Biden wants to get rid of law that shields companies like Facebook from liability for what their users post

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to get rid of the legal protection that has shielded social media companies including Facebook from liability for users’ posts. But revoking the clause in its entirety would have major implications for tech platforms and may still fail to produce some of the desired outcomes. “Section 230 obviously benefits not just Facebook,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNBC. Stone also pointed to a Facebook executive’s comments on the subject at a hea


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to get rid of the legal protection that has shielded social media companies including Facebook from liability for users’ posts.
But revoking the clause in its entirety would have major implications for tech platforms and may still fail to produce some of the desired outcomes.
“Section 230 obviously benefits not just Facebook,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNBC.
Stone also pointed to a Facebook executive’s comments on the subject at a hea
Biden wants to get rid of law that shields companies like Facebook from liability for what their users post Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-17  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, post, wants, comments, interview, shields, companies, york, vice, liability, biden, legal, 230, facebook, rid, law, platforms, tech, users


Biden wants to get rid of law that shields companies like Facebook from liability for what their users post

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to get rid of the legal protection that has shielded social media companies including Facebook from liability for users’ posts.

The former vice president’s stance, presented in an interview with The New York Times editorial board, is more extreme than that of other lawmakers who have confronted tech executives about the legal protection from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

“Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one. For Zuckerberg and other platforms,” Biden said in the interview published Friday.

The bill became law in the mid-1990s to help still-nascent tech firms avoid being bogged down in legal battles. But as tech companies have amassed more power and billions of dollars, many lawmakers across the political spectrum along with Attorney General William Barr, agree that some reforms of the law and its enforcement are likely warranted.

But revoking the clause in its entirety would have major implications for tech platforms and may still fail to produce some of the desired outcomes. Section 230 allows for tech companies to take “good faith” measures to moderate content on their platforms, meaning they can take down content they consider violent, obscene or harassing without fear of legal retribution.

“Section 230 obviously benefits not just Facebook,” Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNBC. “It’s not just foundational to the internet, it’s what allows The New York Times to host reader comments on their websites.”

Stone also pointed to a Facebook executive’s comments on the subject at a hearing on digital deception last week. Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of global policy management told Congress, “Section 230 is an important part of my team being able to do what we do so — yes, it gives us the ability to proactively look for abuse and remove it.”

Biden’s stance on Section 230 will likely be met with similar criticism in Silicon Valley to that lodged at Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., after he introduced legislation in June that would tie the protections of Section 230 to voluntary audits of the tech companies that prove their practices are “politically neutral.” Trade groups representing tech firms including Facebook, Twitter and Google said at the time that Hawley’s bill would make it much more difficult for tech companies to remove reprehensible content.

Biden’s comments on Section 230 are more pronounced than those of his Democratic rivals. Asked by Vox last year how platforms should be held responsible for hate speech or misinformation, Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., for example, said he would “work with experts and advocates to ensure that these large, profitable corporations are held responsible when dangerous activity occurs on their watch, while protecting the fundamental right of free speech in this country and making sure right-wing groups don’t abuse regulation to advance their agenda.”

Read the full interview at The New York Times.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

WATCH: Why Facebook’s business model is only now coming under fire


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-17  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, post, wants, comments, interview, shields, companies, york, vice, liability, biden, legal, 230, facebook, rid, law, platforms, tech, users


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Op-Ed: New York’s bail reform disaster is about to become a major election issue

That issue is the controversial bail reform law pushed through the New York State legislature by Governor Andrew Cuomo late last year. That’s even true for New York’s Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was most responsible for the bail reform bill passing last year. That’s a dramatic about-face for a party that celebrated the bail reform law it passed just 10 months ago as a paragon of economic and racial equality. The good news for the Democratic presidential candidates is that none of them ca


That issue is the controversial bail reform law pushed through the New York State legislature by Governor Andrew Cuomo late last year.
That’s even true for New York’s Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was most responsible for the bail reform bill passing last year.
That’s a dramatic about-face for a party that celebrated the bail reform law it passed just 10 months ago as a paragon of economic and racial equality.
The good news for the Democratic presidential candidates is that none of them ca
Op-Ed: New York’s bail reform disaster is about to become a major election issue Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-17  Authors: jake novak
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, disaster, law, york, presidential, issue, yorks, democratic, violent, trump, perfect, bail, major, oped, election, reform


Op-Ed: New York's bail reform disaster is about to become a major election issue

Now the story has become national news , and it’s a perfect example of the kind of easy-to-understand and emotionally charged issue that can become a major factor in a national election.

