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Senators asks Google to explain delay in disclosing vulnerability

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Three influential Republican U.S. senators on Thursday asked Alphabet Inc’s Google unit to explain why it delayed disclosing vulnerabilities with its Google+ social network.

Google said this week it would shut down the consumer version of Google+ and tighten its data-sharing policies after revealing that the private profile data of at least 500,000 users may have been exposed to hundreds of external developers.

The letter from Senator John Thune, who chairs the Commerce Committee, and two other senators who chair subcommittees — Jerry Moran and Roger Wicker — asked Google to explain a reported delay in disclosing the issue.

“Google must be more forthcoming with the public and lawmakers if the company is to maintain or regain the trust of the users of its services,” the letter said.

The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The letters asked if the vulnerability was revealed previously to any federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, and if there were “similar incidents which have not been publicly disclosed?”

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Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai agreed last month to testify before a House panel in November after meeting with lawmakers.

The company acknowledged it had made prior mistakes in privacy issues in written testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee last month but did not disclose the Google+ issue.

The three Republicans said they were “especially disappointed” with the failure of Google’s chief privacy officer Keith Enright to disclose the issue.

The three Republicans asked Google to turn over a memo, reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, that said that a factor in not disclosing the issue earlier was that it would draw “immediate regulatory interest” and “almost (guarantee)” that Pichai would have to testify before Congress. They called the memo “troubling.”

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Congress and the Trump administration are looking at ways of creating new national privacy protections. Facebook Inc has acknowledged it failed to protect the data of some 87 million users that was shared with now-defunct political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Massive breaches of data privacy have compromised the personal information of millions of U.S. internet and social media users. These include notable breaches at large retailers and credit reporting agency Equifax Inc .

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Internet destroys ‘opposite of a journalist’ Chuck Todd over his ‘vapid’ Trump interview

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While NBC might be happy with the ratings it got from a highly-touted interview with Donald Trump conducted by Meet The Press host Chuck Todd, the reviews of the NBC political director's performance were bad. Really bad.

Focusing on Todd's inability, or lack of desire, to push-back on any of the president's claims -- including particularly egregious claims Trump made about detaining immigrant children at the border that the president blamed on Barack Obama, -- one Twitter commenter called what Todd does for a living the "opposite" of journalism.

Particularly brutal was an assessment by NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen who tweeted: "Just watched @chucktodd 'interview' the president about kids and the border. I don't what that was. But it was not public discourse. Nothing to do with eliciting information, or accountability, or where do you stand? It was like feeding English sentences into a wood chipper."

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Commentary

Rudy was the original Trump: How NYC in the ’90s shaped American history

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Running on a platform of overt racial division and culture-war politics — and aggressively demonizing the most vulnerable members of society — a white male Republican wins a hotly disputed election, in defiance of all conventional wisdom and a rapidly diversifying electorate. He replaces the first black man to hold the office, vowing to turn back to clock to an idealized past.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Once in office, the newly elected leader becomes a uniquely polarizing figure, viewed by some as a hero and savior and by others as a corrupt, racist villain. He thrives on media disputes with his enemies, attacks on freedom of speech, outrageous proposals that will never be enacted and grossly exaggerated claims about his accomplishments.

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Activism

WATCH: White man gets brutally shouted down for telling black kids they can’t play in their own yard

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A video which went viral over the weekend shows two white men arguing over what appears to be black children playing near their own homes.

"Keep on playing kids!" a white man, who was later identified as "Nick" can be heard shouting in a video posted by Twitter user @_SamuelLahn.

According to the tweet, a "racist neighbor" had demanded that the "mostly black" children cease playing between two apartment buildings.

"Y'all keep on playing!" Nick says. "I know every single one of y'all lives here. So, please, sir, step away if you don't live here."

"Let them go wherever the fuck they want if they live here!" Nick shouts back after the man disagrees with him. "Guess what? You only own your porch... from there on out, it's free play."

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