Ayman's blog

Danish police have shut two major bridges to traffic and halted ferry services from Denmark to Sweden and Germany in a major operation, the Copenhagen police said on Twitter on Friday.
The CEO of Sogou says his company could help Google navigate China’s regulations and censorship.

Mark Zuckerberg

  • Taiwanese hacker Chang Chi-yuan says he`s going to livestream an attempt to delete Mark Zuckerberg`s Facebook account.
  • The stream will go live on Sunday at 6 p.m. local time in Taiwan, which is 3 a.m. in San Francisco where Facebook is headquartered.
  • If successful, it would not be the first time Zuckerberg`s account has been hacked.

A Taiwanese hacker announced to his 26,000 Facebook followers on Wednesday that he`s going to delete Mark Zuckerberg`s account — and people will be able to tune in live as he does it.

Chang Chi-yuan works finding bugs and reports them for money. Bloomberg first spotted his threat against Facebook`s CEO, which now has more than 200 interactions.

Chang posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday: "Live streaming the deletion of FB founder Zuck’s account. Scheduled to be live." He did not provide any further detail about how he will achieve his aim.

The live video is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time on Sunday, which is 3 a.m. in San Francisco where Facebook is headquartered. It is also 6 a.m. in New York and 11 a.m. in the UK.

Chang has previously been named in Japanese tech firm Line Corp`s hall of fame of bug hunters as a "special contributor." He was also reportedly sued by a bus operator for hacking its system and buying a ticket for just one Taiwanese dollar (about 3 US cents).

Zuckerberg`s account has been compromised before. In 2011 a hacker broke in and wrote a status which began with the phrase "Let the hacking begin." It was also reported in April that Facebook has deleted some of Zuckerberg`s private messages for fear he might get hacked.

Business Insider contacted Facebook to ask if it is bolstering security around Zuckerberg`s account.

SEE ALSO: Hackers once stole a casino`s high-roller database through a thermometer in the lobby fish tank

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NOW WATCH: Apple might introduce three new iPhones this year — here’s what we know

Masayoshi Son happy

  • SoftBank has massively disrupted startup investment with its 97 billion Vision Fund.
  • Its CEO Masayoshi Son says the company plans to do it again by raising a new 100 billion fund every few years.
  • He wants to invest 50 billion a year.
  • That`s an insane amount of money and will radically alter venture capital if it happens.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son plans to throw an insane amount of cash at startups over the next decade, saying that the firm will raise a new 100 billion fund every few years.

Son told Bloomberg in an interview that he plans to spend around 50 billion a year. Bloomberg cited National Venture Capital Association figures showing that the entire US venture capital industry invested 75.3 billion in 2016.

SoftBank is still in the process of closing its first 100 billion fund, the Vision Fund. That has raised 97 billion to date and SoftBank has already spent several billion on acquisitions and investments.

Son did not go into detail about where he planned to obtain the new tranches of cash. The first Vision Fund has backing from Apple, Qualcomm, and Saudi Arabia`s Public Investment Fund.

The Vision Fund is run by nine managing partners, and has dropped 500 million into early-stage startup Improbable and 7.7 billion for a stake in Uber, among other investments.

SoftBank insists it doesn`t compete with traditional venture capital firms, and in the UK is making inroads in forging connections with a tight-knit community of investors.

Still, peer investors in the UK are bemused by the Vision Fund`s activities, and describe it as a "spaceship." Others are wary of Rajeev Misra, boss of the Vision Fund and Son`s right-hand man, describing him as a complex deal-maker.

The arrival of yet more multi-billion dollar funds will transform the market for startups. According to figures from Delta Partners, startups are finding it harder to raise seed-stage funding thanks to SoftBank driving a trend for megadeals.

Startups lucky enough to raise money from SoftBank benefit from being in a portfolio of top-tier companies like Uber and WeWork. Indian budget hotel network Oyo recently closed 1 billion in new funding, led by SoftBank.

Founder Ritesh Agarwal told Business Insider earlier this month that "Son-san" was a visionary, who wanted to invest in startups with long-term impact, rather than seeking short-term exits.

