Hillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products

Hillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products
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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).

 

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AOC VS. BOXER: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBiden to go on Iowa tour with swing district lawmakers CNN cancels next week's Iowa town halls Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez hit back at JPMorgan CEO over comments on socialism: 'That's funny' MORE (D-N.Y.) called out former Democratic Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFormer Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer joins DC lobbying firm Hillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill MORE (Calif.) on Thursday for working on behalf of Lyft to fight a California bill that would make it harder for the ride-hailing platform and other gig economy companies to withhold employee benefits.

"Fmr officials should not become corporate lobbyists, in letter or spirit. It's an abuse of power + a stain on public service," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter Thursday. "I don't care if it's a Democrat doing it (both parties do). In fact, that makes it worse -- we're supposed to fight FOR working people, not against them."

Boxer wrote an op-ed earlier this week for the San Francisco Chronicle in which she criticized the bill and revealed that she was hired by Lyft as an adviser.

Neither Boxer nor Lyft immediately responded when asked for comment.

The legislation, called AB-5, would make it harder for companies such as Lyft and Uber to classify their drivers as independent contractors as opposed to employees, which would entitle them to significantly better benefits.

The companies see the pending legislation as a significant threat to their business models. In her op-ed, Boxer argued it would also mean that drivers would lose the freewheeling nature of their ad hoc work for gig platforms.

Read more here.

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LAWMAKERS PRESS AMAZON OVER UNSAFE PRODUCTS: Lawmakers are calling on Amazon to remove unsafe products from its online marketplace and provide new warnings for consumers following a report that thousands of items for sale were deemed unsafe by federal agencies or misleadingly labeled.

In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill Overnight Defense: Doomsday Clock ticks closer to midnight | Military shares details on Kenyan base attack | Amazon asks court to halt work on Pentagon 'war cloud' UK court grants Saudi dissident ability to sue Saudi Arabia over alleged hack MORE on Thursday, Rep. Grace MengGrace MengChina sentences former Interpol president to more than 13 years for bribery Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Progressives oppose spending stopgap measure over surveillance authority extension MORE (D-N.Y.), a co-chair of the Congressional Kids' Safety Caucus, highlighted the findings of a Wall Street Journal report last week that concluded 4,152 items for sale on the Amazon Marketplace were considered unsafe, banned or deceptively labeled, including thousands of toys and medications that lacked health safety warnings for children.

In a separate letter on Thursday, Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMedia's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Dem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (N.J.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill Twitter tells facial-recognition app maker to stop collecting its data Democratic senator presses facial recognition company after reports of law enforcement collaboration MORE (Mass.) wrote to Bezos urging Amazon to "take swift action to provide accurate warnings that protect consumers against these dangerous and deadly products and to stop their wrongful sale."

Meng asked Bezos to provide information about how Amazon will prevent the sale of recalled products on the Amazon Marketplace and establish ways for customers to understand which products are sold by third-party companies.

"Amazon is a trusted name in the market, and consumers around the world rely on your brand to know that the products they are purchasing are safe," Meng wrote in her letter to Bezos.

Amazon's response: Many of the listings were changed or removed after the Wall Street Journal alerted Amazon. Amazon issued a statement in the wake of the report outlining its consumer safety and compliance efforts, including how it vets new seller accounts and reviews products for sale.

Read more here.

 

A CAPITAL ONE INDICTMENT: A federal grand jury formally indicted a former software engineer on Wednesday for breaching the sensitive data of more than 30 companies, including Capital One, affecting millions of Americans.  

Paige Thompson, a former Amazon employee, was charged with wire fraud as well as computer fraud and abuse for hacking into the networks of Capital One and multiple other unnamed entities earlier this year. If convicted, Thompson faces up to 25 years in prison. 

Thompson was arrested in July for allegedly stealing the personal information of more than 100 million U.S. Capital One customers and potential customers, including Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, and the data of an additional 6 million Canadian customers.  

Thompson's arrest came after she posted on GitHub about her theft of the data. Another user who saw the post subsequently alerted Capital One and the company then reached out to the FBI.

The indictment alleges that Thompson accessed this data through the use of "scanning software" that she created, which allowed her to identify the customers of a cloud computing company that had "misconfigured their firewalls." Thompson also allegedly used stolen power from the computers accessed to "mine cryptocurrency for her own benefit."

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Read more here. 

 

LATEST ON THE INFOWARS: Infowars briefly returned to YouTube before being removed from the platform Thursday, a spokesperson for the video platform confirmed to The Hill.

"The War Room," Infowars' program for afternoon commuters, relaunched its YouTube channel on Wednesday, Vice News first reported.

That move came a day after YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki invited "offensive" content back onto the site in a letter to creators.

"Without an open system, diverse and authentic voices have trouble breaking through," she wrote in the letter. "I believe preserving an open platform is more important than ever."

"A commitment to openness is not easy. It sometimes means leaving up content that is outside the mainstream, controversial or even offensive," she said.

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In the first video uploaded to the channel, "War Room" host Owen Shroyer reportedly read a portion of Wojcicki's letter in a video titled "Breaking! YouTube CEO says 'Alex Jones' and 'Infowars Ban Is Over,'" according to Vice.

Infowars was not directly mentioned in the letter.

The channel was removed Thursday, but not before posting several more videos, Vice reported.

"We're committed to preserving openness and balancing it with our responsibility to protect our community," the YouTube spokesperson told The Hill. "This means taking action against channels that continue to violate our policies."

Read more here. 

 

LIGHTER CLICK: The meme that works for every issue

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AN OP-ED TO CHEW ON: DC workforce should prepare for an insidious new threat

 

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

Internal data shows Uber's reputation hasn't changed much since #DeleteUber. (The Washington Post)

Uber and Lyft are recruiting their own drivers to lobby against drivers' rights. (Splinter)

French 'cybercops' dismantle pirate computer network (BBC)

1.5 million Android users being forced to click ads (Forbes)