Twitter hack probe leads to call for cybersecurity rules for social media giants

An investigation into this summer’s Twitter hack by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) has ended with a stinging rebuke for how easily Twitter let itself be duped by a “simple” social engineering technique — and with a wider call for key social media platforms to be regulated on security.

In the report, the NYSDFS points, by way of contrasting example, to how quickly regulated cryptocurrency companies acted to prevent the Twitter hackers scamming even more people — arguing this demonstrates that tech innovation and regulation aren’t mutually exclusive.

Its point is that the biggest social media platforms have huge societal power (with all the associated consumer risk) but no regulated responsibilities to protect users.

The report concludes this is a problem U.S. lawmakers need to get on and tackle stat — recommending that an oversight council be established (to “designate systemically important social media companies”) and

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China’s Mars Probe Tianwen-1 Sends Home Selfies Captured 15 Million Miles From Earth

KEY POINTS

  • The CNSA released new selfies of Tianwen-1 captured 15 million miles away from Earth
  • The Mars probe took images of itself using a tiny camera ejected from the spacecraft
  • Tianwen-1 is expected to reach the red planet in February 2021

Talk about a clever way to take self-portraits in space! Tianwen-1 has snapped some selfies while in outer space using a camera ejected from its spacecraft.

While on its way to Mars, Tianwen-1 sent home new images of itself captured 15 million miles away from Earth. They were released by the China National Space Administration earlier this month as part of the country’s national day celebrations.

The small camera the Mars probe used to snap selfies had wide-angle lenses on each side and took one photo every second. It sends the images it takes to Tianwen-1, which would then transmit the pictures to Earth.

One of the many

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House antitrust probe says Amazon has ‘monopoly power’ over sellers, company slams ‘fringe’ findings

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos answers questions via video during an antitrust hearing in July.

A long-awaited report from a U.S. House antitrust subcommittee finds that Amazon “has monopoly power over most third-party sellers and many of its suppliers,” and proposes sweeping reforms for U.S. tech giants including “structural separations to prohibit platforms from operating in lines of business that depend on or interoperate with the platform.”

Amazon called the report fundamentally flawed, saying its “fringe notions on antitrust” presented an inaccurate view of the market and competitive landscape.

The 450-page report from the subcommittee’s Democratic leaders concludes a 16-month investigation into Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple as the operators of major online markets. It finds that the market power of the four tech giants “has diminished consumer choice, eroded innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy, weakened the vibrancy of the free and diverse press, and undermined Americans’ privacy.”

If

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Google could face antitrust probe in China instigated by Huawei

Android Q Beta 5 Dark Mode Boot Animation Google Logo
  • Google could face a new antitrust probe in China.
  • Huawei, amid its recent struggles, has reportedly prompted Chinese lawmakers to investigate the US giant.
  • The probe would also touch on the US’ treatment of TikTok and chipmaker SMIC.

China is reportedly set to launch an antitrust investigation into Google’s dominance in the mobile operating system space. According to a Reuters report, the Mountain View firm could face an antitrust probe as early as this month, as trade tensions between the US and China continue. Notably, the publication’s sources suggest Huawei motivated the investigation.

Related: Google buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know about Google hardware

Purportedly key to the probe is Huawei’s treatment by US companies like Google in light of the ongoing trade ban. Huawei has seen its Google support for Android severed, leaving it without Google services on key devices in markets beyond China.

Google could have a

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Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google probe by house panel nears final steps

House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Chair David Cicilline, D-RI, speaks during a hearing on “Online Platforms and Market Power” in the Rayburn House office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on July 29, 2020.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Congress’ more than year-long investigation into four of the world’s most valuable tech companies is nearing its final stages, paving the way for new legal proposals that could drastically alter antitrust enforcement in the U.S. for the years to come.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust held its seventh and final hearing in a series examining the health of competition in digital markets and the business practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The event was not as splashy as the subcommittee’s July hearing featuring the four tech CEOs and it also took about half the time.

