“They identify an issue that they know that the American people feel passionately about on both sides and then they take both sides and spin them up so they pit us against each other. And then they combine that with an effort to weaken our confidence in our elections and our democratic institutions which has been a pernicious and asymmetric way of engaging in affect information warfare.”
— FBI Director Chris Wray, Feb. 5, 2020
On Wednesday, FBI Director Chris Wray said Russia is targeting Americans with an ongoing “information warfare” campaign that is likely to intensify as the nation heads into the 2020 presidential election. Read the rest
Reuters today published a report about an email hacking operation targeting journalists and their connected sources, and the scam appears to be associated with Iran. Read the rest
Shares of Tesla Motors were down 19% on Wednesday after a senior executive with the electric vehicle company warned of delivery delays for Model 3 cars made at its Shanghai plant, because of the ever-worsening coronavirus outbreak in China. Read the rest
The Trump White House says it is working with U.S. technology companies to develop software for next-generation 5G telecommunications networks, in an effort to reduce reliance on China’s Huawei.
Companies involved in the effort include Dell, Microsoft and AT&T, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said. Read the rest
Update: Nevada Dem. Party abandons the app, 1025AM Pacific time/125PM Eastern.
An Iowa Caucus disaster in 3 bullets:
• Precinct captains were first allowed to test the app 16 days before the caucus
• And they only got detailed instructions at 1pm yesterday,
• Then the two-factor verification broke. Read the rest
• Coronavirus, which WHO declared a global health emergency, threatens to disrupt Chinese manufacturing
The deadly virus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China continues to spread and claim lives around the world. At this time, still, the vast majority of infected patients and deaths are in mainland China, Hubei province.
The epidemic is also impacting business, finance, and technology production in China.
Apple's iPhone production relies in part on a Foxconn factory that has been shut down by the Chinese government.
If the halt is extended, Reuters reports today, this could impact iPhone production, availability, and sales. Read the rest
The next Samsung folding phone is expected to be announced this month, and what is purported to be a first hands-on video with the device to be released in February just appeared online. Read the rest
Automated phone spam is a growing plague for anyone with a telephone, landline or cell.
The U.S. Department of Justice today announced that they're trying to get court approval to take enforcement action against various telecommunications companies for their alleged role in facilitating robocalls. Read the rest
“If there are no consequences for the [UN] agencies for failures like these … there will be more breaches.”
Order says data collected ‘could be valuable to foreign entities’
The United States Interior Department today introduced a no-fly rule that covers pretty much all Chinese drones, and all unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) made with Chinese parts, with some narrow exceptions. The big fear is espionage. Read the rest
The UK will allow China's Huawei to build what are described as 'non-core' elements of a British 5G network, but the Chinese company is not allowed to operate at what are defined by the government as sensitive sites. Read the rest
UPDATE JAN 29 2020
From Sephora's PR agency:
I caught your recent story on BoingBoing regarding Avast. Wanting to see if it is possible for you to make a correction to the piece? Sephora is not a past, present or potential client. You can find a quote from Sephora below.
“Sephora is not a client and has not worked with Avast/Jumpshot.”
The brand name has been redacted from this blog post, which in turn quoted a VICE NEWS article which named the brand as having been associated in some way with Avast.
-- Xeni Jardin, Jan 29 2020
Documents show that the antivirus company Avast has been selling its users' internet browsing data, through a subsidiary named Jumpshot, to clients that include Pepsi, Google, and Microsoft, reports Motherboard. The report is the result of a joint investigation between the VICE News site and PC Mag. Read the rest
Google's recently announced new redesign of desktop search results would have made ads pretty much look exactly like search results. Google is now backtracking, listening to the criticism, and trying a different visual approach. Read the rest
Mac users are getting hit with Shlayer, a malware that installs an “Any Search” bar on their computer, reports Lifehacker. Read the rest
Latest update blurs ads vs. search results line
• Hoan Ton-That, founder of facial recognition tech firm Clearview AI, previously connected to Trump world figures and online hate extremists, reports Buzzfeed News
• Chuck Johnson, Mike Cernovich, and Rudy Giuliani are among the linked figures named in Buzzfeed report
• NYPD disputes facial recognition firm Clearview AI's claim that it identified a terrorism suspect Read the rest
Twitter, where Donald Trump posted 123 bonkers tweets today and Nazis and psyops bots roam free, is rolling out a pop-up feature that lets users add an emoji reaction to a Direct Message, kind of like a similar feature that exists in iOS iMessage. So fancy! Read the rest