Hillicon Valley — Hulu under fire

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Democratic campaign groups are blasting Disney-owned Hulu, saying the company has refused to run ads about abortion and gun safety.  

Today we’ll also look at President Biden’s vow to expand cyber cooperation with Israel and Saudi Arabia amid growing digital threats from Iran.

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. Subscribe here.

Democrats blast Hulu over ad block 

Democratic campaign groups are slamming the Disney-owned streaming service Hulu for what they say is its refusal to run ads on the crucial midterm election issues of abortion and gun safety. 

The streaming service did not run ads submitted last week by the Democratic campaign groups and has failed to give the groups a clear reason, according to a national Democratic Party official.  

The platform’s rejection of the ads was first reported by The Washington Post. 

  • In a joint statement, the executive directors of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) said Hulu’s “censorship of truth is outrageous, offensive, and another step down a dangerous path for our country.”
  • “Voters have the right to know the facts about MAGA Republicans’ agenda on issues like abortion – and Hulu is doing a huge disservice to the American people by blocking voters from learning the truth about the GOP record or denying these issues from even being discussed,” they said. 
  • A spokesperson for Hulu did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more here.  

Iran’s threats spark US cyber coalition

President Biden vowed to expand cyber cooperation with Israel and Saudi Arabia on his trip to the Middle East last week, a move experts see as a direct response to the rising digital threat from Iran.

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia signed bilateral agreements to strengthen their cybersecurity partnership and share information related to cyber threats and malicious actors, while Israel and the U.S. pledged to ramp up collaboration to combat cyber crime. 

  • “In both cases, we have to acknowledge that Iran is the primary driver of a lot of what happened during Biden’s trip, and this extends to cyber space as well,” said Jason Blessing, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Blessing said the common enemy of Iran provides a window for the U.S. to forge stronger alliances between the two Middle Eastern countries, which have been in secretive talks to possibly establish official relations. 

Read more here. 

EX-GOOGLE EXEC JOINS WHITE HOUSE CYBER OFFICE 

The White House announced on Monday that it was hiring a former Google executive to join the Office of the National Cyber Director to focus on improving and developing the nation’s cyber ecosystem.

Camille Stewart Gloster, who starts on Aug. 1, will serve as the deputy national cyber director for technology and ecosystem security. 

  • “We need top talent in the government to meet the dynamic and complex cyber challenges we face as a nation,” National Cyber Director Chris Inglis said in a statement.
  • “[Stewart Gloster] is a pioneer who has led on cyber issues for more than a decade at the highest levels of government and industry,” Inglis added. 

Read more here.

‘BAKED ALASKA’ PLEADS GUILTY

Anthime Joseph Gionet, a far-right personality known online as “Baked Alaska,” has pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

The Department of Justice reported Friday that Gionet pleaded guilty to unlawful and violent entry of restricted areas and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The rioter is one of hundreds arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack.

  • According to an FBI affidavit, Gionet shared a 27-minute livestream of the riot, during which he can be heard chanting “Patriots are in control,” “Whose house? Our house,” and “1776, baby.”
  • He is seen on the video entering various office rooms at the Capitol. 

Read more here.  

BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: YQK is coming — time to get ‘quantum-safe’ 

Notable links from around the web: 

Gen Z Designers Made It Big on This App. Now They’re Graduating. (The New York Times / Kalley Huang) 

Impossible Foods’ future may rest on the fate of this tiny molecule (Protocol / Anna Kramer) 

The crypto boom runs on hype men like ‘BitBoy,’ an untrained Atlanta YouTuber (The Washington Post / Steven Zeitchik) 

🐕 Lighter click: Thanks, Donner

One more thing: Musk responds

Elon Musk on Sunday night denied a Wall Street Journal report that claimed he had an affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, calling the article “total bs” and even going so far as to say that he hasn’t “had sex in ages.” 

Musk, in a reply to a tweet about the story, said the report was “shortseller fud” and that the newspaper has frequently wrote fake “hit pieces” on him before. 

“This is total bs,” the Tesla and SpaceX CEO wrote in another post. “Sergey and I are friends and were at a party together last night! I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years, both times with many other people around. Nothing romantic.” 

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 tomorrow.

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