Making matters worse, some of the repeat offenders have been arrested for committing acts of anti-semitic assault and harassment just as New York is seeing a disturbing spike in those crimes.

In what’s becoming an almost hourly stream of depressing updates, New York’s newspapers, local TV news shows, and news sites are posting story after story about violent crimes being committed by people instantly released after arrests because of bail reform.

Less than three weeks after the law went into effect, it sure looks like the naysayers were right.

But critics of the law have been warning for months that eliminating bail was sure to put too many criminals with violent tendencies back on streets, even if they weren’t currently under arrest for very violent crimes.

That issue is the controversial bail reform law pushed through the New York State legislature by Governor Andrew Cuomo late last year. The law eliminates cash bail on the argument that cash bail discriminates against poorer defendants.

A story that’s beginning to boil over in New York is about to become a major issue in the 2020 election.

Crime stories also have a rare ability to energize otherwise non-politically active Americans. Ask anyone who lived through the urban crime waves of the late 1960s through the 1980s to confirm that.

In case you need to be convinced how big a political issue this could become, remember that violent crime stories are visceral in many ways. They often involve life and death, and can be easily painted in terms of “good guys” and “bad guys” with very little gray areas in between.

Crime stories also have a rare ability to energize otherwise non-politically active Americans. Ask anyone who lived through the urban crime waves of the late 1960s through the 1980s to confirm that.

If all of this sounds like something tailor-made for President Trump to take advantage of, you’re right. While he hasn’t commented on any of the crimes committed by any of the released offenders this year, he did preview the situation in a tweet last November:

Remember that Trump has already made a wedge issue out of sanctuary city policies and crimes committed by illegal immigrants. His decision to pinpoint those issues as a candidate helped him win over Republican voters in the 2016 primaries. But Trump could find even more bipartisan support by highlighting these no bail-related crime stories, which are already affecting Democratic elected leaders and their voters.

That’s even true for New York’s Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was most responsible for the bail reform bill passing last year. He stated earlier this week that he thinks some changes should be made to the law. But he didn’t say how or when. On the much more urgent side of that fence are six Democratic state senators from suburban Long Island, who now say they’ve made changing the bail reform laws their top legislative priority for the upcoming session. That’s a dramatic about-face for a party that celebrated the bail reform law it passed just 10 months ago as a paragon of economic and racial equality.

It would be a wise move for the Democratic Party’s national leaders to take a cue from those Long Island state senators. We’re just a Trump tweet away from New York’s bail problem from becoming something the entire party and its remaining presidential candidates will have to bear.

The good news for the Democratic presidential candidates is that none of them can be personally connected to the bail reform law the way the George H.W. Bush campaign successfully saddled then-Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis with prison furlough programs in the infamous Willie Horton ad. But the danger to the party as a whole is real. This is an issue that’s resonating in the suburbs, where polls show Trump’s support has been weakening.

The even better news is that some Democrats running could take almost as much advantage of this issue as Trump. That is, if they want to stand out from the still-crowded primary field. If Joe Biden resumes his push to present himself as the more moderate candidate, these crimes in New York would be a perfect trend for him to decry publicly. Strongly criticizing the no bail law would also be a perfect stance for Mike Bloomberg to take based on his strong anti-crime track record as New York City’s former mayor.

Of course it won’t be that easy. The Democratic presidential candidates on the campaign trail have so far mirrored the overall leftward shift of the party. That includes Bloomberg, who previewed his official entry into the presidential race by apologizing for the NYPD’s “Stop and Frisk” policy that left wing groups strongly opposed during his time in office.

In the American election game, it comes down to which candidate is the most persuasive. Right now, this bail issue is a perfect “jump ball” opportunity for any of the remaining presidential candidates to prove just how persuasive they can be. It’s likely that Trump and at least one of the Democrats running will grab hold of this issue. The only question is who will do it first.