"It`s about working with us, and the broader family of the Vision Fund, which has top companies in every segment worldwide, to help us gain knowledge, and how to share our proprietary knowledge... that`s the group you become part of," he said.

SEE ALSO: This 24-year-old dropped out of college, won funding from Peter Thiel, then raised 480 million for his startup

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NOW WATCH: The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a 1,000 phone that`s actually worth it

Ethiopia`s attorney general on Friday filed terrorism charges against five suspects held for involvement in a grenade attack at a rally attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in June.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called on Berlin to extradite what he said were the hundreds of supporters of the cleric Fethullah Gulen residing in Germany.

FILE PHOTO: Blackberry CEO John Chen speaks to reporters following their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

  • Blackberry posted second-quarter results that beat on both the top and bottom lines.
  • The company said revenue from its main business — software and services — will grow 8-10% year-over-year, and that adjusted earnings per share will be positive for fiscal year 2019.
  • Watch Blackberry trade in real time here.

Blackberry posted second-quarter results ahead of Friday`s opening bell that beat on both the top and bottom lines. 

The smartphone brand said that it earned 0.04 a share, topping the 0.01 gain that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting. It reported revenue of 214 million revenue, edging out the 210 million that was expected. A total of 92 million of revenue come from its main business, enterprise-software services, and its technology-solutions business contributed 49 million. 

"In the quarter, we exceeded our financial expectations driven by sequential growth in both our BlackBerry Technology Solutions and Enterprise Software and Services businesses" CEO John Chen said in the press release.

“I am very encouraged by BlackBerry’s leadership opportunities in the fast-growing Enterprise of Things, and by our strategy to capitalize on these significant future opportunities with BlackBerry Spark, our platform to securely communicate and collaborate between smart endpoints.”

Looking head, the company expects its software and services revenue to grow 8-10% year-over-year, and sees its adjusted earnings per share to be positive for fiscal 2019.

Shares were up about 2% after the results. They were down 15% this year through Thursday.

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NOW WATCH: Apple might introduce three new iPhones this year — here’s what we know

Elon Musk, Tesla factory

  • Tesla shares are down 13% ahead of Friday`s opening bell after the Securities and Exchange Commission sued CEO Elon Musk.
  • The SEC alleges Musk made "false and misleading statements" about his claims he could take the electric-car maker private at 420 a share. 
  • The SEC also alleged Musk`s tweets caused market chaos and investor harm.
  • The SEC recommends Musk pay a penalty and seeks to bar him from being the head of a public company. 
  • Watch Tesla trade in real time here.

Tesla shares are getting slammed Friday morning, down more than 13%, after the US Securities and Exchange Commission sued CEO Elon Musk, alleging he made "false and misleading statements" in tweets on August 7 claiming he could take the electric-car maker private at 420 a share.

"Musk knew or was reckless in not knowing that each of these statements was false and/or misleading because he did not have an adequate basis in fact for his assertions" the complaint said.

"When he made these statements, Musk knew that he had never discussed a going-private transaction at 420 per share with any potential funding source, had done nothing to investigate whether it would be possible for all current investors to remain with Tesla as a private company via a `special purpose fund,` and had not confirmed support of Tesla`s investors for a potential going-private transaction."

In its lawsuit, the SEC alleges Musk`s tweets caused market chaos and investor harm and that the Tesla CEO had been vocal about his disdain for short sellers — or people betting shares would fall. 

The SEC recommends Musk pay a penalty and seeks to bar him from being an officer or director at a public company. 

Friday`s selling has Tesla`s stock on track to open near 270 a share, its lowest level since September 7. Should the sell-off intensify and shares were to close below 252.48, they would finish at levels last seen since in March 2017.

Tesla shares were down down less than 1% this year through Thursday. 


