Recent revelations about Facebook’s collection of user audio data are fueling talk in Washington (DC) that company CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have misled Congress about the firm’s privacy practices during a Senate hearing in 2018. Zuckerberg at the time dismissed a question about whether the company used “audio obtained from mobile devices to enrich personal information about its users," calling it a “conspiracy theory.” But recent reporting that the company until just recently paid contractors to transcribe some users’ audio is raising eyebrows about his remarks on the Hill.
Trade group TechNet, which counts AT&T and Verizon among members, is sounding the alarm over language in the Senate defense bill, S. 1790, ordering the Defense Department to create a test-bed program for “innovative technologies and techniques to facilitate” spectrum sharing between 5G service providers and incumbent airwaves occupants. Wireless heavyweights view this language as a Pentagon power grab over 5G and are lobbying to strip it from the bill before the House and Senate settle on a consensus version.
President Donald Trump’s vow to scour “the dark recesses of the internet” came as deadly gun violence provoked ire over fringe online platforms like 8chan, an anonymous message board that has hosted a racist manifesto linked to Aug 3's deadly shooting in El Paso (TX). But any effort to curb dangerous extremism online will run into a host of obstacles:
House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Democratic colleagues have expressed interest in legislation to allocate prime 5G airwaves known as the C-band and to use auction proceeds to help fund broadband buildout.
Justice Department Antitrust Division Chief Makan Delrahim has briefed Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on his unit’s newly launched investigation into the tech sector. Sen Klobuchar, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee, said, “My hope is that they’re very serious about this investigation.” And Sen.
Groups are calling on the Senate Rules Committee to launch an investigation into whether a closed-door meeting of the Senate Judiciary tech task force violated the chamber’s procedures for public notice. The working group, led by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), met in the Judiciary hearing room for an off-the-record session with privacy officers from Snap, Match, Salesforce, and Mozilla.
Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr is reviewing national nonprofit license holders of airwaves reserved for educational purposes, ahead of a planned July 10 FCC vote on opening them for 5G. Commissioner Carr fired off the first of what an aide said will likely be several letters to license holders.
As the Senate geared up to pass its defense policy bill, the office of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) unsuccessfully pushed to add language that would require that a provision mandating Pentagon-led test beds to examine sharing 5G airwaves come with a requirement that the government “solicit and consider the input of commercial wireless service providers, equipment manufacturers, and firms developing and operating spectrum sharing technologies” as part of planning.
As the House prepares to take up funding legislation for departments including Commerce and Agriculture, lawmakers are attempting to hitch provisions tackling facial recognition tech, broadband mapping, and 5G. One Republican amendment would slate $90 million for Department of Agriculture to use on broadband buildout in unserved areas. Another would boost f
Sen Josh Hawley (R-MO) is poised to announce new legislation on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The measure is expected to focus on enforcement of Section 230, the legal liability shield that immunizes tech platforms from lawsuits over user-posted content. It would open the possibility of treating certain tech companies as publishers and therefore more liable for the content that shows up on their sites.