Jake Novak is a political and economic analyst at Jake Novak News and former CNBC TV producer. You can follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-17  Authors: jake novak
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, disaster, law, york, presidential, issue, yorks, democratic, violent, trump, perfect, bail, major, oped, election, reform


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Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow says White House is ‘looking at’ changes to global anti-bribery law

Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is “looking at” making changes to a decades-old global anti-bribery law, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters on Friday. “We are looking at it, and we have heard some complaints from our companies,” Kudlow said, responding to a question about the Foreign Corrupt Practices


Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is “looking at” making changes to a decades-old global anti-bribery law, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters on Friday.
“We are looking at it, and we have heard some complaints from our companies,” Kudlow said, responding to a question about the Foreign Corrupt Practices
Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow says White House is ‘looking at’ changes to global anti-bribery law Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-17  Authors: christina wilkie
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, looking, house, economic, law, trump, white, larry, global, changes, washington, told, kudlow, companies


Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow says White House is 'looking at' changes to global anti-bribery law

Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is “looking at” making changes to a decades-old global anti-bribery law, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters on Friday.

“We are looking at it, and we have heard some complaints from our companies,” Kudlow said, responding to a question about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law generally prohibits American companies from paying bribes to secure contracts overseas.

“I don’t want to say anything definitive policy-wise, but we are looking at it,” Kudlow added.

Pressed about the specific changes the White House might try to make to the FCPA, Kudlow declined to offer details but signaled that the administration was working on a “package” of reforms.

“Let me wait until we get a better package,” before addressing specifics, Kudlow said at the White House. A White House spokesman did not respond to follow-up questions from CNBC about what was being considered.

The questions about possible changes to the FCPA were sparked by revelations in a soon-to-be-released book about Trump, which describes an episode in which Trump bitterly complained about the law, which he sees as a hindrance to U.S. businesses competing overseas.

According to Washington Post reporters Phillip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, in 2017 Trump told his then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that it was “just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-17  Authors: christina wilkie
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, looking, house, economic, law, trump, white, larry, global, changes, washington, told, kudlow, companies


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Apple’s fight with Trump and the Justice Department is about more than two iPhones

Michael Brochstein | Barcroft Media | ReutersPresident Donald Trump and the nation’s top law enforcement official are facing off against Apple, the most valuable American company. Barr and other law enforcement officials call it the “going dark” problem and argue that all data should be accessible with a warrant. “Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. But it found a third-party vendor in 2016 to unlock the San Bernardi


Michael Brochstein | Barcroft Media | ReutersPresident Donald Trump and the nation’s top law enforcement official are facing off against Apple, the most valuable American company.
Barr and other law enforcement officials call it the “going dark” problem and argue that all data should be accessible with a warrant.
“Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers.
But it found a third-party vendor in 2016 to unlock the San Bernardi
Apple’s fight with Trump and the Justice Department is about more than two iPhones Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-16  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fight, enforcement, encryption, data, barr, law, iphones, apple, security, justice, department, apples, iphone, trump, pensacola, unlock


Apple's fight with Trump and the Justice Department is about more than two iPhones

U.S. Attorney General William Barr discusses Pensacola Naval Air Station Shooting in Washington, DC. Michael Brochstein | Barcroft Media | Reuters

President Donald Trump and the nation’s top law enforcement official are facing off against Apple, the most valuable American company. The fight started because the FBI says it cannot extract data from two iPhones used by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, who is suspected of killing three people last month in a shooting at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida. Attorney General William Barr and Trump want Apple to help by unlocking the phones it manufactured. Although the current fight is over these two password-protected phones, it’s only the latest skirmish in a long-running battle over whether technology companies should give law enforcement special access to customers’ data. Barr and other law enforcement officials call it the “going dark” problem and argue that all data should be accessible with a warrant. Apple and techies tend to call the concept a “backdoor” and argue that it would hurt security for everyone who uses that device. During Barr’s press conference Monday, he explicitly framed the issue as bigger than just the two Pensacola iPhones: “We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks.” Barr also discussed his goal last summer, months before the Pensacola shooting: “The Department has made clear what we are seeking. We believe that when technology providers deploy encryption in their products, services, and platforms they need to maintain an appropriate mechanism for lawful access.” Apple is not against helping law enforcement. But it objects to building a general method that could be used to break encryption, arguing that it will have unintended consequences. “Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations,” an Apple representative said in a statement earlier this week. Apple’s not the only company in this pickle. Pretty much every single major piece of digital technology uses encryption to protect information from prying eyes. Barr took aim at Facebook last year, for example, for the encryption it uses in WhatsApp.

