Overnight Cybersecurity

Hillicon Valley — Musk knocks Trump’s app

Associated Press-Matt Rourke/Associated Press-Joe Maiorana

Elon Musk knocked former President Trump’s app Truth Social as part of a wide-ranging interview that was published as Musk’s bid to buy Twitter forges ahead.  

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

Musk vs. Truth Social  

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk took a swipe at former President Trump’s social media platform Truth Social, calling it a “rightwing echo chamber.” 

During an in-depth interview with the Financial Times published Friday, the tech mogul talked about his reasoning behind making a bid to purchase Twitter, a transaction that, thus far, has been fraught with legal drama. 

“I’m not doing Twitter for the money. It’s not like I’m trying to buy some yacht and I can’t afford it,” Musk, a billionaire, said. “I don’t own any boats. But I think it’s important that people have a maximally trusted and inclusive means of exchanging ideas and that it should be as trusted and transparent as possible.” 

  • The other option, he told the Financial Times, is allowing the debate to splinter into different social media apps. 
  • “It [Truth Social] is essentially a rightwing echo chamber. It might as well be called Trumpet,” he said. 
  • Musk and Twitter were embroiled in a legal battle after Musk withdrew his
    $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform. Following the withdrawal, Twitter sued Musk and Musk countersued, alleging that the tech company had not been forthcoming about the number of bots occupying the platform

Read more here.  

JUDGE GRANTS STAY FOR MUSK 

A Delaware judge on Thursday granted Elon Musk’s request to stay an upcoming trial with Twitter, giving him until Oct. 28 to close a $44 billion merger deal with the company. 

Kathaleen McCormick, the head of the Delaware Chancery Court, ruled that if the merger agreement is not closed by Oct. 28, she would issue a notice of a trial date in November. 

On Thursday, Musk’s attorneys filed a motion for a stay on the upcoming trial, saying it was now an “enormous waste of party and judicial resources” since he says he will go through with his agreement to purchase the company. 

Twitter’s attorneys also filed on Thursday opposing Musk’s motion, arguing he has not agreed to a closing date and the company is “entitled to its day in court.” 

The attorneys said Musk has “pursued increasingly implausible claims” and has long sought to delay the trial. 

Read more here.  

236K NEW JOBS IN SEPTEMBER 

The U.S. added 263,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to
3.5 percent, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. 

The September employment report showed job growth continuing to slow from a torrid pace earlier in the year but remaining strong as the economy powers through high inflation and rising interest rates. 

The jobless rate also dropped by 0.2 percentage points and returned to pre-pandemic level in February 2020, which was the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years.

Economists expected the U.S. to have added roughly 250,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate to remain at 3.7 percent, according to consensus estimates. The decline in the jobless rate last month came as labor force participation fell slightly — a sign of ample demand for workers even amid recession fears. 

Read more here.  

BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Permanent climate change on habitable planets 

Notable links from around the web: 

This Is Life in the Metaverse (The New York Times / Kashmir Hill) 

This Is the Third Amazon Warehouse to Catch Fire This Week (Motherboard / Jules Roscoe) 

Memory Chip Makers Struggle With Declines in Demand, Price (The Wall Street Journal / Jiyoung Sohn and Asa Fitch) 

🐔 Lighter click: The Hill’s photos of the week

One more thing: A dangerous wave 

Book bans are nothing new in the United States, but authors of some of the country’s most contested books worry about the newest push to censor what literature children have access to in schools.   

“I’m an old pro at this,” said Sherman Alexie, author of the young adult novel “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” The novel tells the story of Arnold Spirit Jr., a 14-year-old aspiring cartoonist who lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation while attending an all-white high school.   

The book has faced pushback since it was published in 2007 and has been contested for its use of profanity, racist language — including the N-word — and references to sexual acts. Over the past 15 years, the novel has earned a spot on the American Library Association’s banned books list six times.    

The novel is currently banned in 16 different school districts across a handful of states including Florida, Georgia, Iowa and Kansas, according to PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans. 

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 next week.

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