Hillicon Valley: GOP lawmaker says 'no place in Congress' for QAnon after supporter's primary win | Uber CEO says app could temporarily shutdown in California if ruling upheld | Federal agency warns hackers targeting small business loan program

Hillicon Valley: GOP lawmaker says 'no place in Congress' for QAnon after supporter's primary win | Uber CEO says app could temporarily shutdown in California if ruling upheld | Federal agency warns hackers targeting small business loan program
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QANON PUSHBACK FROM THE RIGHT: Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (Ill.) became the first Republican in Congress on Wednesday to condemn Marjorie Taylor Greene's support of the QAnon conspiracy theory after Greene won her Republican House primary in a deep-red Georgia district.


"Qanon is a fabrication," Kinzinger tweeted. "This 'insider' has predicted so much incorrectly (but people don’t remember PAST predictions) so now has switched to vague generalities."

"Could be Russian propaganda or a basement dweller," he continued. "Regardless, no place in Congress for these conspiracies."

Greene won the GOP primary in Georgia’s 14th District on Tuesday night to replace outgoing Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesGeorgia House to consider replacing Confederate statue with statue of John Lewis Biden calls for the nation to 'unite, heal and rebuild in 2021' Lawmakers share New Year's messages: 'Cheers to brighter days ahead' MORE (R). She defeated neurosurgeon John Cowan in a runoff after neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 9 primary. Greene won with 60 percent of the vote on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

She is expected to win the general election in the fall after Graves won the district by 53 points in 2018.

Greene has received national attention over recordings unearthed by Politico of her comparing Democratic donor George Soros to a Nazi, saying the 2018 midterms were like an “Islamic invasion of our government” and asserting that African Americans “are held slaves to the Democratic Party."

She is also one of the dozens of Republican candidates who have expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE and his allies are working together to expose a shadowy cabal of figures in media, entertainment and politics who currently control the world. 

She said the unidentified Q is a "patriot" in a YouTube video from 2017.


"He is someone that very much loves his country, and he’s on the same page as us, and he is very pro-Trump," Greene said in the video. "I’m very excited about that now there’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it."

Read more here. 

UBER TO SHUT DOWN IN CALIFORNIA (MAYBE): Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Wednesday that the ride-hailing service would be forced to temporarily shut down in California if a judge's ruling compelling it to classify its drivers as employees instead of contractors is upheld. 

A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled earlier this week that Uber and Lyft must classify drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. The ruling came down following California state and local officials' attempt to make the companies comply with Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), a new law that enforces more stringent restrictions on employee classifications. 

The judge granted a 10-day stay for the ruling, and Uber and Lyft said they planned to appeal. The companies are also supporting a measure that will appear on the November ballot in California exempting gig companies from AB5. 

Speaking on MSNBC, Khosrowshahi said he hoped the court would hold off on making a decision until after the election, or else the company would be forced to stop its service for at least three months.

"We think we comply by the laws, but if the court finds that we're not and they don’t give us a stay to get to November, then we’ll have to essentially shut down Uber until November when the voters decide," he said, adding that it would take a "significant amount of time" to move away from its current system designating drivers as independent contractors. 

"It would be really unfortunate at a historic time of an unemployment in California. It would put vast swaths of our drivers out of work," he said. "It would take away transportation for hundreds of thousands of Californians."

Read more here.  

SMALL BUSINESS LOANS TARGETED: The Department of Homeland Security’s cyber agency warned Wednesday that a ‘malicious cyber actor’ is targeting a Small Business Administration (SBA) webpage used to funnel loans to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is currently tracking an unknown malicious cyber actor who is spoofing the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails,” CISA wrote in an alert published Wednesday. “These emails include a malicious link to the spoofed SBA website that the cyber actor is using for malicious re-directs and credential stealing.”

CISA noted that the emails are being sent to “various Federal Civilian Executive Branch and state, local, tribal, and territorial government recipients” under the subject line of “SBA Application--Review and Proceed,” with the sender using an SBA email address. 

The malicious email directs the individual to click on a link that sends them to a fake login page for SBA’s Economic Disaster Loan Portal, with the hackers then able to steal the individual’s login credentials for the real page. 

In order to prevent this scam from impacting businesses, CISA recommended that business system owners and administrators take multiple steps to increase cybersecurity, including enforcing a strong password policy, using up-to-date antivirus software, and scanning for “suspicious” email attachments. 


In response to the alert, SBA Chief Information Officer Keith Bluestein told The Hill that "the SBA takes all fraud alerts seriously and has aggressively monitored related activity, in partnership with Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, since the advent of the CARES Act." 

