Connect with us

OTHER

Donald Trump’s Social Media Firm Said to Receive Subpoenas From SEC, Federal Jury

Published

on

donald-trump’s-social-media-firm-said-to-receive-subpoenas-from-sec,-federal-jury

Donald Trump’s social media company and some of its employees received subpoenas from both a federal grand jury and securities regulators, according to a public disclosure Friday, possibly delaying or even killing a deal promising a cash infusion needed to take on Twitter.

Trump Media & Technology Group received subpoenas from a grand jury in New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a securities document filed by Digital World Acquisition on Friday. Digital World has plans to buy Trump Media, releasing $1.3 billion (roughly Rs. 10,263 crore) for its fledging business, but the deal is unlikely to be done during two legal probes.

Trump, who is Trump Media’s chairman, was not among the employees who received subpoenas, according to a Trump Media statement.

On Monday, Digital World announced it had received subpoenas from the same grand jury convened by the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office. Digital World has been under investigation by the SEC for possible violations for months, a development that has weighed on the stock.

Digital World stock closed Friday at $5.78 (roughly Rs. 450), down 25 percent in a week. It had been at over $100 (roughly Rs. 7,800) last year after the company announced it had a deal to buy the former president’s social media firm.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

The SEC has been looking into whether Digital World broke rules by having substantial talks about buying Trump’s company starting early last year before Digital World sold stock to the public for the first time in September. Just weeks later it announced it would be buying Trump’s company.

See also  Spotifys Google Assistant-Powered Music Suggestion, Podcast Recommendation Features Now Live

Digital World is one of a once-popular group of “blank-check” companies that go public as empty corporate entities with no operations, only offering investors the promise they will buy a business in the future. As such, they are allowed to sell stock to the public quickly without the usual regulatory disclosures and delays, but only if they haven’t already lined up possible acquisition targets.

Trump’s social media offering, called Truth Social, launched in February. It said it is fighting Big Tech limits on speech. Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube last year after the January 6 Capitol riot.

Trump Media last year lined up dozens of investors to pump $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,895 crore) into the company, but can’t get the cash until the Digital World acquisition is completed. An additional $300 million (roughly Rs. 2,368 crore) would come from Digital World itself.


Advertisement
free widgets for website

OTHER

WhatsApp Reveals Critical Vulnerabilities in Older App Versions That Let Attacker Exploit Phones via Video Call

Published

on

By

whatsapp reveals-critical-vulnerabilities-in-older-app-versions-that-let-attacker-exploit-phones-via-video-call

WhatsApp, Meta’s instant messaging and calling service, has published details of a ‘critical’ vulnerability that has been patched in a newer version of the app but might still affect older installed versions that have not been updated.

The details regarding the vulnerability were revealed in a September update of WhatsApp‘s page on security advisories affecting the app and came to light on September 23.

WhatsApp, in the update, shared a detailed issue related to vulnerability CVE-2022-36934, according to which “an integer overflow in WhatsApp for Android prior to v2.22.16.12, Business for Android prior to v2.22.16.12, iOS prior to v2.22.16.12, Business for iOS prior to v2.22.16.12 could result in remote code execution in an established video call.”

According to the details, the bug would let an attacker exploit integer overflow, after which they can get access to execute their own code on a victim’s smartphone through a specially crafted video call.

This vulnerability has been given a severity score of 9.8 out of 10 on the CVE scale.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

In the same security advisory update, WhatsApp also explained another vulnerability, CVE-2022-27492. According to the social media company, “an integer underflow in WhatsApp for Android prior to v2.22.16.2, WhatsApp for iOS v2.22.15.9 could have caused remote code execution when receiving a crafted video file.”

This said, the bug would let attackers execute the code on the victim’s smartphone using a malicious video file. The vulnerability was scored 7.8 out of 10.

In an India-related development for the social media platform, the head of WhatsApp’s India payment business, Manesh Mahatme, has quit after more than a year with the Meta Platforms-owned company to join Amazon India, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

See also  Spotifys Google Assistant-Powered Music Suggestion, Podcast Recommendation Features Now Live

Mahatme’s exit comes at a critical time for WhatsApp, which is seeking to ramp up its payments service in a highly competitive market and lock horns with more established players such as Alphabet’s Google Pay, Ant Group-backed Paytm and Walmart’s PhonePe.

During his stint at WhatsApp Pay, the company won regulatory approval to more than double its payments offering to 100 million users in India, its biggest market with more than half a billion users overall.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

OTHER

Elon Musk Seeks to End Pre-Approval of His Tweets, Calls SEC Mandate “Government-Imposed Muzzle”

Published

on

By

elon-musk-seeks-to-end-pre-approval-of-his-tweets,-calls-sec-mandate-“government-imposed-muzzle”

Elon Musk’s lawyers urged a federal appeals court to throw out a provision in his 2018 consent decree with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requiring a Tesla lawyer to vet some of his posts on Twitter.

