Hillicon Valley: GOP senator wants one agency to run tech probes | Huawei expects to lose $30B in sales from US ban | Self-driving car bill faces tough road ahead | Elon Musk tweets that he 'deleted' his Twitter account

Hillicon Valley: GOP senator wants one agency to run tech probes | Huawei expects to lose $30B in sales from US ban | Self-driving car bill faces tough road ahead | Elon Musk tweets that he 'deleted' his Twitter account
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Welcome! Follow the cyber team, Olivia Beavers (@olivia_beavers) and Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and the tech team, Harper Neidig (@hneidig) and Emily Birnbaum (@birnbaum_e).


MUSK LEAVES TWITTER? Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskTrump calls Floyd death 'grave tragedy,' decries violent protests in Florida speech Biden commends SpaceX launch, vows to continue space exploration as president SpaceX's mission: A new chapter in space exploration — and in humanity's age-old quest MORE said early Monday morning that he had deleted his Twitter account, but the Tesla CEO's account was still active hours later.

"Just deleted my Twitter account," Musk posted shortly before 1 a.m.

Musk's message came after he was criticized over the weekend for posting art on Twitter and refusing to attribute the work to its creator, saying that the practice of giving credit to artists on the site is "destroying the medium," according to Kotaku, which captured screenshots of the since-deleted tweets.


The billionaire entrepreneur has had trouble with Twitter in the past.

After Musk tweeted last year that he was considering taking Tesla private, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued him, alleging that he was misleading investors.

Musk and the SEC reached a settlement earlier this year that requires Musk to vet his public statements about the company with his lawyers.

Read more here.


LEE BLASTS MULTIPLE TECH PROBES: Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP deeply divided over Trump's social media crackdown House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA MORE (R-Utah) on Monday penned an op-ed criticizing the federal agencies in charge of antitrust enforcement for divvying up their probes of the country's largest tech giants, saying only one agency should be in charge of investigating companies such as Facebook and Google.

Lee's op-ed comes in response to reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be opening up investigations into the tech companies, with the FTC in charge of overseeing Facebook and Amazon while the DOJ will take on Apple and Google.  

"No industry should be free from antitrust scrutiny, including big tech," Lee wrote in an article for the Washington Examiner. "But, splitting of this tech antitrust review across two federal agencies, despite the many similar competition issues that will be investigated, illustrates both the absurdity of having two federal agencies handling civil antitrust enforcement."

"It also shows why these investigations are likely to be less effective and coherent than they should be," he added.

Why Lee's remarks matter: Lee is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust panel that would likely oversee any upper chamber investigation into big tech's enormous market power and potential competition issues. He has previously expressed skepticism at the prospect of the Senate Judiciary Committee opening up any such investigation, though other senators on the committee have signaled a willingness to do so.

The Trump administration and Congress have stepped up antitrust investigations into companies such as Facebook and Google in recent weeks, with the House Judiciary Committee launching a wide-ranging antitrust probe of tech giants earlier this month and the federal agencies splitting up oversight.

Read more here.


LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A bipartisan pair of senators are working to reintroduce legislation for federal regulations on self-driving cars, an effort that has long stalled on Capitol Hill.

The new drive though will need to overcome tough obstacles from Democrats and consumer groups who want major changes to the bill.

Senate Majority Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US death toll nears 100,000 as country grapples with reopening GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill MORE (R-S.D.) told reporters this week that he is looking to reintroduce the AV START Act soon.

Thune said that he expects to reintroduce this legislation in the same "version that came out of the [Senate] Commerce Committee last Congress, which was the most recent version that everybody agreed upon that we were trying to make additional changes to try and get it across the finish line."

A spokesperson for Thune later told The Hill that while there is no timeline for the bill, "staff-level conversations between the House and Senate are ongoing."

Thune said that Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersComey, Rice, Clapper among GOP senator's targets for subpoenas amid Obama-era probe GOP chairman to seek subpoena power in investigation of Russia probe, 'unmasking' requests Michigan GOP candidate's Senate petition deemed 'insufficient' over signatures MORE (D-Mich.) will be "taking the lead" on the bill with him. Thune and Peters were the two main sponsors of the bill in the last Congress, when Thune was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and Peters the ranking member.

What the bill would do: The legislation would put in place federal regulations and preempt individual states from creating their own laws around self-driving cars, a problem that could make it more difficult for vehicles to travel between states.

The bill's language during the last Congress included cyber provisions meant to protect the vehicles from being hacked, such as ensuring the security of the supply chain for vehicle parts. That also included a provision requiring all autonomous vehicle manufacturers to develop and execute a plan for reducing cyber vulnerabilities.

