Welcome to the Weekly Scan. Here’s what we’re following for the week of July 20, 2020.
Make sure to check back as we update these stories.
Twitcoin. A large-scale hack attack against Twitter last week has led to an FBI investigation over national security concern with the social media platform. Popular Twitter accounts, including those of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Uber, and Apple, were hacked on July 15. Cybercriminals used those accounts to post a bitcoin scam from a site called Cryptoforhealth. Twitter stepped in, temporarily preventing verified accounts (including ones that hadn’t been hacked) from tweeting, to stop further attacks.
- The takeaway. Twitter is investigating the source of the hack and suggested that the hackers gained access to internal Twitter tools to access the accounts. Some experts have expressed concern that this hack might mean Twitter’s security is vulnerable ahead of the 2020 election. Twitter is a popular platform for political expression for politicians and constituents alike. A hack before the election could lead to the spread of misinformation.
Home alone. Netflix reported that it added 10 million subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30, 2020, roughly a third of which were in the U.S. That’s a significant drop off from the 16 million subscribers the streaming service provider added in the first quarter, ended March 31, 2020.
- The takeaway. Streaming service providers are experiencing a boon as people stay home for entertainment during the pandemic. Netflix added 2.3 million subscribers in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year. Prior to the pandemic, the company was adding approximately 1 million new subscribers per quarter in the U.S.
More stimulus for the economy? Congress is debating another round of stimulus for the economy, though what form it will take is up for debate. The House has proposed another round of $1,200 checks for people who earn $75,000 or less. A Senate proposal would give money to families making $40,000 annually or less.
- The takeaway: An expanded unemployment benefit of $600 is set to expire at the end of July, 2020. Approximately 18 million people are currently unemployed, and additional federal support is widely viewed as necessary to keep the economy functioning.
Surge in the sunshine state. Florida recorded more than 12,000 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday July 18, 2020. Saturday was the fifth day in a row that Florida saw more than 10,000 new daily cases. Representative Donna Shalala of Miami-Dade County called on Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis to close down the state to stem the spread of the virus. Florida closed down bars in response to the surge, but has not mandated the use of masks.
- The takeaway. Despite the reopening of many states, including the beginning of New York’s fourth phase of reopening, some states including Florida, Texas, and California, are seeing increases in their case numbers. The surges in those states could mean the return of lockdown measures.
Find out what we covered in last week’s Scan.