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Trump Fires TVA Chair, Cites Hiring of Foreign Workers

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2020-08-04 02:45
schwit1 writes: President Trump announced the removal of Tennessee Valley Authority's chair James Thompson and board member Richard Howoth and called for the removal of their CEO Bill Johnson. This was in response to the company laying off employees and hiring H1-B visa holders. [TVA announced it would outsource 20% of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries, which could cause more than 200 highly skilled American tech workers in Tennessee to lose their jobs to foreign workers, according to the White House.] During the round table discussion, it was announced the company is willing to reverse course and rehire previously laid off employees. The president also said he would not ban the TikTok app if Microsoft or another company bought it before September 15th. "The TVA is a federally owned corporation created in 1933 to provide flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region that was hard hit by the Great Depression," reports The Associated Press. "The region covers most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky as well as small sections of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia." Trump said the new chief executive officer must "[put] the interests of Americans first," adding: "The new CEO must be paid no more than $500,000 a year. We want the TVA to take action on this immediately. [...] Let this serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: 'You're fired.'" The announcement was made as Trump signed an executive order to require all federal agencies to complete an internal audit to prove they are not replacing qualified American workers with people from other countries. According to the White House, the order will help prevent federal agencies from unfairly replacing American workers with lower cost foreign labor.

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Chinese Games Will Force Players To Use Their Real Names

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2020-08-04 00:03
The Chinese government will soon require video game users to log in with their real names. According to the South China Morning Post, the government is rolling out a state-run authentication system that will ask game makers to join the system in batches. From the report: The plan has been in the works for some time, with the government pushing for tighter controls based on the argument that it needs to protect minors. In 2019, the State Administration of Press and Publications (SAPP), the body in charge of regulating games, introduced new limits on how much time and money minors can spend on games. Anyone under 18 years old is limited to 90 minutes on weekdays and three hours on holidays. To enforce these limits, players are required to to give out their real names which can be checked against ID numbers. Tencent and NetEase, the country's two largest gaming companies, got a jump on these plans by introducing their own verification systems. For now, not much is known about how the national verification system will work or whether it will resemble the independent systems already in place. In some cases, the private systems have introduced some stringent controls. In Honour of Kings, the immensely popular Tencent game known as Arena of Valor overseas, the verification system includes a facial recognition scan. China also has other rules governing what games are even allowed in the country. One requirement is for game publishers to submit games for content and monetisation review before they can be legally distributed in China.

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China's Xiao-i Sues Apple for $1.43 Billion Over Siri AI Infringement

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-08-03 18:46
Chinese artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology, also known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging it has infringed on Xiao-i's patents. From a report: Xiao-i is calling for 10 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) in damages and demands that Apple cease "manufacturing, using, promising to sell, selling, and importing" products that infringe on the patent, it said in a social media post. Xiao-i argued that Apple's voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent it applied for in 2004 and was granted in 2009.

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After 5 Years, Australia Finally Cracked a Drug Kingpin's BlackBerry

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-08-03 06:34
"An encrypted BlackBerry device that was cracked five years after it was first seized by police is poised to be the key piece of evidence in one of the state's longest-running drug importation investigations," reports the Sydney Morning Herald: In April, new technology "capabilities" allowed authorities to probe the encrypted device, which was used by one of the alleged kingpins and revealed 3000 messages over a one-month period, a Sydney court has heard. The development has paved the way for the arrest of another five members of an alleged criminal syndicate. For at least two of the men — Frank Farrugia and Deniz Kanmez — the cracked BlackBerry was allegedly the "silver bullet" in netting their arrest, according to a source close to the investigation. Strike Force Millstream detectives arrested the five men in a series of raids from Sydney to Dubai last month. The arrests culminated a seven-year investigation into money laundering, criminal groups and at least four commercial importations between 2013-14, valued at $1.5 billion. Nearly two dozen men have been implicated... It is the second device to be unlocked as part of the investigation, after Canadian authorities successfully cracked another BlackBerry in 2017, which was central in an earlier trial of four men linked to the syndicate.

