San Francisco, Jan 19 (AP/UNB) — Facebook may be facing the biggest fine ever imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations involving the personal information of its 2.2 billion users.
The FTC is considering hitting Facebook with a penalty that would top its previous record fine of $22.5 million , which it dealt to Google in 2012 for bypassing the privacy controls in Apple's Safari browser, according to The Washington Post. The story published Friday cited three unidentified people familiar with the discussions.
In an automated response, the FTC said it was unable to comment, citing its closure due to the U.S. government shutdown. Facebook declined to comment.
The potential fine stems from an FTC investigation opened after revelations that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica had vacuumed up details about as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission.
The FTC has been exploring whether that massive breakdown violated a settlement that Facebook reached in 2011 after government regulators had concluded the Menlo Park, California, company had repeatedly broken its privacy promises .
The FTC decree, which runs through 2031, requires Facebook to get its users' consent to share their personal information in ways that aren't allowed by their privacy settings.
Since the Cambridge Analytica erupted 10 months ago, Facebook has vowed to do a better job corralling its users' data. Nevertheless, its controls have remained leaky. Just last month, the company acknowledged a software flaw had exposed the photos of about 7 million users to a wider audience than they had intended.
The FTC's five commissioners have discussed fining Facebook but haven't settled on the amount yet, according to the Post.
Facebook's privacy problems are also under investigation in other countries and the target of a lawsuit filed last month by Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine.
Dhaka, Dec 31 (UNB) – Internet search giant Google is celebrating New Year’s Eve with an animated playful doodle.
The animated graphic shows two purple baby elephants wearing a yellow and a green party cap each. The baby elephant on the left is seen blowing balloons while the second elephant is seen tossing popcorn into its mouth. A clock on the top is just about to hit midnight. The Google logo is also seen in the decorations.
Clicking on the doodle will take you to the places where people across countries are waiting for New Year 2019.
In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the new year.
Last year, on New Year's Eve, Google had marked the occasion with a doodle featuring a family of birds - penguins and parrots.
Jerusalem, Dec 17 (AP/UNB) — Facebook has blocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair for 24 hours after he wrote a post criticizing the social media platform as "thought police" and sharing previously banned content.
Yair Netanyahu blasted the website on Sunday for removing an earlier post in which he called for "avenging the deaths" of two Israeli soldiers killed last week by Palestinian gunmen and calling for the expulsion of Palestinians. He shared a screenshot of the earlier post in violation of Facebook's community rules.
Facebook deleted a post by Netanyahu last week in which he said he would "prefer" if "All the Muslims leave the land of Israel."
Facebook had no immediate comment.
Netanyahu's son has drawn media criticism for crude social media posts and a life of excess at public expense.
Beijing, Dec 10 (AP/UNB)— China summoned the U.S. ambassador to Beijing on Sunday to protest the detention of a senior executive of Chinese electronics giant Huawei in Canada at Washington's behest and demanded the U.S. cancel an order for her arrest.
The official Xinhua News Agency said Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng "lodged solemn representations and strong protests" with Ambassador Terry Branstad against the detention of Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. Meng, who is reportedly suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran, was detained on Dec. 1 while changing planes in Vancouver, Canada.
The Xinhua report quoted Le as calling Meng's detention "extremely egregious" and demanded the U.S. vacate an order for her arrest. It quoted Le as calling for the U.S. to "immediately correct its wrong actions" and said it would take further steps based on Washington's response.
The move followed the summoning of Canadian Ambassador John McCallum on Saturday over Meng's detention and a similar warning of "grave consequences" if she is not released.
The Canadian province of British Columbia said in a statement Sunday it canceled a trade mission to China because of Meng's detention. The announcement came amid fears China could detail Canadians in retaliation.
Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies and has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns over its ties to the Chinese government. The U.S. has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology, warning they could be opening themselves up to surveillance and theft of information.
Meng's arrest has threatened to increase U.S.-China trade tensions and shook stock markets globally last week. But U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," downplayed the impact of the arrest on trade talks between the two countries aimed at defusing the tensions.
"It's my view that it shouldn't really have much of an impact," he said.
Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, was detained on the same day that President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed over dinner to a 90-day cease-fire in the trade dispute.
