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

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
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BYE BYE, BOLTON: President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE announced he had fired national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Swalwell: Depositions provided evidence of an 'extortion scheme' Intelligence panel Democrat: 'I think we will end up calling' some witnesses on GOP list MORE in a pair of tweets on Tuesday, ousting the high-profile official who previously advised the president on threats to the country, including those in the cyber arena.

Trump said in a series of tweets that he told Bolton on Monday night "that his services are no longer needed at the White House," citing disagreements with many of Bolton's suggestions, though he didn't provide specific details.

The president also said that "others in the administration" disagreed with Bolton's suggestions, a wording that hinted at the level of acrimony in the split.

"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration," Trump tweeted.

He said Bolton submitted his resignation on Tuesday and that he would tap a new national security adviser next week.

Bolton's side of the story: Shortly after Trump's announcement, Bolton issued a tweet that said he had resigned and that suggested he was surprised by Trump's decision to make it public on Tuesday.

"I offered to resign last night and President Trump said 'Let's talk about it tomorrow," he tweeted.

The cyber angle: Bolton drew the ire of many in the cyber community earlier this year when he eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator on the National Security Council, a position that helped create policy around digital attacks and threats. 

"I don't see how getting rid of the top cyber official in the White House does anything to make our country safer from cyber threats," Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCentrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Hillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Senator criticizes HHS for not investigating exposure of millions of medical images MORE (D-Va.) wrote at the time. 

Bolton, appointed in March 2018, was the president's third national security adviser.

Read more on Bolton's ouster here.

 

CRACKDOWN: Hundreds of individuals were arrested over a four-month period around the world on as part of an operation to crack down on scams meant to hijack wire transfers from both businesses and individuals, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday.

In total, 281 individuals were arrested worldwide, with 74 of these arrests taking place in the United States, as part of Operation reWired.

This operation also involved the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the departments of Homeland Security, State, and the Treasury, and was meant to disrupt business email compromise (BEC) schemes.

Such schemes typically target employees of an organization with access to company finances, or those who work with wire transfers. The scammers try to convince them to transfer funds to an account controlled by the criminals. The Justice Department noted that many individuals targeted were senior citizens.

Over half of the arrests were made in Nigeria, while other individuals were taken into custody in Turkey, Ghana, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, and Malaysia. Authorities also seized nearly $3.7 million as part of the arrests.

Some of the arrests involved criminal organizations that defrauded businesses, with others involving individual victims involved in wire transfer.

"The Department of Justice has increased efforts in taking aggressive enforcement action against fraudsters who are targeting American citizens and their businesses in business email compromise schemes and other cyber-enabled financial crimes," Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement. "Anyone who engages in deceptive practices like this should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable."

FBI Director Christopher Wray added in a statement that "through Operation reWired, we're sending a clear message to the criminals who orchestrate these BEC schemes: We'll keep coming after you, no matter where you are. And to the public, we'll keep doing whatever we can to protect you."

Read more here. 

 

CEOS OUTLINE PRIVACY WISHES: Fifty-one chief executives at major U.S. corporations, including Amazon, AT&T and IBM, are urging Congress to pass federal consumer privacy legislation that would block states from implementing their own regulations on data privacy.

The Business Roundtable, a coalition of major CEOs, sent a letter to lawmakers Tuesday, calling on them to act quickly to pass what would be the nation's first comprehensive privacy law.

"There is now widespread agreement among companies across all sectors of the economy, policymakers and consumer groups about the need for a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy law that provides strong, consistent protections for American consumers," the letter reads. "A federal consumer privacy law should also ensure that American companies continue to lead a globally competitive market."

Among the chief executives signing on to the letter are Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosSanders, Ocasio-Cortez see 'class solidarity' in report Bezos asked Bloomberg to run Warren campaign launches 'a calculator for the billionaires' after Gates criticism Over 1,000 Google employees call on company to release climate plan MORE of Amazon, Ginni Rometty of IBM, Randall Stephenson of AT&T and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase.

While there is now bipartisan consensus over the need for a consumer privacy law after a string of major data scandals in recent years, there are deep divisions over what it should look like. The private sector, as Business Roundtable laid out in a legislative framework last year, largely wants Congress to pass a law that would preempt states from making their own rules and to limit consumers' ability to take matters into their own hands through class-action lawsuits.

Privacy activists, on the other hand, want to ensure strict enforcement by beefing up federal regulators and ensuring that states and consumers are able to take action over privacy violations.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have been in talks for the past year over a potential draft privacy bill. Senate talks appear to be stalled amid reported disagreements over whether consumers should have a right to sue over privacy violations.

Read more here.

 

FACEBOOK HIGHLIGHTS CHANGES ON SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY: Facebook detailed its efforts to fight self-harm to mark World Suicide Prevention day on Tuesday, as the social media company announced new ways to expand on suicide prevention measures.

Earlier this year, Facebook started limiting graphic content that could trigger users following regular consultations with experts on the topics of suicide and self-injury.  

Building on that, Facebook said Tuesday it's hiring a health and well-being expert to join the company's safety policy team. The new expert will focus on the impacts of Facebook's apps and policies, as well as explore ways to improve support in the community, Facebook said.

Facebook is also exploring ways to share with researchers public data from its platform on how people talk about suicide.

To limit exposure to potentially triggering content, Facebook no longer allows graphic images of cutting or self-harm, even if it is from someone seeking support. After content is removed, Facebook said it sends resources to the user who posted the initial posts promoting self-harm.

Read more here.

 

HEAVY LYFT: Lyft on Tuesday unveiled new safety features as the company continues to grapple with a slew of sexual misconduct allegations from riders who say they have been assaulted during trips.

In a blog post, Lyft said it has partnered with a top anti-sexual assault advocacy group – the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – as it seeks to improve "safety" for those using the ride-hailing app.

Lyft will institute mandatory safety training for drivers, make it easier for app users to call 911, and build a "smart trip check-in" feature, which will alert Lyft to suspicious activity during rides such as unexpected delays.

"We don't take lightly any instances where someone's safety is compromised, especially in the rideshare industry, including the allegations of assault in the news last week," Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer said in the post.

"The onus is on all of us to learn from any incident, whether it occurs on our platform or not, and then work to help prevent them," he added.

Last week, fourteen sued Lyft over what they called the company's mishandling of a "sexual predator crisis" among its drivers. 

The women, who are unnamed in the suit, alleged Lyft drivers sexually assaulted or raped them in 2018 and 2019. The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco, where the company is based. 

Mary Winfield, the head of Trust and Safety at Lyft, said the allegations outlined in the suit have "no place in the Lyft community." 

Read more on the changes here.

 

LIGHTER CLICK: Really rooting for this guy.

 

AN OP-ED TO CHEW ON: The internet wasn't built for kids.

 

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB: 

Want to do business in Silicon Valley? Better act nice. (The New York Times)

Apple reveals iPhone 11 with a dual-camera system, night mode, and new colors. (The Verge)

Brussels braced for EU trade and tech battles with US. (Financial Times)

AT&T bought DirecTV for $49 billion. It's still paying a price for the deal. (CNN)