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A 17-Year-Old's Journey: Minecraft, SIM-Swapping Bitcoin Heists, Breaching Twitter

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2020-08-03 03:44
The New York Times tells the story of the 17-year-old "mastermind" arrested Friday for the takeover of dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts. They report that Graham Ivan Clark "had a difficult family life" and "poured his energy into video games and cryptocurrency" after his parents divorced when he was 7, and he grew up in Tampa, Florida with his mother, "a Russian immigrant who holds certifications to work as a facialist and as a real estate broker." By the age of 10, he was playing the video game Minecraft, in part to escape what he told friends was an unhappy home life. In Minecraft, he became known as an adept scammer with an explosive temper who cheated people out of their money, several friends said.... In late 2016 and early 2017, other Minecraft players produced videos on YouTube describing how they had lost money or faced online attacks after brushes with Mr. Clark's alias "Open...." Mr. Clark's interests soon expanded to the video game Fortnite and the lucrative world of cryptocurrencies. He joined an online forum for hackers, known as OGUsers, and used the screen name Graham$... Mr. Clark described himself on OGUsers as a "full time crypto trader dropout" and said he was "focused on just making money all around for everyone." Graham$ was later banned from the community, according to posts uncovered by the online forensics firm Echosec, after the moderators said he failed to pay Bitcoin to another user who had already sent him money to complete a transaction. Still, Mr. Clark had already harnessed OGUsers to find his way into a hacker community known for taking over people's phone numbers to access all of the online accounts attached to the numbers, an attack known as SIM swapping. The main goal was to drain victims' cryptocurrency accounts. In 2019, hackers remotely seized control of the phone of Gregg Bennett, a tech investor in the Seattle area. Within a few minutes, they had secured Mr. Bennett's online accounts, including his Amazon and email accounts, as well as 164 Bitcoins that were worth $856,000 at the time and would be worth $1.8 million today... In April, the Secret Service seized 100 Bitcoins from Mr. Clark, according to government forfeiture documents... Mr. Bennett said in an interview that a Secret Service agent told him that the person with the stolen Bitcoins was not arrested because he was a minor... By then, Mr. Clark was living in his own apartment in a Tampa condo complex... [L]ess than two weeks after the Secret Service seizure, prosecutors said Mr. Clark began working to get inside Twitter. According to a government affidavit, Mr. Clark convinced a "Twitter employee that he was a co-worker in the IT department and had the employee provide credentials to access the customer service portal." The plan was to sell access to the breached Twitter accounts, but Clark apparently began cheating his customers again, the Times reports — "reminiscent of what Mr. Clark had done earlier on Minecraft..." "Mr. Clark, who prosecutors said worked with at least two others to hack Twitter but was the leader, is being charged as an adult with 30 felonies."

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Will China's AI Surveillance State Go Global?

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2020-08-02 06:34
China already has hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras in place, reports the Atlantic's deputy editor, and "because a new regulation requires telecom firms to scan the face of anyone who signs up for cellphone services, phones' data can now be attached to a specific person's face." But the article also warns that when it comes to AI-powered surveillance, China "could also export it beyond the country's borders, entrenching the power of a whole generation of autocrats" and "shift the balance of power between the individual and the state worldwide..." The country is now the world's leading seller of AI-powered surveillance equipment.... China uses "predatory lending to sell telecommunications equipment at a significant discount to developing countries, which then puts China in a position to control those networks and their data," Michael Kratsios, America's CTO, told me. When countries need to refinance the terms of their loans, China can make network access part of the deal, in the same way that its military secures base rights at foreign ports it finances. "If you give [China] unfettered access to data networks around the world, that could be a serious problem," Kratsios said... Having set up beachheads* in Asia, Europe, and Africa, China's AI companies are now pushing into Latin America, a region the Chinese government describes as a "core economic interest." China financed Ecuador's $240 million purchase of a surveillance-camera system. Bolivia, too, has bought surveillance equipment with help from a loan from Beijing. Venezuela recently debuted a new national ID-card system that logs citizens' political affiliations in a database built by ZTE. * The article provides these additional examples: In Malaysia, the government is working with Yitu, a Chinese AI start-up, to bring facial-recognition technology to Kuala Lumpur's police...Chinese companies also bid to outfit every one of Singapore's 110,000 lampposts with facial-recognition cameras. In South Asia, the Chinese government has supplied surveillance equipment to Sri Lanka. On the old Silk Road, the Chinese company Dahua is lining the streets of Mongolia's capital with AI-assisted surveillance cameras.In Serbia, Huawei is helping set up a "safe-city system," complete with facial-recognition cameras and joint patrols conducted by Serbian and Chinese police aimed at helping Chinese tourists to feel safe.Kenya, Uganda, and Mauritius are outfitting major cities with Chinese-made surveillance networks...

