Hillicon Valley — Presented by NCTA — Huawei lashes out, says US has 'loser's attitude' | Koch group attacks Warren plan for tech crackdown | New bipartisan push to end NSA surveillance program

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Welcome! Follow the cyber team, Olivia Beavers (@olivia_beavers) and Jacqueline Thomsen (@jacq_thomsen), and the tech team, Harper Neidig (@hneidig) and Emily Birnbaum (@birnbaum_e).

 

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HUAWEI WITH THE SICK BURN: Chinese tech giant Huawei took aim at the Trump administration on Friday, accusing the federal government of having a "loser's attitude" and dismissing claims that its technology could be accessed by Chinese intelligence services.

Guo Ping, the company's chairman, said Friday that the U.S. was attempting to make up false claims about his company due to an inability by U.S. tech firms to compete with its products, Reuters reported. Among other products, Huawei is the No. 3 manufacturer of smartphones in the world.

"The U.S. government has a loser's attitude. It wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against Huawei," Guo said.

He reportedly added that he hoped the Trump administration would "adjust its attitude" in the future.

The comments come as Meng Wanzhou, the company's chief financial officer, remains detained in Canada, battling attempts by the Trump administration to extradite her to the United States for prosecution over allegations of violating trade sanctions with Iran.

Meng's lawyers have argued that Canadian officials interrogated her without explanation while she was passing through customs.

"We are a country governed by the rule of law. Canada is conducting a fair, unbiased, and transparent legal proceeding with respect to the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou," Canada's Office of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness said earlier this month.

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KOCH BACKED GROUP ATTACKS WARREN TECH PLAN: A group backed by GOP mega-donor Charles Koch is launching an ad blitz pushing lawmakers to reject Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE's (D-Mass.) proposal to break up tech giants.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a Koch-funded free market group, is running ads in Washington, D.C., and in the home states of lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee against Warren's proposal.

"Don't politicize antitrust laws," the ads will urge lawmakers.

"If we use antitrust law to punish successful competitors, we eliminate incentives for innovation," Billy Easley, a senior tech policy analyst at AFP, said in a statement Friday.

"Government should not be empowered to pick winners and losers in the marketplace and there is a reason we have regulatory enforcement agencies like the Federal Trade Commission to prevent the politicization of this process," he added. "Our ads are reminding lawmakers on both sides of the aisle that antitrust law exists to protect consumers, not to be used as a political weapon."

The ads, according to a release on the group's site, will also include a link to a site where the public can send messages to members of the Judiciary Committee expressing their disapproval of Warren's plan.

Read more here.

 

PUSHING BACK ON BIG BROTHER: A group of bipartisan lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill that would end the National Security Agency's (NSA) mass collection of U.S. phone data.

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The bill's introduction by a group of civil libertarian lawmakers comes weeks after a national security aide to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers College Republicans launch campaign calling for GOP to take action on climate change Pelosi's whiplash moment brings praise and criticism MORE (R-Calif.) revealed that the NSA has shuttered its call-detail records program.

The Ending Mass Collection of Americans' Phone Records Act would end the program for good, taking away the NSA's authority to restart it. The bill was introduced by privacy hawks Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field House GOP unveils alternative drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote Pelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors MORE (D-Ore.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons Rand Paul: 'We need to re-examine' US-Saudi relationship after Florida shooting Senate panel advances Turkey sanctions bill despite Trump objections MORE (R-Ky.) and Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashGroup of Democrats floating censure of Trump instead of impeachment: report Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Here are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump MORE (R-Mich.) and Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenHouse passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers How we compromised to help America's farms Democrats express confidence in case as impeachment speeds forward MORE (D-Calif.).

"This bill permanently stops one of the sprawling surveillance state's most intrusive overreaches and is the first step in a movement to reclaim the constitutional liberties sacrificed by the overreaching provisions of the PATRIOT Act," Paul said in a statement.

The call-detail records program gathered metadata on domestic text messages and phone calls, which privacy activists have long said allows the government to access extremely detailed private information about U.S. citizens.

The NSA program was authorized by the 2015 USA Freedom Act, which is up for reauthorization later this year. A major congressional battle has been expected over the reauthorization of the surveillance program's legal authority, often referred to as Section 215, which is one of the USA Freedom Act's most highly contested provisions.

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AIRNOPE: A woman told news site DCist earlier this month that someone sent her a picture with "a big old penis on it" while she rode the Washington, D.C., Metro.

The person reportedly sent her the picture through AirDrop, an iPhone feature that allows users to send pictures to people who are nearby via Bluetooth. Users have the option to accept or reject the images but are first shown a preview of them.

"I felt violated," the woman said. "There were at least 15 people on the car. No one was giggling or doing anything that would make me think, 'It's definitely them.'"

"As with any incident of harassment or inappropriate activity, we encourage customers to report these to Metro Transit Police immediately," a Metro spokesperson told DCist in a statement. "The nature of airdrop technology is such that if set to 'everyone' then any person near you can send you an image. For this reason, we encourage the public to change their airdrop permissions to 'off' or 'contacts only.'"

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GOOGLE BOOTS CONVERSION THERAPY APP: Google announced it would remove an app that promoted conversion therapy from its Play Store after receiving pushback from an LGBT advocacy group.

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A company spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that it had removed the app for Living Hope Ministries, which promotes "committed, monogamous, heterosexual" relationships and says "anything less than this ideal falls short of God's view for humanity."

"After consulting with outside advocacy groups, reviewing our policies, and making sure we had a thorough understanding of the app and its relation to conversion therapy, we've decided to remove it from the Play Store, consistent with other app stores," the Google spokesperson said.

The tech giant decided to remove the app after LGBT rights group Human Rights Campaign suspended Google from its Corporate Equality Index (CEI).

Read more here.

 

 

AN OP-ED TO CHEW ON: Why NASA announced and then canceled an all-woman spacewalk.

 

A LIGHTER CLICK: "When you were partying I studied the blade."

 

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

YouTube's product chief on online radicalization and algorithmic rabbit holes. (The New York Times)

Hacker pleads guilty to accessing Apple accounts of famous athletes and rappers. (The Verge)

Facebook removes online network in Philippines over "inauthentic behavior." (Reuters)

Researchers find Google Play store apps were actually government malware. (Motherboard)