In other news, The Daily Beast reports that special prosecutor Robert Mueller is preparing a series of court filings that will detail the efforts of people close to Trump who sought to roll back sanctions on Russia, among other things.
Meanwhile, CNN obtained the letter of intent to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump has long denied that he signed the letter and he also claimed Michael Cohen signed the letter, but Trump's signature is on it.
Finally, the New York Times reports that Facebook has done far more than allow other companies to view private user data without the consent of users. They've also allowed companies to view the private messages of users without consent.
The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times. The records, generated in 2017 by the company’s internal system for tracking partnerships, provide the most complete picture yet of the social network’s data-sharing practices. They also underscore how personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, traded on a vast scale by some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.
The exchange was intended to benefit everyone. Pushing for explosive growth, Facebook got more users, lifting its advertising revenue. Partner companies acquired features to make their products more attractive. Facebook users connected with friends across different devices and websites. But Facebook also assumed extraordinary power over the personal information of its 2.2 billion users — control it has wielded with little transparency or outside oversight.
Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.
The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends, and it let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer, despite public statements that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier.
And now a word from the real president:
Thank you @BarackObama for making our patients’ day so much brighter. Your surprise warmed our hallways and put smiles on everyone’s faces! Our patients loved your company…and your gifts! https://t.co/bswxSrA4sQ ❤️ #HolidaysAtChildrens #ObamaAndKids pic.twitter.com/qii53UbSRS
— Children's National 🏥 (@childrenshealth) December 19, 2018