Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
Google's parent company Alphabet reported its Q4 financials. The company broke out its YouTube and Cloud financials for the first time, but missed analysts' revenue forecasts. Jeff Bezos accused his girlfriend's brother of "extortion" in an escalating legal battle over nude photos leaked to the National Enquirer. According to the Daily Beast, which reviewed a filing made in California, Bezos and his legal team claim Michael Sanchez is "leveraging the current media environment to harass" Bezos and his own sister Lauren Sanchez for financial gain. Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg announced she is engaged to Tom Bernthal, CEO of the consulting firm Kelton. According to People, Sandberg and Bernthal were introduced in 2019 by the brother of Sandberg's late husband, Dave Goldberg. Video-conferencing company Zoom had its best trading day in eight months, as coronavirus fears mean that more people work from home. Shares of Zoom soared over 15 percent on Monday. Leaked screenshots show Amazon is testing an online lending marketplace where sellers can choose loans from Goldman Sachs and other banks. It's Amazon's latest move to expand its lending service, which first launched in 2011 but was limited to Amazon offering loans directly to certain merchants. The CEO of Mastercard Ajay Banga talked to the Financial Times about why the company pulled out of Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra. Banga said Facebook was vague on issues like anti-money laundering and data management, and that the company didn't explain fully how Libra would make money. Mark Zuckerberg's friend and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston is joining Facebook's board of directors. "Drew brings valuable perspective to our board as a leader of a technology company with services used by millions of people and businesses," Zuckerberg said in a statement. Construction on Jeff Bezos' $23 million DC mansion reportedly resulted in $16,800 in parking tickets over the last three years. Over 560 citations were issued in total for violations like ignoring no-parking signs or blocking pedestrian pathways. Cards Against Humanity bought humor site ClickHole and turned over ownership to its employees. The card game company will support ClickHole financially, but will let it operate independently. The NSA's outgoing legal chief Glenn Gerstell said hacking threats from Russia, China, and Iran are as dangerous to the US as climate change. Gerstell described tech advancements as a mounting "tsunami" that US defense agencies might not be prepared for.
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Jeff Bezos says no workers were fired for speaking out on work conditions, as all non-board approved proposals are voted down in Amazon shareholder meeting (Ben Fox Rubin/CNET)
Ben Fox Rubin / CNET: Jeff Bezos says no workers were fired for speaking out on...Ben Fox Rubin / CNET: Jeff Bezos says no workers were fired for speaking out on work conditions, as all non-board approved proposals are voted down in Amazon shareholder meeting — Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos on Wednesday addressed a string of firings of activist employees at his company …
Facebook has appointed the 'privacy committee' on its board designed to prevent another Cambridge Analytica scandal (FB)
Facebook's board of directors has appointed the members of a new Privacy Committee. The company was...Facebook's board of directors has appointed the members of a new Privacy Committee. The company was required to create the committee as part of its settlement with the FTC over privacy violations. The committee, which is chaired by former McKinsey partner Nancy Killefer, is intended to help prevent another Cambridge Analytica-like scandal. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Facebook's board of directors has formed a formal Privacy Committee, a measure required under the company's settlement with federal regulators after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. On Wednesday, Facebook announced that the committee's members are directors Peggy Alford, Nancy Killefer, and Robert M. Kimmitt, with Killefer acting as the committee's chair. The formation of the committee marks the latest step in Facebook's attempts to move on from its scandal-ridden past. Political research firm Cambridge Analytica's misappropriation of 87 million users' data that came fully to light in 2018 was one of a chain of privacy-related scandals for the company, and ultimately resulted in a $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission. That settlement also required a number of changes at the company, including the formation of the board privacy committee — but has also been criticised by some privacy advocates for not requiring more extensive changes in Facebook's operations. Killefer was appointed to Facebook's board in March 2020, and was previously a senior partner at consulting firm McKinsey who has also worked for the US Treasury and the IRS. Alford previously worked as CFO for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's philanthropic vehicle, as well as PayPal. Kimmitt has worked at law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, the US Treasury, and Time Warner. "Our audit & risk oversight committee's responsibilities previously included oversight of risks related to privacy and data use. In connection with the formation of our privacy committee, our board of directors has delegated to our privacy committee the responsibility for overseeing risks related to privacy and data use, including management's periodic assessment of our Privacy Program and any related policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management," Facebook wrote in a financial filing on Wednesday. Facebook's board of directors has experienced significant turnover in the past few years. A recent Wall Street Journal investigation detailed how multiple board members critical of Zuckerberg's management of the company have stepped down, to be replaced by friends and loyalists to the 35-year-old billionaire. In addition to Alford, Killefer, and Kimmitt, Facebook's other board members are Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, investor Peter Thiel, investor and former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Estee Lauder Companies CFO Tracey Travis, and former Obama administration official Jeffrey Zients. Got a tip? Contact Business Insider reporter Rob Price via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1 650-636-6268), encrypted email (firstname.lastname@example.org), standard email (email@example.com), Telegram/Wickr/WeChat (robaeprice), or Twitter DM (@robaeprice). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by standard email only, please.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
