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tv   Bloomberg Technology  Bloomberg  August 7, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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♪ emily: i am emily chang in san francisco. this is "bloomberg technology." tesla shares surged after a surprise tweet from elon musk saying he is considering taking the company private. why he wants to take them off the public market. etsy has come back to life and we talk to the ceo about his turnaround strategy. and more staffing intrigued at uber. the man who cofounded auto
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trucking with the scandal returns. elon musk teased the possibility of taking does a private at $420 a share. he tweeted funding has been secure. this came on the heels of a report from the financial times that saudi arabia's wealth fund has amassed a stake worth as much as $2.9 billion and a private -- $2.9 billion. elon musk says i'm trying to find an outcome where they can thrive with as little changed for investors and employees as possible. is going private a real possibility? i want to bring in jason kelly who covers private equity. also with us is our reporter that covers all things tesla. you've been working all day long on this. >> i think the timing is surprising. the fact that he wants to take them private is not a surprise
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read he has talked about this in interviews with us, the rolling stone profile. -- not a surprise. he has talked about this in interviews with us, the rolling stones profile. he said it is easier to run a private company. you can focus on the long-term vision. emily: and block post, he further explained his thinking. he said a final decision has not been made, but the reason for doing this is all about creating the environment to tesla to operate. the wild changes in stock prices can be a major distraction. jason, you have covered private equity for a long time. what can you tell us about the possible mechanics of this? how this would work. jason: first of all, this is the exact language every private equity guy uses when they are
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trying to pitch someone on going private. then, you will have less distractions. thirdly, you do not have to look much further than michael dell. he teamed up with silver lake a couple of years ago, took them private, and has been very successful. the mechanics of this are -- it is unclear to be honest read you are talking about -- honest. you're talking about the valuation pretty high based on that $420 price. it depends on how much of the current investors will rollover as musk outlines in the email. and, how much would be equity and debt? $45 billion or so, that would be the biggest lbl of all time. emily: there's a lot of skepticism as to whether he can pull it off economically.
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we spoke to ivan who covers tesla chief investment officer's. take a listen. >> it is not economically make sense for him, and in the stage that the company is in, it does not make sense because he is in a growth stage. companies going private in a mature stage are usually generating significant cash and the shares are not getting a valuation that shows the value of their cash generation. he needs the public markets for financing. it will be easier to raise financing in equity and debt if he is a public company. emily: walk us through all of the things we still do not know. the least of which, who these funders are. >> elon musk said financing is secure we do not know if that means the saudi arabian wealth fund or many other funders the nats. who are we talking about? it is also not clear what the timing of the says.
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there has been no fcc -- sec filing, not sure of when the board voted is. we really don't have any thing beyond -- anything beyond the blog post and wheat. emily: what you think about the fact that we found out this in a tweet and there are no official filings? jason: that is a big question a lot of people are asking. i want to go back to something i mentioned which was a fair point about when companies typically go through this type of process. this is going to depend largely on how much debt if any that musk and has led have to take on. part of what we do in a leveraged buyout, the leverage being debt, is servicing the debt. one big problem with taz luck, both of you know much better than i, is the cash burn. -- has luck, both of you know much better than i, is the cash burn. to your point about the sec, a lot of people were tweeting and asking a lot of the questions in
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our markets live blog as well about whether this was kosher. how much was this planned and how much of this was elon getting sick of the haters and throwing this plan out there? emily: on that note, he closed the blood point saying this has nothing to do with a cumulative control of the company myself. i have about 20% myself and i have tried to accomplish an outcome where tesla can be free from as much distraction and a short-term thinking as possible. thank you both. sticking with saudi investments, in u.s. public companies, the saudi prince has said he acquired a 2.3% stake in snap. that was shortly after snap
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reported its first ever quarterly drop in daily users. the daily second quarter active users fell 2% down to 180 million. the ceo pointed at the snapchat's controversial redesign. coming up, we take a closer look at the massive turnaround with josh silverman next. emily: josh silverman has overseen an impressive
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emily: josh silverman has overseen an impressive turnaround at his company with shares up. they eliminate areas that were not growing and now they raised their guidance for the year in the latest earning results. josh silverman joins us now. josh, a lot of pressure when he walked in the door. investors are loving what you are doing. what is the next phase? how you take this to the next level? josh: i think we are at the very beginning for when we look at -- four-- for etsy. i think it is about creating a better buying experience which translates into better sales for our holders. emily: the share price has increased considerably since you
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took over as ceo. do you have any concern investors are being too enthusiastic? josh: my job and of my team is to focus on delivering results to our stakeholders. everyone benefits as well. we are going to continue to deliver the best results we possibly can. we are very focused on doing the fewest things we can exceptionally well, and we are seeing great gains from that. we think the results from the past few cord -- few quarters are encouraging. we look forward to doing more. emily: what areas are new or unexpected you are exploring? josh: part of where we may be lost our way is losing focus and trying to turn to quickly to too many new things.
