Biden's Moment of Truth on Turkey | Opinion
Soon, the Biden administration is going to have to decide where it stands on Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey.Last Thursday, two Israeli tourists in Istanbul, Natalie and Mordi Oaknin, became the regime's latest hostages. The two were arrested at a tourist site for the "crime" of taking a photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's palace.
Today is Tuesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. © Getty Images Hillicon Valley — Apple sues Israeli spyware developer
Follow The Hill's cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.
U.S. tech giant Apple is suing the blacklisted Israeli spyware developer NSO Group over allegations of targeting and surveilling Apple users.
Meanwhile, Apple and Amazon were fined by an Italian antitrust watchdog over allegations of breaking European competition rules through a restrictive agreement, and Samsung is reportedly picking a central Texas location for a new chip factory.
Apple posts internal memo affirming employees' right to discuss pay
Following months of internal controversy about how much workers make, Apple announced in a memo employees have the right to discuss working conditions and pay.Since 2016, Apple has said its workers in the United States receive equal pay for equal work. But it quietly shut down attempts by workers to validate this claim, according to two current and former employees.
Let's jump into the news.
Apple vs. NSO © Provided by The Hill
Apple has filed a lawsuit against NSO Group, the Israeli spyware developer blacklisted by the Biden administration earlier this month, accusing the firm of targeting and surveilling Apple users.
The lawsuit: The suit, filed Tuesday in a California federal court, seeks to permanently prevent NSO Group from using the Silicon Valley giant's software, services or devices.
That could seriously weaken the effectiveness of NSO Group's spyware product, Pegasus.
"State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability," Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said in a statement about the filing. "That needs to change."
Apple says it is suing Israeli hacker-for-hire company
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Tech giant Apple announced Tuesday it is suing Israel’s NSO Group, seeking to block the world’s most infamous hacker-for-hire company from breaking into Apple's products, like the iPhone. Apple said in a complaint filed in federal court in California that NSO Group employees are “amoral 21st century mercenaries who have created highly sophisticated cyber-surveillance machinery that invites routine and flagrant abuse." AppleApple said in a complaint filed in federal court in California that NSO Group employees are “amoral 21st century mercenaries who have created highly sophisticated cyber-surveillance machinery that invites routine and flagrant abuse.
Accusations: NSO has been accused of providing the Pegasus spyware to foreign governments that have used it to target the phones of thousands of dissidents, journalists and human rights advocates.
Apple's suit seeks unspecified damages, which the company said it hopes to donate to organizations focused on exposing spyware.
The Hill has reached out to NSO Group for comment on the suit.
Read more about the lawsuit.
APPLE, AMAZON FINED
Apple and Amazon were fined $225 million by an Italian antitrust watchdog over allegations that the tech giants violated European antitrust rules when they made a restrictive agreement that did not allow all legitimate resellers of Apple and Beats products to operate on Italy's Amazon marketplace.
The fine announced Tuesday includes a penalty of 134.5 million euros, or $151.32 million, for Apple, and 68.7 million euros, or $77.29 million, for Amazon.
Today is Wednesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Follow The Hill's cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.Hillicon Valley will not be publishing this Thursday or Friday, we hope everyone has a wonderful break! We'll be back with you next Monday.Adam Mosseri has agreed to testify in a hearing about the impacts of social media apps on children and teens.
The Italian Competition Authority said an investigation found a 2018 agreement between the companies restricted access to Italy's Amazon marketplace to selected resellers.
Amazon intends to appeal the decision, according to a company spokesperson.
"The proposed fine is disproportionate and unjustified," Amazon said in a statement. "We reject the ICA's suggestion that Amazon benefits by excluding sellers from our store, since our business model relies on their success."
Read more here.
COMING TO TEXAS
Samsung is set to build a new $17 billion computer chip factory in Taylor, Texas, The Wall Street Journal reported.
An official announcement could come as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the matter told the Journal, and comes as the Biden administration makes a push for expanding semiconductor production in the U.S.
Spokespeople for Samsung and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who is scheduled to make an economic announcement later Tuesday, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A spokesperson for Samsung told the Journal that a "final decision has not yet been made regarding the location."
Hillicon Valley: Tech groups urge Congress to 'dig deeper' on Facebook role in Capitol riot | Kaseya denies paying hackers for decryption key | Tech coalition expands tracking of extremist content
Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. Welcome and Happy Monday! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage. The day before members of a House select committee tasked with investigating the Jan.
Read more here.
BITS AND PIECES
An op-ed to chew on: 'Future of the internet' requires willingness to change here in the US
Lighter click: simpler times
Notable links from around the web:
Facebook Grants Government Of Afghanistan Limited Posting Rights (The Intercept / Sam Biddle)
The infrastructure law just gave a boost to controversial driver-monitoring AI tech companies (Protocol / Kate Kaye)
One last thing: Russian demands © Provided by The Hill
Russia's government has demanded that 13 foreign tech companies set up offices in the country or potentially face restrictions and bans, Reuters reported.
The demand was issued Monday by Roskomnadzor, the Russian agency responsible for regulating the country's mass media, after a new Russian law took effect in July and mandated that social media platforms with more than 500,000 daily users must set up a physical presence in the country.
Companies will also be required to open accounts on Roskomnadzor's website and create an interface through which Russian users can provide feedback, Reuters reported.
Read more here.
That's it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill's technology and cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We'll see you Wednesday.
Hillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware .
Today is Friday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Follow The Hill's cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.Ladies and gentlemen the weekend! But before we get there, news broke today that the phones of almost a dozen State Department employees were targeted and hacked by spyware from embattled company NSO Group, which was recently blacklisted by the Commerce Department.