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GRC roundup: Trump's transition team looks to dismantle Dodd-Frank

Will President-elect Trump’s transition team follow through on promises to get rid of Dodd-Frank compliance regulations? Also in recent GRC news, tech companies urge Trump to back encryption; and some U.S. phones have been subjected to a back door hack that sends users’ data to China.

Trump team seeks to roll back compliance regs

President-elect Trump’s transition team wants to get rid of the Dodd-Frank Act, the 2,300 page law created in response to the 2008 financial crisis. The law, which puts regulations on the financial industry, has been called, “Bureaucratic red tape and Washington mandates” by members of Trump’s transition team, according to NPR. Trump himself stated during his campaign that as president, he would, “get rid of” the Dodd-Frank Act. He also told Reuters in an interview that his administration’s plans are “close to dismantling” Dodd-Frank.

Some experts predict that the Trump administration could also roll back enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law banning bribery to earn or keep business in other countries. In a 2012 interview on CNBC, Trump called the FCPA a “horrible law” that made it harder for U.S. companies to do business abroad, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Other experts, including Mike Koehler, an associate professor at the Southern Illinois University Law School, told the Wall Street Journal that it is too early to speculate the future of the FCPA without the knowledge of who will be Attorney General or lead the SEC after Chair Mary Jo White steps down.

Tech companies to Trump: Protect encryption, curtail surveillance

Tech companies including Twitter, Facebook and Google have urged President-elect Trump to protect encryption and curtail online government surveillance. The companies addressed Trump in a letter that was published Monday by the Internet Association, an organization of whose members also include Uber, Netflix and Amazon, the Verge reported.

Trump was critical of influential members of the tech industry during his presidential campaign, calling for a nationwide boycott of Apple after the company’s refusal to comply with the FBI requests to decrypt an iPhone belonging to a terrorism suspect.

Trump also took aim at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos during the 2016 campaign, criticizing him for his ownership of The Washington Post. Trump told a crowd at a rally that if he were to become president, Amazon would “have such problems,” Business Insider reported.

Some Android phones sending users’ data to China

Analysts from security firm Kryptowire told the New York Times that some Android phones contain preinstalled backdoor software that sends users’ data to China.

Affected users’ text messages, emails, contact lists, call logs and location information is sent to a server in China every 72 hours, with users completely unaware of the transfer in process. Kryptowire vice president Tom Karygiannis told the Times, “Even if you wanted to, you wouldn’t have known about it.”

Devices affected include 120,000 phones manufactured by BLU Products, an American phone manufacturer. Company representatives said that the code has been removed in a recent software patch, the Times reported.

It remains unclear whether the software was intended to facilitate data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence. The scope of the data collection is undetermined as well: The Chinese company that wrote the software, Shanghai Adups Technology Company, has code that runs on more than 700 million phones, cars and other smart devices, the Times reported.