Archive for the ‘Donald Trump’ Category

Donald Trump blasts Facebook’s Libra, demands strict regulation

July 12th, 2019
Donald Trump speaks at the White House on July 11, 2019.

Enlarge / Donald Trump speaks at the White House on July 11, 2019. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is not a fan of Libra, Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency, the president made clear in a series of tweets on Thursday evening.

"Facebook Libra’s 'virtual currency' will have little standing or dependability.," Trump tweeted. "If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks."

Trump is the latest—and most high-profile—public official to raise doubts Facebook's cryptocurrency plans. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell warned that "Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability."

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Posted in cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Facebook, Libra, Policy | Comments (0)

Twitter clarifies special rules for tweets by world leaders like Trump

June 27th, 2019
A man in a suit points smugly.

Enlarge / Donald Trump. (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Twitter's rules state that "you may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people." So when US President Donald Trump tweeted in January 2018 that he had a "nuclear button" that was "much bigger & more powerful" than the nuclear button of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and (a few months earlier) that North Korea "won't be around much longer" if it continued its bellicose rhetoric, critics asked Twitter to take the tweets down for violating Twitter's rules.

Twitter rejected those calls. Instead, the social media giant argued that the words of world leaders are newsworthy and that such newsworthiness can trump rules that might otherwise apply. But activists have kept up the pressure on Twitter. So now the company has rolled out a new policy to deal with this kind of situation.

"In the past, we've allowed certain tweets that violated our rules to remain on Twitter because they were in the public's interest, but it wasn't clear when and how we made those determinations," a Thursday blog post says. "To fix that, we're introducing a new notice that will provide additional clarity in these situations."

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Posted in Donald Trump, Policy, Twitter | Comments (0)

Trump gives Barr authority to declassify anything in campaign “spying” probe

May 24th, 2019
Trump's memorandum to agency heads gives Attorney General William Barr authority to declassify or downgrade classification of anything he sees fit in his investigation into "intelligence activity" around the 2016 presidential election.

Enlarge / Trump's memorandum to agency heads gives Attorney General William Barr authority to declassify or downgrade classification of anything he sees fit in his investigation into "intelligence activity" around the 2016 presidential election. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Late in the day on May 23, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum ordering the heads of the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, and the Directors of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency to give Attorney General William Barr unfettered access to information about "intelligence activities relating to the campaigns in the 2016 Presidential election and certain related matters." The memorandum gives Barr the authority to declassify or downgrade the classification of any information he sees fit as part of the investigation.

Barr's investigation is not into electoral interference by foreign actors during the 2016  presidential campaign, but rather into whether US law enforcement and intelligence illegally spied on the Trump campaign. In an interview with Fox News earlier this month, Barr explained that "people have to find out what the government was doing during that period…If we're worried about foreign influence, for the very same reason we should be worried about whether government officials abuse their power and put their thumb on the scale."

The memorandum states that Barr can "declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence that relates to the Attorney General's review." No restrictions are placed on what Barr can declassify, other than an instruction that "the Attorney General should, to the extent he deems it practicable, consult with the head of the originating intelligence community element or department."

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Posted in 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump, GCHQ, NSA, Policy | Comments (0)

White House unveils new tool to report censorship by social media giants

May 16th, 2019
The landing page for the White House censorship reporting tool.

Enlarge / The landing page for the White House censorship reporting tool. (credit: whitehouse.gov)

Donald Trump has long accused social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube of political bias. On Wednesday, his White House launched a new online form that allows members of the public to report political bias in their content moderation decisions.

"SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH," the form says (capitalization in the original, of course). "Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear 'violations' of user policies. No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump."

The form asks users to provide their name and basic demographic and contact information. Users then provide details about the content that was censored and can provide screenshots of messages from social media companies about moderation decisions.

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Posted in Donald Trump, Policy, political bias, social media, White House | Comments (0)

White House refuses to sign international statement on online extremism

May 15th, 2019
White House refuses to sign international statement on online extremism

(credit: Matt Wade)

The Trump administration will not sign an international pledge by governments and online services to combat extremist content online. The Christchurch Call is named after the New Zealand city where a terrorist livestreamed the shooting deaths of 50 Muslims in March.

The statement is being formally released today as part of an international summit in Paris. It will bear the signatures of more than a dozen nations, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Leading technology companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, have also signed on. But not the US government.

