Situational awareness: Sprint has filed a lawsuit against AT&T for what it's calling "fake 5G" marketing, the Washington Post reports.
Plus, a reminder: In a world filled with complexifiers, Login is here to make things simple for you.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
A giant book deal for two New York Times journalists based on an investigation of Facebook's privacy scandals portends a new era of brutal scrutiny for Silicon Valley's giants, Axios' David McCabe and Kia Kokalitcheva write.
Why it matters: The intense focus on tech companies' troubles comes not just from policymakers and investigative reporters, but also from our culture's storytellers in New York and Hollywood — book publishers, TV producers, and movie directors. And unlike their past infatuations with the tech world, this time they're taking a much tougher view.
What's happening: The new book from NYT reporters Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel, which sold to HarperCollins, will "expand upon their bombshell investigative piece" about Facebook's "delay, deny and deflect" response to its scandals, the publisher said Wednesday. (Film and TV rights haven't been sold for the book.)
The big picture: There's more concern than ever about the power of Big Tech companies — and an interest in stories that expose their influence.
Other books from reporters covering the industry are coming fast and furious:
Then, there are the tell-alls.
Where books go first, movies often follow.
Our thought bubble: As you read this, there's probably a screenwriter in an apartment somewhere in Santa Monica hoping to knock out the first five pages of her Jeff Bezos vs. the National Enquirer screenplay before lunch.
The bottom line: It's a great time to tell a story about Silicon Valley's inner workings — but maybe not the best time for its companies to have their stories told.
Go deeper: David and Kia have more here.
Jeff Bezos. Photo: Emma McIntyre via Getty Images
You know who else is ready for his closeup? Jeff Bezos.
The Amazon CEO shocked the country on Thursday, going public with allegations that the National Enquirer and its parent company were trying to extort and blackmail Bezos into calling off an investigation into how the paper got its hands on his text messages.
Why it matters: It opens up a new front in the battle between Trumpland and Bezos, David notes. Thus far, the battle had largely been a one-sided fight, with President Trump and associates hurling insults and accusations and Bezos remaining silent. This time, though, Bezos came out guns blazing against the Trump-friendly publisher.
"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten."— Jeff Bezos, in a blog post on Medium
Winners: Bezos — even many of his critics had to support his move.
Losers: It could be bad for Enquirer parent American Media, which has a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that calls for it not to commit any new crimes.
My thought bubble: I'm no lawyer, though I have seen a lot of "Law & Order," but some people think the company could be in hot water.
What's next: The question now is whether law enforcement opens a case against the Enquirer or any of its associates. Meanwhile, Business Insider points out that it looks like the National Enquirer website runs off of Amazon cloud infrastructure. We'll see how long that lasts.
Apple told developers Thursday that they need to either stop using third party code that records what people do within their apps, or at the very least warn users they are being recorded. The statement followed a TechCrunch report that apps were using data-capturing code from a company called Glassbox.
Why it matters: This is the second time in as many weeks that Apple has been caught unawares as to how its platform was being misused.
Our thought bubble: Neither issue was Apple's fault and, indeed, the company had policies in place designed to prevent such behavior. But the fact that Apple learned of both issues through the press shows the limits of its ability to keep users safe.
Yes, but: What's different this time is that the same software is also running on Android devices. Google has yet to respond to an inquiry as to what, if any, action it will be taking.
What they're saying, via statements:
Meanwhile, Apple released a patch for the FaceTime bug that allowed users to see a recipient even before a call was answered. The iPhone maker also added a fix for another, previously undisclosed bug.
Members of Congress who say they want to reach a compromise on net neutrality seemed no closer than ever to actually striking a deal, as they rehashed old arguments at a Thursday hearing on the issue, David reports.
Why it matters: More internet service providers are also big content producers now, exemplified in AT&T's purchase of Time Warner. That's the kind of power net neutrality rules are aimed at reining in.
Republicans say they want to reach a deal to codify net neutrality rules into law, but that they refuse to do so if it returns to the utility-style "common carrier" regime the FCC repealed last year.
Democrats say they want tough rules and defend the utility-style regulations.
Our thought bubble: Privacy has partly supplanted net neutrality as the major tech issue on Capitol Hill. But, that didn't stop people from packing the hearing room on Thursday.
The bottom line: People on all sides of the net neutrality question have said for years that they want a compromise but the devil is in the details. So far, there's still a lot of daylight between them.
Cookie Monster did a Reddit AMA yesterday and it was as delicious as you'd expect.