Tag: DOJ

Fraud claims, DOJ probe and sexual abuse allegations cloud $2B deal between GM and Nikola truck startup

What seemed like a simple matter of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s has turned into a protracted challenge for General Motors and Nikola, after negotiations to pair up and produce new zero-emissions trucks have been extended.

The $2 billion deal, announced Sept. 9, was billed as a “partnership made in heaven,” according to Nikola founder and then-chairman Trevor Milton, during a media call with GM CEO Mary Barra. But the Phoenix-based startup has since been hammered by claims of fraud, with a Securities and Exchange Commission probe now underway. Allegations surfaced this week of sexual abuse by Milton, who stepped down as chairman last week. Nikola’s stock has plunged to barely a quarter of what it was worth when the company went public last June.

Talks expected to wrap up today could now run through Dec. 3, at which time the proposed deal “may be terminated by either

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U.S. expected to sue Google next week as DOJ seeks support from states

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is expected to sue Alphabet’s Google <GOOGL.O> as soon as next week, and is currently urging state attorneys general to sign onto the lawsuit, according to three sources familiar with the process.

The lawsuit is expected to accuse Google, builder of the world’s dominant search engine, of looking to disadvantage rivals such as Microsoft’s Bing by depriving them of the data about users and user preferences that they need to improve and to advertise to people.

The Justice Department has also been investigating Google’s “search advertising,” the ads that appear under a search box if a person looks up a consumer item like “dishwasher.” Google controls the sale of the space under these searches, as well as the tools to make those ad sales.

Google has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Regarding search, Google has said users have

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DOJ claims TikTok owner is ‘mouthpiece’ of Chinese Communist Party

The Justice Department filed a response to TikTok’s request for an injunction to delay President Donald Trump’s partial ban on the app that is scheduled for September 27, to be followed by a total ban on November 12. 

According to the DOJ’s claims filed Friday night, the Justice Department lawyers accused TikTok parent company Byte Dance’s CEO Zhang Yiming of acting as a “mouthpiece” for the Chinese Communist Party and publicly making statements that demonstrate he is  “committed to promoting the CCP’s agenda and messaging,” The Verge and NPR reported. 

The DOJ claimed that “US user data being stored outside of the United States presents significant risks in this case,” but the section relevant to how this is the case is redacted, according to The Verge and NPR.

ByteDance’s head of security previously stated that it’s impossible for the Chinese government to access user data from TikTok because the app’s

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The DOJ asked Congress to erode big tech’s legal protections as Trump accused firms of anti-conservative bias and ‘cancel culture’



a man looking at the camera: Attorney General William Barr (center) listens during a discussion with state attorneys general on social media abuses hosted by President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, September 23, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner


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Attorney General William Barr (center) listens during a discussion with state attorneys general on social media abuses hosted by President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, September 23, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

  • Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday the Department of Justice has submitted legislation to Congress to reform the part of the US law that gives tech companies broad powers to moderate their platforms.
  • Barr said the proposed legislation is aimed at “requiring greater transparency and accountability when platforms remove lawful speech.”
  • The legislation follows on from an executive order issued by President Trump in May targeting social media for alleged anti-conservative bias.
  • Trump often claims online platforms are biased against conservatives, but has provided minimal evidence backing this up. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Trump is ramping up the pressure on social media companies.

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DOJ nearing antitrust action on Google; Trump eyes tech curb

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FILE – This Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, file photo shows Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. As the Trump administration moves toward antitrust action against search giant Google, it’s campaigning to enlist support from sympathetic state attorneys general across the country. And President Donald Trump is pushing his campaign against Big Tech on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, touting curbs on legal protections for social media platforms he denounces as biased against conservative views.

AP

As the Trump administration moves toward antitrust action against search giant Google, it’s campaigning to enlist support from sympathetic state attorneys general across the country.

And President Donald Trump pushed his campaign against Big Tech on Wednesday, touting curbs on legal protections for social media platforms he denounces as biased against conservative views.

“In recent years, a small group of technology platforms have tightened their grip over commerce and communications in America,”

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DOJ unveils Trump administration’s legislation to reform tech’s legal liability shield

  • The Department of Justice proposed new legislation Wednesday to reform a key legal liability shield for the tech industry known as Section 230.
  • The draft legislation comes after Trump introduced an executive order targeting social media.
  • The DOJ’s proposed reforms echo some legislation that has already been introduced by lawmakers.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Attorney General William Barr appears before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., July 28, 2020.


