Hillicon Valley – Statewide Candidates Fuel Election Security Concerns

Hundreds of candidates for positions with authority over the elections have adopted false statements regarding the 2020 elections, creating the potential for threats to the ballot from the very people responsible for protecting access.

A bill to provide the semiconductor industry with more than $50 billion is expected to pass soon.

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing everything you need to know about tech and cyber news, from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Tip Rebecca Klar of The Hill, Chris Mills Rodrigo and Ines Kagubare. Subscribe here.

An ‘insider’ election threat looms

Former President Trump’s campaign to undermine the 2020 election is fueling concerns over the security of the midterm elections, with experts warning of ‘insider’ threats from the very officials tasked with guarding the vote .

Hundreds of GOP candidates in federal and state races have embraced his misrepresentations regarding the election, including at least 20 Republican candidates vying for secretary of state, according to an analysis by NPR.

Trump’s election denial movement has raised concerns among US officials and pundits who fear conspiracy theories could undermine the legitimacy of future elections.

“I think it’s kind of a new element in the election threat landscape,” said William Adler, senior election and democracy technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology. “I think the new risk is the risk of insider threats.”

Learn more about states at risk.

Schumer moves semiconductor bill

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) plans to hold a vote soon on a bill that would provide $52 billion to $54 billion in aid to the nation’s semiconductor manufacturing industry and a tax credit for semiconductor makers. drivers, according to Senate sources.

Schumer told senators to expect a floor vote as early as Tuesday of next week.

  • The lighter CHIPS bill, intended to improve competitiveness with China, will at a minimum include emergency funding for semiconductor manufacturers and the Facilitating American-Built Act (FABS) investment tax credit. Semiconductors Act).
  • The legislation is not expected to include a set of trade provisions that Republicans have insisted be attached to the Senate version of the bill passed last year.
  • A source close to the negotiation, however, said that additional elements could be added if they are ready in time.

Read more.

SHOTSPOTTER BROADCAST

Local officials are increasingly turning to gunshot detection technology to help combat gun violence, despite serious concerns about its accuracy and potential side effects.

More than 130 cities and towns across the country have now installed ShotSpotter systems, according to a report released Thursday by the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) group. This represents approximately 85 cities in 2018.

This expansion was aided by federal funding, with several cities including Detroit, New Haven, Connecticut, and Albuquerque, NM signing large contracts with ShotSpotter using American Rescue Plan Act money. The increase could accelerate with new funds allocated for school safety after the recent shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“At a time when elected officials face more pressure than ever to address gun violence, and we see cities spending hundreds of millions of dollars on gun prevention technologies, including all the new money that Congress authorized after Uvalde, we need to look at the fact that this technology – ShotSpotter – is expensive, dangerous and just doesn’t work,” Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of STOP, said in an interview.

Learn more about technology.

UBER FACES A MAJOR LAWSUIT

More than 500 female passengers have filed a lawsuit against US ride-sharing service Uber, alleging they were sexually assaulted by contracted drivers.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday by San Francisco-based law firm Slater Slater Schulman LLP, the women allege they were “kidnapped, falsely imprisoned, stalked, harassed and raped,” among other incidents, by drivers on the transportation platform.

The lawsuit also claims that Uber, founded in 2009, was aware of the seriousness of reported incidents of misconduct by some of the drivers on their platform since 2014, Bloomberg News reported.

In a statement to the media, Adam Slater, partner of Slater Slater Schulman, said Uber’s approach to the reported incidents was “slow and inadequate”, noting that the company could have adapted more ways to address the issue. .

Read more.

SEC HAS QUESTIONS FOR MUSK

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent a letter to billionaire Elon Musk last month asking for more information about a May tweet from him saying he “cannot go ahead” with a purchase of Twitter.

The SEC letter was sent before Twitter sued Musk on Tuesday in an attempt to force him to complete his purchase of the social media company, which he exited last week.

SEC officials inquire about a May 17 tweet in which Musk wrote that the Twitter deal “cannot go forward” due to his concerns about the number of active bots on his platform. form.

According to the SEC, the tweet may have violated policies regarding the document that must be filed with the federal agency before buying more than 5% of a public company’s stock.

Read more.

REPORTER IMITATORS

According to a report released Thursday by cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, state-sponsored hackers from China, North Korea, Iran and Turkey routinely spied on and posed as journalists from various media outlets in the purpose of infiltrating their networks and gaining access to sensitive information. .

The report reveals that government-backed hackers have used various tools to target journalists, including sending phishing emails to gain access to journalists’ work emails, accounts and social networks.

The report also suggests that state-sponsored hackers regularly impersonate members of the media because of the “unique access and information they can provide” to the governments of these countries.

Hackers could potentially use information they have obtained from compromised accounts to spread pro-state propaganda and influence “a politically charged atmosphere”.

“A successful and timely attack on a journalist’s email account could provide insight into sensitive and emerging stories and source identification,” the report said.

Read more.

BITS & COINS

A chewable editorial: Spectrum auction authority needs to be expanded

Notable web links:

Amazon is secretly funding a new coalition opposing tech regulation (Bloomberg/Emily Birnbaum)

The nonstop scam economy is costing us more than money (The Washington Post/Heather Kelly)

Ex-CIA hacker convicted of ‘one of the most damaging acts of espionage in American history’ (Motherboard / Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai)

Lighter click: Defining moment of inheritance

One more thing: a time-consuming weakness

A vulnerability in software that governments and businesses around the world use could take years to fix, according to a report by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) review board.

The analysis indicates that a security engineer from the Alibaba Cloud Security team in China first reported the vulnerability to the Apache Software Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides support for Log4j, the software.

The software collects and maintains information about system activity.

The DHS Cybersecurity Review Board concluded that the vulnerability will be “endemic” and could remain in systems for up to a decade or more.

Learn more about the vulnerability.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.

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Steven L. Nielsen