Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.
Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.
LEADERSHIP CHANGES RAISE SECURITY CONCERNS: The departure of the three of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) top cybersecurity officials over the past week is leading experts and officials to voice concerns that the United States has been left vulnerable to attacks in cyberspace, with national security potentially compromised.
The concerns come after President Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and after both CISA Deputy Director Matthew Travis and top cybersecurity official Bryan Ware resigned following pressure from the White House.
These changes left the nation’s key cybersecurity agency without Senate-confirmed leadership in the last months of Trump’s presidency, amid a shakeup of major government officials following a contentious election.
“Today, cybersecurity and disinformation threats are among the most significant risks our nation confronts,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told The Hill in a statement. “For that reason, it’s enormously disturbing that the president has paired an unwillingness to begin an orderly transition with a zeal to gut key national security agencies of their senior-most leadership.”
CISA, established by legislation signed into law by Trump in 2018, describes itself as “the nation’s risk advisor,” and leads efforts to secure critical infrastructure against foreign and domestic cyber threats.
The agency was heavily involved in coordinating with state and local officials to shore up election security ahead of this year’s general election, and has spearheaded efforts to defend all sectors against attacks.
Read more here.
HOPPING ON THE BANDWAGON: Snapchat is launching a new feature to highlight user-created videos called Spotlight, signaling another competitor for the highly popular video sharing app TikTok.
While Snapchat, unlike other social media platforms, has largely focused on peer-to-peer features, the new Spotlight announced on Monday will showcase user-generated content within the app and offer users a chance to be paid for top content.
The content on Spotlight will also “become tailored to each” user over time, based on their “preferences and favorites,” Snapchat said.
Spotlight was “designed to entertain the Snapchat community while living up to Snapchat’s values, with their well-being as a top priority,” the company said in the announcement.
Snapchat’s Spotlight rollout comes as TikTok’s popularity has risen.
TikTok allows users to create 60-second videos. The platform’s main “For You Page” features content for users tailored to them based on posts with which they’ve engaged.
Read more here.
UBER, LYFT GET GSA CONTRACT: