Trump Uses Cell Phone Without Strong Security Features, Officials Say

President Donald Trump uses a White House cellphone that isn’t equipped with sophisticated security features designed to shield his communications, according to two senior administration officials -- a departure from the practice of his predecessors that potentially exposes him to hacking or surveillance. The president, who relies on cellphones to reach his friends and millions of Twitter followers, has rebuffed staff efforts to strengthen security around his phone use, according to the administration officials.

Many Emails Seeking Consent Under GDPR Called Unnecessary, Illegal

The vast majority of emails flooding inboxes across Europe from companies asking for consent to keep recipients on their mailing list are unnecessary and some may be illegal, privacy experts have said, as new rules over data privacy come into force at the end of this week. Many companies, acting based on poor legal advice, a fear of fines of up to €20m (£17.5m) and a lack of good examples to follow, have taken what they see as the safest option for hewing to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): asking customers to renew their consent for marketing communications and data processing.

Groups Launch 'Freedom from Facebook' Petition, Want FCC Help

A coalition of advocacy groups wants the Federal Trade Commission to force Facebook to break up what it calls a social media monopoly. The social network, which boasts 2.2 billion users on Facebook alone, should be forced by the FTC to spin-off WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger into independent businesses, the groups say in a Freedom from Facebook petition.

Study Finds Twitter Accounts Swayed U.S. Election, Brexit Vote

Automated Twitter accounts may have slightly swayed the results of the elections for president and over whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union enough to change their outcomes, the authors of National Bureau of Economic Research working paper published this month argue. “Overall, our results suggest that the aggressive use of Twitter bots, coupled with the fragmentation of social media and the role of sentiment, could contribute to the vote outcomes,” wrote the authors of the paper, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the United Kingdom's Swansea University.

White House Statement on Chinese Trade Skirmish Vague on IP Rights

President Trump's real battle against the Chinese was supposed to be over intellectual property theft, which the White House says has been going on for years and costs the U.S. economy $225 billion to $600 billion a year. Trump was supposed to get the Chinese to stop stealing U.S. business secrets and technology, but a statement on the trade skirmish was brief and lackluster, saying that both sides agreed to “strengthen cooperation” (diplomatic speak for not doing much) and that China would “advance relevant amendments” to its patent law.

Treasury Secretary Concerned About Tech Companies as Monopolies

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin joined the growing chorus of government officials concerned about tech monopolies. When asked if Google is a monopoly, Mnuchin told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that "these are issues that the Justice Department needs to look at seriously — not for any one company — but obviously as these technology companies have a greater and greater impact on the economy, I think that you have to look at the power they have."

  • Read the article: CNBC

After Texas School Shooting, Fake Facebook Accounts Spread Lies

In the first hours after the Texas school shooting that left at least 10 dead, online hoaxers moved quickly to spread a viral lie, creating fake Facebook accounts with the suspected shooter's name and a doctored photo showing him wearing a "Hillary 2016" hat. It has become a familiar pattern in the all-too-common aftermath of U.S. school shootings: A barrage of online misinformation, seemingly designed to cloud the truth or win political points.

FCC Investigating Website Flaw That Exposed Cell Phone Locations

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said it was referring reports that a website flaw could have allowed the location of mobile phone customers to be tracked to its enforcement bureau to investigate. A security researcher said that data from LocationSmart, a California-based tech firm, could have been used to track AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US mobile consumers within a few hundred yards of their location and without their consent.

Apps in Google Play Store Linked to Hackers from North Korea

Researchers said a team of hackers tied to North Korea recently managed to get the Google Play market to host at least three Android apps designed to surreptitiously steal personal information from defectors of the isolated nation. The three apps first appeared in the official Android marketplace in January and weren’t removed until March when Google was privately notified.

In Facebook Deletion Center, 1,200 Moderators in Berlin Clean Up Content

Germany, home to a tough new online hate speech law, has become a laboratory for one of the most pressing issues for governments today: how and whether to regulate Facebook, the world’s biggest social network. Inside a deletion center in Berlin, more than 1,200 content moderators clean up content — from terrorist propaganda to Nazi symbols to child abuse — that violates the law or the company’s community standards.

Lawmakers Want Twitter CEO Dorsey to Testify on Privacy Practices

Lawmakers sought to convince Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey to come testify to Congress as part of their probe into the privacy practices of the country’s largest tech companies. Dorsey, in his first-ever visit to the U.S. Capitol, met with members like Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the leader of the tech-focused House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Red Flags Found in Hundreds of Tech Firms Using Digital Coin Offerings

Hundreds of technology firms raising money in the fevered market for cryptocurrencies are using deceptive or even fraudulent tactics to lure investors. In a review of documents produced for 1,450 digital coin offerings, The Wall Street Journal has found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams.

Google Says Indian Antitrust Ruling Could Cause 'Irreparable' Harm

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has said an Indian antitrust ruling that found it was guilty of search bias could cause “irreparable” harm and reputational loss to the company, according to a legal document reviewed by Reuters. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in February fined Google $20 million for abusing its position in online web search and also slammed the company for preventing its partners from using competing search services.

Zuckerberg Agrees to Answer Questions from EU Lawmakers

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to face a grilling from European Union lawmakers over how the data of as many as 2.7 million Europeans could have ended up in the hands of consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said Zuckerberg had accepted the EU institution’s invitation to travel across the Atlantic and face lawmakers in person as soon as next week.

Hacker Gets Information from Company That Helps Police Track Phones

Securus -- the company that lets cops track phones in real time with what amounts to a "pinky promise," according to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden -- has reportedly been hacked. The hacker, according to Motherboard, was able to get away with, at a minimum, a spreadsheet containing 2,800 logins and poorly encrypted passwords, some of which had already been cracked.

  • Read the article: CNET

White House Eliminates Top Cyber Security Position

The Trump administration has eliminated the White House’s top cyber policy role, jettisoning a key position created during the Obama presidency to harmonize the government's overall approach to cybersecurity policy and digital warfare. According to an email sent to National Security Council staffers, the decision is part of an effort to “streamline authority” for the senior directors who lead most NSC teams.

Apple CEO Cook Tells Trump He Opposes China Trade Approach

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said he opposed Donald Trump’s approach to trade with China in a recent White House meeting, while urging the president to address the legal status of immigrants known as Dreamers. In an interview on Bloomberg Television, Cook said his message to Trump focused on the importance of trade and how cooperation between two countries can boost the economy more than nations acting alone.