Overnight Tech: Senate panel subpoenaed ex-Yahoo chief | Twitter gives all users 280 characters | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | EU wants tax answers from Apple

Overnight Tech: Senate panel subpoenaed ex-Yahoo chief | Twitter gives all users 280 characters | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | EU wants tax answers from Apple
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SENATE COMMERCE SUBPOENAED EX-YAHOO CEO: The Senate Commerce Committee issued a subpoena requiring former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to testify before the committee on cybersecurity breaches, a source with knowledge of the matter told The Hill.

The report was separately confirmed by a committee spokesperson on Tuesday.

The committee issued the subpoena on Oct. 25 after Mayer declined multiple requests to testify voluntarily, even after being threatened with legal action.

Following the subpoena order, Mayer's representative told the committee that she would comply and testify before the committee, according to the spokesperson.


The panel's top Democrat, Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDemocrats sound alarm on possible election chaos Trump, facing trouble in Florida, goes all in NASA names DC headquarters after agency's first Black female engineer Mary W. Jackson MORE (D-Fla.) supported Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine, masks Senate GOP eyes early exit MORE's (R-S.D.) move to subpoena Mayer, allowing the committee to avoid voting on the summon.

Mayer's representative asked if the committee would lift the subpoena order to make the once-Yahoo CEO's testimony appear voluntary, according to another source.

The committee spokesperson said that as of Tuesday, the subpoena is still in effect, but declined to comment on if it would be withdrawn as a result of Mayer's reversal.

A representative for Mayer disputed this version of the events and stressed that she is appearing voluntarily.

According to her spokesperson, there was a back and forth with Mayer's representatives and the committee in which she stressed that she was not the best witness for the most recent disclosure of the 2013 breach in which 3 billion Yahoo accounts were compromised. After it was confirmed that a representative from Verizon would also testify, Mayer agreed to appear; however, the subpoena had already been issued at that point. Verizon bought Yahoo earlier this year.

Read more here.


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280 FOR EVERYONE: Twitter announced Tuesday that it will officially double the number of characters available to users for tweets.

The company explained that it thought the move – first tested among a smaller group of users in September – would be helpful given that 9 percent of tweets hit the previous 140-character limit.

Avid tweeters such as President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE were often forced to send multiple tweets to express their thoughts on a single subject given the constrictions of the previous limit.

According to research Twitter conducted, just 1 percent of the 280-character limit tweets hit the new max.

Read more here.


WAYMO WILL TEST DRIVERLESS CARS WITHOUT HUMAN MONITORS: Waymo, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, has started to test fully autonomous cars on public roads.

Since October, Waymo has been testing fully autonomous cars on roads in and around Phoenix without a safety driver, unlike other companies who have been conducting their tests on predetermined routes or on a demo track.

"Fully self-driving cars are here," Waymo CEO John Krafcik said at Web Summit in Lisbon on Tuesday, where he announced the new milestone.

"Our ultimate goal is to bring our fully self-driving technology to more cities in the U.S. and around the world," Krafcik continued.

Read more here.


EU WANTS TAX INFO FROM APPLE: The European Union's competition chief said that she has asked Apple for information about its current tax structure as the regulator seeks to recover billions in back taxes from the tech giant.

"I have been asking for an update on the arrangement made by Apple, the recent way they have been organized, in order to get the feeling whether or not this is in accordance with our European rules but that remains to be seen," Margrethe Vestager said during a news conference in Lisbon, Portugal, on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Vestager, the European competition commissioner, ruled last year that Ireland had been granting Apple illegal tax benefits and ordered the iPhone maker to pay about $15 billion in back taxes. Last month, she said that regulators would be taking Ireland to court for failing to collect the money.

Read more here.


FBI CAN'T UNLOCK TEXAS SHOOTER'S PHONE: The FBI has confiscated the phone of the gunman who opened fire at a Texas church Sunday but is unable to access it for the ongoing investigation, an official revealed Tuesday.

FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs, who is leading the investigation, told reporters that the bureau had flown the device to Quantico, Va., Monday night and that agents have been reviewing the phone but have not been able to get into it.

"It actually highlights an issue that you've all heard about before with advance of the phones and the technology and the encryption, law enforcement, whether it's at the state, local or the federal level, is increasingly not able to get into these phones," Combs said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Read more here.


HACKERS TARGETING GOVERNMENTS IN SOUTH AMERICA, ASIA: A new hacker group is stealing documents from South American and Southeast Asian government institutions and diplomats, researchers at Symantec claim.

According to a report released Tuesday, the group has been active since at least early 2015 and has hit targets in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Brunei and Malaysia.

Read more here.


FACEBOOK PROGRAM ASKS FOR NUDE PICS TO COUNTER REVENGE PORN: Facebook is reportedly testing out a pilot program to counter revenge porn that involves users sending the company nude photos of themselves that may be in others' possession.

The program, which is currently only being deployed in Australia, creates a digital thumbprint of the images, known as "hashing," that users don't want spread without their consent on Facebook.

Once a photo is "hashed," Facebook acts to prevent any attempt to re-upload it from another source, as reported Tuesday by The Guardian.

"We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly," a Facebook official said.

Read more here.



The FCC will hold a Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee meeting at 9:30 a.m.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will hold an event on "hybrid" infrastructure at 10:00 a.m.

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on data breaches featuring former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer at 10:00 a.m.

New America will hold an event on how the FCC can protect consumers without harming innovation at noon.

Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPeterson faces fight of his career in deep-red Minnesota district Getting tight — the psychology of cancel culture Tina Smith wins Democratic Senate primary in Minnesota MORE (D-Minn.) will speak at an Open Markets Institute event on tech giants and democracy at 12:30 p.m.



The Guardian: Twitter apologizes for 'technical issue' that blocked searches for 'bisexual'

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WSJ: Amazon's Roy Price left alleged trail of sexual harassment

Wired: How the Virginia election will boost data driven progressives

Recode: Top investor Shervin Pishevar has sued a Republican opposition firm for alleging that he's 'an agent of the Russian government'