Ashley Gold

Lina Khan's to-do list on Big Tech

Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan has a chance to work her way down her Big Tech to-do list, nearly a year into her tenure, now that she has a Democratic majority in hand. The Senate voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking a tie — to confirm privacy expert Alvaro Bedoya to the FTC. The Democrats' majority at the five-person agency now opens the door for Khan's agenda, expected to include:

New push to make Big Tech pay more for bandwidth

Regulators around the world are exploring forcing Big Tech companies to pay more for the internet service they rely on to make their billions. A growing number of governments think tech giants should up their contributions to the basic internet service that makes their success possible. That money could prop up local economies or help close the digital divide.

Ukraine conflict splinters the global internet

Moves to restrict Kremlin disinformation after Russia's invasion of Ukraine are further splintering the global internet even as they help stem the tide of propaganda.

Tech antitrust bills’ make or break moment

Lawmakers and lobbyists anticipate a major fight over antitrust bills meant to tame Big Tech before the midterms put an unofficial end to the legislative effort. The bills could remake how Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google operate and treat competitors — if they make it over the finish line.

Americans want government action on tech

As technology's role in American life increases, people on both sides of today's political divide have grown wary of its influence. A majority of respondents to a survey by Axios and the Illinois Institute of Technology expressed concern about the use of artificial intelligence, the reach of algorithms, the state of their online privacy, the size of tech firms and dependence on smartphones. Three-quarters of those polled said tech companies are too big (80 percent of liberals and 83 percent of conservatives).

Six months with Chair Lina Khan's Federal Trade Commission

Lina Khan's first six months leading the Federal Trade Commission has shown she's either shaken up a sleepy bureaucracy or pushed long-standing norms too far, depending on who you ask. As President Biden's first year ends, many are watching Khan's FTC to see whether it really can fundamentally change how the US regulates big companies and how tech should treat consumers.

What the Big Tech hearings really accomplished

The behaviors of platform and social media companies have evolved under the heat of the spotlight. Regulation takes time, and a lot of hearings, to produce tangible results. One upshot of four years of high-profile hearings is that tech companies now know how to play the game. Sometimes the goal isn't to pass a law. Congress uses the bully pulpit to force companies to self-regulate.

7 people who'll likely drive the Biden administration's tech policy

Here are the names you'll hear a lot as Biden builds out his tech policy apparatus at the Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission:

Facebook seeks a new head of US public policy

Facebook is looking externally for a new US policy chief as it moves Kevin Martin, a Republican and former Federal Communications Commission chairman who now holds the job, to lead the firm's global economic policy team. Facebook is moving on from the Trump era in which Republicans held most of the power in Washington and Facebook was particularly eager among tech companies to forge warm relations with GOP policymakers.

Internet Association struggling to manage the competing interests of the companies it represents

Silicon Valley's leading lobby, the Internet Association, is struggling to manage the competing interests of the companies it represents just as the industry faces a tide of bipartisan anger. Lobbying hasn't been working for tech for a while because too many firms are working at cross purposes. "A trade association can only do what its members tell it to do," said one person familiar with IA's work. "Facebook begging to be regulated puts the smaller companies in a bad position.