Commerce Dept. Will Shutter Unit That Conducted Rogue Investigations

An internal inquiry found that the office improperly opened investigations and overstepped its legal authority, but stopped short of attributing the problems to racial or ethnic bias.

#chinese-americans, #commerce-department, #discrimination, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #raimondo-gina-m, #senate-committee-on-commerce-science-and-transportation, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wicker-roger

Spies for Hire: China’s New Breed of Hackers Blends Espionage and Entrepreneurship

The state security ministry is recruiting from a vast pool of private-sector hackers who often have their own agendas and sometimes use their access for commercial cybercrime, experts say.

#chengdu-china, #china, #commerce-department, #computer-security, #computers-and-the-internet, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #defense-and-military-forces, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #hainan-island-china, #industrial-espionage, #justice-department, #ministry-of-state-security-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china, #peoples-liberation-army-china, #politics-and-government, #xi-jinping

‘Rogue’ U.S. Agency Used Racial Profiling to Investigate Commerce Dept. Employees, Report Says

An obscure federal office operated for more than a decade as an “unaccountable police force” inside the Commerce Department, using extreme and unauthorized tactics.

#chinese-americans, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #commerce-department, #discrimination, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #senate, #surveillance-of-citizens-by-government, #united-states-politics-and-government, #whistle-blowers, #wicker-roger

U.S. Blocks Websites Linked to Iran at Key Point in Nuclear Talks

Officials seized the domains of about three dozen websites just days after Iran elected a new, hard-line president, and at a critical moment in nuclear negotiations.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #commerce-department, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #iran, #islamic-revolutionary-guards-corps, #khamenei-ali, #press-tv, #raisi-ebrahim, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations

Retail Sales Were Flat in April

Retail sales held steady in April after rising 10.7 percent the previous month, as Americans continued to spend government stimulus payments.

#commerce-department, #shopping-and-retail

G.D.P. Growth Accelerated in the First Quarter

The U.S. economy expanded as the pandemic’s effects eased.

#american-rescue-plan-2021, #commerce-department, #consumer-behavior, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #gross-domestic-product, #labor-and-jobs, #stimulus-economic, #unemployment, #united-states-economy

The Agency at the Center of America’s Tech Fight With China

Washington lawmakers, lobbyists and other parties have been vying to influence how the Bureau of Industry and Security, under the Biden administration, will approach a technology relationship with China.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #china, #commerce-department, #defense-and-military-forces, #international-trade-and-world-market, #national-security-council, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-international-relations

Biden Gains Two Key Economic Advisers

The Senate confirmed Gina Raimondo as President Biden’s commerce secretary and Cecilia Rouse as the head of the Council of Economic Advisers.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #commerce-department, #raimondo-gina-m, #rouse-cecilia-e, #senate, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government, #white-house-council-of-economic-advisers

Stimulus Checks Helped Personal Income Surge in January

Personal income and spending both surged in January as a new round of government checks hit Americans’ bank accounts.

#commerce-department, #consumer-behavior, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #federal-aid-us, #income, #inflation-economics, #recession-and-depression, #stimulus-economic, #united-states-economy

How the Patent and Trademark Office Can Promote Racial Justice

President Biden should choose the next director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office carefully.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #black-people, #commerce-department, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #inventions-and-patents, #patent-and-trademark-office-us

Biden Reinstates Aluminum Tariffs in One of His First Trade Moves

The move suggests the Biden administration may be inclined to maintain President Trump’s hefty tariffs, a decision that will please unions and progressives but disappoint manufacturers.

#aluminum, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #commerce-department, #customs-tariff, #international-trade-and-world-market, #kushner-jared, #trump-donald-j, #united-arab-emirates, #united-states, #united-steelworkers-of-america

U.S. Economy Grew 1 Percent in the Last Quarter

The economy has regained roughly three-quarters of the output lost during the collapse last spring, and only a bit more than half of the jobs.

#commerce-department, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #gross-domestic-product, #labor-and-jobs, #stimulus-economic, #united-states-economy

As Senate Weighs Biden’s Commerce Pick, Here’s What to Watch

A Senate committee will question Gina M. Raimondo, President Biden’s pick for commerce secretary, at a hearing Tuesday morning.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #census, #commerce-department, #customs-tariff, #e-commerce, #huawei-technologies-co-ltd, #international-trade-and-world-market, #raimondo-gina-m, #ross-wilbur-l-jr, #senate-committee-on-commerce-science-and-transportation, #tiktok-bytedance, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wechat-mobile-app, #zte-corp

Retail Sales Drop in December for Third Straight Month

Consumer spending fell 0.7 percent, the Commerce Department reported, as the economic recovery showed signs of stalling.

