10 things in tech you need to know today, September 17

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  1. Trump said he’s not ready to sign off on a TikTok deal as his administration reportedly pushes for majority US ownership. The Wall Street Journal reported that ByteDance had sought to keep its controlling share of the social media app in a deal it pitched to US officials this week.
  2. Twitter took 30 minutes to remove Kanye West’s tweet doxxing a top magazine editor. The tweet — which called the editor a “white supremacist” and invited West’s fans to call him — was up for 30 minutes and garnered more than 17,000 retweets before it was removed.
  3. Apple gave the FBI access to the iCloud account of a protester accused of setting police cars on fire. The agency found screenshots of an Instagram post promoting the protest, a screenshot of a recipe for a Molotov cocktail, and videos of “a green glass bottle” in an unzipped backpack.
  4. Facebook is hiring a director of remote work as it plans for a more permanent shift to working from home. Facebook employees will continue working from home until July 2021, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he expects half of the company’s workforce to work remotely within the next 10 years.
  5. Spotify tore into Apple again, this time over the new Apple One subscription bundle. It called on regulators to check Apple’s power before it causes “irreparable harm to the developer community.”
  6. Apple said in a court filing that ‘Fortnite’ hype is fading and the only reason Epic Games started a legal battle was to generate buzz. The pair got into a fight after Epic broke Apple’s rules about App Store payments, for which the latter automatically takes a commission as high as 30%.
  7. 83% of millennials living near major US tech hubs are considering a move to a more affordable city. It coincides with US tech giants pioneering new flexible working policies because of the pandemic.
  8. Popular e-bike startup VanMoof has raised a $40 million as it sees growth explode during the pandemic. As public transport becomes less appealing due to COVID-19, cycling has become a serious proposition even across major cities like San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, and Tokyo. 
  9. A pro-Trump youth activist group paid teenagers to push conservative talking points on social media. Turning Point Action, an affiliate of the conservative group Turning Point USA, enlisted teenagers in Arizona to push conservative messages, downplay the coronavirus pandemic, and bolster President Donald Trump’s election campaign.
  10. The CEO of $24 billion Okta said he would be in ‘serious trouble with the SEC’ if he raved about his IPO the way investor Chamath Palihapitiya is talking about Opendoor going public. Typically, when a company goes public, it agrees not to share any information about its activities that isn’t already in its publicly available filings with the SEC.

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