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Google Victory In German Top Court Over Right To Be Forgotten

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-08-01 16:34
Germany's top court handed down its first ruling since the EU's GDPR laws went into effect in mid-2018. The court "sided with Google and rejected requests to wipe entries from search results," reports German public broadcaster DW (in an article shared by long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo): The cases hinged on whether the right to be forgotten outweighed the public's right to know... In the first case, a former managing director of a charity had demanded Google remove links to certain news articles that appeared in searches of his name. The articles from 2011 reported that the charity was in financial trouble and that the manager had called in sick. He later argued in court that information on his personal health issues should not be divulged to the public years later. The court ruled that whether links to critical articles have to be removed from the search list always depends on a comprehensive consideration of fundamental rights in the individual case. A second case was referred to the European Court of Justice. It concerned two leaders of a financial services company that sought to have links to negative reports about their investment model removed. The couple had argued that the US-based websites, which came up in the searches for their names, were full of fake news and sought to market other financial services providers. This is the first ruling by Germany's top court since the EU's general data protection regulation came into effect in 2018. It gives EU citizens extensive rights to demand corporations immediately delete personal data.

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Amazon Says Police Demands For Customer Data Have Gone Up

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2020-08-01 00:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Amazon has said the number of demands for user data made by U.S. federal and local law enforcement have increased more during the first half of 2020 than during the same period a year earlier. The disclosure came in the company's latest transparency report, published Thursday. The figures show that Amazon received 23% more subpoenas and search warrants, and a 29% increase in court orders compared to the first half of 2019. That includes data collected from its Amazon.com retail storefront, Amazon Echo devices and its Kindle and Fire tablets. Breaking those figures down, Amazon said it received: 2,416 subpoenas, turning over all or partial user data in 70% of cases; 543 search warrants, turning over all or partial user data in 79% of cases; and 146 court orders, turning over all or partial user data in 74% of cases. Amazon also said it received between 0 and 249 national security requests, flat from previous reports. Justice Department rules on disclosing classified requests only allow companies to respond in numerical ranges. The number of requests to the company's cloud services, Amazon Web Services, also went up compared to a year earlier. But it's not clear what caused the rise in U.S. government demands for user data. As for the number of overseas requests, Amazon saw the number drop by about one-third compared to the same period a year earlier. "Amazon rejected 92% of the 177 overseas requests it received, turning over partial user data in 10 cases and all requested data in four cases," the report adds.

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Twitter Permanently Bans White Supremacist David Duke

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-07-31 19:23
Twitter said on Friday it has permanently banned white supremacist David Duke from its platform for violating the platform's rules on hate speech. From a report: Duke's account "has been permanently suspended for Twitter Rules on hateful conduct," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. Twitter's policy, revised in March, prohibits posts that promote violence or threats of violence against people based on their religion, race or ethnic origin. It wasn't immediately clear what specific post or posts by Duke led to the account's ban. The verified account for Duke, the founder and former Grand Dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was blank Thursday, replaced with a message that the account had been "permanently suspended."

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Should the US Military Be Recruiting On Twitch?

