Hillicon Valley — Netflix faces crucial earnings call

·5 min read

Netflix is holding its first earnings call since reporting a drop in subscribers earlier this year. Analysts said they will be listening for more details on the rollout of an ad-supported plan as Netflix fends off growing competition from traditional media brands.

Meanwhile, advocacy groups in Arizona are requesting that U.S. officials ban a Florida-based firm, hired to conduct a ballot review of the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County, from working with the federal government.

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A big moment for Netflix

Netflix will share its earnings information and outlook going forward on Tuesday after a rocky year in which it faced falling subscription rates and increasing competition.

Tuesday’s call will be the streaming service giant’s first briefing on its quarterly earnings since sharing in April that the company lost 200,000 subscribers  — its first subscriber loss in more than 10 years.

Netflix is now looking to incorporate advertising models into the platform after years of holding off on the ad-based plans offered by competitors. But the company is balancing a delicate scale by offering the model that may appease investors, while trying not to disturb consumers accustomed to the ad-free streaming.

Analysts will be watching closely to see if Netflix can carry out the trapeze act — or if it will fall.

Read more here.

Groups urge officials to ban Cyber Ninjas

Advocacy groups in Arizona are requesting that U.S. officials ban a Florida-based firm, hired to conduct a ballot review of the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County, from working with the federal government.

In a letter sent to the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee on Monday, the groups asked for the debarment of the company, citing a number of reasons the firm, Cyber Ninjas, isn’t fit to conduct such election-related reviews.

  • The advocacy groups mentioned how the firm’s work in Arizona did not meet election auditing standards and how it dismissed a court order to release public records related to its ballot review in Arizona. 

  • “If Cyber Ninjas is permitted to continue engaging in publicly-funded operations, the company will continue to undermine confidence in our federal elections,” the groups said in the letter.

Read more here.

SPEED IT UP

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Friday proposed raising broadband speed standards in a notice to the rest of the commission.

Rosenworcel said the current standard, set in 2015, isn’t “just behind the times” it’s also “harmful” by masking the extent to which low-income and rural communities are “left behind and left offline.”

“That’s why we need to raise the standard for minimum broadband speeds now and while also aiming even higher for the future, because we need to set big goals if we want everyone everywhere to have a fair shot at 21st century success,” she said in the announcement.

Rosenworcel’s notice proposes increasing the national broadband standard to 100 megabits per second for downloads and 20 megabits per second for uploads.

Read more about the proposal.

CISA TO OPEN LONDON OFFICE

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced on Monday that it will open its first attaché office in London later this month.

The London bureau will serve as a focal point for international collaboration between U.S. and U.K. government officials, the agency said. It will also help advance CISA’s objectives in cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection and emergency communications.

“As America’s cyber defense agency, we know that digital threat actors don’t operate neatly within borders,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “To help build resilience against threats domestically, we must think globally.”

The launch of the London bureau highlights the commitment of CISA and other U.S. federal agencies to collaborate with international partners in an effort to combat global cyber threats.

Read more here.

BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Increasingly, people are tuning out the news — but likely not for the reason you think

Notable links from around the web:

Homeland Security records show ‘shocking’ use of phone data, ACLU says (Politico / Alfred Ng)

Snapchat brings chatting and video calling to the web (The Verge / Mia Sato)

Twitter’s global agenda, with or without Musk (Axios / Ashley Gold)

🚫 Lighter click: Follow the signs!

One more thing: A game changer

Jessica Gonzalez, a campaign organizer with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), has experienced firsthand the working conditions of the video game industry employees she is helping organize.

Before making her official exit last year, Gonzalez spent nearly a decade in the gaming industry, more than half of that time with Activision Blizzard.

  • She started her career at the now-embattled company, known for games including World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, as a quality assurance (QA) tester in 2015.

  • After leaving to work at indie gaming company Boundless Entertainment for a couple years, she returned to Activision Blizzard as a full-time test analyst, but says that QA testers were treated as “second-class citizens,” separated from developers, with conditions that bred burnout.

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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