Overnight Cybersecurity

Hillicon Valley: Tech groups pledge action on cybersecurity

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Happy Wednesday! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage. 

A major federal spotlight shone on cybersecurity Wednesday, with President Biden meeting with the leaders of more than two dozen major tech, banking, insurance, energy, and education groups to discuss ways to better secure against cyberattacks, which have ramped up over the last year. Following the meeting, groups including Google, IBM and Microsoft announced major initiatives to fund cybersecurity and enhance the cyber workforce, taking action in the face of escalating threats. 

TAKING ACTION: The federal government and several major technology companies on Wednesday announced they are taking a host of steps to enhance the nation's cybersecurity, specifically focused on growing the cyber workforce and investing billions of dollars in the field. 

The announcements followed a meeting on cybersecurity at the White House with President Biden and key members of his administration on cybersecurity, and on the heels of months of high-profile cyberattacks.

Biden met with officials of over two dozen groups from a range of fields, including the leaders of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Bank of America, JPMorgan, Duke Energy, PG&E, Travelers insurance, and the University of Texas System. 

In addition, Google announced a major investment of $10 billion over the next five years to strengthen cybersecurity, pledging an additional $100 million to support third-party security groups, while Amazon announced it would begin offering free security awareness training to the public in October.  

Read more about the action items here.

A senior official told reporters Tuesday night that the meeting would serve as a "call to action" to address escalating cyber risks, and promised "concrete" actions would be taken following the meeting. 

Read more here.


ONE MILLION DOWN: YouTube has removed more than 1 million videos related to "dangerous coronavirus information" since February 2020 when the outbreak first emerged in the U.S, the company said Wednesday. 

The videos YouTube removed included content spreading false claims about the pandemic, such as about false cures or claims of a hoax, according to the platform. 

The videos were taken down in line with YouTube's policies that center on removing "any videos that can directly lead to egregious real world harm," YouTube's chief product officer Neal Mohan said in the blog post

Read more here


ONLYFANS BACK: The subscription-based site OnlyFans will no longer be banning "sexually-explicit" content starting Oct. 1st after a wave of backlash from the sex workers who brought the site to prominence.

The proposed "changes are no longer required due to banking partners' assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators," an OnlyFans spokesperson told The Hill Wednesday.

The initial announcement of the ban last week left many questions for creators by specifying that nudity would still be allowed on the platform.

OnlyFans, which allows creators to post original content for subscribers, has been a lifeline for sex workers as the coronavirus pandemic has limited options for in-person work, giving them a consistent way to pull in revenue.

The company initially said it was making the decision to limit sexual content on the platform because of pressure from banking partners and processors.

Read more.


WIN FOR HUAWEI: The U.S. has reportedly approved license applications for the embattled Chinese telecom company Huawei to purchase chips for its auto component business.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that the license applications the U.S. accepted are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The reported deal marks a significant victory for Huawei, whose business efforts have been stymied by strict restrictions imposed by both the Biden and Trump administrations.

The Trump administration enacted trade restrictions on the sale of chips and other parts used in its network technology and smartphones businesses, according to Reuters.

Read more here.

An op-ed to chew on: Can SpaceX's Elon Musk help NASA get back to the moon by 2024 after all?

Lighter click: Havana syndrome


Clearview AI Offered Free Facial Recognition Trials To Police All Around The World (BuzzFeed News / Ryan Mac, Caroline Haskins and Antonio Pequeño IV) 

Joe Rogan, Confined To Spotify, Is Losing Influence (The Verge / Ashley Carman) 

Facebook said to consider forming election committee (The New York Times / Ryan Mac, Mike Isaac and Sheera Frenkel)