Hillicon Valley — Ye suspended from Twitter (again)

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Hillicon Valley — Ye suspended from Twitter (again)

The rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has once again been suspended from Twitter after he tweeted a photo of a swastika.  

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who leaked classified information in 2013, has been granted a Russian passport and has sworn his allegiance to the former Soviet Union nation.  

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Send tips to The Hill’s Rebecca Klar and Ines Kagubare

Musk suspends Ye’s Twitter account

Elon Musk early Friday morning announced that Ye’s Twitter account has been suspended after the rapper formerly known as Kanye West tweeted an image of a swastika. 

“I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended,” Musk said in an early morning tweet. 

Thursday evening, Ye tweeted out an image of the Star of David containing a swastika inside.  

The tweet and Ye’s suspension from Twitter follow months of antisemitic comments from the rapper. In an appearance this week on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s Infowars program, Ye expressed admiration for Nazis and Adolf Hitler. 

“Well, I see good things about Hitler also,” Ye told Jones, later saying, “I like Hitler.” 

“I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis,” the rapper added. 

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Snowden granted a Russian passport 

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who received international attention after leaking classified information about U.S. government surveillance programs, has sworn his allegiance to Russia, where he has been living in exile since 2013, state media reported Friday.  

Snowden attorney Anatoly Kucherena confirmed the news to the state-run media outlet TASS, saying his client had been granted a Russian passport. 

Kucherena said he had seen Snowden the previous day and he was doing well.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Snowden citizenship in September; the Russian government had given him permanent residency in 2020. Snowden said at the time that he would work to maintain dual U.S.-Russian citizenship and not renounce his U.S. passport. 

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DHS CYBER BOARD TO INVESTIGATE LAPSUS$ GROUP 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Friday that its Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB) will begin conducting a review of recent hacks associated with Lapsus$, a global extortion hacking group that has been tied to numerous data breaches targeting major tech firms. 

DHS said the cyber criminal group has reportedly used various techniques to circumvent a range of security controls and has successfully infiltrated several companies across multiple industries. 

It added that the board’s upcoming review will include recommendations on how organizations can protect themselves, their employees and their customers from cyber extortion schemes. 

Lapsus$ has been linked to a number of data breaches that have targeted major tech companies including including Uber, Microsoft, Samsung, Cisco and Okta. 

“The ongoing Lapsus$ hacks represent just the type of activity that merits a fulsome review and can provide forward-looking recommendations to improve the nation’s cybersecurity in the near term,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a background call to reporters on Friday. 

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BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Trump grasps the importance of the National Archives to democracy. Why don’t Democrats? 

Notable links from around the web: 

Elon Musk’s ‘amnesty’ pledge brings back QAnon, far-right Twitter accounts (NBC News / Brandy Zadrozny) 

Should Ukraine rein in its patriotic hackers? (The Record / Daryna Antoniuk) 

The Twitter power users who can’t just quit (Vox / Shirin Ghaffary) 

🦍 Lighter click: That Friday feeling

One more thing: No layoffs at Uber

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Thursday that he does not anticipate job cuts at the ride-hailing and food delivery company, even as his competitors have announced layoffs in recent weeks. 

“No, we’re in a good place,” Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg News in response to a question about potential cuts. 

Fellow ride-hailing service Lyft announced in early November that it was cutting 13 percent of its workforce amid recession fears, while food delivery service DoorDash said on Wednesday that it would cut more than 1,000 positions due to slowing growth and rising expenses. 

Silicon Valley saw a slew of layoffs last month, with large companies like Meta, Amazon, Twitter and Alphabet all announcing or reportedly considering mass cuts. 

Read more here

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.

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