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looking at three of our biggest categories, home furnishings, jewelry, and apparel. each of those are multi-hundred by the dollar -- billion dollar categories. we have to make it easier for buyers to find the products that they love, and to buy the products and come back and buy more and more. with over 2 million sellers selling over 50 million items, items that are beautiful, made with care, there is so much opportunity to do better with the core categories and markets we are in today. emily: the supreme court made a big decision that states cannot force retailers to collect sales tax after -- tax without a physical presence. how does the impact etsy and your buyers and sellers? josh: it is not an existential threat to etsy, for creates more
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friction for our sellers --etsy, but creates more friction for our sellers. it is very difficult for anyone to implement it with excellence. we think it is bad law and will be working with congress and state legislators to coming to something more effective. in the meantime, we are investing in tools to reduce the burden and make sure we can comply. emily: you said this decision -- you will lobby congress. what actions are you taking? josh: we are engaged in dialogue with congress. this is a partisan issue. we're trying to help states achieve their financial goals and we're doing it in a way where we and e-commerce can succeed. that has been a key driver of
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the u.s. economy. with 2 million sellers, and 80% -- 87% of them are women. most of them are businesses that are running a global enterprise from their living room. the need of these entrepreneurs are important and we are making sure their voices are heard. emily: i would love to get your thoughts on the tweet from elon musk considering taking his company private given the fact that you came in with investors banging on your door. what do you make of this? josh: i can't speak for elon. what i can say for etsy is that accountability is a terrific thing. being accountable to all of our stakeholders makes us raise our game and execute better. as we have delivered very strong financial results over the past number of quarters, we've also
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sharpened our focus and delivered great social impact results. i'm proud of the fact that diversity in the company has increased and our environmental impact and ecological footprint has gone down at the same time. being accountable is helpful for financial and social results. emily: you had layoffs in order to execute this turnaround. you see more cuts coming and what is the mood? josh: what we did was what of the fewest things we need to do well and have the cleanest work structure, whether it is one person accountable to own each of those metrics, and what the team -- and with the team under them. that resulted in some layoffs. since that time, we have been hiring and growing. we have more than 100 open positions now. we are focused on growing, but
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growing in a sustainable way. emily: last question. there's a lot going on politically. a lot of political and economic concert in -- economic uncertainty given the trade war linning and possible regulation. what is your outlook on how these forces could impact your company? josh: in a world where i think the economy is becoming more commoditized and people are buying more and more mass-produced goods, i think they crave ever more for human connection. our mission is to keep commerce human. the idea you can buy from someone within your own country or another country that is a real human and you can talk to. they can make that product for you. the need is even greater today than ever. it is something very defensible and eligible for etsy. we feel good about our opportunity going forward. emily: etsy ceo, josh silverman, joining us from new york.
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thanks for coming. imagine a life without google. it is a possibility for people in china. a tale of two internets, coming up. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: billions of people around the world use u.s. technology services like google everyday. they are part of the fabric of life. except in china where google is blocked -- facebook is blocked and google backed out years ago. they want back in. in china, people have made do without either google or facebook. shelley takes a look at this tale of two internets from hong kong. >> a new search engine and at tailored and centered for china. talks of tencent to upgrade cloud services. google's plans to reenter china
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are more ambitious than we thought. challenges lie ahead. they have to win government approval. they have to entice chinese users away from domestic rivals. many chinese teenagers have never heard of facebook or google. it is unthinkable for the billions of users who cannot imagine life without them. the reverse is true for many americans. for google, it is unclear whether chinese customers will use the services anyway. china's tech scene was widely different than when google pulled out in 2010. there is little evidence that western alternatives would want -- be wanted. why does this matter? moore's writing on the twist and turns of google whether they are putting profit over principle. it tells a bigger story of what happens in the world with two distinct internets.
