Hillicon Valley: Facebook reveals 30 million users affected by hack | Grassley presses Google to explain data practices | Senators warn Canada against using Chinese telecom firm | FCC responds to net neutrality lawsuits

Hillicon Valley: Facebook reveals 30 million users affected by hack | Grassley presses Google to explain data practices | Senators warn Canada against using Chinese telecom firm | FCC responds to net neutrality lawsuits
© Greg Nash

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LATEST ON FACEBOOK HACK: Facebook on Friday revealed that hackers had stolen extensive information from 14 million users in the hack it announced last month.

The company said an estimated 30 million people overall were affected by the hack, downgrading its initial estimate that information on 50 million users had been compromised.

But while the pool of users affected by the breach has shrunk, Facebook revealed that the hackers still managed to access an alarming amount of personal information for millions of users.

The company said that of those 30 million, hackers accessed information on 14 million that included the most recent places they had checked in, their 15 most recent searches, the devices they used to access Facebook, birthdate, relationship status, religion and other information listed on their profiles.

Another 15 million had their names and contact information exposed, Facebook said, adding that hackers didn't access any information for the remaining 1 million people in the 30 million affected. Facebook said that no credit card information was stolen in the hack.

The hack is likely the largest and most extensive that the company has ever suffered, and it comes as Facebook is still recovering from the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which a right-wing political consulting group improperly obtained data on millions of users. Read more here.


GIVE IT TO ME: The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is pressing Google to explain its data privacy practices in the wake of revelations that user data was hacked from its now defunct social media platform, Google Plus.

Sen. Charles GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest Grassley'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Cruz warns GOP support for expanded background checks could help elect Warren president Lawmakers applaud Trump's ban on flavored e-cigarettes MORE (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Friday asking him to explain how the breach may have affected users and why it took Google so long to discover and then disclose the breach.

Grassley also tore into Google for being hypocritical about its security practices during Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal.

"Despite your contention that Google did not have the same data protection failures as Facebook, it appears from recent reports that Google+ had an almost identical feature to Facebook, which allowed third-party developers to access information from users as well as private information of those users' connections," Grassley wrote to Pichai.

"Moreover, it appears that you were aware of this issue at the time I invited you to participate in the hearing and sent you the letter regarding Google's policies," he continued.

The British research firm improperly harvested the data of 87 million users against Facebook's rules. It then used the information for campaign purposes, including attempts to suppress voter turnout. At the time, Google tried to distance itself from Facebook saying that it had not dealt with similar issues.

Read more here.


NEIGHBOR, BEWARE: A bipartisan pair of senators on Friday urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau not to include Chinese telecommunications company Huawei in its 5G development.

Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert Warner2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft State probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws Hillicon Valley: Trump fires Bolton as national security adviser | DOJ indicts hundreds over wire-transfer scam | CEOs push for federal privacy law | Lyft unveils new safety features after sexual assault allegations MORE (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio Rubio The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation GOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick joins CBS News as contributor MORE (R-Fla.), a member of the panel, in a letter said incorporating Huawei in its internet plans would damage the relationship between U.S. and Canadian carriers.

"We write with grave concerns about the possibility that Canada might include Huawei Technologies or any other Chinese state-directed telecommunications company in its fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications network infrastructure," the senators wrote. "There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party--and Huawei, which China's government and military tout as a 'national champion,' is no exception."

Their letter comes after Scott Jones, the top designee of the Canadian Center for Cyber Security, told the House of Commons last month that it was not necessary to ban Huawei -- a decision that runs counter to the assessments made by the other members of the Five Eyes allies.

Warner and Rubio, who noted pushback from other senior Canadian national security officials, emphasized that if they do decide to work Huawei, they will not only impact Canada's cybersecurity, but it will have national security implications on the other Five Eyes members, which include United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

"[The strong alignment between the United States and Canada in spectrum management has meant that American and Canadian carriers in many cases share complementary spectrum holdings, jointly benefiting from economies of scale for equipment designed for regionally harmonized frequencies," they wrote in part. "The entry of suppliers such as Huawei into the Canadian market could seriously jeopardize this dynamic, depriving both Canadian and American operators of the scale needed to rapidly build out 5G networks."

The lawmakers recommended that Canada reach out to the U.S. intelligence community if they would like additional information on the matter.

Read more here.


FCC RESPONDS TO LAWSUITS OVER NET NEUTRALITY REPEAL: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking a federal appeals court to uphold the controversial decision to repeal the popular 2015 net neutrality rules.

In a filing with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday night, the commission responded to a lawsuit brought by a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general and consumer groups saying that it acted properly in overturning the rules last December.

"The legal and policy analysis presented in the Order easily fulfills the Commission's responsibility to explain its repeal of the 2015 order and its decision to restore the prior longstanding approach to broadband classification," the filing reads. "Petitioners' objections to the Order under review are meritless."

Read more here.


A LIGHTER CLICK: There's no such thing

AN OP-ED TO CHEW ON: Russian Soyuz rocket failure leaves NASA with no ride to International Space Station.



Don't be haunted by digital ghosts: Delete your account. (The Wall Street Journal)

Kanye West, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE, and the reign of human clickbait. (New York Magazine)

How the US forced China to quit stealing--using a Chinese spy (Wired)

Sorting out Saudi: Big business, hypocrisy and justice. (Axios)