Hillicon Valley: UK watchdog to investigate Google, Amazon over fake reviews | Google to warn users about unreliable information during certain events | Senators roll out cyber workforce bill

Hillicon Valley: UK watchdog to investigate Google, Amazon over fake reviews | Google to warn users about unreliable information during certain events | Senators roll out cyber workforce bill
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Welcome and Happy Friday! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage. 

There’s more trouble for Amazon and Google across the pond, with the United Kingdom’s competition watchdog announcing an investigation into fake reviews on the platforms. 


Meanwhile, Google on Friday announced a change to its search engine with a feature that will notify users about potentially unreliable information during breaking news, and two senators rolled out another bill to address some of the mounting cybersecurity threats. 

KEEP IT REAL: The United Kingdom's competition watchdog is launching an investigation into fake reviews on Amazon and Google, it said Friday. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will probe whether the two U.S.-based tech giants are breaking consumer laws by taking insufficient action to protect consumers from fake reviews. 

The CMA’s latest probe follows an investigation launched last year into several platforms’ internal systems and processes for identifying and dealing with fake reviews. 

The watchdog said the investigation has raised specific concerns about how Google and Amazon are detecting fake and misleading reviews or suspicious patterns of behavior.

Both companies defended their policies toward preventing fake reviews and committed to working with the CMA during its investigation. 

Read more here.


CHECK BACK LATER: Google will start warning users about potentially unreliable information for search results during breaking news or emerging topics, the company said Friday. 

The search engine said its systems have been trained to now detect when a topic is rapidly evolving and a “range of sources hasn’t yet weighed in,” according to a blog post

In those cases, Google will show users a notice indicating to check back later when more information may be available. 

“While Google Search will always be there with the most useful results we can provide, sometimes the reliable information you’re searching for just isn’t online yet. This can be particularly true for breaking news or emerging topics, when the information that’s published first may not be the most reliable,” Danny Sullivan, Google’s public liaison for search, said in a blog post. 

Read more about the announcement

NEW WORKFORCE BILL: Sens. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanOvernight Hillicon Valley — Majority supports national data privacy standards, poll finds Senator calls on agencies to take action to prevent criminal cryptocurrency use Trump praises NH Senate candidate as Sununu weighs own bid MORE (D-N.H.) and John CornynJohn CornynSenate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Democrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill MORE (R-Texas) on Friday introduced legislation meant to tackle parts of the government’s cyber workforce shortage.

The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act would establish a cybersecurity apprenticeship program at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, along with creating a program at the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans with cybersecurity training.

The bill was introduced in the wake of months of escalating cyberattacks aimed at critical U.S. organizations.

Hassan pointed to the escalating attacks on Friday in stressing that “our national cybersecurity infrastructure is woefully lacking.”

Cornyn said in a separate statement that “cyber threats are evolving each day, and we must have a workforce prepared to respond.”

Read more about the bill here.

ICYMI: DEMS CLASH OVER TECH BILLS: California Democrats are clashing with other members of their party over a package of antitrust bills targeting the top tech companies in the country.

Democratic lawmakers from California on the House Judiciary Committee, particularly those representing tech-heavy Bay Area districts, voted against the majority of their colleagues over the past two days on five antitrust bills that seek to rein in the market power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

The stiff opposition from the California delegation may cause further hurdles as the legislation heads to the House floor, with moderate and progressive Democrats, as well as prominent Republicans, voicing concern over the bills.

Democratic Reps. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenRepublicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe Now is the time for bankruptcy venue reform MORE, Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails How lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation MORE and Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaFailed drug vote points to bigger challenges for Democrats House panel advances immigration language for reconciliation bill Centrist House Democrats unveil rival proposal to lower drug prices MORE — all from California — voted against advancing nearly every bill the committee marked up Wednesday and Thursday.

Read more about the markup here.

On tap next week:

-A House Armed Service Committee subcommittee is holding a hearing June 29 on the Department of Defense’s information technology and cybersecurity outlook over the upcoming year.

-The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing June 30 on securing wireless networks and supply chains, during which lawmakers will consider multiple pieces of legislation 

-A House Oversight and Reform Committee panel will hold a hearing June 30 on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state and local information technology.


An op-ed to chew on: The Innovation and Competition Act is progressive policy

Lighter click: My pal jackpack


Are Black Creators Really on ‘Strike’ From TikTok? (The New York Times / Taylor Lorenz)

Tech giants are staying silent on California’s anti-NDA bill (Protocol / Issie Lapowsky) 

At a summer camp, juice boxes and bitcoin mining (NBC / David Ingram)