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much more reality is driven by what we consume online. distinct news, images, and information on the web can influence the way we vote, think, and act. the big question is, in china and u.s. are living in separate cyber worlds, how can we expect the countries to cooperate in the world world -- in the real world? emily: joining me now to discuss is adam, the director of the digital and cyberspace program on cyber relations. and, in the studio, we have selina wang. most people in united states will know what we chat is or what alibaba does. talk to us about what the real differences are in china and whether or not people there actually care whether they do not have freedom of access of information.
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adam: we see the outcome of the chinese vision of two separate internets. chinese internet and american internet. the chinese wanted to have their own company and wanted to support alibaba and baidu, and the others. they wanted chinese users to have access to the information that beijing approved. that is what we see now. we see it is harder for the two sides to come to any common agreement or vision about what cyberspace should look like. u.s. firms had a vision of global interoperability and the free flow of internet -- free flow of information. that is not the internet we have. emily: when facebook was blocked in google left the country, i spoke with young chinese people and ask them if they cared. they really did not. they wanted a good job and were doing just fine with the services they had. is that the case? selina: even if google and facebook gets into china, do
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that chinese populace even care? i think the question is in the air. many chinese teenagers do not know what to go is or even facebook. they're perfectly happy using baidu and we chat. the country has moved on without western apps. there is a study conducted by beijing university and stanford university. they concluded young chinese people are apathetic. they did a year-long survey of more than 1000 students and found when they gave them the tools to bypass the censorship rules, nearly half did not even use the tools. those who did, did not use it to browse blocked western apps. what is worth noting is the chinese censorship regime is so effective because it makes it hard for the people to access the information and creates an environment that people do not need or care to access that information. emily: beyond this, adam, the chinese government has become so
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much more sophisticated about how they actually block these websites and the rules have been more stretched. could google write out rhythms fast enough even if the chinese government did not want to let them back in? adam: the real question is about google's ability to keep up with chinese censorship. we know the chinese firms employ tens of thousands of people who take down sensitive materials. that probably would not be available to google inside of china. they would rely a lot on a list produced by chinese companies. ai may go some distance in taking net down and having them scale for speed, but it would the some technological or technical challenge for google to comply. emily: one ceo says they can beat google since they did
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before. talk about the compliments is -- compromises going on in each side read -- side. adam: the political fallout for google would be high. we see a number of u.s. politicians questioning their willingness to go along with the chinese government on censorship in the wake of google employees pushing the company back from project maven on artificial intelligence. the optics of qualifying -- cooperating with the chinese government look bad for google. for beijing, it is a question of what they will get from google in the market. as we heard, there is plenty of competitors and chinese firms providing the services. there is really a lot to be gained from beijing's side that google brings to the table.
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emily: the new york times made a great point. the value system created is not just in china. they are exporting these ideals to other countries, and the censored internet to vietnam, pans and the at, ethiopia -- -- pansania, ethiopia. selina: they need to follow the lead of one of the large -- world's largest companies. china is exporting their vision of cyberspace and the digital internet. a big piece of this road is the digital silk road time together china to all of these countries in africa and the middle east. that is what is concerning your.
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emily: selina wang, a lot to discuss. thank you both for being here. coming up, we talk about bloomberg. this is bloomberg. ♪ this isn't just any moving day.
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emily: elon musk said he's considering taking tesla private, in a radical step that would ease pressure. the announcement stunned investors, sending tesla's stock soaring. it followed news that the saudi arabia sovereign wealth fund built a stake in tesla worth about $2 billion. musk said, i don't have a controlling vote now and do not expect to have one if we go private. i will not be selling in either cenario. a former uber employee is returning.
