At a glance.
- President Biden and policy with respect to Big Tech.
- Emotet after the takedown.
What are your intentions regarding Big Tech, Mr. President?
CNBC and One Zero explore an apparent conflict in the Biden Administration’s interests vis-à-vis Big Tech. On the one hand, labor rights, privacy protections, and antitrust reform are pillars of the progressive platform and were the subject of many stump speech promises. On the other, President Biden’s campaign was well-funded by tech executives and political action committees, and both he and Vice President Harris have “longstanding ties” to industry figures. As we’ve seen, the Administration has already appointed a number of Big Tech veterans to high places. And the individual under consideration for Justice Department antitrust head used to work for Amazon and Google and has “publicly downplayed concerns about Google’s monopoly power.”
It remains to be seen whether President Biden will lead a return to Obama Administration era coziness with Silicon Valley, or spearhead “sweeping reforms” such as company breakups and national privacy legislation. Bipartisan (and intra-tech) support for change has coalesced since President Obama’s tenure, and President Biden has expressed personal distaste for Zuckerberg and Section 230 protections, so efforts at reform are not improbable. Recent appointments like tough-on-tech FTC and FCC acting chairs Slaughter and Rosenworcel signal a coming battle.
Topics up for consideration could include the following: net neutrality, broadband access, TikTok and Chinese tech, a Federal digital rights agency, antitrust and privacy legislation, the gig economy, Section 230, facial recognition regulation, unionization at Amazon, and OSHA enforcement.
Fret no more about Emotet?
Security Week details the after party of the Emotet ambush following Europol's announcement of the eight-country collaboration, which Wired says involved Washington, Ottawa, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Vilnius, and Kyiv. Two Ukrainian suspects have been apprehended, and other alleged conspirators are being tracked. Investigators confiscated gold, currency, credit cards, hardware, credentials, and encryption keys, and discovered 600 thousand compromised email accounts in addition to 1 million infected computers. The malware loader’s now-disabled command-and-control apparatus was distributed across ninety-plus nations.
Germany’s force commented that “victim systems no longer communicate with the infrastructure of the offenders but with an infrastructure created for the seizure of evidence.” Law enforcement will deploy an update, possibly on April 25, to clean impacted machines. Emotet may have cost victims more than $2.5 billion all told since 2014. Operation Ladybird, as the effort was named, is expected to have more lasting results than, for example, US Cyber Command’s Trickbot takedown.
But fret no more? Eh, these things tend to return from the dead.