Hillicon Valley — Democrats request Twitter investigation

Senate Democrats, involved with the way in which Elon Musk is operating Twitter, are urging the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) to analyze the social media platform. 

In the meantime, we’ll check out the Massive Tech companies that just lately introduced huge layoffs. 

That is Hillicon Valley, detailing all it’s essential find out about tech and cyber information from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Ship tricks to The Hill’s Rebecca Klar and Ines Kagubare. Somebody ahead you this article? 

Senate Democrats improve Twitter scrutiny 

Senate Democrats urged the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) Thursday to analyze Twitter over potential client safety violations after modifications made to the platform in current weeks underneath the helm of recent CEO Elon Musk. 

The senators mentioned “alarming steps” taken underneath Musk’s management, together with permitting customers to pay for verification test marks and shedding key workers, undermined the integrity and security of the platform and should have already violated the FTC’s consent decree for the corporate.  

“We worry that Mr. Musk’s reported modifications to inside opinions and information safety practices additional put shoppers in danger and will immediately violate the necessities of the consent decree,” they wrote in a letter that was led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn).  

The senators famous that Twitter was “already on discover” earlier than Musk accomplished his $44 billion acquisition in October, over accusations by whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko who alleged the corporate had insufficient safety practices. 

“We urge the Fee to vigorously oversee its consent decree with Twitter and to carry enforcement actions towards any breaches or enterprise practices which might be unfair or misleading, together with bringing civil penalties and imposing legal responsibility on particular person Twitter executives the place applicable,” the senators added. 

Learn extra right here.  

Widespread layoffs hit tech trade

Massive Tech firms have introduced tens of hundreds of layoffs in current weeks amid inventory losses, jumbo rate of interest hikes applied by the Federal Reserve and shoppers’ pivot away from items within the aftermath of the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

On the peak of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve slashed rates of interest to near-zero ranges, each former President Trump and President Biden signed COVID-19 stimulus payments into regulation and client spending on items skyrocketed whereas a lot of the world was underneath lock down. 

In consequence, Silicon Valley noticed an infinite spike in progress and inventory features. 

However extra just lately, return to in-person, pre-pandemic existence have led to income declines for these firms. The Federal Reserve has additionally elevated rate of interest hikes six instances and inventory efficiency has fallen.   

Up to now month, Massive Tech companies have introduced a rash of layoffs citing income decline and a grim financial outlook. 

Learn extra right here.  


FBI Director Christopher Wray instructed Senate lawmakers on Thursday that his company has been conducting offensive cyber operations towards state and non-state cyber actors. 

Wray mentioned offensive operations are considered one of many techniques the company employs to counter varied cyber threats. 

“Offense is a vital a part of our total effort to push again towards cyber adversaries,” Wray mentioned throughout a Senate Homeland Safety Committee listening to through which he was testifying. 

Wray was responding to a query from Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who wished to know whether or not the company has adequate offensive measures to push again towards cyber threats and whether or not it ought to do extra of it. 

“It strikes me that the one efficient strategy to cease the assaults that come from a cyber nature is to assault again; that the most effective protection is an effective offense,” Romney mentioned as he was asking the query. 

Learn extra right here. 


Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Thursday launched new laws that goals to enhance entry to communications expertise for Individuals with disabilities to make sure they’ve equal alternatives in an more and more on-line world. 

The Communications, Video, and Know-how Accessibility Act (CVTA) will replace insurance policies for tv programming and on-line video streaming platforms. 

Markey, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, mentioned the disabled, together with the deaf and blind, face limitations in accessing important on-line communication and video instruments as a result of insurance policies haven’t advanced with expertise. 

“What hasn’t modified is our obligation to guarantee that everybody — together with people who find themselves deaf, blind, or DeafBlind — has equal entry to the providers and applied sciences they should thrive,” mentioned Markey in an announcement, including the invoice will “replace present legal guidelines on the books in order that we are able to meet the technological second and guarantee alternative, independence, and equal entry for all.” 

Learn extra right here.  


Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) despatched a letter on Thursday to the pinnacle of Stay Nation Leisure, accusing the corporate of abusing its market positions and violating a consent decree amid widespread criticism of Ticketmaster as followers battle to buy tickets for an upcoming Taylor Swift tour. 

Klobuchar, who chairs the competitors, antitrust and client rights subpanel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, mentioned Stay Nation Leisure, the results of a merger between Stay Nation and Ticketmaster, holds energy within the ticket market that “insulates it from the aggressive pressures that usually push firms to innovate and enhance their providers.” 

“That can lead to dramatic service failures, the place shoppers are those that pay the worth,” the senator wrote. 

Klobuchar famous Stay Nation Leisure is beholden to an antitrust decree that stops it from abusing its place available in the market. The decree was entered into after the 2010 merger between venue-hosting firm Stay Nation and ticket-sales enterprise Ticketmaster. 

Learn extra right here.


An op-ed to chew on: Improved broadband maps to ship extra connectivity 

Notable hyperlinks from across the internet

  • Twitter’s Moderation System Is in Tatters (Wired / Vittoria Elliot and Chris Stokel-Walker) 
  • SpaceX Workers Say They Have been Fired for Talking Up About Elon Musk (The New York Occasions / Noam Scheiber and Ryan Mac) 
  • What the FTX implosion means for crypto regulation (Vox / Rebecca Heilweil)

Yet one more factor: Astronomer allowed again on Twitter

A British astronomer whose Twitter account was locked for 3 months after a video she posted of a meteor was labeled “intimate” has had her account restored after a BBC story drew consideration to her scenario.  

Mary McIntyre tweeted a video of the path from a meteor of the Perseid meteor bathe in August. Her account was locked quickly after, with Twitter telling her the clip contained “intimate” content material that she shared with no participant’s consent.  

She initially acquired a 12-hour ban, in keeping with The Guardian, however her account was not unlocked till Thursday after a BBC story put a highlight on her scenario and Twitter customers tweeted on the platform’s help crew. 

Learn extra right here.  

That’s it for as we speak, thanks for studying. Try The Hill’s Know-how and Cybersecurity pages for the newest information and protection. We’ll see you tomorrow.