Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, October 4

Facebook encryption

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The federal government wants to be able to read encrypted conversations shared on Facebook’s messaging services. Read on for more on the letter the Justice Department sent to Mark Zuckerberg today.

Why on earth is “Eat the Babies” trending on social media? Check out the video that launched the online debate below.

And a job seeker in Texas says a company shamed her on Instagram for wearing a bikini.

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.


TOP STORY: The Justice Department Wants Backdoor Access to Facebook’s Encrypted Messages

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

The Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr are asking Facebook to stop its plans to implement end-to-end encryption for all of its messaging services. Messages sent using WhatsApp are encrypted, and users have the option of making Facebook Messenger conversations secret as well.

But federal officials argue that the encryption should not exclude law enforcement from being able to access these messages. The Justice Department, along with counterparts from Australia and the United Kingdom, sent a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg today.

CNBC published a draft of the letter on Thursday. The government leaders argue that law enforcement needs backdoor access to messages in order to combat terrorism, investigate suspected criminals and stop child predators.

The letter reads in part, “We are writing to request that Facebook does not proceed with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services without ensuring that there is no reduction to user safety and without including a means for lawful access to the content of communications to protect our citizens… Law-abiding citizens have a legitimate expectation that their privacy will be protected. However, as your March blog post recognized, we must ensure that technology companies protect their users and others affected by their users’ online activities. Security enhancements to the virtual world should not make us more vulnerable in the physical world.”

Executives at Facebook do not agree with Barr’s reasoning. The company said in a statement to USA Today, “We strongly oppose government attempts to build backdoors because they would undermine the privacy and security of people everywhere.”


WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: ‘Eating Babies’ Video Went Viral After AOC Town Hall

Woman from pro-Trump group trolls AOC town hall with baby-eating rantA woman from the pro-Trump group LaRouche PAC gets up at an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez town hall in Queens on October 3, 2019 to rant about eating babies. News story: https://gizmodo.com/viral-video-about-eating-babies-at-aoc-town-hall-was-st-18387676802019-10-04T10:36:27.000Z

The term “Eat the Babies” was trending on Twitter on Friday morning. This bizarre phrase attracted a lot of attention online because of what happened at a town hall event hosted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the night before.

A woman stood up and argued that the Green New Deal was not enough to save the planet from climate change and that “we only have a few months left.” She insisted that Earth was overpopulated and that the best strategy for reducing carbon emissions was to get rid of all of the babies by eating them. The woman was also wearing a T-shirt that read, “Save the Planet. Eat the children.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez looked a bit baffled as she stood at the front of the room, quietly allowing the woman to speak. The woman was eventually approached by members of the congresswoman’s staff and appeared to have been escorted out. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not directly address what the woman had said, choosing instead to sidestep it and reassure her that the planet has more than just a few months left.

The video has since gone viral with plenty of commentary on all sides. Some people have speculated whether the woman was a conservative plant who may have been hired to cause a disturbance. Others, including President Trump and his son Don Jr, criticized Rep. Ocasio-Cortez over the incident, with many stating that she should have denounced the woman for her suggestion.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez later addressed the incident on Twitter and pointed out that the woman could have been suffering from some sort of mental health issue. The congresswoman wrote, “At one point I was concerned there was a woman in crisis & want to ensure we treat the situation compassionately. Let’s not mock or make a spectacle… This person may have been suffering from a mental condition and it’s not okay that the right-wing is mocking her and potentially make her condition or crisis worse. Be a decent human being and knock it off.”


OFF-BEAT: Woman Says She Was Publicly Shamed By a Company For a Bikini Photo

Emily Clow is the Texas woman who says she was shamed on social media by a potential employer shortly after she submitted an application on October 1. Clow had applied online for a marketing position at Kickass Masterminds, which is based in Austin.

To her surprise, Kickass Masterminds took a bikini photo from Clow’s personal Instagram account and shared it on the company Instagram Story, without showing Clow’s face. The caption read, “PSA (because I know some of you applicants are looking at this): do not share you social media with potential employers if this is the kind of content on it. I am looking for a professional marketer – not a bikini model. Go on with your bad self and do whatever in private. But this is not doing you any favors in finding a professional job.”

Clow shared a screengrab of the post on Twitter. She said she was “baffled” that a company would act in such a manner. (Kickass Masterminds’ social accounts have since been made private and the website has gone dark).

Adding to her confusion, Clow said she had been told that following Kickass Masterminds’ on Instagram would improve her odds of being hired. She sent the company an email asking them to remove the picture and says she was blocked by Kickass Masterminds on Instagram. The founder of the company, Sara Christensen, has denied that the bikini photo had disqualified Clow from getting the job.

The Twitter account “SheRatesDogs” shared the story in support of Clow. Another Twitter user who commented on the thread pointed out that Kickass Masterminds’ professional Instagram account included a photo of other employees wearing bathing suits.

Clow told ABC affiliate KVUE-TV, “My whole goal was to spark a conversation and that’s what it did. For anybody that goes through this, just really keep your head up.”


DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP

Graham Chase Robinson

Getty Images/Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

  • Graham Chase Robinson, the former Vice President of Production of Canal Productions, has sued Robert De Niro for harassment and gender discrimination.
  • Tech CEO Tushar Atre, who also owned a cannabis business, was found dead after he was kidnapped from his home in California.
  • Doctor Joel Smithers was sentenced to 40 years in prison in a federal opioid case.
  • The person Elon Musk paid to work as a private investigator, James Howard-Higgins, was a convicted felon in England.
  • Multiple wildfires are burning in Colorado. Track them in real-time with interactive maps here.
  • U.S. employers added 136,000 jobs in September.
  • Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix is now in theaters.

CHECK THIS OUT

Today is National Taco Day! Several retailers are getting in on the fun and offering special deals to help all of the taco-lovers celebrate their favorite cuisine.

Taco Bell isn’t giving away free food but instead touting a gift set that includes 4 tacos for $5. The deal includes two Crunchy Tacos and two Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos. According to Taco Bell’s website, the gift set is available today only.

Del Taco is offering a free taco with any purchase through its app. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is also giving out an extra taco with purchases. On the Border has an Endless Tacos deal for $8.99 or $9.99 depending on your location. Click here for more on other National Taco Day deals.

Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here.


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