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Recode Daily: Jeff Bezos’s security team thinks the Saudi government hacked his phone

Plus: Mark Zuckerberg wants to regulate the internet, media organizations fail to save their work online, and takes down thousands of poorly vetted daycares.

A picture of a National Enquirer tabloid paper with a picture of Jeff Bezos and Laura Sanchez and the headline “Bezos Exposes Pecker.”
Jeff Bezos exposed David Pecker and now Gavin de Becker is exposing the Saudi government.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Jeff Bezos’s security chief has concluded with “high confidence” that the Saudi Arabian government hacked into the executive’s phone. Bezos ordered longtime security consultant Gavin de Becker to investigate how the National Enquirer tabloid got its hands on racy text messages between himself and former television anchor Lauren Sanchez. On Saturday, De Becker published an article in the Daily Beast detailing the results of the investigation — and the Saudis were likely involved, according to his report. De Becker writes that the Saudi government “has been intent on harming Jeff Bezos” because of the “relentless coverage” of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the Washington Post, which Bezos owns. The Saudi Arabian government has denied any involvement, and the National Enquirer’s parent company has said Lauren Sanchez’s brother was the original source of the leaks. [Christopher Bing / Reuters]

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Mark Zuckerberg is calling for global regulation on internet companies. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Zuckerberg laid out what he feels is needed for regulation in four key areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy, and data portability. Generally, he’s arguing for “a more standardized approach” across companies — seemingly to do more of what Facebook does, including publishing regular transparency reports on taking down harmful content. Some are seeing this as a way for Facebook to get ahead of regulation by setting the agenda while others are asking why Facebook itself hasn’t done more to implement protections in these areas. [David McCabe and Gigi Sukin / Axios]

Most news organizations have no plan for archiving their digital content. According to a new survey by Columbia Journalism Review, out of 21 news organizations, 19 “were not taking any protective steps at all to archive their web output.” Instead, many organizations rely on third-party organizations such as the Internet Archive and Google to keep a record of their online content. In a writeup of the study, CJR writes that “the findings of this study should be a wakeup call” and that “in an era where journalism is already under attack, managing its record and future are as important as ever.” [Sharon Ringel and Angela Woodall / Columbia Journalism Review] — the largest site in the US for finding caregivers — took down thousands of listings shortly before a Wall Street Journal investigation was published. The Journal reports that thousands of the businesses were booted from the platform in advance of an investigation that revealed that the company in many instances didn’t properly vet listings. Hundreds of daycares didn’t have state licenses and nine caregivers had prior police records. Since the Journal’s article, the company introduced preliminary screenings for caregivers applying for jobs on the site and created a new board committee to oversee safety and cybersecurity. [Shane Shifflett and Kirsten Grind / The Wall Street Journal]

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