SPONSORED:

Hillicon Valley: Twitter permanently suspends Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and others | Laptop stolen from Pelosi's office during Capitol riots | Reddit bans r/DonaldTrump forum

Hillicon Valley: Twitter permanently suspends Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and others | Laptop stolen from Pelosi's office during Capitol riots | Reddit bans r/DonaldTrump forum
© Getty Images

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

(BELATED) QANON CRACKDOWN: Twitter on Friday permanently suspended the accounts of three major sources of QAnon content: former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins.

ADVERTISEMENT

The decision was made because of “renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days,” a spokesperson for the platform told The Hill.

The QAnon conspiracy posits baselessly that Trump is working to expose a shadowy cabal of elites in Democratic politics and the media running underground child trafficking rings. Supporters of the theory were heavily involved in Wednesday’s deadly insurrection at the Capitol.

Critics say Twitter had plenty of time to act on these high-profile accounts before the violence Wednesday.

“So much unnecessary suffering would have been averted if Twitter did this two years ago instead of today,” Travis View, co-host of the "QAnonymous" podcast, posted shortly after the takedowns.

Read more.

LAPTOP GOES MIA: An aide for Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Biden unveils virus plan and urges patience | Fauci says it's 'liberating' working under Biden | House to move quickly on COVID-19 relief Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 On The Money: Pelosi says House will move immediately on COVID-19 relief | Biden faces backlash over debt | 900,000 more Americans file for unemployment benefits MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted Friday that a laptop used for presentations was stolen from her office during the storming of the Capitol complex by rioters earlier this week.

ADVERTISEMENT

“A laptop from a conference room was stolen,” Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff to Pelosi, tweeted Friday. “It was a laptop that was only used for presentations.”

The announcement came two days after Sen. Jeff Merkly (D-Ore.) tweeted that a laptop had also been stolen from his office in the Capitol building during the riot, prompting concerns around cybersecurity and data privacy of classified congressional information. 

Some experts and members of Congress have begun to raise concerns around the potential cybersecurity and data privacy ramifications of technological devices being stolen from members of Congress.

Read more here.

REMOVING R/DONALDTRUMP: Reddit on Friday said it would be banning the r/DonaldTrump page after repeated violations, joining in on the wave of actions taken by social media platforms after 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 supporters stormed the Capitol. 

A spokesperson said the page, which was not officially hosted by the president, was removed after repeated violations regarding posts about the riot. 

The platform had previously banned a forum devoted to Trump in June, called r/The_Donald, along with 2,000 other “subreddit” communities when updating hate speech policies.  

Read more here

PAI DROPS EO: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Ajit PaiAjit PaiHillicon Valley: Biden names acting chairs to lead FCC, FTC | Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review | Judge denies request for Amazon to immediately restore Parler Biden names acting chairs to lead FCC, FTC Hillicon Valley: Twitter permanently suspends Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and others | Laptop stolen from Pelosi's office during Capitol riots | Reddit bans r/DonaldTrump forum MORE said Thursday that he will not move forward with rulemaking on President Trump’s executive order targeting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The concession comes at the tail-end of Pai’s tenure, and confirms that Trump will not change the internet liability law that has become a focus of his while in office.

Read more.

MANCHIN SPEAKS UP: Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief Democrats shoot down McConnell's filibuster gambit Democrats torn on impeachment trial timing MORE (D-W.V.) on Friday urged Twitter to indefinitely suspend President Trump’s Twitter account “in the interest of national security” following the riot by pro-Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol this week that left five dead.  

ADVERTISEMENT

“The next 12 days are critical for the preservation of our democracy. @jack, once again I urge you to suspend the @realDonaldTrump @twitter account in the interest of our national security and public safety,” Mnuchin tweeted, tagging Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Manchin’s demands came the day after Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Biden names acting chairs to lead FCC, FTC | Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review | Judge denies request for Amazon to immediately restore Parler Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review Facebook has no current plan to end the Trump suspension MORE announced Trump’s account on the platform would be indefinitely suspended, and as Twitter comes under pressure to do the same. 

Read more here.

Lighter click: What could possibly go wrong

An op-ed to chew on: For Chinese firms, theft of your data is now a legal requirement

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

ADVERTISEMENT

Pro-Trump Mob Livestreamed Its Rampage, and Made Money Doing It (New York Times / Kellen Browning and Taylor Lorenz)

Hundreds of Twitter employees sign letter asking Jack Dorsey to permanently suspend Trump’s account (Washington Post / Nitasha Tiku)

'She got into the weeds': Biden’s associate AG pick is a top tech watchdog (Protocol / Issie Lapowsky)

SolarWinds hires Chris Krebs, Alex Stamos to boost security in wake of suspected Russian hack (CyberScoop / Sean Lyngaas) 

Apple Has Threatened To Ban Parler From The App Store (BuzzFeed News / Ryan Mac and John Paczkowski)