Online Bank Files Trademark Suit Against Facebook Over Calibra Logo

Online bank Current has filed a trademark infringement suit against Facebook over the logo of the social media company’s new financial services subsidiary, Calibra. The complaint, filed October 10 at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, said Facebook’s Calibra logo design is “nearly identical” to Current’s logo.

Lawmakers Study Bot-Generated Social-Media Messages About E-cigarettes

A congressional committee and the Massachusetts attorney general are investigating whether millions of bot-generated social-media messages about e-cigarettes have been misleading consumers about safety and health issues. In information requests to five big manufacturers of vaping products in August, House investigators asked each of the firms whether it had used social media bots to market its products.

U.S. Financial Regulators Issue Warnings About Registering Digital Assets

Three U.S. financial regulators issued a warning to firms with registered digital assets that they have an obligation to follow securities laws prohibiting money laundering and requiring disclosure of suspicious activity. The notice, from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, seeks to clarify firms’ obligations under antimoney laundering, bank secrecy and counter terrorist-financing laws when using digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.

Chinese Communist Party Has Access to Data on 100 Million Cellphones

The Chinese Communist Party appears to have “superuser” access to all the data on more than 100 million cellphones, owing to a back door in a propaganda app that the government has been promoting aggressively this year. An examination of the code in the app shows it enables authorities to retrieve every message and photo from a user’s phone, browse their contacts and Internet history, and activate an audio recorder inside the device, according to a U.S.-funded analysis.

SEC Stops Telegram's $1.7 Billion Unregistered Digital Token Offering

U.S. authorities said they have halted a $1.7 billion unregistered digital token offering by the messaging service Telegram Group Inc and its TON Issuer subsidiary. The Securities and Exchange Commission said it had received a temporary restraining order against the two offshore entities, which the regulator said had failed to register to sell 2.9 billion digital tokens called “Grams” to initial investors globally, including 1 billion to U.S. buyers.

Civil Liberties, Tech Groups Criticize Bill on Online Extremism

Civil liberties and technology groups have been sharply critical of a draft bill from House Homeland Security Committee Democrats on dealing with online extremism, saying it would violate First Amendment rights and could result in the surveillance of vulnerable communities. Over the summer, Democrats circulated an early draft of the bill seeking input from stakeholders, but the proposal received almost immediate pushback.

Warren Buys Ad with Deliberate Lies to Test Facebook's Response

Elizabeth Warren bought a political ad on Facebook that purposefully includes false claims about Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, and President Trump to goad the social network to remove misinformation in political ads ahead of the 2020 presidential election. In a series of tweets, the Democratic presidential candidate said she had deliberately made an ad with lies because Facebook had previously allowed politicians to place ads with false claims.

Apple, Google Remove Apps After Criticism from Chinese Government

Less than a day after Apple found itself the subject of harsh criticism by an outlet of the Chinese government, the tech giant appeared to bow to pressure from Beijing as it pulled an app from its App Store that was being used by pro-democracy protesters to track police activity against demonstrators in Hong Kong. But, Apple wasn’t alone, as Google said it also removed a mobile game app from its Google Play store that had raised the hackles of Chinese officials.

Two Android Phone Makers Support Google in EU Antitrust Case

Alphabet unit Google’s fight against a record EU antitrust fine related to its Android mobile software received a boost after Europe’s second-highest court allowed Android phone maker Gigaset and HMD Global Oy to intervene in the lawsuit. Google is challenging the European Commission’s 4.34 billion euro ($4.8 billion) fine and an order to drop anti-competitive business practices aimed at blocking rivals in internet browsing at the Luxembourg-based General Court.

Senator Questions FTC About $5 Billion Privacy Settlement with Facebook

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) is pressing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its controversial $5 billion settlement with Facebook, questioning whether the agreement sets a "dangerous precedent" for the future of the agency. In a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, Cantwell demanded more information about the settlement, particularly the sections that resolve any privacy violation allegations made against Facebook between 2012-2019.

Zuckerberg to Testify Before Congress on Libra Cryptocurrency Plans

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before Congress on the social media giant’s plans to launch the Libra cryptocurrency, following pressure from lawmakers. The House Financial Services Committee is expected to grill Zuckerberg with questions on Facebook’s impact on both financial services and housing sectors at the Oct. 23 hearing.

Twitter Apologizes for Allowing Phone Numbers, Email Addresses for Ad Targeting

Twitter has apologized for what its said was a mistake that allowed the phone numbers and email addresses of some of its users to be accessed by advertisers for marketing purposes. Twitter said in a company blog post that its user data was obtained by advertisers involved in the company’s tailored audiences and partner audiences advertising systems.

EU Warns About Risks of Cyber Attacks from State-Backed Entities

The European Union warned of the risk of increased cyber attacks by state-backed entities but refrained from singling out China and its telecoms equipment market leader Huawei Technologies as threats. The comments came in a report prepared by EU member states on cybersecurity risks to next-generation 5G mobile networks seen as crucial to the bloc’s competitiveness in an increasingly networked world.

Facebook Refuses to Stop Showing Trump Campaign Ad About Biden Conspiracy

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is running a false ad about former Vice President Joe Biden on Facebook, and there’s nothing the company is going to do about it. The Trump campaign has released a 30-second video ad accusing the former vice president of promising Ukraine money for firing a prosecutor investigating a company with ties to Biden’s son, Hunter Biden — essentially, the false conspiracy at the center of the impeachment inquiry President Trump is now facing.

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Republican Senators Tell Microsoft Huawei Poses 'Real and Urgent' Threat

Five Republican senators sent a letter to Microsoft stressing that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei poses a “real and urgent” threat after an executive at the American tech giant complained the U.S. hasn't been open about why Huawei was blacklisted. The letter from GOP Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Mike Braun (Ind.) to Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith details several allegations of “espionage activities” and “technology theft and economic warfare."

Bipartisan Senate Committee Warns of Social Media Threat to Elections

A bipartisan panel of U.S. senators called for sweeping action by Congress, the White House and Silicon Valley to ensure social media sites aren’t used to interfere in the coming presidential election, delivering a sobering assessment about the weaknesses that Russian operatives exploited in the 2016 campaign. The Senate Intelligence Committee, a Republican-led panel that has been investigating foreign electoral interference for more than two and a half years, said in blunt language that Russians worked to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton while bolstering Republican Donald Trump — and made clear that fresh rounds of interference are likely ahead of the 2020 vote.

EU Finance Commissioner Vows New Rules to Regulate Cryptocurrencies

The European Union’s finance commissioner pledged to propose new rules to regulate virtual currencies, in a reaction to Facebook’s plans to introduce Libra, which the EU considers a risk to financial stability. France and Germany have said that Libra, whose size would dwarf cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, could limit their monetary sovereignty.