Posts tagged with "Bill Gates"

Biden Administration probes leak of IRS records on such well-heeled taxpayers as Bezos, Buffet, Musk

June 10, 2021

The Biden Administration announced on July 8 that it is investigating how tax information on several of the world’s richest people—among them, Jeff BezosElon Musk, and Warren Buffett—has been leaked to the public, according to a report by CNN.

“The unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information is illegal,” said Treasury spokesperson Lily Adams. “The matter is being referred to the Office of the Inspector General, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, all of whom have independent authority to investigate.”

The investigation comes after a report that showed new information from a trove of never-before-seen IRS records. Earlier Tuesday, ProPublica reported on exclusively obtained IRS documents which showed how the likes of Bezos, Musk, Buffett, Bill Gates, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Bloomberg have legally avoided paying income tax.

“Any unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information by a person of access is illegal and we take this very seriously,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during Tuesday’s briefing.

Psaki also reiterated the Biden administration’s stance on having wealthy Americans pay more taxes to fund the President’s proposals.

“I’m not going to comment on specific unauthorized disclosures of confidential government information. I can tell you that, broadly speaking, we know that there is more to be done to ensure that corporations, individuals who are at the highest income are paying more of their fair share. Hence, it’s in the President’s proposals, his budget and part of how he’s proposing to pay for his ideas,” Psaki said.

Research contact: @CNN

Doxxing: it’s the celebrity club you don’t want to join

August 15, 2019

Suppose you were a celebrity who wanted to post a message to friends on social media, but still hoped to protect your privacy and identity. Maybe you would use a different name and photo on your Facebook or Twitter account. But in today’s online world, such amateur “covers” simply aren’t enough.

In fact, through a technique called “doxxing,” literally scores of famous performers and politicians have experienced the theft of their personal and financial information—only to see it posted out on the Internet for everyone to see.

Doxxing isn’t new. It’s been used by identity thieves for several years with great success.

How do they do it? They impersonate the celebrity that they plan on “outing” or embarrassing by gathering as much information as they can from a variety of sources, and then use that information to get access to more sensitive personal information, according to a blog by Christopher Budd of Trend Micro—a Japanese multinational cybersecurity and defense agency.

In fact, during just one week in March 2013, the financial information of a handful of celebrities was exposed by a mysterious website called “The Secret Files.” The stripped-down website posted the  Social Security numbers, credit reports, birth dates, addresses, and phone numbers of celebrities and public figures—among them, Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z, Tiger Woods, Mitt Romney, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, and Hillary Clinton.

And to drive the point that technical savvy can’t seem to protect you from this, they’ve even posted information about Bill Gates.

The question becomes: What does this mean for us—the regular dweebs who use social media? And what should you do about it?

The good news is that these doxxing campaigns are clearly targeting famous and powerful people, and isn’t likely to directly affect any of us in the near term, according to Trend Micro. But this does highlight that your credit report has a lot of powerful information that you wouldn’t want publicly posted. So it’s a good time to take some steps to protect your information.

What you want to do is to ensure that you keep any information that you use to answer these types of security questions secret. Typically, you have a choice of what questions to answer, so only use questions for which the answers aren’t already public. Make sure your social media profiles are set to only show information to friends and you only “friend” people that you really know.

And, consider taking time and searching for yourself like an attacker would: Do searches on yourself and variations of your name, see what comes up—and if you find information out there that you didn’t know was out there and don’t want in public view, follow up to have it removed.

Research contact:@TrendMicro

Angelina Jolie, Bill Gates top global most-admired list

April 12, 2018

The number-one most-admired woman in the world does not even make the top ten on America’s list.

Based on findings of YouGov’s annual research on the most-revered public figures on the planet, released on April 11, Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie are the favorites among the 37,000 people in 35 countries who responded to the poll.

In the United States, the two top picks are a husband-and-wife team—former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama—both of whom took second place on the global list.

Tech pioneer and philanthropist Gates has topped the list every time YouGov has conducted the survey, while Jolie has also come first in each of the three surveys since 2015 when separate male and female categories were introduced.

Worldwide, the top ten men (in order of popularity) include: Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Jackie Chan, Xi Jinping, Jack Ma, Vladimir Putin, Dalai Lama, Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, and Cristiano Rinaldo.

Top women globally are Angelina Jolie, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II, Hilary Clinton, Emma Watson, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Merkel, and Taylor Swift.

Entertainers dominate the female top twenty, with 14 of the most admired women being actresses, singers or TV presenters (although some, like Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie, are also notable for their humanitarian work). By contrast, the list of most admired men contains more people from political, business and sporting backgrounds.

Former U.S. presidential couple Barack and Michelle Obama occupy the two second place spots, representing a three-position rise for Michelle and no change for Barack. The 44th American president is 15 places higher than the man that replaced him – with Donald Trump going up one place since the last study. In fact, the last U.S. president ranks higher than the incumbent in all countries surveyed bar one: Russia.

In the United States, the top-ten list of men includes: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Billy Graham, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Dwayne Johnson, Clint Eastwood, Bernie Sanders, Dalai Lama and Elon Musk.

The list of most-admired women comprises Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II, Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Condoleeza Rice, Malala Yousafzai, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Melania Trump.

Thirteen Americans – six men and seven women – made the global list. While Gates and Obama held on to their spots from last year, Donald Trump and Warren Buffett—two figures lauded for their business acumen—improved their rankings from the last poll. The list also welcomes two male newcomers: Elon Musk and Michael Jordan.

Many of the women, save Hillary Clinton, also see improvements in their ranks. Elizabeth Warren makes her first appearance this year on YouGov’s Most Admired list—at number 13 in the United States and number 20 globally.

Research contact: matthew.smith@yougov.com