Hillicon Valley — NASA to retry Artemis launch after delay

·4 min read

NASA is planning a relaunch for sending a rocket to the moon under the Artemis program after it was delayed on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission sued a data broker over allegations that it exposed people to violent threats by selling sensitive geolocation data.

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🎬 Take 2 on space launch

NASA officials said they are working on understanding and correcting the engine bleed failure that delayed the first test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on Monday and are pushing to retry the launch to the moon on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference hours after officials scrubbed the launch, NASA executives said Friday is still in play but stressed that the second launch attempt depends on a number of variables, including how quickly they can assess and correct what went wrong during Monday’s test.

Mike Sarafin, the mission manager for Artemis, noted scrubs are common and part of the process in testing new technology, especially considering the SLS is the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built.

He promised Monday’s failure at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center would not deter NASA from getting the SLS and the Orion exploration spacecraft into space.

“We all want to see that next milestone, that next step, and seeing smoke and fire is something everybody enjoys,” he said. “This is an incredibly hard business, we’re trying to do something that hasn’t been done in over 50 years.”

Read more here.

📍 FTC takes on firm over location data

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges data broker Kochava exposed people to threats of stalking, discrimination and violence by selling geolocation data revealing visits to sensitive locations, including reproductive health clinics, according to a complaint filed Monday.

  • The data sold by Idaho-based Kochava can be used to identify specific places an individual visited by plotting latitude and longitude coordinates, the FTC alleged in its lawsuit.

  • The location data is also not anonymized, meaning it is possible to identify a mobile device’s user or owner.

The FTC alleged that the sale of geolocation data puts consumers at risk by revealing information about visits to sensitive locations. In addition to reproductive health clinics, the agency said the data can be used to track visits to places of worship, homeless or domestic violence shelters and addiction recovery centers.

Kochava’s response: Brian Cox, general manager of Kochava Collective, said in a statement the lawsuit “shows the unfortunate reality that the FTC has a fundamental misunderstanding of Kochava’s data marketplace business and other data businesses.”

“Real progress to improve data privacy for consumers will not be reached through flamboyant press releases and frivolous litigation. It’s disappointing that the agency continues to circumvent the lawmaking process and perpetuate misinformation surrounding data privacy,” Cox said.

Read more here.

📞 FBI says giving tech heads up is normal

The FBI said that it “routinely notifies” private sector entities, including social media companies, of information related to potential threats after Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook limited the distribution of a controversial story leading up to the 2020 presidential election because of an FBI warning.

The statement followed Zuckerberg’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast on Thursday in which Zuckerberg said Facebook limited stories on the news feed related to the New York Post’s article about President Biden’s son — Hunter Biden — and his laptop after the FBI warned the company to be aware of potentially polarizing content.

Russia used social media platforms like Facebook to post intentionally polarizing content ahead of the 2016 election.

“The FBI has provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors,” the agency said in a statement.

Read more here.


BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: With Artemis 1 mission, NASA is leading the world back to the moon

Notable links from around the web:

Silicon Valley’s Elite Get Dragged Into Musk-Twitter Trial (The New York Times / Kate Conger)

Online creators are de facto therapists for millions. It’s complicated. (The New York Times / Tatum Hunter)

Cyberattacks pivot from large health systems to smaller hospitals, specialty clinics (Cybersecurity Dive / Rebecca Pifer)

Lighter click: Thanks, Sonny

🏛 One more thing: National Archives head weighs in

The acting head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pushed back on accusations that the agency is corrupt or conspiring against former President Trump in its actions taken over his presidential records.

“The National Archives has been the focus of intense scrutiny for months, this week especially, with many people ascribing political motivation to our actions,” Debra Steidel Wall, the acting archivist, wrote in a memo sent to employees on Wednesday.

“NARA has received messages from the public accusing us of corruption and conspiring against the former president, or congratulating NARA for ‘bringing him down,’” she continued. “Neither is accurate or welcome.”

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.

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