Alexandra Levine

Trump 5G Fighter Heads to Fox

The White House is losing a champion of the free-market approach to 5G to the new Fox Corporation’s Washington office. Gail Slater, a special assistant to the president on tech, telecom, and cybersecurity, will leave her role in the administration and join Fox as a senior vice president of policy and strategy. Slater was on the front lines in a fight between administration officials and Trump allies over the future of 5G networks.

Biden on Tech

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) will be vying for the White House in a very different tech climate than what he experienced in the Obama era. In the short time since Biden was in office, tech phobia has replaced tech euphoria, and the networks once viewed as connectors of the world are now among its most divisive forces. When Biden became vice president in 2009, the companies that now represent “big tech” were only a few years removed from being scrappy startups, and several of them quickly became chummy with the Obama White House.

Tech Lobbying By the Numbers

The deadline for first quarter lobbying disclosures came and went on April 22. Internet firms have posted record-high figures in recent years and that was true again for some firms. Amazon, for instance, spent its largest sum ever in a single quarter at $3.89 million.

Moulton on Tech

Rep Seth Moulton (D-MA), who became the 19th person (and third politician from Massachusetts) to enter the Democratic presidential primary race, has said he sees national security as a major presidential election issue — and he’s stressed that global conflict and subterfuge are increasingly taking the form of cyber attacks, a tech issue he could use to set himself apart from the already-packed primary roster. “Russia is trying to hack our elections. And Robert Mueller was clear about that.

That Other Big Report

Digital provisions in the revamped trade agreement among the US, Mexico and Canada will give the US economy a modest boost, with the technology and telecommunications sectors being the biggest beneficiaries, according to an independent analysis from the US International Trade Commission. The report, a key step before Congress votes on the deal, echoes several points tech lobbyists have long argued. Jordan Haas, the Internet Association’s trade policy director, urged Congress to quickly pass the deal.

Reading between the redacted lines

The redacted Mueller report highlighted, at least from a tech perspective, much of what we’d already known since the indictments were first announced, including of course the top-line takeaway that Russia indeed sought to use Facebook and Twitter, largely through the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, to influence the 2016 election in then-candidate Donald Trump’s favor. Particularly noteworthy is that high-ranking members of the president’s inner circle including Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, Michael Flynn and Donald Trump Jr.