Overnight Cybersecurity

Hillicon Valley — App stores urged to remove TikTok

(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

An official at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked that Apple and Google remove TikTok from their app stores over privacy concerns.

In other news, Norway’s public and private sector websites were temporarily down on Wednesday following a cyberattack that targeted the country’s national data network.

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Send tips to The Hill’s Rebecca KlarChris Mills Rodrigo and Ines Kagubare. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

FCC commissioner joins TikTok backlash

A member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asked Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores over concerns about data harvesting.  

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, who was appointed by former President Trump, said the app poses national security threats, adding to the growing backlash from Republicans after BuzzFeed reported earlier this month that employees of TikTok’s parent company in China have access to private data on U.S. users. 

In letters to Apple and Google, shared by Carr on Tuesday, he said TikTok’s “pattern of conduct and misrepresentation regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data” puts the app “out of compliance” with the companies’ app store policies. 

“Therefore, I am requesting that you apply the plain text of your app store policies to TikTok and remove it from your app stores for failure to abide by those terms,” he wrote.  

Read more here.

Norway hit with cyberattack in latest hack

Norway’s public and private sector websites were temporarily down on Wednesday following a cyberattack that targeted the country’s national data network, forcing it to suspend online services for several hours. 

Sofie Nystrøm, head of the Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM), said a criminal pro-Russian group seemed to be behind the hacks, adding the attacks “give the impression that we are a piece in the current political situation in Europe,” according to The Associated Press

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said he believed the distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack had not “caused any significant damage,” the AP reported. 

Read more here.

SWING STATE VOTERS SUPPORT APP STORE REGULATION

Most swing state voters believe that Congress hasn’t done enough to regulate Big Tech, according to a poll from the Coalition for App Fairness, which is pushing for legislation to crack down on tech giants. 

The poll found that 69 percent of likely voters surveyed in eight swing states disapprove of the job lawmakers have done regulating tech giants, and 68 percent said that the Silicon Valley firms have too much power. 

The coalition, whose members include app developers such as Epic Games and Spotify, released the poll as it lobbied lawmakers to pass the Open App Markets Act, a bipartisan bill that would block Apple and Google from favoring their own apps in searches and stop them from preventing users from using third-party app stores. 

Read more here.

BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Democrats need a united front against GOP attempts to regulate social media 

Notable links from around the web: 

Police Are Looking to Algorithms to Predict Domestic Violence (The Markup / Colin Lecher) 

You scheduled an abortion. Planned Parenthood’s website could tell Facebook. (The Washington Post / Tatum Hunter) 

Unsettled: The Afghan refugee crisis collides with the American housing disaster (The Verge / Makena Kelly)

One more thing: Subscriptions hit Snap

Snapchat revealed on Wednesday that it will now offer Snapchat+, a subscription plan providing a collection of “exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features” for $3.99 a month. 

“This subscription will allow us to deliver new Snapchat features to some of the most passionate members of our community and allow us to provide prioritized support,” Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, said in a press release. 

New features include the ability to pin your close friend as a BFF and to customize the app’s icon. 

Read more here.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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