The surprise arrest raises doubts about whether the trade truce will hold and whether the world's two biggest economies can resolve the complicated issues that divide them.
The U.S. alleges that Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It also says that Meng and Huawei misled American banks about its business dealings in Iran.
Roland Paris, a former foreign policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said that Chinese pressure on Canada's government won't work.
"Perhaps because the Chinese state controls its judicial system, Beijing sometimes has difficulty understanding or believing that courts can be independent in a rule-of-law country. There's no point in pressuring the Canadian government. Judges will decide," Paris tweeted in response to the comments from Beijing.
A Canadian prosecutor urged a Vancouver court to deny bail to Meng.
Canadian prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said in a court hearing Friday that a warrant had been issued for Meng's arrest in New York on Aug. 22. He said Meng, arrested en route to Mexico from Hong Kong, was aware of the investigation and had been avoiding the United States for months, even though her teenage son goes to school in Boston.
Gibb-Carsley alleged that Huawei had done business in Iran through a Hong Kong company called Skycom. Meng, he said, had misled U.S. banks into thinking that Huawei and Skycom were separate when, in fact, "Skycom was Huawei." Meng has contended that Huawei sold Skycom in 2009.
In urging the court to reject Meng's bail request, Gibb-Carsley said the Huawei executive had vast resources and a strong incentive to bolt: She's facing fraud charges in the United States that could put her in prison for 30 years.
The hearing is to resume Monday.
Huawei, in a brief statement emailed to The Associated Press, said "we have every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach the right conclusion."
Canadian officials have declined to comment on Chinese threats of retaliation over the case, instead emphasizing the independence of Canada's judiciary along with the importance of Ottawa's relationship with Beijing.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said Canada "has assured China that due process is absolutely being followed in Canada, that consular access for China to Ms. Meng will absolutely be provided."
"We are a rule-of-law country and we will be following our laws as we have thus far in this matter and as we will continue to do," Freeland said Friday.
While protesting what it calls Canada's violation of Meng's human rights, China's ruling Communist Party stands accused of mass incarcerations of its Muslim minority without due process, locking up people exercising their right to free speech and refusing to allow foreign citizens to leave the country in order to bring pressure on their relatives accused of financial crimes. The party also takes the lead in prosecutions of those accused of corruption or other crimes in a highly opaque process, without supervision from the court system or independent bodies.
Washington, Dec 8 (AP/UNB) -Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei says it has "every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach the right conclusion" over the arrest of one of its top executives in Canada.
Huawei released a brief statement Saturday in China following a bail hearing in Vancouver for Meng Wanzou, its chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder.
She faces possible extradition to the U.S, where officials allege that Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
Meng will spend the weekend in jail after a Canadian judge said Friday that he needs to weigh her proposed bail conditions. The bail hearing continues Monday.
A Chinese executive will spend the weekend in jail after a Canadian judge said he needs to weigh her proposed bail conditions.
Meng Wanzhou's lawyer also says he will continue his arguments for her bail on Monday.
Meng is the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei and daughter of its founder.
She is facing possible extradition to the U.S, where officials allege that Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. also says that Meng and Huawei misled American banks about its business dealings in Iran.
Meng was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport last Saturday — the same day that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed over dinner to a 90-day cease-fire in a trade dispute that threatens to disrupt global commerce.
The lawyer for the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei says the fact that a person has extraordinary resources cannot be a factor that would exclude them from bail.
Meng Wanzhou's lawyer David Martin said at her bail hearing that her own dignity would not allow her to go against a court order. He also said Meng would not embarrass her father by breaching a court order.
The prosecutor earlier argued that Meng has vast resources and would be motivated to flee Canada and return home to China. Prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley says the charges Meng is facing in the U.S. have to do with Huawei using a sham subsidiary to access the Iran market in dealings that would contravene U.S. sanctions.
Meng is accused of fraud. Gibb-Carsley says she assured U.S. banks that Huawei and Skycom were separate companies but he says Skycom is Huawei
A prosecutor for the Canadian government says the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei has incentive to flee Canada because she faces charges in the U.S. of up to 30 years in prison.
The prosecutor said at the bail hearing for Meng Wanzhou that she has vast resources and would be motivated to flee Canada and return home to China.
He says the charges Meng is facing in the U.S. have to do with Huawei using an unofficial subsidiary to access the Iran market in dealings that would contravene U.S. sanctions.