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NOW WATCH: Medical breakthroughs we will see in the next 50 years

A gay kindergarten teacher in China is suing his former school after being fired last month, in what his lawyer called a landmark case to test China`s protection of minority groups.
Two Nigerian military planes were involved in an accident while rehearsing for an air display but nobody was killed, an air force spokesman said on Friday.
Moscow needs hard data from British authorities on the Skripal poisoning case and cannot draw conclusions about who was responsible based on unconfirmed media reports, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
Burundi has suspended some local and international non-governmental organizations for three months for violating a new law, a senior government official said late on Thursday.
Lime and other companies are gathering masses of location-based information that some cities are leveraging to improve their streets.
A major 7.5 quake struck off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday, prompting a tsunami alert hours after a milder quake brought down houses in the same area, and officials expect further damage.
Activists and opponents of Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte called for legal action against him on Friday after he appeared to admit responsibility for extrajudicial killings, in remarks his spokesman said were "playful" and misinterpreted.

Photo courtesy of the author

At sunrise one Friday in late Spring, I squeezed through a fence by Shubra metro station and headed along the train tracks towards Alexandria. Over my shoulder was a bag full of water and date biscuits, beside me was my friend Shorok and ahead of us spread the Nile Delta.

Our feet soon tired of the unforgiving gravel, so we crossed over to a path that ran alongside fields of mint. A woman who was tying small bundles of the stuff cocked her head as we passed: “What are you? Journalists?” she laughed to herself as we marched on.

Several hours later, we approached a group of workers and in the full boldness of thirst asked for some tea. A woman sitting cross-legged by a water pump gestured for us to sit down and wash our feet. Her daughter, a girl of about eighteen, sat gently rocking a baby in her arms.

The girl’s husband arrived with a load of mint on his back, he said hello and set about making a fire. An old man emerged from the field on a donkey, took off his trousers and settled down to air his boxers. Whilst the tea was brewing on the embers the girl brought us some potent old cheese, which we ate with bread fresh off the fire; it was delicious.

Photo courtesy of the author

Old Egyptian cheese
Photo credit: www.ayearinfromage.com

Towards mid-afternoon, we arrived at a village surrounded by a tangle of streams and orange groves and lay down for a while eating berries under a tree. Three camels stood on a pick-up truck across the road watching us and chewed their teeth.

We found our way back through the oranges and settled in to an early-evening game of spot the water buffalo. I forget who won, but we soon ran out of water. The sky was turning a crimson red and we’d been walking next to a stream for a while with no sign of a way back to the main road.

counting the buffalos! Photo courtesy of the author

After some uneasy hours in the gloom where every bush looked like a gang of bandits, a man on a scooter appeared and offered to drop us off at the next bridge. He saw us safely across and we regrouped at a café, tending to blisters and eating some chicken, before we set off for the last stretch of the day.

Banha’s only hotel, we discovered on arrival, had been turned into an apartment block several years before. Somewhat disheartened by this, we killed time in a café opposite the train station, watching sour-faced men pushing backgammon counters. I used the loo which was a small cubicle in the middle of the room with a gaping hole at bum level.

Banha – Photo credit: Flickr/ Rasoo

The train station threw us out for trying to sleep on the platform, as did another café, before we were rescued by a man at a kebab restaurant who’d been watching us pacing up and down all evening. He pulled up two chairs on the pavement and brought us some tea and food.

We engorged ourselves on kebab then fought the overpowering urge to fall asleep right there in the street. Thankfully, the mosque across the road was about to open and the imam agreed to let us sleep inside until dawn. We tried our best to convey our sincere gratitude through squinty eyes and greasy hands.

I awoke to a gentle tug on my shoulder and looked up into the pitying eyes of an elderly man offering me 100 Egyptian pounds. I refused to take it, he asked if everything was all right then nodded and returned to his prayers.

The sun was rising sluggishly over the river as we left Banha. Once on the other side, we entered a maze of alleyways empty save for a few women preparing fruit stalls and cats yawning outside butcher’s shops. We found our way back to the railway, devoured some fuul sandwiches at a road-side cart and basked in the early morning breeze.

That morning was nothing but mile after mile of dusty tarmac and roadside litter. By noon we had walked nearly 45 miles since Cairo on just one hour’s sleep. In a blurred daze, we shuffled up to a mosque and asked if we could rest inside. A sheikh looked us up and down then, after a long pause, said that we could come in and sleep until after midday prayers.

Photo courtesy of the author

Our afternoon route criss-crossed the train line between the main road and parallel dirt tracks that were full of sheep and geese. Whilst running to avoid one such gaggle we strayed into a farmyard and surprised a family sat round a fire. A woman, overhearing our arrival, came running out of the house in a flurry of dresses and shawls and smothered us in berries and smiles.

