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Hillicon Valley: Parler sues Amazon, asks court to reinstate platform | Twitter stock falls after Trump ban | Facebook pauses political spending in wake of Capitol attack

Hillicon Valley: Parler sues Amazon, asks court to reinstate platform | Twitter stock falls after Trump ban | Facebook pauses political spending in wake of Capitol attack
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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.

PARLER VS AMAZON: Parler sued Amazon Monday after the company’s web hosting service dropped the controversial social media platform.

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The lawsuit alleges that the move was politically motivated and violated antitrust law, although experts who spoke with The Hill questioned the basis of the second argument.

Amazon’s decision to cut off service to Parler came after it was used to coordinate and incite last week’s violent insurrection at the Capitol.

Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store over the weekend stopped carrying the app, which has pitched itself as a haven for free speech and attracted many conservatives.

Read more.

TWITTER’S STOCK SINKS: Twitter's stock fell roughly 7 percent on Monday following the company's decision Friday evening to permanently ban 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 from the platform.

The financial impact came after the social media giant took the unprecedented step to close Trump’s account, saying his posts pose “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Facebook, which did not go so far as to permanently shut Trump’s account but has banned him until at least the transfer of power, only saw about a 3 percent drop in stock Monday. 

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FACEBOOK TAKES A SECOND: Facebook announced Monday that it would pause political spending in the wake of the attack on the Capitol complex last week that left multiple rioters and members of the Capitol Police dead. 

“Following last week’s awful violence in D.C., we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter while we review our policies,” company spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed to The Hill.

The move by the social media giant comes amid strong pressure on companies to halt donations to members of Congress who amplified President Trump’s debunked claims that the presidential election was stolen. 

Read more about the decision here.

MERKEL WEIGHS IN: A spokesman for Angela Merkel said Monday that the German chancellor finds the Twitter ban on President Trump's account “problematic.”

Steffen Seibert said that while social media platforms “bear great responsibility for political communication not being poisoned by hatred, by lies and by incitement to violence,” freedom of opinion “can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators.”

“Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked,” he added, according to The Associated Press.

Read more here

ICYMI: CYBER CZAR LIKELY TO MAKE WAVES: The creation of a White House cyber czar to help coordinate federal cybersecurity is likely to make a major difference in responding to the recently discovered Russian hack of IT group SolarWinds. 

The new national cyber director position was established by the annual National Defense Authorization Act, a massive piece of legislation that also granted numerous other cybersecurity powers to the federal government, all of which could be helpful as almost a dozen key agencies impacted by the hack scramble to respond. 

“Once this individual is appointed and confirmed, this would be the individual who is coordinating the response,” Rep. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinHillicon Valley: Parler sues Amazon, asks court to reinstate platform | Twitter stock falls after Trump ban | Facebook pauses political spending in wake of Capitol attack Cyber czar to draw on new powers from defense bill Senate approves defense bill establishing cyber czar position, subpoena power for cyber agency MORE (D-R.I.), one of the key members of Congress who pushed for the national cyber director position to be established, told The Hill.

Read more here.

Lighter click: The cutest bath time photo op

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An op-ed to chew on: Biden’s Day One Russia problem

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

Salesforce ‘Takes Action’ to Prevent RNC Emails From Inciting Violence (Motherboard / Jason Koebler and Joseph Cox)

Deepfake laws emerge as harassment, security threats come into focus (CyberScoop / Shannon Vavra) 

Deplatforming Our Way to the Alt-Tech Ecosystem (Knight First Amendment Institute / Ethan Zuckerman and Chand Rajendra-Nicolucci)