Top federal officials teased an upcoming executive order to improve federal cybersecurity in the wake of two major international hacking incidents. Meanwhile, Epic Games filed a complaint about Apple’s “monopolistic” aspects with a British watchdog group, and a top Facebook official announced his departure.
ORDER INCOMING: Officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday said that the Biden administration is working on “close to a dozen” action items to be included in an upcoming executive order meant to strengthen federal cybersecurity in the wake of two major breaches.
“We continue to work urgently to make the investments necessary, and the administration is working on close to a dozen actions for an upcoming executive order,” a senior DHS official told reporters during a phone call.
The comments were made as the Biden administration continues to grapple with the fallout from both the SolarWinds hack, which U.S. intelligence officials have assessed was “likely” carried out by Russian operatives, and from the newly discovered vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange Server application that was initially exploited by a Chinese hacking group.
Anne Neuberger, President BidenJoe BidenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden officials brace for worst despite vaccine data Congress looks to rein in Biden’s war powers Democrats seize on voting rights; GOP cries foul MORE’s deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, announced in February that at least nine federal agencies and 100 private sector companies had been compromised as part of the SolarWinds hack, first discovered in December.
Neuberger also announced last month that an “executive action” was in the works as part of responding to the SolarWinds hack. Her comments were made prior to the discovery of the Microsoft vulnerabilities, which have hit thousands of organizations worldwide.
Read more about the impending order here.
AN EPIC COMPLAINT: Epic Games on Tuesday filed a complaint about Apple to a British competition watchdog for their “monopolistic practices.”
The video game maker accuses Apple of anticompetitive behavior and establishing strict rules on app distribution and payments, which is a violation under British laws.
The watchdog is already probing the tech giant for its stranglehold on the app market.
By kneecapping the competition and exerting its monopoly power over app distribution and payments, Apple strips U.K. consumers of the right to choose how and where they get their apps, while locking developers into a single marketplace that lets Apple charge any commission rate they choose,” said Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney in a statement.
Read more about the complaint.
FAREWELL TO FACEBOOK’S CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER: Facebook Chief Revenue Officer David Fischer announced on Tuesday that he is leaving the company at the end of the year.
“I want to share the news that I’ve decided to leave Facebook toward the end of this year,” Fischer wrote on Facebook. “I expect to be at Facebook into the fall and will be focused on advancing our mission and ensuring a smooth transition.”
Fischer’s job at Facebook was to oversee advertising business and the social media network’s worldwide sales organization, CNBC reported.
Once Fischer leaves, Facebook is replacing the chief revenue officer position with a chief business officer position.
Read more here.
YOUTUBE UNDER FIRE: Staff members at YouTube have recently taken issue with the company’s refusal to remove a song that some of them find to be racist toward the Asian American community.
Employees called for the removal of rapper YG’s 2014 song “Meet the Flockers,” due to its inclusion of lyrics that detail a burglary and call for targeting of Chinese neighborhoods, according to Bloomberg.
Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have seen a recent surge in violence during the coronavirus pandemic, with a recent incident including a shooting rampage in the Atlanta area that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.
In light of the increased violence, some YouTube employees requested that the company’s Trust & Safety team, which is tasked with ensuring a safe community on the platform, remove the song. That request was later denied, Bloomberg reported.
Read more here.
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NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB:
Fired, interrogated, disciplined: Amazon warehouse organizers allege year of retaliation (NBC / Olivia Solon and April Glaser)
America’s digital defender is underfunded, outmatched, and ‘exhausted’ (Politico / Eric Geller)
U.S. Special Operations Command paid $ 500,000 to secretive location data firm (Vice Motherboard / Joseph Cox)
[email protected] (Maggie Miller,Rebecca Klar and Chris Mills Rodrigo)