They shared their stories about the wheat harvest and discussed the future of the youngest son, Shawqi, who dreamed of becoming a chef. I toured the fields on a tractor as it cut and bound the wheat into neat bundles, sat in silence as the machine hummed, whirred and broke down whenever too much wheat got stuck in its claws.

Photo courtesy of the author

For the rest of the afternoon we followed the railway, counting the sleepers and screaming like excited children whenever we reached a hundred. I got to nearly one thousand before the straight lines began to shimmer and jump out my dehydrated mind. Just enough trains roared passed to keep us awake.

At a level crossing we watched the sun shimmer in the distance with three soldiers wearing over-sized leather jackets. When they spoke they shouted, and after telling us off for walking on the railway they insisted we eat roast duck with them. We lay back against the small hut which was their office, sipping from a single cup of soul-warming tea and wishing the sunset would last forever.

Darkness had fallen by the time we approached the checkpoint just outside Tanta. Two police officers checked our papers:

“Are you convinced by what you are doing?”

I rolled the question around in my head.

“Yes, we are convinced thank you very much. So, we can go?”

“No, it’s too dangerous to walk to Tanta.”

The officer stopped a taxi and told the driver to take us to Tanta, which he did, leaving us on the wrong side of the main road one mile from the centre. We had no option but to hobble on.

Every hotel I tried either refused me for being foreign or quadrupled the price. We wondered aimlessly around the town centre for a bit then slumped by a fountain in front of Sayid al-Bedawi Mosque feeling pretty stupid. A man unzipped his trousers and began to relieve himself against the wall.

The growing stench brought us back to our senses. As the cloud of despair slowly lifted, we looked at each other, content to have walked out the front door with nothing but naïve expectations of the road ahead. It was in this serene state of exhaustion that we returned to Cairo, the miserable whiff of urine a mere detail in the dust.

This travel writing piece was the winner of the 2018 Travel Writing Competition which was done in collaboration with Travel GarageEgypt‘s must-go to online store for purchasing adventure and travel goodies. 

The Belgian defense ministry will sue Google for not complying with its requests to blur satellite images of sensitive military sites, a ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.
A new chief of Thailand`s army took command on Friday, a staunchly royalist general who will oversee a return to barracks to make way for a civilian government after nearly five years of military rule.
Nigeria`s ruling party narrowly won a key governorship election in southwestern Osun state, officials said on Friday, suggesting the region that helped sweep President Muhammadu Buhari to power will be hotly contested in national polls early next year.
A senior Iranian cleric said on Friday that U.S. regional bases would not remain secure if Washington sought confrontation with Tehran.


One of Facebook`s most senior executives spent Thursday watching Brett Kavanaugh`s dramatic testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Joel Kaplan, vice president for US public policy at Facebook, sat prominently among the onlookers throughout Kavanaugh`s testimony, as the judge sought to dispel accusations he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford.

New York Times reporter Mike Isaac was among those who spotted Kaplan, who was said to be there in a personal capacity and not on Facebook duty. He declined to comment when approached by Business Insider reporter Joe Perticone following the hearing.

that`s Facebook`s top policy guy Joel Kaplan in the room, fwiw.

from this pic https://t.co/s1VETZgFq3 pic.twitter.com/siDah1Y7t5

— rat king (@MikeIsaac) September 27, 2018

The exact reason he was in the gallery is not clear, but the pair do have history. Kaplan served as deputy chief of staff for policy under President George W. Bush between 2006 and 2009.

He was in the front row when Kavanaugh was sworn in as judge to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in June 2016. Kaplan is sat second from the right in the Getty image embedded below.