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-07-31 03:25
The U.S. military has for years been using streaming channels and video gaming to recruit people. "Several branches of the military -- with the exception of the Marines -- have had esports teams since 2018," reports The Verge. "And according to Military.com, the Army's esports efforts alone generated 3,500 recruiting leads in fiscal year 2019." But the question is... should they be recruiting on these platforms? According to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the answer is no. She is proposing an amendment that would ban the U.S. military from recruiting on Twitch. The Verge reports: "Children should not be targeted in general for many marketing purposes in addition to military service. Right now, currently, children on platforms such as Twitch are bombarded with banner ads linked to recruitment signup forms that can be submitted by children as young as 12 years old," Ocasio-Cortez said on the House floor Thursday. "These are not education outreach programs for the military." Last week, the Army paused its use of Twitch for recruitment after its channel was criticized for banning viewers who asked about war crimes. The Army told GameSpot: "The team has paused streaming to review internal policies and procedures, as well as all platform-specific policies, to ensure those participating in the space are clear before streaming resumes." And earlier this month, Twitch told the Army to stop sharing phony prize giveaways on its channel that promised an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, only for users to be directed to a recruitment page when they clicked through. The language of Ocasio-Cortez's draft would make that pause permanent, banning US military organizations from using funds to "maintain a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports, or live-streaming platform." You can watch the congresswoman's impassioned floor speech here.

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GOP Congressman Turns Antitrust Hearing Into Personal Tech Support Session

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-07-31 01:25
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VICE News: We all have trouble with our email sometimes. We don't typically get to harangue the CEO of Google about why, say, Dad's Gmail is acting up, though. You have to be a member of Congress to pull that. Rep. Greg Steube, Republican from Florida, went there during Wednesday's high-profile congressional hearing about tech giants' market dominance and anti-competitive behavior. Handed the chance to throw any question at some of the most powerful people in the world, Steube pressed Google CEO Sundar Pichai to troubleshoot his parents' recent email issues. Specifically, they weren't getting his campaign emails, which Steube seemed to think was because of an anti-conservative bias among Silicon Valley titans. Pichai responded by implying that Steube and his dad don't understand how Gmail tabs work. "Suddenly, I get elected to Congress, and I'm now up here in Washington, D.C., and my parents, who have a Gmail account, aren't getting my campaign emails," Steube said. "Why is this only happening to Republicans?" Pichai responded by talking about how Gmail automatically sorts emails by their source, breaking out messages from personal contacts into a folder separate from those sent by self-promoting groups like a congressional campaign. "We have a tabbed organization," Pichai said, veering into tech-support mode. "The primary tab has emails from friends and family, and the secondary tab has other notifications, and so on." Steube interrupted to point out that it was his dad who complained that the campaign emails weren't showing up. And that meant Pichai's statement that the Primary tab should feature all emails from family members didn't make any sense to him. "Clearly, that familial thing that you're talking about didn't apply to my emails," Steube said, glossing over the fact that the emails were coming from his campaign, not from his personal account. "Our systems, probably, are not able to understand that it's your father," Pichai deadpanned.

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Google's $2.1 Billion Fitbit Deal Faces Full-Scale EU Antitrust Investigation

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2020-07-31 00:45
According to CNBC sources, Google's $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker maker Fitbit will face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation next week. From the report: Alphabet unit Google this month offered not to use Fitbit's health data to help it target ads in an attempt to address EU antitrust concerns. The opening of a full-scale investigation suggests that this is not sufficient. The deal, announced last November, would see Google compete with market leader Apple and Samsung in the fitness-tracking and smart-watch market, alongside others including Huawei and Xiaomi. The European Commission, which will launch the probe following the end of its preliminary review on Aug. 4, is expected to make use of the four-month long investigation to explore in depth the use of data in healthcare, one of the people said. Google reiterated previous comments, saying the deal is about devices and not data. "The wearables space is crowded, and we believe the combination of Google and Fitbit's hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector, benefiting consumers and making the next generation of devices better and more affordable," a spokeswoman said.

