Hi, TTN readers! It’s another Thursday! I’m on with Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: Elon turns down Twitter board seat, Tim Cook goes off on data industrial complex, and Ethereum researcher goes to North Korea; returns to jail. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.
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It’s been a whirlwind week in the Twitterverse. After announcing a 10% stake in Twitter and getting a board seat to boot, Elon Musk has since turned down the board seat being content with owning 10% of the company. Huh, what? Immediately after last week’s news, Elon Musk…took to Twitter, and proceeded to berate the company. He was in rarer form than usual and suggested removing the ‘W’ from its name and dropping the ‘ER’. Yeah. Furthermore, his fight with the SEC continues as he actually made the 10% purchase in mid-March, only to announce the buy this month. Which means the value of his new shares jumped 30% on the day he announced the buy giving him $156 million in value. He’s being sued by another Twitter shareholder in a class action because he had inside information. You just can’t with this guy.
Virgil Griffith was sentenced to more than 5 years in prison and fined $100,000 for violating US sanctions against North Korea. He was a researcher who worked for Ethereum Foundation, sponsors of the Ethereum cryptocurrency project. He flew to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang to give a talk on cryptocurrency. He violated the US International Emergency Economic Powers Act by traveling to the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference after being denied the trip by the US State Department. Griffith understood he was breaking the law by sharing how North Korea could evade US sanctions through the US of cryptocurrency. A quote from his presentation, “The most important feature of blockchains is that they are open. And the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] can’t be kept out no matter what the USA or the UN says,” Griffith said during the presentation, according to prosecutors.” End quote.
It’s been no secret Apple has been restricting and blocking access to user data. The company has increased its privacy safeguards and have forced app developers to ask users for more detailed permission to use their data. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, took to the stage at the International Association of Privacy Professionals and railed against companies that comprise the “data industrial complex”. His complaint with companies centers around the idea of sideloading. Sideloading happens when a seemingly useful app, like a COVID-19 contact tracer, loads another piece of code that surveils the user’s info. Tim Cook has said that privacy is, “one of the most essential battles of our time.” He’s right.