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NOW WATCH: Everything we know about Samsung’s foldable phone

For would-be Warsaw mayor Patryk Jaki, allowing Muslims into Poland poses a threat akin to the Nazi invasion of 1939. His opponent, Rafal Trzaskowski, agrees the country faces an existential threat, but says it comes from Jaki and his allies.
Iran`s Revolutionary Guards told Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Friday to respect Tehran`s "red lines" or face retaliation.
Iran`s Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Friday it had killed four militants at the Saravan border crossing with Pakistan in Iran`s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province.

elon musk

  • Elon Musk had a settlement agreed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) but blew it up at the eleventh hour, The Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The SEC is suing Musk and seeking to bar him from being an officer or director at any public company.
  • The suit revolves around Musk`s now infamous "funding secured" tweet in August when he toyed with the idea of taking Tesla private.

Elon Musk agreed on a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but walked away from the deal at the eleventh hour last week.

That`s according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, which said the SEC was on the brink of filing the settlement, only for Musk to blow it up at the last minute.

That chain of events led to the SEC announcing on Thursday that it was suing Musk on charges he made "false and misleading statements" in tweets claiming he could take the company private.

The Journal said the SEC had "crafted" the settlement with Musk. It was preparing to file the agreement on Thursday last week, but then Musk`s lawyers called to spike the deal. The SEC then hastily pulled together a lawsuit.

The SEC is suing the Tesla CEO for his now infamous "funding secured" tweet from August 7, which purported he was taking Tesla private at 420 a share. The SEC said Musk knew such a deal was never on the table. He announced on August 25 that Tesla would remain public.

In its claims for relief, the SEC recommended that Musk pay a penalty and that he be "prohibited from acting as an officer or director" of a public company.

Musk said he was "deeply saddened" by the lawsuit. In a statement, the Tesla CEO said: "The unjustified action from the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed. I have always taken action in the best interest of the truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts show I have never compromised this in any way."

Business Insider contacted the SEC for comment. A Tesla spokeswoman said: "Tesla and the board of directors are fully confident in Elon, his integrity, and his leadership of the company, which has resulted in the most successful US auto company in over a century. Our focus remains on the continued ramp of Model 3 production and delivering for our customers, shareholders and employees."

The SEC lawsuit caused Tesla`s stock to dip by as much as 11% in after-hours trading.

SEE ALSO: A former SEC chairman outlined the worst case scenario for Elon Musk now that the SEC has sued him

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NOW WATCH: Apple might introduce three new iPhones this year — here’s what we know

British police have identified a third Russian military intelligence officer they believe carried out a reconnaissance mission before the attempted murder of double agent Sergei Skripal, the Telegraph newspaper reported.
Japan braced for high winds and heavy rain as a typhoon roared north on Friday, enveloping outlying islands in high seas before taking aim at the rest of the nation and raking across its biggest main island at the weekend.

A monk who served as a confessional priest for one of two defrocked monks charged with the murder of Bishop Epiphanius at the Monastery of St. Macarius died after suffering a ‘sudden health crisis’ on Wednesday.

Zenon El-Makary, 45, was rushed to hospital from Al-Muharraq monastery after complaining from severe abdominal pains, said the Coptic Orthodox Church’s spokesperson. According to medical officials, an initial autopsy revealed that El-Makary was likely poisoned.

El-Makary was scheduled to testify as a witness  the day before he died in the trial of two defrocked monks identified by the Coptic Orthodox Church as Wael Saad and Remon Rasmi Mansour.

Following the murder of Bishop Epiphanius at Abu Makar Monastery, the Coptic Orthodox Church implemented a number of changes, including a social media ban for monks. Additionally, the Church relocated six monks, including El-Makary, from Abu Makar Monastery.

Egyptian police are now investigating whether El-Makary’s death was linked to the murder of Bishop Epiphanius and the fact he was set to testify.

A Bishop’s Murder

Bishop Epiphanius, 64, was the head of Anba Makar Monastery (Saint Macarius the Great) near Wadi el-Natroun.

The Coptic Orthodox Church released a statement on 29 July that the Bishop had died in “strange circumstances” within the Monsatery of St. Macarius.

Father Basil revealed to local media that the bishop was found in a pool of blood in his room, with fractures to his skull, as if he had been struck with a instrument, and injuries to his back.

In August, Egyptian authorities arrested Saad, who was previously known by his monastic name Isaiah El-Makary, and Mansour on charges of murdering Bishop Epiphanius. Saad’s former lawyer, who stepped down from the case arguing that he could not represent a man who killed a Bishop, said that Saad confessed to the murder.