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Apple Emails Reveal Internal Debate on Right to Repair

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-07-30 21:30
Tim Cook didn't reveal anything new during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. But emails his company shared with the committee spoke volumes. These internal discussions reveal that what looks like Apple's united front against Right to Repair is really an internal debate, rife with uncertainty. From a report: The New York Times editorial in favor of Right to Repair last April set off a fire alarm inside Apple's public relations team. When Binyamin Appelbaum reached out to research the issue, Apple's VP of communications said in an internal email that "We should get him on the phone with [Apple VP Greg] Joz [Joswiak] or [Senior VP] Phil [Schiller]." That spawned an instant debate. "The larger issue is that our strategy around all of this is unclear. Right now we're talking out of both sides of our mouth and no one is clear on where we're headed." The emails show the high profile of Right to Repair inside Apple as leaders debate how to respond to a request for comment on an upcoming column. "The piece is using [Senator] Warren's new right to repair for agriculture to talk about the broader right to repair effort and plans to use Apple as a symbol in that fight. We're meeting with everyone shortly about the overall strategy and then I'll connect with [Greg 'Joz' Joswiak]." The email goes on, "Appelbaum has, of course, talked with iFixIt [sic] and others." They're right about that! The conversation resulted in a set of talking points that Kaiann Drance, VP of Marketing, talked through with Appelbaum. Afterwards, Apple PR wrote, "Kaiann did a great job and emphasized the need for a thoughtful approach to repair policy because of how important it is to balance customer safety with access to more convenient repairs." Apple was less convincing than they hoped. The editorial, carrying the weight of the Times' entire Editorial Board, came out forcefully in favor of Right to Repair. Of Apple specifically, the Times remarked, "The company is welcome to persuade people to patronize its own repair facilities, or to buy new iPhones. But there ought to be a law against forcing the issue."

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Nancy Pelosi Mandates Masks On House Floor

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-07-30 03:30
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will require all House members and aids to wear masks on the floor, after Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert who has at times flouted the health recommendation tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day. The Hill reports: "Members and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the hall of the House except that members may remove their masks temporarily when recognized," Pelosi said from the House floor. Pelosi warned that lawmakers and staff without masks will not be permitted to enter the House chamber and risk removal by the Sergeant at Arms if they don't comply. Pelosi said that the mask requirement is "a sign of respect for the health, safety and well-being of others present in the chamber and surrounding areas." Public health experts, backed by multiple studies, say that masks are an effective way to prevent spread of viral droplets.

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The Vatican Is Said To Be Hacked From China Before Talks With Beijing

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-07-30 02:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Chinese hackers infiltrated the Vatican's computer networks in the past three months , a private monitoring group has concluded, in an apparent espionage effort before the beginning of sensitive negotiations with Beijing. The attack was detected by Recorded Future, a firm based in Somerville, Mass. The Chinese Communist Party has been waging a broad campaign to tighten its grip on religious groups, in what government leaders have periodically referred to as an effort to "Sinicize religions" in the country. China officially recognizes five religions, including Catholicism, but the authorities often suspect religious groups and worshipers of undermining the control of the Communist Party and the state, and of threatening the country's national security. Chinese hackers and state authorities have often used cyberattacks to try to gather information on groups of Buddhist Tibetans, Muslim Uighurs and Falun Gong practitioners outside China. But this appears to be the first time that hackers, presumed by cybersecurity experts at Recorded Future to be working for the Chinese state, have been publicly caught directly hacking into the Vatican and the Holy See's Study Mission to China, the Hong Kong-based group of de facto Vatican representatives who have played a role in negotiating the Catholic Church's status. The Vatican and Beijing are expected to start talks in September over control of the appointment of bishops and the status of houses of worship as part of a renewal of a provisional agreement signed in 2018 that revised the terms of the Catholic Church's operations in China. One of the attacks, which began in early May, was hidden inside a document that appeared to be a legitimate letter from the Vatican to Msgr. Javier Corona Herrera, the chaplain who heads the study mission in Hong Kong," reports The New York Times. "It was an artful deception: an electronic file that looked as if it was on the official stationery of Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra. The letter carried a message from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state, the pope's second in command and an old China hand who has defended the deal. In his message, Cardinal Parolin expressed the pope's sadness about the death of a bishop. It is unclear whether the letter was fabricated or a real document that the attackers had obtained and then linked to malware that gave them access to the computers of the Hong Kong church offices and the Vatican's mail servers. Recorded Future concluded that the attack was most likely connected to negotiations over the extension of the 2018 agreement."

