I'm sure you are all tired of hearing me talk about hoity-toity Davos. Well, fear not. Today I write to you from Klosters, the so-not-exclusive ski town a few kilometers away. It's where Prince Charles has been coming for the last 40 years.
Today's Login is 1,386 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
If Jeff Bezos' phone can be hacked, anyone's can, Axios' Scott Rosenberg reports.
Driving the news: Reports emerged this week alleging that Jeff Bezos's iPhone was compromised in 2018 after the Amazon founder and Washington Post owner received a video file in a WhatsApp message sent by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salam (MBS). The news sent tremors through Washington and Silicon Valley.
What happened: According to a forensic report, Bezos commissioned and that informed a statement from U.N. human rights officials, soon after Bezos received the message from MBS his phone began transmitting large quantities of data.
Of note: The hack came just months before the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose sharp criticisms of the Saudi government ran in Bezos' Washington Post. The CIA concluded that MBS ordered Khashoggi's death.
Our thought bubble: Bezos isn't a clueless newbie — he's been online since Amazon opened its website 25 years ago.
Between the lines: It's one thing to think of cyber-attacks as devious operations against factories and power plants or spammy barrages of suspicious come-ons. In the world the Bezos/MBS caper shows us, the most commonplace and mundane communications are becoming weaponized.
Yes, but: Most of us aren't billionaires and aren't receiving texts from Saudi princes. If we're not as important as Bezos, maybe we won't be targeted.
Go deeper: The hack heard round the world (Pro Rata podcast)
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Two arms of the Trump administration are facing off over airwaves long set aside so cars can eventually communicate with each other, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill and Joann Muller report.
What's happening: The Transportation Department is pouring money into what it says will be life-saving connected-car tech that would ride on these mostly unused airwaves. Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission is moving to reallocate most of the same spectrum to expand WiFi service.
Why it matters: DOT argues that if the FCC prevails — and it's currently in the driver's seat — lives will be lost and America will fall behind in the development of self-driving cars.
The big picture: The dispute pits two Washington power brokers against one another.
What they're saying: The standoff is growing increasingly hostile.
What to watch: The FCC is an independent agency and its bipartisan members voted 5-0 to proceed with the reallocation — a reality not lost on DOT officials, they admit privately.
The bottom line: Chao will have to hope for a public uproar against the FCC's plan, or else expend some of her substantial political capital, to keep road safety tech from losing out to the push for faster internet speeds.
Broadcom on Thursday disclosed two deals with Apple that will see the company getting roughly $15 billion in revenue from the iPhone maker through 2023.
Why it matters: While Apple gets the lion's share of revenue from the iPhone, there are many suppliers and component makers who make a fortune from the device; they just usually have to be cagey about offering details for fear of irking Apple. It's hard to stay silent, though, when Apple accounts for such material revenue.
Broadcom specializes in communications chips, like those that add Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities, and also makes radio chips that do a portion of the phone's cellular communications work.
Palantir CEO Alex Karp defended his company's government work, including working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in a CNBC interview on Thursday.
Why it matters: The Peter Thiel-backed company is often criticized both for the secrecy and nature of its work with government and law enforcement.
"The core mission of our company always was to make the West, especially America, the strongest in the world, the strongest it's ever been, for the sake of global peace and prosperity, and we feel like this year we really showed what that would mean," Karp said in an interview with "Squawk Box" co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Palantir is said to have more than $15 billion in government contracts, CNBC reported.
As for the ICE work specifically, Karp noted the relationship started under President Obama.
"Obviously there's a lot of legitimate concern about what happens on our border, how it happens, and what does the enforcement look like? It's a legitimate, complex issue. My personal position is we acknowledge the complexity. The people protesting, whom I respect, should also acknowledge that complexity."— Palantir CEO Alex Karp, to CNBC
Watching water boil is not fun. Watching pasta being shaped is very fun.