a cyberattack on the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) in 2018.

Trump confirmed the attack in a two-part interview with The Washington Post's Marc Thiessen. When asked whether the U.S. had launched an attack on the IRA - a troll farm that led the effort to spread disinformation around the 2016 presidential election and 2018 midterm elections - Trump said that was "correct."

Navarro Says More U.S. Action on TikTok, WeChat to Be Expected

  Navarro Says More U.S. Action on TikTok, WeChat to Be Expected White House adviser Peter Navarro said he expects President Donald Trump to take “strong action” against Chinese-owned social media apps TikTok and WeChat for engaging in “information warfare” against the U.S. © Bloomberg The logo for ByteDance Ltd.'s TikTok app is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. TikTok, which has Chinese owners, announced it would pull its viral video app from Hong Kong's mobile stores in the coming days even as President Donald Trump threatened to ban it in the U.S.

The cyberattack, first reported by The Washington Post in 2019 but not confirmed publicly by the Trump administration, involved U.S. Cyber Command disrupting internet access for the building in St. Petersburg that houses the IRA on the night of the U.S. 2018 midterm elections, halting efforts to spread disinformation as Americans went to the polls.

Trump told Thiessen that he acted on intelligence around potential Russian interference in the 2018 midterms in ordering the cyberattack, criticizing former President Obama for not taking similar actions ahead of the 2016 elections.

"Look, we stopped it," Trump told Thiessen, noting that "nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have."

Trump claimed Obama did not take action in order to benefit Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

According to Trump, Obama "knew before the election that Russia was playing around. Or, he was told. Whether or not it was so or not, who knows? And he said nothing," Trump said.

"And the reason he said nothing was that he didn't want to touch it because he thought [Hillary Clinton] was winning because he read phony polls," he continued. "So, he thought she was going to win. And we had the silent majority that said, 'No, we like Trump.'"

A bipartisan report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee in February concluded that Obama administration officials were "not well-postured" to respond to Russian hacking and interference efforts in 2016, and that the U.S. government did not have policy options in place to respond to Russian election interference efforts.

TikTok: Why Trump's win over Huawei could be bad news for the video app

  TikTok: Why Trump's win over Huawei could be bad news for the video app A week after saying his administration was "looking at" banning video app TikTok in the United States, President Donald Trump claimed credit for personally thwarting the expansion plans of another Chinese-affiliated technology company: Huawei. © Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump uses his cellphone as he holds a roundtable discussion with Governors about the economic reopening of closures due to COVID-19, known as coronavirus, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 18, 2020.

Obama did take action following Election Day in 2016, placing sanctions on Russian individuals and agencies involved in interference efforts, expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, and classifying elections as critical infrastructure, allowing more to be done to secure the voting process.

Read more here.

INDUSTRY BACKS DACA: A coalition of major companies and trade groups that represent more than half of American private sector workers wrote to President Trump on Saturday urging him to leave the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place.

More than 140 companies and trade associations signed on to the letter, including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Marriott, Target, Uber, Lyft, the National Retail Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The groups are members of the Coalition for the American Dream, which organized the letter.

"As large American employers and employer organizations, we strongly urge you to leave the DACA program in place," the letter states. "DACA recipients have been critical members of our workforce, industries, and communities for years now, and they have abided by the laws and regulations of our country in order to maintain their DACA status."

The letter cited public polling that found most Americans favor protecting "Dreamers," the young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

"This is no time to disrupt the economic recovery of our companies and communities, nor time to jeopardize the health and safety of these vulnerable individuals," the letter states. "We ask that you leave DACA in place and refrain from taking any additional administrative actions that would negatively impact the DACA program."

The letter comes after the Supreme Court struck down Trump's first attempt to rescind DACA, ruling last month that the administration failed to give an adequate justification for terminating the program as required by federal law. But the court made clear Trump had the authority to rescind the program, essentially forcing the president to try again or risk the appearance of backing down.

Instagram's New Reels Feature Is Pretty Obviously Facebook's Attempt to Take Down TikTok

  Instagram's New Reels Feature Is Pretty Obviously Facebook's Attempt to Take Down TikTok TikTok is facing a widespread crackdown due to security concerns, which has left Facebook an opening to take down the rival social network. The company will use Instagram to do it, just like it did with Instagram Stories to keep Snapchat at bay. Instagram launched a new TikTok-esque feature, Reels, in India earlier this month following TikTok’s ban there, and NBC News says Reels will launch in the U.S. and more than 50 other countries next month. © Screenshot: Instagram A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the launch to TechCrunch: “We’re excited to bring Reels to more countries, including the U.S., in early August.

Multiple sources told The Hill that the Trump administration was expected to move forward with its second attempt to rescind DACA as early as this week, though the exact timing remains fluid.

Read more about the support here.

Lighter click: This newsletter does not endorse Barstool Sports

An op-ed to chew on: Why we need a 'Wicked Problems Agency'

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

Fear of Chinese social network TikTok takes hold (The Verge / Russell Brandom)

How HR departments fail Black and brown employees (Protocol / Emily Birnbaum)

Why repair techs are hacking ventilators with DIY dongles from Poland (Vice Motherboard / Jason Koebler)

Energy Department watchdog finds research labs failed to secure 'peripheral' devices like USBs (CyberScoop / Sean Lyngaas)

Instagram's New Reels Feature Is Pretty Obviously Facebook's Attempt to Take Down TikTok .
TikTok is facing a widespread crackdown due to security concerns, which has left Facebook an opening to take down the rival social network. The company will use Instagram to do it, just like it did with Instagram Stories to keep Snapchat at bay. Instagram launched a new TikTok-esque feature, Reels, in India earlier this month following TikTok’s ban there, and NBC News says Reels will launch in the U.S. and more than 50 other countries next month. © Screenshot: Instagram A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the launch to TechCrunch: “We’re excited to bring Reels to more countries, including the U.S., in early August.

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