Hillicon Valley – Biden Celebrates ‘Right to Repair’ Victories

Today is Tuesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing everything you need to know about tech and cyber news, from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

The ‘right to repair’ movement celebrated a major victory on Tuesday after President BidenJoe Biden reporterFox News says Biden called him out after ‘son of a b—-‘ remark Peloton responds after another TV character had a heart attack on one of his Defense and National Security – Pentagon puts 8,500 soldiers on high alert MORE has been the subject of a major speech. The president touted Apple and Microsoft’s commitments to making their products easier to repair, articulating the issue as a competition issue.

In cyber news, a DHS bulletin would warn that domestic extremists are developing plans to attack the country’s fragile electrical infrastructure.

Let’s get to the news.

The consumer movement in the spotlight

President Biden boasted recent commitments by companies to make it easier for consumers to repair their products during a competition roundtable on Monday evening.

The president signed an executive order last summer directing the Federal Trade Commission to develop rules implementing the so-called right to repair.

Microsoft and Apple have since announced plans to make spare parts and manuals more accessible.

“What happened [is] a lot of these companies said, “You’re right. We will do this voluntarily. You don’t have to order us to do it, Biden said during Monday’s meeting.

Advocates have been pushing for the right to repair to be enshrined for years, arguing that electronics makers have harmed consumers and lessened competition by limiting consumers’ choice to repair their own products. Their cause has gained momentum since Biden officially took it over.

Read more.

Network in danger

National extremists have been make plans to attack the American electrical infrastructure, warned the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a bulletin obtained by several media.

The department said domestic violent extremists and extremists more specifically motivated by racial animosity are among those who see the power system as a target of attack.

“The DVEs have developed credible and specific plans to attack power infrastructure since at least 2020, identifying the power grid as a particularly attractive target given its interdependence with other infrastructure sectors,” the bulletin said, according to The Daily Beast, which first reported the memo. .

The notice to the power sector comes as DHS and other national security agencies have said lone wolves and small groups of extremists are among the biggest threats to the homeland.

“We’re very focused on the lone actor or a loose affiliation of individuals, rather than necessarily an organized structure with an established and defined hierarchy, and that’s what I think can make threatening so difficult. It’s that lack, it’s the loose affiliation of individuals and the dynamic nature that they exhibit,” the DHS Secretary said. Alexander MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasWe must do more to protect American Jews Democrats call on the Biden administration to make it easier for at-risk Afghans to enter the United States A review of President Biden’s first year on border policy MORE recently told reporters.

Read more.


A coalition of technology advocacy groups is warn members of Congress and federal antitrust authorities against the potential dangers posed by the expansion of tech giants into the automotive industry.

“Make no mistake about it: the expansion of Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook into the automotive sector is creating problems for workers and consumers,” the groups wrote in a letter sent on Tuesday, according to a copy shared exclusively with The Hill.

The letter was sent by nearly 30 groups, including the American Economic Liberties Project and Demand Progress, to the senator. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBipartisan Senate group discusses Wicker election law changes: Biden’s Ukraine comments caused both parties ‘distress’ Effort to overhaul archaic election law gains new momentum MORE (D-Minn.) and Rep. David Cicilline (DR.I.), Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Lina KhanLina KhanSmall Ranchers Say Biden Lets Them Get Hurried Overnight Healthcare – White House Increases Mask Availability On The Money – Stock Trading Ban For Congress Gains Momentum MORE and Justice Department antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter.

It details concerns about the growth of tech giants in the automotive industry as the automotive sector focuses on electric and autonomous vehicles.

Learn more here.


Fashion Nova online store will pay $4.2 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) case alleging the company blocked negative product reviews on its site, the the commission said on Tuesday.

This is the first case brought by the FTC involving a company’s efforts to cover up negative customer reviews, and alongside the settlement, the commission issued new guidelines for online retailers regarding collection and publication. customer reviews in a way that does not mislead consumers.

The FTC alleged that the California-based retailer used a third-party online product review management interface to automatically post four- and five-star reviews and to submit lower-star reviews for the company’s approval.

According to the complaint, Fashion Nova failed to approve or post hundreds of thousands of less-starred and negative reviews between late 2015 and November 2019.

“Deceptive review practices mislead consumers, undermine honest businesses, and pollute online commerce,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, said in a statement. “Fashion Nova is held accountable for these practices, and other companies should take notice.”

Fashion Nova denied the FTC’s claims, calling them “inaccurate and misleading.”

Learn more here.

Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs targeted by cyberattack

The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been affected by a “computer incident” which interrupted some of its “internet-based services”, the Canadian government announced on Monday. according to CNN.

Cybersecurity officials in Canada were working to rectify the outage as of Monday evening, CNN reported. Officials said “essential services for Canadians” involving the Department of Foreign Affairs were not affected in the incident.

“At this time, there is no indication that other departments have been impacted by this incident,” read a statement from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to CNN.

The statement continues: “We are constantly reviewing measures to protect Canadians and our critical infrastructure from electronic threats, hacking and cyber espionage.

“As this investigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment further on specific details for operational reasons,” Treasury Board spokesman Alain Belle-Isle said per CNN.

Learn more here.


A chewable editorial: 2022 must be the year Big Tech’s data wars end

Lighter click: Hot questions and even hotter wings

Notable Web Links:

Irish data centers are an economic lifeline. Environmentalists say they are destroy the planet (CNN/Kara Fox)

the To augment crypto mayors (The New York Times / David Yaffe-Bellany)

Google offers a new way to track people on the web. Again. (The Washington Post / Gerrit DeVynck)

One last thing: the influencers said to save the place

President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Dies at 77 Biden, Democrats Lose Ground with Independent, Suburban Voters: Poll Bipartisan Senate Group Discusses Election Law Changes MORETruth Social’s Social Media Company Asks Social Media Influencers to “reserve” your places on the social network, reported Axioswho got an email to some of the personalities online.

The outlet reported that someone named Ana, who was a representative on behalf of Truth Social’s VIP department, reached out to influencers like Jeremy Jacobowitz and Gillie Houston, popular foodie Instagrammers, to see if they’d like to reserve their “name.” user favorite for when it launches in late February/early March.

Emails to influencers would not mention the former president or any connection between him and the social network. The representative’s name is listed only as “Ana” and includes an apparently dead Palm Beach County area phone number.

Learn more here.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Discover The Hill’s Technology and cyber security pages for breaking news and coverage. We will see you Tuesday.

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