We’ve seen this fight before

FBI Director James Comey Jr. and Apple CEO Tim Cook Getty Images

The battle between pro-privacy techies and law enforcement officials who want access to encrypted data to investigate crimes has been raging since at least 1993. The Clinton White House promoted the Clipper Chip, which would allow law enforcement access to encryption, saying encryption “can be used by terrorists, drug dealers, and other criminals.” The chip never took off, and encryption thrived. Apple clashed with the Justice Department and then-FBI Director James Comey over encryption in a very similar case in 2016, with one major difference. In that case, the FBI wanted to break into an iPhone used by a mass shooter in San Bernardino, California. The case spilled out into a court battle with specific legal arguments before the FBI said it found a third party that could unlock the device and gave up the court battle, leaving the issue of whether Apple would be compelled to unlock the phones unsettled. So far in the Pensacola case, the Justice Department hasn’t filed for a court order to compel Apple to give it access, and Barr declined to comment in a press conference on Monday whether he would seek a court order. Instead, this conflict is playing out in the press and in tweets. As Ron Gula, a former National Security Agency employee and current security technology investor, said about Barr’s request to unlock the iPhone: “They are making a public appeal of it. They are trying to do it to get political points and change policy, which is their job.”

Could it be done?

Because it’s not a court battle yet, Apple hasn’t been compelled to say if it’s possible to unlock a customer’s iPhone. But in a filing in the San Bernardino conflict in 2016, an Apple privacy engineer outlined how Apple would start to build software to unlock the iPhone, including assigning a team of six to 10 Apple engineers and other employees to work on the project for up to a month. It also warned that the software it built for the government could become dangerous, and Apple wouldn’t want it to leave its facilities. Apple continues to argue that building a backdoor would create a vulnerability for all of its products — if the FBI had a tool to extract information for legitimate reasons, criminals could use that same tool to extract health or financial data from a lost or stolen iPhone, foreign governments could use that tool to spy on Americans, and so on. Historically, the pro-security technologists have been right: the Clipper Chip was later found to have significant security holes. If the chip had been widely adopted, it would have given hackers several different methods to break into Clipper-equipped devices. That’s why Apple CEO Tim Cook called the government’s 2016 request “the software equivalent of cancer.” He even threatened to resign in 2016 if Apple didn’t fight the request, The New York Times reported, citing Apple’s former general counsel. Could the FBI unlock the phone on its own? Barr said it’s “virtually impossible” to unlock the phones without the password, even with the help of the FBI crime lab. But it found a third-party vendor in 2016 to unlock the San Bernardino phone, and several companies currently claim they can help law enforcement unlock iPhones, especially older ones. “The terrorist in this case had an Apple 7 iPhone; that’s an old phone that has many remote issues with them. Law enforcement should make use of these things,” Gula said. “Today we can decrypt that phone.”

What’s next

A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on December 06, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida. The second shooting on a U.S. Naval Base in a week has left three dead plus the suspect and seven people wounded. Photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-16  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fight, enforcement, encryption, data, barr, law, iphones, apple, security, justice, department, apples, iphone, trump, pensacola, unlock


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Slippery slope: Online privacy activist defends Apple’s refusal to unlock iPhones for the FBI

Apple is right to refuse Justice Department requests to unlock iPhones belonging to the suspect in a December Navy base shooting, Roger McNamee told CNBC on Thursday. “If they create a backdoor for law enforcement, they’re effectively creating a backdoor for everyone,” including criminals, the online privacy activist said on “Squawk Alley.” Apple responded by saying it had provided gigabytes of information to the authorities in connection to the Florida case. But it said it would stand its groun


Apple is right to refuse Justice Department requests to unlock iPhones belonging to the suspect in a December Navy base shooting, Roger McNamee told CNBC on Thursday.
“If they create a backdoor for law enforcement, they’re effectively creating a backdoor for everyone,” including criminals, the online privacy activist said on “Squawk Alley.”
Apple responded by saying it had provided gigabytes of information to the authorities in connection to the Florida case.
But it said it would stand its groun
Slippery slope: Online privacy activist defends Apple’s refusal to unlock iPhones for the FBI Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-16  Authors: kevin stankiewicz
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fbi, slope, facebook, enforcement, user, phones, defends, law, iphones, refusal, online, apple, apples, shooter, slippery, privacy, provided, unlock


Slippery slope: Online privacy activist defends Apple's refusal to unlock iPhones for the FBI

Apple is right to refuse Justice Department requests to unlock iPhones belonging to the suspect in a December Navy base shooting, Roger McNamee told CNBC on Thursday.