"The United States stands with the international community in condemning terrorist and violent extremist content online in the strongest terms," the White House said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The US government says it will "continue to support the overall goals reflected in the Call," however, it is "not currently in a position to join the endorsement."

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Posted in Christchurch shooting, Donald Trump, Facebook, new zealand, Policy, trump administration | Comments (0)

In meeting with Twitter chief, Trump complains about lost followers

April 24th, 2019
Trump giving Jack Dorsey advice on how to run Twitter better, April 23.

Enlarge / Trump giving Jack Dorsey advice on how to run Twitter better, April 23. (credit: White House )

On April 23, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had a meeting in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump. According to an email message to Twitter employees from Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's global lead for legal, policy, and trust and safety, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss “the health of the public conversation on Twitter.”

In the email thread, first revealed by Motherboard, Dorsey himself explained, “As you know, I believe that conversation, not silence, bridges gaps and drives towards solutions." Dorsey pointed out that he had met "with every world leader who has extended an invitation to me, and I believe the discussions have been productive, and the outcomes meaningful.” While Dorsey noted that some employees might be less than thrilled with him taking the meeting, "In the end, I believe it’s important to meet heads of state in order to listen, share our principles and our ideas.”

The meeting came just two days after Twitter suspended some 5,000 accounts believed to be "bots" involved in a campaign to boost "#RussiaGate" and other hashtags related to posts critical of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller—bots that had connections to an account previously used to boost pro-Saudi propaganda.

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Posted in Biz & IT, Donald Trump, information operations, Policy, Saudi Arabia, Twitter | Comments (0)

Twitter blocks Trump 2020 video over Dark Knight Rises music

April 10th, 2019
Twitter blocks Trump 2020 video over Dark Knight Rises music

Enlarge (credit: Warner Brothers)

A request from Warner Brothers Pictures has forced the takedown of a fan-created Trump 2020 video that the president tweeted out on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning, Trump's tweet showed the message "this video is not available in your location." Then the tweet disappeared altogether.

Warner Brothers objected to the video because it used music by Hans Zimmer from the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises. "The use of Warner Bros.' score from 'The Dark Knight Rises' in the campaign video was unauthorized," a Warner Brothers spokesperson told NBC News.

Versions of the video have been percolating among online Donald Trump supporters for several years. Slate's Aaron Mak did some sleuthing and discovered an earlier version created by visual effects artist Brandon Kachel.

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Posted in campaigns, copyright, Donald Trump, fair use, Policy | Comments (0)

Lawmakers seek harsh penalties against ZTE and Huawei

January 17th, 2019
Huawei's corporate logo on a gray background.

Enlarge (credit: Getty | SOPA Images )

Washington policymakers sought to ratchet up pressure on Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE on Wednesday. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced new legislation that would ban exports to companies caught violating US sanctions laws.

It's the latest signs of a growing technological cold war between the United States and China over telecommunications technology. Huawei has allegedly stolen trade secrets from T-Mobile and other US companies. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Huawei could face criminal charges over the issue.

In a separate case, Canadian officials arrested Meng Wanzhou—Huawei's chief financial officer and daughter of the company's founder—at the behest of the US government over allegations that the company had violated US sanctions laws. ZTE also stands accused of violating those laws.

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Posted in china, Donald Trump, Huawei, Policy, trade, ZTE | Comments (0)

Dems to probe whether Trump retaliated against CNN, Washington Post

November 12th, 2018
Dems to probe whether Trump retaliated against CNN, Washington Post

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Chris Kleponis)

Democrats in Congress are planning to probe whether the Trump administration improperly used its regulatory powers to punish the owners of CNN and The Washington Post—two high-profile media outlets that have repeatedly clashed with Donald Trump.

Adam Schiff, a senior Democrat in the House of Representatives, told Axios that Democrats would try to find out whether Trump used "the instruments of state power to punish the press."

In 2016, AT&T announced that it intended to acquire Time Warner, parent company of CNN. The Trump administration objected to the merger, but a federal court ruled against the administration earlier this year, allowing the merger to go through.

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Posted in Amazon.com, CNN, Donald Trump, Policy, WarnerMedia, Washington Post | Comments (0)

EPIC files restraining order to block voter fraud commission’s data swoop

July 7th, 2017

States join EPIC in pushing back against president’s call for voter data amid concerns about scope and security of the request

Posted in Donald Trump, identity fraud, identity theft, Law & order, PII, Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, voter fraud | Comments (0)