Bills Would Ban Sale of U.S. Chips to Some Chinese Telecom Companies

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced bills that would ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., ZTE Corp. or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate U.S. sanctions or export control laws. The proposed law was introduced shortly before the Wall Street Journal reported federal prosecutors were investigating allegations that Huawei stole trade secrets from T-Mobile U.S. Inc. and other U.S. businesses.

Judge Rules Against Forced Use of Biometric Features in Facebook Case

A federal judge in Oakland ruled that law enforcement agencies cannot force people to use biometric features such as facial-recognition to unlock their phones and other devices in a case that highlights the fight between Big Tech and law enforcement over users’ privacy. The decision arose out of an extortion case in which two suspects allegedly used Facebook Messenger to threaten that if a man didn’t give them money, they would distribute embarrassing video of him.

Attorney General Nominee Wants Antitrust Review of Social Media Companies

President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, said at his first confirmation hearing that he would look into whether Silicon Valley social media companies were abusing their market position to stifle competition and what the Justice Department’s role should be on the issue of consumer data privacy. The question that prompted the response came from junior Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) who dedicated his allotted time to asking Barr about issues surrounding data privacy and the centralized power companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have on the market.

Eastern European Hackers Charged with Breaking Into SEC Database

A group of Eastern Europeans broke into the SEC’s company filings database, stole nonpublic information, and then made illicit trades worth over $4.1 million, the agency and DOJ said Jan. 15 .Oleksandr Ieremenko hacked the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR e-filing system in 2016, then passed the information he obtained to a group of Ukrainian and Russian traders who used it to make a profit, according to two cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Appeals Court Upholds VirnetX 's $440 Million Patent Verdict Against Apple

A U.S. appeals court upheld a judgment worth $440 million that was won by intellectual property licensing firm VirnetX Inc. against Apple Inc. in a patent infringement case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Apple’s appeal of a 2016 jury verdict originally valued at $302 million that grew to $440 million with interest, enhanced damages, and other costs.

German Court Dismisses Qualcomm's Patent Lawsuit Against Apple

A patent lawsuit filed by Qualcomm Inc. against Apple Inc was thrown out by a German court, in a reversal for the U.S. chipmaker after it won a recent court ban on the sale of some iPhones in the country. The regional court in the city of Mannheim dismissed the Qualcomm suit as groundless in an initial verbal decision, saying the patent in question was not violated by the installation of its chips in Apple’s smartphones.

Justice Department Opinion Could Create Limits for Online Gambling

The Justice Department issued a legal opinion that could further restrict online gambling even as some states have been moving to embrace it — a restriction long sought by GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who controls one of the world’s largest casino empires. The opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which will probably be tested in the courts, reversed an Obama-era opinion that declared that the Wire Act applied only to sports gambling.

Huawei Fires Employee Arrested in Poland for Spying Charges

The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has fired an employee who was arrested in Poland on charges of spying for the Chinese government, saying in a statement late Saturday that the worker had brought “disrepute” to the company. Huawei said that the alleged actions that the employee, Wang Weijing, had been accused of had nothing to do with the company.

Germany to Ban Facebook from Collecting User Data from Third Parties

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office intends to ban Facebook from collecting user data from third parties, the newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported. This will also prohibit data sharing between WhatsApp and Instagram, which Facebook owns. Germany is concerned that Facebook users didn’t know they agreed to be tracked across the internet when they signed up for the firm’s offerings.

Publisher Files Trademark Suit Against Netflix Over 'Choose Your Own Adventure'

Chooseco, LLC, the childrens' book publisher that owns the trademark to "Choose Your Own Adventure," has filed a lawsuit against Netflix over the immersive film, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. According to a complaint filed in Vermont federal court on Friday, Chooseco has been using the mark since the 1980s and has sold more than 265 million copies of its Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Top YouTube Results for Ruth Bader Ginsburg Include Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories about the health of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have dominated YouTube, illustrating how the world’s most popular video site is failing to prevent its algorithm from helping popularize viral hoaxes and misinformation. More than half of the top 20 search results for her initials, “RBG,” on Wednesday pointed to false far-right videos, some claiming doctors are using mysterious illegal drugs to keep her alive, according to a review by The Washington Post.

Poland Arrests Two, Including Huawei Employee, on Chinese Spying Charges

The Polish authorities arrested two people, including a Chinese employee of the telecommunications giant Huawei, and charged them with spying for Beijing, officials said, as the United States and its allies move to restrict the use of Chinese technology because of concerns that it is being used for espionage. The arrest of the Huawei employee is almost certain to escalate tensions between Western countries and China over the company, which the authorities in the United States have accused of acting as an arm of the Chinese government and making equipment designed for spying.

Tech Companies Prepare to Fight Indian Rules on Regulating Content

Global social media and technology giants are gearing up to fight sweeping new rules proposed by the Indian government that would require them to actively regulate content in one of the world’s biggest Internet markets, sources close to the matter told Reuters. The rules, proposed by the Information Technology ministry on Christmas Eve, would compel platforms such as Facebook, its messaging service WhatsApp and Twitter to remove unlawful content, such as anything that affected the “sovereignty and integrity of India”.

Shutdown Renders Government Websites Insecure, Inaccessible

The U.S. government shutdown has taken a toll on public spaces — with garbage and human feces overflowing at National Parks — but now the deterioration is being felt online. More than 80 U.S. government websites have now become either insecure or inaccessible due to the sites not updating a security credential known as a TLS certificate, according to a report by Netcraft.

Ring Allowed Employees to Share Customer Videos, Reports Say

Smart doorbell company Ring allowed employees to share unencrypted customer videos with each other, according to reports by both The Intercept and The Information. The reports say that Ring, which was purchased by Amazon last year, gave various teams access to unencrypted customer video files on company servers and live feeds from some customer cameras, regardless of whether that access was necessary.