Meng is accused of fraud. The prosecutor says she assured banks that Huawei and Skycom were separate companies but he says the U.S. contends that Skycom is Huawei.
A prosecutor for the Canadian government says the charges that the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei is facing in the U.S. have to do with Huawei using a unofficial subsidiary to access the Iran market in dealings that would contravene U.S. sanctions.
The prosecutor said at the bail hearing for Meng Wanzhou that is she is accused of fraud. He says she assured banks that Huawei and Skycom were separate companies but he says the U.S. contends that Skycom is Huawei.
The prosecutor is saying she is a flight risk and should not be granted bail. He says the arrest warrant was issued in New York on Aug. 22.
Meng's arrest came as a jarring surprise after Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a trade truce last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei is appearing in a Canadian court as she seeks bail while awaiting possible extradition to the United States.
Sporting a green sweater, Meng Wanzhou, smiled and spoke to her lawyer as she waited for the judge to arrive.
Meng's arrest came as a jarring surprise after Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a trade truce last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday on Fox Business Network's "Varney & Co" that Huawei had violated U.S sanctions on Iran.
Huawei has denied that it poses a security threat, after an EU commissioner raised concerns.
The Chinese telecom giant said Friday it has never been asked by any government to build "back doors" to its systems or "interrupt any networks."
"We would never tolerate such behavior by any of our staff," it said.
The statement was in response to comments by EU tech commissioner Andrus Ansip, who said that after the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer, "we have to be worried" about the company.
Ansip cited concerns Beijing could require Chinese tech companies to cooperate with intelligence services or add "back doors," when asked about Huawei's role in European 5G and driverless car projects.
Huawei said, "We categorically reject any allegation that we might pose a security threat."
Russia's top diplomat has criticized the arrest of a Chinese telecommunications company executive as an example of heavy-handed policies of the U.S.
The chief financial officer of Huawei, the world's biggest supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies, was arrested in Canada Saturday and faces extradition to the U.S. on charges of trying to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Speaking during a meeting in Rome, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday the executive's arrest shows how the U.S. is pushing to implement its laws beyond its borders, which he called "a very arrogant position."
Lavrov said "that is not even being supported by anyone, even the closest allies of the U.S.," adding that "we need to put a stop to that."
The European Union's technology commissioner says the bloc should be worried about possible security risks from telecom giant Huawei and other Chinese companies.
EU Digital Market Commissioner Andrus Ansip said there's reason for concern following the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer reportedly on suspicion of involvement in sanctions evasions.
"The next question is, do we have to be worried about Huawei or other Chinese companies? Yes I think we have to be worried," Ansip said at a press briefing.
Ansip said there are fears about Beijing requiring the country's tech companies to cooperate with its intelligence services or add "back doors" to their systems.
Huawei is the world's biggest supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies but the arrest has intensified concerns that its dominance threatens the national security of Western allies.
China has expressed serious concern about media reports that Japan might exclude Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. from government purchases.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday that both companies have been operating legally in Japan for a long time and that China hopes Japan "will provide a level playing field for Chinese companies .... and avoid doing anything that would undermine mutual trust and cooperation."
The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported that Tokyo might take the step because of security concerns, as the United States and some other countries have done.
A Japanese official said though that no decision has been made.
A Japanese official has cast doubt over reports that Japan plans to exclude Chinese telecoms equipment makers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. from government purchases due to security concerns.
The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported Friday that Tokyo might take the action following the lead of the U.S. and some other countries.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said government officials planned to meet to discuss such a move.
A senior official at the government office in charge of cybersecurity said Japan has not made such a decision. He said some new policy may be announced next week but it would likely not be what was being reported.
The dramatic arrest of a Chinese telecommunications executive has driven home why it will be so hard for the Trump administration to resolve its deepening conflict with China.
The Huawei Technologies executive, Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, faces extradition to the United States. A bail hearing was set for Friday.
In the short run, her arrest heightens skepticism about the trade truce that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping reached last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Share markets were rattled by fears that the 90-day cease-fire won't last.
Huawei has been a subject of U.S. national security concerns that extend well beyond tariffs or market access. Washington and Beijing are locked in a clash between the world's two largest economies for economic and political dominance for decades to come.