In a brief filed late on Tuesday with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, lawyers for Musk called the pre-approval mandate a “government-imposed muzzle” that inhibited and chilled his lawful speech on a broad range of topics.

They also said the requirement violated the US Constitution, and undermined public policy by running “contrary to the American principles of free speech and open debate.”

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside market hours. It is expected to file its own brief with the appeals court.

Musk wants to overturn part of an April 27 decision by US District Judge Lewis Liman that rejected his bid to throw out the consent decree altogether.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Liman said Musk’s arguments amounted to a “bemoaning” of requirements he no longer wanted to adhere to now that “his company has become, in his estimation, all but invincible.”

Musk, 51, is worth $259.8 billion (roughly Rs. 21,25,878 crore), nearly twice as much as anyone else, Forbes magazine said on Wednesday.

The decree resolved a lawsuit accusing Musk of defrauding investors with an August 7, 2018 tweet that he had “funding secured” to take his electric car company private, though a buyout was not close. Musk has said the tweet was truthful.

In settling, Musk agreed to let a Tesla lawyer screen tweets that might contain material information about the company.

See also  WhatsApp Working on Bringing Back New Camera Shortcut for Android App: All Details

He and Tesla each also paid $20 million (roughly Rs. 163 crore) in civil fines, and Musk gave up his role as Tesla chairman.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

But the SEC later opened a probe and subpoenaed documents concerning Musk’s and Tesla’s compliance, after Musk asked his followers in a November 6, 2021 tweet whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stake to cover tax bills on stock options.

In Tuesday’s filing, Musk’s lawyers said it was time to rein in the SEC.

“Under the shadow of the consent decree, the SEC has increasingly surveilled, policed, and attempted to curb Mr. Musk’s protected speech that does not touch upon the federal securities laws,” the lawyers wrote. “Any objective served by the pre-approval provision has been served.”

Musk is separately trying to abandon his April agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,37,465 crore), saying the company misled him by downplaying the number of fake accounts.

Twitter has sued Musk to force him to complete the merger at the agreed-upon price, which is 23 percent higher than where its shares closed on Tuesday. An October 17 nonjury trial is scheduled in Delaware Chancery Court.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

The case is Musk v SEC, 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 22-1291.


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

OTHER

Meta Disrupts Chinese Propaganda Operation Across Facebook, Instagram Ahead of US Midterm Elections

Published

on

By

meta-disrupts-chinese-propaganda-operation-across-facebook,-instagram-ahead-of-us-midterm-elections

Meta Platforms said on Tuesday it disrupted the first known China-based influence operation focused on targeting users in the United States with political content ahead of the midterm elections in November.

The network maintained fake accounts across Meta’s social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, as well as competitor service Twitter, but was small and did not attract much of a following, Meta said in a report summarising its findings.

Still, the report noted, the discovery was significant because it suggested a shift toward more direct interference in US domestic politics compared with previous known Chinese propaganda efforts.

“The Chinese operations we’ve taken down before talked primarily about America to the world, primarily in South Asia, not to Americans about themselves,” Meta global threat intelligence lead Ben Nimmo told a press briefing.

“Essentially the message was ‘America bad, China good,’” he said of those operations, while the new operation pushed messages aimed at Americans on both sides of divisive issues like abortion and gun rights.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Another Meta executive at the briefing said the company did not have enough evidence to say who in China was behind the activity.

Asked about Meta’s findings at a news conference, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said his office was “very concerned” about intelligence reports of election interference by foreign governments “starting back some time ago and continuing all the way into the present.”

A Twitter spokesperson said the company was aware of the information in Meta’s report and also took down the accounts.

According to Meta’s report, the Chinese fake accounts posed as liberal and conservative Americans in different states. They posted political memes and lurked in the comments of public figures’ posts since November 2021.

See also  WhatsApp Head Issues Warning To All Android Users: All You Need to know

A sample screenshot showed one account commenting on a Facebook post by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, asking him to stop gun violence and using the hashtag #RubioChildrenKiller.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

The same network also set up fake accounts that posed as people in the Czech Republic criticizing the Czech government over its approach to China, according to the report.

Meta also said it had intercepted the largest and most complex Russian-based operation since the war in Ukraine began, describing it as a sprawling network of more than 60 websites impersonating legitimate news organisations, along with about 4,000 social media accounts and petitions on sites like US-based campaign group Avaaz.

That operation primarily targeted users in Germany, as well as France, Italy, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, and spent more than $100,000 (roughly Rs. 81.8 lakh) on advertisements promoting pro-Russian messages.

On a few occasions, Russian embassies in Europe and Asia amplified the content.

The Russian embassy in Washington said Meta’s move follows “the instructions of the US authorities” and is a violation of freedom of speech.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“This suggests that American tech giants, who own the most popular Internet resources, have become servants of the US administration’s policy of suppressing dissent,” the embassy said on its Telegram channel.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

Trending