Saturday, July 2, 2022

Hunter Biden laptop report pulled up by security officials opposing Big Tech antitrust bill

A high-profile circle of former US military and intelligence officials who tried to discredit The Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop is now being accused of taking money from Big Tech to scuttle over antitrust legislation. “Misinformation” can be spread, The Post has learned.

In an open letter circulated to members of Congress last month, former US security officials including Leon Panetta and James Clapper — who served as Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence in the Obama administration, respectively — warned that it was time to rein in Big Many proposed bills could take unintended consequences.

The antitrust bill aims to improve the business models of Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Google and Meta, and possibly break them.

But the open letter claims they “could impede major US technology companies in the fight against cyber and national security risks posed by Russia and China’s growing digital authoritarianism.”

Both Panetta and Clapper previously signed a letter that characterized The Post’s Hunter Biden reporting as a possible Russian “disinformation”, claiming that they “deeply suspected that the Russian government had taken a stand on the matter.” played an important role” and that “Russia was trying to influence” how Americans vote in this election. ,

Above, Clapper and Panetta claimed in their letter that the Russian atrocities in Buka, Ukraine, were evidence that companies such as Google and Meta should not face more regulation in the US, lest they “approach the capabilities of our adversaries”. Increase it.”
Bridget Bennett / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Panetta, Clapper and several other ex-national-security officials, including Mike Morrell — who served as CIA director under President Barack Obama and also signed the Hunter Biden letter — claimed in last month’s letter that Russian atrocities in Ukraine’s Buka were evidence that companies like Google and Meta should not face more regulation in the US, lest they “exaggerate the capabilities of our adversaries.”

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‘misinformation’

Outspoken critics of Big Tech, including Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), note that Clapper, Panetta, and several other signers of the letter neglected to mention that they were funded by groups. work for. Tech companies, including Google, Meta and Amazon.

“These signatories are willing to give so-called misinformation to Big Tech censors, yet the letters themselves are filled with it,” Grassley told The Post. “They wanted to control the narrative like they want to control it now: by removing Big Tech monopolies and all competition for censors.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks about Supreme Court Designated Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson during a committee business meeting on Capitol Hill Monday, March 28, 2022 in Washington.
Chuck Grassley said Clapper and Panetta are “willing to give so-called misinformation to Big Tech censors.”
AP/Susan Walsh

Buck, who is pushing a bipartisan bill that would sabotage Google’s advertising business, likewise said observers should follow the money when “formerly important people” protect powerful interests.

“I’m not going to question anyone’s integrity in particular,” Buck said. “But you have to look at the funding and how it provides motivation.”

“First there is a cottage industry of important people who get money to take positions on important issues,” he said.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., questions Attorney General William Barr during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Justice Department oversight on Capitol Hill Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in Washington.
Representative Ken Buck said that “the first is a well of important people getting money to take positions on important issues.”
Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP

Some critics say that it is actually Big Tech that poses the biggest threat to national security. He noted that Google worked with the Chinese military, that Apple stored data on Chinese servers and shared customer data with the Chinese government, and that Facebook also shared information with the Chinese government.

Google, YouTube and Microsoft’s Bing rank Chinese promotional outlets higher in search results, according to a study published Friday.

‘laughable’

“Any attempt for these companies to be concerned about national security when attempting to do business with China is completely ridiculous,” Grassley’s former aide Garrett Ventry told The Post. Antitrust reform is about creating competition that will encourage companies like Google and Apple to enhance their privacy and security features to compete for consumers’ business.

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Hunter Biden smoking a cigarette.
Some of the same security officials who criticized The Post’s story on the Hunter Biden laptop are now challenging the antitrust correction.

While Clapper and Panetta are the biggest names on the letter, other signatories include Jah Johnson, Jane Herman, Michael Rogers and Frances Townsend.

Panetta and Clapper declined to comment. Other signatories did not respond to requests for comment, except for Morel, who could not be contacted.

The New York Post cover for the Saturday, April 3, 2021.  front page.  After a media blackout and a Twitter ban cry of 'Russian propaganda', Hunter admitted the laptop could 'definitely' belong to him.  The Long Con.
The New York Post cover for the Saturday, April 3, 2021.
sesuarez

As director of intelligence under Obama, Clapper developed close ties with tech companies including Google and Facebook, which handed over user data to the FBI under his supervision.

He is now a “distinguished senior fellow for intelligence and national security” at the Center for New American Security, a think tank that has received six figures of donations from Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Panetta, who was CIA director under Obama and White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, is a senior attorney at Beacon Global Strategies, a firm that serves a number of Big Tech clients, including Google.

Morell is the Senior Counsel at Beacon. Before working for Obama, Morrell worked for the CIA under President George W. Bush and wrote a book defending the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and other torture techniques used by the agency under Bush.

Panetta, Townsend and Morell also sent a separate no-confidence letter that circulated about six months earlier.

Buck dismissed the letters as a weak attempt to crack down on the law.

“It’s been Big Tech’s last gasp in trying to convert some votes,” he said, “and they’re about to lose.”

Nation World News Desk
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