Hillicon Valley: New cyber budget request | Apple rolls out anticipated privacy update | And gets a new antitrust challenge

Hillicon Valley: New cyber budget request | Apple rolls out anticipated privacy update | And gets a new antitrust challenge
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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.

Happy Monday! A bipartisan group of representatives think a key cybersecurity agency is in need of more funding after responses to SolarWinds and new Microsoft vulnerabilities. Also, Apple rolled out its long awaited privacy feature, which has already received significant criticism from Facebook.



CYBER BUDGET DEFENDERS: A pair of House lawmakers are urging legislators to appropriate more funding for a key federal cybersecurity agency after a year in which cyber threats skyrocketed. 

Reps. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinFeds eye more oversight of pipelines after Colonial attack Lawmakers push for increased cybersecurity funds in annual appropriations Biden takes quick action on cyber in first 100 days MORE (D-R.I.) and Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherSenate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals Hillicon Valley: Colonial Pipeline attack underscores US energy's vulnerabilities | Biden leading 'whole-of-government' response to hack | Attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap Instagram for kids MORE (R-Wis.) sent a letter, provided to The Hill on Monday, to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee asking them to carve out at least $400 million in additional funding for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) upcoming budget allocation. 

The representatives pointed to CISA’s leadership role in responding to both the recent SolarWinds hacking incident, which involved Russian hackers compromising nine federal agencies, and to new vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange Server that allowed Chinese hackers to potentially breach thousands of organizations.

President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE earlier this month proposed a budget of just over $2.1 billion for CISA in fiscal 2022, around $110 million more than the agency was given in fiscal 2021. An additional $650 million was also appropriated to CISA as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March. 

Read more about the budget concerns here.



AT LONG LAST: Apple released its long awaited anti-tracking tool for iPhones on Monday as part of its new operating system update. 

The iOS 14.5 update includes Apple's app-tracking Transparency Feature, which will require apps to ask users for permission before tracking them across the web. 

“Your information is for sale. You have become the product. That's why iPhone users will now be asked a single simple question — allow apps to track you or not,” a narrator says in a video Apple released Monday along with the launch of the feature. 

Apple unveiled the feature over the summer and it was set to be released in September, but it was delayed amid backlash over the tool. 

Facebook has fiercely pushed back on the feature. The social media platform, which thrives off the sale of targeted ads, has branded the move as being harmful for small business. It's further fueled an ongoing feud between Facebook and Apple. 

Read more about the feature


EVERYONE'S A CRITIC: Apple is still facing challenges over the feature, including an antitrust complaint filed by the German Advertising Federation shortly before the launch of the update.

The ZAW, the advertising federation, filed the complaint with a German competition regulator, arguing Apple is abusing its market power and violating antitrust law through the launch of its anti-tracking feature, according to the federation’s press release

In France, a competition watchdog last month rejected a similar challenge from advertising groups over Apple’s plans to release the update. The French watchdog said at the time the feature “did not appear as an abusive practice.”

Read more about the complaint


HEADING TO N.C.: Apple on Monday said that it will invest $430 billion across the U.S. and add 20,000 new jobs nationwide over the next five years, including establishing a new North Carolina campus. 

The $430 billion commitment raises Apple’s original five-year goal of $350 billion set in 2018 by 20 percent, the company said. 


The investment includes a plan for $1 billion to go towards establishing Apple’s new campus in North Carolina that the company said will create at least 3,000 new jobs in machine learning, artificial intelligence and software engineering.

Read more about the announcement

Lighter click: All time great

An op-ed to chew on: To defend democracy, we must protect truth online




Is an Activist’s Pricey House News? Facebook Alone Decides. (New York Times / Ben Smith)

Intelligence community creating hub to gird against foreign influence (Politico / Martin Matishak) 

Before SolarWinds, US officials say SVR began stealthily targeting cloud services in 2018 (CyberScoop / Sean Lyngaas) 

Breaking point: How Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergBipartisan attorneys general urge Facebook to scrap planned Instagram for kids Hillicon Valley: Broadband companies funded fake net neutrality comments, investigation finds | Twitter rolls out tip feature | Google to adopt 'hybrid work week' Oversight Board achieving what government cannot MORE and Tim Cook became foes (The New York Times / Mike Isaac and Jack Nicas)