Hillicon Valley: Twitter fact-checks Trump | House reaches deal surveillance program amendment | Canada to lead anti-cyber attack effort

Hillicon Valley: Twitter fact-checks Trump | House reaches deal surveillance program amendment | Canada to lead anti-cyber attack effort
© Greg Nash

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TRUMP TWEETS FLAGGED: Twitter on Tuesday placed warnings on two posts from President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE earlier in the day in which he railed against mail-in voting in California, claiming without evidence the practice is full of fraud.


"These Tweets contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots," a spokesperson for the social media platform told The Hill, pointing to a recent blog post on misinformation policies.

The president has increasingly leveled unsubstantiated claims about widespread fraud in mail-in voting as states consider it as a way to decrease the risk of the coronavirus spreading posed.

The tweets Tuesday, which came two days after Republican National Committee sued Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomJudge dismisses lawsuit of alleged Michael Jackson abuse victim OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA eases permitting for modifications to polluting facilities | Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire | Trump order strips workplace protections from civil servants Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire MORE (D) over his effort to expand mail-in voting in California, alleged that allowing an expansion would rig the election.

The warning, which reads "Get the facts about mail-in ballots," links to a page on Twitter featuring an explanation of the factual errors in the tweets as well as links to various outlets covering the tweets.

"Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to 'a Rigged Election.' However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud," it reads under the heading "What you need to know."

"Trump falsely claimed that California will send mail-in ballots to 'anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.' In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots. Though Trump targeted California, mail-in ballots are already used in some states, including Oregon, Utah and Nebraska."

Read more.



WE HAVE A DEAL: Key House lawmakers have struck a deal on an amendment that would block law enforcement from accessing Americans' web browsing history without a warrant.

The amendment from Reps. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenWhy prevailing wage reform matters for H-1B visas Fears grow of voter suppression in Texas Business groups start gaming out a Biden administration MORE (D-Calif.) and Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonHillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns MORE (R-Ohio) to legislation reauthorizing surveillance programs set to be voted on this week was negotiated over the three-day Memorial Day weekend after it was confirmed Friday that leadership would allow it to be considered.

Lofgren said in a statement Tuesday that after "extensive bicameral, bipartisan deliberations, there will be a vote to include a final significant reform to Section 215 [of the USA Patriot Act] that protects Americans’ civil liberties.” 

“For too long, Americans’ most private information has been compromised by vague laws and lax privacy protections," Davidson said in a statement to The Hill. 

"With the vote on the Lofgren-Davidson Amendment to FISA reform this week, we take an important step toward restoring Americans’ long-neglected Fourth Amendment rights," he added. "Protecting Americans’ internet browser searches from warrantless surveillance is a modest, though important first step."

The version of the amendment unveiled Tuesday would require a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to be obtained before gathering internet activity if the government is not sure if the subject is a U.S. person but might be, according to Lofgren’s office.

Read more about the deal here.

TWITTER APOLOGIZES… SORTA: Twitter said Tuesday it will not remove tweets from President Trump that promote a conspiracy theory surrounding a woman who died working at MSNBC host Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughMichael Keaton urges Biden not to debate Trump again: 'You won. Walk away' Joe Scarborough urges Biden: 'Do not do anymore debates' Scarborough calls on Cuomo to walk back statement he made about Trump: 'Out of bounds' MORE's former congressional office in Florida.

“We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family," a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.

"We've been working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward, and we hope to have those changes in place shortly."

The widower of Lori Klausutis, the woman who worked in Scarborough's office, had asked Twitter in writing to remove the posts. Lori Klausutis died in 2001 after an abnormal heart rhythm caused her to lose consciousness and hit her head on a desk in Scarborough’s congressional office in Florida. Her death was ruled an accident. 

"My request is simple: Please delete these tweets," Timothy Klausutis wrote.

"I'm a research engineer and not a lawyer, but reviewed all of Twitter's rules and terms of service. The President's tweet that suggests that Lori was murdered without evidence and contrary to the official autopsy is a violation of Twitter's community rules and terms of service. An ordinary user like me would be banished from the platform for such a tweet but I am only asking that these tweets be removed."  


Read more here.

O CANADA: The government of Canada, alongside Microsoft and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, will lead a global effort to counter the use of cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns to disrupt elections, officials announced Tuesday. 

Dominic LeBlanc, president of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, said that his nation would become one of the leads on countering election interference as part of the 2018 Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.

“Canada’s leadership in the Paris Call will help build global expertise and understanding about the best way to combat online disinformation and malicious cyber activities in the context of election interference,” LeBlanc said in a statement. 

International cooperation: The 2018 agreement — which is backed by almost 80 countries, 29 local governments, and over 600 private sector groups — called for the world to tackle cyber threats ranging from cracking down on intellectual property theft to strengthening international cyber standards to protecting elections.

The agreement was launched by French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronTwo students were paid to identify slain French teacher, authorities say French mosque closed in crackdown after teacher's beheading French high school teacher decapitated in possible terrorist attack MORE, with other governments participating including the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, and Mexico. The United States as a whole did not sign on, though Colorado, Virginia and Washington have backed it. 

As part of the effort, the government of Canada and other groups involved will put together best practices to help governments counter election interference, and participate in events aimed at increasing the ability of the international community to address election threats. 


Microsoft and the Alliance for Securing Democracy will co-lead the effort to secure elections alongside Canada.

Microsoft President Brad Smith on Tuesday described election security as “one of the most important issues of our time.”

Read more about the international effort here.

WHOOPS: YouTube is investigating the removal of comments critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from its platform, a company spokesperson told The Hill Tuesday.

The Verge reported Tuesday that user comments containing the words “共匪” (“communist bandit”) or “五毛” (“50-cent party”) have been being automatically deleted from videos and livestreams after being up for approximately 15 seconds.

The "communist bandit" insult dates back to China's nationalist government while "50 cent party" is as slang term for internet users paid to shield the CCP from online criticism, according to The Verge.

“This appears to be an error in our enforcement systems and we are investigating," the YouTube spokesperson said.


"Users can report suspected issues to troubleshoot errors and help us make product improvements.”

Read more here.

Lighter click: Country roads, take me home

An op-ed to chew on: It’s a time to protect our frontline institutions from cyber attacks


Local news stations run propaganda segment scripted and produced by Amazon (Motherboard / Lauren Kaori Gurley, Jason Koebler, and Emanuel Maiberg) 

China’s virus apps may outlast the outbreak, stirring privacy fears (The New York Times / Raymond Zhong) 

UK reviews Huawei’s role in 5G networks (BBC News / Mary-Ann Russon)

Coronavirus is forcing Uber to return to its start-up roots (The Washington Post / Faiz Siddiqui)