“If they create a backdoor for law enforcement, they’re effectively creating a backdoor for everyone,” including criminals, the online privacy activist said on “Squawk Alley.” “It also means the government of China, the government of Russia, are going to have much easier abilities to penetrate phones and that raises the threat to every user of smartphones.”

McNamee invested in Amazon in the 1990s and later co-founded private-equity firm Elevation Partners, which invested more than $200 million in Facebook a few years before the social network’s 2012 initial public offering.

However, in recent years, he has increasingly spoken out about Facebook and warned about the perils of what he calls “surveillance capitalism,” a problematic phenomenon he attributes to the rise of Big Tech.

Last year, McNamee published a book titled, “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.” In 2018, he also helped launch the Center for Humane Technology, a nonprofit aimed at combating tech addiction.

While frequently dinging Facebook over its handling of user data, he’s generally heralded Apple as a lodestar on issues of user privacy, and he’s rejected claims that he is a “shill” for the company.

“Not everything at Apple is perfect,” he told The New Yorker in a December profile. “But on the privacy thing Tim Cook is really walking the walk.” Cook is CEO of Apple.

McNamee’s warning about smartphone backdoors creating a slippery slope comes two days after President Donald Trump slammed Apple for refusing to help the FBI to unlock the iPhones of the suspected shooter at Naval Air Station Pensacola that left three Americans dead last month.

Earlier this week, Attorney General William Barr claimed the Cupertino, California-based company had not provided “substantive assistance” in unlocking the alleged shooter’s two iPhones.

Apple responded by saying it had provided gigabytes of information to the authorities in connection to the Florida case. But it said it would stand its ground and not build a “backdoor” or specialized software to give law enforcement elevated access.

“We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation. Our responses to their many requests since the attack have been timely, thorough and are ongoing,” Apple said in its statement.

Apple was involved in a showdown with the FBI in 2016, when the Justice Department sued to gain access to a phone used by Syed Farook, who was responsible for the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 people dead. The standoff ended when the FBI found an unidentified private vendor to crack the phone’s security.

McNamee said the Justice Department’s argument for Apple to unlock the devices of the suspected Pensacola shooter was “very weak,” claiming there’s little on the phones that law enforcement couldn’t obtain through other means.

“We live in this time of surveillance capitalism. Everything you do on your phone touches the network in some way,” he said.

“To the extent that they’re trying to track who did this shooter meet, where was the shooter at any point of time … all of that stuff exists out in the environment,” he added. “It’s easily accessible to law enforcement with a warrant.”

While there may be some things such as photos on the phone that cannot be access any other way, “as a generalization, I think Apple’s position on this is exactly correct,” McNamee concluded.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-16  Authors: kevin stankiewicz
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fbi, slope, facebook, enforcement, user, phones, defends, law, iphones, refusal, online, apple, apples, shooter, slippery, privacy, provided, unlock


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Trump administration broke law in withholding Ukraine aid ‘for a policy reason,’ watchdog says

The Trump administration broke the law by witholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine last summer “for a policy reason,” a top government watchdog said in a scathing report Thursday. The Government Accountability Office’s report came a day after the House of Representatives sent articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump to the Senate for conduct related to his withhold that aid to Ukraine. TweetThe report said that Trump, like all other presidents, “is not vested with the


The Trump administration broke the law by witholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine last summer “for a policy reason,” a top government watchdog said in a scathing report Thursday.
The Government Accountability Office’s report came a day after the House of Representatives sent articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump to the Senate for conduct related to his withhold that aid to Ukraine.
TweetThe report said that Trump, like all other presidents, “is not vested with the
Trump administration broke law in withholding Ukraine aid ‘for a policy reason,’ watchdog says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-16  Authors: dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, administration, aid, house, ukraine, policy, trump, reason, congress, security, broke, report, watchdog, president, withholding, law


Trump administration broke law in withholding Ukraine aid 'for a policy reason,' watchdog says

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney answers questions during a briefing at the White House October 17, 2019 in Washington, DC.

