Hillicon Valley: Huawei executive facing possible US fraud charges | Dem blames White House for failure of election security bill | FCC investigating wireless carriers over coverage data | Assange rejects deal to leave embassy

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley.

Welcome! Follow the cyber team, Olivia Beavers (@olivia_beavers) and Jacqueline Thomsen (@jacq_thomsen), and the tech team, Harper Neidig (@hneidig). And CLICK HERE to subscribe to our newsletter.

 

HUAWEI EXEC FACES POTENTIAL FRAUD CHARGES IN U.S.: U.S. prosecutors want to charge an executive for Chinese telecom giant Huawei with fraud related to allegations that she skirted sanctions against Iran, a Canadian prosecutor said in court on Friday.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities last Saturday at the request of the U.S. after allegedly violating trade sanctions against Iran.

The charges against Meng relate to Huawei's relationship with SkyCom, a company that reportedly tried to sell computer equipment to Iran, according to The Wall Street Journal.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Canadian prosecutor, John Gibb-Carsley, alleged that Meng lied to financial institutions to hide the fact that SkyCom was a subsidiary of Huawei, according to the Journal.

"This is the crux, I say, of the alleged fraud," Gibb-Carsley said.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, sat on SkyCom's board of directors between 2008 and 2009.

What's next: The court is currently considering whether she should be granted bail, as the U.S. seeks extradition. 

The stakes: The arrest of Meng has stoked fears of new trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Read more here.

 

MARKET UPDATE: U.S. stocks took heavy losses on Friday as the prospect of higher interest rates and prolonged trade tensions with China sent major indexes into negative territory for 2018.

Two tech companies, Apple and Google-parent Alphabet, saw their gains for the year wiped out.

 

BLAME IT ON THE WHITE HOUSE: Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerPelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Democrats leery of Sanders plan to cancel student loan debt Pressure builds to secure health care data MORE (D-Va.) on Friday said the White House prevented a bipartisan election security bill from passing Congress this year.

Warner, who is vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that if the bill known as the Secure Elections Act made it to the Senate floor, it would receive at least 80 votes in favor of passage.

"The objection has come from the White House," he said at an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security.

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Sens. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordPelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Senate GOP blocks election security bill GOP senators divided over approach to election security MORE (R-Okla.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July 2020 Dems say they will visit Homestead facility holding migrant children The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate MORE (D-Minn.), is aimed at protecting election systems from cyberattacks. The measure was held up in committee this year because of a lack of GOP support, a Republican aide told The Hill at the time. 

Read more here.

 

FCC PROBING WHETHER WIRELESS PROVIDERS SUBMITTED FALSE DATA: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Friday that it will investigate whether major wireless service providers have submitted false data to the agency about their coverage areas, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

The FCC said it would be temporarily suspending the rollout of a $4.53 billion program to boost wireless internet in underserved areas while the investigation is underway.

"In order to reach those areas, it's critical that we know where access is and where it is not," Pai said in a statement. "A preliminary review of speed test data submitted through the challenge process suggested significant violations of the Commission's rules. That's why I've ordered an investigation into these matters. We must ensure that the data is accurate before we can proceed."

Under the FCC's Mobility Fund Phase II program, major wireless providers were required to submit up-to-date data on their wireless broadband coverage reach to determine which areas of the country are most in need of government support.

The program is part of an effort to expand internet access to rural areas and other underserved communities. 

Read more here.

 

STONE V. SCHIFF: Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneJudge orders Roger Stone to file rebuttal to allegation he violated gag order Federal prosecutors allege Roger Stone violated gag order with Instagram posts House panel subpoenas Flynn, Gates MORE on Thursday attacked a Democratic lawmaker who said that the president's longtime confidant may have made false statements during his congressional testimony, calling Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Democratic lawmaker: Mueller testimony 'doesn't have to go beyond' report to be 'really damning' for Trump 'Fox & Friends' co-host: 'I don't think' Mueller knows the details of Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) a "con man" and "full of schiff."

Stone delivered an impassioned speech to a crowd of roughly three dozen attendees in a ballroom meant to fit hundreds at the conservative American Priority conference in Washington, D.C., days after he exercised his Fifth Amendment rights to reject a Democratic request for further congressional testimony.

He used the opportunity to not only repeatedly praise the president, but respond to Democrats who said that the former one-time Trump campaign adviser may have lied when he previously testified before Congress.

Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee who is expected to be the panel's chairman in the coming year, told ABC on Sunday that publicly released emails between Stone and special counsel witness Jerome Corsi don't match up with Stone's congressional testimony.

Stone's 2017 testimony before the committee "needs to be provided to the special counsel for consideration of whether perjury charges are warranted," Schiff said during the interview.

Stone hit back on Thursday, calling Schiff a "con man."

"The congressman is full of schiff," Stone said, earning a smattering of laughs. 

Read more here.

 

IT'S NOT HOTEL CALIFORNIA. HE JUST DOESN'T WANT TO LEAVE: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday rejected a deal brokered between Ecuador and the United Kingdom that would allow him to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the first time in six years, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported.

Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno said Assange can choose to leave the embassy without the risk of being extradited for charges abroad.

"The way has been cleared for Mr. Assange to take the decision to leave in near-liberty," Moreno told The Telegraph, without elaborating on what "near-liberty" meant.

Assange's lawyer, Barry Pollack, told The Telegraph that the U.K.-Ecuador agreement was not acceptable because it did not protect Assange from being extradited to the United States. Read more here.

 

A LIGHTER CLICK: RIP Gawker.

 

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

Sen. Mark Warner says Chinese mobile app companies are a national security risk. (BuzzFeed News)

Lean In's Sheryl Sandberg problem. (The New York Times)

Tesla replaces general counsel with seasoned trial lawyer. (The Wall Street Journal)

Australia's encryption-busting law could impact global privacy. (Wired)