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MT’s Sweeping TikTok Ban Bill, Biden Administration’s Plan to Hold Software, Device Makers Liable for Hacks & More

March 10, 2023 (2 min read)

MT Senate Passes Sweeping TikTok Ban

The Montana Senate approved a TikTok ban (SB 419) that goes much further than the executive actions of several Republican governors prohibiting the use of the Chinese-owned video-sharing app on state-issued devices. The bill would prohibit the use of the app and downloads of the app from app stores within the state’s borders. Violations would be punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 per incident, although users wouldn’t be subject to that penalty. (PLURIBUS NEWS, STATE NET)

Biden Cyber Plan Would Shift Blame for Hacks to Software, Device Makers

The Biden administration plans to release a new national cybersecurity strategy that would shift responsibility for cyberattacks from the companies that are targeted to the makers of the software and devices that are compromised.

“Responsibility must be placed on the stakeholders most capable of taking action to prevent bad outcomes, not on the end-users that often bear the consequences of insecure software nor on the open-source developer of a component that is integrated into a commercial product,” stated the 35-page strategy document shared with reporters. (INSURANCE JOURNAL, BLOOMBERG)

FBI Director Admits Agency Bought Location Data in Past

Testifying at a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted for the first time that the agency had purchased geolocation data of U.S. citizens without first obtaining a warrant.

“To my knowledge, we do not currently purchase commercial database information that includes location data derived from Internet advertising,” he said. “I understand that we previously—as in the past—purchased some such information for a specific national security pilot project. But that’s not been active for some time.”

The Fourth Amendment protects U.S. citizens from unreasonable searches, and the U.S. Supreme Court has said the use of location data by government agencies without a warrant violates that protection. But privacy advocates have repeatedly uncovered evidence that federal agencies have used a legal loophole to allow them to purchase location data they might not be able to legally access otherwise. (ARS TECHNICA, WIRED)

GA Hosts First Startup of New U.S. Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years

Georgia Power announced last week that it had started a nuclear reaction—technically known as achieving “initial criticality”—at Unit 3 of its Vogtle nuclear energy plant in Waynesboro. That milestone hadn’t been reached since May 2016, when the Tennessee Valley Authority started up the Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor in Spring City, Tennessee. (CNBC)

—Compiled by KOREY CLARK

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