In statements to television network TEN, the lawyer said that Saad told authorities he worked with three other people, including a monk who attempted suicide, to murder Bishop Epiphanius.

Meanwhile, Mansour, the second defendant in the trial, attempted suicide shortly before his arrest for the Bishop’s murder.

The murder and the events that followed have shocked many in Egypt, and both the government and the Coptic Orthodox Church were quick to allay fears that the murder was an act of terrorism.

The Italian president called the Economy Minister on Thursday to ask him not to resign after the government targeted a budget deficit of 2.4 percent for the next three years, several newspapers said.
Italy`s government has targeted a budget deficit of 2.4 percent of gross domestic product for the next three years, defying Brussels and marking a victory for ruling-party chiefs over Economy Minister Giovanni Tria.
The former vice chairman of China`s securities regulator, Yao Gang, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, a local Chinese court said on Friday.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Friday it had killed four militants on the Saravan border crossing in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province.
Turkey`s President Tayyip Erdogan said the United States has failed to comply with the timescale agreed for the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG militia from northern Syrian city of Manbij, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Friday.
Italy`s government has targeted a budget deficit of 2.4 percent of gross domestic product for the next three years, defying Brussels and marking a victory for ruling-party chiefs over economy minister Giovanni Tria.
Italy`s new budget expects debt to fall in terms of gross domestic output in 2019, a prominent lawmaker of the League ruling party said on Friday.
India`s top court on Friday lifted a ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering a prominent Hindu temple in the southern state of Kerala.
Representatives from the Taliban met an Afghan government delegation in Saudi Arabia this week to discuss security ahead of next month`s parliamentary elections and a limited prisoner release, three Taliban officials said.
The Italian president called the Economy Minister on Thursday to ask him not to resign after the government targeted a budget deficit of 2.4 percent for the next three years, several newspapers said.
The numbers in Italy`s budget document announced on Thursday are not written in stone, an official of Italy`s ruling League party said on Friday.
Hurricane Rosa intensified into a major storm in the Pacific Ocean, with maximum sustained winds near 145 miles per hour (230 kph) and little change in strength was expected overnight, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said late on Thursday.
A flotilla of small boats rescued all 47 passengers and crew from an Air Niugini flight that crashed into the sea short of the runway at an airport in the tiny South Pacific nation of Micronesia on Friday, the airport`s manager said.

elon musk

  • The former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt told Business Insider in August that Tesla CEO Elon Musk could be banned from serving as an officer or director of a public company after reports that the agency was investigating his comments about taking Tesla private. 
  • But the SEC`s lawsuit is not the only potential threat to Musk.
  • Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the Department of Justice has opened an inquiry into Tesla, which could ultimately result in a prison sentence for Musk. 
  • For Musk to serve jail time, it would have to be proven that he committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, Pitt said.


The former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt told Business Insider in August that Tesla CEO Elon Musk could be banned from serving as an officer or director of a public company after reports that the agency was investigating his comments about taking Tesla private. 

The SEC filed a lawsuit against Musk on Thursday, alleging that his comments were "false and misleading." The agency also said in the lawsuit that it seeks to bar Musk from being an officer or director of a public company.

On August 7, Musk said that he had "funding secured" to convert Tesla into a private company at 420 per share and only needed a shareholder vote to confirm a go-private deal. In its lawsuit, the SEC alleges that Musk had not acquired the necessary funding or even discussed the terms he mentioned with any potential funding sources.

According to Pitt, mentioning the possibility of taking Tesla private on Twitter, while ill-advised, would not trouble regulators. Instead, it was the tweet`s final two words, "funding secured," that had the potential to create problems.

"`Funding secured` is a very strong term, and it has legal consequences," Pitt said.

But the SEC`s lawsuit is not the only potential threat to Musk. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the Department of Justice has opened an inquiry into Tesla, an action that could ultimately result in a prison sentence for Musk. For Musk to serve jail time, it would have to be proven that he committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, Pitt said.

Pitt reiterated the risks Musk faces on Thursday in an interview with CNBC`s Closing Bell.