#commerce-department, #consumer-behavior, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #shopping-and-retail, #united-states-economy

Biden Selects Heads of Labor, Commerce and Small Business Agencies

With his victory secured, the president-elect is moving to fill out his economic team.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #commerce-department, #content-type-personal-profile, #guzman-isabel-c, #labor-department-us, #presidential-transition-us, #raimondo-gina-m, #small-business-administration, #united-states-politics-and-government, #walsh-martin-j

Biden Picks Rhode Island Governor for Commerce Secretary

The incoming administration will select Gina M. Raimondo, a moderate Democrat, to guide a sprawling department critical to business and technology.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #commerce-department, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #international-trade-and-world-market, #raimondo-gina-m, #united-states-politics-and-government

New Signs of Economic Distress Emerge as Trump Imperils Aid Deal

A decline in consumer income and spending poses a further challenge to the recovery as jobless claims remain high and benefits approach a cutoff.

#commerce-department, #consumer-behavior, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #federal-aid-us, #income, #labor-and-jobs, #labor-department-us, #law-and-legislation, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #stimulus-economic, #trump-donald-j, #unemployment, #unemployment-insurance, #united-states-economy

More Hacking Attacks Found

The warning, from the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity arm, indicated that hackers had found another line of attack to enter systems used by the government and Fortune 500 companies.

#commerce-department, #computer-security, #computers-and-the-internet, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #defense-department, #fireeye-inc, #homeland-security-department, #microsoft-corp, #pompeo-mike, #russia, #trump-donald-j

Billions Spent on U.S. Cyberdefenses Failed to Detect Giant Russian Hack

The broad Russian espionage attack on the U.S. government and private companies, underway since spring and detected only a few weeks ago, is among the greatest intelligence failures of modern times.

#blumenthal-richard, #commerce-department, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #homeland-security-department, #national-security-agency, #presidential-election-of-2020, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

Russian Hackers Broke Into Federal Agencies, U.S. Officials Suspect

In one of the most sophisticated and perhaps largest hacks in more than five years, email systems were breached at the Treasury and Commerce Departments. Other breaches are under investigation.

#classified-information-and-state-secrets, #commerce-department, #computer-security, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #homeland-security-department, #presidential-election-of-2020, #russia, #treasury-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

Second federal judge rules against Trump administration’s TikTok ban

Another federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against U.S. government restrictions that would have effectively banned TikTok from operating in the United States.

The ruling (embedded below) was made by U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols in a lawsuit filed by TikTok and ByteDance against President Donald Trump, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the Commerce Department. Judge Nichols wrote the government “likely exceeded IEEPA’s [the International Emergency Economic Powers Act] express limitations as part of an agency action that was arbitrary and capricious.”

This is the second time a federal judge has issued an injunction against Trump administration restrictions that would have prevented U.S. companies, including internet hosting services, from transactions with TikTok and ByteDance. The first injunction was granted in October by U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone, in a separate lawsuit brought against the President Trump and the U.S. Commerce Department by three TikTok creators.

Both lawsuits challenge an executive order signed by President Trump on August 7, banning transactions with ByteDance. The order cited both the IEEPA and National Emergencies Act, claiming TikTok posed a national security threat because of its ownership by a Chinese company.

In today’s ruling, Judge Nichols wrote TikTok and ByteDance are likely to succeed in their claims that Secretary Ross’ prohibitions against TikTok and ByteDance, which were originally supposed to go into effect on November 12, violated limits in the IEEPA and the Administrative Procedures Act.

The Commerce Department already issued a notice last month saying it will comply with Judge Beetlestone’s injunction pending further legal developments.

ByteDance is also facing a divestiture order that would force it to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations. While it has reached a proposed agreement with Oracle and Walmart, ByteDance also asked the federal appeals court to vacate the order last month. On November 26, the Trump administration extended the order’s deadline to December 4, but allowed it to lapse without setting a new one.

