News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: FTC Looks at Facebook, Media Continues Kids' Anti2A March and Much, Much More

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Good Tuesday morning.

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

  • The President receives his intelligence briefing
  • President Trump signs a proclamation for Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.
  • The President meets with the Secretary of the Treasury
  • President Trump has dinner with supporters at a private residence

Facebook continues to take a beating

The Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into Facebook.

A statement from Tom Pahl, acting director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said: “the FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook.”

And Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the center of the Facebook controversy, is also getting some attention.

Common Cause filed complaints asking the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice to investigate whether Cambridge Analytica and its sister firm, SCL Group Limited, broke rules that bar foreign nationals from participating “directly or indirectly” in the “decision-making process” of a political campaign.

If you are wondering what the real motivation is for this lefty group to file a complaint, here it is:

The companies, which are staffed largely by non-U.S. citizens, performed nearly $6 million worth of work for the 2016 presidential campaigns of then-candidate Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Federal Election Commission records show they also were hired by a slew of other Republicans candidates and political action committees over the 2014 and 2016 election cycles, including those tied to President Trump’s incoming national security adviser John Bolton.

The New York Times tells us that “a group of 37 attorneys general sent Mr. Zuckerberg a letter asking for details about Facebook’s privacy safeguards.”

Just as a reminder, no one cared about Facebook’s practices until it appeared to help President Trump. Businesses and the Obama campaign have taken advantage of Facebook’s data — but no one cared back then. No one. And it’s not just Facebook.

Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff calls it “surveillance capitalism.” And as creepy as Facebook is turning out to be, the entire industry is far creepier. It has existed in secret far too long, and it’s up to lawmakers to force these companies into the public spotlight, where we can a

ll decide if this is how we want society to operate and — if not — what to do about it.There are 2,500 to 4,000 data brokers in the United States whose business is buying and selling our personal data. Last year, Equifax was in the news when hackers stole personal information on 150 million people, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers.

One of the problems now and the reason this hasn’t become a big political issue before is that these tech firms are lefties. And lefties are the ones that like to regulate businesses. But they don’t want to anger their donor base — a real conundrum. And it really isn’t entirely up to government to regulate them; people need to take responsibility for how they behave online to minimize the amount of data turned over to third parties. Just limit your use of social media and look into the myriad of privacy extensions for your browser. There are tons of guides out there to help you.

Companies like Facebook and Google offer you free services in exchange for your data. Google’s surveillance isn’t in the news, but it’s startlingly intimate. We never lie to our search engines. Our interests and curiosities, hopes and fears, desires and sexual proclivities, are all collected and saved. Add to that the websites we visit that Google tracks through its advertising network, our Gmail accounts, our movements via Google Maps, and what it can collect from our smartphones.

Use Duck Duck Go and invest in a VPN for starters.

Related:

Facebook Denies It’s Collecting Call And Text Data Through Google Android Apps Without Permission

The media is still working the Kids’ March Against the Second Amendment

This is what happens when the media is merely the branch of a political movement: “we’re” still going to be talking about a story the media wants you to believe is a forceful social movement. Who’s really running this operation? Daniel Greenfield has the answer.

But it’s obvious to everyone that a bunch of teens don’t have the resources and skills to coordinate a nationwide movement. Instead it’s the experienced activists who are actually running things.

In case you weren’t sure the media has gone off the rails once again, The New Yorker has likened anti-gun muppet Emma Gonzalez to Joan of Arc.  On the other hand, not every one has lost their mind. Eagles of Death Metal, the band that was performing when maniacs shot up the Bataclan theater in France, has some opinions on the behavior of these school children.

“As the survivor of a mass shooting I can tell you from first-hand experience that all of you protesting and taking days off from school insult the memory of those who were killed and abuse and insult me and every other lover of liberty by your every action,” lead singer Jesse Hughes wrote.

If you’re looking for something to spice up your music playlist, Florida massacre survivors perform a song about gun control. 

And as I predicted yesterday, there will be no debate between Kyle Kashuv and Cameron Kasky.

“Kyle, I’ve enjoyed my discussion about gun laws with you so far, but after seeing this, I think I’m out. For personal reasons,” Kasky said, adding that while he “disagree[s] on certain policies with some family members of some victims,” he would “never go after them, especially not like this. This is low.”

Despite full on assault by the media/Democrats/conspiracy monger neverTrumpers…

The president’s approval rating is at its highest in a year. A new CNN poll has the president’s approval number at 42% (and that number doesn’t include the folks who lie to pollsters because the environment has been made too toxic by the media and the progressives for those who are pleased with the president to admit it.

Lefty website Business Insider explains:

Trump’s general approval has risen even amid a chaotic couple months in which he has shaken up his White House staff, come under increasing scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry of Russian meddling, and become embroiled in two scandals involving porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Imagine that!

Oh and the stock market spiked 670 points yesterday, its biggest spike since 2008. Oh the humanity!

If you care, a Stormy Daniels roundup

60 Minutes Earns Highest Ratings Since 2008 On Stormy Daniels Interview

Stormy Daniels reportedly kept a dress she wore while seeing Trump

‘I Didn’t Vote For A Pastor’ – Trump Voter Stumps CNN Over Stormy Daniels Allegations

Retiring House Republican: We’re talking about porn stars and the president instead of taxes

Your daily WTF:

Woman ‘marries’ 100-year-old tree so it won’t be cut down

Historical picture of the day:

Real estate mogul Donald Trump speaks at a news conference for the new Harrah’s at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J., March 27, 1984. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)

Other morsels:

Bolton and Pompeo might unleash Trump on ‘radical Islam’

California to sue Trump admin over citizenship question in 2020 census

This sounds delicious! Red Lobster is now serving lobster and waffles

22 countries pledge to kick out Russian diplomats over poisoning of ex-spy

Orlando nightclub shooter’s father, an FBI informant, brushed off son’s terror comments, agent says

Sources: Zinke tells employees diversity isn’t important

[MUSLIM] Parents Beat 16-Year-Old Daughter Because She Refused Arranged Marriage, Deputies Say

Trump fundraiser sues Qatar

Second arrest in USA Gymnastics doctor’s abuse: Boss at Michigan State held by authorities

Nevada GOP Rep Rides The ‘Rumor Mill’ To A Possible Paul Ryan Resignation

Sheriff: Maryland high school shooter died by shooting himself in the head

Trump Stays in Touch with Rob Porter, Wants Him Back in West Wing, Report Says

American who escaped Al Qaeda captivity says FBI, under Mueller and Comey, betrayed him

Linda Brown, woman at center of Brown v. Board case, dies

Here we go again: The Senate is taking another run at “Post Office reform”

Dems would need to win nationwide by 11 points to retake House: analysis

White Sox worker jailed for 23 years over crime he didn’t commit. Now he has the job he loves back.

Kim Jong Un Is Believed To Have Left North Korea For The First Time Since He Took Power

NFL Owners Split On How To Handle Protests

Mitch McConnell pushes for hemp legalization

Keep talkin’ lady! Democrat Claire McCaskill: Hillary Clinton should ‘be more careful’ talking about Trump voters

Morocco touts its gun safety in 2026 World Cup bid against U.S.

Ban on slaughtering horses for meat gets last-minute renewal in spending law Trump signed

Murder of elderly woman in Paris probed as anti-Semitic

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!