But the nitty-gritty legal questions

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Fraud claims, DOJ probe and sexual abuse allegations cloud $2B deal between GM and Nikola truck startup

What seemed like a simple matter of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s has turned into a protracted challenge for General Motors and Nikola, after negotiations to pair up and produce new zero-emissions trucks have been extended.

The $2 billion deal, announced Sept. 9, was billed as a “partnership made in heaven,” according to Nikola founder and then-chairman Trevor Milton, during a media call with GM CEO Mary Barra. But the Phoenix-based startup has since been hammered by claims of fraud, with a Securities and Exchange Commission probe now underway. Allegations surfaced this week of sexual abuse by Milton, who stepped down as chairman last week. Nikola’s stock has plunged to barely a quarter of what it was worth when the company went public last June.

Talks expected to wrap up today could now run through Dec. 3, at which time the proposed deal “may be terminated by either

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Parker Solar Probe Makes Closest Ever Approach to the Sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is set to break a record tomorrow, becoming the closest-ever human-made object to the sun. The probe will break its own previous record, coming within 8.4 million miles of the sun’s surface and traveling at 289,927 miles per hour.

This will be the probe’s sixth flyby of the sun since it was launched in 2018. As it orbits around the sun, it gets gradually closer and closer with each pass, and over the summer it got an extra boost by using the gravity of Venus to adjust its trajectory. In July this year, the probe came within just 518 miles of the surface of Venus, and the gravitational assist from this maneuver allowed the probe to get 3.25 million miles closer to the sun than its last pass in June.

This flyby will also be the first time that the probe will pass within 0.1 AU

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US probe to touch down on asteroid Bennu on October 20

The asteroid Bennu, as photographed by OSIRIS-REx, on December 2, 2018
The asteroid Bennu, as photographed by OSIRIS-REx, on December 2, 2018

After a four-year journey, NASA’s robotic spacecraft OSIRIS-REx will descend to asteroid Bennu’s boulder-strewn surface on October 20, touching down for a few seconds to collect rock and dust samples, the agency said Thursday.

Scientists hope the mission will help deepen our understanding of how planets formed and life began and provide insight on asteroids that could impact Earth.

“Years of planning and hard work by this team are essentially coming down to putting the TAGSAM (Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism) into contact with the surface for just five to 10 seconds,” said Mike Moreau, OSIRIS-REx deputy project manager.

NASA has chosen a site called Nightingale, a rocky area 52 feet (16 meters) in diameter, for the spacecraft’s robotic arm to attempt to collect a sample, because it holds the greatest amount of unobstructed fine-grained material.

The spacecraft, about the

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Tim Cook Talks Apple Antitrust Probe, Remote Work, Relationship With Trump

Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook in an interview with the Atlantic on Monday discussed several events surrounding the consumer electronics company of late.

Apple All For Antitrust Probe: Cook suggested that he doesn’t find the lawmakers’ probe into antitrust allegations against Apple at all problematic.

“I think that big companies deserve scrutiny. And I think that’s not only fair but important for the system that we have in America,” he said, in response to a question on whether he was “bothered” by being asked to testify before the Congress alongside Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“There is no monopoly here,” he told the Atlantic. There are “basically street fights” for market share, according to Cook, who claims Apple’s strategy to make the best products available means it can’t be termed a monopoly. 

“Somebody will choose a commodity product and there are enough people that buy the

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Facebook Tells Irish Court That Probe Threatens Its EU Operations – Newspaper | World News

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Facebook has told Ireland’s High Court it cannot see how its services could operate in the European Union if regulators freeze its data transfer mechanism, the Sunday Business Post reported, citing court documents seen by the paper.

The U.S. social media giant last week said that the Irish Data Protection Commission, its lead EU regulator, had made a preliminary decision that the mechanism it uses to transfer data from the EU to the United States “cannot in practice be used”.

Facebook requested and secured a temporary freeze on the order and a court review in the Irish High Court, which is due to consider the issue in November.

In an affidavit submitted to the court to request that the order be frozen, Yvonne Cunnane, Facebook Ireland’s head of data protection and associate general counsel, said it was not clear how the company could continue providing services in

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