Hillicon Valley: House targets tech giants with antitrust bills | Oversight chair presses JBS over payment to hackers | Trump spokesman to join tech company | YouTube suspends GOP senator
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Top lawmakers on the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee released a long-awaited antitrust agenda including five bills aimed at reining in the power of tech giants. Meanwhile, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) is pressing JBS USA to explain why it paid $11 million in ransom to a criminal group, and longtime Trump aide Jason Miller is on the move and will be taking a job at a tech start-up.
IT’S HERE: A House antitrust panel on Friday unveiled a bipartisan agenda made up of five bills that would give regulators greater authority to rein in the power of tech giants.
The bills put forward by leaders of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee follow a blockbuster report released by the Judiciary panel last year alleging ways that Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook abuse their market power. The report was approved on a party-line vote earlier this year.
Each of the five bills unveiled on Friday includes a Republican co-sponsor.
A bill sponsored by subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) would prohibit tech giants from self-preferencing their own products on their platforms, targeting alleged anti-competitive behavior from Apple in its App Store and Amazon on its digital marketplace.
Another bill, sponsored by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Gooden, would eliminate the ability of dominant platforms to use their control over multiple businesses to self-preference or disadvantage competitors in ways that undermine free and fair competition.
MALONEY PRESSES JBS: The chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee is pressing JBS USA to explain why it paid $11 million in ransom to a criminal group earlier this year.
In a letter released Friday, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked JBS chief executive Andre Nogueira to turn over all documents related to the ransomware attack and records of its communications with REvil, the group the FBI believes to be responsible, by June 24.
“I am deeply troubled by this and similar ransomware attacks,” Maloney wrote in the letter.
“Any ransom payment to cybercriminal actors like REvil sets a dangerous precedent that increases the risk of future ransomware attacks. Congress needs detailed information about the attack to legislate effectively on ransomware and cybersecurity in the United States.”
MILLER ON THE MOVE: Jason Miller, a longtime Trump campaign aide, will be leaving his role as the former president's chief spokesperson for a job leading a tech start-up, two people familiar with the plans confirmed Thursday.
Miller has been Trump's spokesperson since he left office in January after working as a strategist on the 2020 campaign. He is expected to remain in Trump's orbit, but will no longer be involved with day-to-day operations.
Trump has already started interviewing potential replacements, one official said.
It was not immediately clear which company Miller was joining, but an official said it owns one of the social media platforms Trump is considering joining after being banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook over his incendiary and baseless claims about fraud in the 2020 election that led up to and followed the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
MCBREACH: Burger chain McDonald’s said that it was the target of a data breach affecting its markets in South Korea and Taiwan.
The chain told The Hill in a statement that it worked with third parties to conduct an investigation to identify unauthorized activity on its network.
The company said it was able to quickly close off access after the identification, but “a small number of files were accessed, some of which contained personal data.”
SUSPENDED: YouTube suspended Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) from posting videos on its platform for one week over his remarks touting unproven treatments for COVID-19.
The platform said it also removed a video from Johnson in line with its policies against COVID-19 misinformation. The video had highlighted Johnson's remarks from a hearing where he discussed experimental treatments for COVID-19 like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
"We removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don’t allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus," a YouTube spokesperson told The Hill.
PAY UP: The Teamsters labor union was hit with a ransomware attack in 2019 but refused to pay the seven-figure payment demanded by hackers, despite being advised by the FBI to do so, a Teamsters spokesperson confirmed to The Hill.
The cyberattack, which was first reported by NBC News on Friday, occurred over Labor Day weekend in 2019 and was not previously revealed to the public.
The Teamsters spokesperson who spoke to The Hill declined to comment beyond what was included in NBC’s article.
FINING FACEBOOK, TELEGRAM: Russia has fined social media platform Facebook and messaging app Telegram for not taking down content the government deems unlawful.
The Associated Press reported it is unknown what content the apps failed to remove, but the Russian government has recently been going after content that is anti-government.
Facebook was fined $236,000 and Telegram was fined $139,000, according to the AP.
This isn’t the first time Russia has tried to censor social media and messaging platforms as the country has a long history with Facebook, Telegram and Twitter.
Lighter click: productivity 101
An op-ed to chew on: It’s time to require country of origin disclosures for products sold online
NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:
The Podcasting Hype House From Hell (The Verge / Ashley Carman)
What are you legally allowed to say at work? A group of fired Googlers could change the rules. (Recode / Shirin Ghaffary)
Revealed: rightwing firm posed as leftist group on Facebook to divide Democrats (The Guardian / Julia Carrie Wong)