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the cofounder of the trucking unit will run the start up's trucking business, uber freight. he left after uber settled without a bit over allegations they stole alphabet's self driving trade secrets. ron is returning to uber after a month-long negotiation to rework he terms of the auto deal. we are joined by a managing director of greenbrier, who used to be head of communications at ber. what is happening? shakespearean at uber. >> always a surprise. what seems to have been happening, behind-the-scenes there has been this renegotiation of this part of this auto acquisition two years ago, so uber could really invest
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in uber freight, their human trucking logistics business. once those negotiations got settled with anthony and lior ron, it cleared the way for ron to come back, now that he is sort of that peace with the company to lead the effort. emily: but is he really at peace? is there a risk of bringing back someone who has some baggage? lane: a lot of people have worked with uber over the last two or three years who are maybe entertaining coming back now that there's new leadership in place. the reality is, there's not a lot of people with expertise in this space, so uber doesn't have a deep bench. emily: let's talk about the bench, eric, because we have seen the head of hr resign in the midst of an internal investigation into whether she was ignoring complaints from employees. a very high-profile woman at the company. what really happened there? eric: there's a lot we don't know. there was this
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investigation. there was an internal histleblower who complained, and that correspondence came out. lawyers told the whistleblower, there were some things we could confirm, some things we cannot, we will not tell you which, and their chief legal officer basically said, trying these issues in the court of public opinion isn't a great idea and it can be unfair, but ultimately liane hornsey resigned right after an all hands meeting, very sudden and unexpected. it came amidst media scrutiny, but we don't know which incident convinced her to resign or uber to sort of push in that direction. emily: meantime, the coo they brought into right the ship, the times reporting about some very off-color remarks he made in a meeting about advertising featuring a mixed-race couple, saying, how often do you see a
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mixed-race couple? eric: the defense, trying to understand who the ad was targeting, but the people in the room felt it was off-color. we don't know exactly what was said. he is certainly soul-searching, trying to get leadership help about what exactly he should say. a terrible moment for uber to have. the turnaround crew, getting hit ith the same type of allegations travis kalanick and his leadership team would have faced. very hard for dara, who left a lot of the day-to-day leadership to barney harper. you have this guy doing a lot of heavy lifting, now emblematic of the behavior they are trying to leave in the past. emily: dara has made other high-profile hires, like tony
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west, chief legal officer. has not made any high-profile female hires. what do you make of it? lane: it is not a question of if, but when. dara has a lot of work to do, ahead of a hopeful ipo next year. i think he will look to the existing bench outside the tech sector. a lot of folks in corporate america who have proven themselves in various capacities. he has to convince them this is a company that's ok to come to now, and has to bring them on board. he has not been in the job long enough to completely filled out a leadership team. emily: i spoke with tony west. it was a long decision to leave his comfortable job at pepsi and join uber. what are you hearing from people who work in the company, about whether there really has been a true culture shift? lane: great question, because i think the culture shift is felt among the entire team. a huge company now. for the folks who have been there a long time, four-years-plus, the folks who have been there feel like it is a new day, a new company with new leadership.
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the problems of four-plus years ago are behind them, and they are excited about the future. emily: meantime, regulatory issues continue. in new york, the city council is poised to approve a cap on licenses for uber and other ridesharing drivers, which would be a pretty big blow. >> terrible for uber. old guard uber, they beat bill de blasio back, gave it all this room to grow. they have locked in some gains, but the idea of a cap would be terrible for uber. minimum guarantees on drivers would distort the marketplace, so from a business perspective it is pretty shocking. definitely sort of the travis kalanick crowd asking, did dara invest in the war room style fight with new york that they had done? i'm curious, you were sort of --
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emily: did dara mess up here? lane: the question of whether tech companies have to employ policy people. most will need more, and this is why. regulators are always looking for the easy way out, and in this case this is the easy way out. congestion pricing, changing the price of taxi medallions, helping the people most vulnerable in new york, those are big problems to solve. an easy one, capping uber, something you can do with the stroke of a pen. emily: i have to ask you about one more story. you sold some of the tesla
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shares, before elon tweeted about taking a private. you still have some shares. lane: maybe not enough. emily: what is your take on this as an investor? lane: i am hopeful the news today means something good is happening that is good for my remaining stock. hope i didn't screw up this morning. eric: as an uber reporter, it is funny, uber preparing to go public, tesla going private, two ships passing in the night. emily: we have not determined how serious elon musk is about this. lane,. does his unpredictability bother you? lane: it is so exciting and unpredictable, you just have to be along for the ride. emily: lane kasselman, eric newcomer. great story out today. for more on tesla and the possible financials of taking the company private. caroline hyde has been crunching numbers. we have spoke about whether this is possible, or if it makes economic sense. from your analysis, does it? aroline: we know there is a $2 billion stake built by the saudi
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private investment fund, and still $50 billion he will have to come up with. as a total, if it comes in at $420, the share price he has been saying, this would value tesla at over $80 billion if you include their that. you can understand the rationale for someone like elon musk, who clearly enjoys running private businesses. he enjoys a spacex, that he runs. he has criticized analysts, calling them blockheads to a certain extent, criticizing them on calls when he has to go on public calls. what i am looking at, how many people have been pushing against tesla when it has been a public company. the short interest at the moment, it's still elevated. you go to gtb live, you see the short interest in tesla stock, till at 27%. many guests that are long in the stock have been getting out, and many taking active bets against it.
