Hillicon Valley: House Panel Investigating Jan 6th Calls for Records from Technology Giants



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Happy friday! Follow our cyber reporter Maggie Miller (@ magmill95) and the technical team Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_) for more range.

As the last full week of August concludes, major tech companies will continue to be involved in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, with the House Committee investigating the day and requesting records from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and several other major corporations.

Apple also made headlines on Friday, reaching an agreement with app developers that would allow them to avoid paying Apple’s commission, while T-Mobile CEO posted an apology and update on last week’s violation, which revealed the records of 50 million people.

JAN. 6 RECORDING REQUEST: The select House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol posted letters Friday to 15 websites and tech companies demanding a record of the deadly riot.

The committee is giving social media platforms – including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the right-wing social network Parler – two weeks to respond to the request.

The panel “examines the facts, circumstances and causes of the attack and in connection with the peaceful transfer of power in order to identify and evaluate the knowledge gained and recommend corrective law, guidelines, procedures, rules or regulations”, chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonTrump accuses the panel on Jan. 6 of attempting to distract the panel of the House (D-Miss.) Said in a statement.

Companies are encouraged to release a large amount of information, including internal and external reviews of misinformation or violent extremism in the 2020 elections, any content made available to law enforcement agencies regarding these issues, and any relevant internal communications .

Other large companies being asked to provide information are Google, Reddit, Snapchat, and TikTok, while some more fringe sites like 4chan and Gab are also being asked to provide information. Telegram, 8kun, theDonald.win and Zello round off the companies examined on Friday.

Read more about the investigation here.

BITE FROM THE APPLE: Apple will make several key changes to its app store as part of a settlement agreement with app developers that will scrutinize the tech giant’s policies and market power.

In particular, Apple will enable developers to communicate with customers to share information about payment methods outside of the Apple payment system. The announcement will allow developers to bypass Apple’s commission payment, Apple said in the announcement late Thursday.

As part of the deal, the tech giant will also set up a fund to help small developers, pending approval from a federal judge.

Eligible developers must be eligible for all of their apps in each calendar year in which the developer is between June 4, 2015 and the 26. United States The fund reportedly amounts to $ 100 million.

According to the announcement, the tech giant will also produce an annual transparency report based on app store data.

Apple agrees to some key concessions in the proposed transaction, but the structure of the App Store will largely remain the same, including Apple’s commission fees. Larger developers are still subject to Apple’s standard commission fees, and developers who earn less than $ 1 million a year will continue to pay the reduced commission, according to the announcement.

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TESLA PERFORMANCE: Tesla has reportedly filed an application with the Texas Public Utility Commission for direct electricity delivery to customers, the agency records.

The application, first reported Thursday by Texas Monthly, was filed by a Tesla subsidiary named Tesla Energy Ventures and has a filing date of August 16, based on information on the Public Utility Commission website.

While Tesla is currently using large batteries to help other companies transmit, store, and consume energy, the application is an attempt by the tech giant to power customers in Texas directly.

Filing follows reports earlier this year that Tesla subsidiary Gambit Energy Storage was secretly building a more than 100-megawatt energy storage project in Angleton, Texas.

Bloomberg stated at the time that such a large battery could have the capacity to power around 20,000 households in the summer.

The Hill approached Tesla for comment.

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T-MOBILE IS SORRY: T-Mobile boss Mike Sievert On Friday, the hacker announced that the hacker behind the company’s recent break-in, which compromised the information of around 50 million people, used “brute force” in the attack and apologized for the impact of the breach.

The apology made in a opinion released Friday, came a week after the company announced current, past, and prospect customers’ information has been compromised, including customer names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and driver’s license information.

“To say we are disappointed and frustrated that this happened is an understatement,” wrote Sievert. “Protecting our customers’ data is a responsibility we take very seriously, and preventing such occurrences has always been a top priority. Unfortunately we weren’t successful this time. “

“Knowing that we failed to prevent this disclosure is one of the most difficult parts of this event. On behalf of everyone on Team Magenta, I want to say that we are really sorry, ”he added.

Read more here.

FELLOWSHIP ALARM: Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced on Friday the establishment of a scholarship program at the Justice Department to train prospective prosecutors and attorneys to deal with cases dealing with cybersecurity issues.

The Cyber ​​Fellowship program will be a three-year course run by the Department of Justice’s Criminal Police Department that aims to train attorneys to handle and prosecute a wide variety of cybersecurity-related cases.

These include cases of government sponsored cybersecurity threats, ransomware attacks, the use of cryptocurrency in relation to cyberattacks, and other related issues.

“As we saw last year, cyber threats pose a significant and increasing risk to our national security, our economic security and our personal security,” Monaco said in a statement on Friday. “We need to develop the next generation of prosecutors with the training and experience to tackle the next generation of cyber threats.

Read more about the program here.

WISH THAT WAS A DREAM: The online video game Fortnite creates a new virtual experience that features civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

In DC 63, “Washington, DC reinvented,” according to the video game company Epic Games, gamers can visit the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his famous speech on August 28, 1963, addressing racial justice in the United States and to imagine what racial equality in the US would look like in the future.

The video game called March Through Time was created by Fortnite community members and presented by TIME Studies, Epic Games community manager Ryan Broseker said on a PlayStation blog.

A PlayStation trailer of the video game appears to show that gamers can walk to the Lincoln Memorial to hear the speech, picket, and cheer. The trailer also appears to feature players at a museum exhibit showing the civil rights movement in the United States

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COMES TO BRAZIL: Payments from 14 YouTube channels have been put on hold by the company, alleging they are spreading misinformation about the country’s 2022 elections.

“In accordance with the August 16 ruling by the Brazilian Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), YouTube has announced that it has suspended access to the revenue attributed to those responsible for the 14 channels specified by the TSE,” said a YouTube Speaker to The Hill in a statement.

“We reaffirm our commitment to continue to work with the authorities in Brazil and to continue investing in policies, resources and products to protect the YouTube community from harmful content,” added the person.

The news comes after several social and multimedia platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, were ordered last week by Brazilian General Inspector of Electoral Justice Luis Felipe Salomão to temporarily suspend payments to creators and other entities allegedly involved in electoral misinformation.

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CUBA COIN: The Cuban government announced on Thursday that it would allow citizens to use cryptocurrencies while imposing regulations on the currency.

The country’s central bank will set rules for license providers and regulate the use of cryptocurrencies, the Official Journal wrote, according to The Associated Press.

The resolution published in the Official Journal states that cryptocurrencies may not be used for illegal activities and that the central bank will only allow cryptocurrencies “for reasons of socio-economic interest”.

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