In an email to TechCrunch, a TikTok spokesperson said, “We’re pleased that the court agreed with us and granted a preliminary injunction against all the prohibitions of the Executive Order. We’re focused on continuing to build TikTok as the home that 100 million Americans, including families and small businesses, rely upon for expression, connection, economic livelihood, and true joy.”

TechCrunch has also contacted the Commerce Department for comment.

To keep track of the often overlapping developments in ByteDance and TikTok’s fight with the U.S. government, we have compiled a comprehensive timeline and will keep it updated.

TikTok vs Trump Injunction by TechCrunch on Scribd

#apps, #bytedance, #commerce-department, #policy, #tc, #tiktok, #u-s-government

Census Officials Say They Can’t Meet Trump’s Deadline for Population Count

Officials have concluded the Census Bureau won’t have data on time to carry out the administration’s goal of stripping unauthorized immigrants from population totals for apportionment.

#census, #census-bureau, #commerce-department, #illegal-immigration, #population, #ross-wilbur-l-jr, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

Judge: Trump Admin‘s TikTok ban would cause “irreparable harm” to creators

Visitors visit the booth of Douyin (TikTok) at the 2019 smart expo in Hangzhou, China, Oct. 18, 2019.

Enlarge / Visitors visit the booth of Douyin (TikTok) at the 2019 smart expo in Hangzhou, China, Oct. 18, 2019. (credit: Costfoto | Barcroft Media | Getty Images)

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked a Trump administration order that would have banned TikTok from operating inside the United States as of November 12, finding that content creators who use the short-form video platform to make a living would suffer “irreparable harm” if the ban were to go through.

The “significant and unrecoverable economic loss caused by the shutdown of the TikTok platform” was grounds for granting an injunction, Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the US District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania wrote in a ruling (PDF) today.

President Donald Trump in August issued an executive order declaring TikTok (as well as another China-based app, WeChat) to be a national emergency. That order gave the Department of Commerce 45 days to put a list of banned actions into place. Commerce did so, prohibiting new TikTok downloads after September 20 and banning nearly every other TikTok feature after November 12.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#bytedance, #china, #commerce-department, #lawsuits, #policy, #politics, #tiktok, #trump-administration

Economy’s Big Rebound Leaves a Shortfall as Progress Slows

Third-quarter growth set a record, fueled by federal assistance. But recent signs point to a loss of momentum in job gains and production.

#commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #gross-domestic-product, #labor-and-jobs, #recession-and-depression, #shutdowns-institutional, #stimulus-economic, #unemployment, #unemployment-insurance, #united-states-economy

A Biden Win Could Renew a Democratic Split on Trade

Democrats have been unified by their desire to oust President Trump. But if that happens, deep divisions on the issue of trade are likely to reappear.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #commerce-department, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #federal-trade-commission, #international-trade-and-world-market, #national-security-council, #north-american-free-trade-agreement, #organized-labor, #presidential-election-of-2020, #trans-pacific-partnership, #united-states-international-relations, #world-trade-organization

Trump Allies Amp Up Fight Over Tech’s Legal Shield Before Election

Their animosity is likely to be on full display at a hearing on Wednesday with the leaders of Facebook, Google and Twitter.

#biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #censorship, #commerce-department, #dorsey-jack, #executive-orders-and-memorandums, #federal-communications-commission, #federal-trade-commission, #freedom-of-speech-and-expression, #law-and-legislation, #pichai-sundar, #social-media, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #zuckerberg-mark-e

Why the Best G.D.P. Report Ever Won’t Mean the Economy Has Healed

Government data on Thursday will show a record-setting rebound in economic output. But the numbers are misleading.

#commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #gross-domestic-product, #recession-and-depression, #shutdowns-institutional, #stimulus-economic, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy

Supreme Court Will Review Trump’s Plan to Exclude Undocumented Immigrants in Redistricting

A new administration policy, if upheld, would largely shift political power and federal money from Democratic states to Republican ones.

#california, #census, #commerce-department, #illegal-immigration, #immigration-and-emigration, #redistricting-and-reapportionment, #ross-wilbur-l-jr, #supreme-court-us, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

Two Huge Questions Loom as 2020 Census Winds Down

The most contentious census count in memory is nearing an end with questions remaining about the accuracy of its numbers and how they will be used in congressional reapportionment.

