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      X “unfit” for banking because of complicity in Saudi spying, lawyers argue / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September - 18:34 · 1 minute

    X “unfit” for banking because of complicity in Saudi spying, lawyers argue

    Enlarge (credit: Manuel Augusto Moreno | Moment )

    Just two weeks after Elon Musk took over Twitter in fall 2022, he told employees that his big plan to save the social media platform from bankruptcy was to turn it into a bank . Since then, he has rebranded the platform as X, and banking regulators in eight US states have approved his applications for money-transmitting licenses.

    Now, as X continues filing for money-transmitting licenses— in pursuit of turning X into an "everything app," a one-stop destination where users bank, shop, communicate, and basically spend all their time online—US banking regulators are being urged to reconsider approving X's applications to provide financial services, The Guardian reported . And Ars confirmed that states that already granted licenses are being pressured to revoke them.

    In an open letter reviewed by Ars, lawyers at Walden Macht & Haran LLP—who are representing a Saudi family suing Twitter/X —warned both “attorneys general and banking commissioners across 50 states” that Musk's company should be considered "unfit" to hold banking licenses. They alleged that X is unfit for banking due to its alleged treatment of users’ personal data and "intentional complicity" in human rights violations. These grievances, The Guardian reported, also call into question whether X "can be trusted to abide by federal and state laws protecting consumer data and records."

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      Report: 2015 Twitter breach targeted Saudi dissidents, led to arrests

      Timothy B. Lee · / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 19 August, 2020 - 16:36

    Saudi Arabia

    Enlarge / Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

    The sister of a Saudi dissident has told Bloomberg that a 2015 breach by two Twitter employees enabled the Saudi government to unmask several anonymous Twitter accounts whose tweets criticized the regime. The US federal government criminally charged the two rogue employees last November.

    Abdulrahman al-Sadhan is a US-educated Saudi man who worked for the Red Crescent Movement—the Muslim world's counterpart to the Red Cross. He also secretly ran a popular pseudonymous Twitter account with thousands of followers. The account criticized the Saudi government.

    “It is clear this was a targeted attack on purpose on activists and critics on Twitter,” said Areej al-Sadhan, Abdulrahman's sister. “My brother, unfortunately, is one of those who was targeted.

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      Zoom cites Chinese law to defend censorship of human rights activists

      Timothy B. Lee · / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 11 June, 2020 - 15:44

    On June 4 2019, People join the Memorials for the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in Victoria Park, Hong Kong.

    Enlarge / On June 4 2019, People join the Memorials for the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in Victoria Park, Hong Kong. (credit: LewisTsePuiLung / Getty)

    On multiple occasions in recent weeks, Zoom has reportedly suspended accounts or disrupted meetings involving critics of the Chinese government. In an emailed statement, Zoom didn't deny the censorship. Instead, the company claimed that as a "global company" it was obligated to comply with the law in countries where it operates—including China.

    "We regret that a few recent meetings with participants both inside and outside of China were negatively impacted and important conversations were disrupted," a Zoom spokesperson wrote. "It is not in Zoom’s power to change the laws of governments opposed to free speech." Zoom says it will "modify its processes" to better protect users.

    Some of the people affected were in the United States, which has robust legal protections for free speech.

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