Washington (AFP) - From the launch of his campaign in 2015 to his defeat to Joe Biden, Donald Trump's time in the White House was a chaotic roller coaster ride as he shattered norms, shunned allies, bullied anyone who opposed him and governed with laser focus on how his policies would play with his conservative political base. Here are some of the main dates punctuating Trump's political career: First movesJanuary 25, 2017: Trump signs an executive order ordering construction to begin on the wall he promised to build on the southern US border with Mexico, a key campaign promise he said Mexico ...
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By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday said it was considering adopting new rules to prohibit harmful commercial surveillance and lax data security, saying American consumers are often unknowingly giving up personal information ranging from their menstrual cycles to how they pray.
said "firms now collect personal data on individuals on a massive scale and in a stunning array of contexts."
The FTC is issuing an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to address commercial surveillance, the "business of collecting, analyzing, and profiting from information about people." The FTC said companies are often incentivized "to collect vast troves of consumer information, only a small fraction of which consumers proactively share."
"Whether they know it or not, most Americans today surrender their personal information to engage in the most basic aspects of modern life," the FTC said in its notice. "When they buy groceries, do homework, or apply for car insurance, for example, consumers today likely give a wide range of personal information about themselves to companies, including their movements, prayers, friends, menstrual cycles, web-browsing, and faces, among other basic aspects of their lives."
Republican FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips, opposing the rulemaking proposal, said it "provides no clue what rules the FTC might ultimately adopt" and suggested it is a first step "to issue rules that fundamentally alter the internet economy without a clear congressional mandate."TC Commissioner Christine Wilson said she was worried that opponents of privacy legislation that is currently being debated in Congress would use the FTC proposal as "an excuse to derail" the legislation.
The proposal won praise from Democrats in Congress.
"This announced rulemaking is a tremendous win for consumers, promising strong protections for privacy rights and personal data, and accountability for violating them," said Senator Richard Blumenthal. "Big Tech’s exploitation of Americans’ private information, anti-competitive behavior, and data breaches have created a crisis that demands action."
Under the FTC's existing authority to prohibit "unfair or deceptive acts" it cannot seek fines for a first offense and it said that "may insufficiently deter future law violations" adding new rules could set "clear requirements or benchmarks by which to evaluate covered companies."
The public can offer input on the FTC notice and the commission will hold a virtual public forum on Sept. 8.
(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Mark Porter and Frances Kerry)
Republicans told to quiet their attacks on the FBI because the info on Trump could be damaging: report
After President Donald Trump's home on his golf club's property Mar-a-Lago was searched by the FBI, Republican allies took to social media and conservative news outlets to attack the FBI and question whether there was a conspiracy afoot to bring down the GOP leader. But now Republicans are being told to quiet those complaints.
According to the New York Times, GOP leaders have been warned by allies of Trump's to calm their aggressive attacks on Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Department of Justice and federal law enforcement. The Trump insiders say "it is possible that more damaging information about Mr. Trump related to the search will eventually become public."
Within hours of the news being announced, Trump took to his social media site to rant that he was the victim of a "witch hunt." His son, Eric Trump, however, told Fox's Sean Hannity that the FBI had been negotiating with Trump for months to get the documents back. There was a concern that the top-secret information wasn't in a secure location on the property.
The report said that the Justice Department was concerned that the documents were of such a dramatically sensitive nature that they were forced to act. The information backs up what Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said two days ago when he explained to MSNBC that there was an urgency in the case.
"I think part of the urgency here is that Trump has very poor counterintelligence hygiene," he continued. "He blabs secrets all the time. He is not careful about this kind of information. We also know Mar-a-Lago has been a target for foreign governments trying to get access to information. There was a trespasser several years ago who was arrested there, who was believed to be linked to the Chinese intelligence service. So I think that they want to make sure that they get these out of an unsecure location and out of potential hands that shouldn't have it."
It was reported in 2019 that Chinese businesswoman Yujing Zhang was arrested at Mar-a-Lago with four mobile phones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive, and a thumb drive that “contained malicious software,” the court documents said. She'd made it through at least five Secret Service agents. She's not a sanctioned spy, however.
'That's called justice': Jim Jordan mocked over tweet that 'failed to comprehend basic legal principles'
Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) Twitter account became an object of mockery after he tweeted a message that seemed to betray a lack of comprehension of basic legal principles.
Following the FBI's execution of a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Jordan tweeted, "If they can do it to a former President, imagine what they can do to you."
The tweet referenced the search warrant of Trump's property, which HuffPost noted involves "a legal process that would involve investigators convincing a federal judge or magistrate that evidence of a crime would likely be found during a search."
Twitter users quickly fired back with critical remarks. "The fact that the law applies to the president, and not just the rest of us, is a feature of democracy, not a bug," The Atlantic's Yair Rosenberg remarked.
"Thank you, House Judiciary GOP, for summarizing succinctly the principle of 'the rule of law': the law applies to everyone, even a former President," replied Twitter used Julia Loffe.
"Yes, if you break the law and steal top secret documents from the White House and commit some of the most heinous crimes in American history, this too can happen to you," added government watchdog Medias Touch. "That’s a GREAT precedent! That’s called justice."
"If I stole classified documents from the White House (allegedly), I certainly hope they'd do it to me," Twitter user Bob Cessa added. "Please explain why they shouldn't, a-holes."
Jordan has made several demands that FBI Director Christopher Wray appear before Congress to explain the bureau’s decision to search former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Wray, a 2018 Trump appointee, did address the press Wednesday in Omaha but not on any potential appearance before Congress.
Instead, he focused on Trump’s accusation that the agency could have planted evidence in the search stating, “I’m sure you can appreciate that’s not something that I can talk about so I’d refer you to the department.”
“Any threats made against law enforcement, including the men and women of the FBI, any law enforcement agency, are deplorable and dangerous," he added.