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A Whole Lotta Mess!
Friday, July 21st, 2023
1. Biden's Cyber Trust Mark: A Glorious Step Forward for IoT Security?
In a move that hopefully revolutionizes the cybersecurity industry, the US government has launched the Cyber Trust Mark, a labeling program that aims to protect Americans against the myriad of security risks associated with internet-connected devices. The program, officially named the "U.S. Cyber Trust Mark," aims to help Americans ensure they are buying internet-connected devices that include strong cybersecurity protections against cyberattacks. The Internet of Things, a term encompassing everything from fitness trackers and routers to baby monitors and smart refrigerators, has long been considered a weak cybersecurity link. Many devices ship with easy-to-guess default passwords and offer a lack of security regular updates, putting consumers at risk of being hacked. Hence why we're never short of national security breaches to report on! The Biden administration says its labeling system will "raise the bar" for IoT security by enabling Americans to make informed decisions about the security credentials of devices on the market.
Impress your boss with your industry knowledge (without actually putting in effort).
2. Court Rules in Favor of Workers, Not Uber
In a major victory for California workers, the state's Supreme Court has ruled that Uber must face a lawsuit claiming it should have covered UberEats drivers' work-related expenses. The Court's decision is a major blow to Uber, who argued that UberEats drivers had given up their right to sue on behalf of a large group of workers by signing an agreement to bring their own work-related legal claims in private arbitration. But the Court disagreed, saying nothing in that law bars workers from pursuing claims on their own behalf in arbitration while separately litigating large-scale claims in court. Legal jargon, am I right? Now, workers can sue Uber for all its employment law violations and pocket a cool 25% of the winnings, while the remaining 75% goes to the state so it can beef up its labor law enforcement agency. Is anyone going to acknowledge the weird incentive structure and conflict of interest there? Nope, guess not!
3. Microsoft and Activision's $69 Billion Love Affair: A Story of True Love, Regulators, and Tons of Money on the Line
Microsoft and Activision are in talks to extend their acquisition contract, which is set to expire on Tuesday. The expiration of the contract doesn't automatically lead to the collapse of the deal, but Microsoft, which makes the Xbox gaming console, wants to ensure that Activision isn't wooed by another potential acquirer or has a change of heart. The terms of the extension under negotiation and whether it would come with more financially advantageous terms for Activision could not immediately be learned for sure. But like, come on, why wouldn't they ask for more upside? Meanwhile, the companies continue to negotiate the extension if they don't have an agreement by the end of Tuesday, giving them more time to find a regulatory solution in Britain, the only major jurisdiction that stands in the way of them completing what would be the largest acquisition in the gaming sector.
4. Tesla's Board of Directors Payback the Big Bucks to Settle Claims They Overpaid Themselves
Tesla's directors have agreed to return $735 million to the company to settle claims from shareholders that they excessively overpaid themselves, concluding a lawsuit from a retirement fund that holds Tesla stock. Oopsies! The Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit had criticized stock options granted to Tesla directors, including CEO Elon Musk, his brother Kimbal Musk and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Musk is also under scrutiny for his own $56 billion compensation package, facing his own lawsuit that went to trial last year. Shareholder Richard Tornetta filed suit against Tesla in 2019 to rescind Musk's 2018 pay deal, claiming the package is "the largest compensation grant in human history" and it is unjustly paid to Musk—whom he called a "part-time CEO"—without demanding that the executive focus entirely on Tesla. A ruling is soon expected on Musk's case with maybe more multi-million dollar paybacks to follow.
5. SIAA to Biden: Please, Let China Have All the Chips! (Just Kidding, But Seriously...)
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIAA) has come forward to beg President Biden to halt any plans of restricting chip sales to China. Yes, you read that right—the trade group representing the U.S. semiconductor industry wants to keep the China Chip Express running smoothly. The SIAA believes that imposing more rules on chip exports to China would disrupt supply chains, cause market uncertainty, and result in China retaliating. The SIAA has gone so far as to implore the administration to hold off on further restrictions until they've consulted with industry experts. I guess the Biden administration thinks making decisions based on thorough assessment and consultation is totally overrated. In response to the SIAA's plea, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council offered their assurance that they're totally on top of things. Because when it comes to national security and trade relationships, assurances are all we need. what could possibly go wrong?