#census, #census-bureau, #commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #koh-lucy-h, #presidential-election-of-2020, #prewitt-kenneth, #redistricting-and-reapportionment, #ross-wilbur-l-jr, #trump-donald-j

TikTok Wins Reprieve From U.S. Ban

A federal judge’s preliminary injunction means the app stores can continue offering the video app for downloads for now.

#beijing-bytedance-technology-co-ltd, #china, #commerce-department, #decisions-and-verdicts, #executive-orders-and-memorandums, #instant-messaging, #mobile-applications, #politics-and-government, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance, #trump-donald-j

U.S. Places Restrictions on China’s Leading Chip Maker

The export controls follow a review in which the United States concluded that Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation may be supplying chips to the Chinese military.

#china, #commerce-department, #computer-chips, #huawei-technologies-co-ltd, #samsung-group, #semiconductor-manufacturing-international-corporation, #taiwan-semiconductor-manufacturing-company-ltd, #united-states-politics-and-government

TikTok Files for Injunction to Stop Ban of App

While President Trump has blessed a deal for TikTok, the video app filed to stop a ban of its service that is set to go into effect on Sunday.

#beijing-bytedance-technology-co-ltd, #commerce-department, #computers-and-the-internet, #executive-orders-and-memorandums, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #mobile-applications, #oracle-corporation, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance, #trump-donald-j, #walmart-stores-inc

Trump Wants to Cripple TikTok and WeChat. Why?

He says that they are a security threat. If so, it is time to show the world the evidence.

#beijing-bytedance-technology-co-ltd, #chinese-americans, #commerce-department, #computers-and-the-internet, #instant-messaging, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #politics-and-government, #ross-wilbur-l-jr, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance, #trump-donald-j, #wechat-mobile-app

‘It’s So Essential’: WeChat Ban Makes U.S.-China Standoff Personal

When downloads of the Chinese-owned messaging service are barred in the U.S. starting at midnight on Sunday, the feud between the countries will hit home for millions of people.

#beijing-bytedance-technology-co-ltd, #commerce-department, #instant-messaging, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #politics-and-government, #social-media, #tencent-holdings-ltd, #tiktok-bytedance, #videophones-and-videoconferencing, #wechat-mobile-app

Explaining Trump Ban on TikTok, WeChat

The Commerce Department announced that it was prohibiting downloads of WeChat and TikTok in U.S. app stores. Here’s what you need to know.

#commerce-department, #computer-security, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #instant-messaging, #mobile-applications, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #social-media, #software, #tiktok-bytedance, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #wechat-mobile-app

Trump Administration Widens Huawei Dragnet

The Commerce Department placed new restrictions on the Chinese tech giant’s ability to work with the global chip industry.

#blacklisting, #china, #commerce-department, #computer-chips, #huawei-technologies-co-ltd, #taiwan-semiconductor-manufacturing-company-ltd, #telephones-and-telecommunications, #united-states-international-relations

At the Census Bureau, a Technical Memo Raises Alarms Over Politics

A directive orders experts to find ways to tally undocumented residents. Some fear the end result will be a skewed allotment of seats in the House of Representatives.

#census, #census-bureau, #cogley-nathaniel-t, #commerce-department, #house-of-representatives, #illegal-immigration, #korzeniewski-adam, #population, #redistricting-and-reapportionment

Record Low for U.S. G.D.P. as Coronavirus Takes Huge Toll

The second-quarter contraction set a grim record, and it would have been worse without government aid that is expiring.

#commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #gross-domestic-product, #labor-and-jobs, #recession-and-depression, #shutdowns-institutional, #small-business, #unemployment, #unemployment-insurance, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government

GDP Q2 Report: Why You’ll See Two Figures for Decline

Official data for second-quarter economic output arrives Thursday, and while it will be unquestionably bad, there are different ways of looking at it.

#commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economics-theory-and-philosophy, #gross-domestic-product, #new-york-times, #shutdowns-institutional, #statistics, #united-states-economy

China Is Harvesting DNA From Millions of People. Is This the Future of Policing?

The Chinese police are systematically collecting genomic data from tens of millions of people.