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Attorney General William Barr appears before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., July 28, 2020.

The Department of Justice proposed legislation Wednesday to reform a key legal liability shield for the tech industry known as Section 230.

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The draft legislation focuses on two areas of reform. First, it aims to narrow the criteria online platforms must meet to earn the liability protections granted by Section 230. Second, it would carve out the statute’s immunity for certain cases, like offenses involving child sexual abuse.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

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DOJ to Propose Legislation Targeting Legal Immunities for Internet Companies, in Bid to Curb Illegal Content

The Justice Department will propose on Wednesday that Congress craft legislation stripping big internet companies of some legal immunities in an attempt to curb illegal or unfair practices, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The proposal calls for legislation curbing the immunities granted by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields internet platforms from legal liability if a user uploads illegal content, such as a defamatory or libelous blog post. The Justice Department hopes that by threatening to revoke this immunity in certain cases and open up internet companies to potentially damaging lawsuits, Congress can essentially compel those companies to institute practices and policies that are better for the civic health of the country.

Both Republicans and Democrats have voiced concerns over aspects of various internet companies over the past several years. Democrats have criticized Facebook in particular for what they see is the company’s permissive attitude toward the

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Six Charged By The DOJ On Charges Of Bribing Amazon’s Employees To Break Amazon’s Rules

Illustration for article titled Six Charged In Bribery Scheme to Game Amazon’s Marketplace

Photo: Angela Weiss (Getty Images)

When folks hear the words “Amazon” and “crimes” in the same sentence, it’s usually referencing the giant’s potentially criminal anticompetitive behavior or its shitty-enough-that-it-should-be-criminal warehouse working conditions, rather than Amazon sellers scamming their way onto the DOJ’s watch list.

But 2020’s been full of surprises, and today, that’s exactly what happened: the Justice Department indictment six individuals working as consultants for Amazon’s third party sellers. Per the DOJ, the paid north of $100,000 to bribe Amazon employees and contractors to leak them internal intel or otherwise help them gain “an unfair competitive advantage” as part of a scheme stretching back to at least 2017.

“The ultimate victim from this criminal conduct is the buying public who get inferior or even dangerous goods that should have been removed from the marketplace,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran, in a statement. The DoJ

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$100,000 in bribes helped fraudulent Amazon sellers earn $100 million, DOJ says

A pile of Amazon boxes in front of the door of a house.

Six people were indicted on allegations of paying over $100,000 in bribes to Amazon employees and contractors as part of a scheme to give third-party sellers unfair advantages on the Amazon marketplace. Among other things, the indictment says that Amazon workers who accepted bribes reinstated sellers whose accounts had been suspended for offering dangerous products, and these workers suspended the seller accounts of fraudulent sellers’ competitors.

The US Department of Justice today announced the indictment handed down by a grand jury in the Western District of Washington. The “defendants paid bribes to at least ten different Amazon employees and contractors,” the DOJ said. In one case, a 31-year-old defendant named Nishad Kunju “accepted bribes as a seller-support associate in Hyderabad, India, before becoming an outside consultant who recruited and paid bribes to his former colleagues,” the DOJ said.

In exchange for bribes, Amazon workers “baselessly and fraudulently conferred tens of

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DoJ Still Not Sure Why It’s Mad at WeChat

Illustration for article titled DoJ Still Not Sure Why Its Mad at WeChat

Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

In what’s the latest update to the Trump Administration’s… questionable plans for getting China-based apps off of U.S. soil, Justice Officials are now clarifying that any future crackdown on WeChat won’t explicitly target people who only download the chat platform for… chatting. This update comes courtesy of court docs filed late yesterday responding to a lawsuit filed last month by the Wechat Users Alliance, a New Jersey-based nonprofit representing the close to 20 million WeChatters in the US who would be directly impacted under the Administration’s current plans to target the app.

WeChat was one of the targets of the dual-pronged executive order that Trump signed into action at the start of August, which, on paper, sought to ban U.S. companies from doing business with either the Tencent-owned company or the ByteDance-owned TikTok, both of which were claimed to pose a “significant”

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