Jeff Bezos's legal response to Michael Sanchez is an all-out assault that accuses him 8 times of betraying his own family
Lawyers for Jeff Bezos hit back at a defamation lawsuit from Michael Sanchez, seeking money for...Lawyers for Jeff Bezos hit back at a defamation lawsuit from Michael Sanchez, seeking money for what he claims are slights on his reputation by Bezos and his staff. The most striking part of the document is the insistence with which it repeats a single point: that Sanchez betrayed his sister by making her relationship with Bezos public knowledge. The familial dynamic is irrelevant to the legal substance of the complaint — but seems to be part of a deeper attack on Sanchez's moral character. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Lawyers for Jeff Bezos on Monday filed a response to an accusation that he and his staff defamed Michael Sanchez by claiming he sent nude photos to The National Enquirer tabloid. The response was blunt: It said Sanchez's suit should be thrown out, on the grounds that Bezos never made that claim, and that, even if he did, it was pretty much true. However, aside from the legal argument, the document is remarkable for the ferocity with which it attacks Sanchez's character, accusing him eight times of a "betrayal" his sister Lauren, now Bezos's girlfriend. The attack came in a 24-page motion to dismiss Sanchez's suit, filed February 3 and reviewed by Business Insider. It was written by Bezos's attorney William Isaacson. Here are some excerpts of the document, which pointedly repeat variants of the phrase "betrayed his sister" over and over (emphasis ours): The first two are in a section on the background to the case: "Mr. Sanchez claims he is [suing Bezos] because he is now unhappy about news coverage concerning the media maelstrom that he helped cause after receiving the $200,000 and betraying his sister. ... "Following the Enquirer publication, Mr. Sanchez sought to and became a central actor in kicking off worldwide public discussion about the sister he betrayed and Mr. Bezos — and in particular, the leaks to the Enquirer." The third argues that the fact that Sanchez leaked to the Enquirer became public thanks to reporting protected by the First Amendment: "In the year since the Enquirer story, dozens of news organization shave reported on who disclosed Mr. Bezos' texts to the Enquirer—reporting at the heart of the First Amendment. "This reporting has exposed the appalling truth that Michael Sanchez betrayed his sister by selling her out to the Enquirer by providing it with personal information and text messages after he was paid $200,000." The fourth argues that Sanchez is wrong to allege defamation because he cannot prove that Bezos or his staff said what he accuses them of (again, emphasis ours): "Mr. Sanchez believes it is important that he did not, according to him, specifically disclose nude photos, a distinction of no consequence under the First Amendment or to the media articles discussing his leaking of private information and betrayal of his sister. Further, neither Defendant has ever accused Mr. Sanchez of leaking nude photos specifically — and not once does the Complaint allege an instance where either Defendant made this accusation." The fifth and sixth are included as "factual background," and the seventh is a quotation from a Fox News article about Sanchez (emphasis ours): "Michael Sanchez's betrayal of his sister soon became the subject of widespread reporting. "On February 10, 2019, the Daily Beast reported that 'multiple sources inside AMI' confirmed that Mr. Sanchez had betrayed his sister and "supplied the couple's racy texts" to the Enquirer. Mr. Sanchez initially lied to the media and denied leaking information and personal texts to the Enquirer. "The Wall Street Journal followed on March 18, 2019, reporting that Mr. Sanchez 'sold the billionaire's secrets for $200,000 to the Enquirer's publisher.' Michael Sanchez eventually admitted he helped the Enquirer break its story — 'He also admitted that what he did could be seen as a betrayal of his sister and of Bezos.'" The eighth says the Lauren Sanchez stopped talking to Sanchez. "After Michael Sanchez's 'deal with the devil' became known, Lauren Sanchez stopped all communications with her brother due to the betrayal." The repetition is clearly intentional and a departure from the often-dry language of legal complaints. Although the familial nature of the response is irrelevant to Bezos's formal argument (which is about the definition of defamation, and whether it has been met), the legal filing takes every opportunity to emphasise the moral element: that Sanchez did not upset just anybody, but his sister. The filing refers to Lauren Sanchez as "his sister" 19 times, almost three times as often as it uses her name. It seems partly designed to attack a motive hinted at in Sanchez's suit, cited by Bezos's lawyers, which argued that Sanchez himself was motivated to protect his family, rather than harm it. Bezos's team says it saw a draft version of Sanchez's response, which reads: "Mr. Sanchez opted to get ahead of the story to limit the backlash against Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez, and to protect Ms. Sanchez's parents and children, exactly as he has done many times in the past." The court will now decide whether to dismiss Sanchez's suit, which you can read more details of here, or to allow it to continue towards a full trial.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 62 new emoji and emoji variations were just finalized, including a bubble tea emoji and a transgender flag. Here's how everyday people submit their own emoji.