Will this time be different? It is an open question if Thune and Peters can overcome the same challenges that blocked legislation in the past, in particular objections from Senate Democrats that the language on consumer safety and cybersecurity was not strong enough.

A group of Democrats, including Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyBipartisan senators call for investigation of TikTok's child privacy policies OVERNIGHT ENERGY: New documents show EPA rolled back mileage standards despite staff, WH concerns | Land management bureau grants 75 royalty rate cuts for oil and gas | EPA employees allege leadership interference with science in watchdog survey EPA's Wheeler grilled by Democrats over environmental rollbacks amid COVID-19 MORE (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGraham announces hearing on police use of force after George Floyd killing Frustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter MORE (D-Calif.), who blocked the bill from being passed by unanimous consent last year seem prepared to dig in their heels again this Congress.

Read more on the potential roadblocks ahead here.


POCKET CHANGE: Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei on Monday said it expects to lose $30 billion in sales over the next two years after being blacklisted by the U.S.

"We did not expect they would attack us on so many aspects," CEO Ren Zhengfei said at the company's headquarters, according to Reuters.

"We cannot get components supply, cannot participate in many international organizations, cannot work closely with many universities, cannot use anything with U.S. components, and cannot even establish connection with networks that use such components."

Ren added that he expects a revival in business in 2021, the first time a new administration could possibly take control of the White House.

The Department of Commerce blacklisted Huawei in May, a move that barred U.S. firms from working with the company, arguing Huawei's products pose a national security risk.

Implementation of the ban was delayed by 90 days to give tech companies more time to prepare for the change.

Read more here.


CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!: Apple CEO Tim Cook said Sunday in a commencement address at Stanford University that technology companies need to take responsibility for the "chaos" they create.

He did not name specific companies in his speech, but referenced several reasons that tech firms, particularly social media platforms, have come under scrutiny in recent months. He also made an apparent reference to embattled health startup Theranos.

"Lately it seems this industry is becoming better known for a less noble innovation – the belief you can claim credit without accepting responsibility," Cook said, according to videos posted online of his speech.

"We see it every day now with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech, fake news poisoning out national conversation, the false miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood," he added. "Too many seem to think that good intentions excuse away harmful outcomes, but whether you like it or not, what you build and what you create define who you are.

"It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this, but if you built a chaos factory, you can't dodge responsibility for the chaos," Cook continued.

Read more here.


TROUBLING POLL FOR FACEBOOK: Over 60 percent of U.S. voters believe Facebook has too much power, according to a new poll administered amid intensifying scrutiny of the country's largest tech companies in Washington.

Sixty-one percent of voters polled by Fox News said they believe Facebook has "too much power." Forty-eight percent of those polled said the same of Google, followed by Amazon with 45 percent and Apple at 43 percent.

However, only 35 percent of those polled said they believe "big technology companies" are a greater potential threat to the country's future than "big government." Fifty-eight percent of voters told Fox News pollsters they believe "big government" poses the larger threat.

Sarah Miller, co-chair of the Freedom for Facebook campaign, in a statement said the poll indicates "consumers are sick and tired of Facebook's reckless behavior."  

The Fox News poll, conducted with help from Beacon Research and Shaw & Company, surveyed 1,001 randomly chosen registered voters from June 9-12. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Read more here.


SCALISE TALKS CYBER: House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHouse pays tribute to late Congressman Sam Johnson on the floor Rep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA MORE (R-La.) in an interview that aired Sunday responded to a report that the Defense Department is ramping up digital attacks on Russia by saying he is glad the Trump administration is getting aggressive on cybersecurity.

"I'm glad the administration has been taking aggressive actions," Scalise said in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press, citing an executive order signed last year."

The New York Times reported Saturday the White House was escalating digital attacks on Russia's electric power grid. Two administration officials told The Times that they did not believe President TrumpDonald John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points MORE was informed in detail about the move to put code that can be used to surveil or attack in the Russian grid.

The second-highest ranking House Republican did not give a direct answer on whether it is a mistake for intelligence officials to not brief President Trump fully on the actions. He instead noted that the White House has pushed back on the story.

"The President's taking aggressive action against Russia," he said. "The message is being sent right now: If the Russians try to take some actions against our elections, or any other country, we are already ready to go after them."

Read more here.


AN OP-ED TO CHEW ON: Third-party contractors -- our weakest cyber link -- need to be held accountable.


A LIGHTER CLICK: We mean business, dog gonnit!



Snapchat's original series clips are finding a growing audience. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Robocalls are overwhelming hospitals and patients, threatening a new kind of health crisis. (The Washington Post)

Instagram is testing new ways to grant access to hacked accounts. (Vice News)

The U.S. has its eye on Big Tech. Will criminal inquiries result? (The New York Times)