The Trump administration broke the law by witholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine last summer “for a policy reason,” a top government watchdog said in a scathing report Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office’s report came a day after the House of Representatives sent articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump to the Senate for conduct related to his withhold that aid to Ukraine.

Trump refused to release the fund to Ukraine at the same time he was pressuring that country’s new president to announce investigations by that country of former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, and of Biden’s son Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukraine gas company.

The funds were only released after the block on the aid became publicly known, sparking the congressional probe that led to the Republican president’s impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House last month.

The GAO report said that the Office of Management and Budget’s withholding of about $214 million in funds appropriated by Congress to the Defense Department for security assistance to Ukraine was done “for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act.”

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the GAO said in its report, which noted that the Constitution “specifically vests Congress with the power of the purse.”

“The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA.”

GAO officials were briefing members of Congress about the report Thursday.

Tweet

The report said that Trump, like all other presidents, “is not vested with the power to ignore or amend any such duly enacted law.”

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rep. Nita Lowey, D-New York, said in a statement, “The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has confirmed what Congressional Democrats have understood all along: President Trump abused his power and broke the law by withholding security assistance to Ukraine.”

“Congress makes funding decisions, and the Trump Administration’s illegal impoundment of these vital national security funds was a brazen assault on the checks and balances inherent to our democracy,” Lowey said.

“Given that this illegal conduct threatened our security and undermined our elections, I feel even more strongly that the House has chosen the right course by impeaching President Trump. No one is above the law.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-16  Authors: dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, administration, aid, house, ukraine, policy, trump, reason, congress, security, broke, report, watchdog, president, withholding, law


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Apple refuses Barr’s request to unlock Pensacola shooting suspect’s iPhones

“We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation. Apple said it “produced a wide variety of information associated with the investigation” after the FBI’s initial request on Dec. 6. But unless the company agrees to provide a way for law enforcement to access encrypted devices, it seems clear Barr won’t be fully satisfied. When law enforcement requests our assistance, our teams work around the clock to provide them with the informat


“We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation.
Apple said it “produced a wide variety of information associated with the investigation” after the FBI’s initial request on Dec. 6.
But unless the company agrees to provide a way for law enforcement to access encrypted devices, it seems clear Barr won’t be fully satisfied.
When law enforcement requests our assistance, our teams work around the clock to provide them with the informat
Apple refuses Barr’s request to unlock Pensacola shooting suspect’s iPhones Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-14  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, pensacola, access, enforcement, encryption, investigation, law, shooting, assistance, refuses, unlock, request, iphones, apple, work, information, suspects, barrs


Apple refuses Barr's request to unlock Pensacola shooting suspect's iPhones

Apple disputed Attorney General William Barr’s assessment that it has failed to provide law enforcement with “substantive assistance” in unlocking the password-protected iPhones used by the shooting suspect at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida last month, but still refused his main request to provide a backdoor.

“We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation. Our responses to their many requests since the attack have been timely, thorough and are ongoing,” Apple said in a statement late Monday.

Apple said it “produced a wide variety of information associated with the investigation” after the FBI’s initial request on Dec. 6. The company said it provided “gigabytes of information” including “iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts” in response to further requests that month.

But Apple continues to refuse Barr’s request that it help find a way for law enforcement to access encrypted devices with a court order, like the one Apple faced in 2016 in the case of a shooter’s iPhone in San Bernardino, Calif. In that case, the point was dropped when the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to crack into the phone without Apple’s help, but the incident raised thorny questions about the balance between civil liberties and public safety that have yet to be settled.

“We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys,” Apple said in its latest statement. “Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations.We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.”

Apple made a similar point at a congressional hearing in December as senators threatened regulation if tech companies could not figure out a way to work with law enforcement to legally access encrypted devices and messages. A Facebook representative also attended the hearing, defending the company’s plans to make its entire private messaging system end-to-end encryption, which law enforcement fear will make it harder for them to track down instances of child exploitation, as they do now.

