Overnight Tech: FTC investigating Equifax | Google sued for gender discrimination | Kaspersky CEO to testify before Congress

Overnight Tech: FTC investigating Equifax | Google sued for gender discrimination | Kaspersky CEO to testify before Congress
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FTC INVESTIGATING EQUIFAX: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday said it was investigating the Equifax breach that left sensitive information on 143 million Americans exposed to hackers.

"The FTC typically does not comment on ongoing investigations," FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan said in an email. "However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff is investigating the Equifax data breach."

It is extremely rare for the agency to publicly confirm an investigation.

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Last week, Equifax revealed the breach that had taken place in May and June and exposed information like Social Security numbers of nearly half the country. More than 200,000 people had their credit card numbers stolen as well.

Read more here.

 

EQUIFAX SHARES TAKE A DIVE: Equifax stock plunged in value Thursday morning after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an investigation into the security breach that exposed the personal information of roughly 143 million people to hackers.

Shares of the embattled credit reporting company dropped nearly 10 percent after the market opened Thursday morning, sinking as low as $90.64 per share, about $8 lower than Wednesday's close. Equifax stock recovered slightly by 11 a.m., reaching $95 per share. It closed for the day down at 96.66.

Read more here.

 

MORE ON EQUIFAX:

Dems propose data security bill after Equifax

Feds warn of Equifax phishing scams

Equifax revealed that the hack was preventable with a security patch

 

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FOR HILL STAFFERS, CRUZ'S PORN TWEET A NIGHTMARE SCENARIO: Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPat Fallon wins GOP nomination in race to succeed DNI Ratcliffe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline Wary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker MORE's (R-Texas) Twitter mishap late Monday night involving a pornographic account is nightmare fuel for congressional staffers who are increasingly tasked with managing social media for their bosses.

Twitter and Facebook have become crucial communication tools for members of Congress, helping them stake out their positions, interact with constituents and attract media attention. As a result, staffers spend many of their work hours managing and cultivating lawmakers' social media presences.

But in an era where an inadvertent retweet or insensitive Facebook comment can balloon into controversy, the task can be perilous. And smartphone apps have only further blurred the line between work and personal accounts.

"My anonymous advice -- keep personal and work accounts on different phones, and take a minute to pause and double check details before hitting that send button," said one GOP committee aide.

Read more here.

 

FORMER EMPLOYEES HIT GOOGLE WITH GENDER DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT: Three former female Google employees accused the internet search company of gender discrimination in a class action lawsuit filed Thursday.

Women in Google's ranks face systemic discrimination when it comes to wages and promotions, according to the complaint.

"Google has discriminated and continues to discriminate against its female employees by paying female employees less than male employees with similar skills, experience, and duties; by assigning and keeping women in job ladders and levels with lower compensation ceilings and advancement opportunities than those to which men with similar skills, experience, and duties are assigned and kept; and by promoting fewer women and promoting women more slowly than it has promoted similarly-qualified men," reads the lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court.

Read more here.

 

SENATE PANEL TAKES AIM AT FCC'S LIFELINE: Senators on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Thursday criticized a subsidy program for phone and internet access that was the subject of a recent watchdog report detailing cases of fraud and abuse.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonBlumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections Democrats try to force Trump to boost medical supplies production GOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe MORE (R-Wis.), the panel's chairman, said at a hearing there "probably" needs to be a complete overhaul of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Lifeline program, which offers low-income households a monthly $9.25 subsidy for mobile and broadband internet access.

"We need to completely rethink how we distribute that subsidy," Johnson told reporters.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) put out a report in June that found $1.2 million in subsidies went to fake or deceased people enrolled in the program. The GAO could not verify the eligibility of 36 percent of the program's subscribers.

Read more here.

 

KASPERSKY CEO TO TESTIFY: A key congressional panel has asked the CEO of Kaspersky Lab to testify before lawmakers, one day after the U.S. government barred federal agencies from using software produced by the Russian-origin cyber firm over national security concerns.

Republicans on the House Science Committee wrote to Eugene Kaspersky on Thursday asking him to testify at a subcommittee hearing on Sept. 27.

"The purpose of this hearing is to conduct oversight of the cybersecurity posture of the federal government, and examine the extent to which the federal government utilizes your company's products," Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), chairman of the subcommittee on oversight, wrote in the letter to Kaspersky.

Kaspersky said in a statement to The Hill that he appreciates and accepts the invitation, but needs an expedited visa in order to publicly address "the allegations about my company and its products."

Kaspersky Lab has been in the spotlight for months over allegations of ties between the company and Russian intelligence.

Read more here.

Russia on Thursday criticized the U.S. government's decision to ban federal agencies from using Kaspersky software.

Read more on that here.

 

NEW SENATE BILL WOULD BOOST TECH INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: With self-driving cars and buses on the horizon, a bipartisan pair of lawmakers wants more communities to address their transportation needs using new technology, data and other smart solutions.

Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenate GOP opens door to smaller coronavirus deal as talks lag Hillicon Valley: Google extending remote work policy through July 2021 | Intel community returns final Russia report to Senate committee after declassification | Study finds election officials vulnerable to cyberattacks Intel community returns final Russia report volume to Senate after declassification review MORE (R-N.C.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) unveiled legislation on Thursday designed to boost innovative, first-of-its-kind transportation systems around the country.

"Our ability to harness technology and innovation is the key to overcoming the problems we face in the 21st century," Burr said.

Read more here.

 

ON TAP:

Center for Democracy and Technology, the Charles Koch Institute and the Newseum host an event on online speech at 9 a.m.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Right explodes in anger over Trump's immigration push

Facebook allowed advertisers to reach anti-Semitic individuals: report

Reuters: U.S. election agency seeks comment after Facebook cites Russian ads

The Intercept: Questions about the FCC's new diversity chair

Tech industry backs ICPA legislation

Google suffers loss in fight over foreign data

Data on nearly 600K Alaska voters exposed online