Malicious cyber activity has spiked during the pandemic, and coronavirus stimulus funds have been a major target of hackers trying to cash in on federal funds meant for businesses. 

Read more here.  

TWITTER HACK FOLLOW-UP: Rep. James ComerJames (Jamie) R. ComerHouse GOP raise concerns over Biden's top Cabinet nominees Sackler family points fingers at Purdue Pharma during House hearing on opioids Republicans press FBI for briefing on efforts by Chinese government operatives to gain influence with lawmakers MORE (R-Ky.), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, is criticizing Twitter over the briefing the company gave Congress on last month's historic hack.

Comer wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that while the social media giant's transparency after the hack has been "commendable," it was "unable to answer several basic questions" during last week's briefing.

The July hack was likely the largest to target Twitter's system. The accounts  of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenWoman accused of trying to sell Pelosi laptop to Russians arrested Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Trump moves to lift coronavirus travel restrictions on Europe, Brazil MORE, former President Obama, Tesla CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskWhatsApp delays controversial privacy update Fringe social networks boosted after mob attack NASA's Europa Clipper has been liberated from the Space Launch System MORE, Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosAmazon suspends Parler from web hosting service World's richest people added .8T to their combined wealth in 2020 Amazon delivered more than 1.5 billion items over holiday season MORE and Microsoft founder Bill Gates were all hijacked to post an apparent bitcoin scam.

Twitter later revealed that hackers had successfully manipulated employees into providing them back-end access to internal systems.


Comer wrote in Tuesday's letter that Twitter wasn't able to answer questions "about employee access to user accounts and Twitter’s arrangement with its contractors."

"Such easy access to Twitter’s internal controls is emblematic of the cavalier nature with which the company takes its security," he wrote.

Comer also drilled down on Twitter's explanation that the breach targeted employees working from home.

He asked the platform to provide its guidance on remote work, raising concerns that employees with access to user accounts may be more vulnerable.

Dorsey announced earlier this year that Twitter employees would have the option to work from home indefinitely moving forward. 

Read more about Comer’s concerns here. 

TIKTOK UNDER (MORE) FIRE: Video app TikTok, which has come under intense scrutiny from the U.S. government, sidestepped Google policy and collected user-specific data from Android phones that allowed the company to track users without allowing them to opt out, according to an analysis conducted by The Wall Street Journal.


The report released Tuesday comes on the heels of President Trump signing an executive order that targets Beijing-based ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. The order essentially gives the Chinese tech company 45 days to divest from the app or see it banned in the U.S.

"The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People's Republic of China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," the executive order states. "At this time, action must be taken to address the threat posed by one mobile application in particular, TikTok."

The White House has grown increasingly wary of TikTok, with the administration claiming that TikTok is selling American user data to the Chinese government. TikTok has repeatedly said that it has not and would never do so.

The data that was taken from the Android phones is a 12-digit code called a “media access control” (MAC) address, according to the Journal. Each MAC address is unique and are standard in all internet-ready electronic devices. MAC addresses are useful for apps that are trying to drive targeted ads because they can't be changed or reset, allowing tech companies to create consumer profiles based off of the content that users view. 

Read more here. 

YANKEES HAVE A NEW SPONSOR: The New York Yankees announced Wednesday that TikTok would join its list of sponsors, despite President Trump's latest threats to ban the social media giant from doing business in the U.S.

Sportico reported that the Yankees and YES Network, the team's sports channel, have inked a deal that will last until September and provide the Yankees with $10 million and branded content on the TikTok app.

The deal will reportedly expire if the Trump administration moves forward with plans to ban transactions with TikTok's parent company, the Chinese firm ByteDance, next month. 

The team did not immediately return a request for comment from Sportico.

The Trump administration moved last week to give ByteDance 45 days to divest from TikTok or be banned from operating in the U.S. Trump initially announced plans to ban TikTok in early August and set a mid-September deadline for the company to be purchased by a U.S firm for it to continue operation.

TikTok executives slammed Trump's executive order, accusing his administration of ignoring facts and inserting itself into private negotiations following the president's announcement last week.

Read more here. 

Lighter click: Damage well above 100 percent

An op-ed to chew on: Equal access to tech can reduce poverty and increase diversity


How social justice slideshows took over Instagram (Vox / Terry Nguyen)

QAnon Followers Are Hijacking the #SaveTheChildren Movement (New York Times / Kevin Roose)

EU-U.S. privacy rift leaves businesses in disarray (Axios / Ashley Gold)