The January 6 Secret Service Text Scandal Turns Criminal

As the United States midterm elections near, lawmakers and law enforcement officials are on high alert about violent threats targeted at election officials across the country—domestic threats that have taken first billing over foreign influence operations and meddling as the primary concern for the 2022 elections. In another arena, though, Congress is making progress on generating bipartisan support for sorely needed and overdue privacy legislation in the form of the American Data Privacy and Protection Act.

Iranian women’s rights activists sounded the alarm this week that Meta has not been responsive to their concerns about targeted bot campaigns flooding their Instagram accounts during a crucial moment for the country’s feminist movement. And investigators looking at attacks on internet cables in Paris have still not determined who was behind the vandalism or what their motive was, but new details have emerged about the extent of the sabotage, making the situation all the more concerning and intriguing. 

The ACLU released documents this week that detail the Department of Homeland Security’s contracts with phone-tracking data brokers who peddle location information. And if you’re worried about Big Brother snooping on your reproductive data, we have a ranking of the most popular period-tracking apps by their data privacy protections

And there’s more. Each week we round up the news that we didn’t break or cover in-depth. Click on the headlines to read the full stories. And stay safe out there!

The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General told the Secret Service on Thursday to halt its investigation into the deletion of January 6 insurrection-related text messages because of an “ongoing criminal investigation” into the situation. Secret Service spokespeople have said conflicting things: that data on the phones was erased during a planned phone migration or factory reset, and that the erased messages were not relevant to the January 6 investigation. The Secret Service said it provided agents with a guide to backing up their data before initiating the overhaul process, but noted that it was up to the individuals to complete this backup. 

Zero Day spoke to…