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he's frustrated by the volatile price i'm sure, talking about wanting to sell out at $420, which could be the biggest leveraged buyout since 2007. another chart that is fascinating. we also know this is a company that burns capital. maybe they plan to put that out of the mind's eye of the public investor, being able to invest the way he wants. we see the cash burn, the talk that he needs to raise yet more capital. how are we doing this? he has to raise $50 billion to take it private, and notably has to reinvest in the business. we know he's doing a deal in china to build factories, china themselves looking to fit some of that cost. many of the criticism in terms of cash burn, debt, short interest, i can see why it's driving him potentially to want to take this company private.
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emily: you have another chart ere showing tesla's market cap spiking after the tweet, and before trading was halted. there are a lot of things to jump through before something ike this could happen. a very long road for michael dell when he took dell private, o what comes next? caroline: gene munster saying he has a one in three chance of actually achieving this. what comes next, the breaking news we hear when we understand why the stock has been halted. it is still 14% lower than the price he's talking about, $420 per share, we closed when it was halted at under 370. the market is baking in a real critique of this. i don't think they are buying this. you would have seen the shares rise so much more if they really thought this was a done deal, 100%, it would have spiked to $420. there is still a lot of
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incredulity in the market, but we will have to wait for how we might see this stake being built by the public investment fund, how that might be built up further. we understand of course, according to reporting, they built this $2 billion stake, less than 5%. would they be looking to extend that? is that where the rest of the money is coming from? how honored does elon take out the rest of the shareholder base, which is $50 billion worth? if it is worth $420, that makes the whole business including debt over $80 billion, the biggest leveraged deal since two dozen seven. emily: i for one still want to know why he picked $420. not $419, not $421. caroline: lucky number. emily: caroline hyde in london. thank you for crunching the numbers. up next, electronic voting versus a paper trail. how can we safeguard elections
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from malicious actors? we will discuss. this is bloomberg.
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emily: the 20 u.s. midterms are just a few months away, and u.s. intelligence services continue to issue warnings about possible russian meddling. >> they have stepped up their game big-time in 2016. we have not seen that kind of robust effort from them so far. as i mentioned publicly a few weeks ago, we are only one keyboard click away from finding out something we haven't seen up to this point in time, but right now we have not seen that. emily: so what can be done to safeguard the elections? president trump has an old-school idea. >> one of the things we are
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learning, it is always good, it is old-fashioned, but it is always good to have a paper backup system of voting. it is called paper, not highly complex computers. paper. a lot of states are doing that. emily: paper ballots, something my next guest can agree with. after all, as part of an experiment in the university of michigan, he successfully hacked what he calls worthless electronic voting machines. a professor of computer science and engineering at the university of michigan. welcome to bloomberg technology. why are they so worthless? why are they so bad? >> well, these voting machines are just like any other computer. they are powered by hardware and software, and software has vulnerabilities. if an attacker, especially a sophisticated one like a foreign adversary, can find one little
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hole in the security armor, they can get in, install malware, potentially change votes. emily: you found that hole. how easy was it to break in? professor halderman: not just e. for the last 15 years there have been computer science studies looking into the security of voting machine, and the overwhelming conclusion is that american voting machines just are not built in a way that is secure enough to keep out the bad guys. emily: now, is there real worry in hacking the actual machine and changing the vote count, or hacking voter registration and just making it harder for people to vote? professor halderman: those are both problematic areas. you could hack voter registration systems, so people show up on election day and find they are not on the rolls, but i think it would be even more devastating if someone could get into the voting machines themselves and even change who won. that's what keeps me up at night.
