Hillicon Valley — Government lacks ransomware data

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) released a report Tuesday that shows the federal government lacks comprehensive data on cryptocurrency-related ransomware attacks.

Separately, a group of activists staged a protest at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) summit on Tuesday to draw attention to the company’s work with immigration agencies and law enforcement agencies.

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing everything you need to know about tech and cyber news, from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Tip Rebecca Klar of The Hill, Chris Mills Rodrigo and Ines Kagubare. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

Gaps discovered in ransomware data

A new report Senate Homeland Security Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) found that the federal government did not have sufficient data on the use of cryptocurrency in ransom payments.

The report, released on Tuesday, stems from a year-long investigation in the rise of ransomware attacks and how cryptocurrencies facilitate cybercrimes.

“My report shows that the federal government lacks the information necessary to deter and prevent these attacks, and to hold foreign adversaries and cybercriminals accountable for perpetrating them,” Peters said in a statement.

The report also found that current government reporting on ransomware and cryptocurrency attacks is “fragmented across multiple federal agencies” and that a lack of reliable data limits the tools needed to protect the nation from cyber threats.

Learn more here.

Amazon’s cloud wing scrutinized

A group of activists staged a protest at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) summit on Tuesday to draw attention to the company’s work with immigration agencies and law enforcement agencies.

The collection of about a dozen protesters from MediaJustice, the Muslim Counterpublics Lab and For Us Not Amazon gathered outside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, during the event’s opening remarks.

The organizations hope to draw attention to how they say technologies provided by AWS, Amazon’s cloud service provider and one of the company’s main sources of revenue, are being used to monitor and target communities of color.

“These summits are just part of the public relations strategy to sanitize Amazon’s role as an enabler of state violence,” said Myaisha Hayes, director of campaign strategies at Media Justice, a non-profit organization that focuses on equity in technology and media.

“While attendees will spend three days learning all about the power and capabilities of AWS, I doubt they’ll hear about the people who have been displaced, arrested, and even deported because of Amazon’s technology,” said she told The Hill.

Read more.

GEN Z IS ON BOARD

The majority of Gen Z voters said they support moves to curb the power of tech giants, according to a new poll from progressive firm Data for Progress.

The poll found that a majority of voters, Democrats and Republicans, between 18 and 25, supported efforts to regulate the market power of tech giants. The findings were released by the Tech Oversight Project, a group that advocates for antitrust reform.

For example, the survey found that 61% of Gen Z voters said they support America’s Online Innovation and Choice Act after receiving a brief description of the bill, according to a copy of the results of the survey. survey shared with The Hill.

Learn more about the survey results.

Russia accuses the West of cyber-escalation

Vassily Nebenzia, a Russian representative to the United Nations (UN), accused Western democracies of being one-sided and of influencing the public to think negatively about his country, calling it a “Russophobic information campaign”, according to Business Intern.

Nebenzia, who spoke at a UN Security Council briefing on Monday, said the West was trying to silence Russia’s “alternative visions” and build “a cyber totalitarianism” against its country.

“States that call themselves a ‘community of democracies’ are actually building cyber totalitarianism,” Nebenzia said.

Nebenzia also denounced Ukraine for allowing a cyber army of volunteers to fight Russian disinformation online as well as targeting Russian and Belarusian facilities.

Learn more here.

SPACEX EXEC DEFENDS MUSK

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told employees that she personally believes the recent sexual misconduct allegations against Elon Musk were false, according to a company-wide email released by CNBC.

“Personally, I believe the allegations are false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and have never seen or heard anything resembling these allegations,” Shotwell wrote, according to CNBC.

“Anyone who knows Elon like me knows he would never drive or condone this alleged inappropriate behavior,” she said.

According to a report by Insider on Thursday, Musk was accused of exposing himself to one of his SpaceX employees during a massage and asking him for sex.

Read more.

TECH STOCKS SUFFER

Major tech stocks are battered in 2022, with the NASDAQ 100 tech sector index down 33.0% year-to-date.

The NASDAQ is not an outlier. The Dow Jones US Technology Index is down 29.6% and the S&P 500 Information Technology sector is down 25.7% over the same period.

While the Dow Jones index as a whole was down 14% for the year as of noon Tuesday, Big Tech stocks were down even further.

Take a look at the hardest hit.

BITS & COINS

A chewable editorial: If publishers are successful, libraries’ digital options will suffer major cuts

Lighter click: The BBC is finally telling the truth

Notable Web Links:

How ‘Zuck Bucks’ saved the 2020 election – and fueled the big lie (Protocol/Issie Lapowksy)

Google Maps employees say they can’t afford back to the office (The New York Times / Nico Grant)

Snap warning is sent shock through digital advertising as investors flee social media stocks (CNBC/Lauren Feiner)

People are get tired of the “TikTok musical formula” (NBC News/Morgan Sung)

One last thing: expanded drone delivery

Walmart is expanding its drone delivery operations to reach up to 4 million homes at 34 locations in six states.

The company announced tuesday that it will be able to deliver 1 million parcels by drone during the year.

The service will be implemented in Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Utah and Virginia and will cost customers $3.99 per packing slip. Each delivery can weigh up to 10 pounds.

Customers will be able to order items for drone deliveries between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. These deliveries can be made in as little as 30 minutes, according to the company.

Learn more here.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.

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