Hillicon Valley — GOP governor adds to TikTok pressure

0
29

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) put a ban on TikTok for state government-issued devices, ramping up the pressure from Republicans over the Chinese-owned company. 

Meanwhile, DoorDash cut more than 1,000 corporate workers, adding to the broad layoffs that have hit the tech sector.  

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Send tips to The Hill’s Rebecca Klar and Ines Kagubare

No TikTok on South Dakota government devices

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has implemented a ban on TikTok on state government-issued devices, citing security concerns over Chinese-based owner Byte Dance. 

Executive Order 2022-10, signed on Wednesday, would prohibit state employees, agencies and contractors from downloading the TikTok app or visiting its website on South Dakota-sponsored phones or computers. 

  • “South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” Noem said in a statement. “The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.” 
  • “Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well,” she added.  

U.S. officials have had a rocky relationship with TikTok. The Trump administration failed in its attempt to implement a ban on the social media platform in 2020, and a group of Senate Republicans wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen earlier this year saying that the Biden administration was failing to take seriously national security concerns surrounding the app. 

Read more here.

DoorDash cuts 1,000 workers

Online food ordering and delivery company DoorDash is cutting more than
1,000 corporate positions amid slowing growth and rising expenses.  

CEO Tony Xu said in a message to employees on Wednesday that the decision is the most difficult change he has had to announce in the company’s almost 10-year history.  

He said the coronavirus pandemic presented “sudden and unexpected” opportunities to serve the needs of merchants, consumers and drivers. As a result, the company sped up its hiring to keep up with its growth and started new businesses in response to feedback from audiences.  

  • But Xu said the company was not as “rigorous” as it should have been with managing its growth, leading to quickly rising costs.  
  • “Our business has been more resilient than other ecommerce companies, but we too are not immune to the external challenges and growth has tapered vs our pandemic growth rates,” he said. 

Read more here.

‘HEIGHTENED THREAT’ AHEAD OF HOLIDAYS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday warned of a “heightened threat environment” across the country in its latest terrorism advisory bulletin, cautioning that the U.S. could see several acts of violence in the coming months.  

“Our homeland continues to face a heightened threat environment —as we have seen, tragically, in recent acts of targeted violence— and is driven by violent extremists seeking to further a political or social goal or act on a grievance,” Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a release announcing the warning. 

Breading online: Violence around the midterms has been isolated so far, but caution should continue through December while votes are still being certified, DHS said, and as some continue to argue that the elections were fraudulent.   

“Perceptions of government overreach continue to drive individuals to attempt to commit violence targeting government officials and law enforcement officers. Some domestic violent extremists have expressed grievances based on perceptions that the government is overstepping its Constitutional authorities or failing to perform its duties,” the DHS said, warning that many of these sentiments are being stoked online.  

Read more about the warning.

BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Congressional science and technology capacity is stronger than you think 

Notable links from around the web: 

Here’s what employers are cutting instead of your job (Vox / Rani Molla) 

FCC faces long road in stripping Chinese tech from US telecom networks (CyberScoop / Elias Groll and Christian Vasquez) 

Is Spreading Medical Misinformation a Doctor’s Free Speech Right? (The New York Times / Steven Lee Myers) 

🐕 Lighter click: “Lion King” (canine edition)

One more thing: Amazon’s ‘biggest’ weekend

Amazon said Wednesday that it hit record-breaking sales during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

The e-commerce company said the five days between Thanksgiving and the end of Cyber Monday was its “biggest ever” shopping weekend, with customers buying hundreds of millions of toys, clothes and Amazon devices like the Kindle, Echo and home security system Ring.   

Some of the bestselling items on the website were the Echo Dot, Apple AirPods and Fire TV Stick, with New Balance shoes, Burt’s Bees Christmas gift sets and the Amazon smart plug also among the top sellers.   

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 tomorrow.

Source