Hillicon Valley — Musk’s move on Twitter

Twitter’s decision to appoint Elon Musk to its board of directors is stoking debate. Meanwhile, cyber execs testified before a House panel that the federal government should be less of a regulator and more of a partner for critical infrastructure.

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Send tips to The Hill’s Rebecca KlarChris Mills Rodrigo and Ines Kagubare. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here and view today’s full edition here.

Musk stirs debate with spot on Twitter board

Twitter’s announcement that the company will appoint billionaire Elon Musk to its board of directors is stirring debate and some criticism amid worries the Tesla CEO could shift the nature of a social media forum heavily used in media circles.

Musk has been an active Twitter user and has sometimes criticized the company, arguing in recent weeks that it has strayed from free speech principles.   

As Twitter’s largest stockholder, Musk would have a role in advising Twitter on how to moderate content and police users — including politicians.   

Twitter was instrumental in former President Trump’s rise in politics. But the former president has been unable to find a similar tool to connect with a wide audience since Twitter banned him from the platform after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.   

Musk’s new position as a Twitter board member for at least two years has excited Republicans, who are hopeful it will usher in an era of relaxed content moderation.

But some progressive activists, technology executives and scholars are wary that Musk’s influence could lead to a more hostile platform.   

Read more here.  

Cyber experts testify before Congress 

Cyber executives testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday warned against the government taking an oversize role in defending the private sector against threats coming from Russia.

Amit Yoran, chairman and CEO of cybersecurity firm Tenable, said the federal government should be less of a regulator and more of a partner for critical infrastructure as public and private entities respond to warnings of Russian cyberattacks amid its war on Ukraine.  

“I don’t think the U.S. government should be in the cyber defense role where they’re defending critical networks and critical infrastructure where they might not understand the changes that they might make, and how those might impact critical infrastructure,” Yoran said.

Yoran was responding to a question raised by committee Vice Chair Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), who asked whether the U.S. government should take a greater role in defending critical sectors beyond the public guidance it has issued. 

Read more here


The Department of Treasury on Tuesday sanctioned Russia’s largest and “most prominent” darknet market, Hydra Market, in a coordinated resolution intended to disrupt malicious cybercrime services, the selling of drugs and other illegal activities.

The U.S. coordinated resolution follows the decision of German authorities to shut down Hydra’s servers in Germany and seize $25 million worth of bitcoin.  

“The global threat of cybercrime and ransomware that originates in Russia, and the ability of criminal leaders to operate there with impunity, is deeply concerning to the United States,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. 

Read more here


An op-ed to chew on: Hollywood failed Bruce Willis 

Lighter click: Potentially disturbing content 

Notable links from around the web

Trump’s Truth Social in trouble as financial, technical woes mount (The Washington Post / Drew Harwell and Josh Dawsey) 

‘Burn Their Homes’: Israeli WhatsApp Groups Are Organizing Attacks on Arabs (Motherboard / Emanuel Maiberg) 

India Blocks YouTube Channels With 2.6 Billion Views Over National Security Concerns (Gizmodo / Shoshana Wodinsky) 

One more thing: WarnerMedia CEO out 

The CEO of WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, has informed staff that he will be stepping down from his position ahead of the company’s impending merger with Discovery.

“With the pending transaction with Discovery nearing close, now is the right time to share with each of you that I will be departing this amazing company,” Jason Kilar wrote to staff Tuesday morning in a memo shared with The Hill.

“There are many feelings one could have in a moment like this, but for me there are none bigger, or more lasting, than the feelings of gratitude and love that I have for this team, this company, and this mission.”  

Kilar has been leading WarnerMedia through a tumultuous several months, including the resignation of previous CNN President Jeff Zucker and an investigation into the network’s former boss’s ethical practices and those of former top anchor Chris Cuomo.

Read more here

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.

Tags Donald Trump Elon Musk Ritchie Torres

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