Overnight Cybersecurity

Hillicon Valley — Push to protect kids’ privacy moves ahead

Efforts led by a former Facebook product manager to protect kids’ privacy online has gained momentum in Congress and state legislatures as lawmakers seek to crack down on how tech companies collect and use children’s data. 

In other news, in the wake of Hurricane Ian, creating technologies that can protect homes from extreme storms is needed now more than ever. 

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 Ines Kagubare. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

Initiatives to protect kids’ online gains momentum

Efforts to regulate how tech companies collect and use children’s data gained momentum in the U.S. in the past year — a push supporters credit to a former Facebook product manager who took Washington and Silicon Valley by storm a year ago when she released hundreds of internal documents that offered a peek inside how the social media behemoth operates.  

In the year since Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen came forward, Congress, state legislatures and federal agencies have sought to crack down on how tech firms serve kids and teens. 

  • The documents released by Haugen and her wide-ranging testimony to U.S. and global lawmakers dealt with a range of topics, from the spread of misinformation to human exploitation. But her accusations about how the company, especially through Instagram, negatively impacted teen mental health made the most waves. 
  • “I think the stuff with kids — it just feels so egregious,” Haugen told The Hill. 
  • “If you went and polled a random sample of people who had kids in the United States, or a child in their life, they would tell you about what social media is doing right now,” she added. 

Haugen, who recently announced her next project, a nonprofit called Beyond the Screen aimed at creating a healthier online environment, acknowledged that the road toward regulation won’t be quick. 

Read more here

Technologies that make homes more resistant 

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida Wednesday after slamming into Cuba and knocking out the island’s power grid.   

With such extreme weather becoming more commonplace, the need for technology to protect homes from hurricanes and wildfires becomes increasingly urgent.   

A variety of technologies are emerging, from tough solar panels to 3-D printed walls. 

Well insulated buildings and those made from concrete are more likely to survive an extreme weather event like Hurricane Ian, according to Lionel Scharly, strategic construction advisor at Real Estate Bees.   

That’s why homes are commonly made from concrete in places that experience frequent hurricanes, like Puerto Rico.  

Read more here.  


Some types of drugs are not effective as oral treatments and must be given as shots, like insulin. 

New technology that involves a tiny motor in a pill might make oral drug delivery possible for more drugs. 

The pill, called RoboCap, was tested in pigs. 

In the future, diabetes patients could swallow their insulin treatments instead of having to give themselves shots. This could be made possible by innovative research into small pills that are designed to deliver drugs in the gut.  

In a paper published in Science Robotics, an interdisciplinary team out of Massachusetts details the development of RoboCap, a robotic capsule that can burrow past mucus in the intestines to deliver drugs. This device could help drugs get absorbed better and could be an alternative to taking drugs intravenously through shots. 

Read more here


An op-ed to chew on: Data privacy bill is flawed, but necessary 

Notable links from around the web: 

Nord Stream pipeline disinformation fits pattern of Russian information warfare (CyberScoop / Suzanne Smalley) 

Elon Musk’s texts reveal what led to Twitter bid, before deal fell apart (The Washington Post / Faiz Siddiqui) 

Elon Musk Slated to Unveil Humanoid Robot Optimus at Tesla’s AI Day (The Wall Street Journal) 

👶 Lighter click: The excuses we give 

One more thing: Biden blames Putin for disinfo

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not intimidate or scare off the U.S. and its allies from helping Ukraine, President Biden said Friday in a public response to Putin’s ceremony earlier in the day that carried out an annexation of Ukrainian territory. 

The annexation move was declared illegal by Ukraine, the U.S., many of its Western allies and the United Nations by officials who said it violated Ukrainian and international law. 

“America and its allies are not going to be intimidated by Putin and his reckless words and threats. He’s not going to scare us or intimidate us,” Biden said from the White House following remarks addressing the federal response to Hurricane Ian. 

Calling Putin’s annexation ceremony in the Kremlin a “sham routine,” Biden committed to providing Ukraine with military equipment and reinforced NATO’s resolve to “to defend every single inch of NATO territory. Every single inch.” 

  • Biden also spoke to mysterious explosions on two natural gas pipelines that transit from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, describing the situation as “a deliberate act of sabotage.” 
  • Europe has vowed investigations but so far withheld assigning blame, although experts point to Putin and Russia as the main suspect
  • Russia has denied responsibility and sought to cast blame on the U.S., a strategy which Biden described as “pumping out disinformation and lies.” 

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 Monday.

Tags Biden Frances Haugen Vladimir Putin

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