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emily: do you believe that has appened? so far we have seen evidence of robust meddling, as dan coats said earlier, but no concrete evidence the vote count was actually changed? professor halderman: there is no evidence the 2016 vote count or any previous american election has been stolen in a cyber attack, but the problem is the vulnerabilities exist. and so it's only a matter of time until our enemies take advantage of them. emily: a paper backup is good, you agree with that. is that something we could quickly institute for the upcoming midterms? there's not a lot of time left before we all have to go back and vote. professor halderman: well, fortunately about 70% of american votes are already recorded on paper, and there are only five states left that are completely paperless.
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those states could, if they wanted to, implement paper as an emergency measure, but the problem is that progress so far since 2016 has been fairly slow, and the remaining states 1are going to have to somehow find the money to upgrade their systems. emily: house republicans voted down a democratic effort to increase election security funding. how optimistic are you that these five states will be able to do that, given that there's already evidence of the russians meddling in the election again? professor halderman: well, states are going to have to act quickly, and congress will have to help them, not only for the midterms this year, but in order to be ready for 2020. the fact is, states need not only resources, but also better guidance on how to secure their systems, and i think there's a potential for congress to provide that. emily: so, what's your outlook
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on whether or not the right things will be in place in november? professor halderman: november, we are going to still have some gaps. election security is a work in progress, and although i can say things are somewhat better than they were in 2016, especially in terms of awareness, we have a lot of work left to do. congress needs to give the states guidance, and even this week, this month, congress will take up a bill in the senate cosponsored by james lankford and amy klobuchar called the secure elections act. there's a chance this will create some actually robust cybersecurity standards for elections. we all have to watch carefully to see whether congress can accomplish that. emily: given what we have seen so far this year, what do you think we are at greatest risk of this particular election?
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professor halderman: i worry most in this election about attacks that are going to try to undermine confidence in the results. the problem is, our systems are so fragile in so many different components that it is pretty easy to make things go wrong somewhere, and if we lose confidence that the system is recording and counting our votes correctly, well, that shakes the foundations of our democracy. emily: as it has been shaken thus far. thank you so much for sharing those thoughts. we will continue to cover this. coming up, a major european bank has backed out of advertising on facebook because of the platform's "ethical issues." details on that next. this is bloomberg.
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emily: unicredit, italy's biggest bank, has stopped using facebook for advertising, alleging the media giant has not acted ethically. the ceo added the company will not have any business relationships with facebook, because the bank maintains it has not acted properly. commerzbank suspended advertising on facebook in march, only to resume one month later after being satisfied with discussions with the social media company. software maker twilio delivered on results. the ceo is thought to increase sales by courting larger corporate clients. they have expanded the sales team and bolstered the product portfolio, seeking better ways
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of engaging with customers. twilio customers currently include uber, air b&b and bigger corporate stalwarts like coca-cola. finally, the trump administration says the judge who approved the at&t takeover of time warner ignored common sense. the department of justice is trying to reverse the deal's approval. antitrust officials say the judge ignored the core argument time warner would have added bargaining power over rival pay-tv companies that pay for its programming. that does it for this edition of "bloomberg technology." that is all for now. i'm emily chang. this is bloomberg. this is bloomberg. retail.
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which could save you hundreds of dollars a year. plus, get $150 dollars when you bring in your own phone. its a new kind of network designed to save you money. click, call or visit a store today. >> the following is a paid program. >> the following is a paid presentation for new lifelock with norton. paid for by lifelock. >> look around, so many of us are on phones or laptops, on public wi-fi, shopping online, filling out forms and applications. in the connected world we live in, our personal information is everywhere. we enter our names, birthdays, passwords, social security numbers, all online. what happens if that information gets in the hands of identity thieves?


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