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos 'Can't Guarantee' Policy Against Using Seller Specific Data Hasn't Been Violated

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2020-07-30 00:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: At the "Online Platforms and Market Power" virtual antitrust hearing today, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spoke about a policy that is meant to prevent the company from using seller specific data to help it determine what products it should manufacture and sell itself. "What I can tell you is, we have a policy against using seller specific data to aid our private label business," Bezos said. "But I can't guarantee you that that policy has never been violated." In July 2019, an Amazon lawyer told the subcommittee that the company didn't tap data from individual third-party merchants to determine what new products to create. In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon did just that. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who was the first to question Bezos at the hearing, cited the article. "I'm familiar with the Wall Street Journal article that you're talking about," Bezos said. "And we continue to look into that very carefully. I'm not yet satisfied that we've gotten to the bottom of it, and we're going to keep looking at it. It's not as easy as you would think because some of the sources in the article are anonymous, but we continue to look into it." Bezos then tried to play up the fact that Amazon didn't have to have such a policy. "The fact that we have such a policy is voluntary," Bezos said. "I think no other retailer even has such a policy. We would treat that like any internal policy, and if we found that someone violated it, we would take action against them." "Well, there's numerous reports, and the committee has conducted interviews with former employees who confirm that there are employees who do have access to that data and are using it," Jayapal responded. "So my next question was going to be: If you thought you were actually enforcing these rules, do you think that that's working? And again, I would just say that there's credible reporting that's documented breaches of these rules that you have put into place. And the committee has interviewed employees that typically say that these breaches typically occur." Later in the hearing, Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) asked whether Amazon allows the use of aggregate data to inform its private label brands when there are only three sellers for a product and then again when there are only two competitors. Bezos said "yes, sir" to both. Armstrong then asked about Amazon's internal investigation on the use of third party data. "We're basically trying to understand some of the anecdotes that we saw in the Wall Street Journal article," Bezos responded. He committed to informing the committee on the outcome of that investigation.

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Trump's Plan To Regulate Social Media

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2020-07-29 02:45
Esther Schindler writes: A 55-page proposal to make the FCC rewrite a law through administrative rulemaking would threaten small social sites and generate vast amounts of new business for trial lawyers. Expect some of the people who denounced net-neutrality regulations to cheer it on. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) would have the FCC rewrite Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. "Instead of protecting social platforms when they moderate users' posts -- what the law actually says -- here the FCC would transmogrify that 1996 statute to hold them liable for such offenses as the Twitter trending-topics lists that Trump called Monday 'Really ridiculous, illegal, and, of course, very unfair!,' reports Forbes. After Twitter began fact-checking Trump's tweets in late May, Trump responded with an executive order calling for a rewrite of CDA 230's core provisions. They offer immunity from civil (not criminal) liability to providers and users of an "interactive computer service" -- as in, any that hosts your posts -- for "any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected." Translation: an online service can decide posts supporting Trump are against its rules, and you won't be able to sue over that. "Instead of forcing online services to take a hands-off attitude, CDA 230 encourages them to moderate content," reports Forbes. "The NTIA proposes to limit their immunity to moderating pornographic, violent or harassing content. All other curation would be subject to a checklist of such measures as documentation of moderation rules and 'timely notice' to users found violating them. A site that 'vouches for, editorializes, recommends, or promotes' user posts -- see, for instance, Twitter trending topics -- would also become liability for them."

