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Hillicon Valley: Twitter locks Trump's account for 12 hours | Facebook, Twitter, YouTube remove Trump video on Capitol riots | Justice Department says employee emails were accessed as part of SolarWinds hack

Hillicon Valley: Twitter locks Trump's account for 12 hours | Facebook, Twitter, YouTube remove Trump video on Capitol riots | Justice Department says employee emails were accessed as part of SolarWinds hack
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Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

RESTRICTING TRUMP PART ONE: Twitter announced Wednesday night that President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE’s account would be locked for 12 hours after the social media platform removed three of Trump’s tweets for “repeated and severe violations” of Twitter’s Civic Integrity policy.

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“The account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets,” Twitter Safety wrote in a tweet. “If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.”

Read more here. 

RESTRICTING TRUMP PART TWO: Before Twitter locked Trump’s account, the platform along with YouTube and Facebook removed President Trump’s video regarding the riots that led to a Capitol lockdown. 

In the video, Trump urged his supporters who forced their way into the Capitol to go home, but he also repeated false claims that his election was “fraudulent,” which was the reason why his supporters protested in the first place. 

Initially, Facebook and Twitter had labeled Trump’s post but not removed it entirely, but within a few hours all three platforms had taken it down along with Facebook and Twitter removing a similar text post from the president that followed his video. 

Facebook said the post was removed because it risked inciting more violence. Twitter similarly said the post was restricted due to a risk of violence. 

YouTube said it removed the post based on violating the platform's policies regarding content that alleges widespread election fraud. 

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Read more here

DOJ CONFIRMS BREACH: The Justice Department on Wednesday said it had been breached as part of the recently discovered Russian hack of IT company SolarWinds.

An agency spokesperson said in a statement that around 3 percent of agency employee emails were accessed by the hackers, with the Justice Department counting over 100,000 individuals as employees.

The SolarWinds breach, which may have been ongoing since as early as March, has impacted over 18,000 organizations that were customers of the company, including federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Treasury Department. 

Read more about the breach here. 

KREBS SLAMS TRUMP: Christopher Krebs, the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), slammed President Trump Wednesday for his efforts to undermine election confidence, in particular through Trump’s now-removed video addressing the storming of the Capitol.

“We called out #disinfo repeatedly before & after the election,” Krebs, who was fired by Trump in November after pushing back against disinformation around the presidential election, tweeted Wednesday night. “Yet the President & his campaign/lawyers/supporters fanned the flames for their own selfish reasons culminating with today's objections followed by his video message. WHAT DID THEY THINK WOULD HAPPEN? They own this.”

Read more here. 

FLIP-FLOP-FLIP: The New York Stock Exchange reversed course for the second time Wednesday, deciding to delist three Chinese telecommunications companies that had been targeted by an executive order.

China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom Corp Ltd. and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. securities will no longer be tradeable starting next Monday.

None of the three companies have significant footprints in the U.S. and China has accused Trump of using nebulous national security threats to curb competition.

Read more.

TRUMP CRACKS DOWN: President Trump on Tuesday issued an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps, citing concerns about data privacy.

The order, which goes into effect in 45 days, prohibits transactions with Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office. The order builds on previous efforts by Trump to outlaw the use of WeChat and TikTok on similar grounds.

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Trump had previously issued an executive order banning transactions with ByteDance, the parent company of the popular app TikTok, but the ban has yet to go into effect after it was stalled in court. 

In response to Trump’s Tuesday order, China’s foreign ministry fired back accusing the U.S. of “bullying in its move to ban transactions with the apps owned by Chinese firms. 

Read more about Trump’s order here

NO MORE GEORGIA ADS: Facebook said Wednesday it will clamp down on political ads about the two Georgia Senate runoff elections that were held on Tuesday. 

The decision comes as the platform has paused political ads widely after the November election. The tech giant had temporarily lifted the ban for a few weeks for ads related to the crucial Senate runoffs. 

The company has not said when it will lift the nationwide temporary ban on political ads. 

Read more here

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AMAZON’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING PUSH: Amazon said Wednesday it will spend $2 billion in a fund aimed at preserving and creating affordable housing in the Arlington, Va., Nashville and Seattle areas, home to three of the e-commerce giant’s headquarters. 

The funds will go toward creating or preserving 20,000 affordable homes in the areas, the company said. 

It follows similar investments pledged by Facebook and Google, as tech giants have faced criticism over driving home prices up in the Bay Area and displacing longtime residents. 

Read more here

An op-ed to chew on: Edward Snowden, the media, and the Espionage Act

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

President Trump Just Used Social Media To Attempt A Coup (BuzzFeed News / Ryan Mac)

Democrats have won the Senate. Here’s what it means for tech. (Protocol / Issie Lapowsky)

How Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube are handling live streams of the Capitol mob attack (The Verge / Julia Alexander, Jacob Kastrenakes, and Bijan Stephen)