#australia, #biometrics, #california, #chengdu-china, #china, #commerce-department, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #europe, #forensic-science, #fujian-province-china, #gedmatch-inc, #government-contracts-and-procurement, #guizhou-china, #hunan-province-china, #india, #inner-mongolia, #kenya, #kuwait, #malaysia, #minorities, #muslims-and-islam, #police, #police-department-nyc, #politics-and-government, #privacy, #surveillance-of-citizens-by-government, #thailand, #thermo-fisher-scientific-inc, #tibet, #united-states, #xinjiang-china

Banned Chinese Companies Deny Allegations They Abused Uighurs

Several firms that were blacklisted by the U.S. Commerce Department said they had found no evidence of forced labor or other abuses.

#apple-inc, #beijing-liuhe-bgi, #changji-esquel-textile-co, #china, #commerce-department, #forced-labor, #google-inc, #nanchang-o-film-tech, #textiles, #uighurs-chinese-ethnic-group, #united-states-politics-and-government, #xinjiang-china, #xinjiang-silk-road-bgi

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on 11 Chinese Companies Over Human Rights

The move, which affects suppliers to major international brands including Apple, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, could force companies to sever some ties to China.

#apple-inc, #china, #commerce-department, #communist-party-of-china, #cook-timothy-d, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #factories-and-manufacturing, #forced-labor, #google-inc, #huawei-technologies-co-ltd, #hugo-boss-ag, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #minorities, #muji-retailer, #political-prisoners, #polo-ralph-lauren-corp, #ross-wilbur-l-jr, #textiles, #tommy-hilfiger-corp, #trump-donald-j, #uighurs-chinese-ethnic-group, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Inquiry Prompted by Trump’s Hurricane Dorian Claim Is Being Blocked, Investigator Says

The Commerce Department is impeding findings into whether it coerced the top NOAA official to support President Trump’s inaccurate claim that Dorian would hit Alabama, the department’s inspector general said.

#alabama, #commerce-department, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricane-dorian-2019, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #inspectors-general, #jacobs-neil, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #national-weather-service, #ross-wilbur-l-jr, #united-states-politics-and-government

U.S. Halts High-Tech Exports to Hong Kong Over Security Concerns

The Trump administration’s new restrictions come in response to a new national security law that will extend China’s influence over Hong Kong.

#commerce-department, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #international-trade-and-world-market, #pompeo-mike, #ross-wilbur-l-jr, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

U.S. Delivers Another Blow to Huawei With New Tech Restrictions

New rules announced by the Commerce Department Friday morning threaten to inflict more pain on Huawei and upset an already rocky U.S.-China relationship.

#blacklisting, #commerce-department, #computer-chips, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #factories-and-manufacturing, #huawei-technologies-co-ltd, #international-trade-and-world-market, #politics-and-government, #united-states-international-relations

T.S.M.C. Is Set to Build a U.S. Chip Facility, a Win for Trump

The White House has called for building up U.S. manufacturing and criticized a tech supply chain centered in China.

#blacklisting, #commerce-department, #computer-chips, #computers-and-the-internet, #corporations, #defense-and-military-forces, #factories-and-manufacturing, #international-trade-and-world-market, #taiwan-semiconductor-manufacturing-company-ltd, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

Stymied in Seeking Benefits, Millions of Unemployed Go Uncounted

As state agencies grapple with new guidelines and sheer volume, many workers are frustrated in filing claims and omitted from jobless tallies.

#commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #epidemics, #labor-and-jobs, #states-us, #unemployment, #unemployment-insurance, #united-states-economy

Trump and Kushner on the Coronavirus: Wishful Thinking and Revisionist History

“We did all the right moves,” the president said Wednesday. “The federal government rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story,” said his son-in-law.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kushner-jared, #presidential-election-of-2020, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government

Stocks Are Rising as Economic News Worsens

Trillions in stimulus dollars have convinced Wall Street that the government has its back, and investors are seizing on even glimmers of good news about the pandemic.

#amazon-com-inc, #apple-inc, #chevron-corporation, #commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #exxon-mobil-corp, #federal-reserve-system, #gross-domestic-product, #interest-rates, #recession-and-depression, #remdesivir-drug, #sp-dow-jones-indices, #standardpoors-500-stock-index, #stimulus-economic, #stocks-and-bonds, #united-states, #united-states-economy

US G.D.P. Declined in First Quarter, With Worse Economy to Come

U.S. gross domestic product declined in the first quarter, dragged down by the pandemic’s grip in March. Don’t even ask about this quarter.

#commerce-department, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #epidemics, #gross-domestic-product, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #recession-and-depression, #shutdowns-institutional, #united-states-economy