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Alcohol Delivery Service Drizly Confirms Data Breach

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2020-07-29 02:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Online alcohol delivery startup Drizly has told customers that it was hit by a data breach. In an email to customers obtained by TechCrunch, the company said that a hacker "obtained" some customer data. The hacker took customer email addresses, date-of-birth, hashed passwords, and in some cases delivery addresses, the email read. Some 2.4 million Drizly accounts are believed to have been stolen. TechCrunch obtained a portion of the data, including several accounts of Drizly staff members. We verified the data against public records. The portion of data we obtained also contains user phone numbers, IP addresses, and geolocation data associated with the user's billing address. Drizly did not say when the hack occurred or how many accounts were affected, but did advise users to change their passwords. The company said that no financial data was taken in the breach. But a listing on a dark web marketplace from a well-known seller of stolen data claims otherwise. The listing, which we are not linking to, claims to have "fresh hacked" [sic] Drizly accounts. The data is on sale for $14, at the time of writing . The seller did not say when the breach took place, but the listing appears to have been posted on February 13. Although no sample of data was offered, the listing claims to have valid Drizly credit card numbers and users' order history.

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Rite Aid Deployed Facial Recognition Systems In Hundreds of US Stores

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Śr, 2020-07-29 00:40
Rite Aid installed facial recognition technology across 200 stores in the U.S. "In the hearts of New York and metro Los Angeles, Rite Aid deployed the technology in largely lower-income, non-white neighborhoods," reports Reuters. "Among the technology the U.S. retailer used: a state-of-the-art system from a company with links to China and its authoritarian government." From the report: Over about eight years, the American drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp quietly added facial recognition systems to 200 stores across the United States, in one of the largest rollouts of such technology among retailers in the country, a Reuters investigation found. In the hearts of New York and metro Los Angeles, Rite Aid deployed the technology in largely lower-income, non-white neighborhoods, according to a Reuters analysis. And for more than a year, the retailer used state-of-the-art facial recognition technology from a company with links to China and its authoritarian government. In telephone and email exchanges with Reuters since February, Rite Aid confirmed the existence and breadth of its facial recognition program. The retailer defended the technology's use, saying it had nothing to do with race and was intended to deter theft and protect staff and customers from violence. Reuters found no evidence that Rite Aid's data was sent to China. Last week, however, after Reuters sent its findings to the retailer, Rite Aid said it had quit using its facial recognition software. It later said all the cameras had been turned off. "This decision was in part based on a larger industry conversation," the company told Reuters in a statement, adding that "other large technology companies seem to be scaling back or rethinking their efforts around facial recognition given increasing uncertainty around the technology's utility." Reuters pieced together how the company's initiative evolved, how the software has been used and how a recent vendor was linked to China, drawing on thousands of pages of internal documents from Rite Aid and its suppliers, as well as direct observations during store visits by Reuters journalists and interviews with more than 40 people familiar with the systems' deployment. Most current and former employees spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they feared jeopardizing their careers.

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Trump Blasts 'Trending' Section On Twitter: 'Really Ridiculous, Illegal, and, of Course, Very Unfair!'

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2020-07-28 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: President Trump blasted Twitter's "trending" section in a Monday tweet, calling it "really ridiculous, illegal, and, of course, very unfair!" "So disgusting to watch Twitter's so-called 'Trending', where sooo many trends are about me, and never a good one," Trump posted. "They look for anything they can find, make it as bad as possible, and blow it up, trying to make it trend," he added. The president's relationship with Twitter, where he often turns to speak directly to supporters, has grown more contentious in recent months. The social media platform put warnings and fact checks on two of Trump's posts in May about mail-in voting, saying the tweets contained "potentially misleading information." Twitter also added an advisory to one of Trump's June tweets, which threatened demonstrators who want to create an "autonomous zone" in Washington, D.C. The advisory said the tweet broke Twitter's rules about abusive behavior and threatening violence. The president sought to fight back in May, issuing an executive order intended to strip social media platforms of certain legal protections, though experts say the order is largely toothless and stands on shaky legal ground.

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