Daily Digest (7/2)

DuckDuckGo Mysteriously Stops Working in India; Google Brings Privacy Protections to Company-Owned Devices; ‘Anonymous’ Hackers Hit TikTok: ‘Delete This Chinese Spyware Now’; Tech CEOs to Testify Before House Panel in Antitrust Probe. Click “Continue reading” below.

DuckDuckGo Mysteriously Stops Working in India

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo told users Wednesday that its service was not working in India, adding that “it is not due to us.”

“To our users in India,” the company said on Twitter. “We’ve received many reports our search engine is unreachable by much of India right now and have confirmed it is not due to us.

“We’re actively talking to Internet providers to get to the bottom of it ASAP,” the post said, The Independent reports. “Thank you for your patience.”

It remained unclear why DuckDuckGo was unavailable in India. It was online in other countries, including the United States and the U.K.

In India, the government is more censorious than those in other countries, according to the Independent.

At the end of last year, protests erupted over a citizenship law, which led authorities to shut down the internet where demonstrators were located.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government shut down the internet 95 times last year, according to the report.

During the same year, the government also proposed rules that would force technology companies to remove posts at the government’s behest.

Source (external link):

Google Brings Privacy Protections to Company-Owned Devices

Google said that it had expanded the company’s commitment to employee privacy with its new Android 11, bringing the privacy protections of the work profile to company-owned devices.

With Android 11, Google said it also would provide IT departments with the additional capabilities needed to manage company assets.

“Just as IT shouldn’t put company data at risk to enable mobile productivity, employees shouldn’t be asked to reveal private, personal data to their company,” Ian Marsanyi, Google’s product manager, said in a Tuesday blog post.

“That’s why we’ve expanded Android’s commitment to employee privacy in Android 11, by bringing the privacy protections of the work profile to company-owned devices,” he said.

As such, corporate IT departments can deploy the work profile to help protect employee privacy across an entire fleet, regardless if the device is personally or company-owned.

Sources (external links):

‘Anonymous’ Hackers Hit TikTok: ‘Delete This Chinese Spyware Now’

The “Anonymous” hacktivist group’s campaign against the TikTok app has gained steam in recent days, with its Twitter account posting Wednesday, “Delete TikTok now.”

“If you know someone that is using it, explain to them that it is essentially malware operated by the Chinese government running a massive spying operation,” the post continued, Forbes reports.

The tweet linked to a story that had been making the rounds in recent days, following a Reddit post from an engineer who claimed to have “reverse engineered” TikTok to find many security and privacy abuses.

The allegations currently remain unconfirmed, Forbes reports, and TikTok declined to comment on the claims.

The Anonymous tweet comes after recent reports that a beta version of Apple’s iOS 14 caught the app secretly accessing users’ clipboards and Monday’s announcement by India of a ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps.

Source (external link):

Tech CEOs to Testify Before House Panel in Antitrust Probe

The chief executives of the four U.S. tech giants — Amazon.com, Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Apple — will testify before Congress later this month in an ongoing antitrust probe into the companies, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Apple’s Tim Cook will appear as part of the investigation by the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, the sources said.

The companies did not immediately comment.

The session will be on or around July 27 and likely will have at least some witnesses and lawmakers appearing via video link, one source said. It was not clear if the CEOs would appear before the full panel or just the antitrust subcommittee, the sources said.

The tech platforms are under investigation by the Judiciary Committee panel, which is expected to issue a report in coming weeks, and the U.S. Justice Department.

The Federal Trade Commission also is probing Facebook and Amazon, and U.S. state attorneys general are looking at Facebook and Google. 

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— By DPN Staff