"He can face a number of penalties ... he can have fines imposed against him, he can effectively be barred for a period of time or permanently from serving as a principal officer or a director of a public company," he said. 

Read more about the SEC`s lawsuit against Elon Musk:

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

SEE ALSO: Tesla is making a promise about its cars that it won`t be able to keep: Gene Munster

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NOW WATCH: This trike is made to look like a semitruck

Mark Zuckerberg

  • Facebook is using contact information collected about users in surreptitious ways to target them with ads, according to a new research paper.
  • Among the data the company is using to target users with ads is contact information users provide for security purposes.
  • We shouldn`t be surprised that the company is using such information for commercial purposes — it has a long history of aggressively pursuing, collecting, and using users` personal information.


Facebook has never been a paragon for protecting privacy — quite the opposite, in fact.

But we just got another revealing glimpse at how far it`s willing to go to glean information about you that it and its advertising partners can use to target you with ads. And, yet again — for the umpteenth time — the company comes across looking sleazy.

It turns out that Facebook has turned some security features into data-grabbing, ad-selling opportunities. The company takes phone numbers provided by customers for its two-factor authentication system and for sending customers alerts about new log-ins to their account and uses them to target users with ads, as Gizmodo reported this week.

In other words, Facebook is engaged in a bait-and-switch. It`s taking information that users provide it for the purpose of helping make their accounts more secure and using it to violate their privacy — without being entirely clear to users what it`s doing.

"Users may naturally provide this data with only security purposes in mind; if used for advertising, this may significantly violate a user’s privacy expectations," a group of professors, three of which hail from Northeastern University, said in their understated way in the research paper on which Gizmodo based its report.

Facebook also targets users based on data they can`t control

But that`s not the only way that Facebook is garnering information about users surreptitiously and using it for advertising purposes, according to the professors` report. Facebook also targets users with ads based on personal contact information even when they themselves don`t provide that information, according to the paper. That happens when their phone numbers or email addresses are included in the address books uploaded by other users.

Chris WylieThose contact details could be ones that users purposefully didn`t share with Facebook. What`s worse, Facebook keeps hidden from users who provided that information or what it is — or bar its use. Additionally, the company was able to target users with ads using such information even when users had their privacy settings configured to the highest level.

"The target user in this scenario was provided no information about or control over how this
phone number was used to target them with ads," the professors wrote in their report.

Facebook representatives did not return an email seeking comment. But the company did not dispute the paper`s findings, Gizmodo reported.

"We use the information people provide to offer a more personalized experience, including showing more relevant ads," a company spokeswoman told Facebook.

The spokeswoman added that in the case of two-factor authentication, users can now configure it without using their phone number. The reason the company bars people from seeing and controlling information shared about them by other users is because it considers that information to be owned by those other users.

"People own their address books," the spokeswoman told Gizmodo.

Facebook has a poor history when it comes to users` privacy

That`s a very convenient answer for Facebook. It means that even if users are trying to protect their private information from the company or advertisers, that information can be exposed without their say or knowledge. That`s great for Facebook and its advertisers, but bad for users` privacy.

But at this point, we should probably expect such practices from Facebook. The company`s business, after all, revolves around collecting as much data as possible from users and using that information to target them with advertisements. It`s repeatedly pushed users to share more and more personal information and frequently hasn`t been completely upfront about what it`s collecting or what`s being done with that information.

Don`t just trust me on that. That`s what the Federal Trade Commission found when it issued a consent decree against the company in 2012. Thanks to the Cambridge Analytica scandal this spring, the company is now under investigation for violating that decree.

In the wake of that scandal, Facebook made an effort to demonstrate that it`s now serious — really serious — about protecting users` privacy. It`s made a big show about giving users more tools to control who can see their private information and clamping down on developers who previously had access to that data.

But these latest revelations indicate that these efforts are largely just that — a show. Facebook is what it`s always been, a data harvesting, ad targeting machine. And its post-Cambridge Analytica privacy epiphany hasn`t changed that.

SEE ALSO: The departure of Instagram`s cofounders is a bad thing for Facebook — but it could be even worse for the rest of us

SEE ALSO: Facebook`s reorganization is little more than chair-shuffling — and a missed opportunity for Mark Zuckerberg and company

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