FedEx sues US over mandate to monitor Huawei shipments

The company handles about 15 million packages every day, according to the complaint, and it would be a “virtually impossible task” to inspect all of them. It might sometimes violate privacy rights and laws. And without safe harbor protections, FedEx believes it’s in a no-win situation where it either risks “immediate” fines and penalties from the US or deals with the wrath of foreign governments and its own customers.

FedEx didn’t mention Huawei by name in the lawsuit, although there’s little doubt that the Chinese company is the focus of the case. The placement of Huawei on the Commerce Department’s Entity List, which bars US companies from doing business without explicit permission, forced numerous businesses to either sever ties with the company or stay on guard like FedEx has.

The Commerce Department told the Wall Street Journal it hadn’t yet reviewed FedEx’s suit, but said it planned to defend its role in national [...]  read more

Terry Gou resigns as Foxconn’s chairman to run for president of Taiwan

Terry Gou said at Foxconn’s annual general meeting today that he is leaving the electronics manufacturing giant as he prepares to run for president of Taiwan. Gou, who founded Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.) 45 years ago and is also its biggest shareholder, will remain on the company’s board. Young Liu, the head of Foxconn’s semiconductor business, will succeed him as chairman and the company will also transition to a committee-directed management structure.

Gou first officially announced in April that he plans to resign as chairman to focus on his campaign for the nomination of Taiwan’s opposition party, the Kuomintang. If he succeeds against other KMT candidates, including Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-Yu, Gou will be challenging President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party, for the election next January.

Foxconn (one of Apple’s biggest suppliers) is China’s largest [...]  read more

FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children’s privacy

While it’s not certain just what would happen, a truly late-stage investigation suggests that a fine, a settlement or both could be right around the corner. YouTube has declined to comment on the FTC investigation claims, but repeated an earlier statement that many of its product ideas “remain just that — ideas.” The FTC has also turned down the chance to comment.

The issue at hand might be a familiar one. As with TikTok and other big apps, it can be difficult to be sure you’re really limiting the under-13 crowd. It’s a poorly-kept secret that young kids watch YouTube all the time, and they’re not always going to tell the truth about their age if they sign up for accounts. Not that officials might care. The FTC has frequently demanded that companies settling COPPA cases either pull [...]  read more

House chairwoman wants Facebook to pause work on its cryptocurrency

The congresswoman also said that Facebook executives should testify about Libra as part of that oversight.

We’ve asked Facebook for comment. As part of the announcement, though, it launched a Libra Association whose aim is to oversee the currency outside of Facebook’s control. Calibra, the digital wallet for the new monetary format, is supposed to share only limited data with Facebook and have “strong protections” such as automated fraud checks.

Those measures might not satisfy politicians. Numerous federal and state regulators are investigating Facebook’s behavior in recent years, and there’s no question that the internet giant has been awash in privacy [...]  read more

Huawei trademarks its own mobile OS following US ban

Meanwhile, Huawei has made its feelings about its ban clear in an ex parte memo to the Federal Communications Commission. The letter, published this week, condemns the decision to ban the company on the grounds of national security threats, noting that doing so will “do little or nothing to protect the security of America’s telecommunications networks,” and that forcing operators to replace their existing equipment would “pose a greater threat” to network security.

And the ban isn’t the only legal challenge the company is up against. As reported in The New York Times, Huawei is said to be seeking patent fees from Verizon. People familiar with the matter say the company has accused Verizon of violating 238 of its patents, and is making claims adding up to more than $1 billion. Whether or not it is successful in its claims remains to be seen, but [...]  read more

Major science publisher bars Huawei from reviewing papers

While this isn’t as dire for Huawei as moves by Google, Intel and others to honor US rules and cut off support, there are potentially significant ramifications. This makes it harder for scientists to advance discoveries in areas where Huawei is a specialist, such as AI. It could also deter Huawei from submitting papers if the company sees the IEEE as hostile to its work.

As it stands, this is only likely to put Huawei further on edge. The company has been increasingly confrontational over the US ban, to the point where it accused FedEx of diverting packages — it’s going to be irked at losing some of its scientific clout. There’s not much it can do to return to the IEEE’s good graces unless the US changes its mind, though, so it may have to live with the consequences unless the US changes its mind.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/01/ieee-bans-huawei-from-reviewing-papers/

National security journalism just became a national security threat

Six years ago, British intelligence officers walked into the offices of The Guardian newspaper in London and demanded its staff destroy computers they believed stored highly classified documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In the basement of the newspaper’s offices, editors used angle-grinders and drills to destroy the computers in an effort to render its data unusable after “weeks of tense negotiations” between the newspaper and the British government, which faced pressure from U.S. authorities to return the leaked top secret documents. The U.S. and Britain are close intelligence sharing partners. Despite the fact that there were several copies of the NSA documents — including in the U.S — the newspaper faced a threat of punitive legal action or prosecution if they declined.

“The only way of protecting the Guardian’s team was for the paper to destroy its own computers,” said Luke Harding, a Guardian journalist.

In the years of citing this case in why press [...]  read more

Huawei is banned from using SD cards in future devices

The SD Association confirmed to Engadget that Huawei was dropped from the trade group in order to comply with recent orders from the US Department of Commerce. Last week, the government agency placed Huawei and 70 of its affiliate companies on its “Entity List,” a decision that signifies the government believes Huawei may be undermining American interests. It also makes the company ineligible to receive items or funding without government approval. That, in addition to the executive order signed by President Trump that bans the sale and use of telecommunications equipment from companies that pose “unacceptable” risks to national security, has placed Huawei in a significant bind.

Huawei told Android Authority that its customers will be able to continue purchasing and using SD and microSD cards with its products for the time being. It’s not clear how the move will [...]  read more

Many of the Brexit Party’s Twitter followers appear to be bots

Some of these accounts have been producing massive volumes of tweets focused on Brexit, and clearly in unrealistic amounts. One tweeted 823 times in the space of a day. Some are new, while others are from outside the UK. Regardless of behavior, the surge of new followers for the party suggested “inorganic” behavior.

Just who is behind the accounts isn’t clear. It could be “astroturfing” where organizers or supporters artificially inflate follower counts and messages to make the party seem more popular than it is. However, it could also represent an outside influence campaign trying the familiar tactic of stoking political tensions to weaken the country’s resolve. A spokesperson claimed the party didn’t have any more control over individuals creating accounts than it did “the weather,” but that didn’t address concerns about highly automated account creation or buying legions of fake followers.

Twitter has banned at least seven [...]  read more

US may soften ban on Huawei to help existing users

Huawei would still face severe restrictions. It could buy US goods for maintenance, it couldn’t use those goods to create new products.

A softened ban wouldn’t likely ease tensions between China and the US. Huawei has insisted that the de facto ban will create “significant economic harm” for Americans, and China has interpreted it as an escalation of an ongoing trade war. This just shows that the US can’t distance itself from Chinese telecom tech as easily as it might like.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/18/us-may-soften-ban-on-huawei/