White House

White House shares manipulated Infowars video to justify CNN press ban

Read this slowly: The White House’s press secretary has tweeted a manipulated video shared by the editor-at-large of conspiracy theorist outlet Infowars to attempt to justify its decision to suspend the press credentials of CNN’s chief white house correspondent. CNN’s Jim Acosta had his press pass pulled by the White House earlier today after press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed he had “plac[ed] his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job”. Acosta disputes this. The journalist had being trying to continue asking president Trump questions during a contentious exchange at a White House press briefing. During this exchange Trump cut over him verbally — saying “that’s enough” — at which point a female White House intern moved towards Acosta and attempted to take the microphone out of...

White House says a draft executive order reviewing social media companies is not “official”

A draft executive order circulating around the White House “is not the result of an official White House policymaking process,” according to deputy White House press secretary, Lindsay Walters. According to a report in The Washington Post, Walters denied that White House staff had worked on a draft executive order that would require every federal agency to study how social media platforms moderate user behavior and refer any instances of perceived bias to the Justice Department for further study and potential legal action. Bloomberg first reported the draft executive order and a copy of the document was acquired and published by Business Insider. Here’s the relevant text of the draft (from Business Insider): Section 2. Agency Responsibilities. (a) Executive departments and agencies with au...

African experiments with drone technologies could leapfrog decades of infrastructure neglect

Jake Bright Contributor More posts by this contributor Harley-Davidson is opening a Silicon Valley R&D center to power EV production With a $10 million round, Nigeria’s Paga plans global expansion Samantha Stein Contributor More posts by this contributor Only 48 hours left to apply for Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 Announcing Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2018 A drone revolution is coming to sub-Saharan Africa. Countries across the continent are experimenting with this 21st century technology as a way to leapfrog decades of neglect of 20th century infrastructure. Over the last two years, San Francisco-based startup Zipline launched a national UAV delivery program in East Africa; South Africa passed commercial drone legislation to train and license pilots; and Malawi even opened a...

White House sheds cyber coordinator role

The White House has opted to eliminate the cyber coordinator role on the National Security Council, in what some see as a step back in strong cybersecurity policy. The duties formerly performed by the coordinator will be taken up by the other two senior directors of the NSC’s cyber team. Politico first reported the news. Rob Joyce, who left the role on Friday, was chief of an NSA hacking outfit (Tailored Access Operations) last March. John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, ended the role with Joyce’s departure; a memo sent to NSC employees explained that the elimination is to “streamline authority” in the Council. The other directors will pick up the slack. The cyber coordinator role was first created by President Obama in 2009; its occupant in charge of, as you might expect, coor...

White House bans personal cellphone use in the West Wing

In a statement on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that personal cellphones will no longer be allowed in the West Wing. “The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing. Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people,” Sanders said in a statement on the new policy. Rumors of a potential ban have circulated for months. “One official said that there are too many devices connected to the campus wireless network and that personal phones aren’t as secure as those issued by the federal gover...

White House petition site goes offline prior to late January relaunch

The White House petition portal established by the Obama administration is on pause, at the moment. The site, known as We The People, allows anyone to make a petition and collect digital signatures online. According to the site’s maintenance page, the relaunch won’t change the rules or erase the site’s archives: All existing petitions and associated signatures have been preserved and will be available when the site is relaunched. Following the site’s relaunch, petitions that have reached the required number of signatures will begin receiving responses. A White House official told the AP that the new petition hub will cut $1.3 million in annual taxpayer costs compared to the original site, but those costs remain unexplained. In April, the Trump administration was openly considering getting ...