Apple said it has provided the FBI with technical assistance in the Pensacola case that has not required it to build a backdoor to its encryption. Apple said it was only recently notified by the FBI about a second iPhone in the investigation that law enforcement needed help to access. After receiving a subpoena “for information related to the second iPhone,” on Jan. 8th, Apple said it responded “within hours.”

Apple pledged to continue working with the FBI. But unless the company agrees to provide a way for law enforcement to access encrypted devices, it seems clear Barr won’t be fully satisfied.

“This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that investigators be able to get access to digital evidence once they have obtained a court order based on probable cause,” Barr said in the speech Monday about the Pensacola case that prompted Apple’s response. “We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks.”

Read Apple’s full response below:

We were devastated to learn of the tragic terrorist attack on members of the US armed services at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida on December 6th.We have the greatest respect for law enforcement and routinely work with police across the country on their investigations. When law enforcement requests our assistance, our teams work around the clock to provide them with the information we have.

We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation. Our responses to their many requests since the attack have been timely, thorough and are ongoing.

Within hours of the FBIs first request on December 6th, we produced a wide variety of information associated with the investigation. From December 7th through the 14th, we received six additional legal requests and in response provided information including iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts.

We responded to each request promptly, often within hours, sharing information with FBI offices in Jacksonville, Pensacola and New York. The queries resulted in many gigabytes of information that we turned over to investigators. In every instance, we responded with all of the information that we had.

The FBI only notified us on January 6th that they needed additional assistance a month after the attack occurred. Only then did we learn about the existence of a second iPhone associated with the investigation and the FBI’s inability to access either iPhone. It was not until January 8th that we received a subpoena for information related to the second iPhone,which we responded to within hours.Early outreach is critical to accessing information and finding additional options.

We are continuing to work with the FBI, and our engineering teams recently had a call to provide additional technical assistance. Apple has great respect for the Bureaus work, and we will work tirelessly to help them investigate this tragic attack on our nation.

We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations.We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.

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WATCH: How encryption affects the detection of cyber sex crimes


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-14  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, pensacola, access, enforcement, encryption, investigation, law, shooting, assistance, refuses, unlock, request, iphones, apple, work, information, suspects, barrs


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Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, a political moderate, considers running for mayor of New York

Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, April 29, 2019. Ray McGuire, a longtime Citigroup executive, is being encouraged by allies in the business community to run for mayor of New York. Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a spokeswoman for Citi, did not deny that McGuire has privately talked about running for mayor. “Mr. McGuire is solely focused on his role at Citi; talk about him


Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, April 29, 2019.
Ray McGuire, a longtime Citigroup executive, is being encouraged by allies in the business community to run for mayor of New York.
Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a spokeswoman for Citi, did not deny that McGuire has privately talked about running for mayor.
“Mr. McGuire is solely focused on his role at Citi; talk about him
Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, a political moderate, considers running for mayor of New York Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-14  Authors: brian schwartz
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, ray, citigroup, city, mayor, considers, political, executive, law, chairman, citi, running, blasios, mcguire, moderate, york, vice


Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, a political moderate, considers running for mayor of New York

Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, April 29, 2019.

Ray McGuire, a longtime Citigroup executive, is being encouraged by allies in the business community to run for mayor of New York.

McGuire, Vice Chairman of Citigroup and Chairman of Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory, has been asked by other Wall Street and corporate executives to aim for the mayor’s office in the 2021 race as Bill de Blasio’s second term heads toward its end, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

While McGuire has not ruled out running, he is currently dedicated to Citi and has no immediate plans to start preparing for a candidacy, according to the people, who declined to be named since these conversations were deemed private.

Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a spokeswoman for Citi, did not deny that McGuire has privately talked about running for mayor.

“Mr. McGuire is solely focused on his role at Citi; talk about him considering a run for mayor of New York City is pure speculation,” she told CNBC.

De Blasio’s term ends in January 2022. He recently said he has “no interest” in a third term as mayor. Law permits people to hold the office for two consecutive terms. Prior to de Blasio’s tenure, however, billionaire mogul Mike Bloomberg served three consecutive terms due to a temporary change in the law.

Discussions about a potential McGuire bid come as the city is in the midst of a crossroads as it contends with an unpopular lame-duck mayor and a heated battle over a new bail-reform measure.

De Blasio has been back on the job full time since he struggled to gain traction as a Democratic presidential candidate. His approval ratings suffered. A poll taken just before he withdrew from the race in September, taken by Siena College said 58% of New York City voters ranked him as unfavorable while only 27% saw him in a favorable light.

New York state’s new bail reform law appears to be hurting the mayor’s office, as well. The law, which went into effect this month, eliminates, in some cases, money bail and pretrial detention requirements. However, after recent stories of some suspects being set free only to later commit a crime, there’s been outcry from conservative lawmakers and law enforcement authorities. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio have since called for changes to the law.

McGuire could be a moderate voice the New York business community since the progressive de Blasio began his tenure. Fellow businessman Bloomberg, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, served as mayor as a moderate Republican and then an independent prior to de Blasio’s election.

Beyond his work at Citi, McGuire had stints at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, after starting his career at New York-based First Boston Corp., which was eventually acquired by Credit Suisse. McGuire, who was raised in Dayton, Ohio, is credited with being a lead advisor on numerous deals that are estimated to be worth over $600 billion combined.

McGuire has also dedicated himself to a wide range of political issues in between his duties at Citi. McGuire was one of 27 black leaders who condemned a mob that poured water on New York police officers last year.

“As African-American leaders who are proud to call New York City home and/or where we work, we were appalled at the recent verbal attacks on and water dousing of police officers in Harlem and Brooklyn who appeared to be lawfully executing their responsibilities to keep our communities safe and orderly,” they said in a letter to the editor of The New York Times.

At a Yahoo Finance event in October, McGuire called on Americans to come together on a wide range of issues including health and wellness, climate change and income inequality.

A New York magazine, City & State, listed McGuire as the 63rd most powerful black leader in the Big Apple. De Blasio reappointed McGuire in 2015 to the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, which promotes “affordable housing and workspaces so that NYC can remain a viable home for emerging artists.”

McGuire has become a player in Democratic donor circles, including being a key financier for those running for president. He was a member of Sen. Kamala Harris’ finance committee and recently took part in a meeting featuring former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign chairman, along with other Wall Street leaders.

It was there where McGuire told Biden advisor Steve Ricchetti and the rest of the group that he would like to see the former vice president stay connected to two constituencies, according to those familiar with his remarks. One group consists of voters in the middle of Ohio, and the other consists of African American women.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-14  Authors: brian schwartz
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, ray, citigroup, city, mayor, considers, political, executive, law, chairman, citi, running, blasios, mcguire, moderate, york, vice


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Trump slams Apple for refusing to unlock iPhones of suspected criminals

US President Donald Trump (r) and Apple CEO Tim Cook speak to the press during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility where Apple’s Mac Pros are assembled in Austin, Texas, on November 20, 2019. In a tweet, President Donald Trump slammed Apple over whether it is providing law enforcement with enough support to unlock password-protected iPhones used by the shooting suspect at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida in December. “We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so ma


US President Donald Trump (r) and Apple CEO Tim Cook speak to the press during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility where Apple’s Mac Pros are assembled in Austin, Texas, on November 20, 2019.
In a tweet, President Donald Trump slammed Apple over whether it is providing law enforcement with enough support to unlock password-protected iPhones used by the shooting suspect at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida in December.
“We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so ma
Trump slams Apple for refusing to unlock iPhones of suspected criminals Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-14  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, apple, slams, law, trade, criminals, provided, trump, enforcement, used, president, suspected, iphones, refusing, pensacola, unlock


Trump slams Apple for refusing to unlock iPhones of suspected criminals

US President Donald Trump (r) and Apple CEO Tim Cook speak to the press during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility where Apple’s Mac Pros are assembled in Austin, Texas, on November 20, 2019.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump slammed Apple over whether it is providing law enforcement with enough support to unlock password-protected iPhones used by the shooting suspect at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida in December.

“We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements. They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” Trump tweeted.

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr claimed that Apple had not provided “substantive assistance” in unlocking the alleged shooter’s two iPhones.

In a statement late Monday, Apple responded that that it had provided gigabytes of information to law enforcement related to the Pensacola case but that it would not build a “backdoor” or specialized software to give law enforcement elevated access.

The tweet also suggested that Apple should work with the FBI because Trump helps “Apple all of the time on TRADE.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-14  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, apple, slams, law, trade, criminals, provided, trump, enforcement, used, president, suspected, iphones, refusing, pensacola, unlock


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